The thing about Critical Role is that it's not an easy show to describe. It's a show about a band of brave adventurers (or idiots, take your pick) fighting monsters and exploring dungeons, rescuing towns and saving prisoners, and searching for powerful legendary artifacts. It's a show about family, whether it's reconnecting with estranged relatives, avenging the dead, or forming new bonds. It's a show about loss, from things ripped away in an instant to slow acceptance. And it's a show about love, in every shape and color — familial, romantic, platonic, fraternal.
It's also a show about watching people play Dungeons & Dragons.
Like a good book, most of the action takes place in your imagination, and perhaps that's the best way to describe it. While there are maps and models to give a visual sense of the playing field during encounters, much of the story is simply visualizing what's going on — and because the players are all talented voice actors, it's very easy to get immersed in the story. There is really nothing I can compare it to, because there's nothing quite like it. Roleplaying games are pretty cool that way.
Critical Role airs every Thursday at 7 PM Pacific on Geek & Sundry's Twitch; episodes are put on Youtube the following Monday.
Some frequently asked questions:
Whoa, wait a second, why are the episodes so long? It's a D&D game. If you've never played, it's not exactly a fast-paced game.
Okay, so should I skip to the most recent episode? No. Do not do this. This is a heavily plot-driven show, and one of the best things about it are the plot twists. Don't ruin the experience for yourself. You wouldn't start watching Game of Thrones on the final episode, would you?
More importantly, Critical Role finished its first campaign in October 2017 — episodes 1 through 115 cover this storyline. Look at it like this: you can take as much time as you want to watch the first campaign. If you want to follow along with the next campaign, it'll start in 2018. (If you're not familiar with tabletop games, this means that the players will all be playing brand-new characters, though it will still take place in the same world.)
I don't have time to watch it, I'd rather just listen to it. You can get it as a podcast instead!
Is it Thursday yet? Yes!
I am called Burt Reynolds and I take great offense at that. Scanlan