Anthony "The Obscure" Sotelo is a New-Age Retro Hippie/pothead that reviews—well, the obscure. Specifically, obscure bits of cinema, books, candy, as long as it's buried somewhere in your—well, his—memory, hence why his show's called "Memory Lane." His style is—interesting, to say the least, being more like a documentary than a review series at times. The videos combine the humour standard to the Video Review Show, but are peppered with trivia knowledge concern the contexts and creation of the items and a deep analysis as to how it pertains to then and now. To experience his work, you can find it here.
This review series contains examples of:
- Acting for Two: The Obscure plays himself and his drug dealer regularly, as well as cameo appearances by the talking beam and Slenderman.
- Added Alliterative Appeal:
The Obscure: Abracadabra! *a coat appears on him* Alpaca! *achoo* Allergies...
- In the Letter People review, keeping up with the animated segment he showed:
- Anime Hair: The Obscure combines white hair—with a brown goatee.
- Bait-and-Switch: Introduces a video released in October about how we all celebrate that one holiday in that month...mouldy cheese day! He takes the opportunity to discuss The Stinky Cheese Man.
- Beatnik: The shades and the voice are influenced by this subculture.
- Boring, but Practical: Describes the power saving mode of modern computers as this compared to the highly amusing screensaver of the early 80s and late 90s.
- Brick Joke: At the beginning of "Impure Moods", its noted that the disc can be made into Kambucha tea. At the end, it is.
- Call-Back: The Dino-man from "Top 10 Inadvertent Nightmare Stuff" reappears in the Dinotopia.
- The Cameo: Appeared in the Film/Fargo episode of The Quest For Geekdom. The Horror Guru also appeared in his "Top 10 Inadvertent Nightmare Stuff".
- Christmas Episode: "A Very Virtuous Christmas".
- Comically Missing the Point: When images were floating around of The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd appearing in an anime, The Obscure made a video about it—and proceeded to say that one of the bystanders looked like him. It gets better—afterwards, he pointed out the aforementioned AVGN and TGWTG cameos and accused his audience of "seeing things that weren't really there."
- Cool Shades: Always wearing them.
- Crossover: Has one for his one-year anniversary...with himself.
- Distaff Counterpart: Savannah the 90s coffee house girl is every bit as high and off-beat as The Obscure himself. She's first introduced in "Impure Moods," and sticks around for several reviews afterwards. In "I Love Bad News," they move in together (though The Obscure doesn't seem to remember doing so).
- Dutch Angle: During The Obscure and Savannah's viewing of The Hugga Bunch.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Both a straight example and a discussion: in his earlier videos, he was quieter, less raspy, and prone to inserting pauses in his sentences, and his content was more humor-focused and jumped from topic to topic on a whim.
- The discussion comes in two instances, one short and one long. The short one was when he reuploaded the first episode to Youtube with Bookends that admitted he was embarrassed of the video, and the long was when he dedicated his one-year-anniversary to reviewing his own debut.
- Epic Rap Battles of History: Parodied—The Obscure had an epic RASP battle with Tom Waits.
- Erudite Stoner: Obscure's drug habit is referenced in several episodes. That said, his insightful side shows itself more than a few times.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Claims the genesis story in The Mind's Eye is much better than the book because it has dinosaurs, and that the flight simulation in the same film would benefit from adding dinosaurs.
- Eyeless Face: The talking beam in his "Beamland" episode.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Several appear in his "Top 10 Inadvertent Nightmare Stuff" video. They are: "Send reinforcements we're going to advance", "Send three and four pence we're going to a dance", "The gum you like is going to come back in style" and "Thanks for watching".
- Hates Being Touched: When Savannah tries to hug Obscure in "The Shrugga Bunch," he reacts with panic. This serves as the catalyst to watch that week's episode.
- Hipster: His channel's description describes him as "the black magic hipster from Hell." His obscure tastes and wry sense of humor certainly help him fit the bill.
- Hostile Show Takeover: By Slenderman in "A Very Virtuous Christmas". He attempts to read the screenplay to Christmas with the Kranks before The Obscure takes the show back.
- Insane Troll Logic:According to The Obscure, morals lead to responsibility lead to personal safety lead to bicycle helmets lead to helmet hair lead to a Zombie Apocalypse. Somehow.
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded in his one-year anniversary episode.
- Metaphorgotten: He compares a screensaver program to an owl lying in wait for its prey, then gets carried away and tries to eat the mouse.
- Mood Whiplash: The show can veer very quickly from the ridiculous to the profound, and back again just as fast.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: The Obscure is one—despite the white hair and sunglasses, his raspy, beatnik-like voice, flow, laid-back attitude, and the fact that he's a stoner cement him as one.
- New Media Are Evil: Parodied—in his Adventures from the Book of Virtues review, he apparently was trying to convince his audience that virtues were evil so he could lead them in a crusade against them, if only to get more famous.
- Nostalgia Filter: Savannah has fond memories of The Hugga Bunch movie, but realizes how unintentionally terrifying it is now that she's older.
- ...Or So I Heard: From "The Flying House Always Wins":The Obscure: Ow, burns like a venereal disease! Not that I'd know what that feels like...*Aside Glance* Lllladies...
- Peek-a-Bangs: His wig frequently ends up in this type of hairdo. In the earlier episodes, it sometimes also fell into Eyes Out of Sight.
- Precision F-Strike: A rather memorable one in his "Sweet, Sweet Sucrose" episode:The Obscure You got chocolate in my peanut butter! You got fuck in my yeah—FUCK YEAH!
- Running Gag: In the Hugga Bunch movie.The Obscure and Savannah: Thaaaaaaaat's a penis.
The Obscure and Savannah: Thaaaat's a euphemism for a penis! *glancing at each other*
- Later switched up to:
- Sexophone: Savannah points it out in the final track ("Lily was Here") in "Impure Moods".
- Shared Universe: Due to his various cameos for reviewers, he's part of the Reviewaverse.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Pointed out in Part 2 of his review of Flying House.*happy flute music*
The Obscure: "Episode 40: The Crown of Thorns!" Listen to that happy music - nothing bad can happen here!
- Spell My Name with a "The": He claims in his I Spy review that his name is The Obscure, and if you leave out the "The" it's somebody else.
- The Stinger: Most videos feature one, either a strange clip from the subject material that he didn't get a chance to show, or a final joke.
- The Stoner: The character is, at least—in fact, there's a recurring character who serves as his drug dealer.
- Sunglasses at Night: And in the daytime as well. In general, his real eyes are never seen.
- Take That!: Apparently one of his stated goals is delivering a Take That! to every state eventually. He's well on his way there.
- They Walk Among Us: Quetzalcoatl (in sock-puppet form) is a recurring character.
- Title Drop:
Savannah: Man, I haven't listened to this album in years. This'll be like a walk down memory lane.
- From "Impure Moods".
The Obscure: Hey, she said the title!
The Obscure: it appear I am on a lane made of memories. We are on...Retrospective Street what that's not the name of my show...Memory Lane! Man I really like the title "Retrospective Street". Should've named the show that. Shit.
- Again in "Sweet Sweet Sucrose".
- Title: The Adaptation: Wikipedia: The Book.
- Wacky Cravings: Compares the menu of Howard Johnson's to a list of things a pregnant woman would want: fired clams, baked bean, hamburgers, chicken pot pie and ice cream.
- We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Happens several times in The Mind's Eye review, changing from "Please Stand By" to "Please Stand Cy" to "Please Stand Pie".
- World of Weirdness: The Reviewaverse. Though the Obscure can be very weird on his own.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: "A Very Virtuous Christmas".
- You Keep Using That Word: He points out that Liquid Sky uses "punk" to describe what is actually glam rock.