Community Critique: Brains


(Bri Castellini) #1

Hey there! Welcome to Community Critique, a weekly event where a new show is presented for constructive criticism in order to all learn from each other and make better content in the future!

As a gesture of good faith, I’m offering up my own show, Brains, as the first sacrifice. Please refer to the rules before posting your critiques on this thread and all other threads in this category.

Now, onto Brains!

Brains has 2 seasons online now, as well as 2 extended universe projects (you can ignore the latter for today’s purposes, though). It’s about Alison Sumner, a college neuropsychology student who survived the zombie apocalypse on her campus and is now ready to get back into the dating scene. Life, murder, and the final throws of the zombie plague get in the way, though.

My name, for those of you who might not know me, is Bri Castellini, and I’m the creator, writer, executive producer, lead actress (Alison Sumner), sound technician, lead editor, assistant director, and one of the set and wardrobe designers from Brains, among many other things.

I won’t say much to set up this critique, but I will say that there is a significant jump in production quality between seasons 1 and 2, so please consider that if you have particular production quality comments. Other than that, have at it. What did you like/dislike? What did we do well and what could we have done better? Any particular advice about the show and future shows I will hopefully create?


This Week On The Forum- May 14-21 2017
(Bri Castellini) #3

(Bri Castellini) #4

(Jules Pigott) #5

I’m a big fan of Brains. Love the show. However, there is one thought I’ve always had. I know it’s difficult due to the format of the show and the way the story is told, but I would love to see more perspectives than just Alison’s. You’ve got such a strong ensemble cast, but so much of who the characters are is portrayed simply through their relationship with Alison. The episodes that’s mostly just Damien and Carl was such a nice divergence from that, getting to see who they are when Alison’s presence isn’t on screen. If you ever managed to make more seasons, I would hope to see more of that, and if you were to do a show in a similar found footage style, I’d hope to see more perspectives of all the characters. I wanted to know more about Damien, and Carl, and Greta, and I think it’s impressive that you’ve managed to make such compelling characters when they don’t often have control of the camera. And I might be totally wrong about this, but wanting to see more of those characters and how they interact with each other, not just Alison, is something I felt throughout watching the show.


(Steph) #6

My biggest critique of the show stems from the thing I find to be its greatest strength. It’s unique to place a romantic comedy in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. I can’t think of another series that does it, even though it’s such an obviously great idea. But you really need to start watching the show to realize that premise. It’s not immediately clear from the name, iconography, or description. And I think that does the show a disservice, because I wouldn’t be surprised if most casual browsers don’t realize what they’re potentially getting.


(Pablo Andreu) #7

I’m biased, but I think Bri is great as Alison – all the sass and wit of Buffy minus the ditzy affectation. I love the comedy-horror genre, so this is squarely in my wheelhouse. I also like exploring the grey area of zombie-hood. Brains isn’t the first to do it, of course (Warm Bodies, etc.), but it’s still fertile ground.

However, I find the pacing to be slow at times. Some of that might be a function of the vlog format, but I still think the series could benefit from more cuts, flashbacks, etc. to quicken things up. Admittedly, I have not yet watched season two, so I don’t know if pacing improved.


(Gabriel Crutchfield) #8

I’m enjoying the show so far (currently only about halfway through season 1). Acting is good, the comedy works well. Something that stood out to me, and again, I’m only about halfway through the first season so I don’t know if this continues throughout the series, but I like how the very end of each episode seems to set up the subject matter of the next episode.

I also thought the pacing was a bit slow, but it also seemed adequate for the format. The vlog format works. It puts the viewer in the show’s world and makes Alison seem like an average person talking about her experiences in a post-apocalyptic world.


(Joseph Steven Heath) #9

I love Brains and it’s pretty much the reason I’m on this forum. I do have some minor feedback.

  1. More Billy Jack. You can never have enough of this beautiful man.
  2. I feel like the cliffhanger of season two doesn’t land as hard as it should, mostly because it’s a character I feel like I don’t know enough about. I honestly forgot she existed for a little while because of all the drama surrounding Alison. So I had less of an “OMG!” response and more of a “Wait, who was she again?”
  3. I really wish you could make seasons 3 and up. Do this somehow.