So, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, has come and gone for 2017, and we got quite a few tidbits of news about upcoming games and new consoles.
Some of our gang of gamers are gathered around the table to discuss the latest from Bethesda, Microsoft, Atari — is that a new console they’re teasing? — Sony, Ubisoft, and the rest of the usual suspects.
Also: don’t forget to check out SciFi4Me TV.2 — our Twitch channel — where we’re expanding our live game play and inviting you into a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign every Monday night.
The panel: Jennifer Wise, Thomas Townley, Daniel Green
ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: FEAR THE WALKING DEAD Is Actually Good. Huh.
Is this the best episode yet of Fear the Walking Dead? Rubén Blades returns and Team Zombie has thoughts. It’s Zombpocalypse Now!
Season 3, Episode 4 “100”
Written by Alan Page
Directed by Alex Garcia Lopez
Timothy: So here’s what concerns me…
Dustin: That Fear the Walking Dead has actually become a well-written show that we’re enjoying, and it’s going to get our hopes up and then crush them beneath a return to the awfulness that we have endured lo these previous two seasons?
Curtis: “Lo”? Really?
Dustin: I am waxing poetic.
Mindy: This is a legitimate concern, at least based on what you two have been saying. Of course, I have just started watching this show, so I haven’t had to suffer the way you two have. Or at least the way you two say you have. Repeatedly.
Dustin: It’s been a terrible burden to bear.
Mindy: Mmm hmmm.
Dustin: IT IS A TERRIBLE BURDEN, MINDY.
Curtis: So what’s this concern, Tim?
Timothy: Well, I’ve been looking at the viewing numbers. When the show debuted, it had about 10 million viewers, which fell to a little less than 7 million by the end of the first season.
Dustin: This does not surprise me. At all.
Timothy: The second season started with about 6.5 million viewers, and ended with about 3 million.
Dustin: At all surprised, I am not.
Mindy: And this season?
Timothy: This season kicked off with just over 5 million, which became 4.8 million by the second episode. We don’t have the +3 and +7 numbers for the 3rd and 4th episode yet, but their live numbers have fallen every episode.
Dustin: Wait, we’ve only had three Fear the Walking Dead nights… oh.
Curtis: They were losing viewers on the first night the show came back, between the first and second episodes. That aired back to back.
Timothy: Yeah. Fear the Walking Dead has had four well-written, well-acted, actually good episodes this season…
Mindy: And fewer and fewer viewers.
Dustin: I’m not sure how I feel about being in the position of defending this show, but we are, and we do, and here is the podcast thing we do. Listen while we say nice things about a show we’ve hated while it’s good and we’re hoping it stays that way. LISTEN!
H2O #157: In Which We Finally, Reluctantly Discuss Politics
“You two need to do the political episode. Yes, it’s time. You both have enough opposing views, but you also have the utmost respect for each other. There’s no way that this could get out of hand.”
OK. Our discussions of politics have generally been brief, mainly because we disagree on a great many things. But that doesn’t stop us from being friends and colleagues. Naturally, the conversations sometimes tend to get a little … energetic, let’s say? But ultimately it comes down to having enough respect for each other to at least listen to what the other one says, even if he’s wrong.
Now it appears that’s caught up with us…
Programming note: H2O is now on a bi-weekly schedule, so every other Saturday is when you’ll get a new episode.
They’re called “gateway drugs” — those first little things that get us thinking, “It’s not so bad…” which lead to bigger things. And before we know it, we’re hooked. Can’t get enough. And we want to share it with our kids.
No, not the special brownies… we’re talking about science fiction, fantasy — and yes, even horror — and how in our enthusiasm, we go about sharing our madness for Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Firefly, Superman, Wolverine, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Space: 1999, comic books, video games, and Ray Harryhausen.
ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: FEAR THE WALKING DEAD Still Isn’t Entirely Awful
Mr. Smith and the Intern From the Future join Mssrs. Adair and Harvey for more Fear the Walking Dead on Zombpocalypse Now!
Season 3, Episode 3 “TEOTWAWKI”
Written by Ryan Scott
Directed by Deborah Chow
Dustin: Curtis is back!
Curtis: Hi guys.
Dustin: Mindy is back!
Mindy: Hi guys.
Dustin: Tim is… still here!
Timothy: Wow. That was enthusiastic.
Dustin: I see you every week. We don’t see Curtis as much as we used to, so it’s special when he’s here. And Mindy still laughs at my jokes.
Curtis: Thanks, Dustin. It’s good to be here. Although I came here more to hang out with my friends than watch whatever this show is.
Mindy: I’ve never watched Fear the Walking Dead before, and to be honest, watching you two watch the show is as entertaining as the show is, if not more. You make the most interesting faces.
Timothy: This show does inspire reactions. Although, we aren’t hating it as much as we thought we would, based on the previous seasons.
Dustin: All twelve thousand seasons of this show.
Timothy: Two seasons. This is season three.
Dustin: TWELVE THOUSAND SEASONS, TIM.
Mindy: You can kind of see Dustin aging in real-time as he watches it.
Dustin: And that’s with me not hating everything that happens.
Timothy: Heh. Yeah, it says something that not hating the show is the baseline we’re going with here. Anyway, sit back and listen as we talk about all the things happening on the third episode of Fear the Walking Dead’s third season…
Curtis: Sit back and listen to us laugh a lot.
Mindy: Sit back and listen to Tim bleep out all the swearing a lot.
Dustin: AND check out our other podcasts, and our new Twitch channel, and do that YouTube thing that gets us more cool YouTube things.
Timothy: Follow us on YouTube! We’re aiming to get over 1000 followers on YouTube. It would be cool if you could help us do that.
BOMB SHELTER Drill #5: Kevin and Jay Dump on MAC AND ME
Episode 5 ~ Mac and Me (1988)
A while back, we gave you Starcrash, an obvious copy of Star Wars. This month: Mac and Me, something that could be considered a ripoff of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, if it were even that good… It’s about an alien, on the run from scientists, who gets befriended by a wheelchair-bound young boy.
Kevin and Jay have sat and watched this movie so you don’t have to.
ROGUES GALLERY #56: All the World Has Been Waiting on WONDER WOMAN
For many, it’s the moment of truth. For Wonder Woman, it’s a moment 75 years in the making, and we were all watching the box office numbers to see if
DC and Warner Bros. could deliver a solid for-real superhero movie that respected the source material, and
Audiences would go see a superhero movie with a woman in the lead role
The answer to both, thankfully, is “yes” — although we had very little doubt about the second item on the list. The first? Not so much faith in that one.
The Rogues gather ’round the table to discuss Wonder Woman, complete with spoilers, and we take a look at not only the execution of the idea on the part of Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins, but also the idea itself. A modern-era superheroine movie, one that could set the stage for other superheroine movies (Black Widow, anyone?) besides Marvel’s Captain Marvel.
From the story to the cinematography to the visual effects to the acting, and even the controversy surrounding the social reception the movie has received, we take a look at all of it.
The panel: Mindy Inlow, Maria Foss, Jeff Hackworth, Dan Handley, Tim Harvey, Jason Hunt
ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: FEAR THE WALKING DEAD Returns And Team Zombie Actually Enjoyed It
Fear the Walking Dead is back on Sunday night, and #TeamZombie find themselves in the odd position of actually enjoying it. It’s Zombpocalypse Now!
Season 3, Episode 1 “Eye of the Beholder”
Written by Dave Erickson
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Season 3, Episode 2 “The New Frontier”
Written by Mark Richard
Directed by Stefan Schwartz
Dustin: Ross McCall is the actor who played Steven.
Timothy: Aaaaaand who is Steven?
Dustin: The soldier guy you thought was the crazy soldier guy from the Fear the Walking Dead webisodes. I told you it wasn’t him.
Timothy: So you did. You do have to admit though, he did kinda look like the crazy guy.
Dustin: The crazy guy was Colton, played by Michael Mosley. They only kind of look alike, but considering both of them are buried under dirt and scruff, I suppose if you squint real hard.
Timothy: I just figured it was the the crossover bit for the two. Like the 30 seconds between the second season and the kids from the airplane webisodes.
Dustin: That was pretty stupid. Surprisingly, these episodes weren’t. They were actually good. I was engaged. I WAS ENGAGED.
Timothy: I know, it’s… confusing. We’ve been so used to hating this show, that having two episodes back to back that we liked was pretty unexpected. There’s still the chance they could screw it up, but I’m not actually complaining that we enjoyed the premiere.
Dustin: There were a few moments of the stupid, but overall, we did.
Dustin: Weird and scary.
Timothy: But we do weird and scary here, so that’s OK too. And for more weird and scary, and also fun and informative, check out all our other podcasts on SciFi4MeRadio…
Dustin: AND our YouTube videos! We have lots of YouTube videos!
Timothy: We do. And you, gentle listeners, can help us get to YouTube 1000 subscribers, which helps us do more on the video side of things, which would be cool.
H2O #156: In Which We Discuss Shows We Need to Watch to Get Caught Up
Back to our regular (ish) schedule this week with a discussion of some of the shows we’ve missed and/or fell behind watching, and the need to catch up in order to be the well-rounded, totally informed information brokers we claim to be. From Wynonna Earp to Game of Thrones to 12 Monkeys, there are plenty of shows we need to binge-watch in order to get current.
But first: answering listener e-mail on why the new format for this show is the new format for this show.
Programming note: H2O is now on a bi-weekly schedule, so every other Saturday is when you’ll get a new episode.
For a lot of the shows, it’s season finale time, and for some of the shows, it couldn’t come at a better time. Because more than a few of these story lines are drifting into “oh, please” territory, and we have concerns that if they continue on their present trajectory…. well, maybe one more season for some.
Arrow ended with another burning, because it’s the season finale and something has to burn. Supergirl ended with a big thud named Mon-El, and The Flash ends … without the Flash?
The panel: Ann Laabs, Jeff Hackworth, Thomas Townley, Tim Harvey, Jason Hunt
We’re All Mary Poppins, Y’all — Talking GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY on LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #119
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017) Written & Directed by James Gunn Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures 136 minutes, rated PG-13
In this special episode of Level Eleventy-Seven, we take a spoiler-ish look at the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (with a few digressions along the way, of course…).
From Groot’s greatness (and not so greatness) to Yondu’s arc, from the wild “Hey, that’s…!” beginning to the climactic battle between the stars, Vol. 2 has all the pieces that make a Marvel film … a Marvel film. It’s got humor, pathos, family issues — more than just Peter and his father — great character moments, and Groot.
Plus, plenty of possible setups for the next chapter, as Vol. 3 will be James Gunn’s swan song (at least for now). What pieces of this story will inform the last installment in the first trilogy? Will it be… nope, you gotta listen.
The panel: Maia Ades, Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Dan Handley, Jason Hunt
ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: Team Zombie Reviews ALIEN: COVENANT
Alien: Covenant (2017) Screenplay by John Logan and Dante Harper
Story by Jack Paglen and Michael Green Directed by Ridley Scott Scott Free Productions/Brandywine Productions/20th Century Fox 122 minutes, rated R
Team Zombie got a chance to attend a press screener of Ridley Scott’s latest foray into the universe he created over 30 years ago, and Mr. Adair and Mr. Harvey sit down with Miss Inlow to have a chat about it. It… isn’t pretty.
Timothy: “Science Lady” is Karine Oram, played by Carmen Ejogo.
Dustin: I can’t remember names, you know that.
Timothy: “Capable Pilot Lady/Tennessee’s Wife” is Maggie Farris, played by Amy Seimetz.
Dustin: I liked her, but nope. Not going to stick.
Timothy: She was good in Wristcutters: A Love Story and Upstream Color, and she’s a director and writer in her own right.
Dustin: What are you doing here, with this?
Timothy: Well, considering one of the problems with this film is how it is crap at establishing relationships between characters, or even defining most of the characters outside of the jobs they do, making them either interchangeable or making some people – you, for example – have to use nicknames like “Science Lady” to remember what they actually do in the film…
Dustin: You decided to try and help me by telling me their names and who played them. You know this doesn’t work, right? Beth from The Walking Dead was “Daughter-Fodder” for two years, Tim. Two years.
Timothy: I continue to hold out hope. Demián Bichir played Sergeant Lope, the head of security. His character was married to the security guy who got sick and, well, spoilers, I suppose. That guy was Nathaniel Dean, playing Hallett, who we know was married to Lope because the Wikipedia page says so.
Dustin: I do know who played the young couple I liked, who did the things on the ship and stuff. That was Jussie Smollett and Callie Hernandez. I don’t remember the names of their characters because the film doesn’t care about that stuff either.
Mindy: So are you two going to sit here and throw shade at the film or just let people cut the chase and hear what you really think about Alien: Covenant? Sheesh. Hey Folks-at-Home? Listen to these two tell me all about the movie they saw, here on this special movie edition of Zombpocalypse Now. Then tell us what you think and we’ll be back with more undead things next week.
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Hits Us Over and Over with Emotion Hammers — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #118
Episode 422 “World’s End” Written by Jeffrey Bell Directed by Billy Gierhart
It’s the season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — and we have got confirmation that the show will be back next season, only on Friday nights (more on that later).
Aida/Ophelia takes crazy to the extreme with her Scorched Earth policy, and it looks very much that Jemma… wait, what just happened? Fitz is still broken a bit, and we have to wait to learn the fate of Philinda. While Coulson and May do get to have a few moments about the bottle and what led to drinking it, we don’t get everything we’d like to see between the two of them.
Plus: the return of the Ghost Rider! Chasing the Darkhold, and all the terrible that comes with it, including the organic body Aida inhabits. Because it comes from a very bad place.
What happens next? Where are our heroes being held? Will this be the introduction of S.W.O.R.D.?
Next season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. makes way for Inhumans, which will have an 8-episode running following Once Upon a Time on Friday nights.
The panel: Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Dan Handley, Timothy Harvey
ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: The SANTA CLARITA DIET Season Finale!
With The Walking Dead done for the season, #TeamZombie turn their attention to the first season finale of the darkly comedic feast that is Santa Clarita Diet! It’s Zombpocalypse Now!
Season 1, Episode 10 “Baka, Bile and Baseball Bats” Written by Clay Graham, Directed by Dean Parisot
Timothy: Could you cough a bit more? And maybe tap on the table a few more times?
Dustin: I was sick, and you know it. And I… tap on things. Sometimes. Not all the time.
Timothy: Mmmm hmmm. You know I can’t cut all of those out, right?
Dustin: You know I don’t think about that at all, right?
Mindy: While these two descend into petty bickering, as is their wont, I would just like to point out that we did get the podcast back under 35 minutes for the first time in weeks, which would be even more impressive if the actual episode of Santa Clarita Diet we were talking about was actually over 30 minutes itself, but hey. We take our victories where we can. Also, for whatever reason, we again have a lot of air noise in the recording that fiendishly resisted removal, so maybe Mr. Harvey needs to check on the recording gear and see what the issue there is. We’ll keep you apprised, because we do want the listening part of this thing to be as pleasant as possible.
Stay tuned for a special Movie Review edition of Zombpocalypse Now, out later this week, where Tweedledee and Tweedledum over here will explain to me what went wrong with the latest film in the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant. Be advised that they swear a lot, so bleeping will be plentiful. They really are not meant to be out among the civilized peoples.
Mindy: ALSO, if you enjoy this podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes and Podcasts.com, because that helps new listeners find us, and that’s always nice. If you don’t enjoy this podcast, it’s Tim and Dustin’s fault.
Timothy: Hang on…
Mindy: AND, please listen to all the other great podcasts we have on SciFi4MeRadio, because very few of them have as many squabbling children as this one.
Timothy: Lady has a point.
Dustin: It’s a fair cop.
Mindy: We’ll see you all next week, where we’ll talk about things and stuff, and probably American Gods. Thanks for listening!
ROGUES GALLERY #54: Barry is Still Dumb, Supergirl Needs Focus
This week: it seems that Barry Allen is still not through making dumb decisions. And even though we now know the identity of Savitar, there really doesn’t seem to be any kind of a plan from the writers room. And Supergirl has yet to get out of being about all the lovebird characters and get back to being about … well… Supergirl.
Arrow continues to slide into irrelevancy. Powerless is cancelled, but we have Black Lightning waiting in the wings.
Plus: we’ve decided to weaponize Mr. Townley’s recaps and unleash him on Gotham…