Bojack Horseman [Season 1]

January 11, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

This is the first of several episodes on the fantastic Netflix animated show Bojack Horseman. Next week will be an episode on seasons 2 & 3 and at some point we will probably do season 4.

It starts off as a black adult comedy about show business and Hollywood and you could be forgiven for lumping it in with Family Guy, however, it quickly establishes itself as a drama about various deeply flawed, human characters.

Unlike Rick and Morty, though, the core of the existential dread isn't the bleakness of everything, but our desperation to be better, worthwhile people, even as we fail over and over.

It is so worth your time.

Joining us are our good friends Kaoru Negisa and Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours, and genuine stunt actress Maya Santandrea, who brings her insight as to what the business of filming is frequently like. 

To the Moon

January 10, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

A five hour, retro RPG with a story that will stay with you. We recommend everyone play the game before listening. 

It's kind of like a fun Inception.

Laura Kate Dale joins us for a very textured, emotional and personal discussion about this extraordinary experience. 

This show was commissioned by Emanuel Matius, Sean Lyons Burke and Nick Grugin. Patreon supporters at the five dollar level can enjoy a bonus re-release of the episode of Do try This At Home that Sharon recorded in 2013, on this same game. 

Next week; Donnie Darko.


Laura Kate Dale of Let's Play Video Games

Analogue: A Hate Story

January 9, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

A commissioned show from Mark Lucksch. First thing I said when I saw the art was "No anime." Mark assured me that with its writer based in the west and Korean rather than Japanese artwork, as well as lack of animation that this text-adventure available on Steam was not, in fact, anime. 

After many hours of playing through this tale of an intelligent, female consciousness inside a computer on a spaceship, with its themes of oppressive, patriarchal tradition, and a woman's prerogative, we both had a rather... strong reaction.


Next week: Gargoyles

The Second Coming

January 8, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

A commissioned show about a 2003 two-part TV miniseries wherein Christopher Eccleston plays a regular bloke from Manchester who suddenly realises that he is the son of God. The story is about how the world takes this news and how it affects his close friends. Also there are demons.

This is new Doctor Who creator Russel T. Davies' hot take on religion.

It made Sharon and I quite angry, and unexpectedly ended up as one of our more thought-provoking shows, most definitely nudging us out of our comfort zone and into the realm of discussing one of the subjects guaranteed to offend somebody.


January 7, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

This is a Vertigo comics series which ran for 60 issues from 1997 to 2002, written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Darick Robertson. 

It is set in a non-specified future where cities stretch out across the planet, filled with bored tech-fetishists all looking for the next distraction. Spider Jerusalem is an infamous gonzo journalist who returns to the otherwise unnamed "The City" to write some books and newspaper columns after years of hiding in a log cabin up a mountain.

This is a book that was hugely influential on me, and while the retro-future it predicted was off the mark in many cases, some of it is so sharp that it's going to hurt to listen. There's blasphemous and depraved content within so you have been warned.

Alasdair Stuart of The Escape Artists joins us to talk about all things Spider in this commissioned show courtesy of Ciaran Dachtler. 


Alasdair Stuart of Escape Pod

Doctor Who: The Movie

January 6, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

We've had several requests over the course of our show to cover THE ENTIRETY of Doctor Who, or even just "Everything since 2005". Eventually one commissioning Whovian named Andy Nattan came around with a suggestion that would neatly incorporate our knowledge of the Doctor into a discussion about one fairly hilariously bad TV movie made in 1996. It also constitutes (almost) the entire onscreen appearance of the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, who was rather good (when he stopped SCREAMING).

So whether you love Who, like it or think it's a load of old toss you'll almost certainly enjoy listening to us talk with long-time Seventh Doctor fan Neil Taylor about this failed pilot, starring Eric Roberts as The Terminator, featuring a really REALLY accurate clock, a wibbly window and a jizz-snake.


Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Ms. Marvel

January 5, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

In 2013 a brand new Marvel character was introduced to the world, one who is very reminiscent of classic Peter Parker, a goofy, hapless, sweet-natured teenager who just wants to help people. She's also the world's premier, headlining Muslim superhero, and very much due a movie or TV series to bring her to mass popularity like those who came before her.

In tonight's episode we are joined by Alasdair Stuart, owner of Escape Artists and longtime comic-book expert, to enthusiastically discuss why the younger generations are already loving Kamala Khan, and why she's so important in the grand scheme.

You don't have to have read any of her comics, but by the end of this you will want to. 

This was a commissioned show, and we kick off with some important (and good news) about future commissions. 


Alasdair Stuart of Escape Pod

Legends of Zelda III

January 4, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

This is the third show I have put together about the Legend of Zelda series. The first was back in 2010 for Digital Cowboys when we covered most of the games in the series. The second was in early 2012 on Digital Gonzo when we covered the contentious Skyward Sword on the Wii (This episode is now available exclusively through Patreon). This time we're looking at a bunch that we missed first time round, and one or two that have emerged more recently.

2001. Oracle of Seasons/Ages
2004. The Minish Cap
2006. Twilight Princess
2007. Link’s Crossbow Training
2007. The Phantom Hourglass
2009. Spirit Tracks
2011. Ocarina of Time 3D
2013. A Link Between Worlds
2013. Wind Waker HD
2014. Hyrule Warriors
2015. Majora's Mask 3D

My guests this time are Laura Kate Dale, Gary Blower, Glen Watts, Iain Hopwood, Lloyd Huhn, David Garcia Abril and Richard Lago. This show was recorded back in 2015 while the Switch was still called the NX, Breath of the Wild didn't have a name and Twilight Princess HD had yet to be announced. When we do a fourth Zelda show it will be a lot sooner and will be all about Breath of the Wild, which after thirty or so hours of play may be my favourite of them all.


Laura Kate Dale of Lets Play Video Games

Gary Blower of GameBurst

Iain Hopwood of Year of Steam

Lloyd Huhn

David Garcia Abril

Richard Lago

Glen Watts


January 3, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

Welcome to a show which explores why, after decades of producing consoles and video games, Nintendo feels special in a way that the others do not. More than two dozen people have recorded their memories and insight and sent them to me to arrange. A picture begins to emerge of a troubled relationship with someone capable of amazing creative endeavours and baffling business decisions. Someone who many of us can never fully let go because of the power of these happy memories of childhood, family and the hundreds of gaming worlds which we charted together (some of us literally, you had to draw your maps in pencil back then).

As the Switch is launched we look back on what the emergence of a new console meant to us, and why we always come back to a place of hope.

Infinite thank yous to my guests, without which this show would not have been possible.

1.   Intro*
2.   Brendan Agnew of Cinapse
3.   Sam Chapter
4.   James Batchelor of Bond and Beyond
5.   Collin
6.   Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits
7.   Daniel Den Heijer
8.   Toby Jungius
9.   James Carter of Cane and Rinse
10.   Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse
11.   My Old Friend Nintendo (Alex)
12.   Paschal Dooley
13.   Chris O Regan of Spong
14.   Leon Cox of Cane and Rinse
15.   Blast Processing (Lyra)
16.   Bob Chipman of
17.   Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg
18.   Nama Chibitty
19.   Derrick Ritchie
20.   James Perkins of The Digital Fix
21.   Gary and Imogen Blower of GameBurst
22.   Dan Mayer
23.   Darren Gargette of Cane and Rinse
24.   Holly Dotson
25.   Player 1 & Player 2 of Cartridge Bros
26.   Jason Slate of The Mana Pool
27.   Matt Wardle
28.   Laureta Sela of New Century
29.   Alex Shaw
30.   Lyra Shaw

*Voices in the opening montage also include Alexander Jahans, Gustav Dahl and Johan Kristian Milde


January 2, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

This is yet another very special episode.

We get swept up in the Broadway musical phenomenon about one of America's relatively unsung founding fathers, presented to modern audiences as a hip-hopera.

It was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the songwriter for Moana. It is amazing. It is available to hear all over YouTube and the soundtrack (which will almost certainly end up on repeat in your house) will be one of the most valued things you buy all year.

If you've never heard of it, or you've only heard some talk and a few songs, you should listen to the first two hours of this show as we set the scene for you and explore the characters. Then go listen or even go see it and come back for the last hour which is all spoilerific endgame material.

Joining Sharon and I are Harrison Brockwell, Kaoru Negisa, Jesse Ferguson and Andy Rodriguez.

While there are clips and snippets of the 46 songs throughout the show, the following 12 are played in their entirety in this order.

1.   Yorktown
2.   Alexander Hamilton
3.   Aaron Burr, Sir
4.   My Shot
5.   You’ll Be Back
6.   The Schuyler Sisters
7.   Satisfied
8.   Cabinet Battle #1
9.   History Has Its Eyes On You
10.   Say No to This
11.   Burn
12.   One Last Time

Arlington on Bandcamp:

The Sound of Gonzo: Vol 11 [Marvel]

January 1, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

Recently the excellent YouTube series Every Frame a Painting asked members of the public if they could hum any of the music from the Marvel films. Unsurprisingly they couldn't come up with anything. There are a few reasons for this, that I go into on the show, but this presentation right here is crafted to allow everyone to explore the music that has come so far. We laser-focus on the core melodies, the hero themes that were left by the wayside as the series evolved and we showcase the wide range of actually rather brilliant musical moments that have punctuated the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Join me for an epic, three hour musical journey, run through the filter of my brain. By the end, if I've done my job, you'll be able to hum at least one piece of Marvel music.

1.   Marvel Logo (Thor: The Dark World)
2.   Back in Black – AC/DC (Iron Man)
3.   Mark II/Driving With the Top Down/Gulmira - Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man)
4.   Iron Man - Black Sabbath (Iron Man)
5.   Main Titles - Craig Armstrong (The Incredible Hulk)
6.   Thunderstruck - AC/DC (Iron Man 2)
7.   Black Widow Kicks Ass/ I Am Iron Man – John Debney (Iron Man 2)
8.   Shoot to Thrill – AC/DC (Iron Man 2)
9.   Prologue/The Compound/Forgive Me/Thor Kills the Destroyer – Patrick Doyle (Thor)
10.   Walk – Foo Fighters (Thor)
11.   Main Titles/Farewell to Bucky/The Star Spangled Man/Triumphant Return/Captain America March – Alan Silvestri (Captain America: The First Avenger)
12.   Main Titles/Helicarrier/Avengers Assemble/A Promise/End Titles – Alan Silvestri (Avengers Assemble)
13.   Live to Rise – Chris Cornel (Avengers Assemble)
14.   Main Titles/Can You Dig It? – Brian Tyler (Iron Man 3)
15.   End Titles/Into Eternity – Brian Tyler (Thor: The Dark World)
16.   Lemurian Star/Project Insight/The Causeway/To the End of the Line/Taking a Stand – Henry Jackman (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
17.   Soundtrack Medley (Guardians of the Galaxy)
18.   The Kyln Escape/Groot Spores/Groot Cocoon (Guardians of the Galaxy)
19.   Age of Ultron Theme – Danny Elfman (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
20.   Escape - Roger Ayer (Ant-Man)
21.   Ant Man Theme – Christophe Beck (Ant-Man)
22.   Plainsong – The Cure (Ant-Man)
23.   Siberian Overture/Ancestral Call/New Recruit/Closure/Cap’s Promise – Henry Jackman (Captain America: Civil War)
24.   Sharks Don’t Sleep – Dean Valentine (Civil War Trailer)
25.   New Marvel Fanfare
26.   Strange Days Ahead/The Master of the Mystic End Credits – Michael Giacchino (Doctor Strange)

Bad Reviews Against Humanity: Vol. 8

January 14, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

We're back for another dose of reading you the fevered rantings of the deeply, comically irrational. Jason "Chewie" Slate and Bill Bloodworth from the Magic: The Gathering podcast; The Mana Pool rejoin us, along with James Carter of Cane and Rinse, GameBurst's Jerome McIntosh and friend of the show Derrick Ritchie. 

As well as more awful Amazon reviews for great movies we also look at films whose titles got turned into something extraordinary during the translation, and a really alarmingly specific Japanese breakdown of the characters in FRIENDS.

We ended up recording three hours of this stuff so expect a Vol. 9 at some point in the next few months when we need some serious laughs again. 

Remember you can read these Bad Reviews daily on the @AmznMovieRevws Twitter feed. 

The Sound of Gonzo: Vol 10 [Disney]

January 13, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

We're bringing this classic show format back after three years away (somehow it skipped over the entirety of Digital Drift). This is the prologue to our 90s Disney Renaissance series of podcasts. Since the songs get so much love and attention and are going to be showcased on our podcasts anyway I brought in James Batchelor to pick with me, pieces of music from the scores of ten years of the very best movies from the house of Mouse.

1. The Little Mermaid – Fathoms Below (Alan Menken
2. Rescuers Down Under – Cody’s Flight (Bruce Broughton)
3. Beauty and the Beast – Transformation (Alan Menken)
4. Aladdin – Cave of Wonders (Alan Menken)
5. The Lion King – King of Pride Rock (Hans Zimmer)
6. Pocahontas – Farewell (Alan Menken)
7. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – The Bell Tower (Alan Menken)
8. Hercules – A True Hero (Alan Menken)
9. Mulan – Burned Out Village (Jerry Goldsmith)
10. Tarzan – A Wondrous Place (Mark Mancina)

Stephen King’s IT

January 12, 2016

The bestselling novel of 1986, this is a story set across two time frames 28 years apart. In the small town of Derry, Maine the locals enjoy relative success, their harmony only broken every three decades when children go missing. Something is lurking down in the sewers, and it is hungry.

Seven childhood friends, calling themselves The Losers pledge to find out what this being is and if they can, stop it for good. They are not entirely successful. 28 years later, they regroup in their forties to journey back to Derry and finish the job.

The novel is huge, but I read through the whole thing, partly because this was a commissioned show, but mainly because it is one of Sharon's lifelong favourites and I hoped this would give me a little more insight into her inner workings. It did. When I had finished I felt like I'd been on a really significant journey.

We cover the two-part TV miniseries and speculate on ways that this might be adapted into the feature film duet beginning late 2017.

Big Data

January 11, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

This is an interview Sharon and I hosted with Ryan Estrada, writer, artist, producer of many many different projects, the latest being Big Data.

(It was originally published in two parts and now, in its complete form it is patreon-only content)

*There are seven keys to the internet, what if each in turn was stolen? Could our repository of information and primary means of communication really be shut down?*

This nine part comedy anthology audio drama, funded by Kickstarter is currently on episode four. It's also got a cast that will set many geeks a-quivering with Paul F. Thompkins (Bojack Horseman) Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Felicia Day (The Guild), plus 69 other voices. Here we discuss with Ryan the inception of the story, the complex casting and direction process, and (in a fairly spoiler-free way) some of his favourite moments. 

Go here to listen to the first few (though you could also listen to this interview first). 

As we say in the interview, episode 1 is a little chaotic so make sure you stick with it for the next few and you will see (or hear) the grander epic taking form. Huge thanks to Ryan for being so generous with his time, and it was fantastic to be able to discuss the finer points with him. 

Resident Evil

January 10, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

This is a deep dive into the very first Resident Evil game, as well as the GameCube remake and the HD remake of the remake. By no means the first survival horror, but a definite landmark in the genre and a stone cold classic that is somehow better today than it was in 1996. 

Far from the clodhopping buffoonery of the movie series the first game is a deceptively simple premise. Two special forces units investigating a bizarre series of murders which leads them to a darkened and horrifying mansion, itself the greatest character in this series. Before too long you're solving elaborate puzzles, avoiding traps, combing through rooms to find useful items, stockpiling ammunition (which if you're playing on the right difficulty setting for you there will always be scant available) and fending off attacks from the shadows from all sorts of bloodcurdling monsters. 

It's nothing short of a masterpiece, endlessly replayable and now with the HD remaster the obtuse control scheme is fixed. 

With me is Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg on YouTube (and you should check out his Resident Evil video retrospective here)

Laura Kate Dale AKA Laura K Buzz of projects too numerous to name (here's her Patreon)

And we're also joined by my good friend Derrick Ritchie.

Episode 501

January 9, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

The second collection of clips from my shows, this time covering the period between 2013 and 2016 when Sharon became my co-host, Digital Drift and School of Movies. They are pulled from fewer overall episodes but they are more meaty and substantial with some of the funniest, sustained moments and memories. You'll also hear from my guest spots from That Awful Sound and The Mana Pool along with a host of new voices.

And of course the now-infamous introduction of Dramatic Readings and Bad Reviews Against Humanity.

Volume 3: Digital Drift

Avatar Responses [DD49 2014 - 0.01.00]
The formation of Digital Drift [0.02.05]
50 Shades Trilogy Rant [DD06 - 0.06.25]
We Hate Movies [DD05 - 0.09.30]
Rhianna Pratchett [DD08 - 0.25.38]
Spider-Man 3 - Harry's Problem [DD12 - 0.32.18]
Transformers - Non-Dairy Dessert [DD32 - 0.36.01]
I've Been a Bad, Bad Angel [That Awful Sound #18 - 2015 - 0.37.36]

Volume 4: School of Movies

Robin Hood - Hysterical Inaccuracy [SOM143 2016 - 0.57.53]
Flight of Dragons - Racist Wizards [SOM145 - 1.05.21]
Terminator 3 - Joshua Rants [DD72 Mid-2015 - 1.11.02]
Deadpool - Colossus on Music [SOM146 - 1.24.06]
Making Fantasy Fun [Mana Pool #393 - 2015 - 1.27.11]
The New Century Multiverse 101 [1.35.58]
Jurassic Wrestling [DD68 - Mid 2015 - 1.47.54]
The Daddle [DD44 - Late 2014 - 1.56.32]
Crap Chinese Toys [DD48 - 1.59.50]
RobertCop 2 [School of Everything Else #88 - 2.09.35]
Grey [SOEE87 - Late 2015 - 2.14.17]
Credits [2.22.50]

Episode 500

January 8, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

Alex's 500th Podcast.

I've been at this game for almost a decade and produced and hosted  four media discussion shows, Digital Cowboys, Digital Gonzo, Digital Drift andSchool of Movies. 

What we have here is a collection of highlights from the first few years. This celebratory episode ended up as two, simply because there was so much to choose from. So Episode 501 will be released next week. Consider them like Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2. 

This is significant interviews, first meetings, moments of particular insight and of course the absolute funniest bits, many of which were suggested by you guys while I was putting this together.

Volume 1. Digital Cowboys

  • Another Day at the Office [Joinee Radio, Early 2007 - 0.01.22]
  • Curse of the Golden Flower [Digital Cowboys Episode 01 - 0.06.36]
  • An Important Announcement [DC48, 2008 - 0.08.58]
  • First Meeting With Daniel Floyd [DC10, 2009 - 0.12.13]
  • Red vs Blue Interview [DC126 - 0.15.24]
  • Giant Bomb Snackbox [DC104 - 0.19.40]
  • Jonathan Coulton Interview [DC121 - 0.22.23]
  • Dominik Diamond Interview [DC133 - 0.27.07]
  • The Wii - First Meeting With James Batchelor [DC130 - 0.32.51]
  • First Meeting With Neil Taylor [DC167, 2010 - 0.34.37]
  • Duke Nukem Kicked Out [DC180 - 0.35.18]
  • Legends of Zelda - Opening Montage [DC164 - 0.38.41]
  • Paul & Storm Interview [DC163 - 0.42.53]
  • Digital Cowboys - The Last One [DC109, 2011 - 0.49.10]

Volume 2: Digital Gonzo

  • New Solo Show [Digital Gonzo Episode 42, 2011 - 0.55.23]
  • Thor - Alex Doing Mr Plinkett Doing Thor [DG70, 2012 - 0059.44]
  • Never Mind the BuzzGeeks: Cosmocats [DG33 - 1.02.20]
  • Back to the Future - Time Travel [DG19 - 1.05.00]
  • Fire [The Internet News - 1.09.42]
  • Never Mind the BuzzGeeks: Coffee Commercials [DG39 - 1.13.06]
  • Movie Clichés - The Wilhelm Scream [DG34 - 1.15.43]
  • Schools [The Internet News - 1.17.44]
  • Blue Sun Audio Drama [DG35 - 1.22.25]
  • James Bond - The Henchman Agent #1 [DG43 - 1.29.30]
  • James Bond - Henchman Agent #2/Herr Stamper [DG45 - 1.33.51]
  • Firefly - The Henchman Agent #4 [DG106 - 1.33.52]
  • Batman Returns - The Henchman Agent #3/The Finale [DG77 - 1.36.51]
  • Alien - Shotgun Penis [DG74 - 1.41.36]
  • Alien Resurrection - Alien DNA/Executives [DG82 - 1.45.29]
  • Superman IV - Physics! [DG133, 2013 - 1.51.56]
  • Sound of Gonzo - Snowboarding Spy [DG102 - 1.57.00]
  • The Last Airbender - Exposition Scrolls [DG95 - 1.59.26]
  • Sound of Gonzo - Vice City/Dance Hall Deadlock [DG142 - 2.00.47]
  • Iron Man 3 Avengers in Advertising [DG154 - 2.02.51]
  • Return of the King - Lyra on LOTR [DG112 - 2.06.40]
  • The Two Towers - Gollum [DG111 - 2.07.36]
  • An Unexpected Journey - Gollum-Off [DG113 - 2.11.29]
  • Fan Response - First Meeting With Bob Chipman [DG149 - 2.12.25]
  • Pacific Rim - Signing Off [DG161 - 2.21.30]
  • Tower of the Sorcerer - "Can I Ride It?" [DG150 - 2.32.15]

He-Man and She-Ra

January 7, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

This week's episode is all about one of the first wildly popular toy and animated show tie-ins. Emerging in 1982 the Masters of the Universe toy line was hot on the heels of Star Wars and (thanks to the repeal of certain laws about ethics in programming) was able to advertise its products to the child during the commercial breaks as they were watching the show. And of course, seeing as most of the characters featured were already toys, every episode was a commercial in its own right.

He-Man is, by today's standards a dreadfully polite pacifist who seeks only to hold Eternia's morals in check, whist Skeletor is a charmingly gentle nitwit who seeks power via boneheaded schemes. Both of them have colourful henchmen and at the end of the day nobody is getting hurt. 

She-Ra is a scenario much the same, only she and her buddies in the Great Rebellion are always on the back foot and Hordak is an oppressive warmonger that they are trying to depose, giving that show more of a struggle and stakes, and a rather empowering female hero for many girls (and boys) to be inspired by. Stay to the end to see how Mattel sold this strong woman in doll form. 

We also cover the ill-fated New Adventures and the badass 200X show. Next week we're looking at the 1987 Dolph Lundgren movie. 


January 6, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

This one has been a long time coming. Maybe the most significant animated series of my childhood, Thundercats (1985) was, for me, age 6, the promise of adventure. Seven cat-people escape the doomed planet of Thundera and find a new home in the lush, expansive new world of Third Earth. But then never bargained on their old enemies, the mutants pursuing them and forming an unholy alliance with this new planet's ancient demon priest, Mumm-Ra. 

When you go back and investigate aged 36 however, it's a creaky, ponderous, derivative, bloodless, tension-free grab-bag of embarrassing dialogue, ridiculous over the top performances and tropes that were worn into the ground a decade or two ago. 

I've got so much better TV to watch, animated series' have reached unforeseen heights of excellence... so why do I still love Thundercats?

And in 2011 when a new series was attempted and sank without trace after an unsatisfying ending that suggested a much larger story-line, why did I love that too? 

It's not just nostalgia, there's more to both of these shows. Allow me and Sharon and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst to elucidate for you. We framed this so that fans of the show, people who hated the show and those who have never had the dubious pleasure of watching it could all enjoy our podcast. 

In the second section we discuss Mumm-Ra's motivation, some unanswerable questions and our favourite episodes.

Bad Reviews Against Humanity: Vol. 7

January 5, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

After the heaviness of Batman Punches Superman and the depth of The Hero's Journey, let's all take a break for some very silly words. 
James Carter of Cane and Rinse and Paul Shotton join us to cover the random lunacy that was the Netflix Summary Bug. We do some Amazon reviews and finish off with a bunch of toy nightmares and some of the most ill-conceived children's playthings of all time, including of course, RobertCop. 

Netflix Summary Bug:

@AmznMovieRevws on Twitter:

Awful Toys:


The Hero’s Journey

January 4, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

This show (which is one of the best individual podcasts we've ever put together) is all about The Hero's Journey. It explores the monomyth, the idea that nearly all of the tales that we embrace as a species are telling the same story. 

Carl Jung theorized with the collective unconscious that our brains are all roughly the same shaped organ, with very similar emotional responses which have remained very similar for thousands of years, so it stands to reason that there would be certain universally appealing themes that we like to explore time and again. 

Joseph Campbell codified this in the 1940s by examining our mythology, dating back to ancient times and analyzing recurring patterns in the most abiding stories from all over the world when he put together his seminal work; The Hero With a Thousand Faces. This includes a multi-part symbolic series of events a hero always seems to go through in some form or another and what that really means. 

Christopher Vogler took this further with his book The Writer's Journey, examining the most popular and successful movies and the similarities therein.

And we ourselves have produced literally hundreds of podcasts covering our favourite movies, the greater proportion of which this manner of thinking can be applied to. 

So it's time to take a deep dive into what those steps are and why they are so important to our species. 

Joining us are Megan Hopwood and Lorin Grieve, both of whom have also taken a longtime interest in this. 

You're in for a treat here.

The Hobbit: Epilogue

January 3, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

Mirroring our Lord of the Rings Prologue recorded all the way back in 2012 and leading us into the Peter Jackson and Weta Middle-earth series, this is the bookend that marks its closing.

Less of a celebration of the immense achievement pulling off this second trilogy was (for that you can listen to the individual review shows), this is instead a post-mortem where myself, Sharon and Chris Eason of GameBurst (who has been with us for every one of the Tolkein shows) dissect the carcass of the lesser film adaptations of Tolkein's lesser work. 

Far from jump-starting a second wave of fascination with fantasy, these three movies seem to have put a lid on the entire genre, with great success at the box office but lukewarm critical and audience response. This leaves it to other movie series' to reinvigorate public interest, a task made far harder by the existence of these films. 

We adore Weta Workshop and the cast and crew of this whole saga (listening to the five hour reviews of each of the Lord of the Rings movies should make that clear), so this is deeply painful for us, but it is an investigation and a conversation that needed to happen as we account for the good, the bad and the ugly, over-designed troll with spiked maces on his amputated legs, cleavers on his amputated arms, and chained hooks through his blinded eyeballs.

Star Wars: Rabels

January 2, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

The first part of this show is spoiler-free so if you need any more convincing to go track this down on DVD or Blu Ray, let this be it. Recorded many months before seeing The Force Awakens this was the perfect show to draw us back into the world of Star Wars. 

It may seem very kid-friendly but it's got a lot of darkness and a lot of heart to back that up and some great colourful characters you will want to follow the adventures of. Neil Taylor of GameBurst and Alex Eding of Plaid Hat Gaming once again join Sharon and myself to return to a galaxy far, far away. 

The second part is all spoilerific character discussion and events that take place in the second half of the first season. We will let you know when to leave off if you haven't seen it yet. Remedy this at once, it's terrific! 

If you love these shows support them on Patreon.

Bad Reviews Against Humanity: Vol. 6

January 1, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

To see in the new year and take a brief respite from Star Wars we're doing another round of reading out some of the most irrational, sarcastic and hilarious movie reviews from the @AmznMovieRevws twitter feed. 

Along with this is a series of dramatic readings from many sources, most notably the fourth Fifty Shades of Grey book from the ongoing billionaire pervert saga; Grey.

Joining us from The Mana Pool (a Magic: The Gathering podcast that we guested on) Jason Chewie Slate, and Bill Bloodworth, and their buddy from Card Advantage; Aaron LaCluyze.

Once again, don't drive or operate heavy machinery while listening to this one. We don't want to be responsible for any mishaps incurred while laughing hysterically.

Jessica Jones

January 13, 2015

[School of Everything Else 2016]

A truly stellar cast join Sharon and I to discuss this critically acclaimed Netflix show; Laura Kate Dale of Destructoid and the Jimquisition podcast, Alasdair Stuart of Psudopod and the Escape Artists, Marguerite Kenner of Cast of Wonders and Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse. 

This is a seriously epic three hour discussion. I barely cut anything out because everybody was so on-point the whole time. We strongly suggest you see the whole of Season 1 first. 

Bad Reviews Against Humanity: Vol. 5

January 12, 2015

[School of Everything Else 2015]

This episode comprises previously unheard segments from our Vol. 3 recording, which was entirely based on sarcastic reviews for frequently absurd products. There’s a lot more backstage chat and bungled attempts at organizing the readings into a game. It will make more sense if you listen in conjunction with Vol. 3. 
Check out the original Twitter account that inspired these shows: @AmznMovieRevws edited by Joseph Grabinski who features in this episode.
Joseph is joined by Joshua Garrity and James Carter from Cane and Rinse, Jerome McIntosh of Gameburst and Player 1 from the Cartridge Bros. podcast.

Bad Reviews Against Humanity: Vol. 4

January 11, 2015

[School of Everything Else 2015]

Taking a break from Disney for a while Bad Reviews returns in style. If, for some reason you haven’t heard the first three, go back through the podcast feed and find them. They are some of the funniest podcasting experiences ever.
For the uninitiated this is a mix of funny, sarcastic, baffling and occasionally facepalm-inducing Amazon reviews.

This episode combines both the Bad Reviews Live session recorded at Drift-Con 2015 and the previously unheard parts of our Vol. 2 recording.

A huge thank you to the various guests over these shows: Neil Taylor of GameBurst, James Carter and Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse, Lorin Grieve of A Year of Steam, James Batchelor of Bond & Beyond and Rare Replayed, Will Parkes from our community and of course my wife and co-host Sharon Shaw.
And check out the original Twitter account that inspired these shows: @AmznMovieRevws

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

January 10, 2015
[Digital Drift 2014]
We bring our Terminator shows to a close with a discussion about the brief but brightly burning TV series. This managed two seasons, which is more than most Fox shows and the ending is abrupt but satisfying, hinting at greater depths in further episodes. 
However, in it's lifespan it managed some of the most cerebral, emotional and fascinating moments in Terminator mythology leaving the three most recent movies in the dust.

The central trio of performances grow exceptional over time and are backed up by a network of strong support characters, expanding beyond the typical small group of the movies and  outlining a saga across time that is epic in scale. Yet at its core this is a deeply personal story about a mother and her son, John's maturing into the man he has heard so much about from others and the enormous burden Sarah feels, but cannot set down.

It's worth your time and money. 

The episode is divided into two with a spoiler section clearly flagged, in which we discuss the endgame.

The Seven Most Important Superhero Movies

January 9, 2015

[Digital Drift 2014]

On this very special episode (in the week I'm celebrating eight years in the podcasting game) I gathered Bob "Moviebob" Chipman, Parris Lilly of "Gamertag Radio" and Joe Cunningham of the "Cinematic Universe" podcast, and along with my wife and co-host Sharon Shaw we asked ourselves...  

Which are the seven most important superhero movies to date?  

Not our favourites, not best, most important.   

We debated them up and down the history and our conclusions may surprise you... or they may be the exact seven you chose in which case you have your finger well and truly on the pulse because we spent ages on this.   It's a brilliant episode and one I was so proud to host. A big thank you to our guests who brought all kinds of intelligent and reasoned viewpoints along with them. 

Daredevil [Season 1]

January 8, 2015

[Digital Drift 2014]

The first season of the Netflix show. I’ll say up front this is not our favourite Marvel production. Not only do we bring up what we feel are its weaker aspects but just FYI it gets very vitriolic about the feature-creep of torture and mutilation into adult TV. This rant has been a long time coming folks. But there are of course aspects that we like and indeed love, and we definitely want to see more.

The Legend of Korra: Book 4 - Balance

January 7, 2015

[Digital Drift 2014]

With the world unbalanced, Korra and her companions struggle to manage the repercussions from the pendulum-swing back from chaos to order.

This time we're talking about Prince Wu, Kuvira, some old swamp lady, and the rather contentious coupling at the end of the series. In a pinch of nostalgia I went back to the intro from that first Korra show we did all those years back... well two and a half, but it feels like a lot longer. And to close out, the world premier of the trailer for Season 2 of New Century. 

Joining me once again are my co-host; Sharon Shaw, Daniel Floyd, the voice of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, and Jerome McIntosh, now of GameBurst. 

The Legend of Korra: Book 3 - Change

January 6, 2015

[Digital Drift 2015]

The long awaited, much-demanded continuation of the Avatar podcasts is here. We're releasing four podcasts throughout this month, two each for Books 3 & 4 of The Legend of Korra. It's the last we'll see of the series, maybe forever, but certainly for a while, so let's take our time and enjoy ourselves.

Joining me once again after another year I have my now co-host; Sharon Shaw, Daniel Floyd, the voice of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, and Jerome McIntosh, now of GameBurst. Duane Griffiths from the previous six episodes couldn't make it, but sends his regards.

We cover the following themes; Behind the scenes and going digital-only, renewal and rebirth, duty and responsibility, family and frustration, anarchy, freedom and control. 

The Legend of Korra: Book 2 - Spirits

January 5, 2015

[Digital Drift 2014]

We cover the divisive second season of one of the most talked about and exceptional animated shows ever created. This time round the Miyazaki influence is even more prominent, the animation veers from a little bit sloppy to more breathtakingly beautiful than it's ever been, there are character and narrative issues, longtime fans still calling foul and love and hate being bent back and forth like so much water and fire.   

Joining me once again after a year I have Daniel Floyd, the voice of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, Sharon Shaw of Do Try This at Home, Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and from Gonzo Planet, Duane Griffiths. As well as this epic round-table session I have included essay materials from Andy Rodriguez and Nama Chibitty, offering some quite differing perspectives on the overarching saga. 

The Legend of Korra: Book 1 - Air

January 4, 2015

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This covers the first season of the follow up to The Legend of Aang.

Major spoilers throughout so we heartily suggest that you not only see the entirety of Korra first but seek out the original series in case you weren't aware how highly we regard it.

Joining me once again to talk about Airbending, extremist solutions, and the challenge of matching the quality and storytelling of the finest animated show ever created, I have Daniel Floyd, Pixar animator and the voice of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, and from Gonzo Planet, Sharon Shaw, Jerome McIntosh and Duane Griffiths.

Thank you to all our new listeners for your support and questions. You can contact me through the Gonzo Planet website and you should all definitely check out the forums and leave iTunes reviews, Facebook likes and jubulant tweets. Stay tuned to the very end to hear a trailer for Batman: Breakdown an original audio drama I released for episode #90 and maybe the best thing I've helped create aside from my daughter.

Next week, Gonzo Gaming returns with The 10 Most Important Games of this Generation in Digital Gonzo #100.


The Legend of Aang: Book 3 - Fire

January 3, 2015

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This covers the third season of this amazing animated series.

Once again this episode has spoilers including how the whole thing ends so we don’t recommend you listen until you’ve seen Book 3: Fire and finished The Legend of Aang.

Joining me once again to talk about Firebending, ethics and the pressure heaped upon children, I have Daniel Floyd, Pixar animator and the voice of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, and from Gonzo Planet, Sharon Shaw, Jerome McIntosh and Duane Griffiths.

Next week, The Legend of Korra - Book 1: Air

The Legend of Aang: Book 2 - Earth

January 2, 2015

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

We cover the second season of this amazing animated series.

Once again this episode has spoilers so we don’t recommend you listen until you’ve seen Book 2: Earth.

Joining me once again to talk about Earthbending, a heightened sense of emotional engagement and the most wonderful blind character in all of creation, I have Daniel Floyd, Pixar animator and the voice of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, and from Gonzo Planet, Sharon Shaw, Jerome McIntosh and Duane Griffiths.

The Legend of Aang: Book 1 - Water

January 1, 2015

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

We cover the first season of this amazing animated series.

If you haven’t heard it yet (and that’s unlikely as it’s been the most popular Gonzo episode of all time) then go check out our spoiler-free introduction to the show and movie review first. This episode here has spoilers so we don’t recommend you listen until you’ve seen Book 1: Water.

Joining me once again to talk about Waterbending, Frozen Frogs and Koh the Face Stealer I have Daniel Floyd, Pixar animator and the voice of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, and from Gonzo Planet, Sharon Shaw, Jerome McIntosh and Duane Griffiths.

Dramatic Readings

January 15, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

After the uproarious reception that the Bad Reviews Against Humanity shows brought, we decided on a series of dramatic readings. This is based on a sci-fi convention game wherein one of the worst pieces of fantasy literature in history; The Eye of Argon' gets read aloud. If the current narrator laughs he or she must pass it on. We went beyond Argon by embracing a now infamous children's book, a movie script written by a longtime friend of mine, the intro to a public information film about the evils of marijuana and an article from on shoddy toys with worrying claims on their packaging.

1. The Eye of Argon by Jim Theis
2. Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Programmer [With Stickers] by Susan Marenco
3. Another Day at the Office by Thomas Underhill
4. Reefer Madness by Arthur Hoerl
5. The Ten Most Unintentionally Hilarious Toys Exported by China by Seanbaby

Our guest speakers this week are...

* Laura Kate Dale of (among others) 'Podcastquisition'
* Lou Fernandez of 'Lou Reads the Internet For You'.
* Derrick Ritchie of 'The Console Ninjas Podcast'.
* Lorin Grieve of the Digital Drift community.

And by popular demand we begin with Lou reading out ten bad reviews from @AmznMovieRevws 

The Xbox One vs. The Ps4

January 14, 2014

[Digital Drift]

We pit the two most powerful consoles of the age against one another. 

Never Mind the BuzzGeeks: The 90s

January 13, 2014

[Digital Gonzo]

A return to the pop culture quiz show, this time covering that most overlooked decade, the 90s.

Bad Reviews Against Humanity: Vol. 3

January 12, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

This week, we tracked down some of the funniest reviews all over the internet for all kinds of products, not just movies and not just Amazon. 

The main reason was variety but we also had the pleasure of Joseph Grabinski the editor of the @AmznMovieRevws Twitter feed as a guest so we wanted to present him and his followers with something they might not have read yet. 

It was a packed show; as you might imagine this format has been insanely popular and everyone wanted a piece of the action. Our other guests included (returning from previous Volumes) Joshua Garrity and James Carter from Cane and Rinse, Jerome McIntosh of Gameburst (pitching up for his first go at B.R.A.H.) and for the first time on our show, from the Cartridge Bros. podcast it's the mysterious fellow known only as "Player 1"

WARNING!: Do not attempt to drive, lift weights or engage in sexual intercourse while listening to this episode. You may have a fatal mishap from laughing too hard. In fact this is the first podcast I'm putting a general health warning on: It may be the funniest thing you will ever hear and thus break funny bones everywhere, leaving life by comparison dull and grey. Jerome had to resort to his inhaler in the end, though he assures me this was worth it.

Bad Reviews Against Humanity: Vol. 2

January 11, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

We're back for more incisive, scathing and occasionally insane critique from some strange people. 

The first installment was met with adulation from everyone. In fact this is an official warning not to listen while driving, your uncontrollable fits of hysterical laughter could result in catastrophic car pile-ups. 

Once again these mini-review snippets were gleaned from the Twitter feed @AmznMovieRevws who very kindly retweeted our show for us. 

For this episode Sharon and I recruited Neil Taylor of GameBurst, James Carter of Cane and Rinse and Lorin Grieve of the Digital Drift Community.Once again our reading is a cocktail of the shocking, competitive play of Cards Against Humanity with the theatrical performance of the much missed GameSpot YouTube show Feedbackula. 

Bad Reviews Against Humanity: Vol. 1

January 10, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

Amazon has a long tradition of unreasonable, miserable and occasionally downright cretinous user reviews. The Twitter feed @AmznMovieRevws is a treasure trove of some of the silliest of these.

For this episode Sharon and I got together with former Digital Cowboy Paul Shotton and Cane and Rinse alumni Josh Garrity and we had a bit of a game. I passed out fifteen reviews each and we competed for fifteen rounds to see who could read the most facepalm-inducing nugget of critical appraisal. 

Prepare thy sides, for they shall split. Some of these reviewers come up with the most splutteringly random of reasons why they don't like movies that are largely agreed upon to be rather great. I shall definitely be revisiting this format. 


January 9, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

This is the full, combined trilogy of podcasts about GamerGate; How it developed, what its effects have been and how we can move forwards.

For the first show I had eight contributors, two of whom would like to remain anonymous, the other six were; M.P.J. Dillon, Holly Dotson, Gavin Greene, A. Reece England, Livio De La Cruz and Kevin Murphy. 

Nine more contributions make up the second part. Some were in response to Volume 1, some elaborated on ideas laid down in that one, others were simply inspired to speak on hearing about this series.

Transformers Prime

January 8, 2014

[Digital Drift]

This is both parts combined into one mega-podcast.

The Transformers road trip finally emerges from the ugly, industrial wasteland and like Outrun we find ourselves suddenly experiencing a completely different and altogether more fascinating vista.

Yes, this animated TV show, passed up by the majority of adults as being for the kids just happens to be the greatest depiction of the Autobots and Decepticons ever committed to any medium. Freed of the obligation to deliver spectacle whilst somehow keeping the robots to a minimum this production team somehow manage to capture everything we loved about Generation 1 with the best bits from the movies, shows, comics and games in between. 

Focus is on companionship between the Autobots and the human teenagers they are protecting, with the kids giving perspective to the bots and vice versa. The Decepticons are no longer snarling hyper-aggressive insectoids but a charismatic, entertaining team in their own right. Starscream reaches his full potential to become a scheming metal Iago, Soundwave somehow manages to be even more creepy NOT speaking and  Megatron goes from being the one-dimensional byword for tedious head villain to a genuinely frightening and compelling warmonger.

As for the Autobots, Bulkhead and Bumblebee take their cues from the Iron Giant and R2-D2, Ratchet is played by the Re-Animator himself, Jeffrey Combs like a transfroming Doctor McCoy, guarded warrior Arcee is described on this very show as being like Trinity but less robotic and Peter Cullen turns in his best grave, powerful performance as Optimus, finally being given the kind of things to say and do that make you remember why he's the leader you'd follow into robot hell and back.

It's so good we did two shows on it, covering first Autobots and then Decepticons over Season 1. We've saved the big spoilers for the end of the second show so you really should listen at least that far and then get hold of these. 

Joining us are Mike Hearn of Walter the Wicked web-comic who provided us with stunning Transformers artwork for the website (Visit his Patreon here), Neil Taylor and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and Andrew Pidhajeckyk of the Digital Drift Community. 

The Transformers road trip comes to a triumphant end as we close out our Prime conversation in unusual circumstances, discussing a group of characters who have struggled since 1984 to be expressed as anything other than thugs or buffoons, The Decepticons, Turns out all it took to portray them as a group of warriors with their own motivations, weaknesses, misgivings and strengths was decent writing, building upon both well-established characters finally given dimensions of personality and newcomers who swiftly became fan favourites. It's been a wild ride through the Transformers series, but I'm very happy we could end on such a high note.

Joining us once again are Mike Hearn of Walter the Wicked web-comic (I'm a patron of his webcomic, Neil Taylor and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and Andrew Pidhajeckyk of the Digital Drift Community. 

The Spectacular Spider-Man

January 7, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

For this last Spider-Man podcast for some time we're focusing on a high note in the character's history and my very favourite representation of him in any media. The short-lived two-season animated show 'The Spectacular Spider-Man' which ran from 2008-2009. 

Developed by Greg Weisman, known for his beloved, high quality, multi-layered and prematurely cancelled TV shows like Gargoyles and Young Justice, Spectacular marries up the fun-loving, innocent Spidey from the 60s combined with more emotionally and dramatically resonant fare from the modern era, particularly the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. It's character-driven, colourful and extremely kid-friendly but also touching and clever and honest about the lives of teens juggling a world of problems, with an enormous rogues gallery and frequently dazzling action.

Both seasons are available on iTunes very reasonably, DVD (though no season 2 in the UK, still), streaming and a wonderful multi-region Blu Ray containing every episode. I cannot recommend this series enough and while we will be discussing the entire plot on this podcast it may be worth listening to anyway to lend you a better appreciation of the show when you do see it. Deeper focus is very often better than surprise and the only way you can really spoil it would be to not watch it.

Rihanna Pratchett

January 6, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

For this episode we are very proud to interview writer Rhianna Pratchett. She has worked on some of our favourite games, and very specifically helped to craft some of the best female characters in the medium. Her experience includes Heavenly Sword, Overlord, Mirror’s Edge, BioShock Infinite, Viking: Battle for Asgard, Prince of Persia, Risen, Thief and perhaps most notably she was instrumental in transforming Lara Croft from Mary-Sue, gun-toting tit-machine to the far more real person she represents today in 2013’s Tomb Raider.

We talk at length about her past experiences and connections, the requirements for a writer in the world of gaming, female/female relationships in narrative, Conan the Barbarian, and of course Time Bandits.

Her website can be found here:

The Video Game Crashes

January 5, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

We talk about why the video game market crashed twice before. 

The Fifty Shades Trilogy

January 4, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

It's taken over a year, but Sharon has finally completed her read through of E.L. James' Fifty Shades trilogy. This episode is a compilation of material from different shows to give you a full review series. In principle it's a two and a half hour rant on her part about this skewed, uninformed and often just plain wrongheaded view of women, men, sex, relationships, hetero-normativity, wealth, worth and abuse, both physical and psychological. In execution it's a blistering hellstorm of righteous indignation and high-pitched shrieking. You have been warned.

00.01.10: Fifty Shades of Grey (From DorkCast #5)
00.49.00: Fifty Shades Darker (From the DorkCast Fifty Shades Special)
01.25.00: Fifty Shades Freed (Digital Drift #6)

You will also hear Tony Atkins of Cane and Rinse with a reading from the first book at 37.40 which was originally on The Same Coin podcast episode #11. The DorkCast episodes were produced by and hosted by Leah Haydu and you will also hear a little of Matt Ramsey.

It goes without saying; very very obscene content!