The Guild

 
(i)

 

Web series pokes gentle fun at hardcore online gamers.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Fantasy might seem easier to manage than reality, but when Cyd’s game life intersects with her real life, she realizes that virtual relationships are no substitute for the real world. The show lovingly pokes fun at gamers, both appreciating the gamer lifestyle and acknowledging its shortcomings.

Positive role models

Cyd is an online gaming, well, addict might be too strong a word, but only by a bit. She prefers to interact with a small group of friends in virtual world, and rarely meets any of them in person. Socializing in the real world can be complicated and messy, and it’s just so much easier to keep the rest of the world a web page away. One character often ignores her young kids while she is playing online. Cyd’s awkward face-to-face social interactions might seem to reinforce her preference for digital friends, but can also help real-life hardcore gamers see the value of logging off every so often.

Violence

The occasional slapstick-style fistfight, but little other violence. There are plenty of references to battling monsters in a virtual game world.

Sex

No sex or nudity, but a good bit of innuendo and occasional making out.

Language

Little audible swearing, but plenty of words are bleeped. One character is especially foul-mouthed, and almost every sentence out of her mouth has one or more words bleeped. Some sexual references, including “woodie."

Consumerism

No name brands are mentioned, but the entire show revolves around a fictitious online game that resembles World of Warcraft.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

No drugs or drinking, but there are a few drug references.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this online comedy series -- which pokes fun at virtual gaming worlds and those who play in them -- plays off the stereotypes of awkward gaming-addicts. There’s a good bit of bleeped swearing and some sexual innuendo, but no nudity or sex, and will likely appeal to teens and adults who spend a significant amount of time interacting online.

What's the story?

For Cyd (Felicia Day), real-life is not nearly as fun as THE GUILD, the online gaming world where she spends most of her time. Does she have a problem? Is she trying to avoid reality? Well, maybe a therapist could help her figure that out, except her therapist dumped her because she couldn’t take time away from battling orcs to make her appointments. She has a thriving online social life with a close-knit group of Guild-pals, but her infrequent face-to-face interactions are… awkward. But these brief webisodes never show the online world, just the real people behind the screens, and their embarrassing attempts to socialize.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Guild plays on stereotypes and tweaks them at the same time. Sure, some of the characters seem like classic nerds, but they are also so over the top that it’s hard to take them completely seriously (especially Herman, as a balding, uptight middle-aged man whose devotion to online gaming has clearly marked him as a lifelong bachelor). Day is fun to watch as a social misfit, but seems perhaps a bit too appealing to be completely believable as someone who’s afraid of real life.

But it is easy to imagine people who want to hide out online, and what might happen when they are required to venture out from these carefully-constructed fantasy worlds to the often messy real world. Day and her Guild colleagues make these inept interactions seem both cringe-worthy and hilarious, and her slightly-out-of-her depth responses are wonderful. Give her an orc, and she knows just what to do, but watching her stumble through an actual conversation is much more fun to watch.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Cyd’s social life. Why do you think she spends so much time with her online friends instead of seeing people in person? Do you think she’s trying to avoid something? Do you think this is healthy? Do you know any people like this?

  • Talk about stereotypes. Do you think this show relies too much on stereotypes of gamers as anti-social? Or do you think the show actually respects gamers, while also poking a little fun?

TV details

Cast:Felicia Day
Network:Online
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of The Guild was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bykeano312 July 28, 2010
 
Its very funny and kids over 13 have probably heard worse language.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byNakutambul July 12, 2010
 

Ahaaa!

It is amusing to watch.
Teen, 17 years old Written byhi here July 21, 2010
 

no kids allowed though teens over 14

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