The Maradonia Saga Book Trailer Review


A Note for Team Tesch: Criticism of your video, your website, your public comments, newsletter, and promotional tactics is protected under Fair Use of U.S. copyright law. I have the legal right to use portions of that video and quotations and screencaps from your websites for the purposes of both critique and parody, and I will use that right. However, if you would like to post any sort of response or rebuttal to my comments, you are welcome to do so. In the interest of fairness, I will publish them, complete and unabridged, alongside my own comments. Alternately, you can publish them on your own website and I will happily link to them.

To understand the history behind this book trailer, you may want to read A Trip Inside the Mind of Team Tesch.

Note: (Captions in quotation marks is dialogue or voiceover narration from the trailer itself)

We begin with a poorly designed logo that tells us this show is supposedly called Celebrity Soup. That was the name of a UK comedy series…which ended in 2006. Some quick Googling tells us that there is no such show as Celebrity Soup that currently exists.

We meet our Show Host, Kyle Kendrick. I have several questions. First, why is there a caption telling us that he’s the show host? People who watch television shows know who the show host is. Second, who is Kyle Kendrick? IMDB says his only credit was on ER 12 years ago, which, if it’s the same person, would explain why he’s appearing as a fake show host for a fake news program that’s pimping out a fake published book by an all-too-real girl.

We get some shots of Gloria Tesch signing books, as our Host rambles for a bit:

"Hello, and welcome to Celebrity Soup. Today we're serving up a hot dish of hysteria. So, what's on the menu? Two words: Gloria Tesch."

So….they’re going to eat Gloria Tesch? Works for me! We then move on to the testimonials, starting with an uncredited woman who keeps glancing down to her right, almost as if she’s reading off hidden cue cards.

"My daughter is ten and actually this is one of the only books I can get her to read, she is so excited about this book and author."

And, of course, her adorable little daughter:

"She signed my book, see?"

We cut back to our host, who continues: “If you haven’t heard, Gloria Tesch is the world’s youngest novelist. At the age of fifteen, she has already written eight novels. So, how are her books doing, you ask?”

We’ve already gone over how Tesch is not the world’s youngest novelist, not by a long shot. But what I really don’t get is….where the fuck did eight novels come from? Even after Tesch split the series in half, that left her with six. More importantly, Team Tesch is paying this guy to act in this fake television show for them, and they didn’t even bother to re-shoot the scene?

We cut forward to another uncredited person.

"It's amazing, we can't even keep the books on the shelves, they're flying out of here like...nothing."

You know, real news organizations have this little thing called “accreditation”, otherwise known as citing your sources. Generally speaking, you don’t just throw in quotes from unnamed people without some kind of citation. Why? Because audiences like to know who they’re hearing an opinion from. I find a random guy with white hair in a crowd a lot less credible than someone who is cited as, say, the bookstore manager?

Of course, I’m pretty sure the reason Team Tesch didn’t bother crediting anyone was because they were afraid the people would be tracked down after the fact and asked to back up their statements.

"So, what's the problem with that? Most people would say that's a good thing."

That’s probably because it is a good thing, you idiot.

"You know, despite the demand for her books, the publisher only prints a finite amount, and when they're sold out, they're gone, and that's not just here, that's all over the country."

There are so many inaccuracies here it’s difficult to know where to begin. Let’s start with the publishers. It’s true that publishers print a certain amount of books and then distribute them to be sold. However, once those books are gone, they print some more. That’s kind of what publishers do, they sell books to make money. And if a book is selling enough to make them have to go back and print more copies, don’t you think the publishing company would be really happy to do that? Since it will make them more money?

I suppose this idiot might be referring to the fact that Maradonia is self-published, but he’s still completely wrong. Vanity publishers let you choose the amount of books you buy from them. And, on the off chance that the Tesches did, in fact, sell out the first run of their self-published book, all they would need to do is place a new order from the vanity publisher and buy some more.

It’s probably a good thing this guy wasn’t credited, otherwise I would send him a very hostile email.

“So, what’s in the books that makes them so appealing?” our host continues.

"For me it was the characters, my favorite characters were Maya and Joey."

No, seriously? The two main characters were your favorites? That’s like asking someone who their favorite character in Harry Potter is and them replying “Harry Potter”. I mean, yeah, this kid is about ten, but you’d think they could have found a better clip to include in this video. Or at least written her some new lines.

We cut to a couple of young actors standing in front of a really, really obvious green-screen. Yes, it’s some clips from Maradonia which Team Tesch filmed and spliced into their book trailer, for reasons beyond my comprehension.

I can see the production value here.

"Maya! Crassus, the demon apostle, is following us!"

The kid playing Joey actually has a bit of acting ability, although he doesn’t have much to work with. The girl playing Maya, however, couldn’t act her way out of a cardboard box.

"Joey, I'm afraid!"

Yes. That is an actual line. “Joey, I’m afraid.”

"Let's go!"

And off they run, as giant fanged bats swoop down after them. Yes, giant fanged bats. Not Crassus the demon apostle. And…we’re back to the uncredited testimonials:

"You fall in love with them. You can't help it."

I beg to differ. I myself have written a very, very long sporking of the first book in the Maradonia “Saga”, and I have to say I don’t think I have ever read a story whose heroes were more selfish and unlikable than Maya and Joey.

We cut back to our host, who continues overacting. It’s like he’s trying to see how many bizarre facial expressions he can wedge into this video.

"Some people are even asking for autographs in the most precarious of places."

I don’t think that word means what you think it means.


Nothing against this guy, as I’m sure he’s just an unemployed college dropout out to make a buck, but seriously? This is the guy you want representing your fanbase? Or was this the only guy who was willing to let you sign his forehead?

“Some people are even coming out dressed as characters from the books,” our host continues.

I don’t recognize either of these characters, but let’s set that aside for a moment. As I have already said, Tesch has no fans. There isn’t a single fan website anywhere on the internet. I have yet to find a single legitimate, positive review. The book itself is an absolute mess. Yeah, I can theoretically see some 10-year-olds enjoying it, but Team Tesch seriously expects us to believe that grown men like her books so much they’re dressing up as characters from the books and standing in line to get autographs?

We cut forward to…another video clip from the book. Ah, it’s starting to make more sense now. The guy who is dressed up as one of the characters in line? He’s actually an actor who is portraying Abbadon. Why an actor who was paid by Team Tesch is also standing in line pretending to be a fan waiting for an autograph, I don’t know. It even makes me wonder if everyone else standing in line might also be paid actors….

Anyway, this guy’s acting is legendarily bad.

"King Astrodoulus..."

"...where ARE you?"

"I am here to kill you, take your land...and your head!"

I swear, those are his lines. I know it looks like he’s singing “The Sound of Music,” but he’s actually trying to be menacing. The actor here is putting on a really ridiculous accent and drawing the words out, so instead of “I am here to kill you!” it is more like “Aye ham here to kuHEEL YEW!!!!1111.”

"You have killed many kings....but today is not your day."

I have to say, the Tesches should demand their money back from whoever put together this piece of shit. You can see the outline of the green-screen around the edge of Astrodoulos’ robe!

In response, Abbadon leaps in the air, spins in a pirouette, swirls his cloak dramatically, growls, and shoots lightning from his fingertips.

Just dance! It’ll be okay…..

And…we’re back to the uncredited testimonials.

"It's a myriad of a modern-day fantasy that completely takes you out of your element."

I don’t know what that means.

Next, we have a really, really cheap CGI effect with some “spooky” sounding ghosts wailing.

And…we’re back to film clips from the book.

"Why have we been brought into this totally different world?"

"I don't know Joey, but I believe everything happens for a reason."

And we’re back to the testimonials:

"It's a fascinating book, she's a very creative writer, I wonder where she gets those ideas from."

The Chronicles of Narnia, for one. I do find it interesting that in many of these “testimonials” don’t actually mention Tesch by name. While it’s certainly plausible that Team Tesch just paid these people off, it’s also possible that they interviewed people about completely different books and just cleverly intercut it.

We’re back to the pudgy white-haired guy:

"These people have been sitting here for almost two and a half hours, and are still in line trying to get their autographs; unbelievable, it's a great book."

As he talks, we get a few shots of the crowd:

I might be misreading their expressions, but the guy seems to be thinking “What am I doing with my life?” while the woman is thinking “They seriously published this shit?”

And we’re back to the Host.

"So what's next for the world's youngest novelist? You guessed it. Motion pictures. Moguls from New York to Hollywood are already weighing in, and I'm told there are offers already on. the. table."

Right. “Moguls” are interested in making a film of a book that is self-published, almost universally despised, and doesn’t have any fans. That’s believable. And then, for no apparent reason, we cut to a close-up of some guy lighting a cigar:

Remember, kids, smoking kills.

We cut to a shot of a girl walking in slow motion down a hallway:

Her hair is being blown backward from the intense indoor wind that goes through hallways. She strolls into her cigar-smoking boss’ office. He’s reading Entertainment Weekly, the preferred magazine of all Hollywood and New York moguls. The girl parks herself on her boss’ desk and drops a couple of folders onto his laptop.

"These just came in for you."

In perhaps the only realistic scene in this entire trailer, Cigar Guy is not happy with getting a handout with pictures of Gloria Tesch’s novels on them.

"This? This is what you bring me? This is garbage! Can't you see I'm busy?"

And into the trash they go. The girl stalks off, rolling her eyes. Cigar Guy peeks over the top of Entertainment Weekly and then surreptitiously pulls the folders out of the garbage.

"Fifteen years old? Six books? Two screenplays? This kid's a billion-dollar industry!"

I’m not sure how someone can see that someone is a billion [!!] dollar industry from seeing covers of their self-published novels – which, I should add, isn’t really that impressive. I myself had written six novels by the time that I was fifteen. And like Tesch, all of my novels were pretty shitty. Unlike Tesch, my parents didn’t say I was a genius and throw money at me.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that a person cannot be an industry.

Cigar Guy stands up, whips out a bullhorn, and, – I am dead serious – yells “Action!”

Why would this guy have a bullhorn in his office? Why would he decide to yell “Action” at the ceiling of his empty office? And why does poorly computer-generated fire come out of his nostrils immediately afterward?

You thought I was making that up, didn’t you?

We then cut to an image of the six Maradonia books with flames behind them, and then to an image of a very, very poorly animated creepy guy:

"Let the adventure....begin!"

And finally, we have the final shot of the trailer:

For some reason they’ve decided to change the name to “Maradonia and the 7 Bridges”, for reasons I cannot fathom. It just looks moronic.



  20 Responses to “The Maradonia Saga Book Trailer Review”

  1. *sigh* If only Tesch’s parents didn’t delude their daughter. Seems at her age, we were all shitty writers. Maybe if she had allowed herself to grow, things would’ve been different.

  2. I… It’s… That’s… Words utterly fail me.

  3. Agreed. After reading the sporking, it’s VERY clear that the Maradonia books were amateur, definitely some of her earliest writings. They have a lot of the hallmarks: possible self-insert character, multiple wish-fulfillment fantasy elements, and the borrowing of a basic premise or multiple elements from a work that the writer likes. In this case, “Chronicles of Narnia”. Earliest stories I came up with as a kid were very much “Sailor Moon” types of stories. A friend of mine in middle school wrote some stories that pretty much followed the premise of “Maximum Ride”.

    She appears to have some passion for writing. If that’s true, I agree with you. Maybe she could, someday, write something good if she learns to take criticism.

  4. She’s almost an adult now and somehow, she’s not doing any better, at least as far as behavior goes. She acts like a celebrity, like best thing since sliced bread, and while I agree that this is most likely the fault of her parents, she’s starting to get old enough to think critically about herself for herself.

  5. Oy, yeah. Most writers grow out of the habits I mentioned, yet Tesch has not even though it’s been several years. This “I’m the next Rowling!” attitude is one thing for a 15-year old who hasn’t been writing for very long, but when you’re almost 20 (I don’t know exactly how old she is but I assume she’s around there, yes?) there’s no excuse. She SEEMS to care about writing and Maradonia. I mean, she always lists it as her claim to fame and makes a big deal about it, so I assume she still cares about writing. (unless she stopped caring about writing and only brags about being a novelist for the fame/prestige, but I’ll give her the benefit of a doubt) It’s really disappointing to see someone who has been writing for years and still has a lot of those amateur attitudes. Eh, but what are you gonna do?

  6. Something I just thought of… You know what’s particularly depressing about this trailer? It represents time, money, and effort that could’ve been put into legitimately marketing the book. See, if Tesch’s book was good or even just mediocre, she probably could gain a local, small, but potentially dedicated fandom if she properly marketed the book. She probably wouldn’t have nationwide attention or people spending two hours in line to get her autograph, but it would be something. Her book is marketed toward kids, yes? Kids don’t usually have super high standards about what they read.

    So let’s pretend that the Maradonia books were good or mediocre instead of bad. The novels are still self-published in this universe. Tesch could go to libraries and elementary or middle schools to talk about the books. (could possibly even sell them. In my middle school, we had an author come by to speak and we had the opportunity to buy his books while he was there) She doesn’t have the same level of prestige as someone who got published through a company, but see, librarians and teachers are really big on trying to get kids to read. Even if they can get the kids to read lousy books, it’s considered an accomplishment.

    Tesch is young, pretty, and peppy, so she could easily appeal to kids. She could do talks at the schools, talk about her books, and answer questions about being a writer. Elementary school students, maybe even some of the middle school ones, (middle schoolers tend to be more jaded, but again, Tesch is young, pretty, and gives off the “popular girl” vibes so she might appeal to them) would probably get excited about getting to meet an author, even if she’s not a big, famous one. Then they’d want to read her books, and they’d ask their parents to order it or give them money to buy a copy when Tesch visits the school. Tesch could do signings and readings for kids at bookstores, and readings at libraries. Again, this would make kids excited and could encourage them to read the books. She could leave copies of the books at the libraries as donations, so the kids could check them out. Some kids could become big fans and might even buy their own personal copies.

    But maybe it’s easier to just pretend you’re famous. But considering how much effort has been put into pretending to be famous, well, if she put half as much of that into writing something readable and marketing it properly, she very well could have a small but real fanbase. Put more work into it and over time, maybe she could get something bigger.

  7. Still more coherent then the trailer.

  8. I think she will be 20-21 this year. Somewhere around that. And what I’m gonna do is read her re-written book and laugh like an idiot, because it’s so horribly hilarious. It’s like Plan 9, but in written form.

  9. I’ve considered reading it and doing my own sporking, since the ebook is only three bucks.

  10. Did Gloria finish high school? If she did, we should be blaming not only her parents but also her English teachers.

  11. To be honest I actually feel sorry for Gloria. I think she was clearly writing her books as a hobby, I could accept the fact that this was a hobby and I’d probably give her a pat on the back for all the time and effort she put into writing these books. But her parents went ape shit about her writing and boasted the work like it was the next 1984.

    Ever since, she has been deceived in this world of ‘She is the best’ and that she is ‘World famous’ she has literally been sucked into a pit of self indulgence and deceit, much like North Korea, and there is no way she is ever going to willingly come out. She has my pity. (-‸ლ)

  12. Words cannot describe the funniness of this. Seriously, my laugh generator stopped working. Should I turn it on and off again?

  13. Did you notice that the “bookstore” in the trailer is actually a children’s library? (possibly in a school). Nothing is being sold there. Look at the posters and the shelves. That is no store!

  14. For some reason, I compare Team Tesch to North Korea. I know I’m not the first person to find that comparison because someone in Impishidea did that first. Seeing Gloria not growing up even though she’s legally an adult now is sad. Her parents must be given the Worst Parents of the Year Award.

  15. My parents did what Gloria’s did. The difference? I stated they were shit. I knew they were. I knew I could improve. I compared myself to real authors and looked at trash like this to see where I stood. The result? Continual practice to better myself.

  16. If they’re based off the dub, I can only imagine how terrible they’d be.

  17. I can’t stop laughing at the picture of that doofus with his forehead scribble. I would love to know what his story is.

  18. I honestly want to see this be a thing.

  19. Yeah, that’s the theory I go with. She wrote some books for fun, and her parents thought this made her some kind of prodigy and they legitimately thought that it could make her rich and famous. Not many children or teenagers, hell, even adults, have the patience to sit down and write novels, so even though the writing is shit, (which is really to be expected from a young teenager who may not have been writing very long) I can understand why they’d be impressed. But they clearly know nothing about writing or the publishing industry, that’s why I think they ended up investing so much into the franchise and her author image. They see writers like Rowling and Meyer and Collins create these huge, multi-million dollar franchises and think lots of writers can get there, and if Gloria already wrote three books at a young age, SURELY she’s guaranteed to end up in their ranks!

    But while writing full novels as a young teenager is fairly impressive, it’s also not terribly rare, and not something you can really use as a marketing gimmick. And even if you could, it would only be for a short time. Kids grow up, after all, and you can’t really play up the child genius thing when you’re in your 20s. People will only ask “What have you done lately?”.

  20. Probably paid. 😛