Reviews Comments: Stagnation is the name of the game

Stagnation is the name of the game
Or the show, rather. Let me expound upon that.

Linkara has been doing essentially the same thing for 4 years, with the very rare occurance of something different being thrown into the mix (top 15, or a showcase). He picks out a comic which is bad to an extent and proceeds to riff on it, much like MST 3 K, with critiques sparsely spread out across the video. However, that is it. He, for the most part, just chooses low-grade comics and makes fun of them over and over again.

He tried something new with History of Power Rangers and A Quick Look At, but those were left in the dust to make way for more Atop the 4th Wall. His colleagues, Spoony One and Bennett The Sage, actually change their content when the regularly expected videos get too stale. Linkara, on the other hand, just keeps doing what he has been doing since 2008.

If, maybe, Linkara switched his format from a riff show with critiques that concentrates on low-quality work, to a review show with riffing that concentrates on works from all sides of the quality spectrum this might be rectified. For proof, his 200th episode wherein he talks about One More Day and offers an analysis of Peter Parker's childishness, or his Superman #701 video wherein he talks about Superman the character, or whenever he's talking about comic culture, or the history of a character, those are fairly interesting segments and I think Atop the 4th Wall would really benefit if Linkara played down the riffing and upped the reviewing and started looking at good comics just as much as the bad.


I was expecting some mention of all the storylines he has.
comment #17700 emeriin 15th Jan 13
I'd love to see him do a more even balance of quality too
comment #17701 TomWithNoNumbers 15th Jan 13
You mention HOPR and AQLA as though those were meant to replace his regular show instead of just side-products.

I'm gonna be honest, so long as he's funny, I don't care if it's basically the same thing each week. Worked just fine for MST 3 K.
comment #17703 Wackd 15th Jan 13
@Wackd I mention them as examples of how variety can help an entertainer stay fresh and interesting. If you repeat yourself over and over again, or cover the same ground ~200 times, that eventually becomes boring.

It's like a joke, if it's predictable it isn't funny or entertaining.
comment #17704 AndreTheMidget 15th Jan 13
I think what you're saying is the equivalent of saying a stand-up comic is stagnating because all they ever do is get up on stage and tell jokes.

Just because each episode is formatted the same way doesn't mean the humor itself is getting stale.

And again, MST 3 K lasted ten years doing almost exactly what Linkara does, but with movies. So long as the jokes remain funny there's no real issue there.
comment #17705 Wackd 15th Jan 13
No, because I don't find other people who do similar things boring, but still put variety in their work. A better simile would be a comic who gets up on stage and tells the same type of joke.

Also, MST 3 K had 3 different people on it, if I'm not mistaken. That adds a lot to combating stagnation.
comment #17706 AndreTheMidget 15th Jan 13
Well there were 197 episodes of Mystery Science Theatre and there've been 247 episodes of Atop the Fourth Wall, so in that respect if it can be said the MST 3 K got tired towards the end of its run (I'm not saying that! Haven't watched it) It's still comparable. The episodes were roughly 3 times longer, but they both cover one complete work in their medium an episode, so we're likely to roughly see the same number of mistakes again.

I'm not sure if I should put it here or in the comments of my review where I was previously struggling with this question, but I don't think the riffing and the bad comics idea actually goes well together with comics, because to some extent we're experiencing it through the riffer rather than seeing it MST 3 K style. When he does his reviews of stuff that he actually likes (the Batman Christmas carol) he's still able to find roughly the same number of small things to make jokes about. In the same way Pokemon having a practically unlimited source of logical inconsistencies doesn't stop them being fantastic games.

Because the way we see the comics is so small picture and up close, the small mistakes don't prove it's badness in the same way an overview would. it's very easy to slip into a train of thought where individually you think the things hes making fun of don't necessarily make the comic bad. Its fine when you've got an overview, or even better you know he thinks the comic is good, you're laughing along at being able to fight a Tentacruel with a Geodude out in the middle of the ocean, but when the idea is he's showing us that this is why the comic sucks, there's a niggle in the back of the mind that some of these things don't necessarily mean that. (and can get caught up in silly issues like guards having guns in prisons etc). And because you've got no big picture all the little complaints run into each other and feel samey.

I think thats why I always enjoy the little summary at the end the most and why my favourite episodes tend to be the ones where the comic overall didn't suck.

In the end he's done nearly 250 episodes so he's probably doing a good job, this is only how I feel about it and I wouldn't expect him to throw everything in the air for me. Still if a Batman Noel was a success it would be cool to see him mix it up a bit more
comment #17707 TomWithNoNumbers 15th Jan 13
I don't think it fair to compare him to MST 3K. These areN't just riffs, these are reviews.
comment #18334 strejda 26th Feb 13
Nnnno, what Roger Ebert does are reviews, Linkara mainly does riffs with a criticism thrown in once every blue Moon.
comment #18417 AndreTheMidget 9th Mar 13
Andre The Midget, Blue Moons must be a common occurrence then, because he does not hesitate to criticize at ALL. The entire Wrath of Kahn comic arc was almost nothing BUT criticism. Or what about Rise of Arsenal? Titans #25-50? The Teen Titans Christmas? Pretty much ALL of the Live shows? There's plenty of criticism there, but there are jokes to go with it. And as for stagnation, I'd like to point out that he's got a very tight work schedule. He has to write, film, edit, and post a video every week. That doesn't leave him a lot of wiggle room. And to be fair, with Batman Noel, the Silver Age comics, and March of the Titans, he's been doing several things to shake the show up. And if you want to see his opinions in a different way, there are still his side projects. He's got plenty of variety, you just need to know where to look for it.
comment #18682 JamesPicard 30th Mar 13
James Picard, Titans #25-50 was largely a story recap (though it was a nice change of pace), Wrath of Khan was partially a review I'll give you that, Rise of Arsenal as well (again, partially) and I didn't watch Teen Titans Christmas. Also, his Live shows much like the 90% of AT 4 W is mostly riffing. For a good example of a reviewer (from TGWTG, just for the hell of it) would be The Last Angry Geek, Nostalgia Chick or Todd In The Shadows. Yes, they pepper their reviews with jokes or snarking, but that makes up a minority of the content, they are largely concentrated on reviewing the material. See, his schedule is an easily rectified self-imposed problem. Put up a video once every two weeks, or twice a month, thus still putting up content on time while not burning himself out. The problem is his side projects don't recieve nearly as much attention as AT 4 W does, and the page topic I've written a review on isn't called Linkara's Body of Work in General, rather Atop The Fourth Wall, so there's no reason to bring those up.
comment #19415 AndreTheMidget 18th May 13
Only now do I reread my own review and see I did mention the side projects. Sorry, James Picard, my bad.
comment #19416 AndreTheMidget 18th May 13

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