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Old 11-18-2014, 10:56 PM   #1
lilbluecorsola
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Natu Over the Garden Wall


"Over the Garden Wall is a dramedy miniseries created by Patrick McHale for Cartoon Network. The series centers around two brothers, Wirt and Greg, who become lost in a strange forest called the Unknown. In order to find their way home, the two must travel across the forest, apparently magic. Along the way, they meet a variety of odd characters and are accompanied by an irritable bluebird named Beatrice."
-adapted from Wikipedia

I recently saw recommendations for this series floating around tumblr. Seeing as it's so short (10 episodes, each 11 minutes long), I decided to breeze through it out of curiosity. It's a very charming little story that's difficult to describe without giving away spoilers, and I would recommend avoiding any before watching it. The surprises are simple, but add to the overall experience.

The best summary I can come up with is that it feels like Gravity Falls meets MLP. Sounds like a strange combination, but I mean it in the sense that it takes the creepy fantastical atmosphere of GF and balances it with the endearing innocence of MLP, including some nice little musical numbers. It's neither as comedic nor as focused on drama/character development as the other two - considering it's a mini-series - but the straightforward direction gives it a childlike touch nostalgic of fairytale books. It's not trying to be witty or edgy, it's just a magical journey into imagination. I expected it to be a lot more random/hyperactive, have pop culture references, etc. Instead it felt like I got transported into an old timeless classic. It doesn't seem like something made for modern TV at all, and yet it is. Even the silly Mabel-like character (the younger sibling in this case), wasn't too overbearing. (As an aside, I liked how the brothers' relationship wasn't portrayed as particularly close off the bat.)

It's not an amazing groundbreaking work or anything, but a nice little trip back in time for a few hours. My only complaint is that the ending is sadly a little rushed. I think this could've worked well as a short film or something. Still, it's just really adorable and enjoyable. Feel free to check it out if you've got a chance.
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Old 11-19-2014, 09:53 PM   #2
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Lil' Bluey

I found all the episodes uploaded to YT on this channel. They're unfortunately cropped a bit, but the sound quality is fine. Also note that each video is the same episode repeated twice, so they're not actually 20 minutes long.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:41 PM   #3
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This reminds me of what I liked about Frozen.

I just finished Episode 8. This series is NOT to be taken lightly, no matter how silly it seemed to be at first, and it really starts to pick up mid-Episode 5.

The references to culture are subtle (yet present - the 40's-50's cartoony style in Episode 8, the Mad Hatter in #5, the distinctly Betty Boopy tavern-keeper) but not current, which is part of what gives it a timeless feel; the story borrows not just from elements of American culture but some of its essential cornerstones while telling an impressive story.

I love the animation techniques used in this. In Ep. 8
Spoiler: show
when Wert and Greg are on the boat, Wert is in shadow and Greg is in the light. Go see. It's a powerful way to show Wert's depression and Greg's enthusiasm, and gives the rest of the episode some real strength.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:03 AM   #4
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Aaaand that Episode 9 hits hard.

Spoiler: show
Wert in this is pretty exactly what I was like in high school except the lonely extroverted equivalent - unable to "act natural," feeling a little bit excluded, following rules properly to the letter, blaming my problems on other people, etc.

It was really uncomfortable to watch Wert get thrust into situations by Greg, knowing that I'd react the same stupid bumbling awkward way if that was me (Frozen hunch spot on by the way - I really relate to Elsa. A lot. An extremely large amount. Wert is a contemporary Elsa who's learned to Let It Go a little bit while he was out in the magnificent ice castle he built himself Unknown).


Gonna go ahead and say again that this is great for the same reason Frozen was great. I'm so drawn in it's unbelievable.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:18 AM   #5
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Aaaand that Episode 9 hits hard.

Spoiler: show
Wert in this is pretty exactly what I was like in high school except the lonely extroverted equivalent - unable to "act natural," feeling a little bit excluded, following rules properly to the letter, blaming my problems on other people, etc.

It was really uncomfortable to watch Wert get thrust into situations by Greg, knowing that I'd react the same stupid bumbling awkward way if that was me (Frozen hunch spot on by the way - I really relate to Elsa. A lot. An extremely large amount. Wert is a contemporary Elsa who's learned to Let It Go a little bit while he was out in the magnificent ice castle he built himself Unknown).


Gonna go ahead and say again that this is great for the same reason Frozen was great. I'm so drawn in it's unbelievable.
Spoiler: show


Edit- Some comments on episode 09:

Spoiler: show
I really liked how it explained everything leading up to the beginning, and brought the story back to the realm of reality. Wirt is pretty relatable as a high school kid with an annoying younger sibling. I also thought it was nice/interesting how the girl he was crushing on seemed kinda plain and his "rival" turned out to be almost as weird instead of some handsome jock, emphasizing how awkward Wirt must feel in comparison. It makes him seem very average and humble for the "hero" of the program.


Also about mid-ep 05:

Spoiler: show
Beatrice's cry of "HELP!" cracked me up.

Incidentally, this scene is what convinced me to check the show out.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:40 AM   #6
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Alright done.

Spoiler: show
I dunno. The pacing of the ending was fine, I felt, although there was a lot of ambiguity in the end about what was real and what was fantasy...

As for it feeling "rushed," the entire thing was rushed. It's a miniseries. It rushes. If it had been a full film I'd imagine Adelaide would not have fallen quite so quickly, and perhaps Lana would have taken a bit more time to reveal her true form - not to mention a bit more connection between each episode.

I did feel that its ending was too charming for what it set out to do, though. For a story that involved gratuitous amounts of sacrifice, it really did turn out 100% a ok in the end, didn't it?

Like Frozen, this ending was too clean. Too precise. It ended like a chainsaw cut where it should have ended like an axe cut. While I am a huge fan of both, the endings do irk me and I would have liked to see something messier and a bit more grim, something that fits with what the story gave us for 90% of the miniseries. My criticism of both endings is the same.


My favorite parts:

Episode 6
Spoiler: show
Adelaide and Beatrice's betrayal. Oh my God. That got dragged out so long. It was wonderful. Really threw off the pattern of "it all gets resolved at the end of the episode" that we'd been having up until around episode 5 when the horse leaves, our first real change in the series. No literary technique is stronger than unresolved tension and we had SO MUCH OF IT here it was unbelievable. This, I think, is what gave Yuki her impression that the ending felt rushed; Wert trusted Beatrice immediately and with little confrontation about the entire Adelaide affair, which seems too clean for the giant messy reality that she led them on for several days, if not almost a week, and was planning to sell them into slavery for her own selfish gain and the transformation of her family.


Episode 8
Spoiler: show
Excellent. The old-timey animations were adorable, Greg was adorable, everything was adorable, and the sharp contrasts and blurring of the lines and everything was just amazing, especially with Beatrice's unresolved tension thing going on. While this episode wasn't exactly my favorite (I liked 2, 3, 6, and 7 more - 9 was great but made me super uncomfortable as noted above) there is no question that this is a masterful piece of storytelling and a one-two punch with Episode 9's perfect abuse of the miniseries system. It's the best of all the episodes whether it's your favorite or not.


Episode 9
Spoiler: show
was pure gold. I think part of the reason this worked so well as a miniseries was Episode 9, purely because the choppy narration and episodic storytelling allowed for a seemingly random backstory episode out of fucking nowhere. Timing 10/10. Content 10/10. The twists and turns 10/10. As much as I love the actual plot of the series, this episode alone is what would make me recommend the series to people.


This is what a miniseries should be. Everything was done very well. I wish I could unwatch it just to enjoy each twist again.

EDIT: Beatrice was easily the funniest character. All of the characters were really well done. Very different from more "classic" fairy tale stories which are really overscripted and super perfect while OtGW was more of a "let's throw these chips of characters and settings and let them fall where they naturally will."

ep10
Spoiler: show
Except apparently when it comes to the ending. :X
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:40 AM   #7
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Alright done.

Spoiler: show
I dunno. The pacing of the ending was fine, I felt, although there was a lot of ambiguity in the end about what was real and what was fantasy...

As for it feeling "rushed," the entire thing was rushed. It's a miniseries. It rushes. If it had been a full film I'd imagine Adelaide would not have fallen quite so quickly, and perhaps Lana would have taken a bit more time to reveal her true form - not to mention a bit more connection between each episode.

I did feel that its ending was too charming for what it set out to do, though. For a story that involved gratuitous amounts of sacrifice, it really did turn out 100% a ok in the end, didn't it?

Like Frozen, this ending was too clean. Too precise. It ended like a chainsaw cut where it should have ended like an axe cut. While I am a huge fan of both, the endings do irk me and I would have liked to see something messier and a bit more grim, something that fits with what the story gave us for 90% of the miniseries. My criticism of both endings is the same.
I thought the content of the ending itself was fine.

Spoiler: show
The only part I would say pushed it into "too charming" territory is the Woodsman's daughter coming back. And that's a reason I felt it was rushed, since that wasn't explained at all. Nor how Wirt and Greg managed to get back home. I would've liked to see the actual parting/return to the "real world".

Gripes about missed opportunities aside, I'm satisfied with a "happy ending" for all. Honestly, as you mentioned the series established a pattern of "it all gets resolved at the end of the episode" early on. (Plus there were other parts that felt rushed, as you said.) Already I thought it was a bit cheesy at first, but once I accepted it was meant to be a lighthearted tale for kids rather than completely grimdark I appreciated the cuteness.


My favorite parts:

Episode 04:

Spoiler: show
All the songs. I wasn't expecting musical numbers at all when I went into the series, so the Broadway-style soundtrack caught me off-guard. (Although I did see the "Potatoes and Molasses" song from 03 on YT before starting. Kinda regret watching a few of those clips first, only glad I stopped before getting to the one of the final confrontation between the kids and the Beast.) The previous episode gave a taste of singing, but this time it just kept going.

I also thought using Wirt's song to reveal character backstory, while a bit forced (same issue I have with Wirt telling his "character traits" to Beatrice), was kinda cute and clever. Moreover, something about the fact the two brothers aren't that closely related and Wirt making a note of this pleases me. It just seems kinda refreshing to acknowledge our "main" character is not the best oniichan big brother, subtly indicated by his actions (such as abandoning Greg in the first ep) but made clear here. And then it comes back to haunt him later in 09, when he realizes how irresponsible he's been towards Greg.


(Already mentioned the ones in 05.)

06:

Spoiler: show
Wirt joining in the "Adelaide Parade" song. It was really nice to see Wirt loosening up and having fun with his brother, as well as trying to cheer Beatrice up. His laughter after falling down was so adorable. <3

And of course the frog's lovely singing with the title namedrop~


Episode 08:

Spoiler: show
The Old North Wind song. (Yeah most of my favorite moments involve music, go figure.) Can't help but smile at the old-timeyness of it and his little sashay.

Also Greg covering Wirt with leaves as a blanket and saying thanks for trusting him despite Wirt's obvious pessimism = D'aw.


Echoing that Episode 09 was great overall. Another random thing I liked:

Spoiler: show
The good-natured cop who plays tricks on the kids yet never leaves his car lol.


And in episode 10:

Spoiler: show
Ending discussion aside, I liked the bit where Wirt plays along with Greg's imagination by giving the frog a random name. Just a small but significant step he's taken to becoming a big brother (not to mention trying to save Greg's life obviously).
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:53 AM   #8
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My favorite twists:
Spoiler: show
"Beware the beast!" We thought it was all fine. Beware what beast? They already killed it! The townspeople might not kno- oh. OH. THAT beast.


Spoiler: show
The entire Lana/Auntie Whispers episode is so weird I dunno where to even begin. It's such a fascinating episode. I'd really love to understand more about it. Turtles, evil spirits, sexual tension, and Auntie herself all confuse me greatly. I enjoyed it, yes, but I get the feeling it fits into the work as a whole and I'm not sure which dots to connect.


Spoiler: show
It was really ambiguous what Greg would do with his wish. It was only Episode 8, so there were a LOT of options for the writers and I honestly couldn't tell what Greg wished until I saw the Beast. I was surprised by his maturity - I was expecting some joke about magical tigers but the tone darkened in ep6 and it never really came back from that. I guess magical tigers really wouldn't fit.


Not really a twist or spoiler but
Spoiler: show
I loved how comfortable the writers were when separating characters. Greg, Wirt, and Beatrice felt so RIGHT as a team, but each was really comfortable going off on their own, and spent large amounts of time separated from the other two. Greg did lots of wandering, and occasionally just seemed a little excluded when Beatrice and Wirt were chatting. Beatrice was forced away multiple times. Wirt often distanced himself from the other two. The finale was really fucking uncomfortable and tense because all of the characters were unresolved and separated in some way until the VERY END.

If you've ever read Cujo, there's a section of that book around 26 pages long that I was just unable to read. There was so much suspense I LITERALLY could not handle it. I had to skip to the ending. I almost did the same with episode 9, but I forced myself to sit through it. Agonizing.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:03 PM   #9
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I rewatched this today with my mother and we both agreed that 7 was our favorite episode. 8 and 9 are both amazing and the "best" episodes but 7 was just our favorite.

I think it might be
Spoiler: show
how unexpected it was that Auntie Whispers was in fact trying to protect the children and that it wasn't the Auntie the boys had to fear, but Lorna. I didn't have a clue what Auntie was REALLY talking about when she said "Stay away from my Lorna" and when Lorna just kind of loomed out of the darkness, it was a huge and terrifying shock.

"I'm sorry, my turtles, but I must feed!"

Not to mention that adorable cleaning-up scene aaaah so cute
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:22 PM   #10
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I have to agree with Shuckle on Episode 7 being my favorite out of the whole series, closely followed by 9. But I'm going to rewatch everything later before i make any comments, it was like 2 in the morning.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:33 PM   #11
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I rewatched this today with my mother and we both agreed that 7 was our favorite episode. 8 and 9 are both amazing and the "best" episodes but 7 was just our favorite.

I think it might be
Spoiler: show
how unexpected it was that Auntie Whispers was in fact trying to protect the children and that it wasn't the Auntie the boys had to fear, but Lorna. I didn't have a clue what Auntie was REALLY talking about when she said "Stay away from my Lorna" and when Lorna just kind of loomed out of the darkness, it was a huge and terrifying shock.

"I'm sorry, my turtles, but I must feed!"

Not to mention that adorable cleaning-up scene aaaah so cute
I rewatched the series myself yesterday and took note of some of the foreshadowing that was present.

Spoiler: show
For example, in this case Auntie Whispers spoke in the third person regarding the devouring.

Also, if you pay attention to the OP of the first episode it basically outlines everything that's to come.


There are still some things that seem to be glossed over/don't make sense, but overall I thought it was neat how they managed to slip little clues here and there.

As an aside, the entrance of Auntie Whispers is another preview I saw on YT before watching. I also watched the "Lorna's Chores" scene (somehow the music still didn't register). From it I expected:

Spoiler: show
Lorna to be the main love interest. Didn't expect Wirt to already have a crush on someone else, nevermind the tension between him and Beatrice. (As cute as the latter two are, I was kinda happy the show subverted expectations again by not having the two end up together.)


Btw, if I were to do a stream of the series later, would people be interested? It's only a couple hours after all.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:39 PM   #12
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What an impressive voice cast.

Spoiler: show
Wirt is Elijah Wood (Frodo).

The Woodsman is Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown)

Beatrice is Melanie Lynskey, who is in a lot of things I haven't seen. I think her most famous roles were Perks of Being a Wallflower and Heavenly Creatures.

The Beast is Sam Ramey, who is an opera singer. His name isn't familiar, but I absolutely LOVED his performance in this and I hope he has a voice acting career from here on out.

Quincy Endicott. Was. John. Cleese. Holy fuck. (Monty Python)

Auntie Whispers was Tim Curry, who was the doctor in Rocky Horror, as well as Pennywise the Clown.

Beatrice's mom was Shirley Jones, the lady from Music Man. She's old now.

Oh, I almost forgot about Adelaide. Guess who motherfuckers? IT'S JOHN CLEESE AGAIN.


Spoiler: show


re: a stream

I would watch this but only if you managed to get an uncropped, high quality version :P
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:49 PM   #13
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What an impressive voice cast.

Spoiler: show
Wirt is Elijah Wood (Frodo).

The Woodsman is Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown)

Beatrice is Melanie Lynskey, who is in a lot of things I haven't seen. I think her most famous roles were Perks of Being a Wallflower and Heavenly Creatures.

The Beast is Sam Ramey, who is an opera singer. His name isn't familiar, but I absolutely LOVED his performance in this and I hope he has a voice acting career from here on out.

Quincy Endicott. Was. John. Cleese. Holy fuck. (Monty Python)

Auntie Whispers was Tim Curry, who was the doctor in Rocky Horror, as well as Pennywise the Clown.

Beatrice's mom was Shirley Jones, the lady from Music Man. She's old now.

Oh, I almost forgot about Adelaide. Guess who motherfuckers? IT'S JOHN CLEESE AGAIN.
Yeah I was looking up some of the VAs because I knew I'd heard the Woodsman somewhere before. I also know Melanie Lynskey from Two and a Half Men.

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re: a stream

I would watch this but only if you managed to get an uncropped, high quality version :P
I don't mind using a different website, which is where I first watched it in high-quality. Just figured YT was safer.
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:01 PM   #14
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I would be interested in a stream, but not today.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:15 AM   #15
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CN apparently wrote full versions of some songs.

Spoiler: show
BORKED

"A" is for the apple that he gave to me,

But I found a worm inside,

"B" is for beloved that I call to him,

before he left my side

And “C”,

see what he did that’s “D”,

Did it to poor ol’ me,

How could I be such an “E”motional fool, “F”

"G" is for the gentlemen I thought he was,

When he first said hi,

"H" "I",

"J" is for the joker that is Jimmy Bee, the man who made me cry,

That’s a C

And “K”,

Well you know it’s just not okay,

To kiss and then run away,

Leaving alone without leaving a letter for “L”angtree

"M" is for the misery he left me in,

"N"ever to return again,

"O" what a poor "P" fool I’ve been, "Q"ueuing in line for him

And “R”,

Are you the one for me,

Yes, “S”ay you’ll come back to me,

Why are you tempted to “T”ease me, ohh..

"U", why not you, have got to understand,

The value of a woman’s heart,

"V",

Why, “W” not “Y”, did you think it was fine to “X” me from the start

And “Y”, yes “Y”,

Is the question that’s on my mind,

Oh why,

Why did you leave me right before reaching our “Z”enith

1 is the number of men I’ve loved,

And 2 is the times I’ll say it’s you, it’s you!

3 is the number of days you’ve been gone,

But it feels like four times two

8, at the hour the sun goes down,

I remember life with you around,

I wish I had nine lives like that one


I just love this series so much and I have so much respect for them doing this. On the official CN youtube channel, each song has a different letter in the center, starting with Over the Garden Wall and proceeding from there to spell "THE UNKNOWN." These guys are on point.

I think I might learn how to play the intro song since it's such a beautiful piano piece and isn't too terribly difficult.
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Old 11-28-2014, 05:24 PM   #16
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CN apparently wrote full versions of some songs.

Spoiler: show
BORKED

"A" is for the apple that he gave to me,

But I found a worm inside,

"B" is for beloved that I call to him,

before he left my side

And “C”,

see what he did that’s “D”,

Did it to poor ol’ me,

How could I be such an “E”motional fool, “F”

"G" is for the gentlemen I thought he was,

When he first said hi,

"H" "I",

"J" is for the joker that is Jimmy Bee, the man who made me cry,

That’s a C

And “K”,

Well you know it’s just not okay,

To kiss and then run away,

Leaving alone without leaving a letter for “L”angtree

"M" is for the misery he left me in,

"N"ever to return again,

"O" what a poor "P" fool I’ve been, "Q"ueuing in line for him

And “R”,

Are you the one for me,

Yes, “S”ay you’ll come back to me,

Why are you tempted to “T”ease me, ohh..

"U", why not you, have got to understand,

The value of a woman’s heart,

"V",

Why, “W” not “Y”, did you think it was fine to “X” me from the start

And “Y”, yes “Y”,

Is the question that’s on my mind,

Oh why,

Why did you leave me right before reaching our “Z”enith

1 is the number of men I’ve loved,

And 2 is the times I’ll say it’s you, it’s you!

3 is the number of days you’ve been gone,

But it feels like four times two

8, at the hour the sun goes down,

I remember life with you around,

I wish I had nine lives like that one


I just love this series so much and I have so much respect for them doing this. On the official CN youtube channel, each song has a different letter in the center, starting with Over the Garden Wall and proceeding from there to spell "THE UNKNOWN." These guys are on point.

I think I might learn how to play the intro song since it's such a beautiful piano piece and isn't too terribly difficult.
Just saw this post. Looked up the OST myself after watching the show. I really wish there was a full version of the track from the beginning of episode 09 though. I thought it was a real old song they used but nope it's original.

Would love to hear you play the intro. On that note, how does tomorrow night sound for a stream (after karaoke)? Anyone available?

I also wanted to share this comic, since I think it kinda fits with your expectations of the ending. (WARNING: AU, BUT SPOILERS)

The artist does some really cute work, for Gravity Falls as well. They're even currently doing a crossover comic. (As an aside, seems they're also behind a webcomic I started reading at one point. Small world.)
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:16 AM   #17
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Was able to finish this tonight after watching the first episode last night. At first I was just going to watch until the halfway mark, but that obviously didn't happen and now it's 3 AM. This is really great, and it definitely had a great atmosphere that I haven't gotten from many things. It really draws you in. I'm honestly not sure whether I'm perfectly fine with some of the things left vague, or if I want to know everything. Not sure whether that's good or bad, but right now I think that's a good place to be. I thought the ending was alright, but the ending episode as a whole was pretty fantastic. Not gonna say too much though because 3 AM. Really great miniseries though.
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:29 PM   #18
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The channel got busted pretty hard.
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:36 PM   #19
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The channel got busted pretty hard.
Ouch. =/

Well, I'm still willing to stream via other sites. Let me know when's a good time for you guys. (I'm going to be pretty busy soon though.)
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:29 AM   #20
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First off: Thanks to everyone who attended the stream(s). Hope you all enjoyed, and I'm always willing to host again in the future if folks are interested.

Anyway, I promised to share some stuff, so apologies for being late.

First is this interesting theory I found regarding the Beast. (It's long and the text is hard to read, but there's a tl;dr at the end.)

Another intriguing thing to note is the headstone in episode 09.

Spoiler: show


Just some cool speculation fuel I found. The other thing I really wanted to share is a crossover comic with Gravity Falls. (It's actually a continuation of the comic I posted before.)

Prologue: 1, 2

Main Story: 1, extra, 2, 3, extra, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, extra

A little explanation regarding 7 for those who haven't seen S2 of GF and don't mind spoilers:

Spoiler: show
In one of the episodes, Bill Cipher (the triangle) is shown to have the ability to possess Dipper's body.


It's still ongoing so I'll continue updating as more are released~
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:47 PM   #21
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Small update to the comic. There's only one more left apparently. 8<
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:54 PM   #22
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End

Spoiler: show
*cries actual tears*

...*reads again*

*cries some more*


I hope the author continues to explore this... It's just so beautiful.

*goes drown self in OST*
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:00 PM   #23
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omg that's so great

*cries*
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:07 PM   #24
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OH MAN OH MAN OH MAN
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:37 PM   #25
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!!!

Super-happy and proud for the artist. \o/ This definitely deserves the recognition~

(I should read more of her Hell Kitchen webcomic. Stumbled on it by accident a long time ago. This post alone gives me feels and I never even knew the two characters shared a backstory. ;; )
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