Fun Size Episode 54 – Birds Aren’t Real

We’re joined by Australia’s own Paul Hix from Waiting for Doom – the Doom Patrol Podcast, to dig into the latest and strangest conspiracy theory: Bird Trutherism!

Counterfeit avians? Feathered Cameras in the Sky!? Why does it feel like the desire to answer serious questions in the most unserious ways has gone frighteningly mainstream?

Has the legalization of marijuana in many states left us doomed to a future where pot smoking will be branded tragically…uncool?

And we get an opportunity to grill our Aussie guest on an outsider’s view of American culture and cuisine. Do we have things that scare and confuse others as much as vegemite does us? (Spoiler: yes, we do.)

Black Ops Episode 20 – Difficulty Is Kind of the Point [CLIP]

After over a year, we’re back with a new Black Ops podcast, now exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we join Joe Preti to continue our conversation from last month.

We talk about Mike’s acquisition of a hardcover omnibus collection of the 1983’s Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, a remarkable creation of a pre-internet age and a time capsule of a time gone by, and wax nostalgic for why obsolete continuity can be a treasure to revisit.

We dive into one of the more contentious discussions on the topic of video games: difficulty settings. Where some games like Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls strive for unforgiving challenge, other games are trying to make themselves more accessible and less frustrating through “Story mode” difficulty that doesn’t try to murder you.

And then there’s the Battletoads jet ski level…

To unlock this episode in its entirety — and many episodes more! — just support us on Patreon with at least one measly dollar a month!

Join us!

Fun Size Episode 53 – Rest in Piss, You Piece of Shit

In our latest plot to lose any conservative listeners, we’re back!

We’re chatting with Joe Preti, who offers his defense of the much-maligned and frequently buggy Cyberpunk 2077. We dig into the often unreasonable expectations of both gamers and game companies, and why the video game industry exploits their workers and releases unfinished, broken games.

Is online gaming inevitably toxic and ugly? Are we doomed to racism, selfish teammates and endless griefing? Can we bake solutions into the programming of the games themselves?

And why does it seem like everyone on the political Far-Right from Ben Shapiro to Steve Bannon to Adolf Hitler, is a medicore failed artist, movie producer or screenwriter?

And we say goodbye to a dead radio icon with all of the respect and dignity he deserves.

NOTE: The Skype audio was not up to our usual standards, but we still think it’s listenable. Our apologies! No apologies are offered to Rush Limbaugh.

Fun Size Episode 52 – The Show That Launched a Thousand Vasectomies

Broadcasting live through the smoking ruins of the ‘Quar, we’re back! Again! This month, we’re joined by Patrick Johnson to try and make sense of it all.

We dig into everything from obscure – but real – DC Comics characters, to the limits to which Casey’s kids can make him rewatch the LEGO Batman Movie.

And we look at the massive outpouring of parental joy and relief at the cancellation of the infuriating PBS children’s show Caillou. How has that show influenced and modeled bad behavior in kids, and has the impact of shows like Beavis and Butt-Head and MTV’s Jackass had a similar negative effect on older viewers?

And finally… is the age of the movie theater, at least, dead?

Fun Size Episode 51 – Existential Dread and Animal Puns

It’s a Captain Picard Day miracle!

After a five-month hiatus, we’re back….ish. We’re broadcasting remotely with KTQA Radio‘s Sam Mulvey and trying to shake some of the cobwebs out.

Casey meets a wild Keanu and we wonder ponder again the magical unicorn nature of his celebrity namesake. And on the opposite end of the moral spectrum, we predict the inevitable airlock assassination of future space-despot Elon Musk.

We try to unpack media Copaganda, our changing relationship with police-centric media and lament how a lot of the progress made in this year’s uprisings against police violence have slowly rolled back.

Sam fills us in on the radio station he’s been building, and we talk about all the media we’ve been watching and reading from our protective bunkers, trapped in a world we never made.

Also! We have a Discord server now! Join us!

Black Ops Episode 3 – Sorry, Richard Roeper [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: August 17, 2016

We finally check in with our young friend, Sean Duncan — who had managed to go through life without ever having the ending of the 1973 dystopian science fiction movie, Soylent Green spoiled for him. Truly a remarkable feat.

He’s now seen it and lets us know what he thinks of it. Plus, we talk about the social politics of spoilers.

Black Ops Episode 15 – What Do You Think Alan Moore Did? [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: July 9, 2019

We chat a bit with Greg Hatcher about Trek, the character of Captain Kirk and why it can be a gift when fictional characters age along with their actors.

We try to navigate the labyrinth of public domain laws to fruitlessly try to figure out what you can and cannot do with with new adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, the Lone Ranger and the Land of Oz, and whether being public domain has produced better material.

And finally, we wax nostalgic for a bygone time when “grim and gritty” was new, and when Alan Moore blew the comic industry’s collective mind by doing a post-modern adult interpretation of a British superhero aimed at children.

Black Ops Episode 1 – Real Sociopaths Work for Goldman Sachs [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: July 1, 2016

Here is the very first of our special, off-the-books “Black Ops” episodes, recorded back in January of this year with guest Greg Hatcher!

We dig into how morally abhorrent a fictional protagonist can be and not lose your sympathy. And catapulting past our ethical thresholds, we look at the horrific morality of Jack Bauer’s Bush-era enthusiastic torture-palooza!

Plus, we throw a little love at the anti-fascist satire of Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers.

Black Ops Episode 9 – You Are Not a Mistake [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: July 26, 2018

In what is an ultra-MEGA-sized two-and-a-half hour episode, we really run the gamut.

First, we talk about popular culture we loved as kids, but are afraid to revisit, because we fear it won’t survive adult scrutiny. In Mike’s case that means a series of epic fantasy novels that he suspects both really hold up in some way, and really really really don’t in other.

We then talk about the evolving nature of stand-up comedy and the divergent attitudes of comics like Jerry Seinfeld, and Hannah Gadsby — and how many older comedians seem to desire to be “above” politics or social commentary. Is that even possible or desirable?

Do genre stories like science fiction and superheroes have a responsibility to touch on questions of social and cultural importance? Why do the calls for political neutrality usually seem to mask a right-wing agenda?

We get into bad movie theater experiences that stretches Mike’s aversion to confrontation to the breaking point, and dive into the thorny issues of intellectual property and online piracy.

And finally, things get a bit emotional when we talk about how profoundly powerful and deeply intimate the new documentary about Mister Rogers is.

Black Ops Episode 19 – Whoa: Keanu Reeves in Theory and Practice [DECLASSIFIED!]

[As we continue our show hiatus, it has been decided by the fine people who support us on Patreon that we are going to make public — or ‘declassify’ — one of our Patreon-exclusive Black Ops episodes every month. This month, our patrons have personally selected this episode to help fill the gap! Consider it a look back at the ‘Before Times’]

Original Patreon release date: December 28, 2019

In a discussion recorded back in November 2019, we try to decide in real-time if Terminator: Dark Fate warrants being covered on Podcasta la Vista, Baby! or not.

We talk a bit about our coming post-Arnold future and drop a couple hints at a replacement series. And we mention at least one shelved podcast series idea that we decided to not do.

Is it time for Star Wars, among other franchises, to go away for a while? We talk a bit how major media companies keep trying to recreate the success of lightning-in-a-bottle books and movies to diminishing results.

Fun Size Episode 50 – It’s Just the End of the World as We Know It

In our double-sized fiftieth Fun Size episode, in the middle of a global pandemic and nationwide uprisings against systemic and racist police violence, we sit down with Sam Mulvey of KTQA radio in Tacoma, to….talk about something something…

Did we mention that Zack Snyder broke the third seal by announcing the release his own — inevitably underwhelming — cut of a superhero movie you don’t remember? What are the limits of escapism in a real world on fire? Is it even possible to watch a cop show with ungritted teeth anymore? We try to keep it together, and dig through the wreckage for some kind of meaning.

PLUS: a major announcement about the show at the end of the episode!

Fun Size Episode 49 – Tales of the Quarantine Titans

We continue our remotely-recorded conversation with David Gutiérrez, and grapple with the seedy underside of professional wrestling, and the strange corporate strange-hold that Vince McMahon has on the industry, in the wake of his XFL’s second collapse.

We also talk about the relative quality of children’s media franchises from the point of view of parents. Is refreshes itself much more frequently than stuff aimed at “grown-ups,” but is any of it any good? And what will the art these kids make look like in 20 years?

Hide your clouds, because we’re gonna yell at them!

Fun Size Episode 48 – The New Quarantine Titans

As time bends and brains melts in the heart of the “Quar,” we’re joined by longtime friend of the show and writer for Emmys.com, David Gutiérrez… and things get weird.

We get into everything from circumcising our children to wanna-be movie theater comedians. We try to understand the confusing relationship of rockstar film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and try to figure out when Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford stopped trying to be good at their jobs.

Finally, we try to retroactively fix the Rambo franchise (and action/revenge films in general) into something a bit less racist and burdened with conservative “white guy baggage.”

Fun Size Episode 47 – Quarantine Titans Go!

On this “very special episode,” we continue our remotely-recorded chat with Joe Preti, as we try — try, mind you — to talk about stuff that’s making us happy during the Time of “the Quar.”

From the wholesome joys of the new Animal Crossing game for the Nintendo Switch, to the Aardman claymation goodness of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, we’re looking for something positive in a world gone weird and scary.

We talk about a Charles Bronson movie where he’s an aggrieved watermelon farmer looking for revenge, and look in on Joe watching Beverly Hills 90210 for the first time. And we battle it over that immortal question: what’s better? 90210 or Saved by the Bell?

Fun Size Episode 46 – Quarantine Titans

We’re back! Sort of…

In a special remotely-recorded quarantine edition of the show, we sit down with Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast to pine for long lost sources of food, like the cafeteria at Joe’s work and a couple of local sandwich shops.

We ask: has the quality of McDonald’s food gotten worse since we were kids, or were we blinded by a child’s epicureal standards? Has junk food in general gotten worse?

We also talk about how good Adam Sandler movies could be if only he tried. And Batman v. Superman comes up, and… we just can’t not.