Listen to the Final Episode of ‘The Avatar Returns’

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

Goodbyes are hard. That’s why we drink. In this episode your sad hosts are sad. In the absence of new Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra chapters to discuss, we get slightly inebriated and try to make it a party. There’s trivia, “Who Said It” challenges, lists (because everyone loves lists), and lots of self-indulgence and time-wasting. We really do go out on the top of our game.

In all seriousness, we have had a tremendous time sharing this journey with each other and with all of our listeners. No one could have predicted how important this silly little project would become for all of us, and so reaching the end and having to step away is truly bittersweet. We’re all proud of what we’ve done, but we’re going to miss coming together every week to have these discussions. We will of course return from time to time with new episodes as the graphic novel series collected editions come out, so this isn’t goodbye forever.

Thanks to each and every one of you who has joined us along the way. It’s been an honor and a pleasure.

“The greatest illusion of this world is the illusion of separation.”

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 46.)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 311, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Those Who Dance, and Those Who Do Not”

Gobbledygeek episode 311, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Those Who Dance, and Those Who Do Not,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Family is family, no matter how much they might piss you off. It’s fitting that while the ragtag band of losers at the heart of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 learn this lesson, Paul and Arlo are relearning it. That’s right, kids, the boys’ miraculous and unprecedented string of agreements is over: Paul is tail over paws in love with Vol. 2, while Arlo rides the good ship Kelly McGillis into a sea of disappointment. Are the film’s various character pairings emotionally satisfying? Does Vol. 2 merely rehash everything you loved about the first? Is Michael Rooker a goddamn gift to humanity/Centauriankind? Plus, Paul mind-melds with Sense8 season 2, and Arlo wants to believe with The Leftovers season 3.

Next: after a week off, Ensley F. Guffey will join the boys for the next installment in their (woefully unappreciated) Four-Color Flashback exploring Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man. This time, they’ll slip on the Ring of Truth for Y: The Last Man – Vol. 5.

(Show notes for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Those Who Dance, and Those Who Do Not.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 45

The Avatar Returns episode 45 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

The secret is out! The truth about all of the crazy breaks and pauses and hiatuses The Avatar Returns has endured over the past year-and-a-half can finally be revealed. The truth is…we didn’t want this to end. But end it has, and we must fight our way through the heartache and the pain to discuss, one last time, these final chapters of The Legend of Korra. Chapter 412, “Day of the Colossus” sees all our gathered heroes marshaling what resistance they can against Kuvira’s Platinum Gundam of Spirity Death. There’s a marriage proposal; Hayao Miyazaki makes a surprise (if short) return; and Meelo bends with something other than his butt. And then in chapter 413, appropriately titled “The Last Stand,” Bolin throws a building at Kuvira; Mako bends his shirt off; and Korra and Kuvira have possibly the most viscerally satisfying battles in the history of the series. Plus that marriage proposal leads to an actual wedding, and our beloved Avatar indulges in some very significant hand-holding.

And now, at the end of all things, we finally, FINALLY try and give the extraordinary series composer Jeremy Zuckerman his due. (In case we don’t make it clear in the episode, he is one of the most amazing and criminally under appreciated composers working.)

Next: the shows are over but you still get one more podcast from us. Join us as we laugh, cry, and probably drink our way through a look back on the long, strange journey we’ve taken through these amazing shows. There could be games; we might try and stump each other with pop quizzes; it’s almost guaranteed we’ll argue over “Imprisoned” or “The Swamp” again. You’re all invited to The Great TARP Wrap Party!

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 45.)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 44

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.)

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!”)