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!”)
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?”
(Show notes for “Unmaking Soup.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 303, “Don’t Be What They Made You,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
People get old. Claws get rusty. Movie franchises get tired. After 17 years of real-world time and 150+ fictional years, the time has come for James “Logan” Howlett AKA Wolverine to take a bow. In Logan, the final film featuring Hugh Jackman in his iconic star-making role, we’re introduced to a near-future bereft of mutants and full of sorrow. Logan’s mind is a potent cocktail of regret, pain, and futility. When a young girl named Laura throws him back into action, he takes the nonagenarian Professor X on the road for one last adventure. Though “adventure” is not a word one would use to describe this brutal, melancholy film, about as far in tone as you could get from any of the nine previous installments in the X-Men series. Paul and Arlo discuss the film’s worthiness as a swan song for Canada’s most violent, how it fits perfectly alongside Cop Land in director James Mangold’s canon, whether or not the very R-rated violence is gratuitous, and if in a perfect world this should be the end of the X-Men’s silver screen career.
Next: Paul and Arlo will be subjecting each other to yet another Geek Challenge. Paul must finally watch Tommy Wiseau’s infamous 2003 cult classic The Room, while Arlo is tasked with Sidney Lumet’s 1982 crime comedy Deathtrap.
(Show notes for “Don’t Be What They Made You.”)
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.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 296, “Swing Away (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Armed only with a glass of water and his trusty baseball bat, Kenn Edwards of So Let’s Get to the Point invades the podcast this week to help Paul and Arlo kick off Gobbledyween 2016. This year’s month-long horror-fest gets off to a miraculous start with a discussion of M. Night Shyamalan’s sci-fi thriller Signs. After the runaway success of The Sixth Sense and the lukewarm contemporary response to Unbreakable, Signs is often considered the last film Shyamalan made before a precipitous decline; that is, when it’s considered at all. The gang gets to the core of what makes Signs a worthwhile film, including a question you may hear repeated about the other movies on this year’s slate: Is it a horror film at all? The boys also delve into Shyamalan’s exploration of faith, how the film functions as a response to 9/11, whether or not it’s okay to still enjoy a Mel Gibson performance, and more. Plus, Paul violently shames Arlo for not watching Luke Cage, and the mythical episode 300 is teased.
Next: Gobbledyween 2016 grows fangs for Kathryn Bigelow’s 1987 vampiric neo-Western Near Dark.
(Show notes for “Swing Away.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 288, “Stay Evil, Dollface (feat. Scott Stamper),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Suicide is painless, so they say. But is Suicide Squad? That’s up to Paul and Arlo to decide, as they slather on clown makeup and hide their fuzzy pink unicorns to discuss the third film in the DC Extended Universe. Joining these Mostly Marvel Men is DC fan and opinionated tweeter Scott Stamper, known to the common folk as @DerfelMarek. Does the movie live up to its hype? Does it point to a bold new direction for the DCEU following the disappointments of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? As usual, there is disagreement. Whod’a thunk it. Plus, Paul and Scott dive into the 2015 animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters while Arlo listens.
Next: original Gobbler and proud member of the Three Heathens, Joseph Lewis stops by to talk about his feature directorial debut A/V.
(Show notes for “Stay Evil, Dollface.”)
The Avatar Returns episode 33 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week on The Avatar Returns we read the immortal classic Through the Looking-Glass, and What Korra Found There, also known as The Avatar’s Adventures in Wonderland. In chapter 209, “The Guide” Korra and Tenzin are finally reunited, we meet Bum-Ju, and bid a fond(ish) farewell to animation Studio Pierrot. Then chapter 210 ushers in “A New Spiritual Age” as we follow the white dragonfly-bunny to Uncle Iroh’s spirit tea party, see some genuinely creepy crawly things, and endure the return of the Dick Owl. And lastly chapter 211, “Night of a Thousand Stars” proves to be one of our favorites episodes of the entire season as Bolin becomes the real life Nuktuk we always knew he could be. But what’s that? Unalaq really does have a doomsday device? Nuk-nooo!
Also we nominate the new Batman: The Killing Joke animated film for the Unsexiest Flash Animation Circa 2002 Award.
Next: say goodbye to Book Two as we close out the season with chapters 212-214, “Harmonic Convergence,” “Darkness Falls,” and “Light in the Dark.”
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 33.)