The Red Pill vs The Blue Pill

Holy cow! Would you look at that? I'm comparing two different bits of fiction with different approaches to the same concept! Again!

Is there a theme forming? Who knows? 

Last night I was watching "Kiss Me First", a nifty Netflix/BBC/"I don't really know how BBC shoes are also Netflix Originals" show. I'm, I think, four episodes in. Pretty good so far. Nifty story about misfits, who meet in an online game, becoming involved in one another's real world lives. Sneakiness, murder, and a lot of very bad things ensue.

It made me think of The Guild. That's an older web show that was about misfits who meet in an online game and become involved in one another's real world lives. Comedy, and some slight advancement in their stagnant personal development, ensues.

They're both good. One is great.

Spoilers 5,4,3,2,1...The Guild is great, It's been a couple years since I last watched any of it, but it speaks to universal and timeless themes.  The choice between finding a comfortable fiction to exist in, or living through the complexity of daily life, is one everyone with an imagination makes every day. Sometimes, we pick the red pill, and sometimes we pick the blue pill. (That's a Matrix reference there for ya, but just you wait!) In movies usually this is a n=one time choice. Once it's done the movie ends, but we don't always make the same choice. Some days, it's better to read a damn book than go tromping around looking for the path to the mythical Land of Fulfillment and Self-Worth. Other days, it feels better to mess around with the flesh and blood people in your world. You have one life and the Guild is about figuring out how to live it with enough a balance between real worlds and imagined to be happy.

Fun fact! If you check out "You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir" by Felicia Day, creator of "The Guild", you'll find out she was making The Guild after having lost a solid year or two to being immersed in World of Warcraft. I suggest the audiobook. 

Over in "Kiss Me First", the little band of misfits is called "Red Pill". Ha! See what I did there! What a segue. I'm on fire. It's based on the novel of the same name by Lottie Moggach which I have not read, but might very well.

I'm talking about the show. It's dark so far. It is child molesters and teen suicide and brutal mind games kind of dark. Oddly, that makes it feel less real.  Horrible things happen, but I feel less engaged. Mind you, It's a good show. I'm entertained. I'm not watching it with one eye on my phone while sorting through story ideas. It's well acted, well written. 

The difference I see is that "The Guild" is about the characters. "Kiss Me First" is a mystery that revolves around its characters. So, I care about the mystery. I want to know who the bad guy is and why he's so awful, and above all, why does his VR Avatar look like a weaselly English guy? Come on man! You can look like anyone! At least put on some decent clothes. Wear a damn tie at least. 

With the Guild I still want to spend more time with those guys. I miss them. In fact, now I'm thinking mashup. Superimpose the story of "Kiss Me  First" on the characters of "The Guild". It's be so very terrifying. To me anyway. I love those characters. I'd be terrified for them as opposed to slightly nervous for the characters of "Kiss Me First".

Ok then. Damn. I better achieve a perfect balance of character and plot in my work or I'm libel to get one hell of a critique rom myself here. 

Making stuff is hard work people! Excellent job to everyone involved in both projects.

Next week, I'm gonna talk about "Hannibal".