Eugene Kal Siskel (January 26, 1946 – February 20, 1999) was an American film critic and journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Along with colleague Roger Ebert, he hosted a series of popular movie review programs on television from 1975 until his death in 1999. Their work was highly influential in the world of film criticism and they attained household level name recognition for a time. They're one of the biggest influences on infamous, disgraced content creator the Nostalgia Critic. Gene Siskel died in the year 1999, and this is where our story begins.
In the year 1999, the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, George Lucas, has lost his massive accumulated wealth and is facing significant mafia debts which threaten his safety (forcing him to promote products and sell his fame to pay). Using his connections in high places, he and the much more successful filmmaker Steven Spielberg, director of E.T. and Schindler's List, marry in a dynastic (but loving) marriage. Spielberg maintains their high connections and socializes with the upper crust while George Lucas uses his connections to develop seedy blackmail on the highly influential. George Lucas knows that releasing a well reviewed film is what his career needs to survive and so Spielberg convinces President Bill Clinton to sign secret legislation promising that when America develops the technology to bring the dead back to life, George Lucas will be the sole owner.
By the year 2004, this is developed. Gene Siskel is the first person to be recreated from the incubator. But as George Lucas and Spielberg watch humanity's incredible achievement, George Lucas accidentally knocks one glass of Star Wars Branded Chillis Chilli into the machine. All of Gene Siskel's memories are permanently gone. George Lucas considers killing the new born critic, but Spielberg scolds him violently not to kill what is now just an innocent baby. This leaves a mild resentment of Gene Siskel in George Lucas's head that only grows worse as the two raise him as their own.
Spielberg and George Lucas choose never to tell their son that he is truly Gene Siskel and block any possible media that could inform him of his true identity. As he grows up, Gene Siskel is never fully able to realize it, but he always feels out of place with his identity.
Fast forward to 2017, Gene Siskel is a 14 year old boy. Discovering a YouTube reaction video maker known as Alex Grady on the internet, he is inspired to begin reviewing on his own, which George Lucas briefly encourages. He begins a YouTube channel called Genskiel without his parent's knowledge and even begins a Patreon. He makes film reviews for Avengers Endgame, journalism discussing the 2019 Oscars, and video essays on why films are better than video games. He becomes popular enough not only to begin regaining his household status (as seen in Why Movies Are Almost As Good As Video Games when a child is able to recognize him on the spot) and he is invited to sit next to Barack Obama in the 2019 Democratic Presidential Primary Debates.
However, George Lucas's fortunes begin to turn. With the 2012 buyout of Lucasfilm by Disney, George Lucas is financially set. President Donald Trump allows George Lucas to buy Columbus Day, changing it to be named after himself. Therefore, it HORRIFIES HIM TO HIS CORE when he discovers Gene Siskel's clone is actually way more influential as a reviewer than he thought. Knowing that it's only a matter of time before Gene Siskel finds out that he truly is Gene Siskel, George Lucas hides anything in his life relating to film or film criticism and begins cutting his son off from the world. This is an awful, awful stressor on Gene Siskel's life. He is incredibly hurt and doesn't know why his father thinks he is wrong.
The turmoil in Spielberg and George Lucas's marital life begins to get heated. The once cute couple are having occasional arguments set off by George Lucas's treatment of their son and George Lucas's low income and George Lucas's frivolous spending. Spielberg considers leaving Lucas, but he performs a very public act of love by singing a Sonic the Hedgehog-themed parody of "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind AND THEN THEY BROKE UP.
This is the final straw in George Lucas's back. He waited over 20 years to regain his credit as a film maker (the star wars prequels don't exist in this world and if they did he'd still be ruined) and he begins to plot to end his suffering. Now, not content with hiding Gene Siskel's truth, George Lucas attempts to murder his only son with the Death Note. He fails, but readies a second attempt. While walking through an alleyway, Gene Siskel is attacked by hired bulbous thugs, barely surviving.
In the final episode, which was never produced, Gene Siskel would have spoken to a very minor character named David Bowie. David Bowie is a clone of pop musician and alien spaceman David Bowie, cloned during the Tony Blair administration of England to prepare if David Bowie ever died. Sitting together, Gene Siskel would break down crying. He'd reveal that he was confused, he felt he didn't belong in his life, that he was born as the wrong person, and that he didn't know why. He feels that he is worthless.
David Bowie comes close and reveals to him that he had felt the same feelings. Growing up in the British foster care system, he felt the same feelings. It was when he met his newest foster sister, a girl named Blue Jean, that he realized he was the clone of David Bowie. He then pulls out his phone and they search together, unfiltered for the first time, the name Gene Siskel on the internet. In utter happiness, Gene realizes who he has always been and that there is hope that his life can get better.
Seven months later, Gene has been removed from Spielberg and George Lucas's custody. George Lucas was arrested for attempting to build a lightsaber, but Spielberg pulled some strings and was able to land his ex-husband life imprisonment for tax fraud. Spielberg let his son move in with David Bowie's family without a thought and continued to make movies without thinking another thought to the boy he had neglected again. Gene lived with the family as his guardians and quickly became romantically involved with David Bowie, who he would stay with for the rest of their lives.
And yes, very soon Gene Siskel and David Bowie would develop a new TV show on PBS, even better than At The Movies. It was called Siskel and Bowie.
Two years ago, I made a show about Gene Siskel from Siskel and Ebert coming back from the dead to review movies. It was super dense and it has always bothered me that nobody could follow it's plot due to my bad storytelling. Read ahead, and you can fix that.
This post is a semi-comprehensive oral history of what the videos on this channel mean. I wasn't asked to make this and I don't expect anyone to read this (and I certainly don't encourage anyone to watch the videos) but I thought it would be worth doing. Just so if anyone ever does consume the content on this and the Genskiel YT channel, they'll understand what I was thinking. Genskiel was a half-formed concept I developed two years ago now. In retrospect, its greatest flaw was the lack of pre-planning. I had a plot in mind that I told myself, but too often I made videos with important plot details missing or ones which took place too far ahead in the future.
To watch all the videos in chronological order, cliCk heRe!!!.
THE PLOT, INCLUDING DETAILS WHICH ARE NOT INCLUDED OR IMPLIED IN THE SHOW, FULLY REFLECT EXACT AUTHORIAL INTENT.