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.
We chat a bit about Henry Cavill taking on the lead role in a Netflix Witcher series, and why Disney should make one less live-action remake and do some good in the world!
And finally, we look at recent pop culture endings — Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame, Deadwood, the Walking Dead comic book, and the Fox X-Men franchise — and look ahead to future endings with Quentin Tarantino’s to-be-produced tenth and final film.
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?
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.
Who truly owns a piece of art, a character or a media franchise? The artist, or the audience? We sit down with Sean Duncan to seek the answer to that and many other questions.
We (finally) talk about Star Wars: the Last Jedi and the tug-of-war between fans who want the familiar comfort of wish fulfillment and fan service, and those who want to see the series take some serious risks, even if it alienates some of the fans.
We look at how the real world and the context of our own experiences color and supplement the way we receive and interpret art. Plus, is it time to retire the old ways of counting audience figures, when there are so many ways to watch, read, and play these days? Uh, yes.
In an episode exclusive to Patreon supporters, we continue to shake our canes at Hollywood blockbusters, spin offs, crossovers and shared universes, as Mike explains his rocky relationship with Fear the Walking Dead.
What motivates the creation of a spin-off? Are they doomed to be pale imitations? Is the massive blockbuster franchise bubble heading for a burst?
To hear the episode, subscribe to us on Patreon and pledge at least one measly dollar a month!
Mike and Casey sit down with Kinsey Burke, Patrick Johnson, and Sam Mulvey to bat around a contentious and complicated topic: adaptations, reboots and remakes.
How faithful should a work be to its source material when it’s adapted from one storytelling medium to another? What happens when it deviates over time? What about when a beloved past work is rebooted in ways we cannot stand? Is it really worth getting worked up about, now that the floodgates are open?
And can a bad adaptation transcend the source material and become a wonderful hypnotic disaster? Is it time to make peace with changes to Game of Thrones, and the Ghostbusters remake?
Also, Mike fights — against all odds — to protect a young friend from a 43 year-old movie spoiler.
In the first of two Fun Size discussions this month, we sit down with Rebecca Friedman and debate the merits and popularity of post-apocalyptic fiction and video games, and why absent panelist (and spouse) Sam Mulvey will probably never discuss it on the show.
Is the genre inevitably juvenile, and does its recent popularity speak ill of us as a society? Disagreement follows.
Mike and Casey reserve a table in Ten Forward and share a pot of “tea, early grey, hot” with Greg Hatcher of Comic Book Resources’ Comics Should Be Good! blog and game designer Ryan Chaddock. Our continuing mission: to launch a class-5 probe into the Neutral Zone, and to discuss the classic science fiction series, Star Trek: the Next Generation.
We discuss how it added to the Trek mythos, the tug of war over the show’s themes and writing, and how the classic series stands the test of times as a piece of optimistic science fiction in a current age of popular dystopias and the “grim and gritty” storytelling in genre film and television.
Make it so!
“End Credits” from Star Trek: First Contact by Jerry Goldsmith
Previously titled: “Oh, God. Not Another Troi Episode!”
Throw a rock in any direction, and you’ll hit someone’s zombie apocalypse survival plan. It’s astounding how ubiquitous it’s become. Everyone these days seems to have an elaborate strategy worked out to stay alive and thrive in the event that civilization falls in the wake of plagues, zombies, robot uprisings, alien invasions, natural disasters, nuclear war or even dragons.
There are even now magazines dedicated to this topic, and I’m not entirely sure how serious they’re intended to be.
But the truth is, it doesn’t matter how high your level is in Fallout: New Vegas, or how many issues of the Walking Dead you’ve read, or how many times you’ve seen the Road Warrior. Most people in the post-apocalypse are kinda…y’know…dead.
That prompts this month’s Mailbag question:
“Be Honest. How would you really fare in a post-apocalyptic setting?”
Mike and Casey join forces with author and Seattle Vine columnist, Libbie Grant, and Ian Gould, the owner of Ace Comics and Games, to pillage the ravaged post-apocalyptic wasteland and argue about those ubiquitous walking corpses!
That’s right, we’re talking about zombies! We discuss their social relevance, the often derivative nature of zombie fiction, and why they shouldn’t be romantic leads. Ever.
Check yourself for bites and be sure to aim for the head!
“Main Title Theme to the Walking Dead” by Bear McCreary