By Mick Neeky
Based on an idea by Will Campos and Chris Pappavaselio, Video Game High School is a clever and quirky series based in a world where video games are the ultimate sport. The story follows Brain D (Josh Bloylock) as he is accepted into the prestigious VGHS by chance due to his pwning of The Law (Brian Firenzi) on national TV. Having beaten the best gamer in the known world, Brian is given a full scholarship into VGHS. Following the typical high school agenda, VGHS touches up on everything from crushes to bullying. It explores what life could be like if video games where taken seriously. And let me just say, it has a flawless execution.
Without spoiling anything, I’d like to point out one of VGHS season 1’s triumphs: its clever twist on cliché and cheesy moments. Where most series fail miserably, VGHS hits the mark. The viewer is always enthralled and kept guessing. Sometimes it does go over the top—Ted Wong (Jimmy Wong) I’m looking at you—but it pulls through.
VGHS nailed its cast perfectly: everything from hardened youtubers like Freddie Wong to move stars like Zachary Levi. But beyond the enchilada of love (Ki Swan played by Ellary Porterfield and Ted Wong), there’s the truth heart of VGHS: Brian D’s spat with The Law. The show revolves a great deal around them; their hatred on screen is perfect and gives games someone to love and hate. It’s up to you who you pick. Yet each character gets a chance to be in the spotlight. They don’t feel bland and pointless; they’re alive! At the end of the day Brian D doesn’t go to school with a bunch of bots.
All the drama, jokes and awesome rivalry aside, there’s still one aspect of that outshines them all, VGHS’s execution on video games. Heralded by Freddie Wong, special effects master on Youtube, VGHS centers on a virtual reality feel, yet it’s not. I know it’s confusing. Truth be told that as your watch Brian D gun his way through a battlefield he’s not really inside the game. It’s just a clever way to add the video games into the mix. After all, it is called VGHS, or would you rather see him tap keys and click his mouse? In my opinion, VGHS nailed its first season. The only beef I got with it, and it’s not a big one, it’s its lack of other gaming types. They only manage to cover a handful in season one like rhythm, racing, fighting, and FPS.
All in all, VGHS deserves your free time. Give it a shout and maybe you’ll get a scholarship.
Keep it Neeky.