November 9, 2017

A Look at AT4W Storyline Segments

As you may know I have been a fan of AT4W for a long time now. I have discussed episodes I loved, and episodes I hated, and gone over jokes from that show I love. But a big part of the show that I haven’t discussed is the storyline segments. So, let’s go through them quickly. In my opinion the AT4W segments rise above the usual reviewer story lines, the effects are decent and the characters are realistic. Add to that Lewis’s Lovhaug’s wonderful writing and these storylines comes close to professional caliber. How do they fare broken down?


Ok I wont be offering long plot summaries, I’d be here all day and if you don't know the storylines than my giving you the plot breakdown wont mean much. The first storyline is the Terminator knockoff (er, homage) and the introduction of Mechakara. And compared to later stuff the storyline doesn’t hold off that well. The effects aren’t bad, aside from the makeup, but it feels a lot less professional and the seams show a lot more. There also isn’t as much plot, with very little real build up. I am biased since I didn’t experience this first run but compared to later arc’s this one isn’t bad but not the best.


Except for introducing us to Dr.Insano there isn’t much to say about this one. It was meant to be a silly story to follow up on the serious one that had just ended, and that’s pretty much all it does. Before the next serious storyline begins.


I briefly mentioned this back in my worst episodes list, because the episodes where Linkara was missing are all pretty bad. The only good one is The Ewoks review, and that’s mostly because Linkara is back in it. Iron Liz did a great job (and I miss her on the show but such is life) but even her episodes aren’t great and the episodes done by Harvey and 90’s Kid are painful. The only thing it really does is show us that Vyce ain’t no typical bad guy.


I hated the Silent Hill reviews, the comic is so dark and depressing that it comes out in the review. And since I have zero knowledge of the game, the references dropped during the story segments don’t mean much. This is actually the second story line for Silent Hill, the first being part of the His Heart is Steel arc and is pretty primitive. This one steps it up, a lot! The point is to begin to establish the backstory for the  magic gun (remember when it was “the suicide gun”  and it does a great job. The best is all the obviously hard work Iron Liz put into it. The story is very in depth and of course is the first hints of the Entity arc to come.


This is where things started to get interesting. No longer did it feel like a guy just goofing around in his house. There are stakes in this one! I missed this when it first came around, but have been impressed as I went back and revisited it. The build up for Vyce was good and we get another Silent Hill review (A Story of Magic) as well as the return of Mechakara. The best part is that Vyce isn’t just another bad guy. He thinks he is acting for a noble cause, defeating the entity, and his quest has given him such superiority complex that he believes he is the only one who can defeat this creature. And rather than asking for help from people,  he pushes them out of the way.  That is until Linkara discusses the secret to defeating him, and not only is Vyce exiled but in the end Linkara has a new ship, Comicron One. This storyline set up things into motion which would resonate for years.


Of course this is the best storyline segment he has done, hands down. The suspense he built up for this was palatable and I am glad I was able to experience it first hand. Yeah the Silent Hill reviews were sort of filler this time, but the other things around the Entity is a lore that would stay with these stories from then on. Then people start missing and things start to get real intense. You feel like the whole world is in danger. I admit, I never heard of Missing No so that reveal may not have had the impact it should have since it had to be explained to me. But the best part is that scene where Linkara gets ready for what he expects to be a hopeless battle, and then realizes the key to victory is in the comic he just reviewed. I love it! And in the end it’s a Kirk speech that saves the day and makes the Entity kill itself. Or does it?


This was a real small arc and to be fair, it kind of shows. There isn’t really anything that goes on until the final two episodes when we find out that Vyce has returned. He has transferred himself into a creature of pure data and took possession of an alternate Pollo body. The final fight is pretty good as Linkara gives him a kick out a blown out window. The highlight is when Pollo sacrifices himself, and that scene where Linkara rushes in but Liz has to stop him by shouting Lewis, his real name. It’s another example of the strong writing (and acting) that make these stories work. And of course Pollo is fine and saves the day at the end.


And now we’re talking! After taking a bit of a break the story lines were back and in full force. And wasn’t as good to be honest. Since Linkara knew that he couldn’t have a villain that wold top The Entity, he chose to do character stuff which is what his storyline is all about. Linkara loses his magic and has to go on a journey to find the cause. This storyline was not perfect. The stuff with Linkara at the conventions was boring. A lot of it had to be cut and it shows. The impetus of his losing his magic is a little to obvious. heck the plot thread of the mobile emitter being found by Jaeris goes nowhere.And the B story of the holo-kara is so cliche. It’s literally the same plot from Santa Clause 2! We get a break for a Thing homage and a Harvey Finevoice Christmas Carol. And the final chapter is pretty good with action but man that exposition dump is painful. I think he should have given info a little more along the way. Jaeris becoming a good guy was kind of lame to, since he was supposed to be a new villain. The story was good but not the best. Good stuff include more Dr.Insano which is always fun,  Linkara realizing that power does corrupt and he needs to be careful not to turn evil, and meeting the girl in the gun finally, Margaret, and she has one of my favorite quotes ever “You don’t leave you friend behind when they’re in trouble, you help them. Try to make them better”.


This was a Nimue story and the suspense is pretty good. I was really wondering what was up as she went nuts. Though some of those signs of her going nuts were a little too subtle. This story line would go through the Halloween reviews, problem is that for once the reviews have nothing to do with the storyline making for a bit of a disconnect. This is even worst in the next segment. And while Vyce being back is kind of lame (again?) you gotta love that showdown between him and Nimue and the reveal at the end of Linkara’s new look. We also meet Linkara’s friend Alan, and the less said about him the better. I get why Vyce had to come back, and the reason for that would be more clear in the next segment.


It’s well established that this was a delaying storyline, since Linkara wasn’t ready for The Sleepwalker Arc. Does that mean it’s bad? Not bad but different, except for some of the retreading. I mean how many times is Linkara going to betrayed by his friends (this is mentioned in the Sleepwalker arc)? But the design for the King of Worms is real freaky and Suede’s voice made for a different villain who was pretty scary! Obvious gaffe with the reflective mask aside. Unlike Vyce he stayed scary even after he met him. The subtle clues for the Sleepwalker were brilliant and I couldn’t wait to see what it was that killed the King. My only gripe is that like last time the storyline went through the Halloween episodes even if there was no real connection between the review and the storyline. It makes it weird when you just watch the Halloween stuff and you find yourself in the middle of a storyline. But the ending was the best part, why was 90’s Kid working with Vyce???

Nothing much to say here he needed to write out Jaeris and that is exactly what this storyline does. Even if it is a little anticlimactic.


You knew that a lot was building to this. I had seen comments from Lewis Luvhaug about how much he was really motivated to make sure this came out right! And I can see the risks. Making Linkara a jerk was a risk. Making him possessed by the entity more of a risk. Just returning the Entity after insisting it was dead was also a risk. And I have to say, the story line came out great! We meet Erin and learn more about the magic coin (and it gave away the twist when Harvey asked why a Pokemon was on it). Then we see Linkara acting like a jerk with a red herring about Vyce and his becoming the entity. The Halloween reviews were ok but also felt like filler (and the second one’s were). I was satisfied with the way the story progressed and how the Entity was defeated. My problem? Ok I know the reasons and I get it, I am not trying to be a jerk saying “he’s lazy” or something. But he slow progression of this story line reeaally hurt it. For instance, when the big reveal that The Entity was in Linakra happened I was hyped. I couldn’t wait for the next episode! And while that episode did not disappoint, the fact it took another five months to get the conclusion out hurt it for me. Other things seem pointless like having Comicron 1 crash, and where the heck did Erin go after she rescued Linkara? But it all worked in the end, why and how The Entity was alive and using Linkara and the final defeat of Vyce even after we started to think he wasn’t so bad after all. The story has the same strengths they all do, good character interactions combined with decent action. That scene where his friends turn their backs on Linkara was great. And he actually made Vyce sympathetic! Lewis is a great writer and he knows how to make his stories tie up well. The stuff with the game and the foreshadowing, all the clues were all there!

I have noticed that as the stroylines evolved they lost their triumphant fanfare they had early one and took on a more subdued, dramatic tone. I guess this makes sense since Linkara has evolved over the last ten years with all the things that have happened with him. He doesn’t see thing with the same childish exuberance he did in the beginning.

AT4W The Movie

Let’s discuss the AT4W movie! I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this yet. So yes in between the last two arc’s we had the movie. The plot was basically Mechakara back and out for revenge. I give Lewis props for having real people in the story (rather than just himself playing everyone) and while the story was good about him remembering why he loves comics and always will, the pacing at spots is a little too slow. While character stuff is important I think it needed to be blended with the action a lot better. The movie was good though I’ve watched a few times and even got the DVD. I also like how it followed up on To Boldly Flee and the in jokes and references to AT4W made it a fun watch.

Of course the show and the stories continue, right now “The Contest of Champions” is well underway. As long as Linkara can keep writing good stories with compelling characters, I’ll always tune in for more.

No comments:

Post a Comment