Wednesday, September 18, 2013

'Heroes of Cosplay' recap: 'Planet Comicon-Part 2'

Courtesy: Syfy

Are you ready to find out who wins the group skit competition at Planet Comicon? Hold your horses, folks. You have to ease into this competition. It's a slow journey, fraught with danger!

When last we left Kansas City, Chloe and Jesse had won in the individual competition, leaving Victoria and Becky in the cold. At least Becky had the group competition to look forward to, but what about Victoria? Well, it turns out Jinyo had a surprise lined up for her!
 The next day, they go to a panel with Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original "Star Wars" films. Jinyo was dressed as a Rebel Alliance fighter pilot and Victoria was in a red original style Star Trek uniform. Mr. Mayhew calls them up to the front of the room, where Jinyo nervously pulls out a tiny little Death Star replica. Guess what's inside! Go ahead, guess. It's an engagement ring, of course. The happy couple kiss to the applause of the room.

While Victoria is getting engaged, the members of Yaya's Team Atlanta, and Crabcat's Team Los Angeles are arriving. Riki would like nothing more than to take a nap, but Yaya immediately drags her and Monika off to work on their costumes. Holly and Jessica also arrive with their Gronkle dragon in a humongous box and plop down in Becky's room. After getting a plan put together, everybody decides to meet up with the rest of the Heroes of Cosplay group for some drinks. Everyone except Jesse. We really only see Jesse and his wife in the audience this episode, which probably means they were wisely making the best use of room service they could.

Anyway, all the ladies get together for drinks and Holly finally gets a little annoyance off her chest. She chastises Monika for her callous words to Becky about not being good enough to be in a group with her. Well, this is the first Yaya has heard of this and she asks for some clarification. Essentially the group comes to a consensus that elitism and cosplay have no place together. Monika professes to have at least learned to think before she speaks. Of course, in the same breath she wishes that Becky had come to her privately if she had a problem with what she said. In truth, she seems more upset that all of this was said in front of Yaya than anything else. Hiding behind her sunglasses, she endures throughout the rest of the evening.

Did I say this journey was fraught with danger? I did, didn't I? Several little hurdles hit both groups. Riki ends up getting very sick, and Becky ends up almost blind. It looks like Riki has picked up a nasty case of the flu. While Becky left her cheap cosplay contacts in overnight and they have chemically burned her eyes. Holly and Jessica send her off to the hospital while they try to figure out what they will do if she can't perform.

Ultimately, Holly volunteers her husband Ross to be a Viking. She promises not to make him be the girl Viking though. He seems touched, really. Meanwhile Riki has progressed to full-on projectile vomiting. Yaya appears to be sincerely upset that Riki is so ill, and decides that they will pull out of the competition. Only when Riki staggers out of the bathroom, she insists on continuing. That's a real trooper for you! Becky also makes it back to Team Los Angeles just in time for the prejudging. Her eyes are still a problem, but she feels she can continue.

Team Atlanta is first into the prejudging part of the competition. I have to say that Yaya's Red Queen is outstanding. I really liked Monika's Cheshire Cat mask. Riki was correct in the previous episode about getting the short end of the stick. Alice's blue frock and underlying meat dress were not very attractive. They made it through the prejudging fine, except the judges did not inspect anything up close and personal. Yaya was very perturbed that they didn't want to “flip her seams”. She was very disappointed in their lack of attention to detail. Team Los Angeles also made it to prejudging after a slight pause to cut Holly's boob tape. It seems she taped her bosoms a little tight and almost passed out. Luckily husbands are good to keep around for cutting boob tape off of you in a hurry.

It's competition time! The judges for this group skit competition are Tommy Castillo, Holly Messinger, and Chris Adams. We see the usual parade of performing groups, many of which looked very good, before we get to our Heroes.

Team Atlanta goes first, but there is a pause while the stage gets set up. During this pause, someone in the audience calls out some heckling about the out-of-towners. This prompts the Female Doctor Who group in line behind Crabcat to start picking on them. Well, this sets Becky to crying and Holly getting angry. She gives them a good talking to, which appears to have little effect on the belligerent women.

Anyway, Yaya and her group finally make it onto the stage and commence the "Alice: Madness Returns" skit. It is quite cool. It looks to be far more theatrical than many of the other briefly glimpsed skits. The only flaw in the performance came when Yaya's crown tumbled from her head. She manages to scoop it up and reattaches it before Alice “kills” her and takes it away from her again.

Team Los Angeles finally gets their turn and takes the stage amidst worries about their lack of preparation. With Becky's eye problem, the only time they had to practice the skit was that day while waiting for the competition to begin. They do an excellent job with Gronkle ("How To Train Your Dragon") belching smoke all across the stage. I think Becky's acting skills came in to play here very well.

So who won? Well, sadly Team Los Angeles did not. Holly, Jessica, and Becky were quite the disappointed trio, but it's all about having fun, right? In the end, Team Atlanta won and Yaya proved once again that she has what it takes. You may all rest easy that her brand is safe once again.

So what did all of you think about "Heroes of Cosplay?" I will admit that I really wanted to like this show. I've been a fan of the ladies of Crabcat for a while, but I will readily say I know very little about cosplay. I have always, perhaps naively, thought it was about having fun and geeking out with fellow geeks, freaks, and nerds. This show ultimately left me with the impression that it's full of shallow, mean-spirited women despite it's efforts at the end to demonstrate that this is not the case. It was too little to late as far as I'm concerned. If this is the type of criticism I should expect at a con, then why would any amateur want to do it?

Another pet peeve, is that with all of the cosplayers that do this, they only came up with one man willing to be on the show. I find this to be quite unbelievable. There were many men in the competitions over these six episodes. So, it just becomes more clear that this was a heavily edited and biased glimpse at the world of cosplay. If they get a second season, I for one would like to see more of the making stuff, and less of the backbiting, what about you?