Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 309, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 4: Safeword (feat. Chance Mazzia)”

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.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 43

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.)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 307, “Oh, the Sci-Fi Horror! (feat. Jess Byard)”

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!”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 306, “Unmaking Soup”

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.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 42

The Avatar Returns episode 42 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

This week on The Avatar Returns, it’s a Badass Bender Beatdown as The Legend of Korra Book Four continues. In this corner, wearing the simple green tunic, the Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Avatar (we still have one of those?), Korra! And in this corner, sporting a stylish Earth Empire ensemble of death metal, dancin’ and singin’ and movin’ to the groovin’, the Great Uniter herself, Kuvira!

But first we take a road trip with the Air Kids in chapter 404, “The Calling” as Aang’s grandkids finally get the spotlight. And Toph proves why she’s a master storyteller. Then in chapter 405, “Enemy at the Gates,” Zhu Li does the mecha suit thing better than anyone else, and poor dim Bolin slooooooowly starts to figure stuff out. And finally, in chapter 406, “Battle of Zaofu,” Kuvira smacks the taste right outta Korra’s mouth. LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!

Paul murders Cousin Oliver after only one week. Eric murders a decades-old Brady Bunch meme. And Arlo murders any sense of even the most basic professionalism and respect for our audience. (Turn off your damn phone notifications, you ass!)

Next: for hopefully the very last time we take a week off to catch our breath. You guys just don’t understand how difficult it is to sit still for two hours once a week and talk into a microphone about things that we love passionately. It’s exhausting and just way too much to expect us pampered podcasters to pull off with any kind of consistency. So we’ll take one last pause in the action to prepare ourselves for an uninterrupted run through to the end. Back the week of April 12th we will be discussing The Legend of Korra chapters 407, “Reunion,” 408, “Remembrances,” and 409, “Beyond the Wilds.”

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 42.)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 305, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 3: One Small Step (feat. Kenn Edwards)”

Listen to Gobbledygeek episode 305, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 3: One Small Step (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Hallelujah, it’s raining men! As Yorick Brown discovers he may not be the last man in the universe thanks to a space shuttle carrying two others, Paul and Arlo invite Kenn Edwards to join them on their year-long Four-Color Flashback discussion of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man. With Vol. 3: One Small Step, the gang discusses the book’s self-referential devices, the prominence of fiction as a theme, and how Yorick’s progression from boy to man is coming along. There’s also talk of guest artist Paul Chadwick, who fills in for Guerra on the two-issue departure “Comedy & Tragedy”; depending on who you ask, the story is either a Gaiman-esque delight or the height of masturbatory self-indulgence. Fun times! Plus, Arlo and Kenn discuss Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix specials, Jerrod Carmichael’s 8, and, you know, the role of comedy in modern society. Meanwhile, Paul twiddles his thumbs.

Next: throw out your meds, drop the needle on The Dark Side of the Moon, and get ready for a discussion of Noah Hawley’s brain-breaking FX/Marvel TV series Legion.

(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 3: One Small Step.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 41

The Avatar Returns episode 41 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Book Four: Balance begins as we move into the final season of The Legend of Korra. Time jumps in fiction tend to be something of a mixed bag, but as our story picks up three years after the end of Book Three it quickly becomes apparent the device works like a charm here, in what Arlo dubs the strongest start to any season in the entire Avatar Universe. In chapter 401, “After All These Years,” Korra is missing and former Zaofu Captain of the Guard Kuvira has become “The Great Uniter,” using military force to bring order to the chaos in the Earth Kingdom in the wake of the Queen’s death. Chapter 402, “Korra Alone” answers where exactly the Avatar has disappeared to, and why. (Hint: it involved Nega-Korra.) And finally it’s Toph love in chapter 403, “The Coronation” as the O.B. Original Beifong returns to go all Yoda on Korra’s ass.

Paul introduces the podcast’s version of Cousin Oliver. He and Eric both wax rhapsodic about Star Wars Rebels. And Arlo compares Mako to Vin Diesel. Not in a good way. (IS there a good way?)

Next: the next three chapters of Book Four; 404, “The Calling,” 405, “Enemy at the Gates,” and 406, “The Battle of Zaofu.”

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 41.)