I got into Dungeons and Dragons back in the winter of 2015, and it’s all thanks to a certain Twitch stream called Critical Role. Consequently, both the game, and the show, have become huge parts of my life, which is why I have chosen Geek and Sundry’s Critical Role as this month’s Entertainment Bite.
“Welcome to tonight’s episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons…”
- Matt Mercer
This is how every episode of Critical Role begins, and for over one hundred episodes, this amazing group of nerdy voice actors have enthralled viewers into a fantasy realm that keeps fans in constant suspense. The characters develop and grew, the emotional connection to the characters and players is something unexpected, but is the highlight of the game. Not to mention, the stories coming from the strange and wonderful mind of DM, Matt Mercer ensures there is never a dull moment. Whether it’s fighting a legion of dragons, or turning into cows, this band of adventurers keep you on the edge of your seat from anywhere up to five hours every Thursday night.
So, for those unfamiliar with the show, let me quickly introduce the characters to you.
The Dungeon Master – Matt Mercer [“How do you want to do this?”]
Vex’ahlia, the Ranger – Laura Bailey [“I wink at him.”]
Vax’ildan, the Rogue – Liam O’Brien [“Dagger, dagger, dagger.”]
Grogg Strongjaw, the Barbarian – Travis Willingham [“I’ve an intelligence of 6, I know what I’m doing.”]
Pike Trickfoot, the Cleric – Ashley Johnson [“I’m so stealthy.”]
Scanlon Shorthalt, the Bard – Sam Riegel [“Bigby’s Haaaaaand.”]
Percy de Rollo III, the Gunslinger – Taliesin Jaffe [“Life needs things to live.”]
Keyleth, the Druid – Marisha Ray [“I go minxie.”]
This band of adventurers make up the team, Vox Mochina (formerly known as the S.H.I.Ts – the Super High Intensity Team, that is, don’t know what you were thinking of) as they travel around the immense world of Tal-dorei, fighting dragons, saving villages and proving themselves to be a formidable force across the plains.
The show has seriously involved since its first episode. And whether you’re watching it live, or weeks later, it certainly doesn’t take you away from the experience. The cast are a genuine group of friends, and they feel like a family.
I even had the pleasure of meeting Matthew Mercer and Marisha Ray at a convention last year, and there are no two nice people in the world. they seriously know what it is like to be nerds themselves, meeting people they look up to.
The cast of characters are very unique, and it has the perfect balance of a real, scripted show – the voice actors utilise their skills to keep their audience engrossed, but it isn’t all seriousness. The characters never fail to bring in some excellent comedy that comes naturally to them. Not to mention the DM has some serious NPC skills. I think all of this owes to the fact that none of the characters are playing up to the camera – these guys were playing the game in their spare time anyway, and were merely asked by Geek and Sundry if they could stream it. We are very lucky to be permitted to witness their genius!!
Mercer himself creates a world of characters and locations that have becomes so familiar to their viewers, with each new episode, it is like returning to a second home.
If you have a few hours to spare, are cooking, going on a bus journey, or need a while to unwind, I recommend listening/watching Critical Role. There is never a dull moment. With a book coming out soon, and the show seeing no end in sight – you will forever be asking yourself: “is it Thursday yet?”