Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/UnScripts:A Number
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It would be great to have any suggestions and comments, but I would also like to know whether or not the current version is better than the previous one, please. You don't have to have read the play "A Number" by Caryl Churchill, but it will make it easier for you to understand the humour in the article. Also, I am very interested to know if a person who doesn't have a clue about what "A Number" is may still find it funny. Thank you beforehand (to anyone who will decide to help me out)!
- I'll do this. -- 08:20, November 19, 2014 (UTC)
|Humour:||4||It was Benjamin Franklin who said "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid", however it seems that stupidity must come much more naturally to me than it did to Mr. Franklin. This is the third article I have reviewed recently where my grasp of the subject matter is tenuous at best. I must profess to have never heard of the play this article is intended to parody and explain, I have done what I can to acquaint myself with the play and its plot but you'll have to excuse any glaring oversights on my part. This is a generally well written article and it is obvious that a lot of hard work has gone into it. The problem is that it doesn't make it clear exactly what it is doing and so much of my effort was invested in trying to work out what I was missing that the article didn't have as much of an impact as it otherwise would have done.
The main issue here is that there is absolutely no introduction to the concept or play whatsoever, three lines of text give us our 'dramatis personae' and then we're straight into the first part. I knew what the general story was having read through the Wikipedia entry, but I still couldn't shake the feeling that I was completely missing something. Now, you'll forgive me if I'm being thicker than the off-spring of a village idiot and a TV weather-girl but I didn't understand why the characters speak in such a sporadic, fractured style . I have now found a copy of the script and it makes a bit more sense but I still think this type of problem persists throughout the article. I consider myself to be reasonably well-read, however I had never heard of this play before looking at this article and now only understand aspects of the humour having done research off-site. My point is, you're expecting an awful lot of your reader here, both to have heard of this play but also to have read it. This article desperately needs some introduction, it is not so ubiquitous in popular culture that such a minimal level of introduction is appropriate, articles like this one can get away with it, this article in my view cannot. You do not have to go into laborious detail to resolve this issue but an introduction of some sort is certainly required. Give the synopsis of your article, make reference to the original play and explain who the characters are. This will set readers up for the actual article, at the moment you're trying to do these things as part of the article itself and it doesn't work as effectively as a brief introduction would since the reader is still trying to work out exactly what they are missing whilst you are trying to explain yourself. The style is unusual for an UnScripts as you are writing an article about the play using the characters and style from the play.
It may be worth considering whether UnScripts is the correct place for this one, the style you have chosen would lend itself much better to mainspace and the only thing that seems to put the article in the UnScripts namespace is the presentation. More on this below.
Putting the above aside there are some well-written jokes here, even if they did take me a while to get, a further problem is that the characters are not very well fleshed out, you're trying to tell a story about the play and its characters, from the point of view of the characters. Despite this the characters are not distinct and I can't attach anything to either of them, they are simply the vectors for what you wish to say. This is a problem for an article that is plainly trying to get me to understand the characters and laugh at the way they discuss the play they are in. In the play the two have distinct personalities despite being clones and a lot of the humour falls a bit flat because of it.
It's challenging to effectively illustrate this as I had, and still have, a lingering feeling that I am missing things, especially in the latter part of the article where Halter appears where the coherence drops again. You have to consider the trade-off between aping the style of the play and making your article understandable. Unfortunately I found it a bit of a chore and just felt more and more lost as the article continued, I even disturbed Mrs. Chief from her stupidly early Christmas shopping to read it, a risk akin to poking a sleeping dragon in the eye, and she felt lost as well. This is frustrating for several reasons, you need to make it easier for the reader to follow your jokes, at times there is so much going on: the writing style, the information you are trying to impart, the joke itself and the lack of punctuation that the reader is seeing the stylistic choices rather than the actual humour. Now, your stylistic choices may be very good but if the reader isn't laughing the article just isn't working. This boils down to sacrificing a bit of your style to help the reader understand what is going on, my feeling is that this can be accomplished by expanding the introduction of the characters. If I were to saying something like "Number 1, his son, aged 35, clone, irritating, likes cheese. Number 2, his son, 40, a clone, also irritating but hates cheese I am characterising both exponentially more than you do within the article. Try and read your article back as though you knew nothing about the subject, see what questions occur to you and seek to remedy that. I'm not suggesting you explain every single joke and give the characters thousand word back-stories but rather trying to illustrate the fact that this work is not well-known enough to simply go into it in this style without explanation.
The jokes that are more simplistic are written well, the first section is the best example of this it's easy to follow, but later sections, especially after the introduction of Halter are very difficult to follow. Don't get the wrong idea, I don't hate the article, but it does frustrate me, I feel like an orphan child in a Dickens novel; nose pressed against the sweet shop window wishfully regarding the treasures within. Get this sorted and the rest will follow.
|Concept:||5||The concept isn't a problem here, I touched on the main issue above: this doesn't feel like an UnScript. In general the UnScript namespace is for parodies of existing plays, films and concepts or original comedy presented as a play e.g. Les Misérables, Abrégés, Law & Order: Puritan New England and Average Cop. What you are presenting here is an article trying to explain what the play "A Number" is in the style of the play and that is generally mainspace stuff. Articles like Metal Gear Solid and Film noir seem to fit with your article much better. You may find that changing the namespace from UnScripts gives you more freedom to flesh out your ideas and characters. I don't see that you need to do much with the presentation if you change the namespace but rather that it may help you structure your jokes better if you stop trying to tell a story and instead focus on the subject matter itself.|
|Prose and formatting:||7||This is good, the article is well presented and the images that there are work well. The main thing here is that there could be more of them! Take advantage of the extra space this style gives you and get some more images into the article. This is a sneaky way to add extra jokes to the article without having to work at incorporating them into the text. As it is there are lots of parts, especially late in the article where there is just text on the screen and no images to go along with it. Get some more images in and you'll be sorted here.
I won't comment on the grammar except to say, make sure you're being consistent with it, if you're going to dispense with grammar in speech for 1 and 2 then make sure you do at all times, in "4" number 1 has punctuation in his text a number of times, is this an error or is it deliberate?
|Images:||7||The images are also good, the main issue is that there aren't many and some of them are quite small, this is particularly noticeable as they are out floating in white space, perhaps consider making them bigger? Not much else to say here, there is very little wrong.|
|Miscellaneous:||5||My overall grade of the article.|
|Final Score:||28||This article irritates me, I don't dislike it, but I find it hard to like it as well. As I've mentioned several times, I feel like I'm missing something and had I not gotten somebody else to read it I'd be inclined to believe it was just me. The article has few flaws, but the main problem has such an impact that it compromises everything else. This could well be a great article but it just isn't doing enough to bring me along for the ride and that is incredibly disappointing. You write competently and this version is certainly an improvement on the old one, indeed the introduction of Halter gives an otherwise bland narrative a bit of colour and a good opportunity for chemistry and interplay between him and the other characters. Unfortunately this version does not remedy the problem of the old one that this article just isn't doing enough to make the reader understand its premise or characters. I know there's a lot of criticism here and, reading it back, I'm probably being harsher in my comments than I have been for worse articles, this is mainly because I can see all the ingredients are here, but the execution is not. My standard disclaimer is that this review is just my opinion and anybody else can offer you an equally valid opinion on this article, I'd encourage you to seek out someone more intimately acquainted with the source material than I. If you have any problems or questions for me then drop them on my talk page. Best of luck making your changes.|
|Reviewer:||--20:57, November 19, 2014 (UTC)|