Art from ‘Blankets’ by Craig Thompson.
Gobbledygeek episode 369, “Four-Color Flashback: Blankets,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Marks on paper, sheets of snow, first loves crowned with halos. These are some of the images that make up Craig Thompson’s 2003 illustrated novel Blankets, a modern classic if ever there was one. Paul and Arlo continue this year’s “nondenominational” Four-Color Flashback with a discussion of Thompson’s masterpiece, an autobiographical story of childhood, sexuality, first love, and the author’s struggle with faith. The boys discuss Thompson’s brave and uncomfortable truth, their experiences (or lack thereof) with organized religion, Craig’s idolatry of his beloved Raina, and Thompson’s stunning artwork. Plus, scraps of Marvel news that have no business being in this episode but which broke after we recorded the Captain Marvel one. Sorry. We’re professionals.
Next: after a week off, the boys are back and who knows what they’ll be talking about?
(Show notes for “Four-Color Flashback: Blankets.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 339, “The X-Files: Season 8 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week, Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by for more abuse. He joins Paul and Arlo to once again discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files; this time, the gang talks season 8, the last pre-revival season to feature David Duchovny as a (semi-)regular. They discuss how frustrating it is the show can’t let go of Duchovny when it clearly needs to; why the introduction of Robert Patrick as John Doggett is so strong; how, despite some real stinkers, this is the most consistent the show has been in years; and how Carter & Co. continue to put Scully in boxes that conform to gender stereotypes. Plus, Wezzo has more obscure Netflix recommendations, Paul is obsessed with the forthcoming Spider-Man game for PS4, and–guess what–Arlo ropes Wezzo into discussing politics again.
Next: this year’s Four-Color Flashback gets off to a belated start as Kenn Edwards drops by to discuss Batman: A Death in the Family.
(Show notes for “The X-Files: Season 8.”)
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 279, “Gobbledycook,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Strap on your aprons and grab your spatulas, it’s the new episode of Gobbledygeek! This week, Arlo finally gets Paul to go along with his crazy culinary crusade, as the boys cook two burgers apiece from The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book. Paul slathers blueberries and watermelon on his, Arlo tosses some broccoli and artichoke on his; all laws of kitchen decorum go out the window when you’re making burgers inspired by one of TV’s weirdest and funniest shows. Plus, the boys delve into comics controversy with looks at DC Universe: Rebirth, Captain America: Steve Rogers, and Future Quest.
Next: “Koko B There,” Jason Tabrys said. There was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth, and the moon became as red as blood.
(Show notes for “Gobbledycook.”)
Last week, we brought you our favorite movies of last year (finally saw Inside Llewyn Davis, by the way, and yes, it would have made the cut). This week, we change channels to focus on TV. We’re doing things a little differently this time out, with separate top 10 lists for new shows and returning favorites. Though there were a lot of new shows I enjoyed over the past year, I’ll admit I couldn’t stretch them to 10; instead, I’ve got 8, while Paul’s just crazy enough to have a full 10.
As always, there are shows we couldn’t get around to: I haven’t seen Rectify, Top of the Lake, Broadchurch, or The Wrong Mans, all of which I’d hoped to see in time for this list. Oh, and to absolve him of all guilt, I should mention that Paul has never seen Breaking Bad. Wait, I don’t think that absolves him.
PAUL: 10. HANNIBAL (NBC)
I wasn’t particularly interested in a television adaptation of the Thomas Harris characters. But names like Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, and Bryan Fuller pulled me in. It’s one of the most visually stunning and hauntingly…haunting shows ever to make it to network television. It’s also one of the most shockingly violent and grotesque. All positives in my book. But I can’t put it any higher on my list because it’s crushingly depressing.
Though I wouldn’t have predicted this in a thousand years, and I’ve been skeptical of others who have claimed this before me, I’m here now to tell you 21 Jump Street…is actually good.
Obviously an “homage” (read: send up, parody, reimagining, whatever) of the late-80s teen police procedural of the same name that ran on the infant Fox Network, which dealt with young cops masquerading as high school students to investigate crimes. The 2012 film version focuses less on the teen drama and more on the comedy potential inherent in such a preposterous concept. And though there’s a surprisingly effective heart and maturity to some of the story (Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill share a real brotherly chemistry I wasn’t expecting), it’s the comedy that ultimately sells this. Special comedic thanks to Dave Franco, who along with Eliza Coupe was the only reason to watch the ninth and final season of Scrubs. He’s dopey and dim, with just a hint of dangerous, and is easily 50% of why you should see this movie.
Directed by the team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who previously brought us the criminally under appreciated animated film Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (which, btw, watch it right now!), there are some sequences that play like a live action cartoon, in the best possible way. The screenplay is credited to Michael Bacall, co-writer of the 2010 masterpiece Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which itself played heavily with live action cartoonishness. A couple of Pilgrim actors turn up in this film, most obviously Brie Larson who played Scott Pilgrim’s ex Envy, and here plays romantic lead Molly. Less immediately obvious (but much funnier) is Johnny Simmons (Young Neil), with a brief but pivotal cameo.
There are countless shout outs and Easter eggs for the 80s TV fans, and though this adaptation goes more for laughs than the original series perhaps intended, I think old school (pun intended) fans will find a lot to like here.
The group routine that kicks of tonight’s festivities is a Bollywood number by veteran choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan, set to the song “Kata Kata” from the RAAVAN soundtrack. Bollywood is almost always fun to watch, even when it’s not done particularly well. Fortunately the Top 14 dancers all do particularly well. It’s fast, hyperkinetic, and there are interesting things for every one of them to do. For once I don’t feel like the group number is playing favorites.
As all the dancers sweat and wheeze their exhausted way off the stage, host extraordinaire Cat Deeley reintroduces us to our judges. Two bits of good news tonight: first, Cat has sex-hair again; second, Carmen Electra is MIA (as in not there, not as in she’s secretly the singer MIA… oh nevermind.)
Welcome… to SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE!
Due to issues with our local FOX broadcast, I actually didn’t get to see the first few minutes of this episode. Sadly this means I missed what sounds to have been a pretty great group number by the Top 7 guys; something about the seven stages of grief, choreographed by Justin Giles and set to the song “Prague” by Damien Rice. And video of the performance is frustratingly missing from YouTube, so I just have to take everyone’s word for how great it was.
Cat Deeley, adorable as ever in a baby blue China doll dress, introduces us to our four, yes FOUR judges this week. Joining the usual suspects of Executive Producer Mr. Nigel Lythgoe and Hot Tamale Train conductor Mary Murphy is, for some strange reason, Carmen Electra. In light of how successful the guest judges have been up to this point I TRY to be open minded. But she happens to be seated right next to the ever-lovin’ Travis Wall in the fourth judges chair, which makes Ms. Electra seem even more pointless. Travis becomes, as far as I know, the first contestant-cum-choreographer-cum-judge in the history of the series. And (spoiler) he’s just as great at this as he is at everything else. Bastard.
Ladies and gentlemen, Cat Deeley is back! What more is there to say? The cute, sweet, adorable, cuddly (too far?) host and protective big sister we all wish we’d had returns, and just like that all is right with the world.
Oh yeah, and she brought some dancers with her.
So You Think You Can Dance kicked off it’s eighth season this week with a two hour auditions episode, focusing on the graceful (usually) chaos surrounding the tryouts held in Atlanta and the Bay Area. While the auditions aren’t the “meat” of this series, at least not for me, it’s an important part of the getting-to-know-the-dancers process. It’s here we get our first hints of the backstories and personalities of the kids we’ll be rooting for over the next several weeks. And it also gives us a barometer with which to measure the dancers growth over the course of the coming season. SYTYCD is not only a fun, emotional rollercoaster ride with some amazing athletes and performers, it’s also a bootcamp. Most of the contestants have never lived the life of full-time professional dancers, and the pace of this show and the sheer volume of choreography they’ll be expected to learn can be daunting, to put it insanely mildly.
Do any of these kids have what it takes to survive the SYTYCD meat grinder? Let’s see what we have to work with so far…