Strip Search: Episodes Four and Five

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Last time on Strip Search – T-shirts are serious business! Bu now we get to the even more serious business: the first elimination. On Episode 4, it’s going to be between the longhaired and Bearded Alex vs. the non-glassed Katie. So we begin with this precious exchange where Tycho shows his comedic prowess: “Alex, I understand that your shirt design featured hateful, anti-Semitic imagery. Tell me, what is your favorite thing about Hitler?” Ehhh… it works better when spoken by a cool cartoon guy. At least Alex is on the ball enough to respond: “efficiency.”

Katie doesn’t know why she’s here in the bottom two either. Tycho actually thought the design was excellent. I’m going to guess this is going to play into how Amy’s been promoting herself as the show’s villain. How dare she lay waste to great T-shirt designs! To settle who gets eliminated, Katie and Alex have to select ideas from crumpled papers n a wastebasket, and they have one and a half hour to make webcomics out of them. Friggin’ finally. Something about webcomics. The ideas are “space” and “table tennis.”

The guys get to work on some fantastic-looking electronic tablets to draw up their toons. (Thought I was disappointed that this wasn’t totally old school. I would’ve loved to see a drafting table with T-squares, rubber erasers, and twelve different kinds of inking pens. Technology makes things visually boring.) Gabe and Tycho try to ramp up drama by goading Alex and Katie and asking them who they thought should’ve been eliminated, but the two of them are so polite that no drama is stirred. Alex comes closest, though, by saying that he agreed with the judges on their assessment on which T-shirt design was the weakest. Hey there, buckaroo, don’t be stirrin’ no hornet’s nest! You kiss your mother with that mouth?

Later, Gabe and Tycho try desperately to make the show exciting by stirring up crap by implying Amy had ulterior motives to have Katie kicked out… but that falls really, really flat and it is incredibly transparent. Katie actually says she sympathized with Amy. That doesn’t stop Gabe and Tycho from futilely pursuing this incredibly fruitless tangent. Amy Falcone Villiany Campaign: 0.

There’s some nice talk about whether an hour and a half is enough to draw a webcomic, and Gabe and Tycho reminisce how they had the same anxieties about those design contraints in 1998. Gabe pretty much hovers over the two like an evil genie.

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Gabe goes, “Time! To think about what you’ll do with the remaining 45 minutes.” Ugh. These jokes just don’t translate on screen. Things get so … exciting… that Gabe and Tycho start critiquing the cartoon full-sized standee of Abagail Howard in the studio.

So Alex and Katie do their comic strips, and, in Webcomic Overlook parlance: Alex, 2 stars. Katie, 2 stars. Now, if you’ve ever watched shows like, say, Food Network Challenge, the judges are accomplished enough that they offer some great insights into why they chose a particular design. Gabe and Tycho’s comments? Incredibly superficial. Like, trying to find thesaurus words for “good” superficial.

And our first eliminations is… Alex. Sad, despite his noble attempt at trying to copy the Penny Arcade style as much as possible. Here are the adventures of… um… Abe and Psycho?

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I suppose I should give him a break, though, since, yes, one and a half hours is hardly enough time to do anything good. Should’be put some time in those 24-hour comic challenges, buddy.

Incidentally, I almost expected Katie to hug Alex at the end, like they do on most of these shows, but the best she manages is a pat on the shoulder. I guess they’re still strangers, but man, give this guy a hug! He was the first elimination! That’s driven competitors on other reality shows to heavy drink! Or worse!

Episode 5 is called “Ducks,” which I assume is going to be about that amphibious tour that I take out-of-town visitors on when they blow into Seattle. I hope they include the pirate tour guide, Walken D. Plank. He was a blast.

I was right, by the way, that the Arizona guys would have a hard time with the weather. Phoenix guy has a hard time with the weather immediately. Sadly, our tour guide is not Walken D. Plank, but a less flamboyant dude named Captain Lou. At least he has a rubber duck hat. The next is sort of the Travelogue portion of the program. It makes Seattle look really, really wet. (And a little unappealing, to be honest. From my experience, the city usually looks more photogenic than what’s captured here.) Captain Lou goes through his tour guide thing. I have to say, this segment replicates exactly the feeling of being on a 70-minute tour.

So now the contestants take a quiz to see if they were paying attention during the tour. Unnnggggghhhhhhhhhhhh. Each contestant gets a pad, where they write out what they think is the correct answer to each question. No drawing. No making comics. Just doing a quiz on fun facts about Seattle.

This is MUST SEE TV.

Yes, if you were wondering, I friggin’ fast forwarded to the end of this one. The winner is Lexxy, the girl with the pixie cut and the hipster glasses.

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For paying attention, though, Lexxy gets a really awesome prize: a Cintiq HD.

Next challenge: interviews. Wait, INTERVIEWS?!?!?!? Oh, COME ON! I thought I was kidding when I said we were televising Penny Arcade’s Human Resources Department!

As scintillating as witnessing a bunch of job interviews sounds, I think this is the end of the road for me and reviewing Strip Search. These challenges are seriously the sort of thing that you’d reject at a family renunion. At least we got to see a couple of webcomics being made.


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on March 27, 2013, in webcomics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I love everytime El Santo goes crazy about the blandness. I still dig the show(erm, the 30 minutes of the first episode I saw) but this SHOULD have been filmed as a sitcom comic with wacky characters and a talking animal sidekick. A Pomeranian, if anyone out there is taking notes, eh?

    Also, was there any duckface in the DUCKS episode? If not, even more missed opportunities, egads!

  2. From the way you describe it, the show does sound poorly thought out, but I think you have to keep reviewing it. Someone has to keep an eye on these judges of webcomics. WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN, DR. SANTO?

  3. Love your strip search reviews I cant for episode9 review

  4. Watching people like Mike, Jerry, and Scott critique other people reminds me of those businessmen who just happened to be lucky by being in the right place at the right time but go about lecturing others on how to be successful. And in PA’s case, they would not be the success they are without Robert Khoo.

  5. wonderful points altogether, you just gained a new reader.
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