Review: “Heroes of Cosplay” Episode 3: MegaCon

You know, this show feels more like a punishment than enjoyable so far.  All I get is manufactured drama without the manufacture of the cosplay.  And I am sorry, but I cannot turn my brain or heart off when I see some made up cat fights or a very bad message about cosplay.

However, I said I was going to give my opinion about this show.

So alright laddie.  Live or die, here we go.

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DISCLAIMER:

I am neither a cosplayer nor a TV show critic.  I am writing this as a cosplay photographer who has an opinion on this show. Nevertheless, I will try and maintain professionalism about the show in question and the cosplayers who are starring in it.  I will avoid criticizing the individual cosplayers and instead focus on the show itself.

Having said that, the topic of editing words spoken on screen is still fair game.  You have been warned.

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Back to Basics

If you’ve been watching this show or know anything about cosplay or Reality TV, you know the formula:  list the contestants, show the contest, sprinkle in some drama, and then cut.  This time, the show refrains from any moralities like in Episode 2 (or as I like to put it, the Star Wars Revenge of the Sith rip-off).  Instead, the big change is that the Crabcats Jessica and Holly split up temporarily while the rest do their thing.  They still fight and things still go wrong and then they talk about it in cutaways.  In the end, a few of them place, but they were still short of winning the Grand Prize.

That is basically it.  On paper, it sounds boring.  However, we get to see some more (and I hesitate to say this) realistic interactions between the cosplayers as well as their spouses and partners.  The banter between them is less catty as it has been and there is actually a little humor in how the two partners actually miss each other.  It’s a nice change of pace.

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Cutting Away the Fat

While the Crabcats are no stranger to drama and both still give a lot of it, the fact is that most of the sources are gone.  While it’s true that fan-favorite Chloe only gets a minor cameo, Yaya isn’t present (though she does have some sort of action figure in development, apparently?), and a few of the other questionable cast members, the ones shown were actually more enjoyable to watch.  Rikki is still dead set on showing off her talents and decides to ramp up her cosplay.  And while poor Becky and her partner Lance saw their car’s hard work ruined by the TSA, they still came out ahead from the crowd’s reactions.  In fact all of them had a rather positive reactions by crowd and judges.

Also in the past, the partners were always shows as hardworking but heavily abused.  This time, we see them as more like, well partners.  They actually share in the sadness and frustration at the workshop or the hotel room as well as the triumph of seeing their loved ones shining on stage.  They show that while these cosplayers are very talented, they are still human and need partners to help them create.  And the Crabcats’ temporary separation helped to cement this message into the episode.

Cosplay is just as much about individual skill as it is teamwork.

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Did I Change the Channel in the Middle?

The show’s tone was radically different.  Before it was drama drama, controversy, I didn’t win.  The title “Heroes of Cosplay” became some toted up marketing term to not only the show but the cosplayers as “the Good Guys” (excuse me, Good Girls with the One Guy).  While this episode didn’t make them into Superman, they were clearly not Lex Luthor either.  These cosplayers are actually human, skilled but deficient, veteran but emotional, famous but humble.  This is very much a nice change a pace from the comparisons to royalty.

Have a good message for once is very much a nice change of pace.  Some would hate this new change for being “boring”, but honestly if I had to pick an episode for newcomers to cosplay…well I would still show them the PBS documentary first, but Episode 3 is a good alternative.

Personally, I hope that this theme continues.

Rating:

3.5 out of 5 (enjoyable)

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~ by BlizzardTerrak on September 9, 2013.

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