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Mysteries of Our Lives by E. Ty Junior

 

Welcome to Hallandale, Massachussetts, a city of infinite possibilities—love, magic, deception, the unexplained, the unwanted, romance, and tragedy. You may settle in this sleepless city at your own risk, but remember that no stone goes unturned and that behind every locked door there is a reason it was not to be opened in the first place.


An ongoing scripted series, with new episodes twice weekly

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Listed: Oct 14, 2008

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Remains a mystery…

By Stormy, editor, author of Require: Cookie

Nov 2, 2008: I haven’t had a chance to read the series, because, like most people I like to start at the beginning – this seems impossible for this series.

The site design, although clean and professional, has some major flaws – especially when it comes to new readers. There is an episode archive, but instead of an actual archive, it’s simply a detailed synopsis for the season. This would be great if you were returning after a long absence, but lacks the immediacy of actually reading through the story episode by episode.

Now, I know that no-one will go back and watch every episode of "Days of Our Lives" in order to catch up with the story (both because it would be nigh-impossible to find all of the episodes and equally infeasible to find the time to do so), but for a web series, the option should be there to read a series from the beginning.

You can manually change the episode title using the address bar, but this also only works to a limited degree – because unlike the latest episode, you are not taken to a page that shares design elements with the rest of the page, instead a stripped-down version that lacks the header image, and has a strangely annoying animated gif for a background.

There’s also the issue of the different coloured text within a single episode – this is used to denote different locations (also given by loglines), which could be construed as a slight against the reader – as if they’re only skimming through the work, and aren’t trusted to note the given locations.

Now, since the episode archives are infeasible to access, I won’t be following Donna’s five chapter rule, and instead will read the latest posting, so that this review isn’t simply about the site design.

By halfway through the chapter, I had lost interest – it wasn’t the font colours, it wasn’t the script format (I’ve studied movie scripts, and have no problem reading the format). It was the simple fact that I didn’t care about the characters – stories are journeys to be taken, you start at the beginning so that you know all of the characters, where they’re coming from, what they want to achieve, and mots importantly, you learn all of their little nuances.

For example, there’s a character named Queen DaVille – now, because we’re not able to read from the beginning, we don’t know if anyone has commented on the similarity of her name to that of Cruella de Vil, or even if it’s intentional, as in her appearance in the chapter, she seems justifiably angry.

That’s another issue with the spoonfed synopsis format – there will always be a slant to the recaps, one that’s likely portrayed within the series itself, but if you aren’t able to read through the episodes, you can’t form your own opinions about characters. There’s always the Star Wars example, in which the valiant rebels try to fight against the evil Empire – there are always people who believe in what the Empire wants to achieve. This follows on a smaller scale – one person’s justified goal is another person’s crazed obsession.

There’s also the prolific use of "tell" rather than "show" – which further detracts from the attractiveness of the series.

Unfortunately, I am unable to recommend the series.

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