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Channel Zero Episode 1: A Review

Dorkpool October 18, 2016 User blog:Dorkpool

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Syfy recently started broadcasting a new show, Channel Zero. The reason why this information has some importance is that this show, for those who don’t know, is based on certain Creepypasta stories, most notably “Candle Cove.”

I actually saw the show and decided, “Golly gee, I sure need to say things about it.” Why? Well, I have a penchant for not shutting up, and also to let everyone know I’m still alive and active. I’m not leaving, which a lot of people seem to be doing these days.

Anyway, those things I need to say happen to be a review. Spoilers: I’ll be going through the whole episode, so if you haven’t seen it and have a thing against spoilers, then go do other things. I hear Pokemon GO and dank memes are pretty popular these days.

So, the episode starts with our main character, Mike Painter. Mr. Painter is a child psychologist, and is having a TV interview with probably the worst TV interviewer ever after…well, just fill in the blank (I personally say Nancy Grace. That lady has issues). Seriously, this dude, in a bit of exposition, asks Mike about his dead and murdered identical twin brother, then gives Mike a phone and asks him to do his child psychologist schtick. Dick move, dude.

Well, none of this matters outside of some exposition, as it’s all a dream. Mike wakes up, texts someone, and then proceeds to drive somewhere. While driving, we see either stock footage or memories of Mike and twin brother.

It’s during this time we see the opening credits and, I have to admit, it’s kind of a kick seeing the name of the author of “Candle Cove.” I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s a feeling of recognition. Like, Creepypasta’s on Syfy! It’s an actual show! Not some crappy straight to DVD movie (looking at you here, Always Watching). But I digress.

Mike goes to his mom’s house, where a little girl called Katie is there, along with his mom, of course. Mike just creepily walks up to the two while they’re out doing garden things.

Mike and his mom go inside, where they give more exposition. Mike’s brother murdered some time ago, and his mom doesn’t want Mike looking into it. Mike says he won’t, and then immediately proves he’s full of shit by going to the police station and asking the cop, who’s Mike’s old friend. Mike asks for files related to murders, saying it’s for a book. That’s a lie, by the way. During a conversation between the two, the cop invites Mike over for dinner.

During the meal, Mike goes to the bathroom and finds Katie, the girl from earlier, watching a show called “Candle Cove.” Also, she has a brother obsessed with David Bowie. No idea why that’s there, but it was so weird I needed to mention it. I’ll give the show some credit: it’s nice actually seeing bits of “Candle Cove”. I get such a kick out of it.

Anyway, Mike’s a bit shocked by this, and when he gets back to the table he brings up the show.

It’s around here we get almost line by line quotes from the original story, but there is one bizarre change to the story: the Skin-Taker is now called Jawbone. Seriously? Why the fuck would you do that? Skin-Taker’s an awesome name. Fuck Jawbone. Fuck that name. That really pissed me off. In fact, it still does.

By the way, one thing I need to randomly bring up: throughout the episode, there are flashbacks to Mike’s past with his brother. It’s pretty disconnected from the rest of the episode, and features Mike’s brother getting beaten up because he intentionally went out of his way to confront a bully. Twice. However, it’s noteworthy for showing some footage of the “Candle Cove” TV show. Again, really awesome.

Back to the present day story. Mike’s sleep walking and ends up in the cop’s house or something. He sees the Skin-Taker (because fuck you Syfy, he’s not Jawbone!), who is human-sized because shut up, and almost touches the spooky scary skeleton. Then he wakes up before actually touching the skeleton.

As he wakes up, it turns out Katie’s missing. He’s suspected of having something to do with it because apparently he had a psychotic break earlier, and because he told Katie’s mother that he thinks “Candle Cove” has to do with the murder of his brother and Katie’s disappearance.

Eventually, Mike finds Katie, but not before touching someone dressed a robed skeleton, because why not. Katie’s missing some teeth, by the way. Also, when she and Mike leave where she was holed up, some weird gravel-looking being comes out of hiding. No idea who that is supposed to be. Seriously, if anyone knows, please let me know in the comments. Apologies for my ignorance. I’m assuming Gravel Man’s from a good Creepypasta story, and, as anyone who’s followed my work on the Wiki knows, I’m more an expert on crappy Creepypasta stories.

Anyway, cop dude doesn’t trust Mike, and Mike decides to leave his mom’s place. However, as he sleeps, the radio comes on and a child’s voice says that Mike wasn’t thinking of leaving, was he?

And that’s pretty much the episode. Was it good? Well, by default it’s both the best and worst Creepypasta story adapted to TV, since it’s the only one. On its own merits, it’s…eh. The first part of the episode felt incredibly slow. Also, the flashback scenes felt incredibly disjointed from the episode itself. Yes, I know, Arrow pulls this shit all the time, but at least they’re doing a whole story arc within their flashbacks. They’re kinda meh story arcs (well, “meh” is last season of Arrow in a nutshell), but still.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. I don’t really connect or care much for any of the characters. I’ve no idea why. I just found them a bit underdeveloped and bland.

Is anything good then? Oh yeah. When it actually has to do with “Candle Cove,” the show’s pretty interesting. The parts where they actually show the scary show are pretty awesome, if only from a sense of being a fanboy. And the ending leaves me curious about what’s to come.

If you’re a fan of “Candle Cove” or Creepypasta, I recommend this show, if only because, unlike other Creepypasta related media (again, Always Watching) it doesn’t suck.

Tune in next time as I continue to bitch and make jokes about this show, and leave your thoughts (and answers to who the fuck Gravel Man is) in the comments below.

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