A Talk About Sequel Seasons: VGHS Season 2 Review

So lately I’ve been on a very goal oriented mission to finish all the TV shows that I’ve started this year. Unfortunately, this number is a LOT higher than it should be due to the fact that, well, school. So even though I might have such good intentions, I inevitably end up falling short and dropping off in the middle of a season or even an episode.

This list of shows is including but not limited to: Sherlock season 3, Doctor Who Series 7 (Clara), New Girl season 3 (and finishing Season 1 because I technically never watched all the episodes???), Legend of Korra season 2, and Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.

Although this list shows how diverse and interesting my TV habits are, there’s something that most of them all have in common – they are all sequels.

And by sequels I don’t mean like a sequel movie, I mean a sequel series. Even though I’ve been waiting months (or even years in the case of Sherlock) to watch these shows, somehow….I just…haven’t.

Previously on the List of Things To Finish was the show Video Game High School Season 2. Last year, while taking flu medicine that wasn’t actually doing anything since my doctor misdiagnosed my infection, I ended up waking up early every day one week and yet not going to class, because, you know, infection. I didn’t miss much since I was in community college at the time, so instead of trying to do work I surfed Netflix for my new obsession.

And, as fate would have it, I stumbled upon Video Game High School, or VGHS. I thought, why not, I’ll give it a try, and ended up marathoning the entire show since Netflix had put each episode into one big movie. Instantly, I loved it. I’m not a gamer, and I’ll never be a gamer, but this show had great characters, interesting plot points, a fantastic, clever, and completely hilarious script, and a huge heart. Yes, VGHS was my new obsession. As you might guess, it’s about a high school that plays video games as its curriculum. The creators, YouTubers who are fairly famous around the internet (heard of Freddie Wong?), made this show both specific in its plot about gaming and yet accessible to anyone such as me who doesn’t even know the first thing about an FPS game.

So when I found out that there was a Kickstarter to fund a season 2, I was absolutely pumped. And, since I’m on this new finishing things streak, I decided to finish season 2 which had come out in early September.

While the characters are still the same, and still dynamic in their progression, and the script was both funny and witty, I was…dissatisfied with the end product. Majorly disappointed would actually be more accurate. I can’t say I didn’t like it, because I did enjoy watching the episodes, but it lost something this season.

Instead of sticking with the previous format of a show with a continuous plot that culminated to an exciting (and epic) finale, the creators opted to be more fluid with the layout of season 2. Each episode does build on the next, but in very small ways. There was no overarching theme or plot, and for the most part each problem presented was resolved within the episode, leaving the next one to pick up a new one. To me, it was Video Game Sitcom, not Video Game High School. The writing and characters are much more interesting, diverse, and funny than a sitcom, but the layout and plot were just so blah. I kept expecting something to pick up, especially since two great plot points were introduced at the very beginning in the first episode. However not one but both of these opportunities were wasted, and the season finale was so unsatisfying that I couldn’t believe that it was actually over. The creators even used a cliffhanger to draw in audiences (and give them an incentive to crowdsource their season 3 efforts), and honestly, I’m just disappointed.

Honestly, I mostly wanted to use this post this week to vent about my frustrations. There were so many good things about season 2 that I’m just really surprised that I’m so unsatisfied. But the sad thing is, there’s really nothing I can do. I’m not sure if I want a season 3 so that Freddie Wong and co. can redeem themselves, or if I just want to rewatch the golden entertainment that is VGHS. Either way, I’m coming to find out that sequel seasons can be amazing (Sherlock) – or they can be massive letdowns.