One year ago today, Chapter 1 of Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party was posted on YouTube. If you haven’t watched it yet, you should. Today the Shipwrecked Comedy twitter account is posting memories from the cast and crew, so I thought I’d do some reminiscing of my own, mostly about my first impressions of this fabulous show. Because it’s been several months since I’ve rambled about Poe Party on here.
The Poe Party trailer was posted on July 27, 2016, and I believe that was when we first learned that the show was premiering on August 22. I couldn’t believe it. The kickstarter ended in March, it was filmed in May, and it was coming out in August?! In hindsight, perhaps I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was. I’d been following the creators pretty closely since the kickstarter (on social media and their podcast and BTS vlogs, not in a creepy way, just to clarify) and was already impressed by their hard work and efficiency. Still. I don’t think I’d ever looked forward to something being released that much since Deathly Hallows was published, and I barely had to wait at all. It was almost too good to be true. And the small pessimistic voice in my head that I try to ignore when I can started whispering, “What if it is too good to be true? What if it’s not nearly as good as you want it to be? What if you don’t even like it, and you just wasted a bunch of money on Kickstarter?” I managed to push these thoughts to the back of my mind and mostly focus on how stoked I was, but I can’t pretend I wasn’t a little apprehensive on the night of August 21.
The show was posted at 9 am. I didn’t get home from work until after 4 pm. I waited all day to watch it. The very beginning was so awesome and I loved the music and the opening credits, but I distinctly remember when my thoughts changed from, “Okay, so far so good,” to “ASFDKSDSFLJSIDJFSLDF THIS IS LITERALLY THE BEST” and in case you haven’t guessed, it was this moment:
Sean and Sinead had mentioned a few times that the movie Clue was very influential, but I had thought they meant just in terms of the general premise and tone. As Clue is one of my all-time favorite movies, I was totally on board with anything remotely connected with it, but I was not expecting the THIRD LINE in the show to be a blatant Clue reference. I’m pretty sure the first time I watched it, I missed the “RSVP to her RSVP” line because I was freaking out so much. And the episode only got better from there. All the character entrances, and the way they interacted around the dining room table; I didn’t want any of them to die, and I didn’t want any of them to be the murderer. I loved all of them.
I have kept track of all the movies I’ve watched since 2003, but I lost track of how many times I watched Chapter 1 before it had been online for 24 hours. I couldn’t stop watching it. After the show ended, I wouldn’t consider chapter 1 my favorite by any means, but only because the later chapters are so ineffably fantastic. It’s the perfect beginning to a near-perfect webseries, and it definitely made me feel a little foolish for ever thinking there was a possibility I wouldn’t fall in love with this show.
I think every artist has their own personal drug. Van Gogh ate his yellow paint to make him happy inside. Beethoven drank wine like it was water. Edgar Allan Poe had his depression and sadness and in a way it was his drug, it was the one thing he used as a clutch to keep on writing. I think I’ve discovered my drug and although it’s not as bad as the rest, it’s just as deadly. For you see, my drug has stars for eyes and a devilish smile.