Friday, April 29, 2016

091: Penny Dreadful Seasons 1 & 2 - Sexy Werewolves

SPOILERS FOR PENNY DREADFUL SEASONS 1 & 2 (and minor spoilers for Season 3).

In this episode:
  • In anticipation of the new season, we discuss the first two seasons of Showtime's Gothic horror series Penny Dreadful, including the overall style of the show, the characters, the cast, and yes, werewolves, potentially of the sexy variety.
  • We (read: Ian) can't escape talking about this show without comparing it to a variety of other media, including NBC's Dracula, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Walking Dead, and yes, Hannibal, among others.
  • How unrelenting bleakness can become wearying
    • I think we should also clarify that this isn’t a blanket critique of all bleak narratives. I think we’re just inundated with them at the moment. There’s also a very troubling association in pop culture at the moment of bleakness with maturity, as though any story without a bleak philosophy is somehow childish, which I think is more what we’re criticizing here.
  • The snails return. The Snailening
  • Novel class returns. The Novelening. The Robertsoning.
  • We start digging into the way narratives that are attempting to tell different types of stories can show us two wildly different facets of a character with each interpretation being an equally valid expression of the character.
  • Just as an aside: We're approaching our 100th episode! We have ideas planned out for the next few episodes, but is there anything in particular you'd want to see/hear us do for the 100th episode? Let us know in the comments below or through one of our various forms of contact on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook
  • Holy crap, we didn't even talk about how much I (Ian) love the music on this show. In particular: Dido's Lament ("When I am laid in earth") from Dido and Aeneas is my favorite aria I learned about in college, and THEY USED IT.
  • Highlights from Fio's notes:
    • I’m honestly curious how many times we reference Hannibal in episodes that are, like, explicitly not about Hannibal.
    • In the Era of Dystopian Future Literature and Apocalyptic Stuff should be a book of essays.
    • “I wouldn’t advise them,” so fucking magnanimous, Fio, of course the Penny Dreadful writing staff listens to this podcast.
    • At this point in the podcast I go silent because I’m looking up 40 Days and 40 Nights because I can’t remember if Shannyn Sossamon is in it or not. She is, by the way.
    • “I’m positive, actually” *proceeds to be wrong* “Fuck. Fuck me.”

Thursday, March 31, 2016

090: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) - My Sociopathic Exterior


In this episode:
  • We discuss Dan Trachtenberg's 10 Cloverfield Lane, including excellent performances from the entire cast, the pacing, the cinematography, the music, and you guuuiiiisssse we kind of gush about this movie, it's pretty great.
  • Debut horror looking rill good this year
  • Pacing and the place of the long take in modern film
  • How the fourth act makes things fall apart a little, but we can’t help but enjoy it
  • What exactly was Michelle’s plan once she got to Houston?
  • Bear McCreary’s soundtrack and how Ian expected it to be weirder
  • Links:
  • Sorry this isn't about The Witch! Blame car troubles.
  • There were some really weird volume issues in this episode, and I did my best to correct them, but please let me know if there are any parts where it's really difficult to hear what I'm saying or the background noise is really distracting.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

089: The X-Files Season 10 - Why, Chris Carter, Why

Ooooo, i c wut u did thar, show.

SPOILERS FOR THE X-FILES SEASON 10 & 4x02 "HOME." Mild spoilers for the Gravity Falls finale.

In this episode:
  • We discuss all six episodes of The X-Files Season 10, including the good, the bad, and the "Babylon."
  • We talk about the tricky narrative territory that X-Files occupies somewhere at the intersection of Sci-Fi, Horror, and occasionally Fantasy.
  • How Clueless Is Chris Carter? We’re taking bets on that one.
  • The breathtakingly bewildering decision to try and cover everything they had to say this season in six episodes.
  • If anyone can get us into the writers’ room for the X-Files, please give us a call.
  • Next time: Fio and Ian give their thoughts on The Witch (2015)!
  • Links:

    Sunday, January 24, 2016

    088: IT'S COMING! 2016! *hides*

    Mild spoilers for Insidious (2010) and The Conjuring (2013).

    In this episode:
    • We discuss horror movies, TV, and video games coming up in 2016.
    • We recorded this on the 12th, so there are plenty of things that have been announced since then that we didn't cover on this episode. Apologies for the delay.
    • Rose Byrne played the mother in Insidious, not Vera Farmiga. Again--these movies.
    • Although--let us apologize for dropping some serious shade on Insidious and The Conjuring during this cast.
      • From Fio: It’s not that I can’t tell Insidious and The Conjuring apart when watching them, it’s that when I think about them, I can’t remember which scenes are part of which movie.
      • Corroborative evidence: This is the Insidious scene I (Ian) was talking about, but boy, did I recall it wrong.
    • Skype did actually record the beginning of the podcast, despite my belief that it hadn't, so that's what you're hearing in the outtakes at the end. 
    • More from Fio:
      • How did I not mention 1989 classic Warlock when we were talking about witch movies?
      • I’m going to apologize to our listeners for my lack of Phantasm expertise, but to be fair you kinda put me on the spot there, Ian. Hahaha.
      • Can we get back to releasing cool horror flicks around all hallows? That would be nice.
      • Natalie Dormer also plays her sister in that flick (The Forest), and from that sounds of it that’s the reason she took the job. Interviews make it sound like she was just checking something off a list where she plays against herself.
      • Sam Neill totally plays Damien in the 3rd Omen movie.

    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    087: Hyper-Intelligent Shrews

     In this episode:
    • We discuss writing horror, including our past experiences with it and what we've learned while writing it.
    • A lot of it ends up being more about writing in general.
    • We reminisce about previous stories and our early years of writing.
    • And we inevitably tangent.
    • A lot.
    • The Eban Schletter podcast I mentioned: Fantastical Musicorium
    • It's Cold in this House on AMoT Podcast
    • In case this is our last podcast this year, happy holidays, and look for a new episode in the New Year!
    • Apologies for the lateness on this episode. We had trouble getting our schedule to work out with a guest, and then they ended up not being able to do it, but by the time we figured that out, it was Thanksgiving, and...yeah, you get the idea. 
    • "This is My Design" - Ian Doherty | SoundCloud | Bandcamp |
    • "A Change of Heart (Sloppy WIP Version)" - Ian Doherty

    Friday, October 30, 2015

    086: Crimson Peak (2015) - None More Gothic
    This is currently my desktop background. O_O

    SPOILERS FOR CRIMSON PEAK (2015). Also spoilers for The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County (YEAH IAN BRINGING IN THE OBSCURE REFERENCES) and Dark Floors (2008).

    In this episode:
    • We give our thoughts on Guillermo del Toro's Gothic masterpiece, Crimson Peak!
    • ...after everyone else has already done so.
    • Charming Tom Hiddleston is all charming
    • The structure of the reveals is done quite well and the pacing of the reveals is effective
      • The opening section of the film is mad clunky, though and the ghost thing is heavy handed
    • The most Gothic mansion in Gothic fiction history
    • The pairing of Lucille vs Edith and the way that’s seeded throughout the early film
    • The confusion over various misdirects in the film re: whether the Sharpes were supernatural beings or not
    • How many Guillermo del Toro mainstays can we spot?
    • Poor adaptations and their difficulty making the boring milquetoast male lead interesting
    • The ridiculous amount of money spent on production design in this film
    • Links:
    • Happy Halloween!
    • Is it still necessary to capitalize the word "Gothic"? I'm getting red underlines when I don't capitalize it.
    • Highlights from Fio's timestamps:
      • 24:08 - “Like it seems like” real fuckin eloquent, Fio
      • 29:36 - My “hrrrII hab no idea” is bullseye Hiddleston. Just sayin
      • 34:06 - “I can’t remember the name of the movie…” Groundhog Day? Ian from the future: Figured it out. It was Dark Floors. Hit a lot of points for me aesthetically, but didn't quite bring it together in a satisfying way.
      • 50:46 - I meant to say red blazer here, not red sportscoat, but whatevs. Also, I know Harker’s job involved real estate in some way, and he was helping arrange Dracula’s purchase of some land in London and stuff, but I don’t remember what his exact function in the process was.
      • I dunno, by the time I got to that Chastain line with “I’m not going to stop until I kill you or you kill me” I was firmly in the camp that there’s nothing supernatural about the Sharpes

    Wednesday, September 23, 2015

    085: Hannibal Retrospective - Everything Has to Happen…So Much

    SPOILERS FOR ALL THREE SEASONS OF HANNIBAL, and potential spoilers for where they plan(ned) to take the series next.

    In this episode:
    • Cleolinda Jones joins us once again! We discuss the Hannibal panels at Dragon Con 2015 and the way the Hannibal TV series wrapped up.
    • Cleo's Dragon Con experience was pretty awesome.
    • Our discussion of Dragon Con mixes with our discussion of the Hannibal Finale.
      • We get very deeply into discussions of the placement of Bedelia’s final scene, joking ways that Hannibal and Will could have survived, and the ramifications of the finale on all of Will’s emotional connections were the show to continue and he actually run off to Argentina with Hannibal.
    • At 1:25:52, we begin our discussion about Hannibal as a show in a broader context, including how Bryan Fuller handled the show and its community, the contrast between the first and second halves of Season 3 (and the reasons thereof), and how we feel about the show as a whole.
    • Links:
    • Keep us in your podcast feed! We're moving to a monthly format, so stay tuned next month for a special, Halloween-themed episode.
    • Alternate titles for this episode:
      • God, Tennis Balls
      • Get Weird With The Lithuanian?
      • Playing Around With Tiny Flaming Homoerotic Birds
    • Highlights from Fio's timestamps:
      • 36:38 - “Or something stupid like that” - Ian on American education. Ian from the future: “Critical Thinking,” that’s the homework question section I was thinking of.
      • The Sordid Activities of Scott Thompson and Aaron Abrams
        • “They should take it on the road” Yeah they should. Sorry, I’m terrible.
        • Cleo shouldn’t feel bad about not being able to talk to famous people, I totally clammed up while meeting Gail Simone in bmore.
      • “You can’t do that, people won’t be on board with that” - And the ratings told them that they were right, hahaha
      • Man, we could probably talk about The Satanic Verses and its intrusive narrator forever.
      • We get mad sappy about this show, dude.