‘Spellslingers’ is Good, But Not Magical

/ Oct 16, 2013

SS

We rated it:

C+

 

 

 

At a particularly dark point in human history, we all collectively bought in on the idea that watching pasty dudes playing Texas Hold’em was the coolest. Before you or I could say “double down on that deuce” or whatever, The World Series of Poker was invading our TV screens in all of its chip-stacking, mouth-breathing glory.

Yet as bad as that sounds, watching professional poker was oddly compelling. Poker promised us a better life, a place where you or I could make a living from gambling. Sure, it put most of us in a debt-filled hell, but dammit if the ride there wasn’t a blast.

Nationally televised poker opened the door for the equally boring-sounding, yet strangely entertaining, table sports. Before we knew it, pool and table tennis were hotter than some kind of really lame inferno (maybe a library on fire?). Which brings us to the present: Table sports are slightly less popular, most of them suck, but some are pretty okay.

Enter “Spellslingers,” the latest web series from web bon vivant Felicia Day’s YouTube network Geek & Sundry. The show’s premise is simple: Sean Plott of Day9TV fame plays “Magic: The Gathering” with his friends who dominate their own corner of popular geek culture. Plott has competed against pro e-sports players and JPL engineers in the brutal arena that is “MTG.”

I know what you’re thinking: “Christ, that sounds boring.” But here’s the thing, “Spellslingers,” much like its precursor — professional poker — is actually really entertaining. Plott is charming and his guests, although maybe not as camera-comfortable, are generally interesting. In your day-to-day life how often do you get to see NASA engineers talk about merfolk? Not often, I’m guessing.

The series does a really terrific job of laying out how “MTG” is played for those of us unfamiliar with dreadknights, dreadnoughts, dragons, and dwarves. The beauty of “Spellslingers”resides in its simplicity. The show does not break from Plott and his guest, but instead films their game like any other pro-sports match.

“Spellslingers” won’t excite anyone disinterested in geek culture as a whole. But if that’s the case, what the hell are you doing at a channel called Geek &Sundry? At the end of the day, “Spellslingers” is built for exactly the audience you would expect it to be, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Tags: , , ,


  • Lothianranger

    Wow, what an arrogant toolbox. How common is the this kind of nose up dick down kind of review on the web. To paraphrase the hated and hateful Anita Sarkesian “…everything is promblematic…”including this little piece of schlok, which i’m sure was written while hiding from your wife in the bathroom. C+??? really. It’s creative, lighthearted, and fun while not taking itself too seriously and yes there is everything right with that.

    Poker? Oddly compelling? Holy smokes, Sir. I’m glad you could stop your stoning of poor young men left behind in their parent’s basements by the rise of princess culture, hurt feelings, and halloween costumes that cause flaming emotional meltdowns in the Ivy League to exalt the “better life” held out by playing poker. So set down your stones, give your blasphemy a pause, and think about your own C+ existence. Just incredible

time-inc-jash

Time Inc. Teams with Digital Comedy Producers Jash for Branded Content

 
Amazon Logo

Amazon Greenlights Three Comedy Pilots as Series

 
cartoon-network-app

How the Cartoon Network Combined the Best of VOD and Linear TV...

 
jukin-media-ethos

Jukin Media Goes Viral for Brands with Ethos Division Launch

 
Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!
 
Streamy Awards

Streamy Awards Trade In VH1 for YouTube, Again

 
zefr-alignment-report

Matching Ads to Videos Not So Simple, According to Zefr’s...

 
shomi

Plug Pulled on Canadian SVOD Service Shomi

 
Twitter

What’s Trending on the Twitter Sale

 
Machinima Logo

Machinima Teams with SiriusXM for Daily Esports Radio Show

 
Hearst

AwesomenessTV, Vice, Complex to Power New HearstLive...

 
dirty-30-hannah-hart-mamrie-hart-grace-helbig

VIDEO: ‘Dirty 30’ Confessions with Stars Hart,...

 
facebook-thumbs-down

Facebook Says It’s Sorry It Vastly Overestimated Video...

 
craig-piligian-pilgrim-media-group

Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian (‘The...

 
youtube-heroes-for-change

Heroes or Rats?: YouTube Unveils New Program for Creators Who...

 
Vessel says it's doing well in its first month

Why Verizon is Pursuing Vessel, the...

 
jared-feldman-and-sam-hui-ph-d-at-the-2014-canvs-launch

How Canvs Media is Harvesting Emotional Insights on YouTube,...

 
marlon-wayans

Marlon Wayans Getting ‘Naked’ for Netflix with Regina Hall

 
huffpost-ryot-aol

HuffPost RYOT Launching Virtual Reality Comedy Series and News...

 
youtube-vote-irl

YouTube Launches #voteIRL Campaign Targeting Digital-First Generation

 
tyler-oakley-camp17

How Top YouTubers (incl. Tyler Oakley & Meghan Rienks)...

 
charlie-sheen-anger-management

Charlie Sheen to Star in Crackle Feature ‘Mad Families’

 
filmbuff_videoink_300x250

Gunpowder & Sky Buys Distributor FilmBuff As Vision for...

 
toy-freaks-youtube

Toy Freaks Top Viewed YouTube Channel in August According to...

 
jeffrey-tambor-transparent-amazon

Emmy Wrap-Up 2016: Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’)...

 
Twitter

Twitter Scores 2.1 Million Viewers for Thursday Night Footall Kickoff

 
youtube-sad-face-error

Vloggers Not Unique Snowflakes: 90 Million Flag YouTube Videos...

 
Mode Media

‘Billion Dollar Startup’ Mode Media Shuts Down

 
raised-firsts-branded-tv

Who Is Winning The Marketing Revolution And Why?

 
shes-gotta-have-it

Netflix Orders ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Series...

 
swedish-dicks-peter-stormare-keanue-reeves-viaplay

What Is ‘Swedish Dicks’ and Who Is Selling It?

 
seamlessly-she-monica-potter-aol-partner-studio-gmc-acadia

How GMC is Using the AOL Series ‘Seamlessly She’...

 
Netflix_new

Liberty Global to Put Netflix on Set-Top Boxes in 30 Countries

 
vincent-cacace-vertebrae

Getting to the Spine of VR’s Monetization Challenges with...

 
meredith_brandfront_videoink_300x250

Meredith Hosted Its Own “Front” Stacked with 20 New Series

 
complex-networks-hearst-verizon

Verizon and Hearst Move RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV Under...

 
Twitter

Twitter Launches Live Streaming Apps for Amazon Fire, Apple TV...

 
YouTube Community

YouTube Fights Back Against Social Media Rivals with Community Feature

 
Casual Hulu

Vimeo Opening Television Store with Lionsgate Content, Launching...

 
A Perfect Day in LA Tastemade Jaunt VR Virtual Reality

From Donuts to Malibu, Tastemade and Jaunt Get Immersive in...

 
Defy Media

Defy Media Close $70 Million Series B Funding Round