For Paul and Arlo, existential crises and comic books often go hand-in-hand. Such is the case for this week’s freestyle, wherein Paul’s rumination on the erosion of his teenage self-confidence leads into a discussion of superhero mags. Paul tells Goblin punks to fuck off as he rocks out to Cody Ziglar and Justin Mason’s Spider-Punk, goes undercover with Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande’s recently wrapped run on Black Widow, and cloaks himself in Jed MacKay and Alessandro Cappuccio’s Moon Knight. Meanwhile, Arlo rides on horseback through more goofy Silver Age Superman.
NEXT: we will continue to spiral.
“I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” by The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (1966)
“Running Water” by Daniel Johnston, Hi, How Are You (1983)
To paraphrase Philip and Elizabeth Jennings’ new/old handler Gabriel, “Podcasting and timeliness in many ways are antithetical.” After a series of delays, Paul and Arlo are back with guest of honor Wesley “Wezzo” Mead to continue their discussion of Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields’ modern classic spy drama The Americans. This time, they’re taking a look at season 3, a masterclass in thematic cohesion. Everything, more or less, comes back to the challenge of parenthood: on a micro level, how the Jennings plan on guiding Paige into the world of spycraft; on a macro level, how they can act as individuals under the forceful hand of the Centre. The gang talks self-actualization, bone-crunching, necklacing, and Frank motherfucking Langella. Plus, a detour into the “wholesomeness discourse” raging around Ted Lasso.
NEXT: John Cusack and Paul Dano take on John C. Reilly and Jenna Fischer in a Geek Challenge. It’s the very real music biopic Love & Mercy versus the parody music biopic Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.
After a two-year absence–thanks, global pandemic!–the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes its return to the big screen with the long-awaited Black Widow. And we do mean long-awaited: it’s been 11 years since Scarlett Johansson made her debut as Natasha Romanoff, and only now, after we’ve seen Nat die in Avengers: Endgame, does Black Widow get a solo movie. Paul and Arlo are joined by pop culture fan and academic Tanya Cochran to discuss whether or not Cate Shortland’s film was worth the wait. There’s talk of trauma, family dramedy, falling debris, and how much Arlo absolutely loves David Harbour as Red Guardian.
NEXT: Sweet Tooth returns, again, in Sweet Tooth: The Return for our next Four-Color Flashback.
00:00:50 – Intro / Guest
00:05:50 – Black Widow
00:26:48 – SPOILERS
02:04:47 – Outro / Next
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Think Up Anger (feat. Malia J) (2015)
Gobbledygeek episode 441, “The Americans: Season 2 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
You know what they say: Parenting is hard, especially when you’re undercover KGB operatives masquerading as a suburban American couple. As Paul, Arlo, and special guest Wesley “Wezzo” Mead dive into season 2 of Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields’ modern classic The Americans, they discover all the ways child-rearing is difficult for Philip and Elizabeth Jennings. This includes concealing your secret identity; setting up a decoy aunt; keeping your kids out of the church; and shielding them from the dreaded “spurtsposition.” Plus, Paul and Wezzo rock out to the new Fratellis album and share some nice words about Ted Lasso.
NEXT: it’s My Favorite Year to take a stroll down Sunset Blvd. on a new Geek Challenge.
00:01:16 – Intro / Guest
00:14:17 – Main Topic
01:51:00 – Outro / Next
“Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring, Cut (1982)
“Here Comes the Flood” by Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel (1977)
Gobbledygeek episode 436, “The Americans: Season 1 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
Deception is as American as apple pie. Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are well aware of this–they’re Russian spies under deep cover as a suburban couple in the U.S., after all. Their new next door neighbor, FBI Agent Stan Beeman, threatens to throw a wrench into their long con. Over the course of The Americans season 1, there are plenty of twists, turns, betrayals, and confessions. Wesley “Wezzo” Mead has infiltrated the podcast to join Paul and Arlo as they begin a retrospective on Joe Weisberg’s critically acclaimed but criminally underseen FX series. The gang discusses the tremendous work by leads Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys; how the show is a little pulpier and faster moving than they remembered; the characters’ vacillating beliefs in each other and the systems they move within; and, of course, all those wigs.
NEXT: Hollywood post-production supervisor Michael Holland flies in for a look at The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Take note, Jennings–Soviet agents can be reformed!
00:00:51 – Intro / Guest
00:03:45 – Main Topic
01:50:05 – Outro / Next
“Tusk” by Fleetwood Mac, Tusk (1979)
“Games Without Frontiers” by Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel (1980)
Gobbledygeek episode 331, “The Shape of Water: Green Around the Gills (feat. Sarah Kosheff),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Come on in; the water’s fine. Sarah Kosheff joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, freshly nominated for 13 Academy Awards. Del Toro’s girl-meets-fish romance is one of last year’s most ravishing, visually sumptuous films, and the gang discusses why exactly that is. (Spoiler: they don’t all quite agree.) Topics of discussion include Sally Hawkins’ and Doug Jones’ tremendous wordless performances; Alexandre Desplat’s beautiful score, and how music is an important mode of communication in the film; the importance of color, specifically green; and how the film is, in del Toro’s own words, about the “beauty of the other.” Plus, Paul has joined MoviePass just in time for it to come under intense scrutiny.
Next: Paul just wouldn’t shut up about The Greatest Showman, so first-time guest Nathan Curtiss will be joining the boys to discuss the Hugh Jackman-starring musical.
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-ColorFlashback 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.
Gobbledygeek episode 306, “Unmaking Soup,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week, Paul and Arlo turn on and tune into the wonders and terrors of the superhuman mind by taking a gander at the first season of Legion. The FX series, developed by Fargo‘s Noah Hawley and theoretically set in the X-Men universe, is unlike most other superheroic media. David Haller is either schizophrenic, an extremely powerful telepathic/telekinetic mutant, or both. Witnessed through his eyes, the world is fractured, bizarre, disturbing, and a tad surreal. As such, the typical X-Men plot–David is rescued from a mutant-hunting government organization known as D3 by a group of rebels with a Magneto-esque leader–is given a swift kick in the pants. The boys discuss this inventive telling of a simple story, the show’s many visual flourishes, why it’s a powerful exploration of mental health, and Aubrey Plaza’s revelatory turn as a 50-year-old man. Plus, a surprise Rick and Morty pre-empts Samurai Jack, overjoying one of our hosts and causing considerable frustration in the other; and the boys rave about the fifth season of another brilliant FX drama, The Americans.
Next: film critic and horror expert Jess Byard joins Paul and Arlo to ask, “Where has all the good sci-fi horror gone?”
The Gobbledygeek season 4 finale, “2013 in Review: SpaghettiOs, Batfleck, and Book-Readers,” is available for listening or d0wnload right here, and on iTunes here.
It’s all come down to this. A year of rambling, raging, and running off at the mouth has led to this one final episode of 2013. And, you know, finales are difficult things. How do you encapsulate the year that come’s before, to pay homage and tribute to everyone and everything that has made this such a good year of the show? Well, you do two things: you disrespect the American flag and you pray for Kanye West to be whisked off to another dimension. Those are only two of the many things Paul and AJ do in the season 4 finale of Gobbledygeek, which include but are not limited to: singing the praises of The Americans, discussing the drunk girl at the P!nk concert, and talking about a tense year in social media. It’s been a good one. Thanks for listening!
Next: the boys will return a month from now to discuss nerd territory they’ve never before broached: Doctor Who.