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Web Video / Riley Rewind

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"Sometimes there are things in life we wish we could go back and change. Wrongs we wish we could right. Mistakes we wish we could fix. But in real life, there are no do-overs. So then what are we left with? We're left with remorse. We're left with regrets. We're left with the memories of the times we wish we could've done something different. This won't be one of those times."
Riley Brown

From Ray William Johnson, the guy behind =3, comes Riley Rewind, a YouTube web series told in five "acts". All acts were released on the same day (Dec 13, 2013) on Ray's channel. It stars Riley Brown (Anna Akana), a high schooler who is able to travel through time. She can go into the past ("rewinding"), but not into the future. Call her a superhero if you will, but she believes that it's not really much of her business to save everyone. But then as the story unravels, more story lines are introduced in between the acts, and suddenly the fate of the entire school is on her shoulders...

Riley Rewind now has a character sheet!

Act one is here and each act links to the next. It's also on Netflix!


Riley Rewind provides examples of:

  • Arc Words: "Nobody cares." It's the note Angela left before committing suicide. Riley says to Angela that she cares. Edward says that nobody cared when Angela died.
  • Art Shift: Sometimes, certain frames or scenarios will be turned into drawings or animations.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Riley and Jay when Edward tries to interrupt their conversation.
  • Blood from the Mouth: One of Riley's symptoms of excessive rewinding.
  • Book-Ends: Act 1 begins with Riley complaining about her new glasses. Act 5 ends with Riley saying how much she actually enjoys her glasses.
    • In Act 5, to prevent Angela's death and the bomb explosion, she ends up rewinding all the way back to Act 1.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Act 1 focuses more on Riley's high school life without much emphasis on her power. By Act 3, Riley's power gets more attention and the series begins to transform into a drama, with things cranked Up to Eleven by Act 5.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Gunmen, in this case. The "time cops" that are seen looking for Riley in Act 3 finally catch her at the end of Act 5.
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  • Cliffhanger: At the end of Act 5, the aforementioned "time cops" burst into Riley's room. She tries to rewind, but one of them stops her. He says there will be no more rewinding. The series ends.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Riley's opinion on her power.
  • Creator Cameo: Ray William Johnson plays a gym teacher in one scene.
    "I want you running so fast the world spins backwards!"
  • Curse Cut Short: In act 3:
    Riley: What about Quinn?
    Jay: Quinn? Like..Gail's cousin Quinn?
    Riley: Oh, sh—
    (cut to next scene)
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Ray's previous work, indeed.
  • Dead-Hand Shot: More of a Dead Feet Shot, as that's all we see of Angela's corpse when Riley walks on in it.
  • Downer Beginning: Act 1 starts with Riley running through a crowd of people on prom night and opening the janitor's closet just in time for the bomb to detonate.
  • Driven to Suicide: Angela. Luckily Riley undoes it.
  • Exact Words: Riley asks Angela if they can hang around at her place. When she goes to Angela's house, she finds her hanging corpse.
  • Flipping the Bird: When we first see Angela, being pushed around by a group of alpha bitch cheerleaders, she does this.
  • Gainax Ending: See Cliffhanger above.
  • High School
  • History Repeats: No matter how many times she rewinds, Riley ends up walking in on Angela's hanging corpse several times.
  • The Men in Black: The "time cops" that pursue Riley and finally catch her at the end of act 5.
  • Myth Arc: The entire series consists of Riley using her powers to try to prevent Angela's suicide and thereby prevent the bomb from ever being planted in one way or another.
  • Of Course I Smoke: When Riley smokes for the first time.
  • Police are Useless: Riley calls 911 because of the bomb, they ask her if she put the bomb there. Then they actually believe she put the bomb there.
  • Precision F-Strike: In act 4, when Riley is calling 911 about the bomb in the janitor's closet of her school.
    911 operator: Did you place the bomb?
  • Running Gag: Quinn would go to the prom with anyone that had a cigarette on them.
  • The Scream: Riley when she sees Angela hanging.
  • Screw Destiny: By act 1, Riley believes that it's not her business to be a hero and save everyone. By act 5, the fate of the whole damn school is on her shoulders.
  • Self-Referential Humor: When Riley makes up nicknames for herself, she does a Title Drop and then says "Nah, that's stupid."
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The basis of the whole show.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slow-Motion Fall: Riley, as seen in the poster and series intro. Why she's falling is explained in the first 30 seconds of Arc 1.
  • Time Travel
  • Title Drop: In act 3.
    Riley: They call me Riley, the Life-Saver. They call me Riley, Time Traveler. They call me Riley, the Rewinder. Riley Rewind. Nah, that's stupid.
  • Wham Episode: See here.
  • Wham Line: At the very end of Act 5; "Unfortunately, there will be no more rewinding."

Example of: