Gobbledygeek episode 336, “The Young Girls of Rochefort / The Pirate Movie: Killer Booboos and Cartoon Octopi,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Ahoy and salut! Kicking off a series of occasional musical episodes–as in episodes about musicals; nobody wants to hear our boys sing–inspired by Paul’s love of The Greatest Showman, he and Arlo gear up for a tuneful Geek Challenge. They are both intensely on brand: Arlo challenges Paul to Jacques Demy’s deceptively candy-colored 1967 classic The Young Girls of Rochefort, while Paul forces Arlo to endure Ken Annakin’s inexplicable 1982 swashbuckler The Pirate Movie. They’re surprised to discover that these incredibly different films, besides both being musicals, have some connective tissue: the use of fantasy to escape cruel reality, metatextual references to themselves and other movies, and…well, okay, after that, they’re almost completely different, but come on! Wouldn’t it be cool if Catherine Deneuve danced with a cartoon octopus? Plus, Paul has thoughts on the Star Wars Rebels finale and Arlo has been taking a trip through classic Disney.
Next: Kronos must have forgotten to fold his sheets, because there is now A Wrinkle in Time. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.
(Show notes for “Killer Booboos and Cartoon Octopi.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 335, “Annihilation: For Those That Follow,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Self-destruction. Division. Separation. Annihilation. These are the frivolous, lighthearted concerns of Alex Garland’s latest film, a mind-expanding sci-fi trip that finds Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny exploring “Area X,” a mutated piece of land encompassed by the full-on-double-rainbow-all-the-way that is the Shimmer. What’s going on here? What’s causing it? Does an answer even matter? Paul and Arlo dig into Annihilation’s writhing, metastasizing guts to discuss the beautiful, macabre work of production designer Matt Digby; the organic/electronic discomfit of Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury’s score; how Garland’s approach intentionally places the viewer at a distance; and that goddamn bear. Plus, Paul watched something called the Olympics; Arlo wants to help The Breadwinner make some dough; and Paul gives Arlo shit, what else is new.
Next: the episode we teased last week! For a musical Geek Challenge, Arlo must watch Kenn Anakin’s 1982 “classic” The Pirate Movie and Paul must endure Jacques Demy’s 1967 classic (no quotation marks necessary) The Young Girls of Rochefort.
(Show notes for “For Those That Follow.”)
Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores” by Pia Guerra, José Marzan Jr., and Zylonol.
Gobbledygeek episode 333, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Alas, poor Yorick! We knew him, a fellow of infinite wisecracks, of most ridiculous immaturity. We hath borne Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man on our podcast ten times, and now, how abhorred (and a little relieved) in our imagination it is! Our mics rise at it. Here laid those narrative devices about which we kvetched we know not how oft. Where be Guerra’s glorious artwork now? Vaughan’s pithy dialogue? Their penchant for emotional devastation? Their flashes of genius (let’s be honest–they were more than flashes) that here culminate in a tremendous feat of sequential art? We are not ones now to complain after all they’ve accomplished. Quite the opposite. Now get you to iTunes and listen, let us ramble for hours, to this conclusion we must come. Hopefully we will make you laugh, at that. Prithee, Kenn Edwards, let us get to the point.
Next: less Shakespearean speech, more Shakespearean drama. We travel to Wakanda for Black Panther.
(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores.”)
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.)