This is your Tyler speaking. How have you been? It’s been a while. Sorry I haven’t been around much lately, I’m easily distracted by shiny objects. So here today is a Super Update. Things have been crazy around here, but we hope you’ve been enjoying the episodes so far. This update is to let you know that Episode 6 comes out tomorrow, which some of you have already seen an email about. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! One thing at a time.
“Nerd Lent.” Ahh, Nerd Lent. You’ve gotta love it. Three geeks give up video games for a week and things get all Requiem for a Dreamy. We loved filming this episode. There’s a lot of opportunity for craziness, and that’s always a recipe for the giggles. I hope that as the season has progressed you’ve seen a trajectory in the season, and this episode is where it starts to coalesce. In “The Day of Fail” Glitch lets Wyatt and Samus go to PAX without him, and it’s his way of (ever so slightly) taking control of his own obsessions and desires. Yeah he’s a nerd, but he doesn’t have to go to PAX. So in “Nerd Lent” we push the borders of the concept a little farther: how much does Glitch really not need his geekery? And in the end, we find out that it’s not something he can just give up. Like Samus says in 3, it’s in the bones of us. It’s in his DNA, and so by the end of 4 he has a life lesson learned: you can grow up and not stop being a nerd. It’s a thing a lot of us struggle with, especially those of us currently in our mid-twenties to mid-thirties. Being a geek was something you were supposed to “put away,” but then we found out we didn’t have to. So the lesson Glitch learns is crucial. You can stay a geek, you can stay a gamer, you can just also mature. Glitch isn’t always late to work because he’s a gamer, it’s because he’s irresponsible and doesn’t take things seriously enough when seriousness is called for. So Glitch finally understands that it’s time for him to grow into who he really is, not try to shy away from it with feigned notions of adulthood where suddenly you eat prunes and Grape Nuts and go to bed at 7:30 and never do anything interesting again ever. We live in an age where play is something we’re allowed, even as adults, you just have to find balance. Getting rid of games itself was an imbalance, so that’s not what he needs.
It’s “a very special episode of Glitch!” Isn’t that precious? All of a sudden we realize he’s learning things! Aww! Maybe by the end of the show he’ll be a real boy.
There are a lot of things about this episode that stand out to me. I’ll never forget being in the Glitch apartment, splashed in red light, with Jesse throwing apples at guys dressed as ninjas and then sprinting down the hallway, everybody in socks, without anything to protect them from falling down the stairs. The crash-zoom provided by Seth makes the moment. From the beginning of the script writing the whole demented scene that goes from ninjas to zombies to Navi to the paperclip to the Pit of Despair always made us giggle, but every bit of that filming was hilarious. As was Jesse screaming at Neville. “YOU DON’T KNOW HOW GOOD YOU HAVE IT!” Between the delightful make-up and Jesse’s absolutely deranged persona, we ended up with a more explosive and dark energy to that scene that I originally imagined. Getting to the set of Samsus’s bedroom and realizing the best thing to do was trash it, honestly, was one of those moments where you know you’re touching the third-rail of creativity, haha. But man, the strangeness that built on the set the day we filmed the spiral of the main gang. We started that day of filming with Tessa’s “I’m glad we’re doing this”/“Can we just watch people playing video games?” and ended with the three of them just weeping on the couches. It was such a strange set of filming. The bathrobe just wandered around the three of them. We kept piling coffee cups and pizza boxes everywhere, and somehow Conner came up with the idea that as the other two became more disheveled, he would grow neater, his hair more combed, and his clothes nicer. This made the crying scene, when he ripped the comic up (a scripted Langoliers reference) so much more insane that we were originally thinking. Conner in the bathrobe with the hammer I suddenly handed him before filming was just magical. Tessa commits so much to the crazy, with the joker makeup and the genuine tears. And Jesse, always the trooper, brings it all home, selling his desperation while staring at the controllers, and eventually gnawing on his own arm. Man, that day was magic.
I don’t want to make the case that this is the best episode, or the most indicative of the show, but I think at the end of the day it’s my favorite. I’ll always be proud of sitting on top of the toilet nearly falling out the window, swinging the camera back and forth to get the Old Man/Glitch scene (that’s all one take!). I feel like this is the episode where everything hits its stride. We filmed everything out of order, to be sure, so it’s not necessarily that everyone was getting better (from the beginning we were a pretty tight crew and cast, and everybody did a phenomenal job throughout), it’s just that everyone connected with the events, you know? I think it’s an episode more than the others where you can miss all of the references and still enjoy what’s going on, because it’s a faux-descent into madness, and that’s always funny. I hope watching it provided you with a few belly laughs – or at least some smiles, you cynic you.
“The Crazy One!” or “The One Goes Through The Mirror, Mirror and other References too.” I love love love describing this one to people: It’s our Star Trek “Mirror, Mirror”/Deadwood/Firefly/Matrix parody episode. It’s always greeting with this look, this impressed eye-roll sigh of “that’s a little too much” mixed with “well I have to see THAT.” From the beginning, conceptually, it was always our “crazy” episode, to be sure, and we were all nervous to try it. We were afraid it would be too big or too ambitious. Remember, even with the kickstarter that made all this possible, we didn’t really have a budget, so we couldn’t just throw money at stuff to make things happen. We pushed off those dates for later in the shooting schedule and did our best to get ready, thinking it would be the hardest stuff.
And at the end of the day, it goes to show you that what’s big conceptually doesn’t necessarily mean that in practical application it’ll be any harder. Logistically, I think most of those days were on par with things from other episodes. First, we lucked into Jonelle Cornwell and Cherelle Ashby coming on board and solving our biggest dilemma: the mirror universe costumes. That’s not even close to all they did for our show, but that suddenly made everything feasible. And then we had our Mirror AFK day, but that wasn’t any harder than the PAX stuff, really. For me, it was a major lesson: things seem bigger and smaller in the rearview mirror of the script process than they really are. Everyone was scared of the episode because it felt big, but the hardest stuff to film was PAX, and random weird moments where we wanted something funny done with the camera or whatever (for example, the aforementioned Old Man/Glitch scene in 4 took 30 takes, with only the slightest hyperbole). Anyway it was a lesson well learned. But enough about my random edification. Let’s talk about the awesome.
It’s a great time seeing everyone get be someone completely different (besides Glitch, who gets his own special kind of credit for being such an amazing straight man that still brings humor to that foil type). You don’t always get the chance to do it, but it’s always fun. I mean, let’s go down the list. Samus gets to suddenly be this weird sexy mirror-Spock-like warrior. She’s got a beard! It’s one of the most attractive things I can think of, and it’s weird to admit; I felt funnier watching her on screen than I did watching Magic Mike. Wyatt gets to suddenly be a Badger/ Al Swearengen crime boss, punching people and swigging whiskey and plotting. The Boss becomes Captain The Boss (I love that) and finally gets to be the malice-driven guy we’ve been promised in the real universe. But I think easily, the breakout star of the episode is Neville. In mirror universe episodes, we’re usually shown a side of characters that exist within the real counterparts. In the mirror reality Neville is a tough talking, spit-chewing sonofabitch that doesn’t take any guff from anybody. This speaks a lot to two things, the fun we’re going to have with Neville in future stories (as he does have a spine, even if he hasn’t found it yet) and the extraordinary prowess of Thom Brophy, who gets to show his chops in this role. It’s fun to see him just own the Neville character (he walked into the auditions like a young Brando, just blowing the doors off the place with the perfect performance), and really he molded the normal Neville into what it is, but then to suddenly get to be this other, darker character, and yet still be the same guy, is really impressive. My hat’s off to him.
So again, it’s “a very special episode” time, because Glitch learns a lesson again! Even in the mirror universe he’s just some dude. He hasn’t taken control of his life, he hasn’t committed to himself or his future, and maybe it’s time to make a choice. See, it’s all building! It’s not just completely random. And it’s all about to come to a head in Episode 6!
But before we get to that, I just want to point out what is quietly my favorite part of the episode, and that’s Jesse and his near indifference to his situation by the end. I had a friend tell me that while they liked the episode, they’ve never been a fan of alternate-reality episodes, and I have to agree: they usually have no consequences, and are just sort of filler space (plot-wise; character-wise they’re overloaded if anything). But that’s what I love so much about this one: Glitch realizes that, and kind of stops caring. He just wants to get home. He doesn’t care about betraying mirror-Neville or lying to Captain The Boss or potentially starting a war, because none of this matters. As long as he gets home, this is just a weird Glitch that went on too long. So in a way we're making fun of the whole concept of alt-reality episodes, which I think is nifty. Plus! It’s one of the reasons he is “The One” in this universe, because it’s reflecting how he’s starting to get the hang of this “glitches are messing with his life” thing. And since, you know, the glitches themselves are representative of the troubles and doubts in his life, we’re starting to see him gain some control. There’s a small threat at the end of the episode, that something different may be coming.
From beginning to end, it’s hard to overstate how amazing everyone was in this episode, cast and crew alike. It’s hard to overstate anything about this show, isn’t it? It’s like I can’t speak highly of these people enough. And it’s because I can’t, so take that snarky attitude and put it in a cupboard, and then take out some of that cupcake batter that’s up there instead and go make yourself a treat. Anyway I hope this episode hit some buttons for you: there are certainly enough references and goofy stuff running around to getcha at least somewhere.
***Spoiler alert ahead, if you haven’t seen 6!!***
… Okay I admit it was just fun yelling a spoiler alert for my own show.
... But come on seriously watch it, you know you want to.
So this brings us to the end of all things, Samwise Gamgee. It’s “The One Where Everybody Loses Their Job,” and brings everything full circle. Erica (Trin Miller!) returns to the scene of the crime. Samus gets laid off! Wyatt gets fired! Glitch quits and starts his own game! Twists and turns galore! Wyatt’s a millionaire! Neville is a genius! Glitch gets super-meta! He doesn’t need the glitches’ help by the end! He gets the girl! He defeats the boss in the most anti-climactic way ever! Wowza, right? I mean just wowza, say it with me.
Episode 6 has the most heart, and it’s a great way to cap off the season. Some major props are as follows: Tessa, for crying Samus’s eyes out many times in a row and over two different days (man); Thomas Brophy, for popping in and out of frame; Conner for his response to Jesse’s “You can see these things?!”; Beau Prichard for the construction worker send up of Americans; Brian Sutherland for nailing Obi-Wan; Meagan for, as always, breathing life and scene-stealiness into Matilda; Curtis and Jesse for the fight stances; and that one dude that put on five different shirts and walked around as the troll of a Foreman (seriously who is that guy?).
And so the story of Glitch finally pays off. Now you can see we’ve actually been building to something. While each episode is stand-alone for serious, there’s a major through element that string them altogether, as Glitch grows up a little, learns some lessons and finally makes some major decisions. Really, this show is about growing up. On a very fundamental level, it’s a coming of age story for a character who should have had one of those stories already. By the end, Glitch is starting a new phase of his life, one that’s self-initiated, self-actualized, etc. We used the end of the season to make the whole thing one story, bookended by this and the pilot. We tried to give everything a sense of closure, mainly because of my firm belief that even in a continuing story, each season of something should be relatively self-contained. We could all be hit by a bus tomorrow (a really out of control, probably malevolent bus, to hit us all, but sometimes Steven King things just happen, you know?) and the story of Glitch could stand complete.
We screened this episode at ZoeCon, to a packed room, and I stood slightly outside, listening to the response, and I was bowled over. Truly. The laughter, the cheering, and the joy coming out of that room warmed me, and I get a lighter step whenever I think about it. We’re truly grateful to everyone who is a fan of this show, and we hope it’s entertained you as much as it has us making it.
So what’s next for Glitch? A lot of things, really. More Bonus Lives will continue to crop up in the upcoming weeks, just to let you all know that this isn’t the end! And here’s some exciting news: Jesse Lee Keeter has been nominated by the IAWTV Awards as the Best Male Performance in a Comedy. We’re immensely grateful for the nod and thrilled for Jesse. He’s up in competition against Brent Spiner, of all people, and I feel it’s an endorsement on some level of the show as a whole (which Jesse is, after all, the star and face of). We hope that will lead to some exciting opportunities, and it makes the possibility of a second season a lot more real.
And what would a second season be? Well, it’s a story about growing up, but Glitch is by no means done with that. We keep growing our whole lives, right? And now that he’s finally made this massive step, there are so many others. And it’s a show about growing up, not just Glitch growing up. Neville, Samus, Wyatt (who can see these things, as it turns out) all have some evolving to do, and we’re excited to continue to tell more stories in this world.
Another update will follow this one shortly, and it will be a massive individual thank you to everyone who worked on this show. Look for more updates to follow, with news about more Glitch on the horizon. We’ll also be starting up a blog that will be this kickstarter updating thing continued more publically and on a regular level, and we’ll be pestering you to follow that as well. It’s also a good time to announce that between Glitch Season One and Glitch Season Two, we’ll be doing a one-off show called Dead People, which we’re excited about. We’ll bring you more information about that drama/thiller/supernatural/black comedy story in the upcoming weeks.
Once again and as always, thank you kickstarter contributors, and fans of this show. We love you all, and we can’t believe we made it all the way through! Please continue to support the show however you can. Tell your friends about us, send us feedback and comments, share us around on the social media tubes, and keep being awesome. On behalf of everyone we are truly indebted to you. Please remember for always that this isn’t just my show. And it’s not just Burger Orchard’s show. It’s the show of everyone who made it, everyone who worked on it, a truly collaborative effort that brought together an immense set of talent that made it what it is. But it’s also your show, through and through. It belongs to you as much as us, and we’re glad you’ve been around for this great ride, and hope to see you again when it comes time to start up the rollercoaster.
For now, enjoy what there is, look for more, and we’ll see you in 2013, after the world ends and everything. We may all be dead from the imaginary rouge planet that will bring about the supposed Mayan Apocalypse and Twinkies are bankrupt so it’s proof we’re all gonna go down in flames, but even as corpses or zombies or ghosts haunting the landscape, you can’t stop the signal.
J̶a̶m̶e̶s̶ ̶B̶o̶n̶d̶ Glitch will return.
Thank you one and all.