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Dimension 20 Review
What is Dimension 20? Is it worth watching? Let's talk all that and more in this 2023 review of the five-year-old anthology series on Dropout.
In April 2018, a new ginger face appeared on my YouTube homepage. At this point, I watched every CollegeHumor Sketch for a long while, and anyone new they brought on was always fun to watch. That face, Brennan Lee Mulligan, would change my TV consumption habits for the next few years.
I was immediately hooked on this nerd who seemingly liked all the things I liked and much more. Suddenly, I felt seen on the internet. Brennan was my voice, and I followed him everywhere he went.
When Dimension 20 was first introduced with Fantasy High, I was stoked. A new thing to watch! Yay! But it didn't end there. Then came Escape From The Blood Keep, The Unsleeping City, Tiny Heist, and the season that would remain my favorite until the beginning of 2022 - A Crown of Candy. All those seasons built on and on over my initial love for collaborative storytelling.
In this piece, I will articulate what a newcomer should pay attention to as they dive into the wealth of content Dimension 20 generated in such a small period - 18 seasons in 5 years. And whether it's all worth it.
Let's dive in!
What is Dimension 20?
Dimension 20 is an anthology series where improvisers come together to create a story together. The show mainly uses the Dungeons and Dragons 5E system for its storytelling, but not exclusively. Seasons like Misfits and Magic used systems like Kids on Brooms, and the GM for Shriek Week developed their own game system to use on the table.
There are core cast seasons that introduce back the first cast of the show from Fantasy High, and there are side quests that introduce new players to the dome all the time.
Each core cast season of Dimension 20 has between 17 to 20 episodes. Each of those ranges between 2 to 3 hours in run time. The side quests - the seasons "between" core cast ones - can vary between 4 to 10 episodes.
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Dimension 20 is Primarily a Comedy Show
Comedy is always at the heart of every season of Dimension 20. You'll always find levity even in darker seasons like A Crown of Candy. There was never an episode I didn't smile or laugh at least once through.
The commitment to comedy allows the show to tell various stories, all built with humor in mind. The hardest or more sensitive of those stories range from coming out to your parents, dealing with grief in the family, and living in a world where you are not welcome just because of who you are.
These are complex topics to broach, and Dimension 20 successfully guides its viewers through those moments thanks to sensitive storytelling.
Dimension 20 is Bingeable
There's A LOT of Dimension 20 as of 2023. In fact, there are 18 seasons you can dive into. That's a lot of hours to enjoy.
You just need to decide whether to start watching something with less time commitment or more. And if you have reservations about diving into a TV series with 18 seasons, keep reading.
Dimension 20 is Easy to Start
I know it looks daunting to start watching a show with 18 seasons. But here's the kicker - they are not all connected to one another!
You can count on one hand the seasons that are either sequels or happen in the same world a different season used.
You can either start with the whole first campaign or dive into deeper ones that can only be found on Dropout.
If you want some more ideas, I made a whole video about it on my YouTube channel:
Dimension 20's Production Value is Top Notch
Aside from video and audio quality, which remained pretty consistent over the years, many production aspects improved over time.
The lighting in the dome, the use of the dome walls to complement storytelling, the minis, the music choices, and the editing of it all come together in an engaging and powerful story for the viewer to watch.
In my interview with him, Michael Schaubach - the director of Dimension 20 since day 1 - said, "No matter what, we need to do something better each season." And I feel like the crew stands behind that promise.
Dimension 20 is Not Going Anywhere
Season 18 is running right now and will end in about two weeks. If we judge by previous seasons, sometime next week, we will get a new trailer for the next season in the series, which was already shot and (mostly) edited, and after that one ends, we will get another season that will carry us through to 2024.
The production of this show is a powerhouse, as all Dropout shows are. There's a round-robin between the shows in the studio, and when the D20 crew gets to return to the dome, they make the most of it, producing multiple shows each time.
As Michael Schaubach described, the crew produces 2 show episodes each day, including Adventuring Party episodes, so a total of 4 content pieces each day. And sometimes, they do a podcast called Adventuring Academy and schedule it within the expected time frame they have the studio.
My only hope is that Dimension 20 keeps going forward. I love that show and am excited about its future.
What do you think about Dimension 20? If you have some questions about the show, I made a FAQ article with some common questions people ask about the show. Do you watch Dimension 20? What are the parts you like more? What parts do you like less? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!
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