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01 November 2013 @ 04:31 pm
Night Vale: A Beautiful Dream  
To quote the Internet, "Oof, right in the feels!"


So, yeah, perhaps the episode could have gone a little more subtle and not directly link poor Megan's plight with wheelchair accessibility. But while it could have gone completely preachy, the imagery of a girl who has the body of a severed grown man's hand making her first friend in the form of a sentient computer made it so bizarre it worked.

How is it possible that despite it being generated by a text to speech program, the voice of Computer made me so incredible sad? Its words that it would make Megan happy by realizing Megan's dream of a perfect world where she will have everything (including a full body) was creepy as it was sad and heartbreaking. When Computer's voice shorted out once the plug was pulled, I was rather upset. I was even more upset when Cecil likened it to killing an animal.

I liked the message this episode was trying to bring about how children who don't fit the standard are often forgotten about and left alone to wallow in their confusion and loneliness. While Megan's particular plight is bizarre, how the school itself did not mobilize to help her is something children in our real world experience every day continuously. Even if the school wants to help, lack of funding and lack of resources is always a driving problem. So I was glad for Night Vale to take this up in its very Night Vale-ish way.

Having said that, the episode felt a little too much like a filler episode for me. And it also felt amazingly short despite it being a little longer than "Cassette." We got some residuals of the Strex Corp. takeover such as Cecil's creepily cheerful Word From Our Sponsors where he sounded disturbingly like Kevin. But the episode itself feels like it can exist in its own little bubble without much impact on the rest of the show.

But who knows? Perhaps Computer will return and be the Savior of Night Vale.
 
 
 
X-parrotxparrot on November 2nd, 2013 09:47 am (UTC)
More of the show is "filler" than not, so given how plotty "Cassette" was, I was actually expecting this one to have less of a story than it did. And it was an oddly tragic story, too...the preachiness didn't bother me because, well, Cecil is preachy all the time; that this time happens to apply a little more to the real world...and yeah, like you said, it was absolutely Night Vale all the way!

...Except Cecil's word from our sponsors, oh good I wasn't the only one so creeped out. He was doing a pretty spot-on Kevin impression there, brrr... I also loved how calmly he reported on being sucked into the janitor's closet - the experience evidently scored pretty low on the things-that-actually-frighten-Cecil-o-meter!

(it also might've seemed shorter since the weekly calender you'd have heard before, since it's from one of the live shows? Which explains how they're cutting the live shows down to the usual running time, I was curious about that...)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on November 2nd, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
I also loved how calmly he reported on being sucked into the janitor's closet - the experience evidently scored pretty low on the things-that-actually-frighten-Cecil-o-meter!

The only things to have really frightened Cecil ever seem to be Station Management and when he went to Desert Bluffs. This probably gives everyone an idea of just how terrifying those things are.

Which explains how they're cutting the live shows down to the usual running time, I was curious about that...

Ah, that's true! The weekly calendar came from "Condos" and "Cassette" also had a segment from the same live show so I guess they are whittling it down to make into a podcast soon if Jeffrey Cranor is to be believed.
X-parrotxparrot on November 2nd, 2013 10:58 pm (UTC)
Cecil's gotten worked up about Carlos in danger a couple times, but yeah, not terrified the way he is with Station Management and in Desert Bluffs (Desert Bluffs is the one that got me, the whimpered "it's seeping into my shoes" is both hilarious and hideous...)

Ahhhh I want the podcast version of the live show, I am so curious how similarly or different CB might read it!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on November 2nd, 2013 11:03 pm (UTC)
Desert Bluffs is the one that got me, the whimpered "it's seeping into my shoes" is both hilarious and hideous...

I remember sort of laughing at that line the first time hearing it but also having my laugh sort of trail off as I made a scared face.

I am so curious how similarly or different CB might read it!

Me too! I also want to hear Cranor tackle Carlos' voice again.
X-parrotxparrot on November 2nd, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
I have been trying to figure out, in the live show - is Cranor there, or is Carlos's phonecall a recording? I was assuming recording since he's not on stage, but...(I admit to hoping it's a recording, because I LOVE the way he says "it wasn't what I thought it would be...it's a giant black cube". I don't know why but that line, and his tone of resigned despair, just kills me, I giggle just thinking about it...)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on November 2nd, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC)
I have been trying to figure out, in the live show - is Cranor there, or is Carlos's phonecall a recording?

I thought I read somewhere that Cranor was there but that might have been Joseph Fink rather who was in charge of recording the live show. I somehow thought it would make sense that Cranor was there to do the voice from behind a curtain or something but it probably would have been easier on everyone if it had been a recording.

I LOVE the way he says "it wasn't what I thought it would be...it's a giant black cube".

He sounded so disappointed until he got into what it looked like inside. Then it got rapidly creepy. I rather liked his first line of "Hello, Cecil. Are you there?" He sounded vaguely disoriented which already made me think, crap, he's touched a cube, hasn't he?
X-parrotxparrot on November 3rd, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
Yeah, I really couldn't tell whether it was a recording or not...very curious! (and even the podcast might not tell us, if Cranor re-records the phonecall for that...)

I rather liked his first line of "Hello, Cecil. Are you there?" He sounded vaguely disoriented which already made me think, crap, he's touched a cube, hasn't he?

Yessssss I loved how he says that too. I really enjoy Cranor's reading of Carlos in general, that sort of distracted absent-minded-professor air... I may have listened to the end of that live show a...erm...few dozen times. (I have always loved voice acting, how expressive just words and tone can be; it's one of the reasons I so enjoy animation, and it's the delight of radio shows, that the performance is all that and nothing else!)(well, and the fangirl squeeing and cooing on the live show cracks me up :)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on November 3rd, 2013 01:41 am (UTC)
At this point if I had to imagine Night Vale in a different medium it would be as an anime or something. If anything because that seems to be the only way to preserve Cecil Baldwin doing the voice of Cecil. I can't have another actor play him. Same goes for Carlos and Cranor since Cranor looks NOTHING like Carlos.
X-parrotxparrot on November 3rd, 2013 01:49 am (UTC)
Either animated or live but shot such that you never clearly see anyone's faces - everyone is viewed is from the back or bending over or such. (...and Cecil can just be entirely in shadow the whole time...!) Which for a Night Vale short might actually work, it would be way creepy, anyway...

(and yeah, I cannot imagine Night Vale without Cecil Baldwin's voice, even if NV's Cecil looks nothing like him!)

Edited at 2013-11-03 01:50 am (UTC)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on November 3rd, 2013 05:44 am (UTC)
everyone is viewed is from the back or bending over or such. (...and Cecil can just be entirely in shadow the whole time...!)

That is so totally Night Vale. Some talented filmmaker, please make it!

and yeah, I cannot imagine Night Vale without Cecil Baldwin's voice, even if NV's Cecil looks nothing like him!

It's weird because now when I see interviews with Cecil Baldwin I expect that same voice to come out of him but when I sit down to listen to Night Vale, I picture a completely different person.