The second episode to any series can make or break its run. An amazing first episode will always get people to watch at least one more. The second episode proves whether lighting truly was caught in a bottle. Should the follow up not follow through with the promises of the premier, the fan base can easily lose interest and move on to another show within the vast oceans of the internet. Table Top went in looking for a win and emerged victorious.
Though it might have stumbled a little…
This week on Table Top, Wil Wheaton brings out the “modern classic” Settlers of Catan, a wildly successful board game that has garnered multiple expansions and a massive following of its own. Where else do you find a game whose fans make cookies in the shape of the board or take pictures of the way they stack game pieces? Okay, so that’s not too uncommon amongst any fan base, but the point is it’s very popular and worth looking into and playing if you ever have a chance.
After Wil gives a brief, yet very informative explanation of Settlers doing his best to make it not sound boring we are introduced to the players. Around the table sat Jane Espenson (Writer – Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Game of Thrones), James Kyson Lee (Actor – Heroes and Hawaii Five-O), and Neil Grayston (Actor – Eureka), each bringing in a new set of personalities to the table as well as skill. One thing I like about how they set up the group is that you’re given a fair balance between veterans and new players giving perspective and hints at strategy as each player, in true reality TV fashion, goes to the confession corner and whispers about their secret battle plan away from their opponents.
I mentioned that the show stumbled slightly, and by no means was it the fault of anyone working on Table Top, nor was it due to the players. It was the game. Maybe it’s just me, but Settlers of Catan has a very slow start. The show did it’s best to speed along the beginning, faltering only in that it took close to ten minutes into Table Top before things got…well, interesting.
Here’s a few of my favorite highlights:
- 9:35 – James was momentarily seduced by Wil’s charms.
- 11:00 – Settlers of Catan is officially renamed by the players to more fully fit the current game play.
- 12:34 – Jane shows the guys how much of a game hustler she truly is.
- 14:03 – James starts to get overwhelmed over someone or something hindering ore production
- 18:55 – Neil creates a massive upset, one so big that Wil to calls him a “filthy, filthy person”
- 20:33 – Wil tells the viewers how they can turn this episode of Tabletop into a drinking game.
- 20:54 – Neil causes jaws to drop.
- 22:00 – James utilizes bribery… ahem, I mean incentive to change a players action.
I won’t tell you who won, but let’s just say it’s worth watching to the very end. Additionally, it is worth noting that the extra interviews with each player are a joy to watch. Be sure to check those out, you’ll discover some cool things about these celebrities you would have never guessed otherwise.
What games do you hope to see them play in future episodes? Any celebrities you want to see? Personally, I hope they do an episode of my favorite board game Carcassonne with me as a guest!
What? A guy can dream can’t he?
By the way, did anyone else notice all the wall hangings in the background were themed with the game? There was wheat, a few bricks, some fleece, a couple of logs, and a shield which I assume represented ore.