Tag Archives: web series

DRTY DIANA

Life just comes apart at the seams, sometimes, and DRTY DIANA is just what you need to remind you that you’re not alone. The web series centres on Nyaomi, a young woman who’s going through what we millennials like to describe as a lot. 

Storyline

Nyaomi is going through serious mid-twenties issues. She’s left her job, hasn’t found another one, and just can’t seem to get up the energy to deal with anything – not her friends, not her hookup, and definitely not the prospect of moving on. In fact, she’s so intent on not thinking about the future that she’s turned her home into a shrine to her glory days. Her walls are plastered with films and singers from her childhood. She rewatches her band’s old shows on YouTube and can’t let go of the things she wanted but never got. Somewhere through it all, there are moments of clarity and those moments feel both triumphant and crushing. Because, that’s what recognising your depression for what it is occasionally feels like.

A mess. An entire mess.

Realism

DRTY DIANA presents a painful look at what the spiral of depression can do to you. Each episode explores a different topic. The beauty of this webshow is that it doesn’t present you with a character who’s clearly going anywhere (except down) and ask you to hold on through the storm so you can see the clear sky. It just shows you a woman. Going through it. That’s it, that’s the whole show. For those who’ve survived and are surviving depression, this show offers the kind of honest slice-of-life representation that I personally haven’t seen anywhere else. The fact that DRTY DIANA ended prematurely is only offset by the plus side that… I didn’t really want to see a resolution. Because life doesn’t often work that way, does it?

TAGG… Why should I watch this, tho?

Honestly… I don’t know. I first watched this show years ago when I was stuck in a serious pit and going through what’s been my worst period since. Nyaomi showed me that I really wasn’t the only person going through this. And also put a mirror up to me as the same time. Nyaomi has the perfect storm going on – unrealistic body expectations, friends with toxic positivity and friends who’re happy to just have someone to wallow with, a hope that outside change will spark inside change. And, of course, the dull, screaming inertia with which depression suffuses your body.

I’m not selling it well, but the ultimate takeaway is that DRTY DIANA helped me when I wasn’t even sure what I needed help with. And maybe it can help someone else.

Mood Rating: Watch this on a day you’re ready for your entertainment to challenge your reality. Or if you just want to watch some dark millennial stuff, man.

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Rivals

Pro Gamer Jason just met the girl of his dreams, but he’s about to discover that she’s also his biggest competition. With the all-important Regionals coming up, what begins as a simple rivalry turns into an IRL war as both teams try to lie, cheat, and scheme their way to victory. RIVALS, presented by geek bar Battle & Brew, proves that there’s no such thing as love within the lanes.

You would think that after being burned by the scores of Season 1s that never churned out Season 2s (I’m looking at you with despair in my eyes, Gamer Girl), an emotional geek like myself would up and call it quits on these gaming webshows. But I can’t stop myself. So up this time around on the geek webshow deck is Rivals.

rivals

First off “there’s no such thing as love within the lanes” is going to be a chapter title in my memoir. Secondly, that’s a pretty accurate description of the show. So let’s get into it…

Plotline (9/10)

Rivals developed well and had all the elements of a well-thought-out story. A chance encounter turned into a running rivalry / romance waiting to happen, a great supporting cast with their own lives and stories to delve into when the main story slowed down, a tangible end goal – and a truly dislikeable but occasionally funny antagonist.

Following Vic and Jason as they tried to keep their teams together appealed to both the realist and the escapist in me. The realist liked the everyday-ness of it all, the awkward encounters and the group dynamics. The escapist… well, how many of us are really ever going to get to the LoL regionals and still have lives to live in our spare time?

But seriously, Rivals packed a complex and coherent storyline into its 12 episode season, and that’s awesome. I accidentally skipped an episode at one point (read: damn you, sporadic free WiFi zone) and found myself actually going back to catch up on plot points – this doesn’t happen often with webshows.

Characterisation (8/10)

Sometimes, not all the time – and not even very often, but sometimes – stereotypes work. Rivals did a great job of making room for plot development by cutting away character development time and introducing us to a cast of characters we largely already know: that douchebag gamer, that incongruously cute but vicious gamer, the silent and deadly strategiser, the guy who never loses etc, etc. Usually I’m not a fan of stereotypical characters because it tends to end there and we never get to know anything more about them, but Rivals did a good job of using them as a base and building from there.

Our protagonists were quirky, sometimes irritating and other times endearing, which is always a great mix. I suppose my only gripe was the over-done extras, and there were only two of them so it’s not a train smash.

Production (9/10)

You know how it is with indie productions. You can get anything from “is that static in the background?” to “this is like watching a Nigerian movie” levels of sound and video quality. I’m glad to say that Rivals was closer to the static in the background levels of noise than they were to the ear-bleed levels when it comes to sound. And the show definitely improved as it went on, adjusting well for the outdoor scenes (trust me, outdoor scenes are not a joke).

What really shone for me was the video quality. Whether chilling in the dark and damp of a basement bar, at the Battle & Brew (how awesome a name is that??) or in the unforgiving sunlight of an abandoned stretch of road, these guys had their camera work on point. It’s the kind of thing that makes you realise that not all webshows have to come with the “forgive the quality” addendum when you’re recommending them to friends.

Overall (8.7/10)

If you were hoping to learn how to play LoL from this show, you’re out of luck. However, if you wanted some geeky entertainment and maybe a lesson on how to deal with douchebag gamers, you’re in all the lucks because Rivals is geeky and entertaining and (SPOILER) in the end the douchenozzle loses. (END SPOILER).

Recommendation: Get comfy in your gaming chair and tune out everything but your love for Summoner’s Rift, because an enemy is about to be slain!

Watch the complete Season 1 on Youtube here.

Check the Gasm Media website out here.

And you can follow @RivalsWebShow on Twitter.