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.
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 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?”
Gobbledygeek episode 276, “Friendly Fire (feat. Guffey und Koontz),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Are these the men with which I am to defend Captain America? Well yes, but ladies first: K. Dale Koontz and her husband/Wanna Cook? co-author Ensley F. Guffey, colloquially known as Guffey und Koontz, are here to talk Captain America: Civil War with Paul and Arlo. The 13th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe trades world annihilation for an ideological spat, as Cap and Iron Man disagree about how best to flex the Avengers’ supermuscle. The gang discusses this change of pace, whether the premise works, how it differs from the infamous comics event, and the franchise’s new players (Black Panther! Spider-Man!). Plus, if that wasn’t patriotic enough for you, The Americans continues to be one of the best shows on television.
Next: pop culture writer Matthew Jackson stops by to gush about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical phenomenon Hamilton, including its new behind-the-scenes book, Hamilton: The Revolution.
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.
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.
Gobbledygeek episode 132, “Bang & Twang (feat. Rench from Gangstagrass),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Hip hop? Bluegrass? The two genres might not be as different as you think, which Paul and AJ learn this week by talkng to Gangstagrass mastermind Rench. Rench discusses his attempt to bridge the gap and of how the fusion came about. Along the way, there’s talk of Whedon, Axe Cop, and of course, Justified. Plus, AJ raves about Enlightened, Paul chats about the new comic Helheim, and there’s more (yes, really!) Americans talk.
Next: the boys are joined by Jason Tabrys of The BastardCast.
Gobbledygeek episode 130, “Talking Turkey: Noble Smith,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Noble Smith joins Paul and AJ to chat about his book The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life, his forthcoming series The Warrior Trilogy, the work of Tolkien, and so much more. Including but not limited to: the time he watched The Empire Strikes Back with Irvin Kershner, his experience as a veteran of the video game industry, and the ridiculousness of LEGOs. Plus, the boys talk Saga, The Americans, and Frederic Wertham.
Next: Kenn Edwards joins us to talk podcasts, Oscars, and probably a whole bunch of other stuff.
Gobbledygeek episode 129, “Talking (More) Turkey: Standard Action,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Joanna Gaskell and Rob Hunt of the webseries Standard Action return to discuss their second season, dead squirrels, board games, and dehydrated pepperoni. Plus, Paul and AJ talk about their Scott Pilgrim Twitter party and FX’s great new series The Americans.
Next: Noble Smith, author of The Wisdom of the Shire, joins the boys to geek out about, well…everything.