AP2 Update: April 2024 (Fallout and Hazbin Hotel Reviews)

Chapter 26, Draft 4: INCOMPLETE

Yeah, whoops. Where does the time go? Thanks to the numerous changes I’ve made to the story, this chapter requires a LOT of revision. So it’s not done, but I am working. Well, except for the past couple nights that I’ve been writing this blog post. 😁

With no complete chapter I can’t do a poem or progress report, so let’s just review the month’s hottest shows! Or… the shows I watched in April. Spoilers for Fallout and Hazbin Hotel.


Fallout: Now, I’ve played Fallout 3, 4, and 76, so I was excited for this. I heard the show was coming out this month, so I used up a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. And no, I didn’t even order a single package during the trial. 😅

I might as well share my thoughts about each episode since there are only eight.

The End – What a crock. They immediately rip off Red Dwarf by starting with this title. Do these chumps really think they’re the first people to start off an apocalypse story with THE END!? 😑

I liked this episode, though. Lucy’s story begins like most of the Fallout games do: a vault-dweller’s cozy life is shattered by a horrific event. Time to leave on your wasteland adventure, Lucy!

I am NOT a fan of what happens next. Instead of seeing Lucy’s reaction to the world outside the vault, we cut away to different characters already living lives on Earth’s ruined surface. It spoils the surprise for people experiencing the Fallout world for the first time.

When did this trend of storytelling get popular? Just as I start to get involved with one setting, the scene shifts to completely different people in an unrelated situation. Just give them their own episode, sheesh. 🙄

The Target – They nuked Target!? Where will I find my overpriced cereal now!? Ha,ha, no, now we are introduced to yet another character in yet another place that we’ll never see again in the season. A scientist researching dogs somewhere.

The three main characters (Lucy, Max, and Ghoul) all meet up in a town so maybe it WAS good that they didn’t all get separate episodes before now. Speeds up the action.

I was amazed that all of the items and weapons look like their counterparts from the game. The power armor impressed me the most.

With all this attention to detail, I was still annoyed that the yao guai wasn’t called by its in-game name. ‘Mutant bear’ or something? C’mon.

The Head – A very good title that refers to a literal severed head, as well as the Ghoul’s previous life as the face of Vault-Tec.

I forgot about gulpers. Another ‘head’ reference, I suppose.

The Ghouls – This is the one with all the chopping-off of fingers. Pfft! I knew it wasn’t going to be permanent. Lucy gets a new finger from a Mr. Handy and the Ghoul just sews his back on later.

Speaking of Mr. Handy I was amazed at how great it looked. I was also amazed at how few robots I’d seen up until this point. I mean, in the games ‘bots are all over the place. And Mr. Handy is probably the most difficult robot to reproduce for a show. (It hovers using rocket boosters; has multiple eyes on stalks; and sports multiple ARMS with various attachments.)

So where are the other robots? They’re mostly humanoid or simple floating orbs. Seems like it would be a lot easier to put ’em in somewhere with practical effects. Strange.

The Past – I’ll be honest, I started to get bored around this point. My story-telling senses told me that there would be no conclusion to the main goal this season, based on the pacing. Another clue was all the scenes we were spending with the people back in the vault from the first episode. Not sure why we need to see TWO groups of people discover the same secret. 😣

The Trap – And now Lucy and Max are stuck in yet another vault. All the tension started to slip away at this point because as a long-time player of Fallout I know that EVERY vault is a trap. Maybe it’s different for newcomers to the franchise?

And at the start of the next episode they are simply set free!? 😑

The Radio – Yeah, the radio! I almost forgot: this show is full of songs from the game! In fact, it almost has TOO many songs from the game. Save some for later seasons, guys! Or at least add some more songs to Fallout 76.

The BeginningRed Dwarf ALSO did this title at the end of a season. Dang it Bethesda! You don’t need to nick ideas from legendary British sci-fi sitcoms!

Let’s see, what else could they have named it? ‘The Start?’ No, what would be something appropriate for a video game show? ‘Ready Player One?’ Yeah, that would be a much better episode title. See? It’s easy to find original ideas!

And, just as I feared, this really is the ‘beginning’ of the story. The Ghoul and Lucy have put their differences aside to chase the true villain.

But DANG. I was not expecting the reveals that we got here. VAULT-TEC is behind the nuclear war!? Mr. House was in on it!? Man, so that’s how New Vegas survived the bombs! It really is too bad that newcomers won’t get these references, but I was not expecting all of this to be relevant to the games I’ve been playing for all this time. A+ episode!

Whew! One show done. It takes me a very long time to sit and watch these, but I saw that I had a bit of time left on my free trial. Enough for another ‘one season show’ on Amazon Prime. So I looked around and I saw an animated one called Hazbin Hotel. The characters reminded me of Invader Zim, one of my favorite shows, so I decided to give it a try.

And zounds, what do you know… it’s another Christian story! It takes place in Hell, where a demon named Charlie is trying to SAVE sinners! Isn’t that just super?

Ha,ha… no. It’s full of sex, violence, and—GASP—swearing. But I always think it’s interesting to see stories based on biblical figures, even if I have to resist the urge to constantly think: ‘That’s not right.’ ‘They got that wrong.’ ‘Adam would NOT act like that.’

It took me a while to settle in to yet ANOTHER fictitious version of Hell/Heaven with its own set of rules, and there were some unexpected facets to the show that surprised me.

Character Design: I know nothing about illustrative art so I can’t say why I like the ‘look’ of the characters. I DO know that I like the ‘inhuman’ details and the way they’re animated. Tails, wings… all the demonic/angelic body parts are here. Some characters have extra appendages. Others have ‘true’ forms that bleed through when they’re angry or serious. Antlers and horns will sprout out during a furious RAGE and then shrink back down when the character has calmed down. Lots of cool stuff. 🤩

Songs: Ha,ha… yes there are songs. With vocals. TWO in each episode. I was ready to bust out laughing in shock when the first song started up in episode one, but then I realized that it was actually a GOOD song. ALL of these songs feel like they could be straight from a musical at the Fox Theatre. (I’m going to see Moulin Rouge for my birthday.)

I do enjoy musicals from time to time, so this was a ‘fun’ kind of shock.

Dialog: This is the weak area. As I mentioned before, there is swearing. And these writers got a permission slip for UNLIMITED F-bombs. And they pretty much use it as a crutch. Need a joke? Need a reaction? Is a character angry? F-bomb every time. Ridiculous.

I’m annoyed by this type of humor, but there are a few funny physical gags. Hazbin Hotel does it’s own version of the Archer ‘one moment while I finish this drink’ bit and I thought it was hilarious. No words spoken.

Fortunately, Keith David is one of the voice actors. Everything syllable he speaks is silky gold smoothness, swears or not.

And speaking of cool voices, one of the characters is a ‘radio demon lord.’ His voice has the crackly pitch of an antique radio speaker. Very creative. And I believe he only swears once, forcing the writers to come up with GOOD dialog for him. Maybe he’ll turn every character into a radio demon.

Story: This part gets muddled a bit. Charlie wants demons to experience salvation, but she doesn’t really know what works. Heck, even the ANGELS in this version of Heaven don’t know what counts as ‘being saved!’ What a bunch of idiots. I guess there’s no ‘John 3:16’ in this universe.

And with no clear path to the goal, how do we get this hotel to work? Ah, I know! By turning the story into a giant war between Hell and Heaven! Yes, seriously! The final episode is a massive battle filled with one-on-one fights, magical spells, and nonstop carnage! Hey, that’s fine with me! A +!

Conclusion: The first three episodes were a bit confusing. A bunch of characters are introduced that frankly didn’t have any influence on the main story. A TV demon. A dinosaur demon. Writers, if you’re teasing stuff for season two, DON’T put it at the beginning of season one before you even spend any time focusing on the main cast. There was even a song about an ancient demon lord and a younger rival that ate up time… yet went nowhere. Those characters didn’t even show up again. This is where I took a break for a while to finish up Archer.

So after a week I come back. THEN episode four hits. Now two of the main characters get their own songs and their shameful pasts are revealed. Not only are these songs relevant, but they’re so catchy that I remember the tunes and hummed them all day.

The show doesn’t let up from there. Each episode after four builds and snowballs into the final confrontation.

But… things go a LITTLE too fast here. Staying true to musicals, the show dumps tons of exposition into the songs. Characters reveal their feelings and secrets in the span of seconds. You get duos and quartets like it’s the climax of Les Misérables.

When it’s all sung and done, even if you get lost in the whirlwind of drama and angelic goo, it’s entertaining.

Oh! Dang, I forgot the comics! Or rather, the store didn’t have the Superman annual when I went to get it today.

I guess I’ll have to order it from Amazon Prime. Good thing I have that 30-day free tr—

NO IT RAN OUT YESTERDAY!? I gotta wait two weeks AND pay for shipping!?


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