In 2007, Xbox & Microsoft’s “Halo 3” came out worldwide earning critical acclaim from critics and fans of the “Halo” franchise. In addition to positive reception, the game made a profit selling millions of copies. During that year, a YouTuber named, “Jon CJ Graham formerly known as DigitalPh33r, uploaded a video for now defunct company “Machinima” called, “Master Chief Sucks At Halo.” A parody of the main protagonist from the Halo series. He’s an action figure who lacks filter, he says whatever he wants, taunts players online, only worships Halo as the best game in history & a close-minded gamer who’s actually not good playing Halo.
As a result of instant success, Jon created web series titled, “Arby ‘N’ The Chief.” The series is about the titular duo who play video games together, run into misadventures in online gaming and arguing about anything related to video games. So far, the series spawned 7 seasons, Season 8 is the most recent one to date. A half hour short film uploaded during the second season. Arby ‘N’ Chief is one of my favorite shows. I remember watching this series back when I was in high school.
Although each episode is short, I’m gonna combine both and the half hour short film into one article. This review contains no crucial SPOILERS, feel free to read my non-spoiler article. I’ll have you know that some SPOILERS are light.
The Entire Thing
Positive: Jon CJ Graham did a fantastic job coordinating the show as a director, writer, editor and producer.
Season 2 introduces three “toys.”
Chief retains his personality from his first appearance, “Master Chief Sucks At Halo.”
In-Game footage from Halo 3 was actually filmed using similar filming techniques from “Red vs. Blue.”
The format is combination of live action & in-game animation from the actual Halo 3 game.
Humor is so gosh darn funny. Every time I hear Chief’s lines, he steals the show. Arbiter has a lot of moments as he tries to resist Chief’s shenanigans.
If you don’t understand what the duo are saying, subtitles are useful. Chief’s dialogue can be problematic at times. I got used to it.
The show is a spiritual successor to “Master Chief Sucks At Halo.”
Arbiter & Chief’s voices come from Window XP Software. Both have different modified voices dubbed as “Microsoft Mike, (Arbiter) & “Microsoft Sam.” (Chief)
Chemistry between Arbiter & Chief serves as the main highlight of the show. Their interactions with each other onscreen is funny as heck.
The shows’s opening theme is actually from Walter Murphy’s soundtrack from “Family Guy.” Not the actual opening theme from Family Guy.
Curb Your Enthusiasm’s theme song known as “Frolic,” is used several times. Jon is a fan of both “Seinfeld” & Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Negative: Picture Quality is often blurry. This was back when YouTube was at its early years. I’ll let this con slide.
I couldn’t spot nothin’ wrong with the first two seasons and half hour film. I’ll give Jon a tremendous amount of Points for all that hard work as a one man director.
Episode 1 – Pilot
The first scene of the entire show sets up The Tone best described in one word, “Unapologetic,” as in Chief’s personality.
The Pilot Episode introduces Arbiter.
Han Zimmer’s soundtrack from “Batman Begins” is heard in the background during the opening scene.
Danny Elfman’s music from Spider-Man is also heard in the background during Arbiter’s introduction.
Episode 2 – Recon
In the second episode, Chief attempts to earn himself a free set of In-game armor from Halo 3.
Daft Punk’s “Da Funk” is used during an important scene in the second episode.
Arbiter plays Call Of Duty 4 besides Halo 3.
Episode 3 – Attitude
Danny Elfman’s music from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” & Beetlejuice” are used.
Chief’s antics made me laugh so hard. I couldn’t breath.
Chief does something stupid, which is played for laughs.
Episode 4 – Melee
Episode 4’s title is named after an attack feature from the Halo franchise.
The pair play one-on-one split screen match on Halo. They also quarrel over a melee system.
Moterhead’s “Ace Of Spades” is played during the end credits.
Episode 5 -Martydom
Chief plays “Devil May Cry 4.”
Chief has an unhealthy addiction other than playing games.
A-Ha’s “Take On Me” is played.
Arbiter lets Chief play Call Of Duty 4.
Episode 6 – Brawl
Episode 6’s title is name after a video game from Nintendo.
Arbiter & Chief play “Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Nintendo Wii. Together they fight in a one-on-one match.
Actual music from Super Smash Bros. Brawl is played during the end credits.
Gotta love Chief’s helicopter sound.
Episode 7 – Girls
A new “toy” makes its first appearance.
Arbiter teaches Chief on how to be a gentlemen towards women.
A montage sequence pays tribute to Seinfeld.
Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” is used in one scene.
Danny’s Elfman’s music from Spider-Man 2 is played during a pivotal moment.
The Guess Who’s “American Woman” is played near the end of the episode.
Episode 8 – Legendary
Episode 8’s title is named after downloadable map pack from Halo 3.
Chief attempts to create his own custom made map on Halo 3.
Daft Punk’s “Aerodynamic” is played in one scene.
Chief displays his creativity, building his map.
Episode 9 – Newcomers
Episode 9’s title is named after new characters added to the show.
Two new “toys,” Todd & Travis are introduced.
Todd is named after Spawn creator Todd McFarlane.
David Bowie’s “Modern Love” is played when Arbiter befriends Todd.
Episode 10 – Cortana
Episode 10’s title is obviously named after a character from the Halo series.
Arbiter & Travis play “Grand Theft Auto IV.”
Chief becomes jealous towards Todd spending time with Cortana. He attempts to separate Todd & Cortana.
A drawing made me laugh my rump off.
Episodes 11-12 – Conflict Parts 1 & 2
Arbiter & Travis continue playing Grand Theft Auto IV.
Travis tries to help Chief woo Cortana.
Chief fights Todd & Travis.
My favorite part of this episode is when Arbiter is annoyed by a kid playing online.
A strange occurrence happened. I cannot tell you why. You’re gonna have to see for yourself.
Arby ‘N’ The Chief: The Movie
The half hour long movie is set before Season 2’s finale.
This film involves Chief who immediately becomes a filmmaker. The movies he made are idiotic next to Uwe Boll’s filmography.
Jon CJ Graham plays an over-the-top movie producer.
Opening Sequence is intense yet ridiculously funny.
A Chase Scene is intense and funny as in the opening scene.
Somebody screams like Daniel Stern’s character Marv from “Home Alone.”
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
In my opinion, the first two seasons and half hour film of Arby ‘N’ The Chief remains as one of my favorite shows. Jon CJ Graham did an excellent take full responsibility as a one man director, making sure no boo boos were intact. Jon deserves all the recognition for introducing Machinima, before its downfall. If you’re interested in watching Arby ‘N’ The Chief, I strongly recommend it. Be sure to watch all episodes on YouTube if you can find them.