Episode 226: Gilmore Girls Apoocalypse

January 3, 2017

226

Jakob and Mandi discuss the end of all things Gilmore Girls… or is it? Are we going to be subjected to another glimpse of Stars Hollow life in ten years’ time? And so on and so on, forever and ever, the same as Stars Wars and Trek? And what is the cultural relevance of having seen A Year In The Life or not having seen Rogue One. Plus, 2016 takes another life.

A couple quick notes of things I meant to bring-up on the episode but forgot:

Why is it that Gilmore Girls can’t  portray any career accurately? I can only speak from experience of working at a university newspaper and being a musician, but from that I can extrapolate that they way they depict running an inn, diner or kitchen is a weird TV fantasy version as well. One thing I appreciated in A Year In The Life  was that, ten years later, Zack and Lane are still in Stars Hollow playing what they would’ve previously considered sell-out jazz in an alley. Much more realistic than hipsters booing Zack’s on-stage melt-down that breaks up Hep Alien. For a show that claims to love and honour music, the writers sure seem to have never been to an indie show before.

I was really hoping they’d address, or acknowledge, Lorelei’s mental health issues in A Year In The Life and, for a hot moment, it looked like it was finally going to happen when Emily tricks her into attending therapy with her. But the moment passes and Lorelei is left to carry on blissfully unaware of her narcissistic personality disorder, or whatever it is the jumble of anti-social traits the writers have given over the years add up to. Emily does call her out for steamrolling through peoples’ lives but Emily’s opinions of Lorelei have long been positioned to be either ignored or viewed in reverse. And while I can understand why the producers don’t want to diagnose their lead manic pixie dream girl as mentally ill, but if she isn’t then… she’s just a living nightmare and every act of inter-personal destruction she’s committed over the course of 7.5 seasons is, at best, normalized and, at worst, romanticized as a quirky ideal.

 

 

 

 

 

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Episode 219: Familiar Things

July 27, 2016

219

We liked Stranger Things so much we immediately did an episode on it highlighting some of its weaker points. That’s the normal thing to do, right?

Mostly we try to navigate the myriad of references to classic 80s sci-fi and horror movies (not tropes but actual scenes lifted from movies) in the show and decide if too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing. Watching an episode (or 4 in row) can be like falling into a sugar coma of nostalgia. Stranger Things is such a pastiche, it causes one to wonder if there’s substance beneath the style. Perhaps not. But, ultimately, that might not matter in the same way Eggo waffles are a pale imitation of actual food yet are delicious and satisfying.

Regardless, it can be agreed there needs to be a social media campaign to bring back fan-favourite character Barb Holland. #BringBackBarb #BARBLIVES

 


In typical “nuanced” Nerd Hurdles fashion Jakob comes off somewhat negative about the Stranger Things theme music (by S  U R V I V E) which is very similar, if not pretty much identical, to an album he recently released called Mind Thief. a snippet of which is heard at the end of the episode or can be streamed in full below. Jakob claims his poo-pooing of the John Carpenter-esque synth music in Stranger Things had nothing to do with grapes, sour, or otherwise.

 


Episode 218: Scandalous Scandals of Scandal

June 23, 2016

218

Having run out of quality shows to watch on (Canadian) Netflix, we get Scandalous with Shonda Rhimes frustratingly good/bad brand of addicting spray-cheese television.

 


Episode 189: House of Cards

April 29, 2014

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“There are two kinds of spoilers. The sort of spoiler that makes you strong, or useless spoilers. The sort of spoiler that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.”

Wow. House of Cards is a powerful indictment of the American political system. And that in itself raises some questions…

  1. Is it really like that on Capitol Hill?  The lobbying, sure, we all know about that, but the more subtle Machiavellary? That can’t really exist in real life, right? And yes, I just coined the noun “Machiavellary” (feel free to use it).
  2. If it’s not really a corrupt knot of tangled webs, do Americans actually believe it is?
  3. And if people don’t believe it is, then do Americans kind of wish it’s really was like that? (Better than believing your country is run by incompetent buffoons?)

As someone who lives outside of America (barely), these questions fascinate me.


Episode 127 – Crime and Punishment

September 8, 2011

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Police dramas and legal dramas have been a staple of television programming since television was called radio. This week Jakob and Mandi investigate and prosecute infamous television cops and lawyers. Murder One and Law & Order are named in the indictment but, as with any police dragnet, many key suspects elude capture.

A few suspiciously absent villains are the gritty, delightfully cynical Homicide: Life on the Street and Murder One creator Steven Bochco‘s LA Law, NYPD Blue and the game-changer for all television cop shows, Hillstreet Blues. Really, we could have done an episode just on Bochco shows. Just check out his resume.

He didn’t, however, create the longest-running crime drama on American primetime television, Law & Order. That was created by Dick Wolf. The man with, I think, the funniest name in television.

I wonder if the Lupus Penes was responsible for Jerry Orbach’s ridiculous one-liners. Which were never as ridiculous as David Caruso’s one-liners in CSI: Miami.

Other pieces of evidence:

Exhibit A: Sam, The Guy From Quincy.

Exhibit B: Det, Lennie Brisco (Jerry Orbach) quotes.

Exhibit C: PBS Mystery Theatre intro


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