Hello friends, I am here to spread the gospel of DROPOUT.
That, uh… maybe sounds a little (a lot?) more cult-like than I meant. Sorry about that. SERIOUSLY, though, you need this channel in your life.
Head’s up: There’s a DROPOUT giveaway at the bottom of this post!
I hear what you’re saying. “What, no, I have ten bajillion subscriptions. I can’t just add DROPOUT to the chaos that is my life.”
Subscription Fatigue is a real menace. It feels like we’re all juggling $12 subscriptions just to watch one or two shows, and that’s frustrating. (Real talk, how many people only subbed to HBO during Game of Thrones season?)
However, DROPOUT is so different from Netflix or Hulu it barely seems like the same kind of thing. Check it out:
- It’s full of hilarious, geeky, deeply innovative content made by a crew of unfairly talented comedians.
- Diversity is built in from the ground up. There are people from a slew of backgrounds and all parts of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum both behind and in front of the camera. It makes for SUCH a refreshing experience. When was the last time you saw content that’s 95% non-problematic (not counting Steven Universe, because that show is gold)?
- People from one show pop up on others, which creates a very cool sense of emotional attachment to these nerds.
- There are no “bad shows” on this platform. None. There are some that are more my style than others, but I’ve enjoyed at least some of everything there is. Part of this is because it’s all creator-directed with very little “network oversight” to ruin the flow.
- It costs about the same as a couple of energy drinks per month.
I’ve watched at least a few episodes of everything on the platform, and there’s only a few that didn’t get their hooks into me hard. I had a rough time narrowing down five to highlight what makes me love this platform so much.
Here are the five that made the cut!
Dimension 20 is a Dungeons and Dragons actual play show, but it’s not just for gamers. You don’t have to know anything about D&D to have a good time watching, because the story is the main focus. Each season is a self-contained story-arc with its own world and new characters (though the players are the same in the full seasons).
Don’t worry about being bored waiting for people to decide what to do next, either. All the players are comedians and improv artists. There are fully painted, custom-designed sets and miniatures to lend a visual element. Dramatic music and light effects drop when something’s happening.
In short, it’s what D&D has always been like in our heads but actually out there for everyone to enjoy.
Plus, there’s a TON OF IT already made. There is more than two straight days of content just in Fantasy High (the first season) so you have plenty to keep you entertained.
Go read our review of Dimension 20 for a (probably overlong but very enthusiastic) look at the fun you’re going to have with this show.
This is the most ridiculous game show I’ve ever seen. It’s even weirder than Ellen’s Game of Games, which is a personal favorite of mine- and which I like just a hair less than this absolute chaos spiral of a show.
You never know what you’re going to see on Game Changer. Maybe it’s Brennan Lee Mulligan shamelessly sharing personal details of his past in exchange for meaningless internet points. Maybe it’s Zac Oyama smashing a vase full of flowers with the judgiest eyebrows you’ve ever seen. WHO KNOWS?
Not the contestants. No one knows the rules of the game before playing, and every single episode has different rules. We as the audience get an episode title to suggest what’s going on, and it’s hilarious to see how that plays out.
I thought the premise was going to be gimmicky at first. After watching everything they’ve put out so far, it is a wee small tad gimmicky, but in the best possible way. After all, people use gimmicks because they work.
Best of all, I’ve never been bored by an episode. This is exactly my style of game show, you guys.
Maybe it’s yours, too?
Okay, real talk. Paranoia is one of the few DROPOUT shows I’m going to caveat, because it’s not for everyone. You’re either going to snicker all the way through or roll your eyes and pass.
The show has a table full of players trying to complete games that require clear thinking. The problem? Two of them got incredibly high just before the show started. With actual pot, because it’s legal where the show is filmed.
See why I’m throwing out a warning? I doubt any of our regular readers are going to clutch their pearls about some legal recreational Mary Jane, but if you’re pitching this to a conservative relative I’d leave this one off the list. Let them find it after they’re already hooked on the other shows.
After every round someone gets voted off. The sober players lose the minute they don’t outnumber the stoners- so they need to find them, fast.
Things are made difficult by the fact that every player is sprayed down with deodorizer before the game begins. They get no scent clues at all.
The first 2 episodes of Paranoia are a little disorganized. Obviously, host Ally Beardsley was working things out, but they got their act together really fast. It got much clearer with a slightly tighter format, and there’s still not so much regulation that it impacts the fun factor.
They also added a segment at the end where they talk with a legalization advocate and give some educational direction, so… maybe you do want to watch this with your conservative relatives?
Most of the shows I’ve brought up are purely entertaining with very little serious subtext. Total Forgiveness is my favorite example of DROPOUT’s “serious content” (of which there is a bunch, most of which is both funny and moving).
It gets INTENSE, people.
Grant and Ally, two of College Humor’s core “face team members”, are the people with the most student debt. It hangs over every minute of their lives. Ally has a dangerously bad beater car they can’t afford to make safer than absolutely legally necessary. Grant is constantly fielding calls from debt collectors looking for larger shares of his income.
At the time both were making above average salaries for their positions. Despite that, neither was able to make appreciable headway on their ocean of student debt. So they pitched Total Forgiveness: a show where they dare each other to complete increasingly outrageous tasks in order to win money to pay back their debt.
The concept seems massively flippant for such a hot button topic. Things get real serious, real fast. It’s a major exploration not only of what people are willing to do to get out from under student debt, but of how friendships struggle when this kind of money comes into play.
I would suggest watching this after a few other shows if the DROPOUT crew is totally new to you. It has a deeper impact when you know that Grant and Ally are close friends. However, I think you can still get a lot out of it going in cold.
After the show, you definitely need to watch Total Forgiveness: Reunion, the post-show wrap-up episode, for emotional closure. I had a lot of FEELINGS, and that interview helped me reorganize my thoughts.
There is nothing else like this on TV. It’s a must-watch for anyone with student debt, or with college-bound kids, or with a functional soul that worries about the absolutely broken educational system in America.
My favorite shows might make it seem that DROPOUT is a bit game show heavy, which isn’t really true. It’s more that I am a giant nerd, and there’s very little nerds enjoy as much as correcting each other on tiny nerd details.
That’s Um, Actually. Host Mike Trapp reads statements from across nerddom. Video games, books, TV shows, movies, toys- everything is fair game. Players earn points by finding the one wrong detail in each statement.
There are also “shiny questions”, which have no set format but call for a little more intense feedback. A lot of times it’s something like, “Here are 8 fictional wizards, name each one” or “Match these movies with their catchphrases”.
The catch? Every answer has to begin with, “Um, ACTUALLY….” or another player can steal the point.
You know what nerds like more than correcting each other? Making good-spirited fun of themselves. This is so. Much. Fun.
Want to try DROPOUT for yourself?
You have a couple of options here.
Jump right in and subscribe for yourself. At $4.99 a month (less with a longer subscription), you’re paying less than half a Hulu to get a channel where you’ll be invested in 75% of the content.
This isn’t a paid post. In fact, I paid for my own DROPOUT subscription and will continue to do so because I love the content. However, we did reach out to the crew who very generously gave us a discount code for you guys.
Use the code GEEKIARY at checkout to get 25% off your first 2 months.
If you can’t make that work, don’t sweat it. We love DROPOUT so much we’re putting our money where our mouth is. Enter our giveaway to win a free 3-month DROPOUT subscription on us!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
There are a bunch of ways to get more entries, and THREE of you will win! [Quick note: if DROPOUT isn’t available in your country, you can’t win this, so head over and check it out if that might be a problem for you. It’s probably not.]
You can enter through the end of the month. Good luck!
Khai is a writer, anthropologist, and game enthusiast. She can talk fandom in five languages, and her proudest nerd moment so far was presenting original research titled “Gender, Sex, and Werewolves” at an international anthropological conference. Her first game, None For Me, is due out from Calico Games early next year.
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