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The Guild
TheGuildLOGO.png
Genre Comedy
Created by Felicia Day
Directed by Jane Selle Morgan
Greg Benson
Sean Becker
Starring Felicia Day
Vincent Caso
Jeff Lewis
Amy Okuda
Sandeep Parikh
Robin Thorsen
Michele Boyd
Brett Sheridan
Wil Wheaton
Composer(s) Don Schiff
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 34 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s) Felicia Day
Kim Evey
Jane Selle Morgan
Location(s) Los Angeles, California
Camera setup Tahlee Booher
Carl Ratajski
John Schmidt
Running time Varies (usually 3-8 minutes)
Broadcast
Original channel YouTube (Seasons 1 & 2)
MSN Video (Season 2)
Xbox Marketplace (Season 2) Zune Marketplace (Seasons 1-3)
Original run July 24, 2007 (2007-07-24) – present
External links
Official website

The Guild is an award-winning online sitcom about the lives of an online guild "The Knights of Good", with each webisode 3–8 minutes long. The first episode was posted July 27, 2007. It is broadcast on The Guild's official website, on iTunes and Zune Marketplace as a podcast, effinfunny.com and YouTube, and is available for download from the Xbox Live Marketplace.[1] The show follows the life of Codex, the healer of The Knights of Good, who attempts to lead a normal life after one of her guildmates shows up on her doorstep.

The Guild is written by Felicia Day (who stars as Codex), directed by Jane Selle Morgan and Greg Benson (season 1) and Sean Becker (seasons 2, 3), and produced by Jane Selle Morgan and Kim Evey. Production of 12 new episodes for season 3 began on June 13, 2009[2] and ended July 11, 2009.[3]

Joss Whedon credits The Guild as one of the inspirations for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which also starred Day.[4]

Contents

History

The Guild was inspired and written by Day, an avid gamer, who plays World of Warcraft in between acting roles in several US television shows and movies.[5] After two years of video game addiction, Day decided to make something productive from her experiences and wrote the series as a sitcom pilot. The series was purposely kept generic to avoid copyright problems and to appeal to a wider audience of massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) fans. Day also hoped to show that the stereotypical man living in his parents' basement is not the only kind of gamer. Believing the niche setting wouldn't appeal to television marketing wonks,[1] she decided to produce the series online with Jane Selle Morgan and Kim Evey. Day already knew Sandeep Parikh and Jeff Lewis from Empty Stage, a Los Angeles-based comedy theatre, and their roles were written for them. The rest of the cast was filled through auditions.[6][7] After filming the first three episodes in two and a half days, they ran out of money. After putting a donation link to PayPal, the fourth and fifth episodes were almost solely financed by donations.[8][9]

Reception

The Guild has been viewed by many people on YouTube, beating out most other online shows that are featured on the website in terms of viewership and popular and critical acclaim. The series has won several awards since its launch, and in February 2009, Rolling Stone named it one of "The Net's Best Serial Shows".[10]

Awards

Format

Each episode opens with the Codex (Felicia Day) recapping the previous events in the story in the form of a youtube vlog. Usually it gives the audience a recap of the previous episode as well as share Codex's feelings on the subject, and is used for comedic relief. The vlogs appear to be outside the time line as she is usually wearing a different outfit (typically her pajamas) than in the actual episode itself. Though this is not always the case when some characters come into the vlog, with Zaboo interrupting the vlog once as well as Wade.

Plot

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Season 1 (2007–2008)

Cyd Sherman (Felicia Day) struggles to limit her time online gaming as her alter ego Codex. Codex is part of the Knights of Good consisting of Vork (Jeff Lewis), Bladezz (Vincent Caso), Tinkerballa (Amy Okuda), Clara (Robin Thorsen), and the now missing Zaboo. After realizing Zaboo's been offline for a few days, he is found by Codex at her door step. Zaboo (Sandeep Parikh) has misunderstood Codex in game chats as her coming on to him and becomes a stalker living in the same apartment.

On the In-Game side troubles also arises when Bladezz is banned for foul language off "the game". Codex uses this as excuse to have the guild help her with her Zaboo problem. The guild (sans Bladezz) reluctantly meet up without Bladezz at a local restaurant, Cheesy Beards, only to find out that Vork had transferred all of their in-game valuables to Bladezz's account as part of a team building strategy. Meaning if they decided to kick out Bladezz out they would lose everything.

Things get worse when Bladezz begins to slander the Knights of Good's name by showing inappropriate videos with the members characters, and Codex is no closer to getting Zaboo to go home. Then, Zaboo's home comes to him in the form of his over bearing mother. Zaboo confesses that his mother controls every aspect of his life besides the internet, which she is beginning to read about. He saw this as his only escape.

Codex comes up with a plan to bring Bladezz down by using Zaboo's stalking skills to find out about his modeling career and blackmails him into giving the gold and equipment back to the Guild. The Guild then fights off Zaboo's mom with Bladezz redeeming himself by landing the final blow. Codex soon realizes that she got Zaboo's mother's loot... Zaboo.

Season 2 (2008–2009)

After Codex and the other guild-mates help free Zaboo from his mom, Zaboo's Mom then takes revenge by having Codex evicted. Codex and Zaboo move into a new apartment, where Codex's new love interest, a stunt man, Wade (Fernando Chien), lives. Codex tries to get Zaboo to move out by telling him that he needs to level up before they can be together. Codex then pawns him off to Vork, who will take in-game gold as rent, something Zaboo is really good at farming. Codex focuses on trying to get Wade interested in her.

The Guild finds a orb that adds a side quest as well as makes a character's appearance editable. Clara and Tink fight over which one should get it, but after Vork lets it go up for bid, Clara has trouble offline and Tink wins it. Clara vows revenge on Vork for giving it to Tink and sets out an entire weekend of betraying Vork by corpse camping him on an alternate account as well as searching for her own orb.

Bladezz believes Tink is into him and begins to max out his mother's credit cards to buy her stuff, while Tink uses him to get what she wants. Vork is annoyed with Zaboo's lack of logic. Codex finds out that the stunt-man has a "stupid tall hot girlfriend", Riley.

The Game announces that the online play will be shut down for maintenance for 24 hours, which makes the guild-mates decide to have a Guys and Girls night out. The guys night was originally planned by Vork to be a strategy based lecture, until Bladezz suggests they play offline poker for money; hoping to win back some money that he spent on Tink. The girls night, originally planned by Codex to be a quiet party, becomes a college party thanks to Clara.

Wade and Riley (Michele Boyd) come to the party after being unintentionally invited by Clara. After finding out that Riley is Wade's roommate and Wade is single, Tink and Clara try to hook Codex up with him. Zaboo finding this out have the guys leave for the party immediately. Vork confronts Clara, Bladdez confronts Tink, and Zaboo confronts Wade.

Season 3 (2009)

Codex was able to recover form the party by the announcement of the new expansion pack for the game. The Knights of Good wait in line at GameStop only for a rival guild known as the Axis of Anarchy to step in front of them. After tricking the Gamestop worker to send the Knights of Good to the back of line, Vork, still not over the events of the party, gives up the title of Guild Leader. Codex gets the position only for Tink to leave the Guild for the Axis of Anarchy.

The Guild is unable to explore the expansion pack due to each member minus Codex being busy with life; Vork goes on a self discovery journey, Zaboo is preoccupied by the domineering Riley, Clara's husband finds photos of her making out with the stunt-man, and Bladezz sister keeps bothering him. The expansion also requires at least 6 members in your party to explore it and without Tink they are missing one player.

Clara's husband demands that she spend more time with him, so Clara adds the new unexperienced Mr. Wiggily to the guild. Zaboo is forced to choose between Riley and the Guild, which Riley forces his decision. Bladezz begins to be targeted by Tink and the Axis of Anarchy by having his modeling alias shown to his school and having weapons planted in his locker.

Codex decides enough is enough and collects each guild member and takes them to the Internet Cafe where the Axis of Anarchy planned to have a group raid. The Knights of Good challenge them. Each member of the Knights of Good have to overcome their own hardships, Clara discussing things with her husband, Bladezz and Tink apologizing to each other, Zaboo breaking up with Riley, and Vork realizing that the other hating him is what brings the guild together.

Only 3 players left standing, Codex and the Axis of Anarchy's Tink and leader Fawkes (Wil Wheaton). Tink redeems herself when she realizes that Anarchy are even bigger jerks that she can stand by letting Codex kill her in-game. Codex has a heart to heart with her in-game self and is able to manage the courage to defeat Fawkes. The Guild welcomes Tink back into the guild, and in a twist ending, Codex wakes up in bed from a date with Fawkes.

Episodes

Characters and cast

Knights of Good

The cast of The Guild at the 2009 Streamy Awards.
 
Lewis (Vork), Okuda (Tinkerballa), and Thorsen (Clara).
  • Codex – Real name is Cyd Sherman, and is the Priest of the Knights of Good. Codex is shy and non-confrontational, tending to panic during stressful situations. When Codex was a child she was a child prodigy violinist. She is an addicted gamer who tries at first to control the time she spends online, but fails. For this reason, her therapist drops her. Codex is portrayed by creator Felicia Day.
  • Zaboo – Real name is Sujan Balakrishnan Goldberg, and is the Warlock of the guild. Zaboo refers to himself as a "HinJew" referencing his Hindu mother and Jewish father. He is fantastic at using computers, some of his talents including photoshopping pictures, and researching the floor plans of people's houses. Zaboo, when infatuated with someone, can become obsessive and begins to show stalker tendencies, qualities he learned from his overbearing and obsessive mother. Zaboo is portrayed by Sandeep Parikh, Indian-American writer, director, actor and producer of comedy and founder of www.effinfunny.com.
  • Vork – Real name is Herman Holden. He is the guild leader and Fighter. He enjoys managing the guild and budgeting, and only believes in rules and logic. He took care of his grandfather full-time until the previous summer, he funds himself with the social security checks that kept coming in after his grandfather had died. When he became Guild Leader he "cut the fats of life" by cutting off his power, stealing his senile neighbor's wifi (and shed) and keeping his food cold with ice purchased with government issued food stamps. Vork is what keeps the guild together as most of the more confrontational members hate him, which brings them all together. Vork is portrayed by Jeff Lewis, an accomplished character actor and comedian.[15]
  • Bladezz – Real name is Simon, and is the guild Rogue. A high school student who spends most of his time outside of school in his basement known as the Bladezz Pad playing the Game. He is rude to the other male guild members, and hits on the female guild members, and makes lewd sexual jokes and comments. He is worried about being sent to military school, and to save up for college his mom forced him to model. He uses the name "Finn Smulders" to keep it a secret from everyone. Bladezz is portrayed by Vincent Caso.
  • Clara – Real name is Clara Beane, and she is the guild's Mage. Clara is a stay-at-home mother of three, wife, college partier, and ex-cheerleader. Her three children are all young, with the youngest still breastfeeding, and she is shown to be an irresponsible mother. While being a proud mother, she tends to put gaming before her family; and sometimes tries to mix the two, one time being when she tried to add her husband Mr. Wiggly to the guild. She uses her real name as her avatar name because her kids saw her old name Mom-inatrix. She comes off as ditsy, scatter brained, and eccentric. Clara is portrayed by Robin Thorsen.
  • Tinkerballa – She was the guild's and temporarily the Axis of Anarchy's ranger. Tink is a pre-med student, and distances herself from the guild trying not to let them know anything about her personal life. She is shown to have a huge video game addiction always having an alternate game in hand when not playing the guild's game even when raiding. She is cold and manipulative, and uses men to get what she wants. After wanting to be Guild Leader, and didn't get what she wanted she left Knights of Good and joined the Axis of Anarchy, but returned to the guild after realizing that they were too "douchey" for her. Tink is portrayed by Amy Okuda.

Temporary members

  • Mr. Wiggly – Real name is George Beane and he was a hunter. He is Clara's husband and was nominated by Clara to replace Tink. In an act of desperation, Codex accepted him into the guild. He is clearly inexperienced in gaming, mentioning that the last game he played was Pong. Mr. Wiggly wants to spend time with Clara, but is at his wits end with her and her unfaithfulness. Mr. Wiggly is played by Brett Sheridan.

Axis of Anarchy

  • Fawkes – Fawkes is the leader of the Axis of Anarchy. He wears dark clothing and is always seen wearing a kilt and an Axis of Anarchy shirt. In person he speaks with a cool, calm, almost polite tone, though he is prone to angered outbursts when online. He seems to be quite educated as well, as he is constantly quoting philosophers, authors, or figures of history. He fully embraces the anarchist fundamentals of the guild, showing numerous times that he does not believe in following rules, unless it benefits him. Because of their top ranking, he expects constant perfection from his guild. He is also quite full of himself and manipulative convincing people they are into him. Fawkes is played by Wil Wheaton.
  • Venom – She is the female of the guild. She is in a wheelchair, but seems to have no problem exploiting her handicap for personal gain. She has a violent attitude and doesn't seem to like her fellow guild members very much. She may be slightly mentally unstable, as she threatened to set her apartment on fire and roast alive in it if the guild didn't down the boss they were working on. It is revealed in Episode 7 of Season 3 that she's an art teacher, and arranged to substitute teach at Bladezz's high school. Played by Teal Sherer.
  • Bruiser – Based on dialogue, he is the guild's healer. It is revealed in Episode 7 of Season 3 that he's a police officer. Bruiser is probably the largest, loudest, and most vulgar of the Axis of Anarchy members. Played by J. Teddy Garces.
  • Kwan – An Asian member of the guild, Kwan only speaks Korean, and has an assistant who massages his hands and translates for him. He seems to be able to understand some English, and it's possible that Fawkes can understand some of what he says (as his translator does not translate what Kwan says into English). He is a professional StarCraft player, being paid millions to play the game in Korea. Played by Alexander Yi.
  • Valkerie – The attempted joker of the guild, though his jokes seem to be funny only to himself. Based on dialogue with his off-screen boss, he works for some form of design or decorating firm - he claimed to be dealing with a client whose damask came in the wrong color. He also has web skills, claiming to be the one who created FinnSmulders.com. He also plays two girl characters because he claims to like looking at girls. Played by Mike Rose.

Other characters

  • Dena – First appeared in Episode 5 of Season 1. She is Bladezz' precocious little sister. She's first seen when she arrives at the table at Cheesybeards, just after Bladezz has informed the Guildies that he is in control of all the Guild gold and equipment, ruining his big exit. She is also seen famously beating Bladezz in Episode 6 of Season 2 when he makes crooked hearts on the handbag he's crafting for Tink. Dena is played by Tara Caso, the real life sister of Vincent Caso who plays Bladezz.
  • Zaboo's Mother – First appeared in at the end of Episode 6 of Season 1. She is a living incarnation of the overcontrolling mother. She had Zaboo microchipped to keep track of his movements, punched Codex the first time they met (thinking she liked Zaboo and was trying to take him away from her), controls Zaboo through a series of probably false ailments and had Codex thrown out of her apartment for helping her son break free of her. She is played by Viji Nathan.
  • Wade Wei – First appearing in Season 2, Wade is Codex's attractive neighbor and brief love interest. Not a gamer himself, Wade works as a martial arts stunt double, who comes into contact with Codex after she accidentally pushes him down some stairs. He's fond of showing off his moves and flirting with Codex, making her extremely nervous. Having a queazy stomach, Codex vomits on him, after seeing him in makeup from a zombie movie he is playing in. He harbors a revulsion for gamers, expressing his desire to punch them. Ironically, he describes Codex's gaming-derived knowledge of weaponry as "sexy." Wade is played by Fernando Chien.
  • Riley – First appeared at the end of Episode 8 of Season 2 and referred to as "stupid tall hot girl" by Codex. Originally thought to be Wade's girlfriend, it is revealed that she is in fact his roommate and occasional 'friend with benefits'. She is an FPS girl and a ranked Halo player. Riley has a thing for underdogs, and tends to be dominant in a relationship as seen with Zaboo. She appears to engage in BDSM: it is implied she made Zaboo wear a maid's outift, whipped him with a mouse cord, shot him at point blank range with a paintball gun, and has been seen to tie him up on some occasions. At first she was thrilled to meet Codex, another girl gamer, until she learned that Codex was an MMORPG player. This parodies the normal relationship between MOG and MMORPG players. Riley is played by Michele Boyd.

Production notes

Season 1

The Guild was originally intended to be a pilot episode for a TV series, but Felicia Day was advised that it would be much more suited for a web series. The show changed its format and script to fit a web series. The first episode Wake-Up Call premiered on Youtube on July 21, 2007. After the first three episodes, the group ran out of money; but after putting up a donation link to Day's paypal Cheesybeards and Rather Be Raiding were funded strictly by donations. The rest of the season ran until the summer of 2008, ending the season with 10 episodes, and two specials (one including the Christmas special, Christmas Raid Carol).

The Guild: Season 1 DVD was released on Amazon.com. It was released for Canadian audiences bundled with Season 2, as The Guild: Season 1 + 2, also available on Amazon.com.

Season 2

Filming for season 2 began in August and early September 2008. Link the Loot premiered on Xbox Live Marketplace, Microsoft Zune Marketplace, and MSN Video on November 25, 2008. Season 2 ended with Fight! on February 17, 2009 and featured "Love in Wintertime" by the Main Drag, as well as Visual Effects by Doug Luberts.

On Monday November 24, 2008, Microsoft announced that they had signed an exclusive distribution deal with Guild creator Felicia Day. All 12 season 2 episodes of The Guild will premiere on Xbox 360, Zune, and MSN with a four week delay for release on The Guild's official website. The Microsoft releases will be free, but supported by Sprint advertisements and product placements.[16][17] Notable is the fact that creator Felicia Day retains the IP rights to the series, with Microsoft paying an "unspecified" license fee upfront.[18] Sometime in late February 2009, when all episodes of season two have been released, Felicia and her team were free to sign a new nonexclusive distribution deal should they choose to do so.[19]

The Guild - Season 2 DVD was released on Amazon.com on May 19, 2009, the DVD contains commentary tracks, gag reels, a "Play All" function, audition footage, Behind the scenes documentary, and more. It was also released for the Canadian audience along with Season 1 as The Guild - Season 1 + 2 on Amazon.com.

Season 2 received 11 nominations for the Streamy Awards 2009, and won 3; Best Comedy Web Series, Best Ensemble Cast in a Web Series, and Best Female Actor in a Comedy Web Series (Felicia Day).

Season 3

On August 17, 2009, "(Do You Wanna Date My) Avatar" by Felicia Day was released on Xbox Live to promote Season 3. As revealed by the music video, Season 3 would premiere on August 25, 2009 on Xbox Live for members with Gold Accounts first. Later it was announced that it would be released for members with Silver Accounts, as well as Zune and MSN Video users on September 1, 2009.[20] The Season premiered with Expansion Time and ended on November 24, 2009 with Hero. The season featured guest star Wil Wheaton as the leader of the rival guild out to destroy the titled guild.

References

  1. ^ a b Felicia Day Talks New Season of The Guild, Xbox Deal, Wired Magazine
  2. ^ Twitter / Felicia Day: First day of Guild season..., Felicia Day's Twitter
  3. ^ Twitter / Felicia Day: Last day of Guild shoot :( ..., Felicia Day's Twitter
  4. ^ Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: An Oral History, Entertainment Weekly
  5. ^ Staff (N.D.). "Felicia Day". IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1260407. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  6. ^ Holisky, Adam (August 20, 2007). "Interview with Felicia Day from "The Guild"". WOW Insider. http://www.wowinsider.com/2007/08/20/interview-with-felicia-day-from-the-guild/. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  7. ^ Girls Don’t Game » Blog Archive » Interview with Felicia Day of The Guild
  8. ^ Wagner, James Au (October 31, 2007). "NewTeeVee Pick: The Guild". NewTeeVee. http://newteevee.com/2007/10/31/the-guild/. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  9. ^ All smiles as web shows come of age, The Observer
  10. ^ The Net's Best Serial Shows, Rolling Stone Magazine
  11. ^ "2007 YouTube Video Awards: Winners". YouTube. March 21, 2008. http://www.youtube.com/ytawards07winners. 
  12. ^ "The Guild And "Knock Off" Take Top Honors At The Greenlight Awards". ON Networks. March 11, 2008. http://www.onnetworks.com/node/4466. 
  13. ^ Kent (March 21, 2008). "The Yahoo! Video Awards: The Results!". Y! Video Blog. Yahoo!. http://www.yvideoblog.com/blog/2008/03/21/the-yahoo-video-awards-the-results/. 
  14. ^ Hustvedt, Marc (March 29, 2009). "The Streamy Awards: A Night Full of Winners". Tubefilter News. http://news.tubefilter.tv/2009/03/29/the-streamy-awards-a-night-full-of-winners/. 
  15. ^ Staff (N.D.). "Jeff Lewis (IX)". IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1511529. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ Lindsey, Brendon (2008-11-24). "Microsoft Signs Exclusivity Deal to Distribute “The Guild”". News (GameCyte). http://www.gamecyte.com/microsoft-signs-exclusivity-deal-to-distribute-the-guild. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  17. ^ Wallenstein, Andrew (2008-11-24). "Triple "Guild" play for Microsoft". Article (Reuters): pp. 2. http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE4AN15S20081124. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  18. ^ Brophy-Warren, Jamin (August 25, 2009). "How the Web Series 'The Guild' Stays Successful". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203706604574371032925896794.html. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  19. ^ Hustvedt, Marc (2008-11-24). "‘The Guild’ Lands Microsoft and Sprint In Exclusive Deal”". News (Tubefilter News). http://news.tubefilter.tv/2008/11/24/the-guild-lands-microsoft-and-sprint-in-exclusive-deal/. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  20. ^ Day, Felicia (2009-08-25). "The Guild Season 3 Premiere on Xbox! The Guild Season 3 Premiere on Xbox!". http://www.watchtheguild.com/the-guild/the-guild-season-3-premiere-on-xbox/. 
Further Reading

External links


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