Gobbledygeek episode 442, “Geek Challenge: Sunset Blvd. vs. My Favorite Year,” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
For Norma Desmond, the pictures got small when words stole her mystique; for Alan Swann, it was when his drunken antics got him downgraded to the boob tube. They’re both stand-ins for larger-than-life stars past their prime, Norma in Billy Wilder’s scathing Sunset Blvd. (1950) and Alan in Richard Benjamin’s cozy My Favorite Year (1982). In our latest Geek Challenge, Paul and Arlo discuss these fallen idols and how their respective movies take much different approaches to a mentor/mentee relationship. The boys break down the ways in which both films echo real-life Hollywood legends; praise Gloria Swanson’s arch turn as Norma and Peter O’Toole’s thinly veiled take on Errol Flynn; pine for dead monkey funerals; and wonder what things would be like if Jessica Harper ruled the mob.
NEXT: on this month’s Four-Color Flashback, we conclude the post-apocalyptic adventures of Gus and Jeppard in Deluxe Editions 2 and 3 of Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth.
Gobbledygeek episode 441, “The Americans: Season 2 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
You know what they say: Parenting is hard, especially when you’re undercover KGB operatives masquerading as a suburban American couple. As Paul, Arlo, and special guest Wesley “Wezzo” Mead dive into season 2 of Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields’ modern classic The Americans, they discover all the ways child-rearing is difficult for Philip and Elizabeth Jennings. This includes concealing your secret identity; setting up a decoy aunt; keeping your kids out of the church; and shielding them from the dreaded “spurtsposition.” Plus, Paul and Wezzo rock out to the new Fratellis album and share some nice words about Ted Lasso.
NEXT: it’s My Favorite Year to take a stroll down Sunset Blvd. on a new Geek Challenge.
00:01:16 – Intro / Guest
00:14:17 – Main Topic
01:51:00 – Outro / Next
“Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring, Cut (1982)
“Here Comes the Flood” by Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel (1977)
Imagine a world where a global pandemic killed millions and changed society forever. Spooky stuff, huh? Well, take a break from reality with this month’s Four-Color Flashback: Sweet Tooth: The Deluxe Edition – Book One, comprising the first 12 issues of Jeff Lemire’s offbeat breakthrough about a little deer boy and the post-apocalyptic hell that awaits him in the wilds of Nebraska. Along the way, he meets a Frank Miller-style tough guy named Jepperd, who seems to be the grizzled protector to Gus’ naive innocent. It’s a little more complicated than that, of course. Paul and Arlo discuss Lemire’s weird, idiosyncratic artwork; the way he uses the faces and especially the eyes of his laconic characters to convey so much; and how the new Netflix adaptation is radically different.
NEXT: dust off that mail robot, it’s time for The Americans season 2 with British secret agent Wesley “Wezzo” Mead.
00:00:47 – Intro / Banter
00:19:38 – Sweet Tooth: The Deluxe Edition – Book One
Gobbledygeek episode 439, “My Favorite Sunny Murder Crime in Philadelphia Podcast,” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
On a new freestyle episode, Paul and Arlo spend the whole podcast telling you about other podcasts you should be listening to instead (and one you should not). You see, Paul has descended into true crime madness, his paranoia reaching heretofore unseen levels as he falls asleep to the sounds of violence. There are also serial killers following him. Elsewhere, Arlo’s vestigial nose twin stalks the night, plotting his revenge. Oh, and Arlo provides a really detailed recap of an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for some reason.
NEXT: everybody gets a sweet tooth now and then. We’ll have 12 of them as we discuss the first two volumes of Jeff Lemire’s Vertigo series Sweet Tooth for this month’s Four-Color Flashback.
“Murderer” by Buju Banton, ‘Til Shiloh (1995)
“Every Breath You Take” by The Police, Synchronicity (1983)
The Four-Color Flashback, that most venerated non-Gobbledyween tradition, has been around in some form for nearly all of this podcast’s 11 years. And yet–we’ve never discussed manga, the world’s most popular comics format. Paul and Arlo have decided to rectify that with the first volume of Inio Asano’s Goodnight Punpun, the surreal exploration of one young boy’s troubled adolescence. Punpun Punyama has a crush on the new girl at school, stays with his hipster uncle because of his abusive dad, hears the voice of God, and is beginning to familiarize himself with the art of self-pleasure. Oh, he and his whole family are also rendered as simple little cartoon bird and/or ghost people, while the world around them is drawn in gorgeous detail by Asano. The boys share their limited experience with manga, Arlo enjoys weird vagina monsters, and Paul has an epiphany.
Gobbledygeek episode 437, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (feat. Michael Holland),” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
Paul, Arlo, and returning guest Michael Holland aren’t in Westview anymore. For its second TV series, the Marvel Cinematic Universe returns to more conventional superheroics. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the Captain America sequel we’ve been waiting for, filled with stellar action sequences, resonant character work, and a twisty-turny plot. The gang debates how well that last element works, but one thing they can all agree on: director Kari Skogland and head writer Malcolm Spellman do their cast justice, bringing depths to Sam and Bucky we haven’t gotten to see on the big screen. Other topics of discussion include just how relatable the Flag Smashers are, Madripoor’s splashy MCU debut, Sharon Carter’s heel turn, and how Wyatt Russell makes an insufferable character sufferable.
NEXT: he’s not exactly a falcon, but he is a weird little bird-boy. For the first Four-Color Flashback discussing manga, Paul and Arlo take a look at Inio Asano’s Goodnight Punpun: Vol. 1.
Gobbledygeek episode 436, “The Americans: Season 1 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
Deception is as American as apple pie. Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are well aware of this–they’re Russian spies under deep cover as a suburban couple in the U.S., after all. Their new next door neighbor, FBI Agent Stan Beeman, threatens to throw a wrench into their long con. Over the course of The Americans season 1, there are plenty of twists, turns, betrayals, and confessions. Wesley “Wezzo” Mead has infiltrated the podcast to join Paul and Arlo as they begin a retrospective on Joe Weisberg’s critically acclaimed but criminally underseen FX series. The gang discusses the tremendous work by leads Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys; how the show is a little pulpier and faster moving than they remembered; the characters’ vacillating beliefs in each other and the systems they move within; and, of course, all those wigs.
NEXT: Hollywood post-production supervisor Michael Holland flies in for a look at The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Take note, Jennings–Soviet agents can be reformed!
00:00:51 – Intro / Guest
00:03:45 – Main Topic
01:50:05 – Outro / Next
“Tusk” by Fleetwood Mac, Tusk (1979)
“Games Without Frontiers” by Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel (1980)
Gobbledygeek episode 435, “Who’s With Me? (feat. Austin Allan James),” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
We’ve all been isolated, to some degree, for the last year. Austin Allan James’ debut feature Who’s With Me?, available for free on YouTube, perfectly captures the sense of loneliness and paranoia to which many of us have become accustomed. His film was also almost entirely finished pre-pandemic. Paul and Arlo talk with Austin about his clairvoyant powers, working on a shoestring budget, the inspiration he draws from filmmakers such as David Lynch and Joel Potrykus, how much of a fee turtles can demand, and what it all means, man.
NEXT: at long last, we go undercover with Wesley “Wezzo” Mead for a discussion of The Americans season 1.
This is a freestyle episode, so you better believe Paul and Arlo talk about all manner of goofy shit, but–there’s also kind of a topic too? Look, we make this stuff up as we go along, get that look off your face. Arlo watched John Carpenter’s 1981 cult classic Escape from New York for the very first time, and he absolutely loved it. He and Paul rave about the movie, its highly relatable cynicism, and its amazing music…which leads Arlo to proffer a shocking apology. The stick up his ass, it’s gotten a little shorter over the years. Plus, an in-depth breakdown of This Is Us’ timeline and an exploration of why roasts suck. Sponsored by the adult toy purveyor of your choice!
NEXT: indie filmmaker Austin Allan James joins us to discuss his debut feature, Who’s With Me?
“Escape from New York (Main Title)” by John Carpenter, Escape from New York (Original Film Soundtrack) (1981)
We’re all about lending a hand here at Gobbledygeek, so for this month’s Four-Color Flashback, we’re slicing and dicing our way through Daniel Warren Johnson’s Extremity. The ultra-violent 12-issue series follows Thea, an artist who lost a core piece of her identity when a rival clan chopped off her drawing hand. As her father leads their clan on a bloodthirsty quest for revenge, she and her brother Rollo must question whether they will perpetuate this endless cycle of violence. Paul and Arlo discuss the series’ surprising commitment to pacifism, Johnson’s insanely detailed artwork, why the book’s violence isn’t at odds with its intent, and some quirky sound effects.
NEXT: tune in to find out.
00:00:28 – Intro
00:01:46 – Extremity
01:29:55 – Outro / Next
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles (1963)
“The Winner Takes It All” by ABBA, Super Trouper (1980)