|Heradite Home VR Network Season Preview|
|Date||August 23, 2042|
August 23rd, 2042:
Heradite Home VR Network Season Preview
It's the end of August, and you know what that means hombres! It's PILOT season, and this week we're going to be taking a look at what's new, what's hot, what's not, and what got canned over the summer! Heradite Home Entertainment had us come in to try out screeners of all their brand new shows, as well as some teasers of some returning hits.
We (by we I mean myself and the two other Newswire entertainment reporters) arrived at the Heradite VR Network offices in New York at around 8am and were promptly given a tour of the facility. I've had it before, but it's still pretty awesome to see all the posters for old VR shows, going back to '28. All the old hits: The Skull Bandits, Nightmare in New Orleans, Filibuster on the Hill (for that weird season when Be Your Own Politician was popular). They even have a single poster for the War in the Pacific season, which went up in smoke faster than you can say "Man, I wish I had realized the public hates War stuff before sinking several million into the development of a War VR Interactive Show".
After the tour, breakfast and a short speech by current Heradite Home VR network President George Silas, we set down to take a look at the shows this season. First up was...
Show: Bishop's First Day
Genre: A Consortium show. Yea. ANOTHER ONE.
Producer and Creator: Michael Peal
Showrunner: Samuel Dogge
Oh man. Just, oh man. I don't know what they were thinking. We've already got like four Consortium VR Interactives out there, and HHVR decides to pull out another one? Yea, I get what they wanted to do. New Bishop, first day, everything goes to hell... but this is really just the same plot, same bad guys (Syndicate? SNNOOOOOOZE), nothing new. They even pulled out the whole "who's the secret mystery villain, oh no, it was someone on the crew who was working for the LDS!" angle. Exactly the same as in Terror in Sub Orbit, internal and external threats! Bad acting, takes place entirely in one interior, crap story. At least they didn't throw in the whole "The Guardians are eeeeevil" subplot they had running through the last series. I expect it to be still born on the presses.
Show: Halos and Gunsmoke
Genre: Supernatural Action
Producer and Creator: Maria Borgia
Showrunner: Katherine Horace
Halos and Gunsmoke is a supernatural/action show about "Ascended" and "Fallen" (basically angels and demons from Christian mythology) people who are fighting to regain their lost humanity. It was a cool concept, and it's got some great high action sequences (especially one where the main character has a fight on the highway where you get to fly from truck to truck, with the new "Ascended" technology). I REALLY enjoyed the fact they let us play a character who could fly, and I felt this new tech (which was hugely hyped at VRXPO a few months back) worked wonderfully. Sadly though, they built most of the pilot around this centerpiece, and the rest was your typical over the top Hong Kong Blood Opera stuff we've seen before, especially from that show two seasons ago, "Beat Cops". Still, there's potential, so we'll need to see more as the episodes roll out.
Genre: Period Drama
Producer and Creator: Corinne Beale
Showrunner: Timothy Lear
The middle of the lot, "Will: The Life of Shakespeare" is the new period drama that we've seen ads for all summer. This sort of drama has hit a real surge of popularity lately, and with last season's HUGE smash hit based on the classic TV show Downton Abbey, there was a lot of expectations on this to perform. Sadly, it reached far too high, and by a similar sin, fell the angels. Sorry, my English degree raised her head there. Basically, it's a standing around talking simulator. Sure it's funny, and there are a lot of references to Shakespeare plays and characters, but the other characters feel just... wooden. I HATE when you get this weird mix of modern anachronisms mixed in with faux Ye Old English dialogue, and that just abounded here. I was torn out of the immersion in almost every scene! Still, the set pieces were wonderful, and I really felt like I was walking around in Elizabethan London, complete with utterly disgusting smells and sights. If they can find a way to get the story and dialogue right with the atmosphere, it'll be amazing!
Show: An Allegretto for Aurora
Genre: Cyberpunk Kid's show
Producer and Creator: Alexander Bone
Showrunner: Boris Horace
Now this is what we're talking about! An Allegretto for Aurora, while aimed at kids, is a wonderful romp through a cyberpunk version of New Orleans. You play a young robot girl who is on the run from an evil corporation (it's all black and white hats here folks!), and while the plot is fairly simplistic, they did a wonderful job on the experience. "Neo" Orleans feels alive in a way I've never seen. I spent twenty minutes just standing on the street corner watching people go by, and not once did I see a repeater! This one is gonna blow the socks off anyone who runs it, guaranteed.
Those were the big three they wanted to show us. After that, and a brief press conference (followed by getting a metric TON of swag), we were set loose! Watch Newswire for more in depth reviews on each of the shows in the next few days, and for the full seasons of these shows to drop on the VR on September 14!
Show: The New Universe
Genre: Sci Fi / Dystopian
Producer and Creator: Marcus Mulch
Showrunner: Jose Garcia
This one was pretty interesting. One thing we haven't seen yet is an "experimental" VR show, and The New Universe is certainly that. It's about... you know, I'm not really sure what it's about. You wake up in a sleeper ship that has just come to a new "universe", and must find your way through a largely deserted ship. It's all ambiance, with no dialogue and no music, just sound effects. The pilot ended with me seeing outside for the first time, and it was all... weird. I think there was something out there! All in all I was pretty drawn in. It's something new... but at the same time it just felt empty. Like they weren't using the medium very well. Could be that I just don't like experimental film! I bet all the art house gents and ladies will go nuts over this one. Color me slightly intrigued.
Genre: Coming of Age
Producer and Creator: Thomas Druide
Showrunner: Horace Williamson
I've said it before, comedy doesn't work that well in VR shows. It's already a pretty subjective thing, and I'm just not engaged by it. Immature is a cute little show about a kid living in pre-Resource Wars America, and all the accompanying growing pains. Lots of classic music, accents and pop culture references, but not a lot of substance. I've always found it hard to laugh at myself in the ways these shows expect. Good for fans of the era, but not for me. Must have cost them a lot of money to get all that classic pop from the 10's!
Show: Zero Gravity
Genre: Cop Drama With a Twist
Producer and Creator: Andrew Stanton
Showrunner: Andrea Gomez
I suspect as time goes on we're going to see a drift towards these sort of action shows. This is the first one we've seen that takes place in Zero-Grav (using that same tech from Halos and Gunsmoke), and they pulled off some neat stuff. I was engaged by the plotline (about some newly recruited Orbital Authority agents and getting stranded on a derelict space station), but it wasn't anything new. What made the show engaging was A) A well written female "sidekick" to the main player, and the option to choose a gender for the principle acting role. This is something that hasn't been attempted before (due to essentially doubling the writing work), but I'm glad they did it here. I choose to go with the female character, and I had a blast! I did a brief run through of the first five minutes as both male and female though, and found all the dialogue and responses had changed accordingly. Brilliant, guys, it's nice seeing a VR show focus on rewatchability!
This preview was authorized by Heradite Home VR Network, a division of Heradite News and Entertainment. Non-biased, accurate and up to date news, television, films and transmedia, at your fingertips, twenty-four hours a day.