Mark Does Stuff: A Review

Mark Oshiro is neither a reviewer nor a recapper; what he does can basically be called descriptive experiencing, which is to say, as he experiences something (a book or a series, a movie or a television show), he writes about it. The present tense is important here. Normally we read of things having been fully experienced and then written about—reviews, recaps, the like. Mark instead shares his journey with his audience; it’s not all about the destination.

At the same time, Mark does not limit himself to live-blogging his entertainment; he actually writes quite thoughtful pieces on each episode or chapter he reads. That they can be lists makes them no less significant; that they can be screamed sometimes in all-caps makes them no less thoughtful; and they are always, always entertaining. If you’ve read Harry Potter or watched Battlestar Galactica, reading Mark’s work is like re-experiencing them again with fresh eyes. Watching his relatively new feature, videos where you get to see his reactions, is both entertaining and endearing in his eternal unpreparedness.

This is not to say that Mark only shares his glee and wonder at new worlds; he also critiques problematic elements in the works he experiences, from Rowling’s unfortunate implications about the overweight to the troubling nature of Mako’s relationship with Korra and Asami. As an addresser of social injustices, it’s not uncommon for anonymous users to, for instance, have Mark’s TVTropes page removed, or for rabid fans to flee back to their forums decrying Mark as a reverse-racist. Their loss. Mark is indomitable, despite being unprepared for everything under the sun.

Mark is not just a commentator on entertainment; he’s also a community builder. With the effort of various moderators, he’s managed to create a community where it’s safe to express disappointment when creators get things wrong, or to express joy when they get things right. You’ll often find us hanging out on Mark Spoils. Join us for the gifs; stay for the nuns.

For more information on what Mark does, as well as a selection of what he’s written, check out his Hugo nomination post.

Mark reactions courtesy of Mark Reacts.