A Mix of Horror & Comedy: “Wayward Guide for the Untrained Eye”

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Missing campy horror-comedy in January? Wayward Guide for the Untrained Eye is the cheesy thriller you’re searching for. Gravity Falls meets Welcome to Nightvale in this new web series about twin journalists—Artemis and Paul Schue-Horyn—investigating the strange and unusual of a small mining town for their podcast. In this hilarious yet thrilling story, the duo becomes wrapped up in a string of mysteries about the unexplained corruption and hidden evils of Connor Creek.

From the three-person company Tin Can Brothers, the twins’ story can be followed on YouTube in roughly 10-minute episodes as well as their fictional podcast, which can be found on most streaming platforms. Tin Can Brothers—comprised of Joey Richter, Brian Rosenthal, and Corey Lubowich—regularly creates and uploads free theatre and film projects to YouTube.

Although the story is filled with supernatural elements and dramatized horror, it’s mainly a comedy. Tin Can Brothers’ cater to young adult audiences with their extensive background in comedic writing. Though the basic plot could be considered a thriller, the webshow cleverly avoids any disturbing gore, ensuring that the show is still effective as a comedy piece. With an extensive cast of eccentric characters, Wayward Guide begins with the twins following a lead from Ryan Reynolds (no, not the famous actor) about the peculiar events of Connor Creek, a tiny town isolated from most cities. In the midst of a local election, the paranoid Reynolds informs the podcasting team of a malicious scheme in his hometown. Artemis and Paul make their way to Connor Creek and—without spoiling the myriad of plot twists—begin to discover the town’s conspiracy of werewolf clans. As they navigate the town in search of answers and content worth reporting, Artemis and Paul become fully enthralled in the town’s age-old divide.

As their story is fully fleshed out in the webshow, audiences see the twins decide what to include in their in-universe podcast. As a result, the podcast can be complicated to follow unless one listens and watches in tandem and in order. The webshow is absolutely necessary to enjoy Wayward Guide’s full storyline; the progression of Artemis and Paul’s adventures is clearly explained in each episode. The podcast, on the other hand, is more of an added bonus that creates characterization but doesn’t add many important plot points. It’s meant to be the fictional podcast that is being created in Connor Creek throughout Wayward Guide, so it includes the twins’ own explanation of the mystery, their commentary, and interviews with citizens of the town. But because none of the characters’ faces are visible, understanding who’s saying what is difficult at times.

However, the podcast being an “extra” is what allows this media style to work well. If the podcast were to reveal, for example, a major answer or twist to the audience, it would be lost in the circus of voices or multiple segments. To fully experience the mysteries of Connor Creek as they unravel, each episode of the show and podcast should be watched and listened to in the order of release—checking the dates is an easy way to do so. Though it takes some getting used to, it’s easy to enjoy this dual format, and there’s much more content. Tin Can Brothers successfully executes this form of media; the webshow serves as the main plot and the podcast provides bonus perspectives. So, overall, the show and the podcast are both worth your watching (or listening).

Though it takes some getting used to, it’s easy to enjoy this dual format, and there’s much more content. Tin Can Brothers successfully executes this form of media; the webshow serves as the main plot and the podcast provides bonus perspectives.”

It’s entertaining and an easy binge-watch (only around two hours in totality), and the season finale was recently uploaded in mid-December. However, the show is definitely a bit cheesy. It’s not a hardcore brutal massacre as one would expect of some horror, but there is some mild (PG-13 level) gore involved.

There’s no insightful or deep underlying theme of Wayward Guide—this story isn’t one to be analyzed in your AP Lit class. But isn’t that refreshing in the modern world? Always discussing what society considers as “meaningful” media can be tiresome. Sometimes a show like Wayward Guide is relaxing and binge-worthy, without becoming boring or requiring too much brain power. It’s simply a fun, whirlwind of horror-comedy with added aspects of thrill that keep all viewers on the edge of their seats as nearly every installment of the series ends with a cliffhanger. As such, Wayward Guide for the Untrained Eye is the perfect spooky media for young adults and horror-comedy lovers in general.