Follow TV Tropes


Web Video / Chroma

Go To
Chroma is a French Web Video series hosted by Karim Debbache acting as the Spiritual Sequel of Crossed, during which Karim once again talks about movies and cinema in general. The first season was made between January 2016 and May 2017, each episode focusing on a different movie and delivering a particular message or food for thought about cinema.

Funded popularly on Ulule, Chroma got a budget of a whooping 200,000€, allowing the show to have more special effects, a completely redesigned setting for the show, and creating an overarching plot besides the movies each episode is focused on.

Since the plot involves parallel universes, here are the characters for the sake of clarity:

  • Karim Debbache, the host of the show in universe 1.
  • Jérémy Morvan, the sound engineer in universe 1.
  • Gilles Stella, the camera operator in universe 1.
  • Kamel Debbiche, Karim's counterpart in universe 2 who travels to universe 1.
  • Jérémy Morvain, Morvan's counterpart in universe 2 who follows Kamel.
  • Gilles Stello, Stella's counterpart in universe 2 who doesn't follow Kamel and Morvain.
  • The Loony Mustached Operator (or "Mustache Gilles"), also from universe 2, who does follow them.

The first (and so far only) season is complete with 12 episodes:

Tropes found in Chroma

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Karim saw Knockoff so many times on DVD that he describes the DVD as "sharp as a fucking razor". When thrown, it can slice through someone's cheek and get stuck on the head.
  • Agent Scully: Karim acknowledges that this trope can be used to help the audience accept the supernatural explanation by making the down to Earth explanation increasingly unlikely, but he criticizes its use in Signs (where the policewoman is just being a dick about it) and Paranormal Activity (where Micah does believe there is something supernatural going on, but doesn't trust demonologists and does his best to antagonize the demon).
  • Alien Blood: The evil Gilles has yellow transparent blood instead of red blood, betraying his inhuman nature.
  • Alan Smitheeinvoked: Karim in reality Kamel mentions Alan Smithee, a pseudonym directors could use to disguise their work on a rejected or bad movie.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation:
    • Invoked for Signs, where Karim and Kamel are indentical in everything... except their opinion about the film. Karim thinks the film fails because he forcefully passes plot devices as "divine signals", which can fool the characters but not the viewers. Kamel points out that nothing in the film actually proves that the aliens are hostile, and that the characters who perceive divine signals might just as well be completely wrong; but the viewer is still led into adopting their point of view.
    • Mocked in the review for Mac and Me. When Jeremy starts doing the same thing with the aliens from the movie, theorizing they were evil, Karim openly calls it bullshit and somewhat racist.
  • Alternate Universe: Different parallel universes are featured, the one Karim lives in being apparently devoid of Steven Spielberg.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: In Episode 3, Karim criticizes Highlander 2 for going for the cliché "Corrupt Corporate Executive trying to monopolize a vital resource" plot and says it never happens in real life. Well this kind of people do exist, as the California electricity crisis proves it, to Karim's shock.
  • An Aesop: Each of Chroma's episode contains one in relation with the movie the episode is about.
  • Arc Welding: Each episode of Chroma not only focuses on a movie, but also presents an overarching plot in which the greatest movies ever made are disappearing from existence and similar movies of far worse quality have become notorious in their place.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Karim point out that in Knock Off, Van Damme's character, a simple jeans salesman, is able to hold his own against the Russian mafia, the Hong Kong triad, the CIA and even fruit sellers.
    • In the final episode, we can see that Jérémy Morvain is wanted for murder, extraction-injection of piss for blood in a body, and theft of a book in a library.
  • Bad Future: In Episode 7, a portrait of Orson Welles shows Karim a future where good movies have disappeared, resulting in everyone having bad taste, wearing ridiculous outfits or cracking bad jokes.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The seventh review starts with Orson Welles telling Karim to review a film that revolutionized cinematic techniques, where the titular character dies early on and where we learn what happened through flashbacks recounted by people who knew him. Karim proceeds to review Vidocq.
  • Brick Joke: In the first episode, Morvan mentions the "Pseudonyms", undefined monsters that "drink your blood and replace it with urine". A few episodes later, Mustache Gilles and the Pseudonym-possessed Morvan are shown to bleed urine.note 
  • Bullying a Dragon: Karim mocks the tendency of Micah in Paranormal Activity to deliberately antagonize the supernatural presence in his house in a sketch where Jeremy is playing a threatening demon who is being bullied by Gilles like he's a little kid.
  • Call-Back: The stoic cop saying "papers, please" was already a recurring character in Crossed.
    • In episode 5, Morvain mentions that he has a "commerce qualification, option small pets", also a joke from Crossed.
  • The Cameo:
    • Several of Karim's friends appear in episode 6, notably the Joueur du Grenier, whose own episodes Karim is writing.
    • Episode 3 features a vocal one from famous French voice actor Daniel Beretta (better known as the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger).
  • Censored for Comedy: The film's countless product placements and Karim's Precision F Strikes are censored by a melodica note and a blurring machine in the Mac and Me review. Of course, by the end the blurring machine breaks and Karim asks the melodica man to stop it already.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Downplayed as comedy remains prominent, but after Episode 3 the plot thickens from pure gags to an overarching story which influences the video themselves.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Jérémy Morvan. In Episode 5, he shows glimpses of his appartment and day to day life, with emphasis on his hippopotamus and tiger slippers.
  • Conflict Ball: Everyone in the crew picks it in the first episode where Karim headbutting Morvan out of frustration at his lack of seriousness leads to a lengthy gratuitous fight among the crew plus another man named Professor Kung-Fu. This is contrasted in episode 10, which is episode 1 as it happened in universe 2 (the review being about Gremlins instead of Troll 2): released on schedule with everyone getting along.
  • Dark Reprise: The 8th episode opens with pseudonym!Morvan singing a slowed-down, disturbingly ominous version of Allô, allô, monsieur l'ordinateur.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Karim always refers to the demon in the Paranormal Activity review as some variant of "the devilish demon from infernal hell".
  • Disposing of a Body: In the last episode, the corrupted Morvan is shot in the head by Morvain, leading to an epilogue where the crew goes to a farm to cut up the body and throw the pieces in a river.
  • The Ditz: Jérémy Morvan (later Morvain), the microphone holder, is the self-proclaimed "joke guy" of the show and some rather… bizarre shticks.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: invoked François Truffaut's famous quote about how anti-war movies all end up being pro-war is mentionned in the Goodfellas review to point out that the film is very fast paced and yet, contrary to Scarface (1983), does not end with an epic battle and an iconic death, but with the protagonist leading the kind of mundane and boring life he didn't want, thus avoiding that pitfall to an extent.
  • Dream Intro: Episode 7 begins with Karim dreaming of a portrait of Orson Welles goading him into talking about a good movie for change. Karim proceeds to talk about Vidocq while we were led into thinking he'd talk about Citizen Kane.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • Morvan keeps acting like a clown on the inaugural episode of Chroma, and Karim berates him for that, eventually headbutting him.
    • Morvan farting onscreen in Episode 5 shocks and offends everyone so much they receive a letter from the government asking to censor it.
  • Dull Surprise: Discussed in the Signs review, which seems to be a contest of who can act the least. Not the worst, just... the least.
    Karim: "...Yes? Ah, sorry, it seems Mel Gibson has crashed. Can someone reboot him? Quick, he's starting to have flashbacks!"
  • The Ending Changes Everything: A lot of twists happens near the end of each episode, changing the persective of what's been happening during it.
  • Evil Twin: The alternate Jérémy and Gilles are apparently up to no good, making good movies disappear.
  • Executive Meddling: invoked Discussed by Karim in Episode 2, 6 and 8. It has a tendency to ruin the movies of competent film directors, ruining the original intention and alienating said directors from the producer in the first place. Karim theorizes that Knock Off is a mockery of Hollywood.
  • Fanboy: Karim doesn't even tried to hide he's a huge one for Jean-Claude Van Damme, and spends a long sequence gushing about his badassery in Knock Off.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Horrible monsters able to replace someone' blood with piss are lurking around. Their names? Pseudonyms. Downplayed as he word isn't cute sounding but doesn't sound threatening either.
  • Foreshadowing: Episode 3, which places an emphasis on Canon, features Jérémy and Gilles acting out of character. It foreshadows the fact that they are merely alternate selves of the original crew belonging to a parallel universe.
  • I'm Not Doing That Again: In the Troll 2 review, he notes that the only way to be scared by the film would be "to watch it on a smartphone, chased by twenty hungry wolves." Before adding "And that's something I'll never do again."
  • Impaled Palm: In Episode 10, the Cerberus shoots a bullets through his hand the second he shows his ID.
  • It's a Long Story: Jérémy holds the evil Gilles at gunpoint. Karim asks how he got a Beretta, and when Jérémy says the stock phrase, Karim just tells him to continue. Jérémy proceeds to recite his whole colorful life, getting sidetracked for so long the evil Gilles escapes when they were distracted by Jérémy's speech.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: In Episode 3, Karim criticizes Highlander 2 for not obeying the clear established rules of the previous movie, saying that it takes the spectator away from the movie, and is a sign of disrespect.
  • Mistaken for Racist: In episode 10, Karim faces the Cerberus, who’s dressed as a policeman, only for the latter to ask "papers, please". Karim is pissed, apparently thinking the policeman is controlling him because he looks Arabicnote , while it was actually a riddle. As Kamel figures out, the policeman was asking to see not his "papiers" (papers) but his "pas-pieds" (not-feet), meaning his hands.
  • Motor Mouth: As a succesor of Crossed, Karim Debbache's fast elocution is par for the course.
  • Multiple Endings: Highlander 2 has two endings, making Karim (Kamel in reality) realize that the movie had a chaotic production, lifting some of the blame he's had for it.
  • Police Brutality: Even though the Cerberus' legitimity as a policeman is questionable, the tropes is invoked when he coldly asks "Papers, please" and then shoots through Karim's hands.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Karim and Kamel are alternate selves, but both movie buffs. However when Kamel mentions stuff like E.T., Karim doesn't even know who Steven Spielberg is. Turns out alternate Jérémy and Gilles are somehow erasing good movies from existence, leading to Karim and the whole world not remember that they even existed.
  • Red Filter of Doom: In Episode 8, the introduction features the alternate Jérémy erasing many movies from existence in a room, the whole scene being filtered in red.
  • Ret-Gone: Morvan and Mustache Gilles make good movies vanish from existence in Karim's universe, so the crew and supposedly everyone forgets about their existence.
  • Rewatch Bonus: For all its silliness, the show’s plotline actually contains quite a bit of foreshadowing, referencing and subtle details that becomes more obvious on second watch:
    • In episode 1, Morvan off-handedly mentions that Pseudonyms "drink your blood and replace it by urine" (which sounds like just a throwaway joke but becomes a plot point later on).
    • Kamel Debbiche doesn't say his name at the start of the third episode and the background is red this time, hinting that he’s not Karim Debbache.
    • In episode 6, Morvan has a bandage on his right hand, after being wounded in his fight against Morvain in the found-footage section of episode 5.
    • In episode 11, you can see the movie posters in the background gradually disappearing as Mustache Gilles and Morvan keep erasing good films from existence (and since "all films are linked together", some films disappearing means that others never get made). In episode 12, as Karim and Gilles start remembering good movies, the posters also start reappearing.
  • Running Gag: Morvan, Mustache Gilles and Karim all get their right hands wounded at some point (by a flag-shaped cup, a razor-sharp DVD and a gunshot respectively).
  • Sequel Hook: The last scene of the final episode features Mustache Gilles appearing in the frame.
  • Similarly Named Works: invoked The Troll 2 review starts with a mention of Casa 5, from the same director, and a long and confusing list of films that have similar names and serial numbers without being related to each other. He later notes that Troll 2 isn't a sequel to Troll either. And then the list continues.
    • In the Carnosaur review, he makes another comically long list of films titled some variation of "Dead/Alive".
    "Peter Jackson’s Brain Dead had to be rename Dead Alive for its release, not to be confused with Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive 2, Dead or Alive Final, Wanted Dead or Alive − the film not the series −, Wanted - Dead or Alive, Hell’s Fury: Wanted Dead or Alive, Dinosaurs Dead or Alive, Hitler: Dead or Alive, Alive or Dead, More Dead than Alive, The Dead are Alive, or Dead or Alive. They called it that in case people would get it wrong."
  • Speak in Unison: Karim and his alternate self Kamel do that occasionally, even quoting Gogeta together to bond.
  • Spiritual Sequel: Chroma is basically Crossed with more budget; the main difference is the movies reviewed in Chroma are nor video game adaptations neither movies about video games in general. It can also be considered as a prequel, since Kamel explains his presence to Karim by saying that his backstory could become source material for a sequel.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: In the last episode, after all the great movies reappeared, Karim makes a lengthy speech about the roots of cinematography but when he says that as long as there are people to go watch movies and talk about them, whatever the film, cinema will continue to exist from the most disgusting crap to the ultimate masterpiece and...
    Karim: And everyone wins.
    Kamel: But if everyone wins, no one loses!
    Karim: Bingo!
    Kamel: Then, we won!
    Karim: Tringo!
    Kamel: Cool! Let's party (cue everyone partying)
  • The Reveal: Episode 3 reveals the existence of parallel universes, allowing Karim Debbache to converse with an alter-ego, Kamel Debbiche.
  • Toilet Humor: Jérémy tells Karim to say "Truck", only for him to fart. This is so bad it offends someone who posts on Twitter.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: