Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Review: X-Play: The Musical

I'll say it right now: I have nothing but good things to say about the long-standing institution of video game wisdom: X-Play. Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb are funny, intelligent, and so natural on camera that you can't help but love them for it.

In a total display of geeky fandom, I will now review the second best episode of X-Play ever: The recently aired X-Play: The Musical.

The plot is familiar for anyone who knows plots: The devil offers a deal to Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb that they can't refuse: X-Play: The Official Game. Once they sign the contract, Adam and Morgan think they will live the good life, until they get to play the finished product. It turns out the game is utterly unplayable for two reasons: one - it's only for Dreamcast (the horror), and two - it's the spawn of Satan and believes that Adam and Morgan are it's parents, constantly crying out for love. Adam and Morgan make the difficult decision to give the game a horrible, horrible review, and they all live happily ever after, except for everyone who dies.

The original songs are extremely impressive - while all of the titles are clever plays on classic show tunes, including A Game is Born and Gamer's Lament, the songs are true to the world of musical theater without being stolen from musical theater. Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb do perfectly competent jobs with the singing, especially since those songs are actually pretty tricky to sing. The production values are top-notch, even if the hired dancers aren't always in step, and all of your favorite bit players - mine's Drunk Link - make appearances in the episode.

The fact that the show is willing to do a musical episode shows that Adam and Morgan still have fun making this show, no matter how many times they mention hating the network, their lives, their work, and each other. It truly is a joy to watch a TV musical episode that isn't just a blatant gimmick to get people to turn in (like, say a musical episode of Scrubs starring a non-singing Stephanie D'Abruzzo (if you're going to cast one of Broadway's brightest stars, why would she not be singing in every damn scene...)) that actually works as an encapsulated musical.

Should I hate myself for enjoying this? What do you think?

Varb For Me