Last year, CollegeHumor surprised everyone when they came up with Dropout, a new streaming service. As Sam Reich said in the announcement video: “It’s like Netflix, but cheaper.”
One of the best shows I love on the service is Dimension 20 — a show that follows a group of comedians playing D&D. The first season, Fantasy High, has taken the world by storm, and today there are live events that add small adventures to those characters while introducing new guest characters. The second season is a mini-series called Escape From The Blood Keep. It’s only six episodes as opposed to a fully-fledged season of sixteen episodes, featuring villains as the main characters. And yesterday the first episode of the new season, The Unsleeping City, just aired. The show sees the return of the cast from Fantasy High with new and exciting characters.
Before we talk a bit about The Unsleeping City and why you should watch it, here’s a short disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with CollegeHumor and/or Dropout and no one asked me to write this piece. I just love it so much and I’m not artistic enough to share fan art so I use my words instead.
Dimension 20 Is Fun To Watch
The premise of the show is a clear indicator of two things:
- How much the producers and cast love to make that show.
- How dedicated they are to their audience.
When Fantasy High ended, people demanded more. Brennan, the best DM in the world, in my opinion, came up with a video saying that Season 2 was already shot and while they edit it, a short sidequest will be released. That side quest was Escape From The Blood Keep. a six-part adventure that was shot in one weekend, which introduced new characters via other cast members and guests.
While Escape From The Blood Keep lasted only six weeks, it was still a breather. There is truly something profound seeing people act out D&D characters around the table.
Each episode is about two hours and it flies by.
More ‘Produced With Love’ Please
The thing I like the most about Dropout in general and Dimension 20 in particular, is that they make what they love to see. There are no ads involved, no shady promises behind the scenes, no handshakes in the dark. This is a fun streaming service.
Fucking finally, am I right?
I like to call it, ‘produced with love’. It’s that magic component that makes every TV show so much better. It’s not the acting or the writing but the whole premise of doing something great that people enjoy watching.
There is a show on Dropout called Troopers and it’s a parody about the Star Wars universe. It’s a fully realized storyline with characters and plot that is so fun to watch and full of humor. I can guarantee that the only place you may have found something like that is YouTube. The episodes are only a few minutes each.
That’s only one example of the things that Dropout publishes besides the amazing Dimension 20 shows.
The Unsleeping City Is Set In New York
I love new york. I’ve been to it a couple of times in my life. revisiting it in the setting of a D&D campaign is like a third visit.
This time, though, New York is covered in snow as it is almost time for Christmas.
Brennan Famously loves New York and you can see it from the way he narrates the story. It’s not just a setting, this person lived in the city and shares unique anecdotes because of that.
Besides, when you play a D&D campaign and you’re in a city on the Sword Coast, you’re imagining one thing. But, when you’re playing a D&D campaign set in NYC and you’ve been to New York in the past, you’re revisiting it. It’s more a memory than a fantasy.
One of the scenes in the episode features an empty times square. Take a moment to digest that last sentence. It’s so cool to create those scenarios and I can’t wait for the next episode!
The scenery is one thing but the cast created some diverse and interesting entourage of characters.
The Characters Are So Interesting And Diverse
The characters in the show are a great conduit to describe the diversity of New york. Pete, one of the main characters, is a transgender man who just went through his Top surgery a while ago and enjoys lots of Mushrooms.
Sofia is an incredible monk hairstylist whose husband left her. She doesn’t read short stories and if you saw the first episode you understand why it’s funny.
Kugrash is a rat druid who is taking care of the invisible people of society. He gives food to poor people and can talk to animals.
Ricky is a firefighter Paladin who is a really cool dude with some selfie issues. He’s the lawful good of the game, I guess.
Misty Moore is a fucking Broadway star Bard and is mysterious in more ways than one.
Last but not least, Kingston. The incredible dude who takes care of magic ailments and gives his mom’s food to other people while he takes care of the sick in both The Unsleeping City and New York.
These characters are awesome and I can’t wait to see what they weave together.
We Should Support More Shows Like This
This is the best content in the world. I can’t get enough of watching people play D&D for fun in a world they created.
I don’t want to watch shows that were sponsored by some product company and have ads before, after or in-between. I want the real deal. So far, Dimension 20 doesn’t disappoint.
Here’s hoping that more shows like Dimension 20 pop up and that D20 will have many more seasons produced with love.
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