Gobbledygeek episode 310, “Children of Men: This Stork Is Quite Tasty, Isn’t It?,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Anti-immigrant sentiment. Militarized police. Fascist leadership. A Britain with closed borders. No, this isn’t our world circa 2017; it’s the 2027 of Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 sci-fi masterpiece Children of Men. A world rocked by mass infertility and faced with humanity’s impending extinction has led down a path of violent extremism, one you and I may be traveling as we speak. Paul and Arlo discuss the film’s terrifying relevance, its rightful ascendance to modern classic status, those insane tracking shots, and, you know, white male privilege. Plus, Paul promised Arlo he would watch Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden, and by god that’s a promise he kept.
Next: three years after their self-titled debut, the Guardians of the Galaxy are about to drop Vol. 2, and you’re invited to the listening party.
(Show notes for “Children of Men: This Stork Is Quite Tasty, Isn’t It?”)
The Avatar Returns episode 44 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
It’s the ante-penultimate episode of The Avatar Returns and the boys are a little punch drunk. Paul shares a Star Wars/The Legend of Korra mashup that goes over like a lead balloon; Arlo makes a Thelma Schoonmaker joke that gets crickets for a response; and Eric makes a Step Up All In reference that goes completely over Arlo’s head. Oh, and there are chapters to discuss, too. In 410, “Operation Beifong,” it gets all Paul Simony with a genuine mother and child reunion between Toph and Lin, while Opal introduces us to Juicy (yeah, Juicy), and Bolin eats noodles like a boss. And in chapter 411, “Kuvira’s Gambit,” the Great Uniter has herself a Megazord, and Meelo has gas. (Hashtag Defend the Fart.)
As a particularly sad bonus, this episode features the very last time Arlo will get to make predictions based on upcoming chapter titles. The end of an era.
Next: all good things must come to an end as chapters 412, “Day of the Colossus” and 413, “The Last Stand” put a punctation mark on The Legend of Korra. But will it be a question mark or an exclamation point? Tune in and find out.
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 44.)
Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 4: Safeword’ by Pia Guerra, José Marzan, Jr., and Zylonol.
Gobbledygeek episode 309, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 4: Safeword (feat. Chance Mazzia),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Slip on your shiniest boots of leather and grab those whips, it’s Four-Color Flashback time! Professional Grendel podcaster Chance Mazzia joins Paul and Arlo for their year-long exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man for Vol. 4: Safeword, wherein things get a little kinky. When the gang stops at a remote cabin in the woods (never a good sign), Yorick is in for a femdom fiesta complete with chains, ropes, and soul-searching. The boys discuss how the series subverts conventional ideas of masculinity; what Yorick’s sexual history tells us about him; and how the story functions in a post-9/11, circa Trump world. Plus, Chance wants you to know The Name of the Wind, and Arlo furthers the kink with Park Chan-Wook’s The Handmaiden.
Next: it’s been more than a decade since Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men hit theaters. Paul and Arlo examine how the film’s dark and despairing future reflects our dark and despairing present.
(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 4: Safeword.”)
The Avatar Returns episode 43 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The Avatar Returns phone tree has been activated and we’re answering the call as we head into the back half of The Legend of Korra Book Four. In chapter 407, “Reunion,” the band is back together…mostly. And it feels so good…mostly. Wu is down; Korra and Mako are on each others’ nerves; and Bolin lavabends the taste right out of some mecha suit mouths. In 408, “Remembrances,” cue the twinkling flashback music as, you guessed it Golden Girls, it’s a clip show. But oh what a glorious clip show it is! Chibi Mako tells his romantic origin story to Chibi Wu; Korra and Asami share some tea and reminisce; and Varrick shares the tale of the Greatest Mover Ever Made! And finally, in 409, we journey “Beyond the Wilds” to poke things with sticks while Korra finally confronts her inner demons, which bear a striking resemblance to a hippie prison sage Zaheer.
However, the bulk of our discussion tonight focuses on the hundreds of possible spin-off properties we hosts are dying to see in the future, including the possible Varrick/Bolin road movies, the anarchist PSAs of Zaheer, and the “Fearsome Foursome Phone Tree Saga!” (We also talk a little about the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival and the anime juggernaut that is Your Name. But really it’s all about that phone tree.)
Next: the penultimate episode of our show discussions. Only two more podcasts focused on The Legend of Korra before we put a bow on the whole TARP project with our big blowout wrap party episode. So next week we’ll be looking at chapters 410, “Operation Beifong,” and 411, “Kuvira’s Gambit.”
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 43.)
Gobbledygeek episode 308, “A Worthwhile Life Defined (feat. Pam Smith),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week, a podcast about a podcast. Of course, S-Town is no ordinary podcast; from the producers of This American Life and Serial, it’s a coherent piece of documentary art unto itself. Reporter Brian Reed had little idea what he was getting himself into when John B. McLemore of Shittown (née Woodstock), Alabama, emailed him about a possible murder cover-up. Likewise, the listener who presses play on the first episode of S-Town has no idea of the journey they’re about to take, one that is about time, empathy, compassion. Joining Paul and Arlo to suss out some of this journey’s meaning is Paul’s better half, Pam Smith, herself a lifelong Alabamian. The gang discusses how S-Town resonates with them, whether or not it’s too invasive, why it should be mandatory listening, and Paul and Pam’s trip to Woodstock. Plus, Pam plays some calming video games (Abzû, Flow, Journey, and Flower), while Arlo’s other half finally gets him to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; and we have movie sign as Paul heckles Netflix’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival.
Next: Gobbledypal Chance Mazzia stops by for more Four-Color Flashback fun. This time, he’s here for Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man. He’ll help Paul and Arlo tackle Vol. 4: Safeword.
(Show notes for “A Worthwhile Life Defined.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 307, “Oh, the Sci-Fi Horror! (feat. Jess Byard),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Aliens dripping their acidic psychosexual horrors all over you. Artificial intelligence becoming real, seeing and hearing and controlling all you do. Your friends’ flesh peeling back to reveal their true inhuman visage. These are the nightmares conjured by such sci-fi horror classics as Alien, The Terminator, and The Thing, but you may not have seen their likes in recent years. Blumhouse and Birth. Movies. Death. writer Jess Byard joins Paul and Arlo to ask, “Where have all the good sci-fi horror movies gone?” The gang discusses why the genre reached its apex in the ’80s; why it’s so much more difficult to produce (or even conceptualize of) good sci-fi horror these days; and how TV may be picking up the slack. In the middle of all this, technology literally revolts against our hosts. Plus, Paul and Arlo come from the land of the ice and snow to geek out over the giddy Thor: Ragnarok teaser.
Next: a podcast about a podcast. Paul’s better half, Pam Smith, joins the boys to discuss the beautiful, stunning S-Town.
(Show notes for “Oh, the Sci-Fi Horror!”)
Gobbledygeek episode 306, “Unmaking Soup,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week, Paul and Arlo turn on and tune into the wonders and terrors of the superhuman mind by taking a gander at the first season of Legion. The FX series, developed by Fargo‘s Noah Hawley and theoretically set in the X-Men universe, is unlike most other superheroic media. David Haller is either schizophrenic, an extremely powerful telepathic/telekinetic mutant, or both. Witnessed through his eyes, the world is fractured, bizarre, disturbing, and a tad surreal. As such, the typical X-Men plot–David is rescued from a mutant-hunting government organization known as D3 by a group of rebels with a Magneto-esque leader–is given a swift kick in the pants. The boys discuss this inventive telling of a simple story, the show’s many visual flourishes, why it’s a powerful exploration of mental health, and Aubrey Plaza’s revelatory turn as a 50-year-old man. Plus, a surprise Rick and Morty pre-empts Samurai Jack, overjoying one of our hosts and causing considerable frustration in the other; and the boys rave about the fifth season of another brilliant FX drama, The Americans.
Next: film critic and horror expert Jess Byard joins Paul and Arlo to ask, “Where has all the good sci-fi horror gone?”
(Show notes for “Unmaking Soup.”)