The Return of Talking Time

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  #301  
Old 08-16-2017, 02:35 PM
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Written & Storyboarded by the imcomprable Steve Wolfhard, music by Leslie Wolfhard, animated by Matt Everton, voiced by Griffin McElroy.



The adorable disaster aspect is such a Steve Wolfhard thing, but Griffin's voice brings a lot to it.
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  #302  
Old 08-17-2017, 06:06 PM
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Calling it now; the Void Fish are going to go all Super Metroid on this business before it ends.
Well, I was wrong, it was Earthbound
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  #303  
Old 08-21-2017, 09:18 AM
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I feel like the current arc is a misstep too. TAZ is extremely popular because the characters are super funny and goofy, but Griffin seems to think it's because everyone wants to know more about the macguffins and generic evil force he created. And it really does't matter what format it takes, but the players seem less interested in what's going on, which detracts from the show.
Ooof, yeah, I'm just catching up on The Stolen Century now (which is what this post was in reference to), and this 100%. It is a friggin' slog. I'm tempted to just skip it entirely.

TAZ is starting to remind me of, of all things, Sluggy Freelance, in that it is a goofy thing that decided it wanted to be serious, and is thus tonally schizophrenic as it switches back and forth, and it's trying to come up with twists and backstory that were obviously written well after the fact but trying very much to pretend as if they weren't. Like, I'm currently listening to fucking sad classical music play over a love story involving two NPCs that I could not possibly give two shits about, one of whom began life with a joke about jeans and the other of which is named after a food pun. It's just entirely unearned. I hope that whatever they have planned after this current campaign goes back to the goofs, or else I'm out.
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  #304  
Old 08-21-2017, 09:22 AM
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Good news- it gets way better. I don't know if the stolen century was totally justified, but it does pay off and the show returns to D&D and gives the boys more to do. They do a great job with the last few episodes of the series, so it's worth sticking with it.
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  #305  
Old 08-21-2017, 09:40 AM
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I mean I agreed at first, but it gave the show more weight than it had any right to have, and I ended up being endeared to it more. It does start out pretty sloggy, though, but trust in the Griffin.

Finale spoilers:
I was a little bit disappointed by the finale, but I think it did a good enough job wrapping everything up. But I do think that, like JBear is saying,
trying to do turn something funny into something serious kind of made the ending feel a little unjustified, albeit heartwarming and nice.
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  #306  
Old 08-22-2017, 05:45 AM
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Fortunately(?) most of Stolen Century can be safely ignored without affecting your understanding of the plot whatsoever. Only the first and last chapters, as well as the one where Merle has a series of interviews with The Hunger have any significance.

Inwouldnt skip the Beach Party episode either.
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  #307  
Old 08-31-2017, 09:47 AM
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The most recent Bros Better-Bros Best has one of my favourite bits one the entire run of the show, but it doesn't have my single favourite parts of it.


]Pours one out for Travis' theatre-sobs at the fate of Frosty the Snowman
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  #308  
Old 09-21-2017, 03:36 PM
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The Danny DeVito bust mentioned in the Boston live show (372):



mother of god
I don't fucking believe it but
just put a fucking long tail on the back of his head and you'll see it
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  #309  
Old 09-21-2017, 03:42 PM
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Nonononononononononononoooooooo
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  #310  
Old 09-21-2017, 03:52 PM
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WHY DOTH THE UNIVERSE DEEM IT FIT TO MOCK ME SO
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  #311  
Old 09-27-2017, 10:54 AM
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The Danny DeVito bust mentioned in the Boston live show (372):



mother of god
I don't fucking believe it but
just put a fucking long tail on the back of his head and you'll see it
I figured that listening to the episode would explain this post, but I still don't get the tail comment. What am I missing here?
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  #312  
Old 09-27-2017, 10:56 AM
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I'm sayin damn thing looks like danny devito as the damn eel
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  #313  
Old 09-27-2017, 10:59 AM
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Just always keep in mind that mute's posts are like 50% Unagi by volume.
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  #314  
Old 09-27-2017, 11:18 AM
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  #315  
Old 10-05-2017, 08:29 AM
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Ooof, yeah, I'm just catching up on The Stolen Century now (which is what this post was in reference to), and this 100%. It is a friggin' slog. I'm tempted to just skip it entirely.

TAZ is starting to remind me of, of all things, Sluggy Freelance, in that it is a goofy thing that decided it wanted to be serious, and is thus tonally schizophrenic as it switches back and forth, and it's trying to come up with twists and backstory that were obviously written well after the fact but trying very much to pretend as if they weren't. Like, I'm currently listening to fucking sad classical music play over a love story involving two NPCs that I could not possibly give two shits about, one of whom began life with a joke about jeans and the other of which is named after a food pun. It's just entirely unearned. I hope that whatever they have planned after this current campaign goes back to the goofs, or else I'm out.
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Good news- it gets way better. I don't know if the stolen century was totally justified, but it does pay off and the show returns to D&D and gives the boys more to do. They do a great job with the last few episodes of the series, so it's worth sticking with it.
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I mean I agreed at first, but it gave the show more weight than it had any right to have, and I ended up being endeared to it more. It does start out pretty sloggy, though, but trust in the Griffin.

Finale spoilers:
I was a little bit disappointed by the finale, but I think it did a good enough job wrapping everything up. But I do think that, like JBear is saying,
trying to do turn something funny into something serious kind of made the ending feel a little unjustified, albeit heartwarming and nice.
So. I finally finished the Adventure Zone this week, and I have opinions. Honestly, I'm kind of super bummed out about it? I hated the ending. Hate hate hated it. I have never spent so long hate-listening to something before, and I should have just stopped, but I felt so invested at this point that I wanted to see it through. It took a dramatic turn for the worse during the Suffering Game and never recovered. I wish that I'd quit listening at the start of that arc and never looked back.

I kind of can't believe how much I hated it? Like, I like to like things, and I'm typically pretty easy to please! It feels like there's something wrong with me. Griffin is one of my favourite content producers, and this is clearly a big passion project for him, and the rest of the internet seems to love it, and I want to love it, but I just can't. I have never bounced off of anything this hard and this consistently that I didn't drop immediately.

The whole finale was just... ridiculously overwrought and overproduced. It was a friggin' monument to excess. If I had to listen to one more fucking scene between two joke characters having an unearned serious moment over ridiculously melodramatic music, I was going to scream. It was just so over the top as to almost be laughable if I wasn't so miserable and disappointed. Every scene introduced some new soaring score and overly dramatic narration. They fucking fast-forwarded to Magnus' deathbed for chrissakes. It was like they wanted to have their proverbial cake and eat it too, and then fuck the cake, and then smash the leavings into every orifice while people wearing erotic cake costumes danced on top of extra cakes in the background.

I teared up more listening to the first 15 minutes of the post-show wrap up than I did for that entire 5(?) hour slog of a finale, because the moments in that wrap up show felt authentic in a way that nothing in the finale did. I generally tear up pretty easily! I'm a sappy guy!

And don't even get me started on player agency. The Tres Horny boys were just along for the ride on Griffin's Big Serious Movie (it drives me crazy every time he literally describes what the "camera" is doing). The only decisions that they got to make the whole time were choosing what ridiculous callbacks to summon from Griffin's Deus Ex Machina portal.

Phew. Needed to get that off my chest. I'm glad that everyone else liked it, but it was Not For JBears. And yet, I still think I'm going to keep listening? It is my fervent hope that whatever we get next is getting back to what I loved about the show in the first place, which is having fun making goofs and playing D&D, preferably with Griffin as far from the DM chair as possible.
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  #316  
Old 10-05-2017, 09:15 AM
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I feel like I didn't really find the finale gripping for a lot of the reasons you state, but I do think what you're saying is a bit overboard (although obviously you're allowed your opinions, I'm just kind of trying to reign in these things and talk about those decisions because I feel like you're a bit harsh).

I didn't particularly find the Suffering Game that interesting because its main mechanic just made the characters weaker for no particularly good or earned reason. It was suffering for the purpose of suffering. I'm pretty sure when I got into TAZ the current arc was the Suffering Game, so I recall reading something on the TAZ tumblr saying that Griffin understood the problems behind the arc, and that it was wrapping up soon.

I also wasn't that sold on The Forgotten Century, as again it was very obviously from the outset something that was focusing less on the funny, and more on the development of a story (that seemed sort of hamfisted and thrown in there, but in the end connects fairly well to what's going on so far). What TFC had going for it was that it established bonds between characters and showed the stakes. I actually fairly enjoyed the last parts of the arc because I cared a lot about Lupe, Barry, Lucretia, and Davenport, having interacted with most of them in some way shape or form during the previous arcs. This was where the players got to stretch their roleplaying muscle, and honestly I enjoyed hearing how each person developed their own characters.

As for the finale, I also agree that it didn't coalesce quite how I wanted it to. My main problem with the finale is that what happened didn't feel earned. The players didn't have enough agency or say in exactly how things went down, because Griffin seems to have scripted it to a degree. He wanted to make a big score, make this a big project with huge production, because this is his baby and wanted to make the finale as great as it could be. But in the end, D&D has to be a collaborative effort, and unfortunately, there was too much happening in the background of the player characters, and not enough of the player characters dictating how the story would play out.

I have no problem with Griffin describing scenes as if in a movie, because it's a very convenient way to cast how a scene would look in peoples' minds. It's a bit of a projection (just in my opinion) to get a hate boner every time he would do that just because it's emblematic of what you disliked about the finale.

But yeah. I think that the finale needed to be a bit longer, with all of the Big Serious Movie Griffin stuff spread further out. As is, it felt jam packed with scenes that Griffin wanted to show, even if the players were the ones to suggest some of them (it's highly possible Magnus's death scene was at the request of Travis, we just don't know!). In the end, a finale should feel like a culmination of what came before it, and unfortunately it just felt like it didn't come together in a way that mattered. But I did enjoy the scenes for the characters I cared about, such as Lupe and Barry. But yeah, I wouldn't put this failure squarely on the shoulders of Griffin. We don't know who called the shots, and for all we know Griffin did what he could to get the others involved. What resulted was something that ended differently than it started, but I wouldn't say I hated it.

And for those fans who actually put a ton of energy into thinking about Griffin's characters, they seemed to think that this was a good, fun sendoff. I don't think it was for people like JBear and myself, because we were in it originally for the jokes and the interesting D&D parts, but I think that Griffin was also attempting to appeal to a different fanbase than his original fanbase.

Point being, this is all growing pains. I think that there were a few weak choices and problems that grew out of this, but I was not so unhappy with how it ended. It just didn't quite manifest how I wanted it to. I believe that even if Griffin was DM again, it'd probably go better. I'm excited to see where things go next, and for those who haven't checked out the bonus episodes, they're a hoot. The McElroys play their characters in oneshots that Griffin sets up live at conventions, and I think they encompass what we loved about TAZ in the first place.
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  #317  
Old 10-05-2017, 09:52 AM
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I definitely enjoyed the show more when it was the three main characters bouncing off Griffin's unorthodox roleplaying scenarios instead of them watching him tell a story.
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  #318  
Old 10-05-2017, 10:03 AM
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I felt like the lost century was pretty boring because it took away a ton of restrictions, while not actually letting the players do that much or have anything to bounce off of. Like, you are totally free to decide what you do for a year, but you don't have any guidance or a situation that you can influence in interesting ways. Here's an empty white room, role play something for the audience. It got more interesting toward the end just because the NPCs became stronger.

The last arc went way in the other direction, giving the players little agency, but with a much more interesting story. While it was over the top, I still bought into it and enjoyed it for what it was. Overall, I'd say the series became too ambitious and tried to change gears too often. I would have preferred if they had done one more normal D&D style adventure after the Suffering Game to wrap things up. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming experimental sessions, just because there won't be any expectations.
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  #319  
Old 10-05-2017, 10:20 AM
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In Griffin's defense, the ending of any campaign isn't going to have as much player agency as everything that came before. There is a time in every campaign where you have to say, "OK, you guys are ready" and start moving the story to its conclusion.

(That said, I don't know if this is relevant to the end of TAZ, because I stopped listening at the start of Stolen Century. I love Griffin and the work he does, but I'm not there for him trying to tell Lup's story. A bunch of friends of mine were very uncomfortable with him stepping into those shoes, and I wish he'd just brought on a guest to play that character instead. Sounds like things will be continuing in this vein in the next arc with Justin playing an Inuit woman, so...yay.)
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  #320  
Old 10-05-2017, 11:30 AM
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Hrm, I'm sorry that Lup turned people off from the story. I think it came from the right place, but I don't think it was executed in the right way. Griffin and the other McElroys seem very open to criticism in this light, though, so if you bring it to his attention he may try to change his ways. Playing an Inuit woman is... an interesting decision, if that's truly what's happening. It's a hard line to balance having all your characters be white whereas wanting diversity but not having the people to play them or depict them correctly... this is not my topic to talk about, really, but it's an interesting topic of discussion.

I hope that whatever comes next, it's done thoughtfully and plays to their strengths.

Last edited by Umby; 10-05-2017 at 11:45 AM.
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  #321  
Old 10-05-2017, 11:54 AM
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I just think that it's ultimately not the right platform for it. Like you say, I'm confident that it's coming from a good place, but better trans representation in media can't come from a bunch of cishet white dudes role-playing trans characters. If that kind of representation is really that important to him, then he should give someone with life experience to draw on that opportunity instead, or maybe use his platform to promote trans creators who are already producing that kind of content.
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  #322  
Old 10-05-2017, 12:08 PM
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I just think that it's ultimately not the right platform for it. Like you say, I'm confident that it's coming from a good place, but better trans representation in media can't come from a bunch of cishet white dudes role-playing trans characters. If that kind of representation is really that important to him, then he should give someone with life experience to draw on that opportunity instead, or maybe use his platform to promote trans creators who are already producing that kind of content.
If you feel this strongly about it, I really encourage you to email him. I agree with you (and can email myself, but I think it would be stronger if you did it) and I want TAZ and whatever they make to be the strongest it could be.
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  #323  
Old 10-05-2017, 12:10 PM
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I just think that it's ultimately not the right platform for it. Like you say, I'm confident that it's coming from a good place, but better trans representation in media can't come from a bunch of cishet white dudes role-playing trans characters. If that kind of representation is really that important to him, then he should give someone with life experience to draw on that opportunity instead, or maybe use his platform to promote trans creators who are already producing that kind of content.
*raises hand* o/~ Actually o/~

Doing what they did wasn't perfect but it's a damn sight better than the alternative, which is to completely ignore the issue altogether and do the thing where they RP as three white cishet dudes. They've talked about it on TTAZZ casts where they're very aware of what they're doing and the pitfalls they could fall into, and they've decided that despite those dangers it's more important to try to represent different people in their RP. Like, it's cool for someone like me to get to see Griffon play a trans character and be comfortable with it, and for other people to see him be comfortable with it because it's a normalizing humanizing thing.

You're not wrong about the other stuff, and they're doing that too! The Here There Be Gerblins comic is being drawn by a queer woman and Griffon participating in the trans advocacy fundraiser done on Soundcloud a few months back are the things that come to mind immediately. I'm not trying to white knight for them or drag you because I very much appreciate what you're saying, just wanted to give some perspective from a different viewpoint.
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  #324  
Old 10-05-2017, 02:49 PM
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The whole finale was just... ridiculously overwrought and overproduced.
With the caveat that literally everything about this show flies huge red flags for me, and as such I have avoided it, I'll say that kind of overwrought emotional fanservice really broke out of the romance genre with our generation.

I remember that sort of thing being all over the place with the fiction people were writing online in the 90s, and it seems to have gotten more and more prevalent in certain circles.
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  #325  
Old 10-05-2017, 03:11 PM
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With the caveat that literally everything about this show flies huge red flags for me, and as such I have avoided it, I'll say that kind of overwrought emotional fanservice really broke out of the romance genre with our generation.

I remember that sort of thing being all over the place with the fiction people were writing online in the 90s, and it seems to have gotten more and more prevalent in certain circles.
If you don't mind, could you share why you've avoided the show? After my last post I want to say I'm not trying to start anything aside from a conversation about the other things people dislike since I am a fan who sometimes misses things that I should know, like how the ending of the Pedals arc was a shitty cliche.
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  #326  
Old 10-06-2017, 08:24 AM
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Wife and I queued up some My Brother, My Brother & Me on a big road trip last year and I found out that I can handle about one episode of their stuff before I start fast forwarding through half the riff sessions. I like silly things, and I even enjoy twee in small doses, but their style overpowers my palate like trying to eat canned frosting straight up.

On top of that it seems like every time someone recommended Adventure Zone they would recommend Magic Tavern in the same breath, and I can't stand Magic Tavern.
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  #327  
Old 10-06-2017, 09:04 AM
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If it helps any; Id recommend TAZ a hundred times before Id think of recommending Magic Tavern once.

But if youre not a fan of MBMBaM, I dont think Id recommend either.
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  #328  
Old 10-06-2017, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
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Wife and I queued up some My Brother, My Brother & Me on a big road trip last year and I found out that I can handle about one episode of their stuff before I start fast forwarding through half the riff sessions. I like silly things, and I even enjoy twee in small doses, but their style overpowers my palate like trying to eat canned frosting straight up.
I think this accounts for why I'm not particularly interested in traversing their backlog. One a week is more than enough for me, and while I do quite enjoy the podcast, I definitely would not be able to handle more of it than that.
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  #329  
Old 10-06-2017, 03:07 PM
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Speaking of; the current episode is just a set-up for Clints game. In order to save you 90 minutes;

Its Thunderbirds, with superpowers instead of futuristic aircraft, Griffin is playing a Batroc-esque acrobat, Travis a Reed Richards sort, and Justin is Thor, but With wildly dispperate personalities between human and god form.
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  #330  
Old 10-09-2017, 07:58 AM
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That sounds like what Thor used to be.
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