“Man, it’s good to be a geek,” sings Deaf Pedestrians on episode 19 of The Totally Rad Show, and this line pretty much sums up the entire premise of this weekly Revision3 series. Every Tuesday three dudes, Alex Albrecht, Jeff Cannata, and Dan Trachtenberg chatter away on recent movies, TV shows, video games, and comic books. It’s kind of like a boys’ version of Girls on Film (Tilzy.TV page) – and almost just as giddy at times.
What inspired so much enthusiasm – and led to the birth of the show – was a deep and shared fascination with all forms of geekdom entertainment. According to their website:
“TRS was born in the depths of geek culture, at an epic game of Dungeons and Dragons in 2006. Alex Albrecht, host of Revision3’s Diggnation, and Dan Trachtenberg, former host of Revision3’s Geekdrome, met Jeff Cannata, former video game columnist, at the D&D table, and became fast friends. Intense debates over Star Wars characters, late night frag-fests in Gears of War, Heroes- and Lost-watching parties, and the sharing of dog-eared copies of Preacher graphic novels followed, leading the guys to one clear realization: This is the stuff we love. This stuff is totally rad.”
The three teamed up with videographer Steve Koncelik, set up a green screen in a garage, and launched the show on March 27, 2007.
Everything from the depths of geekdom, as well as a smattering of mainstream pop culture, is fair game for Albrecht, Cannata, and Trachtenberg to review. ###They’ll chew over thoughts on Oscar contenders like Atonement, debate the merits of Guitar Hero 3 v. Rock Band, or offer up news on a Watchmen movie while browsing a Comicon extravaganza. There are also occasional shorter, non-review, unintentionally comedic segments like “Dan Becomes a Man.”
While the three will often gush about their mutual excitement over a movie or game, The Totally Rad Show gets the most interesting when we see a little disagreement. Amid the friendly bickering and sometimes-heated debates, in-depth and insightful commentary emerges as each guy is forced to justify what he believes. It’s also when we see each of their personalities unfold most clearly in light of their backgrounds – Albrecht as an improv comedian, Cannata as an actor from California, and Trachtenberg as a director.
Their chatty discussions and overall group chemistry have won them many fans, but I suspect most of them are geeks themselves. And that’s perhaps the biggest point about this show: You kinda have to be a geek to enjoy it. If you simply aren’t familiar with or don’t particularly care about “geeky” topics, their enthusiasm won’t be very contagious, the rapid-fire references will be lost on you, and the one-hour show will seem staggeringly long.
To their credit, everyone on the show tries hard to make TRS more than just three talking heads. Thanks to the green screen, their studio background constantly changes (and can frankly be more interesting than their conversations), and they always come up with introductory segments of film spoofs and spiffy transitions among topics. But often times, a good 4-5 minutes will perplexingly go by after the start of an episode before they finally get to the nitty gritty of their reviews. Trimming just a little fat could do the show some good.
If you’re a geek who enjoys sitting through a long simmer of geekdom chatter, watching The Totally Rad Show should feel totally right on.