On the 8th of March, 2012, internet users worldwide were introduced to the thrilling, science-fiction drama known as ‘The Proxy’. A story about ‘YouTube’ sensation, Stuart Ashen, whom you may know from ‘Ashens.com’ where he reviews cheap garbage no one, hopefully, had to suffer through, gets caught in a deadly situation involving mysterious doppelgangers, implanted with strange technology which give them special powers. In his adrenaline packed journey, he’s joined with his next-door neighbour, Tom Bishop, who’s involved with a logistics company and his boss , Peter Baker, possesses confidential information and a very suspicious female, whom the boys call ‘Sarah’, due to her not remembering her own name.
As we commence into the first episode (or the first part of a 10-parter series), we can already tell that the entire story is just a cheap, gimmicky, sponsorship from ‘Alienware’ promoting their ‘incredibly powerful’ and ‘bloody expensive’ computer gaming hardware. But don’t let that put you off into thinking ‘this series is going to go downhill from here’, because Mr. Ashen is one of the leading actors in it, and if you’re a fan of his work (which I’ve already mentioned in the last paragraph), then you know it must be good. You’ve just got to keep on watching, because it doesn’t matter what’s going on throughout the story, it’s ‘Ashens’, you love him and his stuff, that’s why you’re still watching!
Although, besides the fact that you’re watching a 10-parter, internet, sci-fi drama, there’s a competition involved too! Throughout and at the end of every part of the story, there’s a website link that you can access, should you access into one of these links, will lead you into an individual video, featuring a subplot to the current video you were watching, or a later one. At the end of the linked video, there’s a three digit code, which is needed in order to win the competition, however, it’s absolutely pointless trying to enter the competition, for a couple of reasons…
- In the terms and conditions, it’s stated that “for each episode, there is the chance to win either a pair of Alienware Headsets, an Alienware keyboard or an Alienware mouse” and when the latest episode is uploaded, you have to enter in the three digit code for that episode, as soon as the next one is uploaded, the code’s invalid and you have to find the latest code again. You only have 10 chances (1 chance/episode code per day/upload of episode) to win and when the entire series is over, you’re completely out of luck.
- There’s also a chance to win the grand prize by collecting all 10 correct codes, however, the last time I tried to access the competition, it placed me in a dead end and I couldn’t enter into the grand prize draw, it could be either my computer or my internet connection, but it mainly didn’t give a toss about me, so there.
- Seeing that the entire series of ‘The Proxy’ had already finished by the time I’m writing this review, mainly due to my laziness and not keeping up to date with the show and the competition, there is absolutely no chance in winning the headphones, keyboard or mouse for the individual episodes, nor the grand prize. So whenever you find a website ‘secretly hidden’ inside every episode of the series, it’s completely pointless to do so. Thanks guys!
As for the competition being utterly pointless, so were the websites themselves, for example, in episodes 4 and 10, there’s a link to http://www.bratsec.ru/ which featured every web page in Russian text (which can be easily translated, thank you, Google) and turned out to be a waste of time. In episode 7, viewers were informed of a link to http://www.grovestreetmedia.com/ which turned out to be a legit website, it’s a media company and chances are they were involved in the production of ‘The Proxy’ or some IT consultants managed to hack a competition link into the website without the company’s blessing.
Enough about the competition and the dull, pointless websites, let’s get on to the series itself. The story is quite naff also; the acting is okay for a low-budget internet drama, with sponsorship, from a computer gaming hardware corporation. The script is a bit confusing at some parts which are never explained. The special effects are laughably awful, but then again, I did say this production had quite a low budget, so I suppose that was the best they could do on ‘After Effects’. Not to forget mentioning, the star of the show was of course…the ‘Alienware’ computers, their performance clearly made us think twice about their ‘stunning’ hardware and their ‘remarkable’ technology, it’s as if they were begging for an Oscar, which they truly deserved.
As much as I thought ‘The Proxy’ overall was both an average and mediocre production, there was one plot hole which I got absolutely furious about, I get irritated just thinking about it. Now I do understand that it’s wrongful of me to write about spoilers considering later episodes into a series, in this case, ‘The Proxy’, but this had to be mentioned, due to how fucking obvious it was. In the first episode when Ashen is captured, we receive the first link to the competition, http://www.pgblogistics.com/help, which mainly led to the subplot video for the first episode. However, if you took away the “/help” link and accessed the website instead, http://www.pgblogistics.com/ and access the ‘About Us’ on the website, at the end of the webpage, you can read about Peter’s family life, including the fact that “He has one daughter named Christine.” which is an important plot twist that doesn’t occur until episode 8 of the series. Firstly, why the fuck would you give away a twist that happens later in your story!? Secondly, why would you let your audience know that this plot twist was going to happen before they actually find out!? I may not be very experienced when it comes to scriptwriting, but I certainly wouldn’t give away spoilers that fucking quick, especially when I’m on the first episode of a series. This is bullshit foreshadowing!
To sum up ‘The Proxy’, it’s okay in a few parts, Ashen gets a good amount of screen time, so does the actor who plays Tim Bishop, note that I didn’t mention the actor’s name, probably because he’s not famous enough to have his name mentioned. The production was also not too shabby, even if you’re using ‘After Effects’ to make it look prettier. But the spotlight focused more on the ‘Alienware’ computer hardware, several products including the keyboard, monitor and the latest hardware, the X51, were featured in several episodes of the series, also, it was the sponsorship that made half of the entire production possible. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys watching low budget, indie, sci-fi movies that sort of make sense sometimes…or you just really like ‘the Matrix’, this is almost the show you’re looking for, but feel free to get a kick out of it. While you’re doing that, I’m off to figure out how in the hell ‘Visual Basic’ works.
Before I leave, I’d like to point out that I didn’t mean to take the piss out of Stuart Ashen. Personally, he’s a good reviewer and is definitely a breath of fresh air than other dopey, pathetic stars on the Internet, whom I shall not name, in case their fans start sending me constant hate mail, just because I criticise the people they adore.