papajohn56 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dulator

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from Lakeland, FL

  • Activity

    • Pilot Month Thoughts

      1 month ago

      papajohn56 Dulator

      So when Pilot Month was announced the only series I had heard of was Achievement Haunter. Everything else was brand new. I think the advertising for Pilot Month itself was well handled. Before seeing any of the shows, I was most excited for Achievement Haunter and Murder Room. But the promotion definitely got me hyped for all without giving too much away. As a fan, I think all 5 series could be given more time to develop a voice and audience. I don't think there are any stinkers out there. But I'd still like to give a critical review/thoughts on each series. 


      <<Spoilers for all shows from here on down.>>


      Branded. Pilot: 4/5 stars; Potential: 4/5 stars.

      I went from not knowing what this was to being pleasantly surprised. The Joel Heyman thumbnail was a decent misdirection, but after enjoying the pilot as much as I did, I'm sad he was basically a cameo. I think this is one of RT's best acted shows ever. Casting the show mostly from outside the company really shines a light on how much professional actors can bring a project. I don't mean this as an insult to RT employees, but there are very few professional actors in house and most of their content is personality or improv driven. Aside from the cameos and the obvious influence on the premise of the show, this series is something I could see being aired on a major network. The writing is solid, the characters are well thought out and developed on camera, and the humor has a broad appeal. I honestly think this might the most fully realized series out of the 5 pilots shown. 


      However, I don't know if RT First is the best platform this type of show. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I think this show is too broad to drive a consistent audience on such a niche platform. The closest comparison I can think of to Branded is CrunchTime. Granted CrunchTime had a much more unique premise, but the bones of the shows are very similar. Comedy show staffed by non-RT regulars with a premise that skewed toward demographics that the RT community has in high numbers. I loved CrunchTime and was disappointed when it didn't come back for another season. Sadly, I think Branded will suffer a similar fate, despite it's obvious quality.


      Prediction: Picked up for 1 season, or potentially shopped to another distribution platform. 


      GORQ's Quest. Pilot: 2.5/5 stars; Potential: 3.5/5 stars

      I love Todd Womack as GORQ and Chad James as host. I think they deserve to be more central RT personalities. But overall, I didn't really feel strongly about this show. The sassy robot is fun. The game show aspect seems unnecessary and scattershot. The questions/topics were hit or miss. 


      I think this show wants to be a live in person version of the Jackbox games. Which is a solid premise. I think the show might be improved by moving a little quicker between segments and loosen up on the gameshowy aspects. Like move to a more Whose Line Is It Anyway format. But that might overlap too much with On the Spot. I don't really know if this shows has a quick fix. I think it's going to be loved by some, hated by others, and most will be indifferent. 


      Prediction: Might get an extended pilot run, but not picked up long term.


      Achievement Haunter. Pilot: 3.5/5 stars Potential: 4/5 stars

      I was very excited about this after hearing about it. And while the pilot was entertaining, I don't think it quite lived up to the hype. I loved seeing AH personalities outside of games, but I think my biggest issue was the balance between pre-scripted bits and live interaction was off. I loved the little snipets in the intro. My biggest issue, I think, was with the pacing or the editing. The live stuff seemed to jump between serious/scary and funny/prank-y too quickly or too much. It felt inconsistent and never let me get comfortable with the show. I wanted to like this more and I think it has potential, but something was just off. 


      Prediction: Picked up for more episodes, but probably doesn't have more than a season or two long run. Great merch opportunities though. 

      Million Dollars, But Animated. Pilot: 3/5 stars Potential: 3/5 stars

      I don't have a lot to say about this show. I simply think this should just be part of the regular MDB series. Maybe confine it to having episodes where all the scenarios are animated versus jumping back and forth between live action and animation within an episode. Animation opens up a bunch of scenarios that just can't be filmed live. So that's fun. But honestly, I think the viability of this show lies in its costs. Is animating a given scenario cheaper in dollar cost than live action? Is it more cost effective in terms of time, given that RT has a huge animation department? Does RT Animation have idle work hours outside of all their other projects? If those metrics are favorable, than yeah, make some more. If not, revert to live action. 


      Prediction: Not picked up as a standalone series, future MDB episodes may include animated segments.


      The Murder Room. Pilot: 4.5/5 stars Potential: 5/5 stars

      The promotion got me hyped. I wanted this. I was ready. I love escape rooms, whodunnits, puzzle games. I was so ready to go all in on this show. And for the most part I was right. But like grains of sand in shellfish or an itch you just can't reach, there were a couple of things that keep this from a perfect rating. So I'm going to list some nitpicks, but overall this show is great and I love it.


      Nitpick #1 - I love Blaine, but I think he was definitely trying too hard to forcibly insert comedy. The premise and fanfare that was built around the show lends the show to be serious. And, while humor shouldn't be outlawed, the #jokes stuck out like a sore thumb and took away from the overall experience. 


      Nitpick #2 - This comes directly from my experience as a DM for tabletop RPGs, but it felt like the cast didn't know the rules of the game well enough. I understand you might not know what you should do in a situation, but you should know what you are able to do. As a DM, I hate putting hours of work into a session only to have a player sit down and ask me how do I attack, or not know what the character they built is capable of doing. 


      Nitpick #3 - I like not having RT "personalities" as the callers, but I think tapping some people with more improv experience would be beneficial. The callers, I believe, were all from the broadcast department and spoke as if reading lines to deliver facts versus how an actual individual on trial for their life would sound. I'm not sure the fanfare of the trial is strictly necessary but if you keep that, then having the suspects nonchalantly answer questions is a big disconnect.


      Again, these are minor things that I think can, and will, be cleaned up if the show is given more time. Overall, I think it's awesome.


      Prediction: Picked up, runs on a non-regular schedule a la Immersion or RT Life.

      Overall, I think Pilot Month was a success. I don't think RT produced the next Red vs. Blue or RWBY, but all the shows were solid and I wouldn't be surprised if any of them got picked up for an extended run. Kudos to everyone who worked on these shows and the rest of RT for the promotion and distribution awesomeness!

    • Too Long

      2 months ago

      papajohn56 Dulator

      Ugh, I hate that the video site is disconnected from the community site. I go like 2-3 weeks between checking the community site just because I forget its existence. 


      Anywho, I just booked my flights for RTX. Fuck yes. Trying to convince a non-RT fan friend to come along. 


      So very excited for my 2nd trip to Austin. Who shall I high five there?!

    • More Books

      5 months ago

      papajohn56 Dulator

      Two more book reviews for the internet crowd.


      Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

      So this book was a big mental block/entry point for me. In high school and early college I was VERY into the expanded universe of Star Wars. I read dozens of books in the EU. When Disney de-canonized the EU I kinda swore off Star Wars books. But I heard good things about Thrawn and kinda wanted to get back in the game before there were too many books to comprehend. So I dove in with Thrawn; reimagined by the original author.


      Thrawn is great from a Star Wars fan perspective. Zahn managed to incorporate most of Thrawn's idiosyncrasies and tactical genius from his original trilogy and along the way introduce us to a great new character, Eli Vanto. This new effort was well worth the read and has single handedly (bookedly) gotten me back into the Star Wars EU. I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Alliances in June. 


      You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney

      So I'm posting this before I'm totally done with this book, but I'm close. Seriously, check out my GoodReads. I'm like 75% of the way done and the last 10% are citations and stuff. But aside from that minor detail.... This book is great if you want to learn about how you are not as smart as you think you are. A physical, literary edification of how you are a stupid ape that just by chance learned how to perform higher brain functions. Super uplifting, I know. 


      This book falls into the category of information that anyone who reads it, will head its advice but it will be a tough fight against mother nature. And those who probably need it the most will never venture to read it. Or maybe that's my own bias talking. This book might have something to say about that mental bias. It really talks about everything. It's a more pleasant text book for Psych 101. Interesting, but, as it states fairly clearly, pretty ineffective. If you need this book, this book won't help you. If this book will help you, you're probably aware enough to not need it. Overall, entertaining but not super insightful. 

    • Refocused on Reading

      6 months ago

      papajohn56 Dulator

      I've always read a lot and enjoyed it but over the past couple years I kinda fell out of the habit and didn't realize it. I picked up my pace towards the end of 2017, but I'm committed to keeping it up through 2018. 


      I filled out a bunch of shelves on Goodreads (check it if you care) and have been stalking the Kindle store for sales. So far I've finished 4 books in 2018.


      Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

      So I started reading this after listening to the Hamilton musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, like, oh probably half of the world. This biography is exquisitely researched and thorough. I think I'd classify this as pretty much the best history textbook I've ever read and if all textbooks were this good, school would be a lot more beneficial. But still it felt like a textbook at times. It was fascinating and while it was a brilliant work of scholarship, the biggest takeaway I have is that Lin-Manuel Miranda is a freaking genius to transform this book into Hamilton.


      Thug Kitchen by Matt Holloway, Michelle Davis

      I'm counting this, but it is a cookbook and I "finished" it in under an hour. Some pretty legit vegetarian recipes in here. The one downside I noticed was there were some pretty exotic ingredients that the authors seemed to assume were readily available. I live in Lakeland, hometown of Publix. If Publix doesn't carry it, I can't get it. But I'll definitely skim through this again and see if there are some things I can try out.


      Soulminder by Timothy Zahn

      This book was fascinating. More so for its structure than for its content, in my opinion. The book centers on the invention of a medical marvel. A method for storing the "soul" or "lifeforce" or whatever you want to call it, after death is discovered. You soul is held in stasis until your body can be healed and then it is reinserted and you continue about your life. All of this happens in the first chapter of the book. The rest of the book delves into all the social, religious, governmental, and ethical dilemmas that stem from such a transcendent technology in the decades after its invention. What was created as a medical device to prevent unnecessary deaths is transformed in a hope for immortality, a tool for justice, a new form of slavery, and multiple other forms that were never foreseen by its creator. If you have any interest in the ethics of medicine or life in general, this is a very interesting read.


      One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter By Scaachi Koul

      In 2018, I've made it a mission to read more authors who are distinctly different from me. Scaachi Koul fits this billing and is a wonderful writer. She details her life as a child of immigrants from India in unflinching realism. I laughed, I cried, and I learned from a different perspective on life. She holds no pretensions of being prefect and makes the reader feel more perfect through shared imperfections. Uplifting and depressing all at the same time, I can't recommend this book more if you are looking to see life from a different point of view. 


      Holler if you want to discuss any of these books, or shoot me some recommendations. My reading list is 200-something books long but I'm always on the lookout. 

    • New Year, (Attempting A) New Me

      6 months ago

      papajohn56 Dulator

      It's 2018 and I want to be more active on this site and I also want to doing a bit of journaling. My parents have asked for letters and personal thoughts in lieu of presents because they want to know the man I've grown to be. I honestly love that sentiment, but I am a super introvert and have trouble expressing my thoughts and opinions. (Hence, my doing this on the internet.)


      My hope is that if I can use this site has a sounding board, at the end of the year I can cull some thoughts from here and use them as a personal wrap up. But also give my parents some further insight of the idiosyncrasies that are my psyche.


      So with that said, I'm going to try to post here more often. Once a week or so, hopefully. I hate deadlines, but if I'm being honest they're the only thing that gets me going. So yeah. Onward to the new year. 

    • New Book & A Little Joke

      7 months ago

      papajohn56 Dulator

      So I started reading a new book recently, called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Which is, like, right up my alley. So far it's a really good read and has given me some information on the how and why introverts act the way they do. There have been plenty of, "Oh so that's why I do that," moments. I highly recommend it for introverts and for those who have to live or work with introverts (aka everyone).


      Now on to the joke. 


      The author was making a comparison and used two examples. The first was an American man; the second a Finnish woman. She went on to explain her choice of examples by saying that the USA is one of the most extroverted nations in the world and Finland is one of the most introverted nations in the world.


      Thanks for sticking with me, because here is comes. 



      How do you know if a Finnish person likes you?

      They look at your shoes instead of their own. 


      I was laughing uncontrollably for minutes after reading that. How about you?

    • Cassini-Huygens

      10 months ago

      papajohn56 Dulator

      So I'm terrible at posting regularly but this is a good venue to share my thoughts (apparently like twice a year). 


      Nineteen years and eleven months ago a rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Aboard was the Cassini orbiter and the Huygens lander. Earlier today the Cassini orbiter reached end of mission and was directed into the atmosphere of Saturn. Cassini was sacrificed to gravity to prevent potential contamination of Saturn's moons, some of which have the potential to harbor life. 


      Cassini provided stunning imagery of Saturn (my favorite planet, outside of Earth) for most of my life. Cassini was the best of space exploration. It inspired awe and got the public invested in the beauty of our universe and science in general. The visual legacy of Cassini will not soon be forgotten. 


      So do not mourn the end of the Cassini-Huygens mission. But take this moment to reflect on how a properly funded space program and drive humanity forward. In times when science and knowledge seem to be derided and even feared, look back at the lessons of Cassini-Huygens and know that we are at our best when we are pushing the limits of our understanding, when we are boldly going where no one has gone before, and when we come in peace for all of humanity. 


      Thank you to all who worked on the mission and thank you for inspiring me for nearly 20 years. 


      https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/full_width_feature/public/thumbnails/image/pia21345-full.jpg


      https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/image_card_4x3_ratio/public/thumbnails/image/pia18336-1041.jpg


      https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/image_card_4x3_ratio/public/saturn20131017.jpg


      https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/image_card_4x3_ratio/public/images/682400main_PIA14922_full_full.jpg


      https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/image_card_4x3_ratio/public/images/543427main_pia08329-full_full.jpg

    • Been too long

      1 year ago

      papajohn56 Dulator

      Since I posted anything. But hey it's good news. I'm going to RTX. First time! Can't wait to see everything and everyone. High fives and hugs for all who see this!

    • If you're a fan of Doctor Who

      2 years ago

      papajohn56 Dulator

      You need to watch this. I have never come across a better AMV/summary of who the Doctor is and what emotions he evokes. Pure joy!


      Please watch:

    • Mica's Soapbox

      2 years ago

      papajohn56 Dulator

      Hey @micaburton never be afraid to whip out the soapbox. You are strong, awesome, and talking about hard things is the only way we think, change and grow. One of my favorite episodes of Off Topic yet.

  • Comments (1)

    • Caszie Fishy Queen

      3 years ago

      Thank you for the friendship!!! smiley0.gifsmiley12.gifsmiley11.gif

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