tek's rating:

Echo Chamber, on Blip.tv (now defunct)
IMDb; ShareTV; YouTube

This is a web series based on the website TV Tropes, a wiki that details the seemingly infinite tropes used in all varieties of fiction. It ran for two seasons, in 2011-12. I watched it in on TV Tropes itself, but I guess the videos were originally hosted on Blip, before that went defunct. Since then, the videos have moved to ShareTV, so... you can watch the series there, or on TV Tropes, or on YouTube.

The premise of the series is that there's some mysterious organization (well, technically the TV Tropes website's administration) that hires a troper named Tom Pike to create a vlog series about TV Tropes. So each episode will be about a specific trope. It's a fairly meta concept, as evidenced (one might say lampshaded) by the very first episode, "Show Within a Show." Because that's what the whole series basically is. Except that... it's not really within the show, per se; it's more like the show-within-a-show is the show. Anyway, Tom gets a guy named Zack Wallnau to be the cameraman for his web series. We rarely if ever actually see Zack, but he makes comments from behind the camera fairly often. Tom really doesn't like Zack, who doesn't seem to take anything very seriously. And one of the most meta aspects of the show is that every single thing we see is being filmed by Zack, ostensibly to be used later for the web series they make, except that we don't really get to see the show they make. It's a kind of strange concept, because it isn't entirely clear exactly how the show they make differs from what we're seeing, but presumably there's some difference (as well as some overlap). Even though Tom is basically the star of the show-within-a-show, as well as its writer. In addition to Zack, he hires a woman named Dana Shaw to be the show's producer. She and Tom almost never get along, in large part because she doesn't feel he's making his best effort to write a good show. Meanwhile, the mysterious, shadowy figure only ever seen on a monitor, known only as Mr. Administrator, is never satisfied with the show, and frequently threatens Tom to try to get him to make a better show. Anyway... another meta (but perhaps more ironic) aspect of the series is that whatever trope Tom, Dana, and Zack are supposed to be explaining on the show-within-a-show is actually demonstrated by situations in their "real" lives, while trying to figure out how to make an episode about the trope they're coincidentally living through, at the time. (One gets the impression their real life situations may play into the show-within-a-show, but as I said before, that's not entirely clear.) Anyway, it's a fairly amusing and interesting and quirky little show.

The second season grows increasingly meta and complex. There's a rival vlog series called [citation needed], which is supposedly done by "the Other Wiki" (aka Wikipedia), though of course that series is just something that was made up for this series, and doesn't exist in real reality (assuming there is any such thing as real reality), just within the top-layer reality of "Echo Chamber." [Citation needed] is hosted by a guy called Ace (this name itself being a trope). He hires Dana to produce his show (while still producing Echo Chamber), a fact that seriously bothers Tom. Ace's show also has a camerawoman named Gaelyn, who quickly becomes BFFs with Zack. (It's clear she's interested in him romantically, but he sseems oblivious to this throughout most of the season.) And... we eventually meet Zack's father, who becomes more important to the plot. And we see more of Zack's face. And there are occasionally scenes where what we see obviously isn't being filmed, at least not directly. (Though Zack and/or Gaelyn usually have a camera, our perspective clearly isn't always the camera's perspective.) And in the season finale, "Mind Screw," we learn more about Mr. Administrator, and his plans for Echo Chamber... which are very meta, and kind of break the fourth wall... Anyway, it's cool, and I wish there would have been a third season.

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