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?

Episode 39 – Spider-Man

“Spins a web, any size. Catches thieves, just like flies.”

This month, we’re web-slinging through New York with the Fire and Water Network‘s Ryan Daly and Tobiah Panshin of the House of Jack and Stan podcast. We’re climbing the wall over Marvel’s revolutionary and relatable comic book hero: the Amazing Spider-Man!

From his beginnings in a cancelled anthology comic by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962, Spidey has exploded into multimedia superstardom, and changed the superhero genre forever. He’s headlined literally thousands of comic book issues, seven feature films, and countless animated shows. He’s been a company mascot, a parade balloon, a breakfast cereal, a cartoon pig, and even the star of his own failed Broadway musical.

We dig into all things pertaining to the web-head, try to figure out if the Daily Bugle is a reputable news source, and try to answer that question: is Spider-Man hero, or menace?

Music: 
“Main Titles/Costume Montage” from Spider-Man (2002) by Danny Elfman

Black Ops Episode 14 – More Stuff in the Basement [CLIP]

In our new episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, there’s some more stuff to clean out the basement.

Casey loves science fiction, but has grown tired of the ubiquity of sci-fi that treats dystopia, calamity and apocalypse as inevitability.  What happened to looking for positive alternatives and aspirational worlds in our genre media?

Is it a symptom of our inability to imagine that we can overcome the things that make the modern world a scary place, and instead just imagine futures where our problems are exactly the same, or  just amplified?

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

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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.

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.

Black Ops Episode 13 – Some Stuff in the Basement [CLIP]

In our latest episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we empty the basement.

Mike has been a dedicated, lifelong comics book and superhero fan. And he’s been thrilled to see these characters and stories play out on the big screen… or he did. So he sits down with Casey to talk about how superhero cinema — even most of the “good stuff” — is leaving him feeling pretty blase and desensitized.

It’s a conversation that’s been brewing for at least a year, and Mike wants to get all of it out of his system. He’s sick of complaining about Marvel and Zack Snyder on podcasts, so he attempts in one conversation to purge all of it out of his system in one go. One last time, for our sanity’s sake.

Pray for us.

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

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Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 18 – Eraser

He will erase your past to protect your future.

This month, we burn our drivers’ licenses and take refuge in the City Zoo with returning guest Greg Hatcher of the Atomic Junk Shop blog, to dig into the mid-90s high tech action thriller: Eraser.

U.S. Marshall John Kruger is the world’s greatest witness protection specialist. He “erases” the people he protects, faking their deaths and hiding them until that they can testify in court. Kruger is assigned to protect Lee Cullen, an executive who has just discovered that the defense contractor she works for is illegally selling high-tech weapons to international criminals and terrorists. Now, with both her company and a high-ranking government official trying to kill her, only John Kruger stands between her and a murderous conspiracy that has even infected the agency he works for!

Mike is Back on Cheers Cast!

Mike returns again to Ryan Daly‘s Cheers Cast, to dig into the seventeenth episode of Cheers‘ first season, “Diane’s Perfect Date.”

When Sam and Diane agree to set each other up on blind dates, Diane takes it seriously, and Sam doesn’t — because he’s outsmarted himself into thinking that Diane is setting him up with her.  Only realizing his mistake at the last minute, Sam sets her up with a complete stranger at the bar…who might actually be a deranged killer just released from prison. Mike and Ryan dig into one of Cheers’ trademark farcical episodes, and why it holds up so well.

Check it out!

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.

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!

Mike Returns to Cheers Cast!

Mike returns to Ryan Daly‘s Cheers Cast, to dive into the fourteenth episode of Cheers‘ first season, “Let Me Count the Ways.”

When Diane learns that her family cat has died, she’s devastated. But the rest of the gang can’t be pulled away from the night’s Celtics game to show her the slightest bit of sympathy. Mike and Ryan dig one of the show’s first attempts to balance comedy with sincere drama, marvel at how wonderfully underrated Shelley Long’s performances are, and wonder if we’re on the other side of a cultural shift where it concerns the loss of a pet.

Check it out!

Black Ops Episode 12 – Spoiler Alert: Ghosts Don’t Exist [CLIP]

In our latest episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, it’s Halloween for Christmas!

Recorded back in October, we dip into the horror genre, as Casey was watching one scary movie a day, often for the first time. As a horror novice, Casey relates the experience of his maiden voyages into classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play, the Conjuring and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time. We dig into why we like being scared, and why we can love a scary movie that isn’t even frightening.

From gory thrills to impressive technical feats, we get into horror cinema from everyone from John Carpenter, to George Romero, to James Wan!

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

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Black Ops Episode 11 – A Bacterial Infection That Helps You Fight Crime [CLIP]

In our latest episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we join Sam Mulvey to dig into the question of adapting properties that we care about, and whether it’s important to even attempt fidelity to the source material.

From Watchmen to Dune; from Starship Troopers to Ready Player One. Is it sometimes the wisest choice to take a giant critical poop on a property when we translate them to a new medium? Plus, Mike saw Venom, and…yeah. We talk about what could have been  — a gloriously R-rated cannibal crime fighting movie.

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 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!