Top Things for 01/28/13

Guys, I’m back. I’m not making any promises, but hopefully I can be more consistent than I have been the last month. That whole “post a day for like a month” thing was weirdly exhausting. Plus I just started contributing to Nerdspan.com, which I LOVE, but it means writing three more blog posts or so per week, so I put this site on the backburner while I adjusted. So, let’s go forward and just see where this thing takes us, baby.

Books

HyruleGUYS! The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia comes out this week!! I am such a HUGE nerd, but I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE in the biggest way possible. Zelda was one of the first games I EVER played. I got a Gameboy when I was four years old (not because I’m spoiled, but because we were moving literally halfway across the globe and my mom needed something to entertain me on planes), and I got The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (PS it was super hard and took me ten years [not consistently] to beat and I felt such deep an abiding accomplishment I still get goosebumps thinking about it [hyperbole]). Anyway, I need a hardcover compendium. Deal with it.

Comics

Hawkeye

Hawkeye #7! It’s just so fun. So so so much fun. Snarky teen girl Hawkeye, snarking at snarky carny adult Hawkeye, fighting Russians in tracksuits that say “Bro” way too much. Plus a one-eyed dog, occasional cameos from Avengers, and stakes that feel real and important and appropriate to a non-powered hero. Win/Win/Win.

Movies

Warm_Bodies_Theatrical_Poster

Warm Bodies comes out this weekend, and I’m actually kind of excited about it! This is the time of year for crappy movies, so I’ll basically see anything that looks decent in comparison. But this movie actually seems pretty cool! The story of a zombie slowly coming back to life as a result of love? A romantic comedy set against a zombie apocalypse? Rob Corddry and Dave Franco? Basically I’m sold.

Music

destiny

Longtime readers will know that I hardly pride myself on my music taste. It’s evolved over the years from grunge and metal, to mellow alternative, to a weird indie folk phase in college I’m not too proud of, to now where I’ll basically listen to anything. It’s sad. Which is why I hate recommending music. Because if I don’t respect my choices, how can you? But one thing I’m not ashamed of? DESTINY’S CHILD. That’s right. A greatest hits album is coming out this week. Right after I spent my iTunes gift card too. Dang it.

Television

archer

Basically I was just going to type “ARCHER IS BACK ARCHER IS BACK” around a million times, but figured it might get old. So basically Archer is back and you should all watch the animated love child of James Bond and Arrested Development. DO IT.

 

And that’s all for now guys. I don’t know what the week will bring, but I’m sure it’ll be great.

Comfort TV

OK, I fail at blogging. I’m sorry. I was supposed to have a new “This Week In” on Monday, but totally spaced. Because I was dying. I ran five miles, non-stop, for the first time since I was TWENTY ONE Y’ALL. And no one on Facebook even “liked” that. Also, it took me an entire hour, so I don’t know whether to be proud that I ran a solid hour, or sad that it took me twelve minutes to run a mile…

Anyway, to make it up to you guys, I have a “special” treat: TWO POSTS IN ONE DAY: One by your’s truly (that means me) and the other by John! (Your’s falsely? What’s up with that saying anyway?) So here I go: a list of my go-to shows when I’m in a bad mood. Or as I call them: Comfort Shows.

I’m sure we all have our own comfort routines. You know the ones. You got yelled at by your boss, you got stuck in traffic, you’re feeling totally under the weather, the drain is clogged, you can’t find your work assignment, and that darn scale just KEEPS GOING UP. All in all, you’re have a terrible day. In this situation, girls will put on their sweat pants, break out the icing, and watch either The Bachelor, a Disney marathon, or some sad movie that makes them cry. Guys… well guys will probably just try to nap it off actually. Or eat some seriously nasty junk and play X-Box until way too late and yell at the douchey little 10 year olds talking smack.

My comfort routine is thus: some Vanilla Coke, a bag of Tostitos, maybe some brownies, in my bed (probably not wearing pants), watching TV on my laptop. And here is what I’ll most likely be watching.

3) Archer

I’ve probably watched Archer more than any other series in recent memory. It’s just so fantastic. It’s Arrested Development meets James Bond. It’s got the style of the 60s, the Cold War politics and computers of the 80s, and the crazy technology and pop culture of today. It blends office humor with sexcapades with spy hijinks. It is insanely witty, featuring call-backs to episodes that happened years ago, references to obscure inventors and history, and excellent puns and nicknames. Each episode is only about 22 minutes, but so densely-packed with humor it feels far more substantial. Overall an excellent way to whittle away your day without even realizing it.

2) Better Off Ted

Another office comedy, strangely enough. Better Off Ted is the story of Ted Crisp, a handsome single dad who is middle management at Veridian Dynamics – your basic Evil Corporation. He works Veronica (Portia de Rossi), the Frigid Ice Queen Executive (who slowly thaws out over the course of the regrettably short two seasons), Linda – the perky, idealistic head of testing, and Lem and Phil – two brilliant but socially awkward geniuses. The cast has amazing chemistry together, the jokes are fast-paced and non-stop, there’s a very feel-good, saccharine vibe throughout, and the narrative structure, with Ted directly addressing the audience, really brings you in and feel connected. It’s a shame it only lasted two seasons, but it wraps up pretty decently.

1) Pushing Daisies

Nothing on the face of the earth has ever made me “awwwww” so much – and probably never will. Pushing Daisies is the story of Ned – a pie maker with the ability to bring the dead to life with a single touch. If he touches them again – ever – they instantly die again. If he lets them live longer than a minute, then someone else dies to balance the universe. In general his life is going pretty well. He uses his powers to buy old dead fruit at bargain prices, then brings them to peak ripeness with a touch. He also investigates murders with his private detective friend, Emerson. Ned brings the dead back to life, interrogates them, Emerson solves the crime, and they split the reward. The status quo is shifted dramatically however when Ned brings his childhood sweetheart, Charlotte “Chuck” Charles, back to life – for good. They instantly fall back in love, but can never touch. This is a Bryan Fuller show, so the colors are unbelievably vibrant, the humor is pretty twisted – and yet still lighthearted, and the dialogue is crisp and sparkling. Warning: It may give you cavities, because it is sweet to the point of absurdity. But as a bitter cynic with a secret gooey optimist center, it’s everything I want in a show. It’s tragic, it’s sweet, it’s earnest, it’s endearing, there are tons of puns, repetitive names, and alliteration, it’s got Kristin Chenoweth… it’s just amazing. Lee Pace is so heartbreakingly pathetic you can’t help but want to give him a big hug and a slice of pie. The rest of the cast gets fleshed out to an incredible degree over just 22 episodes as well, and they have amazing chemistry. If I had a genie, I would probably use it to resurrect this show over any other – possibly including Firefly. That’s how much I love it.

And there you have it. Nothing groundbreaking or anything I guess, and nothing too deep – but who wants deep when your day has turned to total crap. You need to believe in the power of love! You need to laugh. You need some potty humor – but nothing TOO foul. So, next time you feel like you’re going to just cry and cry and cry, maybe try one of these?

So, I’m Obsessed With Archer

Once upon a time, there was a show. This show was called Arrested Development. “The story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.” To say that this family was dysfunctional is to say that water is wet. There was the pathologically duplicitous father, the alcoholic mother, the socially-crippled brother, and so many more weird, wonderful characters. Tragically this show was canceled after three seasons.

Once upon a time, there was a show. This show was called Sealab 2021. It took footage from the old cartoon Sealab 2020, dubbed over it, added new animation, and made a crazy new show. Every episode the sea lab blew up. Eric Estrata was in it. There were amazing episodes where a character’s biological clock suddenly went off, and began interviewing potential fathers. There was an episode where the crew’s parallel universe counterparts invaded looking for diamonds beans a laser beam. And one where a character manufactured Stimutacs – highly addictive pills that gave the crew super strength, enlightenment, and a strong desire to be filled with Marduk – slayer of Tiamat.

Flash forward to now, and the creators of Sealab – unabashed fans of Arrested Development – have created Acher. Described as Arrested Development meets Bond, this show has quickly become the highlight of my week. Centered around Sterling Archer, the vain, selfish, and cruel top spy at ISIS, “Archer” features action, romance (well… mostly just sex), dysfunctional family humor, and workplace humor/hijinks. Other characters include Lana Kane, a smart, strong woman who is just as good a spy as Sterling, and infinitely better at everything else; Mallory Archer, the drunken, sadistic head of ISIS who obviously crippled her son with the world’s worst parenting; as well as Caryl/Cheryl the ditzy secretary, Cyril the accountant, and Pam the slutty-but-lonely HR rep.

Honestly there’s pretty much nothing I dislike about this show, but there are some things I particularly enjoy. For one, it features a heavy dose of running gags – just like Arrested. These include phrases like “This is why we can’t have nice things,” “this is how we get ants,” and “Oh this is just classic him/her.” For another, the dialogue is always crisp, witty, biting, and generally well-done. This is helped by the fact that the creator writes or co-writes every episode.

Also, Mallory is voiced by Jessica Walter – Lucille from Arrested. She is playing almost the exact same character, which is a great joy to any fan of Arrested Development. There are occasionally call-backs to that role, which makes it even better. For example, a love-interest of hers is voiced by Jeffrey Tambor. Further, her ditzy secretary is voiced by Judy Greer – the ditzy secretary from Arrested. And – finally – Cyril is voiced by Chris Parnell, who plays his wimpy, pathetic character to perfection.

I’m trying to keep this short and sweet. This is really a show you have to try out for yourself. Might I recommend the latest episode, in which Mallory has a breast cancer scare? It was one of the best episodes of the series in my opinion, and this isn’t really the kind of show that requires previous viewing. Just jump on and enjoy the wit, the violence, the sex, and the hilarious workplace humor that really speaks to a business major like me.