TV Review – Tuca & Bertie Season 1

Tuca & Bertie Season 1 (Netflix)
Written by Lisa Hanawalt, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Lee Sung Jin, Rachelle Williams, Nick Adams, Karen Graci, Gonzalo Cordova, Shauna McGarry
Directed by Amy Winfrey, Aaron Long, Mollie Helms, James Bowman, Adam Parton

At first glance, Tuca & Bertie looks like an Adult Swim reject show that was influenced by the style of Bojack Horseman. The first two episodes were challenging for me to get into as they settled me into their universe. Tuca (voiced by Tiffany Haddish) is outgoing, loud, hard to focus, while Bertie (voiced by Ali Wong) is the more cautious, anxious, soft-hearted of the two. It’s the story of two best friends who are adjusting to the changes in their lives.
Bertie moved in with her boyfriend Speckle (voiced by Steven Yeun) in the same apartment complex and used to room with Tuca. Thanks to the default narrative, the immediate thought that crosses your mind is that Tuca will get in a lot of trouble, and Bertie will have to explain or tag along. Sort of a Sarah Silverman Show scenario.

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Weekly Wonderings – August 10th, 2021

Today I woke up and felt that pang of anxiety again that I hadn’t felt since October/November. I’ve learned my anxiety lives in my gut, so it’s this awful sick to my stomach feeling. I have complete empathy for anyone feeling mental health problems right now. The world is so goddamn terrible, and anyone we’ve chosen to lead us just seems unwilling to do anything about it. I don’t know what the immediate solution will be. I know long term we have to tear down the current structures. In the same way, we moved past feudalism, we must do the same with capitalism until there is real economic democracy in the world through socialism or some similar philosophy. But do we even have the time?

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Science Fiction Masterworks – Previously Reviewed

This last month saw us take a look at many science fiction classics but there are so many I’d previously reviewed and wanted to highlight them here. Below are excerpts from my reviews with links the full write-up. Much like the Horror Masterworks series, I have more films on the list for Science Fiction in a future second series.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

From my review: It’s an understatement to point out what a technical achievement 2001 represents. Even today, almost every special effect and model stands up. This is a gorgeous piece of cinema that makes sure to communicate the scale and scope of man, his constructions, and the celestial bodies. Kubrick also understands the connection between outer space and our perception of the divine. The planets and moons are presented in a quasi-religious fashion with a soundtrack of meticulously chosen classical pieces that convey that awe. My particular favorite is Gayane’s Adagio by Aram Khachaturian used when the audience first sees Discovery One. I absolutely love the lonely lamenting tone of the piece, matching the distance Bowman & Poole are from their homeworld, adrift in the quiet darkness of space.

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PopCult Podcast Episode 5

This episode it’s a conversation about Top 5 Movies from Our Childhoods with Ariana. She goes with movies that awakened her bisexuality I go with films that inspired me to love the medium. We follow that up with a review of Clifford (1990) and a conversation about the late Charles Grodin and his films.

We’d love to know what you thought of this episode so leave your comments here or leave a voice message on our Anchor page. We might share your comment on an upcoming episode of the show.

You can listen to the podcast here or on Spotify or Google Podcasts.

PopCult Podcast Episode 4

In this episode of the PopCult Podcast we continue the science fiction theme of the blog this month. First up, Ariana and I share our Top 5 Science Fiction Movies list. Then we have a casual conversation about Star Trek: The Next Generation and Picard Season 1.

We’d love to know what you thought of this episode so leave your comments here or leave a voice message on our Anchor page. We might share your comment on an upcoming episode of the show.

You can listen to the podcast here or on Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Comic Book Review – Justice League: Breakdowns

Justice League: Breakdowns
Takes place in Justice League America #52 – 60, Justice League Europe #28-36, and Green Lantern v3 #18
Written by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Gerard Jones
Art by Trevor von Eeden, Bart Sears, Chris Wozniak, Darick Robertson, Joe Staton, Kevin Maguire

In 2019, I began re-reading this classic run of Justice League. I decided instead of waiting for the last omnibus or the final trade paperback collection (DC recently started to repackage this series from issue one in a new tpb series), I would just read this final epic storyline via DC Universe Infinite. If you have read my previous reviews, you know my personal love of this era of the League. They were not the most excellent roster to ever appear, but they were a breath of fresh air and a completely different direction that has become iconic. After five years, Giffen & DeMatteis decided it was time to wrap up their tenure on Justice League America and Europe and do so with a 15 part event titled “Breakdowns.”

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TV Review – The Best of Seinfeld Part 3

The Hamptons (Season 5, Episode 20)
Original airdate: May 12, 1994
Written by Peter Mehlman & Carol Leifer
Directed by Tom Cherones

In the wake of season four, Seinfeld had become the jewel in NBC’s crown. Despite their worries about episodes centered around the television industry and making meta-fictional jokes about the sitcom, it worked. Audiences wanted something different from the saccharine sitcoms they’d been given for so long. For the rest of Seinfeld’s run, the writers would refer back to older episodes without any fears of audience members not getting it. 

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TV Review – The Best of Batman: The Animated Series Part 4

Sins of the Father (Season 3, Episode 2)
Original airdate: September 23, 1997
Written by Rich Fogel
Directed by Curt Geda

Batman: The Animated Series came to an end on Fox Kids in 1995 as a new network came to prominence. The WB was to be a home for Warner Brothers programming, including expanding the DC superheroes animated universe. The New Batman Adventures was run by the same people that worked on BTAS, but the character and production designs were tweaked. Batman’s costume was more in line with his simpler Year One style, and the villains took on more gothic, monstrous looks. Catwoman had pale skin, Joker’s hair looked like a boomerang, and The Scarecrow was a pure nightmare.

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TV Review – The Best of Batman: The Animated Series Part 2

Perchance to Dream (Season 1, Episode 30)
Original airdate: October 19, 1992
Written by Laren Bright and Michael Reaves & Joe R. Lansdale
Directed by Boyd Kirkland

Batman chases a group of villains but is knocked unconscious after seeing a flash of light. He wakes up back home as Bruce Wayne, unsure of how he got back to Wayne Manor. He knows things are wrong when he goes to enter the Batcave but finds it’s not there. Testing his sanity even further is the revelation that Thomas & Martha Wayne are still alive. Bruce is engaged to Selina Kyle, and Batman is an entirely different person newly debuted in Gotham City. This is obviously not the series finale, so it’s clear that Bruce is caught in a dream state of some sort.

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Documentary Round-Up – January 2021

The Inventor: Out For Blood in Silicon Valley (2019)
Written & Directed by Alex Gibney

The first time I heard Elizabeth Holmes speak, I knew there was something unconventional about her. My introduction to Holmes happened after her biomedical company Theranos fell apart the truth of her groundbreaking inventions was brought to light. Even then, it wasn’t until watching this documentary that I observed the full autopsy of what Theranos did and how it essentially cuckolded the investor culture of Silicon Valley & its cohorts.

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