If you’re like me, you find that there is a slight lull in the TV viewing schedule around the holidays and during the months of January and February as some of the shows me and the wife watch regularly (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for instance) are on winter break.
So, in the mean time, I’ve come across a new show to obsess over and have become a weekly viewer. The best part is that it’s not even on TV as most people know it. The name of the show is Critical Role and it is shown on Thursdays on Twitch on the Geek and Sundry Twitch channel from 9-12 CST (most nights, they often play longer). You can also catch the episode on Mondays when it’s posted to Geek and Sundry’s web page.
Weekly, prominent voice actor Matthew Mercer and his hearty band of fellow voice actors (including Blindspot‘s Ashley Johnson) play their long ongoing game of Dungeons and Dragons in front of the cameras. Mercer’s game has been in action for over 2 years now and about 9 months ago, they decided to show it live on the interwebs week to week. The result is some highly entertaining RPG playing which is only improved by the fact that the players are some of the biggest names in voice-over work in Hollywood and for video games.
Voice actor Matthew Mercer leads a group of fellow voice actors on epic Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. These familiar voices bring the audience into the full experience of D&D, allowing imaginations to soar as the characters embark on adventures. This is Critical Role!
Mercer you might recognize as the voice of Leon Kennedy in the Resident Evil animated film and on Resident Evil video games, or Levi in the English dubbing of the Attack on Titan anime. He’s joined by Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Liam O’Brien, Sam Riegel, Marisha Ray, Talesin Jaffe, and Johnson (mentioned before). Everyone listed here has a Wikipedia page that requires scrolling for all the work they have done in film and video games.
So the game features the adventures of Vox Machina, a group of adventurers consisting of some half elves, a human gunslinger, a couple of gnomes, and a Goliath barbarian. Week to week, the group is dramatic and hilarious and thoroughly committed to their role-playing. They have fought together for years and their dedication to the game and each other is utterly believable. Mercer as Dungeon Master will blow your mind with his level of dedication.
When Geek and Sundry and Nerdist did a promo for Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter, they sought out Mercer to run a one-off campaign featuring Diesel in which Matt created a custom character with stats and spells for the actor.
After weeks of watching, me and my wife have finished all of the back episodes that you can binge at will via Geek and Sundry’s webpage. So if you’re looking for some entertainment in the dark winter months, give Critical Role a try.
But I should warn you, since we fell into this show, my family is now preparing to start our own D&D experience for the first time and can’t wait to get our characters started. Mercer and crew are directly responsible for this. And if you need any further testimony, be sure to check out the massive community around the show. The show over the past few months has become a sensation and fans all over the world are following along with Vox Machina and sending in tons of artwork and fanfics for the show. This is communal storytelling at its finest.
Check out the intro video below featuring the story leading up to episode 1.