Jan. 22nd, 2013

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Not sure if it's me or Linkara (for those of you who have no idea who I'm talking about, he's a guy who does video reviews of comic books at That Guy With the Glasses, you can watch his main series Atop the 4th Wall here, where he does riffs/reviews of terrible comic books - no prior knowledge of comic books necessary) but I'm just not enjoying his reviews any more. IDEK if any of you guys are fans of his. Am I alone here?

It makes me sad, because he was my actual favorite reviewer ever for a long time - I actually watched most of his History of Power Rangers series even though I've seen maybe one or two episodes in my life, because he made the series interesting and watchable to non-fans as well. And I really, really enjoyed his plots, the character of Linkara himself, his style of reviews, etc., etc.

But lately it seems like the reviews have been more about...a sort of self-righteous ownership of the characters. It's less like he's reacting as someone who enjoys comic books as a storytelling medium/is expected to spend their money on this crap just because he's a comic fan/is invested in the characters and plots as previously presented, and more that he's going into that proprietary nerd-rage that you see with, as just an example, a lot of bronies. I'm not sure if I'm able to explain it clearly. Have you seen what I'm talking about? The qualitative difference between someone who's upset over a character they like or identify with being written terribly, and someone who's upset over a character being written badly because they feel like the character BELONGS to them?

He also came off as just really unpleasant in his most recent Top 15 Screw-Ups video (where he addresses factual and other errors/mistakes/problems in the past year of episodes). As much as he defended himself in last year's video, he didn't come off nearly as...abrasive. This year's video just oozed with the feeling that getting him to admit he made a mistake is like pulling teeth - except nobody is forcing him to make a Screw-Ups video. So I'm not sure if it's that he knows he should acknowledge the issues, but reeeeally dislikes apologizing, or if he feels he has to and he's being passive-aggressive about it to try and make fans feel bad for correcting him on things and calling him out, or if maybe he's just going for apologetic or self-effacing and it's coming off as irritation directed at the viewers instead. But it was especially unnerving in his apology for the really unfortunate and hurtful things he said about depression and suicide in that one video...it just sounded like he was reading a script someone gave him and was really pissed he had to do so.

IDK, thinking on that in particular more, it might just be the difference in his ability to express positive vs. negative emotions. Generally he hits the tones needed for most of AT4W really well, but in the plots where he sometimes has to play angry/determined/etc. it often comes off really one-note and shaky, so it might just be that the way he's expressing whatever he's feeling there (regret, probably?) isn't scanning properly for me. It's the first time I've almost turned off one of his videos for just being really unpleasant to watch, though.

And yeah, that's counting the review of that one Lady Gaga comic. I didn't consider turning that off. I didn't like how he handled it, either (either the review itself - there wasn't even really much in the way of jokes - or the backlash he got from fans, esp. trans* fans) but I don't see how he could have handled it better, because it's a weird, weird fucking comic. I think it was just an unwise choice to review it at all...not because he's cis (I can't even know if he is cis or not, for all I know, he might be trans) but because it's a weird, uncomfortable comic, and I can't see getting any humor out of it that wouldn't be tainted with weird, uncomfortable vibes. Which is...exactly what I would expect from a comic affiliated with Lady Gaga (and apparently with a lot of creative control from her) that features someone who's MAAB wearing a dress. Because that's her track record with this kind of thing. (I say 'this kind of thing' rather than 'trans* issues' or anything like that because it comes across more like she thinks trans* people are imaginary elves or...it has sort of the same flavor as that brand of transphobic feminist who claims to admire trans* people for 'breaking down gender boundaries' but refuses to recognize a trans* woman as a real woman. I'm not saying those are the views she holds, but her response comes across as that kind of feeling of 'oh, yes, I've heard those sorts of things exist' and slapping on a 2D identity or definition of what she imagines or wants trans* people to be. Which makes it kind of really difficult to figure out if the comic in particular was meant to depict any variety of trans* person at all.)

Holy shit, soooo many parentheticals. And now I'm complaining about Lady Gaga, what am I even doing? Sorry guuuuys.

Anyways, my point IS, I don't really think anybody could have made a good review (IMO - obviously there are people who enjoyed the review, and most of them seemed to be coming from the perspective of LOL TR*NNIES, and some enjoyed it just because it was Linkara being Linkara, which I can totally appreciate, and some people find uncomfortable weirdness really hilarious, which is not really my thing but that's fine too) out of it, and I think it was just an unwise choice of comic to riff. Which was basically my long-winded way of saying I strongly disliked that review but it apparently wasn't as off-putting to me as the attitude he seems to be putting out recently.

I'm not criticizing the guy who plays Linkara (okay, I do know his real name, I just forget how it's spelled. Lewis or Louis?) as a person or anything like that. I don't know him, after all :P I'm just kind of sad because I've always been such a huge fan of his, his videos were kind of a go-to for me to unwind/cheer myself up, for a long time. And still trying to figure out if it really is just me. Looking back at his older AT4W episodes to compare doesn't help because I spend the whole time just going AWWWW LOOKIT THE LITTLE BABY LINKARAAAA because he's so young and adorable in them :P so, dilemma.

I'm not even sure this post was comprehensible to people familiar with his videos, let alone people who aren't. Sorryyy. Enjoy some wordsplat 6 u 9


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