Mad Men season 6: the jumping-off point. AJ, Kenn, and Joe begin their discussion of the show’s sixth season by discussing the two-part premiere “The Doorway,” in which, yes, there is a metric shit-ton of doorway symbolism; and “Collaborators,” wherein Beans and Ketchup are emphatically not two tastes that taste great together. There’s much talk of Don’s new fatalistic bent, the Dawn Summers-like introduction of Bob Benson, and the addition of Linda Cardellini as another (but quite different) Draper mistress. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch!
Two boys, lost in the woods. A fearsome beast roaming the forest. A frog with many names. Potatoes…and molasses. What do these things all have in common? They’re in Over the Garden Wall, the first-ever animated mini-series on Cartoon Network (and perhaps all of American television). The show, broken up in ten 11-minute installments, is a thing of weird and wild beauty. Paul and AJ discuss the many different references it draws from–Miyazaki, Adventure Time, Betty Boop–and how they all cohere to form one of the best cartoons in recent memory. So why don’t you join them, over the garden wall? Plus, Paul has become an Avatar: The Last Airbender obsessive and AJ watched a whole bunch of movies during the Gobbledysleep.
Next: Wesley “Wezzo” Mead makes his annual hop, skip, and a jump over the pond.
With “The Phantom,” Mad Men season 5 draws to a close in surprisingly bleak fashion for what at first seemed like an optimistic, enlightened year for the gang at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. AJ, Kenn, and Joe discuss the bitterly ironic endings for each character, what doesn’t exactly work about the finale, whether or not subtlety is overrated, and what the future may hold for our favorite ad men and women. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch!
There’s a running joke that Paul and I don’t know how to talk about music. And though we’ve been assured by reputable sources that we don’t too bad a job of it, well…I tried writing little blurbs for the albums on my list and felt like a jackass. So we’ll again be presenting our lists (my top 10 and Paul’s top 5) without comments, as Paul’s already done with this year’s movies and comics lists.
In lieu of our dumb words, enjoy some songs from our favorite albums of 2014.
AJ: 10. POM POM by Ariel Pink
AJ: 9. MORNING PHASE by Beck
To kick off Gobbledygeek season 6, we have for you what we promised at the end of last season: a (nearly) full audio recording of The Deli Counter of Justice reading at Rickert & Beagle Books in Pittsburgh, PA on December 13, 2014. Paul, AJ, and Eric Sipple round out the Deli brain trust, with contributors Thomas Dorton and Alyssa Herron also on hand to read from their stories. In addition, there a few Qs & As before the audio cuts out. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we did reading. Plus, Paul and AJ tease some highlights from the forthcoming season of the show.
Next: the boys discuss the odd, brilliant Cartoon Network mini-series Over the Garden Wall.
AJ, Kenn, and Joe ring in the new year by chronicling the most devastating string of episodes season 5, and perhaps the entirety of Mad Men, has to offer. Those under discussion are “Christmas Waltz,” in which the Negrons pick cotton for the Caucasons; “The Other Woman,” wherein Joan rides a Jaguar; and “Commissions and Fees,” in which the agency is forced to raise (then lower) its Pryces.
Last week, we brought you our top 10 films of the year. It was different from past years in that while I still wrote words and words and words, Paul presented his list without comment. He continues that trend with his top 10 comics of 2014. Meanwhile, I’m getting into some unusual territory by admitting that I don’t have a list. Sure, I could have scraped something together, but it wouldn’t have felt right.
I adore comic books–look no further than the year-long Four-Color Flashback series on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman we just wrapped in December–but this was the year they unfortunately fell by the wayside of my pop culture habits. There are a few reasons: comics are expensive, often going for $2.99, $3.99, or even more for a bundle of 20-25 sheets of paper; reading is a solitary, time-consuming activity which requires laser focus, unlike a lot of movies and TV (I’ll probably get in trouble for that), and this year I chose to devote much more of my reading time to prose; and lately, I’ve grown to prefer sitting down with one-and-done graphic novels or trade paperback collections to only getting a single hit of a story each month.
Then there’s the fact that 2014 was the year I (and Paul, and frenemy of the show Eric Sipple) published a book. I’ve always considered myself a creative person, but actually putting blood, sweat, and tears into finishing a real product available for purchase left me with a lot less free time. Video games were the first casualty–I played the very comics-oriented LEGO Marvel Superheroes for a few days, but that was about it–and then, completely by chance, I noticed comics becoming the second. Which is ironic, considering how heavily indebted The Deli Counter of Justice is to superhero comics.