In our third mini-episode, Mike and Casey break open a cask of the latest geek news and drink deeply.
We commiserate about the public relations disaster that is the new XBOX One. We experience schadenfreude at the recent fan meltdown over Game of Thrones. We lament the growing wave of post-apocalyptic paranoid fetishism. And, we look at your feedback on the topic of spoiler warnings, the spoiled, and those that spoil them.
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Thanks for another great mini episode.
I must say, I really appreciated what the two of you, Mike and Casey, had to say about the current fascination with post-apocalyptia. Like Mike, I think it can be a fantastic storytelling vehicle, but by no means would I want to actually live in that kind of world. Two of my favourite games are indeed ‘Fallout 3’ and ‘New Vegas’, which both really bring this kind of “after the end” dystopia to life for me, right down to finding an old abandoned house with a skeleton on the floor, its skulls in a dark pool of dried blood, while its finger bones still clutch a .32 pistol. It’s little things like that in the ‘Fallout’ games that show that, no, post-apocalyptia would not be fun; you or everyone you know would probably be dead. In fact, I dare say that’s why I always follow the “good” path in these games and try to help people as much as I can. In ‘Fallout 3’, I help make clean water available for the people of the Capital Wasteland, and in ‘New Vegas’, despite all its flaws, I still see the New California Republic as the best chance of restoring some semblance of civilization to this post-apocalyptic hell-scape. Essentially, I try to take the path most likely to lead out of post-apocalyptia and into a new civilization, because the games have done such a good job of showing how awful the wasteland would be.
I was also very pleased by the discussion of ‘Game of Thrones’. Like Mike, I’d read ‘A Storm of Swords’ before series 3 aired, so I knew the Red Wedding was coming. That said, it was still deeply harrowing to watch. In fact, on the subject of spoilers, I totally got that anticipation that another commenter on Facebook had described; however, I think I’d still have been annoyed to have it spoiled for me. I do like the fact that literally anybody could die at any time in ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. Well, perhaps “like” isn’t the best word for it, but it’s refreshing to read a book with real jeopardy in it, where even main characters, whose story you’ve been following, are not necessarily safe. It certainly keeps me turning the pages, although, having recently finished the fifth book, ‘A Dance With Dragons’, I have to wait like everyone else for the sixth book, ‘The Winds of Winter’. I may re-read the series in the meantime and see if I get that same feeling of inevitability for certain character deaths that you described.
Finally, explicitly on the topic of spoilers, when I went to see ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ twice the other week at the cinema, on both occasions, the audience was treated to a six-minute preview of the tank chase from ‘Fast 6’ – which had a motorsports friend of mine gesturing angrily at the screen about the impossible physics. I am going to hazard a guess that this was the climactic scene of the entire movie and we were being shown more-or-less the whole thing – except whether or not Vin Diesel saves the girl, which I’m guessing he does, though I’m never going to find out, because I’m not interested in gratuitous car porn. I really don’t get why producers feel the need to put such massive spoilers right there in the trailers (or previews) like that. I went to see ‘Skyfall’ last year and, when the DB5 (which was not in the trailers) was revealed, the audience let out an audible cheer. There was even a bit of a cheer when we saw the ejector passenger seat button and the machine gun headlights, and cries of dismay when the bad guys blew the car up. So, I totally agree with you about how going into a film without knowing what twists are coming can really help audiences to enjoy those twists all the more. As ubiquitous as it has become now, I’d have been very annoyed if I’d been around in 1980 to experience “I am your father” unspoiled and someone gave that twist away for me.
Anyways, I’ll shut up now. Great show! I’m anticipating the next full episode with a mix of curiosity and dread, given that Mike and I differ somewhat on the Star Wars prequels.
Ben, I can assure that the goal of our George Lucas panel is not to be a “take down” of Lucas or the prequels. That’s been done to death, and done rather well. People interested in a dissection of the prequels should check out the excellent feature lengths reviews that the people at “Red Letter Media” did.
Not a lot of reason to go over that road again. What I really want to talk about is how perception of him has changed, how he’s become a fan whipping boy, and how much of it he deserves — and how much is just fashionable geek snarkiness.
I figured as much, Mike, but it’s reassuring to hear it from you. So, I shall look forward to the next episode. 🙂
I generally don’t watch trailers, and I’ll avoid seeking out information on what I’m about to watch, unless it’s something like deciding which cut of a movie to go with.
What annoys me is that when I look up specific episodes of a show, unless I can find a discussion thread that is as old as the episode, there are usually spoilers for future episodes, or even future seasons. And it’s right after having watched something that I’m the most interested in reading what other people have been saying about it. I don’t want to have to watch an entire series before being able to look up or talk about any part of it, to avoid being spoiled about the rest.
It’s fine to spoil as long as it’s relatively easy to choose what spoilers you want to be exposed to, based on context. Which incidentally, I think this podcast has been good at.