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Tara Ariano

Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge

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I'm so in love with Brian Henson. He's just so wise, and kind and sweet. *sigh* Plus, I think

he's adorable.

GREAT show, I hope they bring it back for another season!

I completely agree on both points! Brian Henson has been so enjoyable to watch. He is kind but constructive in his comments. When he gives advice it's interesting as well as helpful. I hope they get another season as well. It also had the wonderful camaraderie like Face Off does & it's such a nice change from a lot of competitive reality shows.

I liked that the audience for the final show was made of Creature Shop employees. For some reason that tickled me. I imagine they can truly appreciate how much work is being shoved into such a short timeframe.

I really liked Melissa. Her attitude was just fun to watch, but for some reason I thought she probably wouldn't win. I didn't dislike Ben but I was worn out by him. So a Robert win was fine by me. His reaction was so shocked & overwhelmed it was all kinds of adorable.

I thought they all did really good jobs on their final designs. To me the weak point was the storyline. The dialogue itself was horribly cheesy & made any story sort of silly. I thought Ben's was the weakest because of the weird neck/cowl issue & the paint. As The Dude mentioned it was like looking at guacamole. I think Melissa & Robert were close but Robert's facial mechs were a step above. This was a fun, tasty treat of a show & I hope we see it again!

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I wanted Melissa to win, but she'll do well in this profession anyway. And I'm happy for Robert. He really did a great job.

 

As for Ben, he needs to grow up. I also thought his creature was the weakest of the three, based entirely on the neck. And his character's story didn't hold together well. Melissa's character needed more mouth movement, true, but it was also too furry around the face to convey sufficient expression.

 

I like that they brought in the winner's future co-workers. Among other things, it showed the kind of work environment Brian Henson promotes - very collegial.

 

I'm not sure there was enough here to warrant another season of this show. But if they do renew it, I'll watch.

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Here's hoping we have another season of this show!

 

As much as I wanted Melissa to win, it had to be her creature's mouth (or lack thereof) which was her downfall.  I haven't yet watched it again, but didn't her shop mentor mention something about it, and she'd dismissed doing it because of time?  I loved the thought she put into the movements, entrance, and effects/personality.  I think her story wasn't that well thought out, however.  Is it just me, or did she get the best out of her team?  I really hope my husband's right and they give her a job anyway.  Or at least an internship/study leading into employment as Robert *did* win the contest and the right to employment.

 

The professional mentors were great with their advice.  I loved the gentleman working with Robert who was telling him "I really want you to work for me" (and I could be paraphrasing here).  Robert appeared genuinely shocked, floored, and ecstatic all at the same time with his win.    The lip curl worked really well, although I don't think the sneeze (to me) translated as well.  I didn't see any of Russ' snot-fest. 

 

Am really looking forward to another season of this.  What was able to be accomplished in three days using two of their former Skektestants as their team along with the advice of a Henson mentor - was amazing.   And watching the how the Henson crew handled the critiques, advice, and encouragement with all involved was refreshing to say the least.

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My one and only defense of Ben is that a lot of young people find themselves living with their parents these days because of the ecomomic times and lack of jobs. I don't hold that against him any more than I think what the designers wear is relevant to their talent.  I did not think his creature was the strongest of the three...the paint job was not great in that shade of green, and the neck thing should have been more obvious to him as something that needed to be corrected. As always, Ben got in his own way. I thought Henson's one-on-one with him was very telling.

 

Melissa definitely stepped up her game, and used her team to the best advantage. I imagine she has a strong career coming up. I don't know why she has such trouble with mouths...I rather smiled when she commented on working on the eyes and the difference in approaches. She went from novice to expert on eyes during this program.

 

Robert didn't seem to take anything for granted...I think he was as prepared to lose as to win.  He probably couldn't go to work anywhere better that will encourage his creativity and build his self-confidence.

 

I do think being judged on storyline is pretty silly.  These aren't writers, after all.  Considering everything, I was impressed how well the three characters fit together in the same scene.

 

I also liked the fact that the audience was full of family, team members, and future co-workers.  That made it seem more intimate and genuine, somehow.  I would watch a second season. 

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Monty's got your final Watch/Skip Index!

 

I definitely thought the right person won. Dave said that Melissa's creature looked like Beast from the Beauty And The Beast movie, and after that, it's all I could see. Ben's looked like a holdover from the "Alien Press Conference" challenge. Robert's was the most fully realized from top to bottom: the costume gave the creature so much character that he really did look like he could walk onto a movie set.

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Here I was all set to say I thought Melissa should have won and the lack of teeth is what lost it for her. Then you mentioned her creature looked like the Beast and I agreed with Robert winning. Either way Sy Fy seems to have done it again. I like this show as much as I like Face Off. I hope it gets another season.

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I really hope my husband's right and they give her a job anyway.  Or at least an internship/study leading into employment as Robert *did* win the contest and the right to employment.

If Donald Trump could do it with promising but non-winning contestants on his show, I'm sure a guy like Brian Henson at least considered it with Melissa. But, with such a comparitively small shop it may not be possible.

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I thought Melissa & Robert's characters were pretty close in quality & Ben's was a distant 3rd. The paint on Ben's was bad and the head looked too much like one of the alien press conference creatures. The story and prop were more inventive, but again seemed like it belonged in the alien challenge.

I liked Melissa's creature more than Robert's, but it did need teeth and her prop was kind of boring. Robert's creature having an actual body was nice and the details on the face were great. I didn't like the flat face stuck on a mound of hair. It needed more of a head and neck to look like it could actually be a real face. His prop was also boring & sfx was weak. I do think his overall body of work was the strongest.

Edited by Joystickenvy

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Well the prize of the show is a contract with the Creature Shop + the cash. So there's nothing saying (unless there's something in the fine print of the contracts; but Brian's crew seems on the ball enough to not let that sort of clause in) that Brian can't offer another job to any other contestant(s) he liked and wants to bring aboard. They just won't get the extra cash bonus for winning the competition. 

 

I was amazed by all three creatures, but Melissa's and Richards were the better overall. (And I had the same thoughts about Ben's story too; had it been a daughter then maybe you could handwave another route to carry forward at least. :) )

 

Bringing in the future coworkers too was a good touch. I'm sure Brian especially has worked with those people enough to have a feel of their reactions to the contenders too and was able to take that into consideration. 

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Well the prize of the show is a contract with the Creature Shop + the cash. So there's nothing saying (unless there's something in the fine print of the contracts; but Brian's crew seems on the ball enough to not let that sort of clause in) that Brian can't offer another job to any other contestant(s) he liked and wants to bring aboard. They just won't get the extra cash bonus for winning the competition.

 

Not to mention that if the prize AND the job total $100,000...either the prize isn't that great or the job doesn't pay much! (I would expect a skilled entertainment-industry job like this to start at the six-figure mark, but maybe I'm crazy.)

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Because they didn't mention the cash part of the prize until the finale, I'm wondering if it's basically enough to cover the expenses of relocating to LA. It'd leave the actual salary pretty high, and it would fit with how Jim Henson tended to run things. When he first started moving people to London to film the Muppet Show, for example, he made sure each person got the type of apartment they wanted and even negotiated rents.

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I would have been fine with a Melissa win (in fact, I've thought she's been getting the Winner's Edit all season), but Robert was pretty much who I've been rooting for, and I was glad they went with him in the end.  Even if it was a little rough around the edges, his final creature could have walked right out of one of Henson's non-Muppet projects.  

I was a little surprised that when he got the surprise visit from his loved ones they had his parents and not his boyfriend, 

 

Ben was just a putz.  To me, his creature looked just like the krogan from the Mass Effect video games, and the creature's story was pretty similar to it as well.  I'm surprised that none of the judges would have mentioned it, but maybe because it's a totally different medium, they wouldn't be as familiar, whereas on Face Off they've name-checked the Borg or some of the more humanoid characters from Farscape and usually not in a complimentary way.

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I got the impression that they chose not to dwell on Ben's critique because they knew he wasn't in the running. They seemed to list enough points to justify their decision, but not harp on it like a lot of reality show judges would.

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I thought Melissa showed a lot more growth through the series than Robert did, so I was sorry to see that she didn't win. Here's to hoping she gets brought on anyway!

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Well, Melissa was in the role of the plucky newbie.  Robert, who was already working in the field in some capacity was starting further ahead than she did.

 

With that said, she's also got a great career ahead of her.  Ben, probably not so much because of his attitude.

 

I did find it interesting that Brian Henson was advising Ben to lock down his attitude, because with Face Off, the judges rarely seem to interact or care about that unless their behavior is so odious that it crosses over into the judging.  It was actually kind of refreshing.

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Brian Henson also called out Russ and Tina on their poor teamwork at the very beginning of this show, which I thought was a good moment since it made the players aware that he was watching for certain qualities of personality as well as ability.  Personally I don't think Ben wants to work for anyone but wants his own shop (perhaps he had delusions of taking over the Henson business if he won).  Unfortunately bosses who think they know everything are the very worse people to work for, so I'm not sure he'd be very successful.  He could prove me wrong.  He does have talent but it's hard to expand your abilities if you won't listen to other people.

 

Melissa, on the other hand, should be able to find work since she has talent and she has demonstrated a willingness to listen and learn.  I can see Robert fitting right into the Henson workshop and thriving there.

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...with Face Off, the judges rarely seem to interact or care about that unless their behavior is so odious that it crosses over into the judging.

 

Might that be because special effects makeup artists can work on their own more, whereas creature designers have to be able to be more collaborative?

  

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Might that be because special effects makeup artists can work on their own more, whereas creature designers have to be able to be more collaborative?

I think it also may be because the prize for Henson is a job, whereas on Face Off it's just money. I'm sure the Henson people don't want a winner that can't play well with others.

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This is a bit random, but I think you guys might appreciate it.

 

My husband ran into Brian Henson on the subway on his way home from work.  My husband was sitting, and looked up first into a Kermit belt-buckle, and then a little further into Brian Henson's face.  I wish he'd gotten an autograph, but I think it's probably better not to bother the famous.

 

That's much better than most of my celebrity sightings.

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