14 May 2014 | arcapello
Meticulous, interesting and often hilarious.
I have read very few comic books in my life. This is mainly because the comic and it's heroes must, with exceptions I am sure, continue on forever.
As new generations of fans keep coming along and with most veteran writers not wanting to repeat themselves and the character being passed along from writer to writer the characters will often exist only as physical shells as their personalities, their powers and even their stories and lives are inconsistent to the point where only the name and sometimes their face are recognisable.
Because of this comic book fans can find the names of the writers and artists very easily, usually, should they find a writer or artist that represents these characters the best... or worst.
Atop The Fourth Wall comes in.
Lewis Lovhaug plays his own character called Linkara. I was extremely sceptical about this - how does somebody act like a reviewer? Does the writer write their own thoughts on something or do they make them up for the character? I would rather have an honest opinion.
I was reminded at this stage by my own usernames in the various forums I have been a part of over the years and that, even though I have made up my name and certainly have not put a face to my words it was still myself speaking. I might not act quite the same since I am in a different social environment but I am still me.
Luckily for myself Linkara does not seem to have much of a character; I do not mean to say that Linkara is boring I simply mean that Linkara, for the review, is mostly Lewis. Linkara's story is often told through a video series that plays after the credits at the end of an episode, you can choose whether or not you would like to follow the story of Linkara.
I am not interested in the character in my honest opinion however, the story of Linkara is a popular element of the show. I can not tell you if the story is well written or not since I have not followed it. I can say it will not ruin your experience if you choose not to be involved. Suffice to say, for me, Linkara himself does not hold any weight with the only exception being that I do love to see the consistent costumes and sets - it really makes you feel like Lewis is putting on a show.
Now I have addressed Linkara I will address the show.
Lewis manages to find, or is sent, some of the most obscure, obscene, confusing, annoying, hilarious, facetious and awful stories that you can imagine exist; this works in the opposite way to reality in a very general sense: the worst the comic the better the review. Buried by their obscurity; often helped by age, exists a treasure trove of stories that you will never have been able to come across otherwise.
Lewis's examination of these stories is thorough. Through him you will see the stories as the characters themselves would but with a far wider view of the world. As Lewis reviews you will likely be relieved that all the problems you used to notice, big or small, are a problem for other people as well.
You will be given a unique perspective on some very unique situations. Lewis will notice things that make you laugh, make you angry and you will find yourself noticing something you would have not have found on your own. The depth and interest Lewis pays to the material is often impressive.
Lewis is able to step back and think about consistency as well as context and seemingly cares more about the story than the writers themselves did, taking it in whilst remaining critical and interested.
I agree that Lewis is not a comedian yet he is hilarious. Lewis's meticulous review style will throw you into these stories first hand and you will often find yourself laughing at his criticism of the problems as they occur as his voice and wording suggests to you the level of absurdity. Lewis is first to point out irony and inconsistency and put it in a context that is, itself, hilarious. Lewis uses the story and characters and approaches them with a clear mind as he lets them make fun of themselves and fall apart before his eyes.
This is not to say that Lewis does not write jokes but his biggest strength relies on your immersion in the characters and story. Lewis is armed with a library of appropriate and hilarious video and music responses to about anything that can happen. You often wonder how he can remember where to find each of these lines in the heaps of seasons and episodes he must have to dig through.
Lewis also has a great stage presence. Even though he will act out a lot of emotions for comic effect you never get the impression he is desperate for laughs, Lewis seems to really enjoy himself whether he is, ironically, suffering through dismal comic or laughing his way through a fun one. Lewis even voices all of the dialogue in fitting voices that he'll remember and assign to that character or type of character should they turn up again.
Overall Atop The Forth Wall is a show you should really experience, I dare say, especially if you are not a fan of comic books because you will not be prepared for what you'll see in these stories.
I have found so little wrong with my experience of the show that I have to give it an 8/10. I can not rate it higher because I have not gotten involved in Linkara's story and I have not ever found a perfect show. With this, though, you'll wonder if it could get much more professional.