TV Show of the Month:
A very intelligent Sci-Fi show on the SyFy channel. At its heart it’s a mystery—Why did these events happen? Who orchestrated them? Why? How? It slowly unfolds into an epic scope but stays focused on a core cast of about six people, sifting its story through the lenses of three intertwining storylines: an old-fashioned, hard-boiled detective; a crew of working-class space miners; and a very powerful government worker of nebulous rank and legality. Periodic vignettes and flashbacks show what life is like in the Solar system about 200 years from now. Turns out it’s a gritty, downtrodden, paranoid place. A powderkeg waiting to blow. But should the fire be put out or should the flames be fanned? Gripping and exciting. Excellent.
Comic Book of the Month:
Steven Universe: Too Cool for School
Basically like an episode (or likely a two-parter) of the cartoon, “Too Cool for School” wonders what would happen if Connie took Steven to school for show and tell… and he ended up staying. There are monster fights, gem superhero action, and some junior-high drama all mixed in together. It’s great fun.
Tabletop Game of the Month:
Takenoko (Japanese for “Bamboo Shoot”) is a game about creating a bamboo garden in which a hungry panda lives. Points are scored by laying down certain configurations of garden tiles, by growing certain configurations of bamboo, or by having the panda eat certain configurations of bamboo. It’s a very easy game to learn with some surprisingly complex strategies, and the art style is delightful. The little panda playing piece is pretty durned cute!
Glory be, there IS a reason to celebrate the holidays this season after all: Chubby Mummy has released a new hit “single” that features an awkward and uncomfortable invitation to join in the celebration: Cursemas Greeting! Let this new Chubby Mummy Mumble, like the Matrix of Leadership, light our darkest hour:
President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé appeared in all of his awkward glory on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last week, ostensibly to debut the new IOS-only (for now) Super Mario Game, Super Mario Run. You can watch the whole segment here if you like. It looks like a fun game, even though I’ll have to wait for the Android version before I can play it myself. But there were two great surprises during the segment. The first was Reggie brought out the upcoming Nintendo Switch console and let Jimmy play the new Legend of Zelda game on it. The other (and better) surprise was the creator of Mario & Zelda himself, Shigero Miyamoto, was a surprise guest in the audience:
Miyamoto-san is so happy to be here!
But the best surprise was yet to come: Shigeru Miyamoto himself sat in with The Roots and they all played the Super Mario Bros. overworld theme song together! It was something to behold—you can behold it right here!
Sometimes good things happen. Isn’t that right, Miyamoto-san?
Not enough people make music like this anymore, and it’s a damned shame.
Movie of the Month:
You think you get a heart-warming holiday movie in 2016? Nopes! You get a horror movie about the consequences of giving up on generosity and the spirit of giving. *Cough.* It’s also a pretty funny movie at times, much in the spirit of a Joe Dante film. The low budget starts to be evident once the titular villain steps out of the shadows (where he is very effective) and you get a good look at him, but this is a great & fun horror comedy.
Website of the Month:
The Life You Can Save
You think you can’t afford to give? Are you reading this in your own home on a computer? In front of a fully-decorated Christmas tree? Perhaps with a flat-screen, high-definition TV in the same room? Then you can afford it. Don’t be a selfish asshole this holiday season; give to strangers who need it much more than you do. And as bad as things are likely to get in this country in the next four years, keep in mind that compared to much of the world we all might as well be eating caviar off of solid gold spoons. The great thing about The Life You Can Save is that it vets charities for you to find the most effective ones where your dollar goes the farthest and does the most possible help. Just frikkin’ do it.
It’s a green-screened, multi-headed sonic adventure, as JM+FFD are layered and re-layered and cross-faded and layered over each other (and themselves) some more! There’s also a charming, fourth-wall-breaking moment where you get to see Julia struggling to get Matt properly green-screened:
Get ‘im screened, Julia!
Anyhoo, enough from me; watch the new video here:
The new album, HeartTones, is being released in January! They’re having the Album Release Party at The Crocodile on January 12th at 8:00 PM (get tickets here). I’ll see you there!