I’m so proud of the world… it finally discovered one of my favorite sub-niche’s of entertainment: Games of Death
Everyone has gone crazy recently, the meme machine is pumping out hits, for Netflix’s newest gift from across the ocean, Squid Game.
Now, this premise may have some similarities to other things you’ve seen: A group of people are in a game that when they lose.. they die. Of course the similarities are there to be drawn to a dozen other things: Battle Royale, Hunger Games, Roller Games, Running Man, Gladiator, Alice in Bordertown, Saw… it’s a pretty lengthy list of weird movies that I have an affinity for.
In the month since it’s come out, it has already done the life and death of an internet trend. Some people notice it. Some people meme it. Some people declare it is the best thing that has ever been created and that nothing has ever been as unique. Some people hate those people. Some people get sick of it being mentioned and promptly hate it without ever having seen it. And they are the usual round of reactions.
Is it good, yes, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about here. It’s about how cool I am. You see, it’s a weird thing when something you’ve loved since you were a kid hits the zeitgeist. I get why the hipster mindset of ‘I was there before it was cool’ comes out because it feels like something special that you’ve owned for so long and now it isn’t part of your personal entertainment genetic code. There is this gut reaction of, ‘Yes, I know you like Squid Game, but have you ever seen…’ that makes you sound like a complete tool. I mean, they like Squid Game, sure, but don’t they understand that the trope of the character that can’t be good at the game or the bully are simply common features of the genre? Geez people, come on!
If you look inside yourself, you know you’ve done the same thing. Maybe it was when everybody started loving comic book movies and you stared at your longbox full of X-Force #1 and wrote a lengthy angry Livejournal post? Or when everyone got into Sharknado and you, the foremost authority on horrible ‘animals in disaster’ movies felt horrible when nobody called you for an interview.
Here’s the thing you need to hear though: don’t be that person. It’s great to discuss the origins of a genre or note all of these other movies that people who enjoyed Squid Game may have liked, but guess what… you don’t own a niche or a sub-genre. Yes, it’s frustrating that more people are ignorant to the nuance of people being flayed alive by board games, but you get to be the ambassador. Tell them how fantastic Tag is or find interesting comparisons to make about the characters. Use your obsession for the power of good.. and be happy the popularity of Squid Game means you may get a lot more games of death to watch in the future.
Can we discuss Wonka?
Those that know me know that there are a handful of movies that are ‘my thing’ – movies that, back in the day of VHS tapes and stegosaurii, my copies wore through. The original Wonka, Gene Wilder, 70’s perm and all, is probably the first film I can even think of that I wouldn’t stop watching as a kid. Since then, I’ve learned I wasn’t the only one and Wonka fits similarly into many people my age because of our exposure to it at the dawn of cable and the tape.
We are now getting not one, but two Wonka related movies and I am filled with the fury of a middle aged white man on the internet. So lets take a look at the rumors as to what we’re getting in the Wonderful World of Wonka and gauge how angry I’m going to be… to be clear, Depp Wonka gets me a 9 out of 10 on the Hate’Ometer, saved from a 10 solely by the CGI squirrels.
The first is a ‘young Wonka’ story, as portrayed by acting Wunderkind Timothee Chamalet (to be clear, I have no idea if he’s a wunderkind (or how to spell that)) I just know that he’s in a lot of places, and I don’t know anything about him. That said, this is rumored to be the first in a ‘Wonka Cinematic Universe’ which is a phrase that makes me wince so hard I felt my neck pop. The only saving grace to this entire concept is that the writer connected to it is Simon Farnaby who has done some notable work (including Rogue One, The Mighty Boosh) — but as the Depp Wonka taught us, sometimes, telling us too much ruins everything.
The second one is an animated series being created by Netflix and helmed by Taika Waititi of What We Do In Shadows and Ragnarok fame. This, mind you, I have less of a problem with as I have always wondered why there wasn’t a traditional Saturday Morning Cartoon about Wonka. There were cartoons for Back to the Future, Pac-Man, Robocop.. all that came well after the property had seen its golden days, so why not Wonka? A cartoon also feels quite less important in the scheme of the universe and a lot more ability to be playful without living in a green screen.
In the defense of both of these concepts, I do appreciate that they are being done by not-Americans. Waititi from New Zealand and Farnaby from England, Dahl’s humor and sensibility was most certainly not an American one and we’ve already proven we don’t deserve the rights to write a Wonka film… in the end, a cartoon gets only mild grunt from me, but a Cinematic Universe? Please don’t. Oh dot, please oh please do not. No good can come of it and what other books are you going to tie that into?! Maybe a discussion for another blog.
Unless, mind you, these Wonka properties help bring back Wonka candy bars… the ones that had the graham crackers in the blend… then you’ll get a pass as I sit on my couch with a mouth smeared in chocolate that a Gloop would be proud of.
It’s time to head down to Vegas, get 10 of your best men, knock off three of Terry Benedict’s cas— no wait, that’s not right.
We’re going on a Vegas Vacation, and I have a briefcase full of reds, blues, moscat– no, still not right.
Oh, wait – it’s a zombie apocalypse and sin city is about to be nuked, so let’s get the most divisive movie maker in Hollywood right now and have him tell the story of people getting in and out before the big boom booms.
We’re not going on this journey of the dead alone – we’re bringing Dan from Netflix & Swill (Twitter:@netflixnswill) along with us. So sattle up, roll some 7’s, and let luck be a BRAAAAAAINNZZZ tonight.
Ok, here we go!
Danny Rand… we’ve said quite a lot of things about Danny Rand’s Bland Fight To Unhand The Hand. Well now it is time to discuss the last time we’ll have to deal with this, the most underwhelming of the Marvel shows.
Did it pick up from Season 1? Has Danny become a better character? What about a better person? …a better fighter? A better *anything*?!
Well settle in as we discuss some of the last of the Netflix Marvel U – it’s The End: Iron Fist
Ok, here we go…
Vampies and Werewolves and Magic, Oh My!
It’s time again for the Somethings to journey into the last of a series and see whether or not it holds up. This time, the boys have headed to the Grove – a place where foreigners show up to a small town and all sorts of strangeness goes on.
When the show ends, there are relationships asunder, big fights between monsters, and – well – really a lot of things one of the Somethings wasn’t too sure about.
So settle in – we hope you lychan this episode…
Also! Don’t go away, as the last episode of Stories To Amaze: D E M starts right after the episode ends!
So let’s get to … THE END: HEMLOCK GROVE
Ok, here we go!
Everyone has taken their shots at Joe Exotic and his war against Carol Baskins, and now it’s our turn. The Somethings were live on Twitch and got down to brass tacks… who were the real heroes in the lion’s den? Who were the real monsters? Which one of us is implicated in the death of her husband?
There’s only one way to find out — and afterwards, don’t forget to take a listen afterwards to our newest episode of Stories To Amaze: DEM!
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.
The Somethings are celebrating their 6th Year with some friends!
That’s right, to bring in our next 52 weeks of funny, we have brought in long time friends of the show PRL.
Matt, Joe, and Becky have been with us for a long time and we are thrilled to get their input on what’s going on in the Upside Down as we talk about this year’s edition of the Strangest of all Things: STRANGER THINGS.
So settle in for an extra long episode that most definitely stays completely on topic – and then go listen in as PRL get themselves ready for their relaunch.
Note – Friend of the show and regular guest Alexis Torres is currently going through some medical issues. You can read all of the details at her GoFundMe. In support of our friend, all profits from items purchased from our TeePublic store will be donated. Get well soon Alexis.
One of the things we love about The End is that it gives us a chance to talk about shows we might not have ever had a chance.
Travelers, a science fiction show about time travel and the ramifications of it all only has a few seasons and then it is done… but should it have been? Did it end on a high note, a low note, or was it just a show that came and went and we move on?
Well Hatton and Rob have stuff to say about it – and now you get to hear it. If you’ve never seen the show though, might want to wait on this one.
The 11th episode is here – The End: Travellers.