Comic Book Men: filling the nerdy void Big Bang left behind

While The Big Bang Theory is nowhere near done the level of serious nerdiness it provided me with has been lacking in recent seasons and I find it leaving a bigger and bigger need to get my fill elsewhere. And then came Comic Book Men…

Comic Book Men

A show about Kevin Smith’s comic book store in New Jersey, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash and the wonderful assortment of character that wander through the shop. It’s kind of like Pawn Stars for comic book nerds, with little snippets of information about the items being sold in the show, and while I may not be the biggest fan of reality TV (and by that I mean I hate it) I actually love this show. They also show a little bit of what the staff gets up to on a regular basis, from sales competitions at the flea market to the zombie run, they definitely know how to make work go by in style… a very, very nerdy style. There’s also enough Star Wars paraphernalia going through the place that I can at least keep up a little. The staff, Kevin Smith and their friend Bryan (who kind of looks like Gangalf if he stopped giving a crap about everything but food) sit around a podcast recording rig on a poker table. It’s really all just a bunch of friends getting together and catching up on their weeks and reminiscing about their youth. It’s not really action-packed or anything, but it’s kinda cute, and if you appreciate comic books, or Sci-Fi or Horror memorabilia then I highly recommend this show.

I really just love it because it tickles my nerd bone.

The Big Bang becoming a big waste of time

Big Bang Theory

I was waiting to watch the latest episode of Sons of anarchy, and thought I’d catch up on some of the shows I missed over the weekend. It was thanksgiving in Canada after all, and turkey can be worse than the sandman himself so I had a hard time keeping my eyes open to really pay attention to anything at all on TV.

I LOVED THE GIRLFRIENDS… AT FIRST

Seeing the nerds break out of their shells and find love (or at least in Sheldon’s case, tolerance of another human being) was great while keeping with the nerdy theme. The characters of Amy and Bernadette were brainy and almost as awkward as the boys. Amy had an odd set of feelings towards other people as Sheldon did, she had weird hobbies and a monkey who smoked. She turned into this wannabe girly girl who only talks about her boyfriend and is like Penny’s comedian sidekick. Bernadette has fallen into a similar role with Howard and is basically just turned into the visible version of his mother. I miss the nonchalant references to biochemistry and violence (obviously separately, but a strange and wonderful combination of traits nonetheless). While I love Myiam Byalik and Melissa Rauch in the roles I feel like the writing has gotten kind of lazy.

I feel like they are really leaning on the social interactions of the characters and reducing them to their basest roles, I mean, look at what has happened to Raj. He’s become a whiny girlfriendless caricature of who he used to be. He once had pride in his work and at least a little more self-confidence despite not really having  girlfriend throughout the series other than that one deaf girl nobody ever saw and lasted just an episode or two. I understand that adding more women into the equation would cause some changes but I didn’t expect all the nerdy stuff I liked about the show to disappear completely.

AND ANOTHER THING…

There is something that bothered me specifically about the recent episode 2 though. I felt at times that the line delivery and direction was a little like watching improv. I couldn’t put my finger on it but it really made me feel like I was watching the same characters I used to love doing something that I hate. I think it was just a poorly executed episode from everyone, like it was just thrown together and everyone was bored and didn’t care. It’s become so very different, and not in a good way. As Abed would say “Bad. Just baad.”

Seth Green takes on Star Wars (again)

I stumbled across this video late (laaaate) last night…

As a die-hard Star Wars fan I’m happy and worried at the same time, but I’m willing to give it a shot since I’m not a total ass. Let’s just take a look at the details for now.

THE FACTS

  • Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matt Senreich have been tasked with making an animated short comedy series. CGI, not their usual “claymation on bath salts” style.
  • The characters are a mix of some of the newer (and in my opinion most annoying) characters from the prequel trilogy, such as Jar Jar Binks and Dexter “Dex” Jettster… the names alone make me cringe… mixed with a healthy amount of the lovable older characters, from Greedo to Lando to old man Obi Wan.
  • It’s set at a point in time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope (explaining the character mashup) and is showing the lives of the character in an everyday capacity.
  • The show has not yet been picked up by a network or given a release date.

SOME OTHER OPINIONS

I’ve read a few different opinions on this, from some real seething hateful ones, to more mild and even hopeful takes on it. So most people are ranging from skeptical optimism to berserker rage. I’m seeing little to no real excitement for it, which is kinda normal when it comes to new Star Wars anything. It seems that this show will probably get decent reception despite the warcries from fanboys that want to kill Lucas in his sleep.

MY OPINION

While I often feel like I’m being stabbed in the throat by George Lucas myself, I can’t say that I hate all new Star Wars everything. I’m intrigued by the expansion of the universe and can take everything with a grain of salt. I want to break my face against a wall when I see things like Jar Jar Binks, but you have to admit having deeper insight into things like the Mandelorians is pretty cool. I just try to ignore the things I don’t like.

As for this latest piece of Star Wars news I’m having a hard time getting on board. When I saw the trailer originally I laughed a little, the second time not so much… and then I watched the clips. Not one of them were really that funny. My lack of excitement for this show might be based on a few different things. First of all I’m not the biggest fan of Robot Chicken. I find it gets old REALLY fast. The second point being that I’m not sure if I’ll be able to handle the way the characters are represented. It just seems like they go completely against my ideals of them and while I know it’s supposed to be satire it sometimes feels a little insulting. My third point of contention with this show is that I just think the jokes are bad. Not all of them, mind you, but really watch the clips they have on YouTube… they just aren’t so good. A little vanilla and obvious, Mr. Green, I expected more from someone who often works closely with Seth Macfarlane. Oddly the kiddy way it’s animated doesn’t bother me at all.

THE OFFICIAL VERDICT?

Ummmmmm……… I’m just not sure what to think. I guess we’ll all have to wait and see what happens when the actual show comes out… all I can say is that I’m a little scared.

Geekin’ out on Level Up

I was having a craving for something new and nerdy. I hit up my usual methods of internet scouring and came across a show called Level Up. The title screamed gamer and nerd, so I gave it a look. It’s still in it’s first season, but quite a ways in. 20 episodes to be exact. I’m on episode 7 and I just can’t stop watching! I’m actually watching as I write…Level Up promo shot

A QUICK WALKTHROUGH

Level Up is about a group of high school gamers that inadvertently unleash a horde of online enemies on their quiet little hometown of Daventry Hills. After figuring out that their online personas, who are all part of the same clan in the game, all go to the same high school IRL (that’s ‘in real life’ for all non-gamers out there). They don’t run in the same circles (as TV writing law dictates) with one being a typical nerd, one a slacker and one a jock. As you would expect they don’t get along at first, but eventually band together and figure out how to get these otherworldly animated baddies back to their circuit boards.

SO WHAT DO I THINK?

The show is cute, quick-witted, and cheesy as hell. The weapons they use from the game to dispatch the video game “leaks”, as they call them, seem like they come from some sort of WOW/Ratchet and Clank/Team Fortress 2 hybrid, which is pretty cool. It’s well written, geeky, rediculous, and reminds me of some of my favourite shows. There’s just one thing… I figured there would be more monsters, fighting, and butt kicking. The pilot/movie had a bit more of it than a lot of the episodes, but it’s still holds up.

As I said, I can’t stop watching. It’s like a live-action kids cartoon for online gamers. Almost all the main characters seem familiar although I’ve never seen them before… and it kinda makes me crazy that I can’t put my finger on who they remind me of. I am really enjoying it though, and give it an overall solid.