My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

February 27, 2016

[SOEE #63]

In the 80’s while all the boys were watching Transformers and obligingly buying the toys Hasbro were also targeting girls with a similarly multimedia manipulative marketing campaign to sell them pretty, plastic ponies.

Twenty five years and three terrible Michael Bay movies later and the boys, now grown up are feeling pretty dismal about the once awesome mythos they loved. However after many years of quiet My Little Pony resurfaced in 2010 and to the surprise of everyone turned out to be not bad at all. Really rather great in fact. Well written with lovable characters and amusing dialogue.

In an unusual turn of events it picked up a following of male viewers. Dubbed ‘Bronies’ these men, young and old have a tough battle trying to make their case for why they aren’t twisted child molesters. This podcast is about the show, the fans and why it’s become beloved. My remit is to examine it with varying levels of perspective and delve in rather than making fun of it as outsiders or being overly defensive fanboys.

My two specialists are Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Connor Milford, Zephyr Lite in the Gonzo community. It’s very much a podcast aimed at people who know nothing about Friendship is Magic so if you’re curious, this is the Pony investigation for you.


The Hobbit Epilogue

February 19, 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.


Kung Fu Panda

February 5, 2016

[SOM #144]

This is one of the most special and important animated movies to me. It's a classic example of being perfectly underestimated. Both the movie and it's rotund protagonist are anticipated by most to be a goofy, shambolic collection of pratfalls, but both turn out to be so much more.

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst joins Sharon and I to discuss what may be the pinnacle of Dreamworks' animated achievements to date, and to me, certainly rivals the best of Disney, pixar and Studio Ghibli. 

Next week: Kung Fu Panda 2, followed I'm sure at some point by Kung Fu Panda 3.

Y: The Last Man

February 4, 2016

A classic episode where we discuss the comic book series by Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra. 

One afternoon in the early 2000s every single male on planet Earth suddenly dies. the planet is left to the females to survive and rebuild and figure out a future. Some of the best female characterization in comics, funny, dark, emotional and hopeful. A major influence on New Century.