Let’s discuss some nostalgia porn, as it isn’t all created equal. First, let me mention Meddling Kids which is a novel I read last year that blew me away. A group of twenty-somethings that bear a remarkable similarity to a group of teenage detective sleuths and their snack-hungry dog have all grown up and are dealing with the PTSD of the things they saw as kids. From being faced with murder to the supernatural, they have grown-up like the kids from It have – repressing everything.
The nostalgia in Meddling Kids is biting and funny and a new take on tropes as the not-Scooby Gang bump into Lovecraftian Lore, it analyzes not simply what the characters would be like if they actually had to deal with fantastical Hanna-Barbara cartoon mysteries, but talks about the relationships of these people. Why is the book smart nerd friends with the stoner and the ‘nice guy’. It takes its premise through brutality and emotional turmoil and makes these fictional kids feel like they could fit in a real-ish world. It stunned me, and I highly recommend it.
Now, let’s discuss the other side of nostalgia porn, and the reason I picked this topic to talk about. I enjoyed Ready Player One, the book. I caught it early on the hype train and it tickles quite a few of my weird sub-sub-genre’s of stories. It hits on ‘movies as game’ like It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Midnight Madness, and Jumanji. It features one of my particular eras of nerddom that doesn’t get a lot of notice, 1980s computer culture – and mixes it with science fiction, comics, Brat Pack pop culture, and a thousand other things that were the bread and butter of my pre-teen youth. There was one thing that stuck in my craw about it though, and that was we are watching a ‘day after the day after tomorrow’ type world and the creators of said world seem obsessed with this era of culture. Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand that this is a love letter to that era, but in a book about video games with the grand master video game makers of all time.. you would think they also liked things a bit more ambitious than NETHACK. All of that said – I enjoyed RP1. I thought it was cute and fun and itched the popcorny itches it was designed to itch, even though it is not without its flaws…. unlike its sequel….
You see, Ready Player Two is now out and it has given up on everything that even remotely made RP1 enjoyable and doubled down on the thing that made it annoying. Yes, there’s another fetch quest. Yes, the band gets back together. Yes, the stakes are raised… and it is because of those things that everything else falls off a cliff. Without delving too deeply into spoiler territory, RP2 puts lives at stake. It isn’t about an evil corporation and a young plucky hero… it’s about millions of lives in peril and our, now infinitely rich and yet somehow still remarkably naive, hero – with his encyclopedic knowledge of everything his idols have ever done, spends literal chapters spilling about movies and music. He goes into explicit detail about the life of John Hughes and into deep Tolkien ephemera. He whines about his lack of romance and realizes all of the mistakes he’s made and the missteps he’s taken (none of which that we get to see, mind you) — all while telling us about the trees on Chewbacca’s home planet. There are millions of lives depending on his journey and he can’t help but idly giggle like a schoolgirl because he sees a computer generated Juliette Lewis — a Juliette Lewis that he literally could have delivered to his virtual bedroom and programmed to ride his Natural Born Killer from Dusk Til Dawn.
Nostalgia porn has its place to make a story taste the way it’s supposed to taste, like one of my all time favorite movies, Super 8 or something as charming as La La Land… but when your narrative only serves to plate nostalgia instead of tell a good story dressed in it — all I want to do is go find a new story that doesn’t need to tell me all of the stories that it relies on.
Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!
It’s Lord of the Flies in space.. or at least that’s the way it starts.
By the end we have factions fighting factions, a semi-omniscient judge deciding the fate of humanity, the weakest excuse to ever make an ending “appear” happy… but is it?
We’re talking about Space Romance In Space – The 100! Find out if the CW knocks it out of this world or grounds it down like a frakkin toaster… on THE END: THE 100
Ok here we all go.. and go.. and go.. and go.. and go.. and imagine 95 more of those…
We got a message not so long ago from our good friend Big Kev, of a show you might remember, Big Kev’s Geek Stuff, now far flung years into the future with Geek Stuff: TNG (@GeekStuffTNG) – and a conversation about Solo broke out.
You see, Rob and I have mixed opinions on Solo… was it good? Was it good enough? Was it just nostalgic pablum?
The battle lines have been drawn… on the Somethingside, myself and Rob. On the side of the defense, we have not only Big Kev, but actor and long time friend of the Somethings and New Jersey actor Erik A.
So settle in and make your opinions known – it’s time for a
Something In Review: REDUX
Ok, here we go!
It’s time to return to head on back to a long time ago and take a trip to a galaxy not nearby at all….
That’s right – the Somethings, always present and ready with the cutting edge commentary – are ready to talk Star Wars. If you are a Wars’y type, you likely have your opinion on whether Abrams & The Mouse nailed it, missed it, or middled it… but now you get to find out how much you disagree with two other guys on the internet!
So gather your Sith Powers (or Jedi Powers, I guess…) and get ready to boldly go where every other podcast has gone before already! It’s time to review The Rise of Skywalker! (..or is it The Skywalkers?) ..it doesn’t matter. (..and stick around, the end has a treat)
Ok, here we go!
It is time, yet again friends, for a journey to the last episode of a show – whether or not we’ve seen the rest of it.
This time, we harken back to a time when shows had a lot of set-up and then endings that felt kind of thrown out of nowhere. A time of mysterious islands and scenes that felt like they were ripped from escape rooms… mysteries abound, answers lesser so. It’s time for The End, with a show Rob has seen and Hatton has not – The Event.
Was it good? Was it bad? It only got one season and ends on a cliffhanger, so the answer is probably obvious… find out what we think on — The End.
Last month we started a brand new Stories to Amaze with the confusing conspiracy that we call D E M – but we’ve been making these radiodramas for a year or two now over on our Patreon.
With so many folks stuck at home, and the rest working during the apocalypse to provide us with ambulances, fast food, and groceries – we thought you all deserve a little extra.
Combined all together into one convenient file, get ready to head off into the deepest reaches of Weird Science with…..
Storiiieees Toooooo Amaaaaaaaze!
It’s time to get Frakked and talk about one of the most influential shows of the last twenty years.
Sure, maybe in hindsight it has some flaws, which I’m sure we’ll jump to every 33 minutes, but in between listen as Hatton and Podcast Rob find out which one of them is a secret Cylon, get jettisoned from an airlock, and … is that …. is that a remake of a classic rock song we hear?
We’ll it’s time for you to hear it on The End – Battlestar Galactica
The new Disney Plus service was started with a treat for sci-fi and muppet fans, alike. A show that reframes the most mysterious of characters – makes a badass loveable – makes a sage adorable – makes a ‘First Time Mom’ movie a ‘Buddy Cop Adventure’
That’s right – it’s the BabyYodalorian… and yes, we know, it’s ACTUALLY called the Mandolorian… but is it though? Really? Come on. You know better than that.
So let’s get to it – talking about a Wars in Space… a Star Wars if you will… and the cute fuzzy eggsac that floats around it.
Ok, here we go!
OH – WAIT – Don’t forget to listen after the episode for the first episode of the new Stories To Amaze! We worked super hard on it, and want to throw out a special thanks to Pre-Recorded Live who lent their voice talents.
The Somethings love television shows and movies, but did you know that Hatton and PCR are also …. literate?
So we’re heading up into that great space station in the sky and going through the Hitchhiker’s Guide to talk about our favorite science fiction books. From space battles to samurai and every cyborg in between.
If you are looking for a suggestion for some fun futuristic reads, then this is the perfect place to go.
Also – tonight (11/05/19) at 9pm we’ll be recording an episode love on Twitch – we would love to see you there! Find us on: twitch.tv/somethingsomethingcast
Ok, here we go!
So I’m GLaD, I got burned
Think of all the things we learned
Fire up your Portal Gun, and settle in with your Companion Cube, it is time for Netflix’s post-something-er-another future with a robot that really will remind you of GLaDOS. She’s not, but … well, you’ll see.
So what happens when a robot raises a child. Doesn’t it take a village? Shouldn’t it at least take like.. two robots? We’re not against single-robot families, we were just surprised is all.
Settle in and find out on this episode of Something In Review, where we talk about I Am Mother.