You might make the argument that the web doesn’t need another talk show of any sort — there are plenty of personalities, from the more traditional form used by Bob Kushell to that of DIGGnation and other direct-address series. But there’s always room for someone who can find a new spin on the format, such as Jace Hall, host and creator of The Jace Hall Show.
The first two seasons of Jace Hall ran on Crackle beginning May 2008, but the third season of Jace Hall premiered last week on IGN. Publisher and SVP of Content for IGN Entertainment Peer Schneider stated in a press release that “Jace and IGN are perfect bedfellows – his show blends the world of celebrities and the videogame industry’s hottest personalities with an irreverent voice that’s totally in synch with IGN.” Which pretty much means that he talks the nerd talk.
In comparison to the show’s earlier Crackle run, the new season is shockingly more kinetic, with an intense pace that will keep even the shortest attention span entertained. The use of on-screen text to emphasize points remains consistent, however, as well as Hall’s own informal, quasi-fictional style that inspires comparisons to Curb Your Enthusiasm — but at times more bizarre.
With his emphasis split pretty much between web, television and video games, that opens up much of the entertainment world for Hall, who, as a former senior VP with Warner Brothers Interactive whose production company has a first look deal with the studio, scores some impressive “gets” for his show.
Instead of each segment playing out as a whole, the surprisingly tight 12 minute third season premiere intercuts between at least four or five different elements. These include: A Wii boxing match between Rocky IV stars Dolph Lungren and Carl Weathers, Hot for Words‘ Marina’s attempts to define the word “n00bie,” an office visit to Blizzard Studios and a meetup with Michael “Dorkman” Scott that ends with the kickoff to a lightsaber battle with Felicia Day (seriously).
Based on the “coming soon” clip at the end of the episode, it looks like some of these sequences will continue throughout the six-episode season, which is an economical solution to maintaining an all-star line-up — though it means the show will be much less stand-alone than before. However, the visceral pleasures of each individual clip, even when disconnected from the narrative, are overall consistent, and Hall brings a striking energy to the show. It’s a skewed look at the pop culture world, but it’s also a crude delight.
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