Fun Size Episode 39 – How Could We Forget Odo?

In the aftermath of our Deep Space Nine panel, we rejoin Michael Warbington and Siskoid to talk a little about the stuff we wish we had gotten a chance to mention.

We talk holographic club owner, Vic Fontaine. Is he the greatest creation of artificial intelligence in the Trek universe, topping even Data? How did the show tackle thorny topics like racism? And has the show been excluded from the recent wave of 1990s nostalgia?

Plus, we look ahead with a pair of Trek fans at the fact that both Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard are going somewhere that excites us: The future. Well, their future.

Fun Size Episode 38 – The H.H. Holmes of Minecraft

We sit back down with Sam Mulvey to learn that Keanu Reeves is now in a video game, and that he remains the best human. And we ponder…

Are there places on the internet, and in online gaming, where people are actually nice to each other? Are we doomed to transform into digital sociopaths when we’re given both anonymity and the means to kill strangers with lasers — and no consequences?

Plus, we’re approaching the upcoming reimagining of Frank Herbert’s Dune by Denis Villeneuve with optimistic apprehension. Deep breaths, everyone.

Fun Size Episode 37 – Skoodenfroodie

We continue our chat with Joe Preti, as things get a little bit loud.

In a discussion of recent adaptations, sequels and reboots, we look a bit at the then-impending end of HBO’s Game of Thrones, its prose origins and how it all seems to be heading towards a conclusion that can’t help but disappoint.

How should we interface with crossmedia adaptations of stuff we love? How upset should we get, when we feel they get it wrong?

And then things go completely off the rails, because we really, really, really fucking hate Nazis and don’t think they should be allowed to have a moment’s peace.

NOTE: This conversation was recorded before the airing of the last two episodes of Game of Thrones.

Fun Size Episode 36 – Peak Clown

In our latest fun-sized chat with Tobiah Panshin, we dig into the topics that really matter to working people, like the media depiction of Clowns, and how it’s affected their public perception. Is the happy clown character now a totally dead concept?

We briefly dive into the phenomenon of the Simpsons, and how what was once a controversial program has survived long enough to see an entire culture change around them. We pick at how the experiences of comic book stores and video arcades have fundamentally changed since we were children.

And finally, in a reaction to a recent Rob Kelly podcast, we ask: how can we make obnoxious people shut up in a movie theater?

Fun Size Episode 35 – My Boss is Trying to Kill Matt Damon

We’re back with a Frankensteinian Fun Size double feature!

First, we continue our chat with Kit DeForge, where a discussion about Lords of Chaos, the recent semi-fictional Norwegian death metal movie, leads into a talk about how music biopics in general — and Bohemian Rhapsody, specifically — usually aren’t….very good.

Then we talk to Greg Hatcher about how the history of television shows didn’t include dedicated series finales until the Fugitive in 1967, and we look at the mixed results of shows that tried to continue after losing their lead actors.

Plus, we look at the trope of the characters who exist solely in high tech control rooms with hundreds of screens.

Fun Size Episode 34 – The Unanimous Whipping Boy of Big Budget Cinema

We’re back! For this month’s off-topic dive, we look at the tale of two recent franchise spin-offs: Bumblebee and Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald. Why does the former succeed out of the wreckage of a totally maligned series, while the latter squanders the potential of its predecessor? What do we want out of a spin-off, prequel or sequel to a beloved media property? What separates the wheat from the chaff?

Plus, we ponder the in-universe reality of the WWE in an age where professional wrestling no longer even pretends to be a real sport.

Join us, won’t you?

Fun Size Episode 33 – Give Rob Kelly Some Money!

In the afterglow of WrestleMania, we rejoin Morgan Lambert to talk about the mixed results of professional wrestlers becoming Hollywood actors, and wonder why it’s so hard for Dwayne Johnson to get a movie project worthy of his charisma.

Plus, we talk about the latest in wrestling scandals, including Hulk Hogan’s bigotry, and the WWE’s continued business relationship with an authoritarian regime that hacked up a dissident journalist.

We talk about the charming culture shock of consuming Japanese media. Their pro wrestling customs, katakana sound effects in manga, quite possibly the greatest soap opera of all time, in the form of a series of Sakeru Gummy commercials.

We chat about the recent expansion of the American public domain and lament our draconian copyright laws.

Oh, and the Wizards of the Harry Potter world are fucking disgusting monsters.

Fun Size Episode 32 – Mistakes Were Made

We continue our talk with Sam Mulvey and dig into the questions that try men’s souls. We ponder the repeated use of various firearms in movies, and why laser weapons aren’t nearly as numerous these days.

We dive into the insane and definitely-not-okay animal stunt work of movies past, and marvel at how Donald Pleasence’s pain threshold can be so impossibly high. Plus, we asked our Patreon supporters about their stupid childhood fears, and more!

Fun Size Episode 31 – Beauty and Meaning in the Wreckage of Late Stage Capitalism

We sit down with Tom Satwicz to muse on how various fictional interpretations of New York City and New Yorkers have shaped our perceptions of the place and its people. And does Detroit get a bad rap in fiction, or is Michigan part of the Mad Max universe?

We all but plead with you to watch AMC’s Lodge 49,  the greatest television show you’re not watching. How can it be about so many heartbreaking things, and still make you feel better for watching it?

Casey gives his highest possible recommendation to Nicolas Cage’s new bonkers revenge movie, Mandy, that miraculously marries a low brow to high art.

NOTE: Due to a scheduling issue, we’re reversing the release order of our main episode and Fun Size episode this month! Worry not! It’s still on the way!

Fun Size Episode 30 – That’s My Kind of Garbage!

We’re back to dive into an overstuffed grab bag of off-topic nonsense with Roz Townsend, and we grapple with the important questions that keep us up at night.

Is Colonel Sanders the closest thing we have to an American Time Lord? What are our favorite fictional restaurants? Are self-published fan zines a lost art? Are skunks a form of Pokémon? Did Freddie Mercury go super saiyan in the ’80s? Are modern video game mechanics inaccessible to people who didn’t grow up with them?

Plus, Casey becomes annoyed at a group of small children not being as entranced by My Neighbor Totoro as he is, and we all betray our socialist leanings.

Fun Size Episode 29 – Fighting the Adam West Fight

We jump back into the fray with Greg Hatcher, to talk debate the merits of Star Trek Discovery, the future of the franchise and what we want from a Trek property.

We also look at the trailer for the new streaming Titans series, and wonder why such a fun property would want to be dour and overserious. Why do so many fans –and even creators — just miss the point?

Fun Size Episode 28 – The Wilhelm Scream of Star Wars Movies

We continue our chat with Patrick Johnson, and finally give our mixed opinions on the latest Disney opus, Solo: A Star Wars Story. We go over the promise and the pitfalls of the prequel concept and ask ourselves what we really wanted from this movie.

We talk about a recent internet rabbit hole: a legendary and notorious New Jersey water park that many have called the most dangerous amusement park ever: Action Park. It had a cascade of bloody noses, a lax policy of selling alcohol to minors and a confirmed body count. So why do many of the people who grew up going there as kids, both openly admit its dangers while remembering it with such warm affection?

And what stupid thrills will a human being subject themselves to in the cause of ending boredom?

Plus, we can’t recommend the horror movie, A Quiet Place, more highly. Seriously, it’s really good.

Fun Size Episode 27 – Not My Luke Skywalker!

Who truly owns a piece of art, a character or a media franchise? The artist, or the audience? We sit down with Sean Duncan to seek the answer to that and many other questions.

We (finally) talk about Star Wars: the Last Jedi and the tug-of-war between fans who want the familiar comfort of wish fulfillment and fan service, and those who want to see the series take some serious risks, even if it alienates some of the fans.

We look at how the real world and the context of our own experiences color and supplement the way we receive and interpret art. Plus, is it time to retire the old ways of counting audience figures, when there are so many ways to watch, read, and play these days? Uh, yes.

Fun Size Episode 26 – A Continuity Gumbo of Nonsense

While Casey has to run upstairs and be a dad, Mike continues his talk with Joe Preti and Tobiah Panshin for a full-throated bitch-sesh about the state of the comic book industry. From Marvel and DC’s refusal to change its accessibility, sales methods and whether its time to give up the ghost of the monthly issue, we wonder if the current superhero output from those two great companies just isn’t for us anymore.

And is DC Comics secretly a doomsday cult trying to provoke Alan Moore into ending the world?

Plus, we talk about cartoon voice actors and try to make heads or tails out of the design of K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider.

Fun Size Episode 25 – Fuck You, It’s Hitler!

We continue our chat with friend Patrick Johnson to chat about some actor faces’ leave them with little choice but to be cast as villains, and how sometimes playing against type can be great.

We debate the merits of the new Duncan Jones Netflix feature, Mute. And then, we take a critical look at the new Bruce Willis-helmed Death Wish remake, and why this probably isn’t the best time to release it.

And finally, we are puzzled by the weird surge of conservative media voices and fans being horribly offended by what they see as the unfair treatment of Nazis, the KKK and racist characters as villains in popular entertainment. Our hot take? Nazis are fucking assholes.