From our Community Blogs
Goodbye, Dear Friend
// Submitted @ 6:10 PM on 03.14.2011
For many moons I wandered the harsh landscape of the internet, I've seen things that would make grown men cry - and trust me I'm a grown man who's shed a few tears - but here I stand in front of you the Dtoid community once again. Now years have past since I was last here and wrote anything of substance so I doubt anyone will remember but hey I'm still going to pretend!
Now some of you internet veterans (and some newbs) may remember a little internet tv series called PurePwnage. It followed the life of a "pro gamer" called the_ownerer, known to all and sundry as Jeremy. It was originally a one off idea of the most officious, anti-social gamer you could think of but evolved over about 4 years into a long-form show that mixed humour and drama with some success. For a show on the internet at the time it was revolutionary. It predates youtube and people were streaming a 30-40 minute show en masse.
The show grew and grew in popularity to a point where each new episode, which appeared sporadically due to the amateur nature of the show and actors, was shown for the first time in a theatre in originally Toronto but eventually over several countries. They never failed to sell out these showings which is pretty impressive considered the humble beginnings of the show.
The show was the brainchild of Jarret Cale and Geoff Lapaire - two self professed Canadians - Jarret playing the role of Jeremy and Geoff playing his brother Kyle who is often a source of derision for Jeremy and his compariots. They turned something most kids do nowadays in their backyards with their friends into a cottage industry of t shirt sales and episode showings. They made enough money to comfortably live off of, for the creators only the rest of the crew got paid but not as handsomely.
Most fans of the show will know that one of the later additions to the cast, a character called T-Bag who was a pro-Halo player, was sadly killed in a horrific car crash towards the end of 2008. This seemed to the breaking point for the show as after 19 episodes, the last of which was a two parter with a very teasing cliffhanger, was going on hiatus. Now obviously we can sympathise with the cast and crew as they had lost a close friend. People need time to grieve, but after a while the wait which had always been large between episodes seemed to turn into months and months. Suddenly on this very website I saw a video which I hoped was the announcement of a return to the web series but turned out to be the start of a Canadian TV series of the show. It starred for the most part the same core crew with some minor changes.
I watched the series in hopes that it would start at the beginning but with better writing and photography then hit the last web-episode and continue on the story as it was starting to build to a climax (the web series was planned as a three-season run once ROFLMAO Productions decided to make it into a series) and the loose ends were beginning to get answered. However it turned out to be a very different entity to the original series and changed things drastically in some areas and totally left out some stuff that made the show what it was. The TV show lasted 8 episodes and was never renewed.
With the TV show's future uncertain after the original run the fans of the show dwindled till the forums were only used by a hardy bunch of. well not sad people but people with little else to do with their time. People were frustrated that they heard nothing from the producers, actors or crew who were normally very involved with the fans up till the TV series started. Many hoped that because the TV show was probably dead in the water the web series would be started up again. However many, many moons passed with nary a word from anyone involved with the series.
Now I dropped by the site a few weeks ago as I do every few weeks in the hopes that something will be in the works again and find that the writer of the series - Jarret Cale - had dropped by the forums and told everyone that wanted to know what was going on with the series. Basically the TV show was not getting renewed because the station that ordered the series originally got taken over. The web series was dead because Geoff Lapaire no longer felt like it was worthwhile due to the death of T-Bag and another person close to the production team. Geoff Lapaire's departure seems to have been the nail in the coffin for the show as he did a lot of work other than the cinematography of the show. He helped write and direct the show and edited a lot of the footage which is time consuming on a part time basis. Geoff seems no longer to be in contact with anyone on the show which is a shame because for a good few years it was the best show on the internet.
The death of such a milestone of the internet is a sad thing but this was especially sad for me. It reminded me of the times I spent watching the show and enjoying it. It also reminded me of the day I found out about the show through this very website and someone's BOOM HEADSHOT! gif. These are days to which we cannot return but without these memories we would not be the people we are today. So thanks Destructoid and thanks PurePwnage for making the internet a more awesome place!
PS. If you are looking for a similar show The Guild, while not to my tastes for the most part, is about as good a modern analogue as you will find. It also features Felicia Day so it wins pretty hard.