Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 304, “Oh Hi, Superman”

Gobbledygeek episode 304, “Oh Hi, Superman,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

If only these walls could talk, the secrets they could tell. Among them: murder, betrayal, lies, infidelity, and how in the hell Tommy Wiseau made a movie. It’s time for another Geek Challenge, and Arlo has seized the opportunity to finally force Paul into watching Wiseau’s 2003 cult classic The Room. In turn, Paul has challenged Arlo to Sidney Lumet’s much more dignified 1982 crime comedy Deathtrap. The boys discuss the advantages of stage over screen, and vice versa; questionable acting, be it Dyan Cannon or Greg Sestero; homoerotic subtext (or maybe it’s just text); and, yet again, Arlo’s fascination with epically bad filmmaking. Plus, Paul got his ears blown out by the Alabama Symphony’s Led Zeppelin performance.

Next: Kenn Edwards joins Paul and Arlo for the next installment of their year-long Four-Color Flashback discussion of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man. This time, the gang will talk Vol. 3: One Small Step.

(Show notes for “Oh Hi, Superman.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 40

Art from ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender – Vol. 4: Smoke and Shadow’ by Gurihiru.

The Avatar Returns episode 40 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

This week, a break between seasons of The Legend of Korra means a return to the days of old as we look at the fourth collection of the Dark Horse Comics Avatar: The Last Airbender series, Volume 4: Smoke and Shadow. Having reunited with his long lost mother Ursa, Zuko returns with her to the Fire Nation Capital City (which really needs a name) and wackiness ensues, some of which serves to remind us that Avatar has actually really always been The Zuko Show. Even with Mom back in the picture, daddy (and uncle) issues continue to dominate the story. Mai, Ty Lee, and Suki finally get some much-needed page time, even as we lose Katara and Sokka (and the comic relief that Sokka provides). We discuss how relevant this volume feels today with its look at totalitarianism and the struggle to balance security and freedom. And Azula is back and feelin’ good with a brand new Sisterhood of Evil Mental Patients in tow.

Speaking of character development, Arlo finally achieves his own Avatar State as a podcaster. And Eric makes a Hamilton reference! I’m Paul Smith and you’re listening to All Benders Considered on NPR.*

(*) Not really, but…yeah.

Next: the end is coming. This is it, we begin our exploration of the final season of The Legend of Korra with Book Four: Balance. We’re kicking it off with chapters 401, “After All These Years,” 402, “Korra Alone,” and 403, “The Coronation.” (And we are so deeply, deeply sorry for Arlo’s predictions on what those episodes will be about.)

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 40.)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 39

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The Avatar Returns episode 35 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

This is a big one, kids. Team The Avatar Returns assembles to breakdown their thoughts on the final four chapters of The Legend of Korra, Book Three: Change. There’s a lot to cover, starting with the typical children’s television tropes of on-camera assassinations and Boxer Rebellions when Zaheer proclaims “Long Live the Queen” in chapter 310. In 311, “Ultimatum,” he may possibly have bitten off more than he can chew when he challenges Tenzin to a slap fight after airbending school. Bolin learns that the answers were inside of him all along in 312, “Enter the Void.” And Korra She-Hulks out all over Zaheer’s face in the final showdown of 313, “Venom of the Red Lotus.”

Paul gets weepy over the incredible fight choreography this season. Eric is positively giddy with anticipation for Book Four: Balance. And Arlo drops the knowledge we’ve all needed about Shadow the Hedgehog.

Next: as always the break between seasons of Korra gives us another opportunity to revisit old friends by exploring the official Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novel series from Dark Horse Comics. This time we reconnect with the Aang Gang as they face Vol. 4 – Smoke and Shadow.

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 39.)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 301, “The X-Files: Season 4 (feat. Wesley Mead)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 301, “The X-Files: Season 4 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Just in time for everyone’s distrust in government to be at an all-time high, Wesley “Wezzo” Mead joins Paul and Arlo once again to discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. This time, the gang sets their sights on season 4, and opinion seems to be divided on just how well the season holds together. Is this where the mythology stuff starts to really go off the rails? Does Scully’s cancer make for a compelling dramatic throughline? And most importantly of all, is there an obvious heir to Darin Morgan’s throne (a couple suggestions are thrown out)? Plus, Wezzo laments the progression of Brexit, while Paul and Arlo sift through the Trump Administration’s mounting atrocities; and on a happier, sillier note, the gang has a blast with The Lego Batman Movie.

Next: this year’s Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man continues. Jeff Bridges poet Donora Rihn joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Vol. 2: Cycles.

(Show notes for “The X-Files: Season 4.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 299, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 1: Unmanned”

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Gobbledygeek episode 299, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 1: Unmanned,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

FIVE SECONDS AGO: Arlo cracks open the first volume of Y: The Last Man. FOUR SECONDS AGO: Paul berates Arlo for not turning on his mic. THREE SECONDS AGO: Arlo rolls his eyes, turns on mic. TWO SECONDS AGO: Arlo loudly eats into the microphone. ONE SECOND AGO: Paul presses record.

NOW: Gobbledygeek‘s 2017 Four-Color Flashback series is here. This year, the boys will be discussing all ten volumes of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s acclaimed Vertigo series Y: The Last Man, in which every male mammal on the planet drops dead at the same time…save one young escape artist cum layabout and his pet monkey. With Vol. 1: Unmanned, the boys dive into the adventures of Yorick Brown, the laconic Agent 355, and the many varied women they come across during their adventures. Under discussion are the series’ politics, its place in Vaughan’s career, and what makes Guerra’s simple and clean artwork so effective. Plus, Arlo was on a boat, Paul sang along to Moana, and they both struggle to find the joy in discussing pop culture during this incredibly despairing time in American history.

Next: the mythical episode 300 is upon us. Dr. Kenn Edwards, PhD will plumb the tender, fragile psyches of Paul and Arlo. The show will never be the same. They will never be the same. You will never be the same.

(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 1: Unmanned.”)

Listen to Our Hiatus Special, “2016: The Buffy Season 6 of Years”

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The Gobbledygeek hiatus special, “2016: The Buffy Season 6 of Years,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

We’re back! Sort of. Before Gobbledygeek‘s official return next month, Paul and Arlo explain the terrible real-life circumstances that led to the hiatus. The boys discuss grief, loss, tragedy, depression, and a whole bunch of other super fun and upbeat things! To end things on a positive note, they also discuss some happy news and the pop culture they’ve enjoyed during the hiatus (Westworld! Arrival! Moonlight!).

Next: the show returns toward the end of next month to make another journey to a galaxy far, far away with a discussion of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

(Show notes for “2016: The Buffy Season 6 of Years.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 293, “Bone: Coda”

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Gobbledygeek episode 293, “Bone: Coda,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Are you in the mood to Bone? I hope so, because Paul and Arlo are returning to the world of Jeff Smith’s cartoonish epic, which they explored in last year’s Four-Color Flashback series, to discuss the newly released 25th anniversary book Bone: Coda. The new adventure included in the volume is described as a “completely superfluous” addition to the saga of the Bone cousins–Fone, Phoney, and Smiley–which proves that there is indeed truth in advertising. The story picks up right where Smith’s magnum opus left off in 2004, but it’s merely a cute little one-off. The boys debate the merits of such an inconsequential return while discussing the other two-thirds of the book, which consist of Smith’s memoir-esque piece “A Moveable Pizza Party” and Stephen Weiner’s A Bone Companion (what, they couldn’t get Hy Bender?). Plus, Paul spent his summer vacation reading 131 comic books and Arlo describes Akron’s diverse grilled cheese climate.

Next: Jeff Bridges poet Donora Hillard returns to the show to talk about whatever she damn well pleases.

(Show notes for “Bone: Coda.”)