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Web Video / The Literary Lair

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The Literary Lair is a book review show created in March 2012. It was created by Mike Gleason of BlackScarabFilmZ, (a brand for all the web videos he makes). The show revolves around Mike and his reviews of books, with the occasional storyline, although they have taken a short hiatus since Summer of 2015. He also has a show called How to Fix It, where he talks about flawed media and how to fix that flawed media... He also has riffs, (BlackScarabRiffZ) rants, (BlackScarabRantZ) and vlogs about movies or television shows, (My Thoughts). His videos are also hosted on RT Gomer Productions and on Manic Expression.


The Literary Lair contains examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • Spock's response to Worf's question of how to avoid a Vulcan Nerve Pinch being, "Don't let a Vulcan near your neck", from Before Dishonor, which Mike hated, but admitted it had some good humor.
    • Michael originally hated Anne of Green Gables but admitted that the scene where Diana got drunk accidentally was comedy gold.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: The special The Road Not Taken involves Mike recieving a portal book from Mikesano, and shows him what his life would be like if he hadn't started reviewing.
  • American Accents: His New York accent creeps into some reviews.
  • April Fools' Day:
    • Did nothing for his first one, but for his second, took a page of out Linkara's book and reviewed an Italian Star Wars rip off under as The Cinema Snob.
    • For his third April Fool's Day, he (in-universe) re-tooled the show into a cheesy sitcom, complete with a network mandated character, culminating with Mikesano breaking character to complain about how stupid it was.
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    • For his fourth April Fool's Day instead of doing a one big parody of something he likes, he did a bunch of small parodies of things he likes, framing it similarly to how Rick and Morty's Interdimensional Cable episodes are framed.
    • For his fifth April Fool's Day, he released a "Let's Read" video, which was a full hour of Michael sitting on his bed, reading a book with occasional interruptions to get a drink or find a more comfortable sitting position.
  • Badass Bookworm
  • Bound and Gagged: In his "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" review he was tied up by his cybernetically enhanced Mirror Universe Counterpart. Mike then proceeded to insist that he had to be ripping of Mechakara, which caused his mirror self to literally throw the book at him. (And it was a blatant Linkara rip off)
  • Casual Time Travel: Michael's future self tends to use time travel to travel back in order to barge in on reviews of HG Wells novels.
  • Halloween Episode: For 2013 and 2014 he looked at Goosebumps books. For 2015, he looked at The Call of Cthulhu.
  • Lost Episode: The Death Wish review. Michael planned to review the Charles Bronson film after watching it and finding that it was loosely based on a book. But, he found that editing a movie review was harder than it looked, and gave up after a month of attempting it.
  • Magic-Powered Pseudoscience: While Mike and his foes & allies alike utilize fantastic science, the good guys tend to use a mixture of both.
  • My Future Self and Me:
    • In his review of HG Well's "The Time Machine" his future self showed up to ensure that he reviewed the book, also reappeared in his review of HG Wells' "War of the Worlds"
    • A double whammy in his review of "The Three Doctors" when his past self appeared with his future self, meaning that to his past self, he was the Future Self and to his future self, he was the Me.
    • His future self re-appeared in his review of Don Quixote, that took so long for Michael to finish, his future self was the only version of him that had read it and was able to review it.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The one from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in fact!
  • Reset Button: In the Don Quixote review, Michael tricks his future self into reviewing the book, as he hadn't finished it in the present, but at the end, Future!Michael ended up destroying the letter that Michael left for himself to find in the future, leading to the timeline changing and the review ends with Michael apologizing for not being able to review Don Quixote.
  • Retraux: His review of Death Wish in 2015 had the beginning open with a remake of a scene from the original video that Michael had at one point filmed, but deleted and scrapped when he decided to abandon the review, shot to appear like it had been recorded in 2012 when the original review was supposed to happen.
  • Running Gag: He has a running gag of saying "NOT THAT ONE" when two things with the same name show up. (For example, Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye and the Family Guy character named Holden Caulfield)
    • He also has a running gag where he quotes "Internet Reviewer Laws", à la the Space Core Directives from Red Dwarf, including such rules as "A reviewer cannot abort a video halfway through unless it is a Let's Play" and "If a reviewer does a video involving a subject matter that falls within the purview of another reviewer, and they have not previously done a crossover with said reviewer, then they must do a crossover in the aforementioned video.
    • In every April Fool's Day video to date, he has featured at least in part, an appearance from himself in a Cinema Snob costume.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Michael attempts this in both parts of Before Dishonor, the first time bailing at the end, but returning at the start of Part 2 because of Internet Reviewer Law holding him to finishing, and then tries using a loophole in the laws to escape, but is not allowed to.
    • He also tries to do this in his review of Anneof Green Gables as a callback to his April Fool's Day review of that year, trying to do another Cinema Snob parody, but relents and does the review anyway.
  • Shared Universe: Due to some cameos and crossovers, he's part of the Reviewaverse.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: His review outfit on both his shows feature a button-down shirt, sweater vest and bowtie.
  • Shout-Out: An accidental one on Michael's part as when he started using the sign-off of, "See you next time", he was unaware that it was also the sign off of another book related show.
  • Trekkie: He is a Star Trek fan and done many Star Trek reviews. Michael has reviewed eight Star Trek books, although one of them was "Before Dishonor". He also did a Top 10 TNG episodes video in early 2014, a review of Star Trek: Voyager in mid-2015 and a Top 15 TOS Episodes video in 2016, with more Trek reviews to come to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the franchise.
  • World of Weirdness: The Reviewaverse. Michael can travel to other dimensions and has met both future and alternate counterparts. This universe is weird.


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