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 284, “Motorcycle Ninjas on the Forbidden Planet”

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Gobbledygeek episode 284, “Motorcycle Ninjas on the Forbidden Planet,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

The Geek Challenge. It’s a time-honored tradition: Paul makes Arlo watch some silly ’80s cheesefest, Arlo subjects Paul to a stuffy revered classic. Everyone loses. In the interest of restoring some spontaneity to this well-worn custom, this time Arlo forces upon Paul perhaps the cheesiest movie of the ’80s, Y.K. Kim’s 1987 cult “classic” Miami Connection, in which a group of power balladeers do battle with cocaine ninjas; while Paul finally makes Arlo watch 1956’s Forbidden Planet, a retro-futuristic take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and a legitimate classic of the sci-fi genre. Once again, the boys try to get at what makes the other tick and just what makes a great movie anyway. Also, you’ll never guess the very tenuous connection between the two films. No, really. You won’t.

Next: there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood, and it’s Paul Feig’s distaff Ghostbusters reboot.

(Show notes for “Motorcycle Ninjas on the Forbidden Planet.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 281, “The Glow of Vengeance”

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Gobbledygeek episode 281, “The Glow of Vengeance,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

One is born of Harlem; one is born of vengeance. One hopes to attain the Glow; one hopes to slake the bloodthirst of the mother she never met. For the latest Geek Challenge, Paul challenges Arlo to 1985’s Motown martial arts picture The Last Dragon, while Arlo challenges Paul to 1973’s Japanese exploitation classic Lady Snowblood. (The two films are obviously very similar.) As always, the boys learn more about each other and the differences in how they perceive the cinematic world. Arlo loves hilariously bad “anti-great” movies, so why does The Last Dragon leave him bored? Paul digs tales of otherworldly revenge, so what is it about Lady Snowblood that doesn’t quite click for him? Plus, before the usual disagreement, the boys concur in a brief, spoiler-free discussion of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster.

Next: the truth? Still out there. Continuing our sporadic discussion of Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files, everybody’s favorite Brit Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by to chat season 2.

(Show notes for “The Glow of Vengeance.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 255, “Political Paranoia and Yellowface (feat. Greg Sahadachny)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 255, “Political Paranoia and Yellowface (feat. Greg Sahadachny),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

This week, Paul and AJ enter into their very first three-way with none other than Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast and All the Pieces Matter. That’s right, it’s a veritable ménage à geek, as the gang undergoes a tri-part Geek Challenge featuring as much paranoia as they could cram into one podcast. In reverse chronological order, we’ve got Guy Hamilton’s 1985 cult movie (does this thing have a cult?) Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, wherein Fred Ward and a regrettably racist Joel Grey try to take out a secret government weapon; 1977’s Black Sunday, a John Frankenheimer would-be blockbuster wherein Robert Shaw’s Mossad agent tries to stop Bruce Dern before he kills 80,000 Americans at the Super Bowl; and lastly, Alan J. Pakula’s 1974 conspiracy thriller classic The Parallax View, which features Warren Beatty uncovering a cynical government plot. Lots of distrust, misdirection, and bloodshed here. Or as we like to call it, just another episode of Gobbledygeek.

Next: Greg Sahadachny is back for the penultimate installment in our Four-Color Flashback series on Jeff Smith’s Bone. This time, the boys tackle Vol. VIII: Treasure Hunters.

(Show notes for “Political Paranoia and Yellowface.”)

Listen to Our ‘Daredevil’ Bonus Episode, “The Devil Went Down to Hell’s Kitchen”

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The Gobbledygeek bonus episode “The Devil Went Down to Hell’s Kitchen” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Netflix has unveiled the first of four original series from the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Daredevil, starring the most Catholic of all blind superheroes. Executive producers Drew Goddard and Steven DeKnight bring Matt Murdock to the small screen, played by Boardwalk Empire‘s Charlie Cox. The result is, well, it’s surprisingly good, even by Marvel standards. Paul and AJ discuss the parallel structure that brings Wilson Fisk into sharp relief, the shocking deviation the show takes from the source material, the series’ beautifully brutal fight scenes, and where things are headed next. Plus, because they’re masochists, the boys also revisit the 2003 DD film starring Batman.

(Show notes for “The Devil Went Down to Hell’s Kitchen.”)

Listen to Episode 207, “Magic, Mountains, Monsters, and Mario”

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Gobbledygeek episode 207, “Magic, Mountains, Monsters, and Mario,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

For the first Geek Challenge in many months, Paul has challenged AJ to John Carpenter’s 1986 fantasy/martial arts/neo-Western cult classic Big Trouble in Little China. In turn, AJ has challenged Paul to Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 “anti-everything” thriller The Wages of Fear. What, pray tell, is the common denominator? They’re, uh, they’re both about truckers. Tenuous connections are what Geek Challenges thrive on, and this one at least provides some sobering realizations for the boys. What do Paul’s reactions to some ’50s movies and AJ’s reactions to some ’80s movies say about them as people and that pesky generational gap? There may be actual answers. Plus, more surprising reactions, this time about Taylor Swift’s 1989; and AJ springs #AlexFromTarget on Paul.

Next: in two weeks, the boys will be back discussing two more very different movies, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and the Disney/Marvel animated film Big Hero 6.

(Show notes for “Magic, Mountains, Monsters, and Mario.”)

Listen to Episode 192, “G-O-B-B-L-E Power (feat. Joseph Lewis)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 192, “G-O-B-B-L-E Power (feat. Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Wise man say: forgiveness is divine, but only listening to Paul, AJ, and Nowheresville director/Smoke Gets in Your Ears co-host Joseph Lewis discuss the original 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film will get you past those pearly gates. Or something, a little birdie told us. But not, like, a mutant bird. Anyway. The gang has wildly varying experiences with the Turtles and the movie: Paul is old enough to have read some of the Eastman and Laird stuff when it was new, and saw the movie in theaters; AJ, being a wee little bairn, claims this is the first movie he ever saw and has loved the Turtles ever since; and Joe, well…Joe’s right in the Turtle-loving demographic, but he never got into them as a kid, and that pattern holds 20-some-odd years later. How does the film hold up? Is it slathered in enough mozzarella to deserve bargain bin status? Or does it remain crisp, like the finest pepperoni? To put a merciful end to all pizza-related puns, I’m ending this description right here, so you know, go listen. Plus, the gang gets weird with Mandatory Fun and talks about Marvel’s Avengers NOW! initiative.

Next: despite what we say on the show (we lie!), Wanna Cook? authors K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey will be joining us for the next Four-Color Flashback exploration of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, wherein we’ll be discussing Vol. V – A Game of You.

(Show notes for “G-O-B-B-L-E Power.”)