Fun Size Episode 66 – The Word for That Is “Extortion”

We continue our chat with Michael Warbington and dig into a rich vein we usually leave unmined: video games.

With different levels of skill, engagement and knowledge, we look at the experience of gaming in 2022, the intersection of art and commerce, the prevalence of in-game microtransactions, getting mercilessly griefed by racist swearing twelve year-olds, and a game’s replayability. What do we want out of the gaming experience?

Fun Size Episode 65 – From Sublime to Disgusting (And Everything in Between)

We’re back with Kirby Green and talking about the strange and surprising wholesomeness of Jackass Forever, the history of “caught-on-video” media, and the opportunistic moral panics they often inspire.

While we talk about how a franchise famous for dangerous stunts and painful assaults on the testicles has become one of the few things in America that we can all agree on, and how it might just be a model for body positivity. And we look at its far more morally reprehensible and shamelessly exploitative media ancestors like Faces of Death, Bumfights, Girls Gone Wild, COPS, and whatever weird VHS tapes that scary kid from middle school with the shuriken in his pocket was bragging about watching.

Fun Size Episode 63 – I Want Willem Dafoe in Every Movie

Has the world gone mad? Well, yes. But we’re also looking back on 2021 as a remarkably great year at the movies! We’re still talking to Tobiah Panshin for an uncharacteristically positive and optimistic discussion about the current state of cinema. For real!

We briefly touch on: The Last Duel, Titane, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Licorice Pizza, The French Dispatch, Dune, C’mon C’mon, Spencer, Malignant, The Suicide Squad, The Twentieth Century, and The Matrix Resurrections.

Plus, would it be so bad if the world we lived in was just a computer program?

Episode 49 – Santa Claus: The Movie

The legend comes to life.

This Christmas Eve, we’re back in the studio to celebrate the season with Rebecca Friedman of KTQA-LP 95.3 FM, and dive into the 1985 holiday movie where Alexander and Ilya Salkind, the father and son producer team behind the Christopher Reeve Superman films try to make lightning strike twice with a mythic origin story for jolly old Saint Nick himself in Santa Claus:The Movie!

Rescued by a group of elves after being caught in a deadly blizzard, a 14th century toymaker fulfills an ancient prophecy to become an immortal holiday gift giver to all the children of the world. Colliding with the free enterprise crassness of the 1980s, Santa Claus is despondent after one his elves is manipulated into working for a unscrupulous and greedy toy executive who wants to steal Christmas for his very own.

Fun Size Episode 60 – George Lucas Martyrs

We’re back with Chelsea Rustad to dig into the big questions. Have we hit the barrier when technological advances on video quality, frame rate and sound are butting up against the point where human senses can no longer perceive the difference in quality?

What about cars? Clothing? Is there a point where an expensive T-shirt can’t really get much more technologically advanced than a cheap one, and it makes no sense to charge big prices for it?

Plus, we touch on the recent lawsuit by the estates of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko to nullify the Marvel copyrights to the characters created by those artists, and the knee jerk reactionary response from some fans. And maybe…just maybe, we’d get better stories if these characters were allowed to lapse into the public domain.

And we talk about history’s greatest victims of targeted oppression: gamers.

Episode 47 – F for Fake

“Do you think I should confess? To what? Committing masterpieces?”

In our latest Single Serving Selection, we’re joining librarian and artist, Kit DeForge to turn our critical eyes to the final film directed by auteur Orson Welles, a conventions-defying documentary about frauds, fakers, and art forgery: F for Fake.

Welles delves into the world of two (or is it three?) spectacular liars. One is Elmyr de Hory, notorious art forger who paints replicas of masterpieces so convincing that they’re said be hanging in many prominent museums, and even the original artists claim to have created them. The other is Clifford Irving, the novelist and writer who exposed Elmyr’s forgeries in a tell-all book, before being revealed as a charlatan and fraud himself. It’s a deeply philosophical and nonlinear exploration of art, authorship, and who the real phonies might actually be.

Episode 46 – Wonder Twins by Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne

“Wonder Twin powers — Activate!”

This month, we’re balancing teen angst and superheroics with returning guest Paul Hix of Waiting for Doom – the Doom Patrol Podcast to gush over over the hilarious satirical DC Comics maxi-series: Wonder Twins!

Exiled to Earth from the utopian planet Exxor, super-powered teens Zan and Jayna must now juggle high school with their after-school internship with the heroic Justice League! But they must also grapple with strange new Earth concepts like crippling debt, shocking inequality and mass incarceration; and they begin wondering if beating up costumed criminals and throwing them in jail is really making the world a better place…

Join our official RvtM Discord server!

Fun Size Episode 56 – “The Customer is Always Right”

We continue to work the registers with Tobiah Panshin, going to places both weirdly metaphysical and painfully mundane.

First, Mike thinks it might actually be preferable to live in a hypothetical computer simulation than a “real” universe. What is real, anyways? Does that make our programmers gods?  Is the act of creation inherently selfish — and if it is, does that even matter?

Then, we look at a recently unearthed-on-YouTube reality show, Airline, about ticket agents and flight attendants weathering often-drunken customer abuse and demands. It triggers all sorts of all-too-familiar customer service flashbacks. Plus, Mike remembers that one time he almost got into a fight at the airport.

Episode 44 – Fight Club

“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

In the first Single Serving Selection in over a year, we are Jack’s complete lack of surprise. We’re stealing human fat from dumpsters and peeing into fancy soup with friend of the show Patrick Johnson. This month, we’re breaking the first two rules, because we’re talking about 1999’s Fight Club.

Is this David Fincher dark comedy a brilliant and scathing satirical deconstruction of toxic masculinity and how disaffected men can be drawn into extremism and violence? Or is it a shallow and pretentious edgelord glorification of the same thing? Or is it somewhere in between? We dig into the cult film we all adored as young twenty-somethings and dissect it under the harsh light of 2021.

Fun Size Episode 53 – Rest in Piss, You Piece of Shit

In our latest plot to lose any conservative listeners, we’re back!

We’re chatting with Joe Preti, who offers his defense of the much-maligned and frequently buggy Cyberpunk 2077. We dig into the often unreasonable expectations of both gamers and game companies, and why the video game industry exploits their workers and releases unfinished, broken games.

Is online gaming inevitably toxic and ugly? Are we doomed to racism, selfish teammates and endless griefing? Can we bake solutions into the programming of the games themselves?

And why does it seem like everyone on the political Far-Right from Ben Shapiro to Steve Bannon to Adolf Hitler, is a medicore failed artist, movie producer or screenwriter?

And we say goodbye to a dead radio icon with all of the respect and dignity he deserves.

NOTE: The Skype audio was not up to our usual standards, but we still think it’s listenable. Our apologies! No apologies are offered to Rush Limbaugh.

Fun Size Episode 51 – Existential Dread and Animal Puns

It’s a Captain Picard Day miracle!

After a five-month hiatus, we’re back….ish. We’re broadcasting remotely with KTQA Radio‘s Sam Mulvey and trying to shake some of the cobwebs out.

Casey meets a wild Keanu and we wonder ponder again the magical unicorn nature of his celebrity namesake. And on the opposite end of the moral spectrum, we predict the inevitable airlock assassination of future space-despot Elon Musk.

We try to unpack media Copaganda, our changing relationship with police-centric media and lament how a lot of the progress made in this year’s uprisings against police violence have slowly rolled back.

Sam fills us in on the radio station he’s been building, and we talk about all the media we’ve been watching and reading from our protective bunkers, trapped in a world we never made.

Also! We have a Discord server now! Join us!

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 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 Gutiérrez… 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 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.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 21 – Jingle All the Way

Two Dads, One Toy, No Prisoners.

Put that cookie down! Now! Because, this month, Christmas is coming early! We’re getting into the holiday spirit with librarian Kit DeForge, to unwrap Arnold’s holiday comedy Jingle All the Way!

Workaholic salesman Howard Langston hasn’t been the world’s greatest dad. Habitually breaking his promises to spend time with his young son, he vows to make it up to him with a coveted Turbo Man action figure for Christmas. The only problem is that Turbo Man is the hottest toy of all time, and Howard has waited until the last minute. Now, he must contend with an unhinged rival father, an amorous neighbor, stampeding shoppers, a gang of bootlegger Santas, and a vicious pet reindeer, in order to find the elusive toy in time for Christmas, and finally keep a promise to his son.