Gobbledygeek episode 330, “The X-Files: Season 7 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
No TV show is at its best seven seasons in, as Paul, Arlo, and special British guest Wesley “Wezzo” Mead can attest. The gang has just watched season 7 of Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files, and they have questions: Why would anyone think that was a satisfying resolution to the Samantha Mulder storyline? Why is Dana Scully, one of the greatest female characters in all of genre fiction, consistently robbed of agency? Why is Chris Carter the worst writer on his own show? Why didn’t the show just end here? In addition to lamenting the season’s VR fantasmagorias and double scoops of Kathy Griffin, the gang does find praise for cast members going behind the camera and Vince Gilligan inching ever closer toward Breaking Bad. Plus, Paul continues to visit The Greatest Showman; Wezzo tells us of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Somebody Feed Phil, and Inside No. 9; and gosh, politics are just AWFUL.
Next: Paul and Arlo dive into Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water.
(Show notes for “The X-Files: Season 7.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 329, “Black Mirror: Shattered Reflections (feat. Sarah Kosheff),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are through the tweeting glass. First-time guest Sarah Kosheff joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror in general, and the new fourth season in particular. The gang discusses how the series explores the intersection of technology and society, if the “what if phones but too much” line of criticism is reductive, if the idea of a Black Mirror “shared universe” is in any way appealing, and more. Plus, Paul meets The Greatest Showman, Arlo and Sarah marvel at The Shape of Water, and Arlo finally puts Paul in his mouth.
Next: famed Briton Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by once again to discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. This time, the gang will discuss season 7.
(Show notes for “Shattered Reflections.”)
Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland’ by Pia Guerra, José Marzán, Jr., and Zylonol.
Gobbledygeek episode 328, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Yorick’s gang (there’s gotta be a snappier name, right?) inch closer to destiny in Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland, as Paul and Arlo near the end of their Four-Color Flashback discussion of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s beloved comics series. The boys once again rehash their frustrations with putting this series under the occasional monthly microscope, leading Arlo to posit that maybe different books are different kinds of great. Then Paul hashes out the most plausible explanations Vaughan has presented for the manpocalypse, and whether any of them catch the boys’ fancy. Plus, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is more fun than it has any right to be, and it looks like Red Sparrow may be the Black Widow movie Marvel has denied us.
Next: the boys go through the looking glass with season 4 of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, joined by first-time guest Sarah Kosheff.
(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland.”)
Art from ‘The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars, Part One’ by Irene Koh and Vivian Ng.
The Avatar Returns episode 48 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
We’re back for a brand new year with a brand new comics series! Following on the successful heels of their Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels Dark Horse Comics introduces the official Legend of Korra continuation series. The first story arc is called “Turf Wars” and it’s written by original series co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino with art by Irene Koh. To go along with all the new we here at The Avatar Returns are trying a slightly new format in that we’ll be reviewing these books as they are initially released rather than waiting for the hardcover Library Edition collections. So in this episode we tackle Part One (of Three), and I confess that we struggle just a little bit. Picking up immediately where the animated series left off we follow Korra and Asami on their getaway into the spirit world, and while it’s wonderful to see these characters again the return isn’t quite as smooth as we may have hoped. Paul and Arlo are worried about a seeming return to Book One hotheaded impetuous Korra; Koh’s art is a significant change from Gurihiru in the ATLA books; there’s talk of the Dumbledoring of Kya; and Eric will not condone a course of action that will lead us to Turf War. (That’s a joke, he actually loves this book.)
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 48.)
Gobbledygeek episode 327, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Saving What We Love (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This is not going to go the way you think. Indeed, in a rare occurrence, the stars (and their wars) have aligned to allow Paul, Arlo, and their Avatar Returns co-host Eric Sipple to agree that Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi is one of the best blockbusters in years. The gang discusses why that is, including the surprising directions in which writer-director Rian Johnson takes the story, its iconic imagery, another rousing John Williams score, how it strengthens the weaknesses of past Star Wars films, and one hell of a performance from Mark Hamill. And, yes, they tackle the fandom’s baffling response to the film.
Next: Gobbledygeek returns in 2018 with a continuation of Paul and Arlo’s Four-Color Flashback discussion of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man. This time, they’ll tackle the penultimate collection, Vol. 9: The Motherland.
(Show notes for “Saving What We Love.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 326, “The Rocketeer / Pleasantville: Flying Colors,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
That venerated institution, the Geek Challenge, takes to the bright blue sky with a pair of retro ‘90s flicks. First up, Paul challenges Arlo to Joe Johnston’s 1991 Billy Campbell-starring adventure The Rocketeer, a proto-First Avenger that mixes pulp fiction with ‘30s Hollywood. Then, Arlo challenges Paul to Gary Ross’ 1998 directorial debut Pleasantville, which finds Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon zapped inside the black-and-white world of a hunky dory ‘50s sitcom. These films look backward to say something about the present, and while one admittedly has a lot more on its mind than the other, the boys find both to be unsettlingly timely. From populist demagoguery to villains that no longer feel like an historical artifact, Paul and Arlo mine a lot from these goofy, decades-old movies. Plus, Arlo remembers that comics exist.
Next: after a week off, the boys return to discuss experimental arthouse feature Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, which will be of interest to only the most devout cineaste.
(Show notes for “Flying Colors.”)
Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons’ by Pia Guerra, Jose Marzan Jr., Zylonol, and Clem Robins.
Gobbledygeek episode 325, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons (feat. Chance Mazzia),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week, Paul and Arlo return to their Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man with Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons. Joining them for the first time in a while is once and future 90 700 Club host Chance Mazzia. Frustrated by some of the detours this Japanese misadventure takes, the gang gets around to asking the question that’s hung over this entire FCF series: nearly a decade removed from publication, is Y: The Last Man still as great as they thought it was? To find the answer, they discuss Vaughan’s writing style, how each volume reads compared to the whole, and what if anything Y contributed to the evolution of the comics medium. Plus, Justice League arrives in theaters (leading to a breakthrough in Paul and Arlo’s relationship), the Avengers assemble for the Infinity War trailer, and Arlo is delighted by The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Next: the Geek Challenge rides again, with a retro kick. Paul will force Arlo to watch Joe Johnston’s 1991 superhero cult classic The Rocketeer, and Arlo will force Paul to watch Gary Ross’ colorful 1998 film Pleasantville.
(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons.”)