THE GUILD season 5 dvd

What happens when a comedy series that began on the Internet becomes incredibly popular? For The Guild season 5, the MMORPG denizens go beyond their computers and local town to a gaming convention -- jamp-packed with celebrities! Fortunately, the series manages to stay true to its nerdy roots.
The Guild season 5 has the Knights of Good travelling together to MegaGame-O-RamaCon, a convention that has everything from the creator of their medieval fantasy computer game ("The Game") to celebrities from old and current sci-fi shows, to immensely geeky panels. However, the Knights of Good have their own issues at the convention. Codex (Felicia Day) has to deal with her possible romantic feelings for fellow Guild member Zaboo (Sandeep Parikh) -- and the possibility that The Game may be changing or ending. Zaboo, meanwhile, becomes the leader of the Seat Savers, a massive Twitter-based group holding seats for everyone; Zaboo is always flanked by a pair of Master Chiefs -- and avoiding all possible sleep. Vork (Jeff Lewis) is out to make money and hate celebrities -- until he meets Madeline Twain (Erin Gray), the star of his favorite canceled sci-fi show. Bladezz (Vincent Caso) wants to play up his celebrity as star of a horrible Internet commercial -- but he can't get the group's hotel room comped. Clara (Robin Thorsen) has become enamored with steampunk -- but the pretentious, er, steampunks want nothing to do with her. And Tinkerballa (Amy Okuda) seems to be wearing a new costume every few hours -- and runs into the last people she wants to see.

There are also tons of celebrities, whether having fun with their own images (Nathan Fillion as a surly celeb, Neil Gaiman desperate to score seats) or just showing up to deliver a few lines (Grant Imahara, Summer Glau). There are plenty of costumed folks from every genre, ridiculous panels, and a furry that may or may not be stalking Codex. Having attended plenty of science fiction and gaming conventions, I can say that this created convention is pretty amusing and extremely accurate.

The strength of The Guild is that we love the main characters despite their flaws -- or perhaps because of them -- and season 5 doesn't lose sight of this trait. Codex remains the neurotic glue trying to hold these people ("friends" may be a little strong) together while facing the possible end of the game that seems to define her life; the rest of the cast is terrific, as always, as they deal with their own issues while remaining blind to their selfishness. And even with six storylines happening almost simultaneously, the stories manage to be clear -- and damn funny too!

The dvd (for those not content with watching the series online) includes the cast member's favorite moments, how they created MegaGame-O-RamaCon on "a web series' budget," a gag reel, a table read, and how one extra managed to become twins. These extras aren't vital, but they're a mildly interesting peek behind the curtain.

The Guild season 5 is proof that success and money don't automatically corrupt something good (in this case, the Knights of Good). They may have left their hometown to rub elbows with celebrities, but it's still fun hanging out with Codex and her dysfunctional Guild.

Overall grade: A-

Reviewed by James Lynch

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