Seventy Two: Don’t see Shyamalan’s Airbender movie, ever.

Episode Seventy Two: Don’t see Shyamalan’s Airbender movie, ever.
Recorded 2/15/2017
We begin this episode as we begin almost every episode, someone gets yelled at for doing something dumb.  After we get that out of our system, our Re-watch is the series finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender.  We spoil the entire series so if you haven’t watched it, what is your problem?  Patrick poses the important question of what is each of the Brother’s favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episode? We all saw John Wick Chapter 2.  We try not to spoil that too much.  Andrew describes a spectacular sequence in The Expanse novel Babylon’s Ashes.  Chris and Andrew find a Game Pigeon game they do not enjoy.  Patrick and Chris have embraced the mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes, neither will admit to spending any money on it yet though.

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The Wire (Series)

 

By Christopher Schmaltz

Um, ok. I finished watching the entire series The Wire this past weekend. I binge-watched the last 2.5 seasons or so, but watched the entire series beginning to end over the last 6 months. The last 2.5 seasons were watched over about a 2 week span. It’s fresh in my mind.

I didn’t watch the Wire when it was on HBO a decade ago. I have always read, in all my pop culture and entertainment reading and podcast listening, that the Wire was incredible and woefully under appreciated in modern entertainment culture. I heard and read references to Omar, and Bubbles, and Stringer Bell, and Bunk, and McNulty, and Prop Joe, never really understanding what those references meant. The references, however, were always made consistently in the tones of awe, amazement and reverence. I didn’t understand because I had never watched it.

I understand now.

The Wire is easily the best show I have ever watched. It has to be objectively considered, if not the greatest television drama ever, then top 3 of all time. (Sopranos, and [insert many contenders here] the other 2)

I know, I know. You haven’t watched it, and this statement seems ridiculous. I am here to shout from the rooftops that everyone in America needs to watch The Wire. EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE.

You are right to be skeptical. I absolutely support and encourage your skepticism. I will attempt to provide you with a rationale to investigate and evaluate it for yourself, and convince you why it warrants a Constitutional amendment requiring every adult in America to watch it.

The efficiency and effectiveness of its storytelling over 5 seasons is breathtaking. It follows a group of police officers in Baltimore from Season 1 all the way thru Season 5, weaving tales of drugs, politics, city management, blue collar workers, schools and newspapers in and around the core group. The show examines each of these areas of modern American life, not in a rote or check the box, I need to comment on this way, but in truly elegant organic storytelling. Honestly, I would call it Homeric.

What do I mean by that? Homeric in the sense that the tale is a compelling story, in and of its own right, with characters and plot that are beyond interesting, always engaging the viewer, and demanding attention at all times. And at the same time, every moment is a deep examination of modern American city life, its culture, pressures, power, and humanity. It’s a tale of us, a cultural touchstone for all time.

The show never loses sight of the humans at the center of it. Lots of shows want to be commentaries on, …name your Big Idea. Politics, or Power, or Crime. The humans in those shows are simply vehicles to move around to tell the big tale, or vessels from which flow Important Statements.

And note that it is not until late here that I mention race and race relations. The racism in the show isn’t one of the things it wants to overtly Comment on. The racism is simply a given. Of course the show is commenting on it, but the racism is not treated as a separate thing to be examined, dissected, and disapproved of. The racism, from everyone, is treated as an immutable part of everything that all the characters say and do. The show’s genius is found in its ability to depict the unconscious (and conscious) bias and racism in all the characters, without putting neon on it. And yet, every human watching gets it.
What the makers of the Wire mastered is grounding all that commentary in real humans, making real decisions, from which emerges the devastating view on all those big things other shows try to shout about. Every character evolves. Some evolve in the direction of extinction (real or metaphorically) and some evolve toward some version of success. I am still shaking my head at how they managed to sustain it over 5 seasons, with threads in every season stitching all the central characters together to create a tapestry of hope, love, faith, despair, frailty, chance, pragmatism and outright venality.

Humans encompass all of those things. The Wire depicts it all almost perfectly. It is a stunning artistic achievement. Add it to your bucket list of life, watch it, think about it, discuss it, and share it. It is transformative art.

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Seventy One: The Ghost in the Podcast

Episode Seventy One: The Ghost in the Podcast
Recorded 1/31/2017
Ever wondered if three adult males can talk for 30 minutes about the title of a movie?  We answer that question and it’s a “yes”.   We discuss the reveal of the new Star Wars movie title “The Last Jedi”.
We debut our Re-Watch segment with “the Ghost in the Shell” (anime).  It prompts all kinds of questions about consciousness, humanity and nature of self.
On the suggestion of a Loyal Listener, we debate what is the greatest fighting game of all time.  Andrew yells “Hadouken” more than is necessary.
We, of course, talk about all the things we saw, read, and played.  And even talk a little soccer while we are at it.Trivia is “The Expanse” themed and it is too easy.

T.D.A.

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The Magicians Season 2 Episode 1

By Patrick Schmaltz

Hey look! They are not all dead. The season one finale left on a huge cliffhanger. Quinten, Penny, Margo, Eliot, Alice, and Julia all went guns blazing after the Beast and got rocked like a hurricane only to not be completely wiped out thanks to double crossing Julia who made a deal with the devil (aka the Beast, aka Martin Chatwin)

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From the season two trailers we knew how they were not all dead. The explanations seemed pretty simple and a little weak, but I can move past that. This episode seems to be mostly about where season two is headed. Penny gets his hands fixed but they are cursed–or something–by “Crazy Healing River Man.” Julia gets offered a way to cover up her post-rape emotional damage, but is so far resisting. Q, Alice, Margo and Eliot have become the Kings and Queens of Fillory (which is revealed in an hilarious 90’s trivia scene) so, Eliot stays behind while the rest go back to Brakebills in search of the missing Fillory armory books.

It seems like a good start to the second season. They’ve set up some storylines and hinted at directions the characters will go this season. The show continues to be dark and humorous. Fillory continues to be crazy and unpredictable, and I am fully excited for more! Also, is that healer lady in the beginning of the episode going to come back and fuck everything up for Q?

 

 

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The Expanse Season 1 Rewatch

By Christopher Schmaltz

Damn, what a good show. I binged this show over the holiday break, and was so engrossed in it that I was surprised when the final episode ended and there wasn’t another one. It does such a good job of capturing the books and an even better job of distilling the characters and challenges for an episodic effort. The CG is fantastic. Full stop, no caveats.

I can’t wait till they dig deeper into the rest of Book 1 and the story that unfolds. So much to tell and so much to reveal.

The show also does an excellent job of looking like a plausible human future. The books and this show are tremendous is postulating a future that looks real. From the subtle touches of the high barriers around the Statue of Liberty (to address the rising waters from global warming), to the actual design of human habitation off Earth. The ship designs are great. The idea that ship design would reflect zero g, but also the “gravity” generated by the Epstein drives is excellent.

Bringing Avasarala into the first season was a great idea too. She doesn’t appear until Book 2 I think, but her character is so meaty and fun that it was really smart to introduce her early. Only bummer is her swearing from the books isn’t depicted in the show. They try, but the TV character loses a bit of her no nonsense, I don’t fuck around, from the books.

I love everything about this show. 

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Seventy:Andrew’s Dryer makes a guest appearance

Episode Seventy-Andrew’s Dryer makes a guest appearance.
Recorded 1/11/1017
New year, same brothers.
As we have reached another milestone episode and we are starting a new calendar year, this is an episode of looking ahead and changing things up.  We look to add new segments in 2017.  We hope to enliven debate and deeper engage our loyal listeners.  Accordingly, we agree over first Nostalgia Re-watch will be the original Ghost in the Shell anime.
Our tried and true segments of Seen, Read, Played aren’t going anywhere, any time soon.   Andrew watched Patrick’s favorite show of 2017, The Magicians.  Patrick played some Gears of War 4 with an old friend.  Christopher read Patrick’s Christmas present Descender graphic novel and has nothing bad to say about it.  That doesn’t stop him from making fun of Patrick of course.
T.D.A.

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Sixty Nine: The-In-Person-Holiday-One

Episode Sixty Nine: The In Person Holiday One.
Recorded 12/26/2016
We have reached the end of another year.  So we must remember and reflect what made this year unique for us.  Christopher recalls his return to the “World of Warcraft” with it’s most recent D.L.C., “Legion“.  “The Kingkiller Chronicle” dominate Patrick’s 2016.  Andrew remembers those 3 glorious weeks when he played “Pokemon Go” way too much.  All the Boys have their favorites and occasionally we agree.
Trivia is 2016 Box Office Themed.  The Boys get very close.
H.S.F.

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Sixty Eight: Rogue One A Star Wars Story One Shot

Episode Sixty Eight: The Rogue One One Shot
recorded 12/19/2016
It’s Christmas time so that means a new Star Wars movie!  We are very happy with this new tradition.   We tell our viewing stories.  We tell you what we love, what we really love, and what we love so much that we got chills.  But this episode isn’t all gushing over the newest Star Wars film, we can be critical of the things we adore as well.  This film is dark, gritty, and fills us with hope. It’s a true Star Wars war film.
H.S.F.

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Sixty Seven: We Failed the Gom Jabbar

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Recorded 11/28/2016
It’s a great episode when we have hopeful news to report on for Frank Herbert’s Dune.  We remember the legacy of a beloved character actor from Firefly.  Andrew is deep into Monstress and it is messing with his head.  Christopher reads a fantasy classic by Patricia A. McKillip. Patrick finishes The Name of The Wind and can’t wait to start the next book in Rothfuss’s trilogy.  All the Brothers have seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, each feels slightly different about it.  Andrew convinces everyone to download a gaming app for IOS.  Trivia is Dune themed and epically difficult.
H.S.F.

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Sixty Six: ThanksGeeking

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Episode Sixty Six: Thanksgeeking

Recorded 11-14-2016

 

It’s a disciplined episode of the BrothersGeek this time around, we keep it under 90 minutes!

With the holiday of Thanksgiving fast approaching each of us has something “geeky” to be thankful for.  Only two of us are brought to tears, you will have to guess which two.

Our collective noodles get baked by the sci-fi drama Arrival and we implore the Academy to recognize the wonderful work of Amy Adams.  We remark on the familiar formula of Doctor Strange.  Also, Westworld completely f*cks us up.  Patrick and Andrew dive into Montress.  It’s dark, violent and beautiful.  Patrick reports on his Wrath of the Machine raid attempts in Destiny: Rise of Iron.  All the Boys slog through the week of Iron Banner, mostly having a good time.

Trivia is World War II movie themed.  And it’s a challenge the Boys nearly conquer.

 

H.S.F.

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