Reviewed By: Drew Vogel
Review Date: 10/19/17 4:09 pm
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I have some mixed feelings about this, but overall, I like it. The story is fun and highly self-aware, and it's also a very effective satire. The downside is that it is very much a Dave Stone story. I like Dave Stone as much as the next guy, but this story in particular is *very* Dave Stone (much more so than "The Green-Eyed Monster" was), and the sheer relentlessness of his style can be a little difficult to take sometimes. I am generally of the opinion that a good writer should be more or less invisible. That's not a hard and fast rule, by any means, but this story was constantly reminding me that it is a Dave Stone story, and I find that somewhat off-putting. Characters in a Dave Stone story tend to talk like characters in a Dave Stone story, which is especially strange for regular characters like Benny and Jason who do not otherwise talk that way at all.
Still, the sheer novelty of a madcap, standalone adventure that comments intelligently on matters relevant to the lives of the audience goes a long way toward overriding any other concerns. I feel like I'm damning the story with faint praise. I feel like more or less every story should have something relevant to say about the culture that produced it, but many don't. A lot of stories are all plot, with nothing in particular to say about anything. It's not that a story like that can't be good, or indeed that having something to say necessarily makes a story good. Really, stories aren't obliged to justify their own existence. But it's nice when they do. I like getting the sense that the writer was motivated by something beyond simply filling a slot on a release schedule.
It doesn't hurt that this story is funny and quite enjoyable to listen to. It features lots of clips of fictional TV shows that parody common tropes in modern television, and that's fun. The humor isn't exactly subtle, and is often wildly over-the-top, but if that doesn't bother you, it's a lot of fun.