Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/starpocalypse-review-584dd4253d9b
I've been a big fan of SMBC Theater for a few years now, and I have loved every minute of it. Last year when they announced that they would be focusing on one project for a while instead of coming out with regular sketches, I was simultaneously excited and bummed out; on one hand I wanted to see what they could do with a longer production time and a budget, but I would have to go a year without their comedy sketches. When announcements about Starpocalypse started popping up on the webcomic, my excitement was rekindled.
Starpocalypse is a 40 minute comedy epic about the human race abandoning religion, philosophy, and art; an alien who thinks she is god; and orgasms. I was looking forward to more of SMBC Theater's fast-paced, intelligent humor (like in Problem Solved and Dating Solutions) but it was all overshadowed by sex jokes. There were good moments, but when watching with a group of friends who haven't really seen much SMBC, it gets a little awkward. The orgasm button gag could have worked well in one of their five minute sketches, but 40 minutes of revisiting that and similar jokes was too much. I don't blame SMBC for this; after all, this is the first long-form production that they have done.
I was pretty worried at the beginning that they were just going to be making fun of religion throughout the whole thing. Fortunately this is not the case as they quickly turn around and make fun of the society that has abandoned religion as well. Basically nothing in this production is sacred, and that's a good thing.
If I could pick between having Starpocalypse and having a year's worth of SMBC Theater sketches, I would definitely pick the sketches. I love their sense of humor, but it is best digested in smaller chunks. I think it will be a while before I go back and watch this one. If you are already a fan of SMBC Theater, you will enjoy Starpocalypse. For everyone else, go check out their YouTube channel and watch some of their sketches. I guarantee you will love those.