Brows Held High, Ep. 50 - Melancholia

(193 votes, average 4.92 out of 5)

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Title Card Art by Ven Gethenian: http://halfwest.deviantart.com/

Comments (294)
  • Hagard
    Don't Panic!

    you are a blessing to us Kyle :)
  • Oblivion Mara
    Indeed.
    Happy 50th Brows Held High to you !
  • DamonLightbringer  - Wonderful!
    avatar
    Beautifully done. Held my complete attention for the full hour. Hope you never truly regret the path life has taken you. You are an "Awesome" addition to Channel Awesome.
  • theginganinja
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    good job on making 50 episodes. you really are one of the best reviewers on this site.
  • Ptrack_Git
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    Holy shit! A two part BHH! And it totals almost a freaking hour!
    Day=Made
    Congrats on 50 episodes! I watched all and loved em all. Keep it up.
  • Ptrack_Git
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    Wow, I could relate to this review waaaaay too much. Thank you for all your hard work over the years, and years too come. Thank you for reviewing this film, and when I am in a better state, I will watch it. Thank you for addressing the issues of depression, and thank you for the message at the end, it was something I needed to hear.

    In a weird, non-creapy way, the internet personalities I fallow are a bit like distant friends, and as sad as sounds, your work has been a good friend to me.

    BTW, check out Enter the Void if you haven't already, I'd love to see an episode on it some day.

    @GlibCriticisms
  • Amykins
    avatar
    Likewise. Kyle's breakdown of what depression feels like is the most accurate I've ever seen, and yet still manages to be poetic about it.
  • Revenege  - This is going to be a Long Post
    I come to you Kyle, with my first post. I have been on this site for years, but never made an account, never thought to. Why would I? Why would I post a message into the oblivion of this comment section. Why would anyone care for the words I type here And doubt that many will. I doubt that you will read this. But I come to you Kyle to thank you. Thank you for this video.

    I suffer from severe Clinical Depression, and General Anxiety Disorder. I have suffered from it for as long as my memory goes, even as young as 5 sitting on the stairs crying, and begging for death. It a force inescapable, a disorder of incredible power that so few can understand. In my years of writing, I have failed to capture what it is truly like. But I believe in this medium that I can not hope to master, you have done it. And for that I am forever grateful. You don't explicitly say you are a sufferer but there is such pain behind your words it can be heard.

    So in this post, that slowly marches on through the tides, I beseech you to march ever onward my friend. If you read this kyle, and I desperately do hope my words may entice you, then I thank you with my very soul, and I hope I may one day thank you in person.
  • jeyre3  - Oh My Goodness, Me Too
    I started watching this video and I knew that today I would create an account. I also suffer from Clinical Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I think this review is the hardest thing I have ever watched. I was talking to my computer screen, asking you to stop, because you were hitting way way way too close to home. The point where you drove Jesuotaku away made me cry, because I did the same thing with my friends. I am still healing and may struggle with melancholia from time to time throughout my life. But in a way, your final eight minutes especially were very cathartic. So thank you, Kyle.
    Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone. Thank you for reminding me of life's beauty. And thank you for reminding me to keep moving forward, to never surrender to stasis.
    I am so glad to have you as a reviewer on this site. I look at all the other commenters and I am so glad that you made a video about a topic so few of us are ready to talk about. Thank you.
  • ShalomDove
    God bless you. I just wanted to let you know that someone read and cared for what you have to say. Your story was not lost to the void. I know it's a tiny thing, but I just wanted to tell you that, even in this small way, you are heard. I know it's hell, but there is hope. I promise.
    I hope and pray that you will keep on singing into the void. It's the bravest thing that human beings do, right?
  • Vismutti
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    I read your comment too. And I think Kyle will too. Thank you for writing it because I think what you said there was very important.

    I hope all the best for you. I've gone through similar problems, probably not as severe but... anyway. I've gotten so much better now. I hope you will too.
  • DWP102589
    I'm a Bahá'í, and my religion is one of the few that teaches that creation has no beginning and no end, in fact it specifically states that the human race will continue to exist for another 500,000 years. Also, "The Great Dissapointment" in 1844 coincides with the founding of my religion, and I'm told that its founding symbolically fulfills the apocalyptic prophecies of almost every other religion.

    So, as long as I believe that much, in addition to God and the afterlife, I don't think I'll ever be truly melancholy

    Though I have to say, this episode really brought me close to it. You should go back into theatre, no matter what you experienced, because you've got raw talent. Even when you overcame it all at the end, I was really going along with it.

    You sure made your 50th episode count.
  • Jane the Bane
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    Allow me to wax philosophical here for a bit. Personally, I think that people who think of eternity as a succession of infinite futures are looking in the wrong spot.
    Most of our commonly held conceptions of time (the linear view associated with the Abrahamic religions and its cultural descendants, or the cyclical view associated with "Eastern" faiths) tend to mislead us, diverting our gaze.

    Eternity exists right now, within this moment. Reality happens while you read these lines, and this process is eternal in and of itself. You'll never find eternity anywhere else.
  • gr1m33  - My first comment on the site in 3 years
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    Beautiful
  • Firedrake368  - Wonderful
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    Not only did you top "The Man Who fell to Earth" you blew clean out of the water with this wonderful video.
  • SelfPityG2  - ...
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    Strangely satisfying ending to this episode.
  • orthdoxcomb9
    can somebody tell me whats oancitizens theme song?

    -oh and Happy 50th episode!
  • Henson
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    @ orthodoxcomb9 "Procession of the Nobles" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  • donlonfey
    as always, an enjoyable thrill to my Classicist soul. Congrats on your Pentennial. Looking forward to you Centennial. Maybe with more Euripides.
  • JJAlbert
    avatar
    50 episodes? Why, it seems just a day ago I stumbled upon your stuff and foolishly mistook reposted episodes as a vain attempt to capitalize upon the genius that is you... Kyle/Oan.

    Of course, I know better now, and wish you the best next 50 episodes.

    Also, is that your only book collection? Or is there some extra shelves up in the attic? ;)
  • PaladinDemo
    avatar
    It's weird that a art film reminded me of Highlander the Source.

    Happy 50th!
  • bicufo
    What did happen to that Crispin glover episode?
  • Dakota The Mad
    avatar
    Crispin Glover threatened to sue Kyle if he didn't take down the review, which he did. On his birthday.
  • yoshmaster5  - This was dang impressive.
    I have to say, the funniest parts of the review were the comments on Kirsten Dunst's best acting perfomance and the physics rant. As a meteorologist and somoene who has a very limited knowledge of astronomy, that was hilarious.

    Also, did you or JO think of mentioning Evangelion?

    And now, the personal part...

    The theme of the movie, the execution, the way that it is presented to mirror depression, and how people act under it...oh how accurately it hits the mark. Not just from what you have described, and I feel for you, how I feel for you in that, but in my own experience.

    I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 10. Around that time I became more introverted, shyer, more attached to a very small group of friends and isolating myself from others. It did not help that I was bullied for being terrible at sports (due to having no depth perception, I would later learn) and was an insufferable know-it-all. It colored most of my perceptions, I tended to be pessimistic and cynical in my outlooks on life and people. I did not open up easily. I stayed like this until my first year of college. Everything changed then. I was cut off from my new group of high school friends, I found myself unable to socialize, and I was away from my parents for the first time. I still did well in school, but found a deep loneliness in most of my actions. I tried to be social. Heck, I was part of a group of 46 who got full ride scholarships, I spent time with them. The first semester went fine. Then the second semester hit. I was placed with roommates with whom we held mutual dislike. My break with my older sister grew larger. Then a larger family tragedy hit which shattered my views of my parents. I...lost myself. I did not know who I was, what I was...I did not really exist as an entity for about two to three months. I still went to class, I still did homework. I still played in the college band, but everything just felt...pointless. Hollow. There was no future, no past, just... dreary days, going through the motions, day in and day out. Why should I try and socialize? Everyone is going to leave or go their separate ways anyway. No one wants to associate me anyhow. I was alone, hiding in my small room from the rest of the world, losing joy and interest in everything I did. After one setback I almost went near catatonic for an hour. After another, it happened during a class. The professor noticed, and my classmates noticed. At break, I asked to leave the class early because I felt absolutely empty. I felt like I had no one to rely on, no one to lean on. I felt utterly helpless, like someone without anything in the world. No identity as an individual, just something breathing air as the world spun on its tilted axis.

    I signed up for counseling the next morning as soon as the health center was open.

    Therapy began a day later. I started to regain myself,...
  • Lefaid
    I was terrified this was going to be your last episode. You are one of my favorite reviewers on this website. I am always excited when I see a new video come on of yours. Thanks for all the work you put into your reviews. I have definitely learned stuff from them that I can take away and sound smart around other people. Art house films are not something I would seek out for myself but I am getting closer to feeling like I can check a few of them out, including the movie you just reviewed. Keep up the good work.
  • yoshmaster5  - Continued
    I started to regain myself, to figure out my own identity. I started to rediscover my joy in my interests (it did not help that I did not take any meteorology courses that semester, everything was a requirement). I started enjoying my French Horn again, exercising more, finding some social groups, trying to take some initiative. I went to group therapy. I did everything I could to try and bring myself to the surface.

    I still falter, I still struggle, I still need help. Depression is something that is always there, always present, and always a little thorn that tries to expand and swallow you. What it tells you isn't always true. People do care, someone out there does care. I know that, and because I know it I have never attempted or contemplated suicide, even at my worst points. It is something that must be fought, must be dealt with, as it persists. But it doesn't need to win. It doesn't have to win. To talk about it is rarely done because, "It's a sign of weakness to admit you have depression/anxiety/ emotional turmoil" in most cultures. It's not a sign of weakness. Not admitting it is the weakness. Not acknowledging, and resisting, is the flaw. It is the struggle that defines you, the struggle against that paranoia, that downward sprial of fear and blackness. It is for that reason that I will say that I deal with depression. That I struggle with it, and that no one who struggles with emotions and perceptions like this is alone. And much like my critisim towards Evangelion, this film shows depression as this thing that can never be fought, never won against, and those who succumb to it the only logical and sane people in the world. That is a fallacy, pure and simple.

    You're brave for making this such a personal statement. This episode really hit home. The ending...really made me smile. You've earned a permanent fan.

    You should feel dang proud of this episode.
  • Dakota The Mad
    avatar
    I wish I could say anything that hasn't already been said about this review. Though I will say that this is possibly my favorite review from you so, Oan. You'll probably make ones better than this one but this feels like a perfect example of a magus opus.

    So, here's to 50 more episodes and beyond.
  • Bloodrealm
    I am SO glad you turnd around at the end, there. I was actually debating just shutting the video off at about the 26 minute mark of Part 2 (I hate it when everything gets all depressing, especially lately, because everyone seems to be trying to make us believe they're going to quit).
    I really like that you ended on a good note, and that was a really great message.

    Oh, and I think maybe the key for people to take anime seriously is to think of it as a medium, rather than as a genre.
    Evangelion is probably a good fit for you, too, since from what I've heard, it is the height of psychological arthouse-iness and depression.

    One more thing! If Doug or Rob reads this comment, I have an idea for an episode of Demo Reel. It hit me when I thought of how Oancitizen said that we don't see the rest of the world's reaction to the planet going to crash into earth: What if Demo Reel made Melancholia into one of those big-budget apocalypse-prevention movies!
  • PlayMp1
    avatar
    Yeah, I was about to cry when it seemed like Oan was throwing in the towel for a few minutes there. Destroy relationships with colleagues? Check. Begin overly harsh self-criticism? Check. Stop bothering with trying to judge the movie and start rambling (not in a bad way, it was an accurate depiction of someone having a depressive breakdown) about personal troubles? Check.

    Between Spoony's breakdown this summer leading to his departure from CA and the death of the Nostalgia Critic, I fear every landmark episode that comes out these days. Who will leave next?
  • mtue98  - Wow
    avatar
    That was awesome/epic. Smart and actually emotionally affected me. This is without a doubt my favorite thing you have ever done. It was just epic. Thanks Kyle
  • lady_entropy
    avatar
    This was just great. You are my favorite reviewer on here and this was really a beautiful review. I love Brad and Lindsey and everybody, but when you have a new video I have to drop everything and watch and this was not a disappointment.

    I will definitely check this movie out, it's been on my Netflix list for awhile now, and as somebody who has suffered depression I just want to say thank you for this.
  • Cheshire Kitten
    avatar
    Kyle, that was amazing. I'm impressed.
    Happy 50th episode! 8)
  • Database Ranger
    avatar
    I first found this show after seeing We Are the Strange on Hulu and checking to see if anyone of TGWTG had reviewed it. Since then, yours has been the only show where I actually went on an archive binge through BlipTV to see every episode.

    I actually took a break from editing my show once I saw that a new Brows Held High had been posted, since it had been so long since I'd seen a new episode that wasn't from the BlipTV archives. Although I will probably hate myself later for the lost editing time, I am very glad I watched.

    I'm not sure if I have watched any other video on this site that has caused such a deep emotional response. From the first few minutes, I was genuinely nervous and concerned for you, and was uncertain how much was character and how much was real. As both an actor and a writer, you should be very proud of your work here.

    Others have already pointed out how devastatingly accurate your portrayal of depression was here, and how well it matched the tone of the film. The catharsis of seeing you come out the other side just felt incredibly satisfying.

    Alongside Nostalgia Critic and Linkara, you have been one of my biggest influences as a reviewer. I really enjoy how you are able to let a film stand on its own merits while reviewing it, and often incorporate the themes and tones into your episodes, merging critique with homage.

    For the majority of the episode, I was terrified that this would be the final Brows Held High. I'm thrilled to know that it isn't. This 50th episode really showcased your talent and makes me incredibly interested in seeing what happens next.

    Keep up the fantastic work, and congratulations.
  • GenTheGeekGirl  - I'm not the only one that made an account today ju
    This is not normally something I like to say since I always want to believe that people can grow and improve as artists, but due to the fact that it is an opinion mostly wrought by person circumstances that created the greatest emotional impact, I will; "Melancholia" was by far the greatest review you have ever done. It is perhaps the best review on the site, though I am willing to admit that it is a matter of personal preference. I just wanted to thank you for making it. Nothing you said was untrue. Everything was deeply personal and yet had the ability to resonate with everyone because, in its odd way, depression is such a unifying experience. People go through the same crashing waves, and thankfully most of us come out of it alive, although a little damp. So thanks. We all need a reminder that we'll climb back out again somehow.
  • Henson
    avatar
    I feel like the personal bits in this review conflate the different types of depression. The depression you exhibit here is clearly not the same as the depression that Dunst exhibits, yet since your depression parallels and is compared to the film's depression, it confuses the two. As such, your final line about 'keep on dancing, etc.' could be interpreted as being directed towards all depression, which is shallow advice for someone suffering from major or chronic depression (as opposed to atypical or non-clinical types).

    Emotionally, however, the arc of the writing works wonderfully. It really does force us viewers into the descent rather than treat it as something for the audience to view from a distance; the gradual pace was a very nice choice in this regard. It really got me to feel empathy for your character/you, and I daresay this is a worthy piece of artistic filmmaking.

    Yet the emotion that has been most prominant for me is one of jealousy. Jealous that you have created such a well-constructed analysis and story all in one. Jealous that you have the courage to expose yourself like this in front of the world. Jealous that you have friends who are willing to go out of their way to help you make these videos.

    Keep up the good work.
  • Furore23
    avatar
    Thank you Mr K, for your honesty above all. This episode is sublime.

    I hope you manage to deal with this disease in the best allowable fashion.
  • StripesZB
    avatar
    This was beautifully done. Very nice descent, very good script, very convincing recovery. Good job, Kyle, you are one hell of a fine internet critic. :)
  • The_Masked_Donut
    avatar
    Very well done, especially since it was a long review, yet it managed to never feel like it. I can't say I suffer from any form of clinical depression, but I think most of us have been in places like that, and it was great to see you share that with both the analysis on the movie and your personal experience.

    I look forward to seeing more, and may I suggest for the 100th episode "Tree of Life"?
  • Tatsunin
    Amazing episode. If anything this makes one wonder what you'll do for your 100th episode. Though I think I can say that everyone will be looking forward to it.
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