Category Archives: Television

Doctor Whooch // Episode 113 // Nothing Bad Ever Happens In Space

In which Brandon forgets the word for “e-mail”.

Hey buds. On this week’s show, Danica and Brandon are not cool with everyone being out in space again, and for good reason. Because… well, every episode of Doctor Who has danger, but space stuff usually involves murders and body snatching and that’s not their jam even slightly. Also, Brandon breaks out his amazing Nardole impression, and it’s preeeeetty spot on.

Outro music is “Space” by Something Corporate

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY.

Sub-Pop // In A Mirror, Darkly

This year, more to prove to myself that I can do it rather than saying anything of great importance, I’m taking the opportunity to write about our experiences in pop culture. The hope is to get a little better and pull more ideas out of my head – all the while hopefully helping those around us discuss or discover great corners of pop culture along the way.

IN A MIRROR, DARKLY

To wrap 2016 on a very appropriate note, Danica and I took the opportunity to finally watch some episodes of Black Mirror, which so many people had told us to watch. It was often described to me as The Twilight Zone by way of modern technology which… I’ll admit was a reference that was pretty much lost on me. I have yet to see an episode of The Twilight Zone beyond the opening credits which is something I might remedy this year (any suggestions as to episodes to watch or forms of access?).

Anyway, specific pop culture touch points aside, Black Mirror is a show that has a whole lot to say with our reliance on public opinion and social media. It’s also a show that I think will continue to become more and more relevant (if not outright prescient) as the years go by. The show uses the anthology format well to explore different end-points to our fascination with the opinions of a large cloud, so to speak, some edging towards an hour’s worth of fast moving thrill, while others act like putting a frog in water that you’re slowly moving to a boil. Each ask you to confront your attachments to various ideas. It’s a well done show, and while we’ve only made our way through to the first episode of the third season (we’ve been told San Junipero is a particularly strong episode that’s on our horizon), I doubt we’ll be let down by anything to come.

MEANWHILE…

If you’ve completed Black Mirror, or are the kind of person who doesn’t feel comfortable exploring the ideas of The Terrifying Future through the medium of television, I’d like to suggest the novel Normal by Warren Ellis.

Ellis has always been fascinated by The Future, so much so that the bulk of his production focuses squarely on the constant, distant humming of the world that is to come. Normal is no acceptation. The story follows a Futurist who has been deposited at a remote site where broken Futurists go to hopefully cure themselves after gazing into the abyss for too long. Ellis essentially posits the idea that we’re already doomed due to our actions, and the people who this affects the most are those who can already see or are paid to discover the curve of what’s to come. He combines this with a locked room mystery that… well that pays off almost exactly as it should.

Both of these suggestions won’t exactly make you feel good, but they sure will make you feel something. I know they’ve (briefly) caused me to stop mindlessly scrolling through my various feeds as often, with an eye towards producing more content, helpful or otherwise.

Here’s the the terrifying squall of what’s to come.

Happy New Year.

Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook

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Doctor Who News // No Maisie or Netflix, but Maybe Capaldi?

A round-up of news regarding our favourite television series about a strange alien with two hearts that rides around space and time in a weird blue box.

  • Fans hoping that Maisie Williams (and probably by extension, Jenna Coleman) will make a return to the show sometime soon shouldn’t hold their breath. The actress claims she is done with the show, but people say a lot of things. Or rather, Doctor Who fans remain eternally hopeful that their favourites will return, because as always, The Doctor always lies…
  • If you’ve been watching Doctor Who on Netflix in Canada, it’s time to make some contingency plans, as it has been announced that CraveTV will soon be the exclusive streaming service for the show very soon.
  • In not-really-news-news, Peter Capaldi may or may not show up on the Doctor Who spin-off Class. Also, with BBC3 moving to a streaming service, it’s unsure whether or not the series will air weekly, or drop all at once. Speaking as folks who run a weekly drunk Doctor Who podcast, we kind of hope it’s weekly so we don’t have to plan content for about 8 weeks later this year.

Elsewhere: Sense8 and Humanity in Storytelling

Over at the Something Different blogI finally found an excuse to talk about Sense8 – because I’ve been waiting quite a while to try and dig through my feelings on the show. Turns out, I liked it.

The show is about eight people, coming from vastly different circumstances, learning that they might be quite a bit different from other humans in a very significant way. Working with that basic concept, there’s a shadowy organization that seems bent on tracking down and eliminating this “other” for whatever reason. Those are the broad strokes. The fine detail comes when the show dips into the lives of these characters, and pulls out some wonderful stories. I will note: the show doesn’t invent the wheel by any stretch of the imagination. All eight stories are filled to the brim with story progressions that you expect to find in each style of story being told. A thief pulls a big score and ends up having to settle a perceived debt. A cop attempts to take the law into his own hands and finds himself pushing up against the organization that has defined his life. A safe romance becomes boring, and a new, exciting prospect seems promising, but a little scary – and so forth. But what the show lacks in raw originality, it makes up for by being one of the most humane look at life that has appeared in almost any form of media in years.

For more, just head over to the full post. And hey, if you’ve watched Sense8 and have some thoughts, I’d love to hear them too. Comment below or hit up my Twitter or something.

If I Booked Wrestlemania

Because I need a break from doing things, and I’ve honestly spent too much time thinking about it.

Fatal Fourway Tag-Match: Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (C) vs. Los Matadores vs. The New Day vs. The USOs

Cesaro and Kidd win it, and they win it while running at full NXT level, with giant swings, and the whole deal. They get a chance to be indomitable, and they get to build them. Now unfortunately, who wins this match isn’t really a concern, because unless WWE takes time to refocus their tag division immediately after Wrestlemania, who has the belts doesn’t really matter. It should, and I think letting Cesaro and Kidd cut loose on the big stage, and demolish the other teams, laying ash to the past “season” of tag to let something new emerge from the ashes would be tops.

2nd Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Lots of people in this one. Given my druthers, since they’ve split up the Goldust/Stardust story with this and the Intercontinental ladder match, this should come down to The Miz and Damien Mizdow. They should work together until the very last, and Mizdow (surprise!) turns on The Miz, and gets in a few hits, before The Miz flagrantly cheats (preferably with the help of a “new assistant”). This would set up a specific grudge match for the next PPV.

Basically, anyone else winning this match makes no story sense, I think. But that doesn’t mean WWE won’t just give this one to Sheamus or Kane of The Big Show, just because.

Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton

Orton wins this one. Always have your returning hero strong. Besides, I think Seth Rollins will get to have his moment later in the show, and having him win this, clean or otherwise, would make a bonus encounter at the end of the show meaningless.

Some have said Rollins or Orton will throw this match specifically so that Rollins can cash in his Money in the Bank contract fresh on the winner of the main – and I think that works, but only if they don’t tip their hand until Monday Night RAW. If it becomes obvious that Rollins is getting a pass in this match, then clearly he’s going to cash in later – and the cash in should be a surprise, if it indeed happens.

A.J. Lee & Paige vs. The Bella Twins

AJ and Paige should win this, but they’ve sown the seeds of discontent between the two on a recent Raw. I’m hoping for a clean win for AJ and Paige, and a fight afterwards between all four due to legitimate misunderstandings, and not “jealousy”, setting up the division with four viable contenders for a belt with no real contenders. Also, this match should be a huge throw down. Anything less than an NXT style women’s match would be completely tone deaf.

The United States Championship – John “Jern” Cena vs. Rusev (C)

Cena wins this regardless, because AMERICA. Plus, they’ve been chipping at Rusev’s supports lately. Were I to have a dream situation, Rusev would wreck Cena, and change the title to be the Russian Championship. That said, given that I’m 100% sure this won’t happen, giving Cena the US Championship at least “legitimizes” the title. Or at least if his ego allows him to “elevate” the belt instead of making him believe he’s punching down. If Cena really is WWE, he’ll take the chance to embolden then company, rather than his own perception. (But if that were the case, wouldn’t he put over Rusev, seeing how the dude probably has a longer career ahead of him than Cena does at this point?)

The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt

Wyatt should win this. What started with Lesnar should be a “good-bye trilogy”. Leans breaks the streak, and gives his unstoppable monster gimmick some more credibility. Wyatt beats ‘Taker, and hands the mantle of “resident creepy demon” over to a guy who will definitely be sticking around longer. (Bonus points if there’s a big “transfer of power” spectacle.) And finally, Take wins against… well, someone (I’d hope Cena or Triple H – two dudes who are big and COULD put ‘Taker over without much branding damage) at Wrestlemania 32 as his grande finalé, because a) the dude should go out on top, and b) that’s gonna’ be a “hometown” Wrestlemania for ‘Taker.

Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match – Bad News Barrett (C) vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust

Daniel Bryan has to lose, but just barely. He has to almost have it, and then Ziggler or Ambrose does a real hard heel turn (and I mean really, viciously hard) and snatches it from him, giving one of WWE’s highest profile guys a reason to chase this belt so hard, and give it some power. Given my druthers, I’d have Ambrose really turn the screws, for reasons I’ll go into in a bit.

Sting vs. Triple H

Sting has to win this. At the very least, he can’t win clean, but Sting absolutely has to win this, because literally nothing else has a point.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Roman Reigns

I want Brock to win, and have Seth Rollins cash in. And not just cash in, but whoops, Paul Heyman alliance switch and whoops, Roman Reigns in helping out Seth Rollins because Rollins is the “master architect” and he lost on purpose, and concocted this situation where also Dean Ambrose comes in and helps out because THE SHIELD ARE BACK AS MEGA HEELS and this sets up the first Brock Lesnar face match as he takes on The Shield at Summerslam or something.