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 GutiĆ©rrez, 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 GutiĆ©rrez… 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.

Fun Size Episode 45 – Nerds Will Always Break Your Heart

We continue our talk with Greg Hatcher and talk about how we’ve been falling out of love with modern pop culture franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Walking Dead, and why it’s totally healthy to just walk away.

Plus, we talk very briefly about Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker, and how a toxic fanbase can not only poison your enjoyment of a pop culture property, but it can affect the decisions that producers make in a doomed attempt to please everyone, including the trolls and bigots.

Editor’s Note from Mike: After thinking about it for less than three seconds, Fascism definitely beats out Objectivism in the Bad Ideology Olympics. But Objectivism would still win a medal. Just wanted to correct that dumb mistake said in haste.

Fun Size Episode 44 – Walking With Dom

We sit down with the notoriously Trek-skeptical Sam Mulvey to give our first reactions to the first episode of Star Trek: Picard. Is it what we wanted, and have modern iterations of Trek changed so much — or have become so rigid — that they’re just not for us anymore?

We talk about fake click-bait pop culture new sites, the trend that the lead-ups to movie releases are now even longer than the Presidential election, and wonder why so many fans are seemingly unable or unwilling to see the humanity of robotic and android fictional characters.

Also, Mike makes a desperate attempt to convince Sam that the Fast and the Furious franchise is something he might enjoy.

Fun Size Episode 43 – Get in a Booth and Pretend to Be Poop

In an episode calling back to us from the near past, we get a little nervous, excited and curious about the then-upcoming Star Trek: Picard. We dig a bit into Trek‘s enduring franchise, both its evolutions and how after almost two decades, is finally moving its timeline forward.

We try to figure out how Wonder Woman and Star Trek Beyond could have gone from very good to great, with the same third act change. We wonder which members of the “Next Generation” crew have the best managerial skills. And finally, we look at how modern audiences — and studios — don’t want to admit that they love inspirational movie heroes.

Fun Size Episode 42 – Hey, I Know That!

We chat a bit with Tobiah Panshin about that great intangible that gets people’s ire up: Fan Service!

What is it? Why is it used as a pejorative? Is it ever a welcome thing? Why does it both delight and frustrate? Amuse and Annoy? We delve into the wherefores and whyfores and try to figure it all out.

Note: This episode was recorded before our last Fun Size episode in October, and we hadn’t seen Joker yet.

Fun Size Episode 41 – Clown Ronin

We sit down some more with Patrick Johnson to share our mixed feelings about Todd Phillips’ bleak and controversial Joker film.

We dig a bit into the film’s strong lead performance by Joaquin Phoenix and its very on-its-sleeve cinematic inspirations from films like Taxi Driver, Death Wish and the King of Comedy, and try to figure out whether it actually works or not. Does it transcend both its pastiche elements and its comic book origins, or is it a well-made and ambitious mess?

The answer is…complicated.

Fun Size Episode 40 – The Fucking C-Word

We sit down again with Tobiah Panshin to open up a bit about medical scares and Mike’s recent testicular cancer diagnosis and treatment. We dig into the heavy emotional weight that comes with getting scary news from a doctor. We also look at how the fictional depiction of cancer in popular media really doesn’t prepare you for the reality of even a highly treatable cancer.

Plus, we chat a little about the recent, strange anxiety about vaping, and how it compares to past moral panics like video games, rap music, Satanism, and Dungeons & Dragons.

Oh, and don’t vote for Joe Biden. He’s just awful.

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?