Episode 40 – Columbo: Murder By the Book

“Just one more thing…”

In this month’s Single Serving Selection, we join Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey to snoop around the first episode of the beloved inverted-mystery series, starring Peter Falk’s rumbled detective: 1971’s Columbo: Murder By the Book.

When one half of an award-winning mystery writing team learns that his more-talented partner is leaving for a solo career, he sees his meal ticket slipping away. The only way to save his career and claim a sizeable insurance policy is to commit the perfect murder. The only hitch is that the crime is being investigated by a personable and seemingly-clownish police detective who just might have his number.

Episode 38 – Return to Oz

An all-new adventure down the yellow brick road.

In our latest Single Serving Selection, we return to the Emerald City and dig into some nostalgic childhood nightmare fuel with librarian and friend of the show, Kit DeForge. This month’s topic is Disney’s weird and often terrifying continuation/quasi-sequel to the 1939 MGM classic: Return to Oz.

Dorothy Gale finds herself back in the Land Oz, after being rescued from a mental hospital by a mysterious girl. She finds the yellow brick road is crumbling, the Emerald City is in ruins, and its people turned to stone. Now, with a new group of strange companions, Dorothy must defeat both the villainous Nome King and the evil witch Mombi, rescue the Scarecrow, and restore an exiled princess to the throne.

Because all of the best children’s movies have body horror in them.

Episode 37 – WrestleMania XIX

Dare to Dream.

We’re back! And in our first double-sized Single Serving Selection of the new year, we’re diving our way back into the world of sleeper holds and suplexes with the program director for RadioTacoma 101.9, Morgan Lambert!  This month, we’re grappling with pro wrestling’s premier pay-per-view event, broadcasted live from Seattle, Washington on March 30, 2003: WWE’s Wrestlemania XIX!

Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels! The Rock vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin! Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon!  Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle! Limp Bizkit vs. Music! The Miller Cat Fight Girls vs. Social Progress! This wrestling event has everything great and terrible about sports entertainment.

From thrilling feats of charisma and athleticism, to problematic and embarrassing displays of exploitation, WrestleMania has you covered!

Episode 36 – Uzumaki by Junji Ito

“Spirals…This town is contaminated with Spirals…”

In our latest Single Serving Selection, we descend into a mind-bending and stomach-churning modern classic of Japanese manga horror with librarian and friend of the show, Kit DeForge, but perhaps you’ll wish we hadn’t. Because this month, we’re descending into madness and body horror with Junji Ito’s Uzumaki.

What begins as a series of episodic tales of a small seaside town being driven to death and insanity by ubiquitous spiral shapes soon becomes a tidal wave of ancient apocalyptic destruction, lunacy, and unavoidable doom.

Apologies for the inevitable nightmares.

Episode 34 – American Movie

“There’s no excuses, Paul. No one has ever, ever paid admission to see an excuse. No one has ever faced a black screen that says: “Well, if we had these set of circumstances, we would’ve shot this scene… so please forgive us and use your imagination.”

In another of our Single Serving Selections, we’re going somewhere that the show has never gone before: non-fiction! It’s time to max out our credit cards and hassle our moms until they agree to play extras in our movie, because we’re being joined by Patrick Johnson for a discussion of the 1999 documentary, American Movie.

Telling the story of an aspiring filmmaker’s quest to create his dream project — by first completing the low budget horror movie that he had abandoned years earlier. Now, he struggles against a lack of funds, the hapless ineptitude of his friends and family, a burgeoning alcoholism, a lack of talent, and his own self-destructive personality to make something great.

But don’t worry. It’s alright, it’s okay, there’s something to live for. Jesus told me so!

Episode 32 – The Flintstones by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh

Yabba Dabba Doo.

In another one of our Single Serving Selections, it’s time to pull on the little bird’s tail and slide down the brontosaurus’ neck for a chat with Tobiah Panshin of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast. This month we’re talking a deep dive into the DC Comics 2016 gritty reboot of Hanna Barbera’s modern stone age family in The Flintstones.

We explore how Mark Russell and Steve Pugh took a 1960s animated sitcom about cavemen in the suburbs, and turned it into one of the most surprising comic book series of the past decade, with equal parts humor, biting social satire, and existential dread. You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; and you’ll never look at your appliances the same way again.

Episode 31 – Ghostbusters (1984)

We’re Ready To Believe You.

It’s the premiere episode of our Single Serving Selection series where we dissect a smaller helping of popular culture for you.

In our first selection, we get kicked out of university, and break out the proton packs with author, blogger and host of the Spilled Milk Podcast, Matthew Amster-Burton. We’re talking this month about the 1984 supernatural comedy classic that spawned a sequel, a cartoon series, a remake and even a popular juice box, Ghostbusters.

We dig into the movie’s balance of genre elements with comedy, and wonder aloud how Bill Murray’s Dr. Peter Venkman has managed to stay out of prison.

So, don’t cross the streams, don’t look into the trap, and tell him about the Twinkie.

Previously titled: “Consummate Snowball Artists”