MMORPG’s (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) have been popular for years now; in fact my wife and I played City of Heroes/City of Villains for a good 18 months. While fun they can require a large amount time dedicated to them, we would play some nights from 6pm to midnight or later and weekend's sleep was given up to go on missions. For the past few years Felicia Day (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Dollhouse) has written, produced and starred in The Guild which is a web series that airs on the internet.
The Guild follows Cyd Sherman (Day) as she plays her character, Codex, while trying to wean herself off the game as she’s devoted over two years of her life. She plays with Vork (Jeff Lewis) who is leader of the clan and is very detail-oriented; an uptight, Clara (Robin Thorsen) a mom of three who would rather drink and play the game than be a parent to her toddlers; Bladezz (Vincent Caso) who is an obnoxious teen but a good player; and Tinkerballa (Amy Okuda) and Zaboo (Sandeep Parikh) who are all in close proximity to each other.
The series opens with the clan concerned that Zaboo hasn’t been online in over 24 hours, but Cyd gets an unexpected surprise when Zaboo shows up on her doorstep as he has taken her online chats as flirting and comes to move in with her. Cyd then needs the guilds help to get him out of her house and says the group needs to meet in person. When the group meets up, they learn that their characters are very much like the people who play them. There are many moments of awkwardness since they are more adept at conversing online than dealing with the real world.
Season Two is marked by better picture quality, new cast members, and more awkwardness by getting the guild members out from behind their computers and interacting more. Cyd gets a new neighbor Wade (Fernando Chien) who she’d like to get to know better and enlists Clara and Tink’s help. Since the network the Guild is on will be down for several hours, both the guys and girls decide to have a night out. The girls want to have a party so Cyd and Wade can interact; the guys decide to play cards before crashing the party.
The Guild is great for many reasons. Like The Big Bang Theory, it shows a group of awkward people are as human as anyone with wants and needs. It doesn’t talk down to those who might not be familiar with MMORPG’s, but if you are familiar, it adds another layer to the fun. Even if you’ve never played, you know or are familiar with the various personalities of the various gamers.
Each Season is on its own disc with extras. On Season one there are two commentary tracks; the first is with the six main members of the cast, while the other is with producers and directors. The cast commentary is a big party with all six giving their input with Day getting in some information about the writing process. The crew commentary covers a lot of the same info but in a less chaotic atmosphere. What I would have liked is for Day who wears many hats for The Guild to be part of both commentaries and while there is information that’s repeated, you have your choice of the actors experience or the technical experience.
There's a making of featurette under “Cast Interviews” where the actors discuss their roles and their experiences. As well as several cast auditions, and three gag reels which are very funny. There’s also a pdf of the script which you can download by putting the DVD in your computer.
Moving onto the Season two disc there are again two commentary tracks, however Day is a participant on both. Once again you have the party commentary and the technical commentary with information overlapping but still worth a listen.
There are three sections to Season two’s cast interviews, “Meet the Cast” where we have more interviews with the cast and the newcomers for the season, "Meet the Crew" where we see the people behind the scenes, and "Meet the Extras" where we meet all the background people who are fans of the series and they discuss how they got involved.
There are three more gag reels, a table read with the cast for the first episode, as well as auditions of the new cast members Fernando Chien and Michele Boyd.
The Guild is currently airing the third season and hopefully will continue for many more seasons.