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08/01/2010 23:51:14 •••

Roar, Roar, Fight the Order

Well, it's been a while. I finished this series back in December of '08, and I'm just now coming back to tell y'all:

lonelygirl15 has a good concept. (I won't comment on the controversy over presenting it as a real blog at first.) It has a slow beginning, properly picks up about... seventy-odd videos in, and carries on from there, all the while attempting to make the series seem "real". It sometimes succeeds, too. The actors are certainly capable, and they do their best to sell it.

Unfortunately, this is a mixed bag. During stretches when it pulls off the "real" feel fairly well, this tends to manifest in a very slow plot, without enough character development or video-to-video entertainment to tide it over. Then the problems start to pile up, from little things like Technicolor Science and unconvincing writing, to inconsistencies and clear signs that the writers really don't have their world or story planned out nearly as well as they thought.

By the end, lonelygirl15 devolves into a confused tangle of forgotten plot threads, unanswered questions, and a climactic story arc that mostly raises more questions and sets up for lg15: the resistance, which at last count, answered few if any of the aforementioned questions and ended on a full-blown cliffhanger.

Recommendation: Skip it. If you do decide to watch it, cut off your viewing experience at either 1. the end of the first season, or 2. the LaRezisto arc, which is about halfway through the second season. Between them, that's as much of an ending as you're going to get. (And they derail Taylor, which she never quite recovers from. I liked Taylor.) Stop if you see them recapping the plot with paper plates, in which case it's trying to pull you back in, and forget you ever heard the name "Verdus Pharmaceuticals".

If you feel like more vlog-opera, you may want to try the spinoff series KateModern. Based on the thirty or so videos I've seen, its individual videos are more entertaining, the pace is relatively brisk, and according to fan testimony, it's more internally consistent (the finale does its darnedest to tie up every plot thread of the series and nearly succeeds) and... better. Going second might have had something to do with it.

But, then, you might just want to skip it altogether.

11/18/2009 00:00:00

Nice review! I agree with most of what you've written here, although I think the second season was mostly all right, and the series first started to go downhill at least as early as the bunker arc.

11/18/2009 00:00:00

@ Bobby G: Thanks for commenting! Fair point about the second season — I misphrased it in my fevered late-night editing and have since edited it again. The emphasis was supposed to be on the closure from those parts, and how the most closure we ever get comes from a video of Jonas drawing a cat in the sand and ranting about it.

08/01/2010 00:00:00

Though I will admit the show went through many changes over the course of the first year, my personal thought was that the show didn't really go downhill until midway in the final season . . . I will admit that is much later than most fans would probably say — when Bree and Daniel were on the run 80 videos in . . . the Bunker arc is another popular choice . . . when Taylor and Sarah joined . . . End of season one to every imaginable major plot development after has been called out as "jumping the shark," but for me it wasn't until the Prom Night bit that made start to feel that the show was going downhill.

I don't know, maybe I had a higher tolerance for unanswered questions and plot inconsistencies . . . or maybe I just liked the characters that I literally watched everyday to the point that I couldn't take it when some of them were just killed off or written inconsistently simply for the sake of shock value.

Nevertheless, like Kate Modern, I miss this show :(

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