Genre: Movies Developer: PBC Prod. Publisher: PBC. Prod. Released: 2008
When I accidentally found the Angry Video Game Nerd, he became a regular during my Friday evenings. I had since long abandoned Swedish Television, because it only had stupid competition shows with pretentious celebrities during prime time. Later, I began school and during that time the Captain S show started to appear on ScrewAttack as well. Ah, the glory. The feeling of experiencing something new that you have been waiting for, at the best time with a nice weekend of resting and creation ahead. Later, after the first season of Captain S was do
ne, they released a two disc DVD. Since I like the show, I decided to buy the DVD to show my support for a second season. And since I write on this site, I thought I might review it as well because… ah, well, read on and you will see.
The story is about high school student Chad Belmont. He is the slacker type who plays his Sega Genesis when he is supposed to be in school. His closest friends are Becky, a somewhat nerdy girl who finds friendship important, and Lunk, a sportsman with a big appetite. One day, when he is supposed to meet them to sell cupcakes, he sees an arrow bearing the word “games” and decides to follow it instead. He comes to a mysterious gypsy, who has a strange-looking Genesis cartridge which he decides to buy. At the same time his rival NES (Nigel Edmund Silverman) is introduced, a dark character weilding a Power Glove (An Entertainment System accessory that flopped) and later a Virtual Boy (A Nintendo console that flopped). When Chad gets home and finally gets the cartridge to work, he gets drawn into Video Land – the realm of the games he plays. A blue head tells him of the evil Game Genie who seeks to put Video Land in chaos, something only Chad, no – Captain S – can stop.
The main concept is then to integrate Captain S into Genesis games by replacing the protagonists. There he battles NES, who takes the place of the villains, often using his Power Glove. With the voice overs, it becomes quite amusing and entertaining to watch. The plots moves on with having Chad taking responsibility in real life as well as in video land, with more emotional relations establishing as well as more special effects seen in the show. The first episode has Altered Beast as its game, which is later followed by for example Streets of Rage and Castlevania Bloodlines.
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With the game sequences, it really felt like the show was made for a Mega Drive gamer like me. By recognizing some aspects and at the same time seeing them in new refreshing forms, Captain S was very easy to like. Thankfully, Brett Vanderbrook is an excellent actor who lives in with his role as Captain S perfectly. He has a very humourous attitude, and you can clearly see that he is a fan of the console. Devon Riley, who plays NES, also knows what he is doing and manages to portray his character into a cold-but-funny-at-the-same-time man where his voice is priceless. Just hear him say “Welcome to your doom!” and you will know what I mean. In general, the acting is very good. The biggest stymies may be the inevitable cheesiness and a lack of credible plot. The clapping scene in one of the later episodes manifest both of those shudder-inducing parts of Captain S. Oh well, at least the show fits minors. It’s so unnecessary to hear the word “fuck” in each sentence and see blood in every scene.
An honourable mention goes to the rocking soundtrack by Glenn Case. It is somewhere in the land of high school punk/rock ‘n roll with some synth that fits a video game sitcom perfectly. You can buy the soundtrack on their site or just download the songs for FREE!
As you all know, DVDs are filled with bonus material to make the purchase even more worthwhile. This is what you will find on the discs:
- The whole first season of Captain S: It is ten episodes of about ten or a quarter minutes each. The first six episodes are on the first disc and the last four on the second disc. It is possible to see the episodes with either actor or producer commentary. I found the producer one more interesting, since they talked more about how the show was done and less about what they thought about the final result.
- A Very Nerdy Non-Canonical Captain S Christmas: A special episode which is a collaboration with James Rolfe, a.k.a. the Angry Video Game Nerd. Mixing Captain S with AVGN must be like having both Blast Processing and Mode 7 at the same time. Because they simply took what made both series so much fun, they doubled the effect for a very awesome and hilarious episode with a Christmas theme. I hope there will be another collaboration like this on the second season.
- Filler Fridays: Since it took around two weeks to finish a single episode, PBC productions released the so-called Filler Fridays some weeks to fill the void. These short movies are what I would call minor amusements that you like to see once, for example a little review of Sonic The Hedgehog and a clip showing what can happen if you let your love leave your sight at a Valentines party.
- About PBC Productions: A short text describing the company which produced Captain S and a pic of them.
- Episode Outtakes: Obligatory stuff – especially if you were a Working Designs employee. This kind of material is what I think the developers themselves find more funny than the audience they are aiming for. Like the Filler Fridays, these are the minor amusements you will probably like to see and smile at once.
- The “Old” Adventures of Captain S: This is the pilot episode that show creator Chad Williams made by himself as a tribute to his first Genesis game Sub-Terrania. It shows him playing the Genesis and getting sucked into a spaceship in Video Land, which is the world of that aforementioned game. The pilot is later rehashed in a couple of scenes for two of the “new” episodes.
- Behind the Scenes & Slideshow: Some video/photography which shows how the show was produced. For example, we see the actors rehearsing before shooting the scenes and pictures that display how the special effects were created. However, the content isn’t very imaginative. I would much rather see a well thought out making-of documentary where they sit down and focus directly on the topic and explain how they integrated the game segments into the show.
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Buy or… Just Watch It Online?
I’m not quite impressed with the overall quality of the production. The video is somewhat blurry and some special effects look really amateurish – a certain squirrel comes to mind. Most of the extra features are far from the greatness of the episodes themselves. I wish they put more time into making something really special for the buyers. I like the “old” episode, but the other content not shown prior to release aren’t what I would expect.
Still, The New Adventures of Captain S delivers a unique experience, although the influences are obvious. The characters, plot and in-game sequences make it very special and enjoyable, something that weighs much heavier in appearance than my complaints. I realize that the low budget affects the quality, but with this purchase and their experience, I hope and believe the second season of Captain S will be far more professional-looking and an overall superior experience to this one. While you won’t get much great content next to the show itself, you will be supporting the show, and that is very important in my opinion. Anyone who is a fan of the Mega Drive and comedy should check it out, and if you find it interesting, buy it also.
Rating (out of 5):
Our support goes to Devon Riley, who was treated with emergency surgery in late February, and has some serious hospital bills to pay off. You can show him your support here.