Reviews for The Benefits of Death - Season 1
shika-paprika chapter 14 . 12/13/2017
It just wouldn't be the perfect season finale without one more Amy Winehouse joke, haha. That was a really sweet way to end the season, and I thought I jinxed myself for mentioning the lack of Gracie in this, but again, I'm pleased that she wasn't around to make things worse. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens in season two. Will there be new characters? Maybe some character development for the current ones? It's going to be interesting to see. All in all, another great story.
The Littlest Mouse chapter 1 . 12/9/2017
Holy shit! You write like Vonnegut! HOLY SHIT! This reads, very much like Slaughterhouse Five. I don't know why this reminds me so strongly of him and his writing style. There's not the same...bite to it. The only way I can explain is when you look at two painting, bother are drastically different. But the longer you stare the more you begin to notice that both artists used the same colors. It's also a little reminiscent of 1984 in the way you introduce your characters; it's with clean and simple language but with strong, almost upsetting, imagery. NONE OF THIS IS BAD! I LOVE THIS STORY AND I CAN'T WAIT TO READ MORE!
shika-paprika chapter 13 . 12/5/2017
Whoa, the amount of tension here and I didn't see that it was the season finale until I reached the end of the chapter. It's definitely a lot less lighthearted than the earlier chapters, but I guess that's the norm for season finales. Nonetheless, it still made for another great read. Nice to hear from Mark again and it was interesting to get more of a glimpse of Ike's life before his death. Maybe he's not turning up to be the "least uniquely-written character" after all. But it's going to be interesting to see how things will play out in part 2. I don't really have any complaints, but I was worried that Gracie would've came along and killed the mood with her obnoxiousness. Amazing work as always.
Sychronergy chapter 12 . 11/6/2017
I feel like your premise is an amazing idea that could've been taken further. You briefly touched upon politics and religion in your beginning chapters. I feel like more insight into those topics will lend your piece more depth. Like, how would those in afterlife view politics/religion/all those miscellaneous stuff that humans think are bigger than life? Are they really bigger than life? Your light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek, easy sense of humor would shine like a beacon if you combine your piece with satire and exploration of darker themes. Yin/yang is always an unforgettable balance.

You have a few gems in your piece. Certain lines of dialogues are quite unforgettable and you have a solid grasp of varying your character "prototypes" as well as setting up typical archetypes in atypical ways. I do enjoy Ike's perspectives and voice. Your own story-telling voice sounds to have mature quite a bit as well. I was caught by surprise when you break the fourth walls.

However, overall, I didn't feel like you brought this piece, so far, to its fullest potential. It sort of reads like a rolling footage of "stuff happens" without any resolution, crisis, worthwhile themes, death-or-life character tensions, escalation, growth, etc. To put it this way - it's important to be able to reflect everyman realism and capture essences of human-to-human interaction, but people don’t normally care about what happens to the guy next door. Your unique sense of humor is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how to make people care :P
Sychronergy chapter 11 . 11/6/2017
Humor is still present in this chapter. At some points, I feel like the chapter is a rolling footage where things is just happening, with no end-goal in sight or any destination in mind. I don't like Gracie that much as character, but that can be chalked up to the fact that I tend not to like over-hyper individuals or youngsters. The incorporation of fanfiction / nod to the existence of it (which few works tend to acknowledge) is an interesting one. (The fanfiction itself, though. That's a terrifying situation, haha)

Certainly adds more to that feeling of your work reflecting the natural humdrum of everyday, normal regular life.

Anyway!
Sychronergy chapter 3 . 11/6/2017
Not sure how I feel about the Mark Simmons and Trump references. On one hand, it brings us to the character. On the other hand, I feel as if the topics are a little throw-away for dudes who are already in their afterlives.

On the other-hand, I enjoy the concept of stuff going to into heaven when they become obsolete on earth. I wonder what do the folks in hell get? I also like the potential of the idea of people being able to further their career while in death o.O I mean, that opens up a lot of room for competitions, fights and all that fun stuff.

Love that little moment where Robyn just didn't take Eli's order, haha. I think, so far, that's my favorite scene. Pretty humorous, with a tiiiny bit of borderline realism and well, a clap on the shoulders for Ike, right?

Wasn't expecting the random break in the fourth wall at the end, but okay, will take it xD
Sychronergy chapter 2 . 11/6/2017
Your interpretation of God and heaven are definitely unique. I was wavering between looking for deeper clues [not sure. I can easily imagine a satire with some bigger-than-life meanings written in a similar fashion] and taking your words at face value. I'm not sure how I feel about putting Michael Jackson at the level of Napoleon or placing Napoleon at the level of Hitler. I mean, they're very different sorts of people.

I like the little bit of world building you did there when you insert that a building will appear in heaven if one person died in it. That idea does lead to some questions of locations and potential conflicts, but I like the idea. I also like the idea of pets being able to join their own in heaven. Sort of wish you expanded a tiny bit more on the animal's rebirth, though :P

At this point (end of chapter two) I feel like you might need some conflict/tension or something of the sort to keep the ball rolling, though. Heavens seems a little too good to be true and that's a good point to start from.
Sychronergy chapter 1 . 11/6/2017
I think you started off with an extremely interesting premise, with a lot of potential to pretty much go anywhere you want it to go. I think the writing is also more fluid in this piece than some of the other ones I read and your sense of humor is far more apparent here, which is a good thing, because your humorous prose drives your writing forward and lends a consistent gravity to the rest of your story.

However, the major punctuation issues I noted a while back are still apparent, and if (according to your profile?) you plan to go pro, that might deduct a lot of points from your manuscript. Editors throw out scripts for wrong margins or incorrect fonts. :P

Anyway, moving on. The dialogue resonates pretty well. A little everyman and extremely casual, but there's a unique appeal in that. I like the little throwbacks to issues in our real life world. It makes your characters feel like next-door neighbors and makes them easy to identify with.
God Speaking chapter 7 . 10/24/2017
I don't know if this can also be found in later chapters, but I just noticed it and I'm pretty sure
this ["...I listened to every pointer you gave me." He said, setting...] is wrong. I've searched it up and it's supposed to be this ["..I listened to every pointer you gave me," he said, setting..."]
Anyways I'd just like to point that out.
Other than that, pretty entertaining chapter. Maybe add a hint of fourth wall breaks and self-awareness to spice things up(?)
God Speaking chapter 6 . 10/24/2017
I don't think I've mentioned this before, but the pacing is great. Jokes are consistently funny without being too forced. They're inherently absurd but somehow they flow with the narrative very nicely. Some memorable moments are:
1. Todd and his two-toy analogy.
2. Wii U being dead and switch reference.
3. The chemistry between Janice and Ike.
shika-paprika chapter 12 . 10/18/2017
Now, that was a fun read compared to the last two chapters. While it did have it's humorous moments, it's comforting to see how supportive the guys are when it came to helping Jay with his debt. And even though I like Jay at times, I hated how ungrateful he was in this chapter and I don't blame Todd for reacting the way he did near the end. Again, great work and I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll do for the Christmas special.
shika-paprika chapter 11 . 10/17/2017
Well, that chapter was... definitely something. I wouldn't say I liked it, but I wouldn't say I disliked it either, it's somewhere in-between for me. Gracie honestly reminds me of a PG version of Mabel from Gravity Falls. She may come off as this charming, sweet little girl, but she can be obsessive and rather obnoxious and I'm not a big fan of her. Not surprised that Todd tried to hook up with her, they're practically made for each other. But it's nice that she did the comeuppance I was hoping for in the last chapter.
shika-paprika chapter 10 . 10/5/2017
Pretty interesting chapter to say the least. I don't know if I liked it as much as the past chapters, but it was still a fun read. I feel like I would've enjoyed it more if I seen those two things you mentioned in the beginning. Didn't think a partially sensible person like Ike would like to stir up drama, though it was Eli who mostly instigated everything. It would've been nice to see him and that girl who was spying on Ike and Robyn(I'm guessing her name's Gracie?), get their comeuppance. Also, I found the little self-depreciation joke where Todd brought up that Ike's not the most uniquely-written character kind of funny. Maybe that'll change later on. All in all, nice work.
shika-paprika chapter 9 . 9/28/2017
That little "Rocky" montage in the beginning was pretty cute. Todd definitely stole the show in this chapter and it's nice to see that he, somewhat, learned his lesson about being an adult. The parts with the other three guys were funny too, but I thought of something I would've liked to see after I read the last chapter. While the guys were in France, maybe they could've went to a winery and then they realize that kids drink wine too and then they have a little moment where they miss Todd. But hey, it's your story, you call the shots. Nice work once again.
RisanF chapter 1 . 9/27/2017
Pretty good work! The tongue-in-cheek prose is easy to understand, so I was able to follow along pretty well. I do wonder how the thug was able to do a midair split over a bullet, but I figure this goes with the Looney Tunes sensibilities of your story. The only part that's a little confusing is the woman on the pole; was she straddling the pole, or balancing on top of it? Otherwise, good start.

-RisanF
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