His stay-at-home mother runs a successful marijuana grow-op which allows his father to abandon his career and work as a futile movie extra. JPod is then drastically challenged and changed when Steve goes missing and the new executive replacement declares that the game will be changed yet again. Upper management decides to change Jeff the turtle for an adventurous prince who rides a magic carpet. The game is then renamed "SpriteQuest". The JPodders, upset that they would not be able to finish their game, decide to sabotage SpriteQuest by inserting a deranged Ronald McDonald.
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His stay-at-home mother runs a successful marijuana grow-op which allows his father to abandon his career and work as a futile movie extra.
JPod is then drastically challenged and changed when Steve goes missing and the new executive replacement declares that the game will be changed yet again. Upper management decides to change Jeff the turtle for an adventurous prince who rides a magic carpet.
The game is then renamed "SpriteQuest". The JPodders, upset that they would not be able to finish their game, decide to sabotage SpriteQuest by inserting a deranged Ronald McDonald. They do this by creating a secret level where Ronald works malevolence, thus creating, in their opinion, a culturally-suitable game for the target market. Ethan begins to date the newest addition to JPod, Kaitlin, and their relationship grows as she discovers that most of the members of the team, including herself, are mildly autistic.
Kaitlin develops a hugging machine after researching how autistic people enjoy the sensation of pressure from non-living things on their skin. Douglas Coupland, as a character, is inserted into the novel when Ethan visits China to bring a heroin -addicted Steve back to Canada.
JPod finds itself in a digital world where technology is everything and the human mind is incapable of focusing on just one task. Related works and influences[ edit ] BookShorts; a short video film depicting characters of JPod was filmed in by BookShorts. Both of these characters write the novel manuscript on a laptop, and both novels feature random product names, slogans, and messages in varying font size.
The narrator in both novels also begins and maintains a relationship with a female co-worker; Daniel dates Karla and Ethan dates Kaitlin. Both novels also deal heavily with lifestyle in the modern age of technology.
Finally, both novels touch on autism. In Microserfs, Daniel says that he thinks that all tech people are autistic, and in JPod, Kaitlin describes all of her co-workers and her boss as mildly autistic.
On an interesting side note, hugging machines as described in the novel have actually been developed to help those with autism. The humor mostly originates from character flaws. The characters themselves do not have much depth, and their flaws are exaggerated for comic effect. Coupland was writing both Terry and JPod simultaneously, and Coupland was quoted in the Jerusalem Post saying that all of his "more noble character traits went into [Terry].
There was a tar-pit of ooze left over that wanted to go somewhere. JPod was it. Epistolary novels; Parts of the text of JPod are written as e-mails, text messages, and other messages written by the characters themselves. Therefore, JPod can be considered partly an epistolary novel , although much of the novel is also standard narrative format.
Self-insertion; JPod makes extensive use of the literary device of self-insertion , in which the author himself appears as a character. Other examples of this technique appear in The Canterbury Tales , The Divine Comedy , and numerous other fictional works.
Video gaming; JPod draws similarities to several real-life elements of the video gaming world. For example, the company that the characters work at is called Neotronic Arts, which is extremely similar to the real company Electronic Arts. Besides the similarity in the name, both video game companies have their main office in Burnaby , close to the freeway, and both deal heavily in sports games.
Six of the episodes were written or co-written by Douglas Coupland. The show began airing on Tuesday nights, but because of low ratings it was moved to Friday nights. The continued low ratings resulted in CBC announcing the cancellation of the series in March , despite the fan-based protest that this sparked. A total of 13 episodes were produced. The executive producer of the series, Larry Sugar, blamed CBC for the cancellation, saying that they had not done enough to promote the show.
Some felt it is just an unsuccessful update of Microserfs, with no added substance, while others enjoyed its entertaining style and satire. Favourable[ edit ] Favourable reviews of JPod largely focus on its entertaining qualities arising from the improbable-probable lives and quirks of the characters.
Coupland is mentioned as being "possibly the most gifted exegete of North American mass culture writing today", with JPod being "his strongest, best-observed novel since Microserfs. Unfavourable[ edit ] On the other hand, many critics were frustrated and irritated by the book. Dennis Lim of The Village Voice called it "smug, vacuous, easily distracted, and often supremely irritating".
John Elk said that Coupland "is neither a master of plot nor of characterization",  and his characters were also called "hollowed-out cartoons".
Published on Sat 3 Jun The novel proper finally begins with a character saying: "Oh God. I feel like a refugee from a Douglas Coupland novel. It tells the nominal story of Ethan Jarlewski and his five co-workers in "JPod", a working group in a video game production company in Vancouver. The plot? Things trundle along nicely enough, with lots of individual bits that never quite make a story: the marketing department keeps making fatal changes to the game JPod are working on; their boss disappears, then reappears with a cheerful heroin habit after Ethan rescues him from China; and so on.
And yet, I feel I feel I should preface this review by saying, Coupland is my favourite author. Like, by a really long way. I love all his books insanely much. Well, except Shampoo Planet. No one loves Shampoo Planet.