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I guess it had to happen eventually, I just didn't expect to like it.

The Strangerhood (http://www.strangerhood.com) is a full motion webcomic (for lack of a better term) from Rooster Teeth Productions, the guys and gals who bring you Red vs. Blue. Red vs. Blue uses manipulated movies captured from Halo to reenact a script - The Strangerhood does the same thing with The Sims 2.

The episodes are roughly five minutes long and focus on a group of people being controlled by an Outer Limits - type omniscient voice that communicates through the TV and who makes their lives miserable in new and interesting ways, from killing their pet fish to having complete strangers wake up in bed together. Unlike the characters in the Sims game itself, the people here are aware of the ridiculousness of their situation and spend a good deal of time making fun of the game's inherent conceits and the character's actions - in the first episode one of the sims, a smarmy yuppie, walks around his house throwing a thumbs-up to everything he sees ("Mailbox! High-five!") while another sim plays an overly eager game of chess against himself.

It's a cute idea, particularly because the writers don't take the artifice of the game at all seriously. What makes it shine, though, is the writing and the voice acting. The shows are consistently funny and the stereotypes (the stoner, the princess, the angry black guy, etc.) are fleshed out well enough to avoid being trite. While it may get boring in the long run, in bits and pieces it works.

The Strangerhood's archive is free...sort of. New episodes are available weekly (though a few days late for non-subscribers) and the archives are available in frequently rotated consecutive chunks of three episodes or so for non-subscribers and in their entirety for subscribers. A season's subscription (roughly six months of weekly toons) will cost you ten bucks. Their message boards are also quite entertaining.

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