20th Jun2014

West Week Ever – 6/20/14

by Will

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So, I took a week off. No one seemed to notice, so I guess you either had an awesome Friday OR nobody reads these things. Anyway, I was on vacation, and when I’m not at work, I don’t really know what’s going on in the world,. So, I took a breather. I hope you’ll forgive me :-p

 

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First up, the United States Patent Office canceled the Redskins trademark, seemingly in an attempt to get the team to change its name. Of course, there are folks excited about this, while there are others who don’t understand what the big deal is about the name. The way I see it, there are really only 2 opinions to have on the matter: you can admit that it’s racist OR you can just not care at all. I fall into the latter camp, as I’m not a sports guy, but I can also admit that it’s pretty racist. I know that folks don’t like change, and there’s the whole matter of “tradition”, but it’s a pretty negative name. I feel like everyone has their own limits of decency, and this just doesn’t set off any alarms for some people. I’m sure, however, there are names out there that would get people upset. I mean, what if the team were called the Washington Holocausts or the Washington Pontius Pilates? Oh, suddenly some folks are starting to get uncomfortable. Good. And don’t try to say “Those are different”, ’cause they really aren’t. I’m not really sure what the big deal is about changing the name, as it’s not like the Redskins have this record that would be tarnished by a name change. For the most part, they’re an expensive, yet shitty team. Hell, a name change might help them out. Take a page from comics, and reboot the whole damn franchise.

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In other controversial news, American Apparel ousted Dov Charney as its CEO and president due to sexual misconduct. If you’re not familiar with American Apparel, they make uber comfortable t-shirts, but charge, like, $30 each for them because they’re made with sweatshop-free labor. Oh, and most of their print ads look like scenes from snuff films. Most of the employees look like aspiring Suicide Girls, so Charney was like a kid in a candy store. He’s admitted to having sexual relations with employees in the past, but says that it was always consensual. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink, Dov!

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In tech news, Amazon unveiled the wholly unnecessary Fire Phone. Seriously, was anyone waiting for this thing? Sure, it’s got “3-D” capability and whatnot, but what bothers me is that it’s running a modified version of Android, with a curated list of apps. As someone who owns a Kindle Fire, the native apps kinda suck on that thing. Sure, it was essentially an Android tablet, but the apps were treated like a gated community and you couldn’t get a lot of the things that were popular on the Google Play Store.

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On the music front, I’m surprised I’m saying this, but I find I’m a big fan of country rapper Big Smo. I was first introduced to Smo on an episode of Bar Rescue, as he was helping Jon Taffer to fix up the local watering hole that had given him his start. I had never heard of him, and kinda thought he was a joke. Next, I heard he was getting his own reality show on A&E, showcasing his life as he’s just about to break out as a mainstream artist. I watched the premiere, and I actually enjoyed it. Still, I wasn’t exactly sure I was down with his music. I grew up listening to country, and though I like a lot of today’s music, it ain’t “country”. This is especially true of the latest craze in the genre: country rap. However, I ran out of podcasts to listen to this week, so I fired up Spotify and decided to listen to all the Big Smo they had. I’m now a fan. As I said on Twitter, his music sounds like the soundtrack to a Louisiana prison break. I just wonder where he’s gonna get airplay, as he’s too country for hip hop, but too hip hop for country. Here’s his single “Workin’”:

While we’re talking about country stuff, have any of you seen this new Auto Trader commercial with the Dukes of Hazzard? I refuse to believe that the Dukes own a smartphone or tablet. I refuse!

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I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my favorite shows is Catfish, especially due to the live-tweeting experience that comes along with it. It seems to bring out the detective in everyone, and some enterprising sleuth has started this site which compiles the social media links of the various guests featured. Wondering what was so intriguing about Solana’s Instagram? Well, here ya go.  Remember Instagram fame whore Antoinette? Here she is. It’s that simple. It’s probably best to check the site after the episode, as it can spoil whether or not the Catfish is real, but it’s still a fun way to kill some time.

 

SBTB

Lifetime has announced that  it will be airing the TV movie The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story on September 1st. Here’s your first look at the cast. Though not based on Dustin Diamond’s Behind the Bell tell-all, it does promise to give us a behind-the-scenes look at the salacious activities of the castmates. I don’t watch Shameless or Degrassi, so I don’t know who any of these kids are, but they were cast by Saved By The Bell‘s original casting director, so there must be something to them.

marvel

Marvel Comics released their solicitations for August, which included 15 books with $4.99 price tags. This, folks, is the beginning of the end. I don’t think the industry can survive $5 books, especially if they’re simple monthlies. Event books can do it, as they only occur for about 6 months out of the year, but $5 for the foreseeable future is just too much. If you’re doing $5 and above, you’ve got to sweeten the deal. I’ve grown to like the European model, where they sell compilations of recent issues for about $7-9, which is fine because you’re getting over 100 pages of story. 40 pages at $4.99, however, just ain’t worth it ($3.99 comics are usually 22 pages). Few people realize it, but there was a $9.99 issue of Deadpool just two months ago. It was a special issue, as Deadpool got married, but I still don’t think it needed to be $10. $7, maybe, but not $10.

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In local news, there’s a war brewing at my apartment complex between Comcast and Verizon. Up til recently, Comcast was our only option, but FIOS was installed over the past few weeks. Now, they’re both vying for our love. Yesterday morning, Comcast gave breakfast bags to everyone leaving the parking lot. Don’t get too excited – it was juice and a breakfast bar, but it was something. Tomorrow, they’re mounting an assault at the pool. Comcast is going to be giving out delicious, hate-filled Chick Fil A, while Verizon is going to be giving out Rita’s. I’m not quite sure how you can mobilize Rita’s, but I’m curious to find out. I plan to suckle at both of their teats, enjoying delicious chicken and custard. I can’t wait!

 

cold slither

This was a sad week for me, as it marked the end of the Cold Slither Podcast. Not too long ago, I hated the idea of podcasts. Thought they made no sense. Who knew I’d end up guesting on some?! Anyway, I think I hated podcasts because I thought they were some kind of NPR-ish attempt to talk about boring stuff. Then, I found UnderScoopFire! and Cold Slither about the same time, as we traveled in the same Twitter circles. I had a long commute to work, and since I was taking the Metro, radio wasn’t going to be an option. So, I decided to take the podcast plunge and downloaded their most recent eps on my phone. And I was HOOKED! Podcasts didn’t have to be about obscure indie records or sociopolitical climates of third-world nations. Here were some guys just like me, who happened to like the same stuff I liked. Over the course of the next few years, I had the pleasure of guesting on the show a few times, and I was always welcomed with open arms by Classick, Tim, and Eclectik. They really helped me out by allowing Will’s World of Wonder to sponsor their Slither Madness Tournament, and they were always gracious about providing plugs for my store and blog. All seemed right in the world of the slither and then they just disappeared. Classick went back to school, while Tim and Eclectik focused on their solo projects. It was like when your favorite band breaks up and the members go their separate ways. You have to respect the decision, but you always secretly hope that they’ll one day reunite. Well, the Cold Slither Reunion happened last Tuesday night, as they had a live Google Hangout to record what would be the final episode of the Cold Slither Podcast EVER. Once again, I was honored to take part, as we discussed 1989′s Batman. Mainly, I was just glad I got a chance to say goodbye. The Cold Slither Podcast will live on through its website, and more podcasts are expected to be brought under  the CSP umbrella, so I look forward to seeing what they have in store. Anyway, for giving me years of enjoyment, for giving my ventures tons of exposure, and for going out while still on top, the Cold Slither Podcast had the West Week Ever.

15th May2014

Upfronts with Will – ABC Edition

by Will

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ABC has Modern Family and Scandal. That’s pretty much all you need to know. They don’t have a ton of failures like NBC, but they also don’t have a ton of hits. They’re still dependent on the aging Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor, and they could really use some new hits on their schedule. Let’s see what they’ve got in store.

How To Get Away With Murder

I’m not a big Shonda Rhimes person, which means Thursday nights on ABC won’t necessarily be the place for me. That said, I really liked this trailer. I’m not sure what the show will be like, but this trailer does the job of making me want to learn more. Plus, it’s got the Shonda staple of a ball-busting black chick. It’s scheduled for Thursday night at 10, which means its going against Parenthood, which will be in its last season. I see no reason for this not to be a success, as everything Shonda touches for ABC turns to gold.

Cristela

I’ve never  heard of comedienne Cristela Alonzo, but this show brings diversity to the network. It’s going to be paired with Last Man Standing on Friday nights, so it might do OK with the audience looking for that kind of thing. I completely forget that Last Man Standing exists, so I suspect the same fate will befall Cristela. Plus, this trailer did absolutely nothing for me. I thought the show was about the dude, as the woman says nothing. Turns out the woman’s Cristela. You learn something new every day…

Manhattan Love Story

More like Canceled After One Season Story. Nothing about this feels fresh or unique.

Selfie

It’s certainly timely, but I’m not sure Karen Gillan’s character is likable enough to make this appointment television. Plus, the role is such a departure from what folks are used to from her that I doubt she’ll be bringing her Whovian fanbase with her. It seems too cutesy, which is the kind of show ABC picks up every season and drops (see: Don’t Trust The B and Super Fun Night). ABC loves to give these shows a shot, but they never keep them because they don’t have long-term potential. Still, having John Cho in a lead role does help to diversify their lineup a bit. Anyway, it and Manhattan Love Story will have to face off against Utopia and The Voice next season, which won’t be an easy task.

Black-ish

This is probably the show I’m most looking forward to on ABC’s schedule. It not only brings diversity to primetime, but it also deals with the whole notion of whether someone is “black enough”. I can really relate to the subject matter of the show, and it looks pretty funny. I like the cast, with Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne as the grandfather. Anthony Anderson is kinda sitcom Kryptonite, but I’m willing to give him a chance here. It shows that ABC has faith in the show, as it’s been given the post-Modern Family timeslot, which is valuable real estate. I really hope folks give this one a shot.

Galavant

I hadn’t even heard of this show until I was going through ABC’s upfronts trailers. This show’s got it all! Adventure, music, Lassie from Psych. Typically, this wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but I can’t wait to watch this show. It’s not on ABC’s schedule yet, so it’s probably a midseason replacement. Now, excuse me while I watch this trailer 1,000 more times!

Fresh Off the Boat

I’m conflicted about this one. On the one hand, I’ve heard a lot of buzz about it from the Asian community, as they lobbied hard for ABC to pick up the pilot. That said, it’s kinda racist. Like when they’re about to go into the grocery store, and the mom tells him to go with a white family, as he’ll be safe there. Or when she asks him why all of his shirts have black men on them. I’m sure this is probably a common theme in Asian households, so it might just seem funny or relatable to them, but there were certain jokes that sort of stung. Maybe I’m being too sensitive, and I’ll probably give the show a chance once it has a timeslot.

The Whispers

This looks freaky. I was ready to give it a chance until the scope widened. When it looked like it was just a small-town show about imaginary friends, I was intrigued. Then, when the president got involved and it became a worldwide phenomenon, I kinda lost interest. This is the kind of show that’ll be canceled before they answer any of the important questions.

Forever

I like Ioan Gruffudd, as I didn’t hate the Fantastic Four movies as much as others. He’ll always be Reed Richards to me. I also like Judd Hirsch. I’m curious about this show, as it’s an intriguing premise. Basically, the trick is to see how long they can keep killing him before they have to explain why he can’t die. Again, I don’t know if the show will last that long. Right now, it’s scheduled to go against Chicago Fire, so there’s not a ton of competition there. I just hope the audience is ready to go on this particular ride because it seems like the sort  of show where answers will be few and far between.

Secrets and Lies

This feels like Fox’s Gracepoint, but with the pacing of a box office thriller. If it’s a one and done series, I might check it out. I’m certainly curious. Been a long time since we’ve seen Ryan Phillippe! No timeslot as of yet, so it must be a midseason replacement.

American Crime

This looks really good, but it feels more like a movie than a TV show. If this is an exploration on race, I wonder if it’ll start discussions the same way that Crash did. There’s no timeslot yet, so this is probably slated for midseason. I’ll have to check this out when it hits.

Man, there’s a LOT of good looking TV coming from ABC this Fall. It’s been a long time since I’ve been an ABC man, but things may be about to change. What looks good to you guys?

02nd May2014

West Week Ever – 5/2/14

by Will

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I haven’t RedBoxed or Netflixed in weeks, so I don’t really have anything to discuss on that front. I did catch a new standup special on Comedy Central, though – Tracy Morgan: Bona Fide. And it was HORRIBLE. I think I laughed once. I know he used to be a funny guy, so I’m not sure what happened. Maybe he’s just not good at standup? That was what people were saying when he got in trouble for his homophobic rant in his last standup. Maybe he was playing it safe so he didn’t get in trouble again. Either way, it was not an enjoyable hour.

stand up month

It’s currently “Stand Up Month” for Comedy Central and Comedy Central Radio, which is an odd concept. I mean, shouldn’t every month be Stand Up Month? It’s like if MTV christened Music Month or something. Anyway, as part of Stand Up Month, they’ve premiered a new one hour special every Sunday night. I watched Morgan’s, but I listened to Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed and Hannibal Buress: Live From Chicago. Both were what you’d expect from their respective stars. Gaffigan did the whole “subliminal voice” thing that he does, while Buress wasn’t as funny as he’d been in past specials. Still, both specials were WAY funnier than Tracy Morgan. If you’ve got Spotify, you can listen to them there.

 

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Speaking of TV, History Channel is creating Pawnography, which is basically Pawn Stars: The Game Show. In the show, contestants will answer trivia from the Pawn Stars cast in order to win items from Rick Harrison’s personal collection. This would be interesting if Rick actually knew a damn thing about most of his items. Instead, they should focus on Rick’s “experts” that he calls on when he needs information on an item. I haven’t watched Pawn Stars in about a year, as it just got too formulaic for me, but I’ll check out a few episodes of this game show.


We FINALLY have a premiere date for Girl Meets World – Friday, June 27th!

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They announced the Star Wars Episode VII cast this week, and I’ve got nothing. I don’t know any of these people except Adam Driver, and he’s got the kind of face that you just wanna punch. It’s pretty cool that a black guy is the lead this time around, but I’ve yet to see Attack The Block, so I can’t say anything about his acting chops. The one thing I noticed about that released pic, however, is Harrison Ford’s pit stain. Once you see it, you’ll never not see it.

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It’s no secret that I love every episode of American Dad where Steve sings. Luckily, the Boyz 12 episode is one of the best examples of this, and it aired on Adult Swim this week. In fact, it’s the second time it’s aired in the past month, but I’m not complaining! The episode led me to directly tweet Seth MacFarlane, asking him to put all of Steve’s songs on iTunes. I don’t even use iTunes, but you bet I would if I could get those tracks! I wish I could show you that I got a reply from him, but it apparently fell on deaf ears. Or deaf keyboard. Whatever you’re supposed to say in a digital society. Anyway, there doesn’t seem to be a high quality video of the song, but here’s what it sounds like:

 

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This week, it was announced that Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys and Jordan Knight of NKOTB have formed a duo, called Nick & Knight. I’m not making this up. I’m not sure what to think of it. On the one hand, Jordan’s “Give It To You” was one of the best pop songs of the late 90s. On the other hand, Nick didn’t even make a splash when he attempted a solo career. As a boyband fiend, I can’t say that I’m “excited”, per se, but I’m am intrigued. Not only are they releasing an album in September, but they’re also going on tour. If you wanna hear their first single, “Just The Two Of Us”, Perez Hilton has the clip. I’m not blown away by it, but it could be a lot worse.

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The “Death of Wolverine” storyline was announced this week from Marvel Comics. I haven’t read a single article about it, so I can’t speak with any real authority on it. I’ve got no interest in it whatsoever. “Death” has become such a commonplace gimmick in comics that it doesn’t mean a thing anymore. What it equates to is a really long nap until the character is needed again. I’d be more inclined to read these stories if they’d just call them that, like “Wolverine’s Yearlong Nap”. I’m already filled with a ton of questions. How is he sleeping for so long? Is anyone cutting his hair? Are they feeding him through tubes? That angle is kinda interesting. Wolverine’s “death”, however, means nothing to me. It also doesn’t help that there was a “The Death of Wolverine” storyline only 5 years ago. Have fun with that, Marvel.

Sterling

I don’t talk a lot about sports ’cause I really don’t know what I’m talking about. I do, however, know my TMZ. Over the past week, TMZ acquired recorded phone conversations between LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his alleged girlfriend. In those conversations, he told her that he didn’t know why she broadcasts the fact that she hangs around with black people. This was the result of her posting a picture of herself on Instagram with Magic Johnson (btw, follow me on Instagram! @williambrucewest). This resulted in a lifetime ban by the NBA, as well as a $2.5M fine. I guess they needed to make an example of him to show that those sorts of attitudes won’t be tolerated. It’s an interesting contrast to the Marge Schott situation. Schott owned the Cincinnati Reds back when I was still collecting baseball cards (Upper Deck had cool holograms!), and she was known for saying “nigger” left and right. She was only banned for 2 seasons. It wasn’t until she said that Hitler was a good leader that things started to go downhill for her. Facing a third suspension and failing health, she sold her majority stake in the team. At the moment, Sterling insists he won’t sell, while the NBA says they’ll do everything in their power to force a sale. So, comparing the two events, it makes me wonder if Major League Baseball didn’t do enough to Schott, or if the NBA went too far with Sterling. A lot of energy went towards getting him ousted this week, and it worked. It’s dangerous to have people with those views in positions of power. That said, this is only one rich racist. They’re like hydra, and I’m not sure this really makes a dent in the problem. If anything, it’ll just make those people more careful with whom they share their views, but it won’t stop them from having the views. I find the whole thing fascinating, but I’m not sure if I’m satisfied.

Links I Loved

The Secret History Of Britney Spears’ Lost Album – Buzzfeed

33 Amazingly Useful Websites You Never Knew Existed – Buzzfeed

The 10 Worst Slime Toys – The Robot’s Pajamas

Power Ranking the Plentiful Pop Culture Acronyms of the 80s – UnderScoopFire!

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This has quickly turned into Will’s Black Person of the Week. I swear that wasn’t the original intent, but blacks folks be blowin’ up! I may not know who dude is, but I’m not alone. That said, everyone will know who he is for a LONG, LONG time once Star Wars Episode VII comes out. Unless, of course, he ends up like Jake Lloyd. Still, his name was on everyone’s lips this week, and he’s helping a galaxy far, far away to become more diverse. Sure, there are folks who might ask “Wasn’t Mace Windu enough?” or “Where’s the female diversity?”, but I’ve got nothing to really say about that. After all, I’m a Trekker at heart, so it’s amazing I’m even going all out for a Star Wars casting announcement. Yet, here we are. So, for being the guy most likely to have his TIE Fighter pulled over by the space cops, John Boyega is having the West Week Ever.

25th Apr2014

West Week Ever – 4/25/14

by Will

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I took a week off, and no one seemed to notice. I’d love to say that I did it for Jesus and Lent, but I really just didn’t feel like writing. Nothing really happened last week anyway, so it’s all a wash. Anyway, we’re back and I’ve got things to ramble about!

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I got sucked into a 19 Kids and Counting marathon the other night. Ya know, as much as I wanna hate the Duggar family, I just can’t do it. Sure, they’re a little weird, but they seem like nice people. They just had too many damn kids! One of their older daughters, Jessa, was beginning a “courtship” with a boy, and it was kinda interesting to see what their rules are for such a thing. For one thing, they can only do sidehugs, and there’s no hand-holding or kissing. Their first kiss is saved for their wedding day! Now, this may sound crazy to most people, but I grew up in a bass ackwards conservative church. I remember one time in Pro Teens (yup, that’s what youth group was called), our youth pastor said “You should never tell the person you’re dating ‘I love you’ unless you follow it up with ‘Will you marry me?’.”Even the Duggars aren’t that strict, as their daughters throw around “love” like it’s nothing, so they’re even less conservative than the Wheaton Baptist Church. Anyway, as lame as it all sounds, it’s kinda cute watching the courtship unfold. Ben seems like a nice guy, and Jessa’s a beautiful girl – nothing like the pilgrims you’d expect from an ultraconservative, homeschooled clan. Anyway, the oldest Duggar boy, Josh, and his wife live in the DC area now. I MUST track them down!

storage-wars-brandi and Jarrod

While we’re on reality TV, A&E ran a special: Brandi & Jarrod: Married to the Job, focusing on Brandi & Jarrod of Storage Wars fame. I took a hiatus from Storage Wars when Dave Hester left, ’cause that’s when all the allegations came out that it was fake. Plus, I think I’d just gotten tired of the characters. Now that Dave and Barry are gone, plus they’ve brought in Rene and Ivy, it’s fresh enough that I’m giving it another chance. That said, I’d LOVE a regular series just about Brandi & Jarrod as they run their shop and manage their family. It was so much more enjoyable than I thought it would be, and it was nice to see them away from the storage auctions. In the special, we find out that Jarrod celebrates his birthday all month long, and expects parties and gifts everyday. Everything comes to a head when he steals his mom’s pool, sets it up in his driveway, and throws an impromptu pool party that gets shut down by the homeowners association. It’s also funny to me that Jarrod makes his kid wear Outlaw Apparel – the cholo clothing line that Jarrod owns.

There’s been a lot of hoopla about Avril Lavigne’s new video, “Hello Kitty”. For one thing, it’s not Avril’s typical style, so it’s thrown a lot of her fans for a loop. Also, however, folks are crying “cultural misappropriation” about her depiction of Japanese culture. They think she’s being racist instead of it being an homage. Look, the way I see it, you can’t be upset about this if you gave Gwen Stefani a pass with “Harajuku Girls”. She did the same thing, with the same cultural misappropriation; the entire time she toured for L.A.M.B., she was followed by a cadre of 4 Japanese girls as her backup dancers.  Sure, there were people who got upset, but it was nothing on the level of how people are mad over Hello Kitty. I don’t really see the big deal, but I’m also not Asian, so…

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Speaking of Gwen, the rumor is that she’s being courted as Christina Aguilera’s replacement on The Voice. It’s not a bad choice, though I’m not sure I’d have thought of her.

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The Boondocks came back this week, and felt Hella dated. They decided to tackle the whole Chris Brown situation, which made me realize the show had been gone so long (the last season aired  in 2010) that it never had the chance to deal with that fiasco when it was fresh. Still, it felt rehashed, as it was the Usher episode and the R. Kelly trial episode mashed together. Sarah wanted Pretty Boy Flizzy (the Chris Brown stand-in) to meet Jasmine when it was actually because she was really attracted to him (just like the Usher episode), and women still fawned over Flizzy even after he was convicted of multiple crimes (just like the R. Kelly episode). I feel like we flock to The Boondocks for fresh, biting satire, and this just felt like old hat. If this is indicative of what this final season is going to be like, I already miss Aaron McGruder’s contributions.

meg_ryan

One of the oddest things about How I Met Your Mother was the fact that Bob Saget was the voice of Old Ted. Why? Why wouldn’t Old Ted just sound like TED?! Even Family Guy pointed out how it made no sense. I guess they felt they needed a “name” when they were launching the show, but I’m not sure Bob Saget had that kind of star power. Well, the spinoff, How I Met Your Dad is doing the same thing, as Meg Ryan has been cast as the voice of The Mom as she recounts the story of how she met the father of her children. I wish ‘em luck, but I doubt I’ll be watching that show. I think they squandered a lot of goodwill with the finale of How I Met Your Mother, and I’m just not ready to get back on that horse anytime soon.

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I guess I should say something about that whackadoodle, Cliven Bundy. Ya know – the rancher who claims “the Negro” did better under slavery. On the one hand, that’s a crazy idea to state publicly. On the other hand, I really like saying the word “Negro”, and he’s enabled me to say it many times this week. So, I guess there’s that. But no, he did NOT have the West Week Ever.

Links I Loved
The Long Con: How the Undertaker Actually Passed the Torch to Cesaro by Losing at WrestleMania – UnderScoopFire!

Rush of Nostalgia: Burger King Kids Club – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

The 20 Weirdest TMNT Toys – The Robot’s Pajamas

Adventures at Steel City Con – Cool and Collected

In Case You Missed It
Adventures West Coast – Nick Fury Vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. TPB

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We’ve got another repeat winner, as Lupita Nyong’o once again had the West Week Ever. A year ago, no one knew who she was. Now, she’s an Oscar winner AND People’s Most Beautiful Person. What a difference a year makes, huh?! Anyway, we’re still waiting to see what her next career move will be, as Oscar hasn’t been kinda to blacktors and blacktresses. In any case, all eyes were on her this week.

21st Mar2014

West Week Ever – 3/21/14

by Will

oie_922142seDasWF9

I know I was supposed to write about my Walt Disney World thoughts at some point, but I just didn’t get around to it. Maybe next week? Hell, let’s just do it now.

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I went to Orlando for training on the student information system we use at work. On the second night of the event, we were given passes to go to the Disney park of our choice. Since I’d never been before, I decided to go with the Magic Kingdom. Let me just say that I didn’t know how magical it would be, right down to the entrance gate. The “tickets” are actually more like gift cards, and then they fingerprint you with some kind of bioscanner as you walk through. I thought I was going to an amusement park, not hacking into NORAD! You enter right onto Main Street, and the afternoon parade was in full swing.

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My friend, Mary, and I decided to hit Space Mountain first, since it was one of the four things I simply had to experience (the other three being Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and The Haunted Mansion).

-Space Mountain would’ve been more exciting had it not been for the 2-hour wait. 2 hours for a 3 minute ride?! No, thank you! I didn’t realize that this was my first rollercoaster ride since getting my latest pair of glasses, so I spent most of the ride trying to keep them from flying off my face. It was kinda cool, however, that they had games stationed throughout the line to give you something to do while you wait. Luckily, I did Space Mountain first, so it kinda tempered my expectations for the rest of the park.

-They really need to update Tomorrowland, as the music they played sounded like the St. Elsewhere theme.

After the arduous wait for Space Mountain, I was scared that all of the lines would be like that. We had arrived at the park at around 6, and we would only have until 12:30 before the bus went back to the hotel. Seeing as how I’d wasted 1/3 of my time waiting for ONE ride, it wasn’t looking good for the home team! Mary thought that It’s a Small World would be clear around dinner time, so that’s where we went next.

2014-03-11 20.29.05She was right, as the wait for It’s a Small World was only 10 minutes. Sure, it may not be the most exciting ride, but it’s still interesting. People say that the song gets into your head and doesn’t get out, but I didn’t seem to have that problem. Ha! I’m immune! Oh no…as I type this, it’s creeping into my brain! “It’s a small world after all…”

After traveling the world, so to speak, we decided to head toward The Haunted Mansion. Let’s just say I was disappointed, but it wasn’t really the fault of the ride. You see, when I thought about The Haunted Mansion, I was really thinking of The Tower of Terror. I didn’t realize they were two different things. So, I went in totally expecting the wrong thing. I kept expecting the drop, but instead I just toured around, looking at holographic ghosts. It’s not a bad attraction, but it just wasn’t what I expected.

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After The Haunted Mansion, we decided to check out Pirates of the Caribbean but we got blocked by the night parade. We kept trying to navigate around it, but kept running into it. Finally, we were able to cross at a point, and get across to Adventureland for Pirates of the Caribbean. If ya ask me, this ride is just the pirate version of The Haunted Mansion. I have no idea how they made movies based on this ride, as I didn’t know what the Hell was going on. It’s just lots of yelling and pirate songs. Keep in mind, I’ve never seen any of the movies, so maybe that’s what they’re like, as well.

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One thing that really bothered me was that there were no characters walking around. In any medium, when you see Disney World, you see folks getting their pictures taken with people in costumes. Maybe they were getting ready for the parades, but I never saw anyone in a character costume who wasn’t on a float. I wanted my picture taken with Goofy, but I guess it wasn’t to be :-(

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The entire time at the park, I REALLY wanted a hot dog. I don’t typically crave them, but there was something about cow lips and other assorted parts that sounded tantalizing to me. Do you know how hard it is to find a hot dog at Disney after a certain time of day? I mean, it wasn’t late night yet, but I couldn’t find one anywhere. There were turkey legs, popcorn carts, and cinnamon-covered almond stands, but no hot dogs. And the parade kept thwarting my efforts. Finally, we made our way to Casey’s on Main Street, which sold nothing but hot dogs. Salvation!

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Since I didn’t get to see Goofy, I had to settle for stopping into his candy store in downtown Disney.

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Couldn’t hit downtown Disney without going to the LEGO Store!

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Another weird thing about Disney is that there’s no gum to be had anywhere on the property. Mary tried to get gum at the airport, and was told that Orlando is essentially gum-free. I guess that helps them keep the place clean, but it’s so odd that gum is something they’d outlaw.

Anyway, what did I think of the Magic Kingdom overall? I had fun, but I think I’m too old for Disney World. I really needed to experience it at a younger age in order to feel the “magic” about the place. I think the perfect age to take kids would be when they’re under 7, so they can ride things like the teacups, but they aren’t old enough for the rides that are eligible for a FastPass. I know there are adults who go to Disney on their own, and I just don’t get that. The crowds, the activity, the noise – I’d only want to endure that for the sake of children. So, I had fun, but I think I’ll have more fun one day with my heirs. Yup, that’s what I’m calling them for now.

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I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars, but I found something interesting about this season’s cast. You see, DJ Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure) and Winnie Cooper (Danica McKeller) are contestants on the show, but it also seems they have some history together. Apparently, Candace used to date Jeremy Miller from Growing Pains – who proceeded to dump her for Danica. Cold! Anyway, Danica didn’t know she had broken up the relationship until the two spoke at dance practice, all these years later. I wonder if Jeremy’s fiancee knows that story…

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Apparently, there’s a Jem movie in the works. If there isn’t a role in it for Lady Gaga, it’s dead on arrival. Honestly, I’m not sure why anyone is taking this seriously. John Chu is attached to direct, but he was also gonna do the Masters of the Universe reboot, but dropped out of that project. I think he just likes being linked to 80s properties, but I’ll believe this when I see it.

Peanuts

Peanuts does as little for me as The Muppets, but I know some of you are fans. I’m curious to see how this whole 3-D style turns out for it. I actually really like the new look, so maybe this is just what I needed to finally be interested in this property.

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Cory’s parents and Shawn Hunter are gonna be on a holiday episode of Girl Meets World! Can this show just air already?

Walking Dead

Speaking of TV, if you like your zombie shows edited, you’re in luck. MyNetworkTV just picked up the rights to broadcast edited episodes of The Walking Dead next fall. Since they’re edited for “broadcast standards”, look for a lot of the gore to be taken out. I’m curious to see how “The Neutered Dead” does in syndication. I don’t watch the show, but I can’t wait for some mom in flyover country to lose her shit when she stumbles across it one Saturday evening.

NBC renewed Parks & Recreation this week, while the jury’s still out on Community. It’s kinda sad it wasn’t the other way around, as Parks & Rec has done a pretty good job of wrapping things up this season. To watch it, it felt like a show that knew it was on the way out. I don’t know what they’re gonna do with what’s essentially a “bonus” season for them. Law & Order: SVU also wasn’t on the renewal list, but it’s probably due to contract negotiations. I mean, NBC wouldn’t kill off SVU so soon after getting rid of the main show…would they? Hell, who knows what NBC execs are thinking anymore?

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ABC continued killing any momentum Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might have gained by essentially airing a 1-hr DVD featurette where Marvel patted itself on the back for creating a cohesive cinematic universe. It was an interesting special, and it was nice to look back and see how it all came together. Still, I think it would’ve been more fitting on the Captain America: The Winter Soldier Blu-Ray instead of using valuable airtime.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of joining my pal James (@SnoopyJenkins) and David Walker for a chat on race in comics and comic media. You can check out part one here:

Links I Loved
Meet Ryan Tedder, the Secret King of Pop Who Doesn’t Look at Royalty Checks – Billboard

LoeB Post: “Why Did I Buy That?!” – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

18 Reasons You Should Be Watching ‘The Goldbergs’ on ABC – UnderScoopFire!

Star Trek Problems: He Deserves It – The Robot’s Pajamas

The 10 Worst Movies Ever (According to Battle Armor Joe) – UnderScoopFire!

They can’t all be winners, and this week proves it. No one had the West Week Ever. Hell, there weren’t even finalists. Ultimately, The Muppets will probably end the week on a positive note, as Muppets Most Wanted is released today, and I know how y’all love your Muppets. Still, the movie’s not out yet, and it might (though chances are slim) bomb. So, nobody gets the WWE honor this week. Maybe things will be more exciting next week. Maybe they’ll even find that plane!

07th Mar2014

West Week Ever – 3/7/14

by Will

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So, this week I’ve been watching Maron on Netflix. If you’re not familiar, it stars comedian Marc Maron and it’s basically the same formula as Louie. The difference, however, is I find I relate to Maron more than Louis CK. I’ve never listened to Maron’s podcast, but I’ve heard a bunch of his bits and I find him really witty. He also has this self-loathing streak that’s kind of brave for him to be putting out there in public. So, I guess Maron has a vulnerability that I don’t see in Louis. It’s interesting they both ended up with the same kind of show, seeing as how they’re contemporaries and also had a longstanding rivalry. I’m sure it’d be easy to just write off Maron as a rip-off of Louie, but I think there’s more heart to it.

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I never thought I’d have to do this, but I may have to strip a prior winner of West Week Ever status. If you remember, last year I bestowed the honor upon iCarly‘s Jennette McCurddy and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons. It seemed like a cute internet love story, as he had posted her as his “Woman Crush Wednesday” choice on Twitter, and they eventually ended up dating. Well, they didn’t live happily ever after, as McCurddy explained on Pete Holmes’s You Made It Weird podcast. She admitted that she only dated Drummond for the publicity and said that he was a bad kisser. Listening to the podcast, she doesn’t really come off as malicious, but she still aired their business in public. Drummond, seemingly, retaliated by “leaking” a racy photo that she’d sent him. He’s denying having anything to do with the leak, but she’s pretty certain that he’s the one who did it. Who knew that a celebrity relationship would end like this?!

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This week, it was announced that Batman would be returning to next-gen consoles in Batman: Arkham Knight. I own Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, but still haven’t gotten Arkham Origins. I won’t be following Bats into this latest game, however, as it’s not going to be released on the 360, and I’m not planning on ever getting a PS4 or an XBone. Sucks, ’cause I’d really like to drive the Batmobile, as you’ll be able to do in this installment. Oh well, I’m sure I’m sure I know someone who’ll end up buying it and I can just play theirs.

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I swear I never set out to talk about Arsenio every week, but he keeps giving me material. I’m not sure if this has happened in other markets, but I noticed that our CW affiliate kinda cut some of his support once the second season was announced. You see, they had created a sort of “black bubble” to boost his viewership. When the show launched, its lead-in was syndicated episodes of The Middle. Someone at Channel 50 realized it had nothing in common with Arsenio’s target demographic, so in January, they started airing Judge Mathis at 10 . It was weird to see court shows that late at night, but I eventually got used to it. To ease folks out of Arsenio, they aired Cosby Show reruns after his show. This created said black bubble, as the shows were aimed at black viewers. Well, the bubble burst this week, as they took off Judge Mathis and now air Seinfeld in the 10 PM slot. I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish, as the Seinfeld audience isn’t the Arsenio audience any more than The Middle‘s audience was. They had created a nice little nest for Arsenio and now they’ve gotten rid of it (though the Cosby episodes are still the lead out). I wonder what the grand plan is for that 10 PM slot.

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Speaking of odd programming choices, it was announced this week that Conan O’Brien will be hosting the MTV Movie Awards. This is most certainly a step down for someone who once hosted The Tonight Show. These aren’t even the fabled Video Music Awards that we’re talking about here – these are the MOVIE awards. Sure, Conan has always wanted to be hip, but the MTV crowd ain’t his audience. And it’s not like it was a contractual obligation from the network, as his show is produced by Turner while MTV is a Viacom network. Like the Arsenio scheduling, I wonder what the endgame is here.

upload

I stumbled across Upload with Shaquille O’Neal on Tru TV. Funny enough, everything on Tru TV is blatantly fake, but I gave it a chance because of Shaq’s cohosts – comedians Godfrey and Rachel Feinstein. I love both of them for different reasons, but it was painful to see them in this show. What is Upload? Basically, it’s Tosh.0 hosted by Shaq. And it’s even worse than it sounds. Since Shaq’s a lummox, Godfrey and Rachel are there to do the heavy comedic lifting, but they’re not given much to work with. Anyway, avoid this show at all costs!

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Speaking of bad television, last week Jim Parsons hosted what may be the worst episode of Saturday Night Live that I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t just unfunny, but it was weird in an uncomfortable way. He kicked off the show with a song and dance number about how he’s “not that guy” that he plays on The Big Bang Theory. Then, he spent the next 90 minutes essentially being that guy. So, I think he failed on that goal. I can’t say that I’m expecting better with this week’s host, Lena Dunham.

Anyone who’s ever been to this site knows that I eat this kinda stuff up:

I probably would’ve liked it more had he spliced in some PR footage for the visuals. It’s kinda weird watching him as he belts all those songs (especially when he kinda Britta’d some of them). Still, it’s pretty impressive.

Links I Loved
Thundercats LIVE! Was The Stuff of Nightmares – Double Dumbass On You

15 Things You Might Not Know About Star Wars – UnderScoopFire!

Jackie Robinson and the Mythic Black Superhero – Snoopy Jenkins

One’s career seems to be on the decline, while another seems to be on the way up. One seems like a moron, while the other is more of a Maron. Only one, however, had the West Week Ever.

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Who had a week like Lupita Nyong’o? Sure, Adele Dazeem jokes aside, everyone was talking about Lupita’s award-winning performance in her first role. Now everyone’s speculating on what she’ll do next. Well, history and Oscar haven’t been kind to my people. Cuba went from Jerry Maguire to Boat Trip. Halle ended up doing The Call – from WWE Films, mind you. Octavia did a guest stint on CBS’s Mom. While an Oscar usually means the sky is the limit, for a black actor it usually means the limit is the sky.  I haven’t seen 12 Years A Slave yet, but I hear it’s powerful. So, enjoy your week, Lupita, ’cause it’s only a matter of time before you’re cast in A Haunted House 3 with the Wayans Bros. For now, however, let’s enjoy Lupita’s win by crowning her as having had the West Week Ever.

21st Feb2014

West Week Ever – 2/21/14

by Will

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Welcome to our new look, thanks to @reappropriate! It’s still a work in progress, so bear with us during our construction.

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First up, let’s do our standard What Will Watched This Week. I Redboxed The Wolverine, and I’m surprised to say that I really liked it. When it comes to the comics, I HATE Wolverine In Japan stories. I loathe them. He suddenly changes from scruffy loner into a samurai, and it always seemed at odds with his other characterization. I mean, how do you have a code of honor AND a berserker rage? Anyway, the best part about this movie is that he had been to Japan in the past, but upon returning, there’s none of the noble samurai stuff. He doesn’t know the language, the customs, any of it. This way, he struggles to adjust along with the audience. I did find it odd that the movie had no opening credits whatsoever. You don’t see that in too many movies these days. Speaking of credits, the post-credits scene really has me intrigued for X-Men: Days of Future Past, so there’s that.

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Next up, I watched In A World…, which was written, directed by, and starred Lake Bell. Howie Decker (of UnderScoopFire!) and I have discussed how Lake Bell is an anomaly, as she can be beautiful, but she can also look like a refugee off the cover of National Geographic. Well, in this movie, she was at her refugee-est, as the slacker daughter of a famous voice-over star. Since the death of famed movie trailer announcing god Don LaFontaine, the hunt was on to see who would bring back his famous “In a world…” intro. Bell’s father is up for the job, as well as newcomer Gustav Warner. Through a crazy chain of events, Bell’s character is also in the running, and the race is on to see who will say “In a world…” for future epics. It was a cute little comedy, with a great cast. Along with Bell, there’s Rob Corddry, Dimitri Martin, Nick Offerman, and Ken Marino. I definitely recommend this movie.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy

So, let’s start off with the fun stuff from the week. The Guardians of the Galaxy trailer came out, and it was pretty entertaining. It’ll be interesting to see how this movie does, however. It’s kinda jarring that Marvel Studios did a great job at grounding their movies in “reality”, and then all of a sudden, SPACE! I mean, do you understand that Peter Quill is a HUMAN in SPACE?! That’s a pretty big leap from what they’ve been doing. Sure, they fought aliens in The Avengers, but that was still as “grounded” an invasion as they could do. Guardians of the Galaxy, however, changes the scope of everything. Anyway, I’m not sure if it’s gonna break any records, but it should be a fun movie. And yes, Marvel got a talking raccoon in a movie before DC got a Wonder Woman movie off the ground. I’m so frickin’ sick of hearing about how Wonder Woman doesn’t have a movie…

legendary morpherSomething else that grinds my gears: adult Power Rangers fans pissed off about toys. Last week, I mentioned how Power Rangers Super Megaforce was premiering, in which the Rangers could call upon any of the Ranger powers from the past 20 years. Well, they do this via the Legendary Morpher, and since the show is pretty much a giant toy commercial, there’s a toy of said morpher. Each ranger has a key, which is used to unlock the powers. Bandai America produced the keys, which are sold in packs of 3, yet seem to omit most of the female rangers. Now, AFOPRs (Adult Fans of Power Rangers – let’s see if that catches on) are upset that the females are being omitted, ranting “Girls watch Power Rangers, too!” Yes, they do, but Power Rangers is a BOYS toy line. It was conceived as such, it has won awards as such, and that, as Stone Cold Steve Austin would say, is the bottom line. Sure, girls watch Power Rangers, but I’m sure some boys play with Barbies. Are they, however, clamoring for Ken’s Dream House? No, because the line was *primarily* meant for girls. AFOPRs seem to think that the omission of the female keys flies in the face of the Power Rangers message of empowerment and inclusion. I don’t think it does any such thing. I just think Bandai knew that they weren’t going to make much money slinging pink keys. Sure, there are some seasons, like Time Force, where Pink was pretty important, but I’m not gonna lose sleep over the fact that some 13 year old show isn’t getting its due in a 2014 toy line. As I said last week, the kids watching Super Megaforce are probably too young to know most of the teams that will be showcased, and the Super Megaforce powers aren’t gender specific, as we saw last week when everyone transformed into a different Red Ranger – including the girls, transforming into Rangers who’d previously been male. I’ve often said that if you’re old enough to bitch online about the decisions made on a children’s show, it’s not for you. I may come off as a hypocrite, but I’m bitching about the fans and not the product. The kids will like it just fine, and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

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Yesterday, the Fantastic Four reboot cast was announced, and everyone lost their shit. Still, despite all of the changes that are apparently on the horizon, folks are still upset about Michael B. Jordan cast as Johnny Storm. I wrote about this a few months back, and my feelings haven’t changed. Comics change important details ALL THE TIME, so I’m not quite sure how changing his race hurts the character of Johnny Storm. Does it help the character? Who really knows? That remains to be seen. People say that it’s just change for the sake of change, but I have no real problem with that. I’ve never really liked the Fantastic Four, but these changes have me intrigued. Isn’t that the point? To get people in the seats? On the race matter, folks say things like, “Well, you’d never make a black character white.” Well, no. First of all, there aren’t too many, so you’d be dipping into a very shallow pool as it is. Second of all, you don’t WANT our heroes. Seriously, why would you want a black guy with falcon wings when you’ve got friggin’ Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. White people already have all the powerful heroes, so why waste their time on “reacquiring” an ex-con with bulletproof skin? It just doesn’t make any sense. Still, folks say, “You’d never see a white Shaft.” OK, I’d totally watch a white Shaft, but it’s already been done and it was called Banacek. Never heard of it? See if you get Cozi TV on one of your digital channels, and tune in around 8 one night.

Miles-Teller

As for the Fantastic Four cast, I have problems with everyone except Jordan. Miles Teller as Reed Richards? I hate his face. I’ve hated him ever since 21 & Over. I said it on Twitter, but Miles Teller has the face of the Class Asshole. Not the Class Clown. Sure, he does stuff for laughs, but he’s mainly a dick. I simply dislike the cut of his jib. I don’t know much about Kate Mara, as I’m the only person in DC who hasn’t watched House of Cards yet. According to IMDB, I’ve never seen anything with Jamie Bell, though that’ll probably change once I get my hands on a copy of Nymphomaniac. It might be good and it might suck. We won’t know until the movie’s out. It seems folks have already decided it won’t be good because it’s not from Marvel Studious, but maybe Fox can turn things around. Based on the ages of the actors, it seems like they’re going the Ultimate Fantastic Four route – taking a page from the Marvel Studios playbook, so that makes me happy. Maybe all of this change will be for the best. And for those not willing to see the movie due to personal beliefs or whatever, I know you’ll still see it. You’re the same folks who claimed Michael Bay “raped” your childhood until DINOBOTS!

I got the attention of the Toy Hunter on Twitter the other night. He was buying some original Star Wars action figures, and the math didn’t seem to add up to me. So, the following took place:

Toy Hunter Tweets

When I first read the “love your tweets”, a part of me got all squishy. “Jordan knows about my tweets?” Then, I realized he just meant he loved the tweets regarding the show. ‘Cause I hashtagged them. Stupid Will. Anyway, it was one of my better celebrity exchanges online.

Speaking of toys, I went to New York Toy Fair last weekend, but that’ll get its own post. For now, I just wanna say it was great meeting @MattGuzy, @T16skyhopp, @Preternia_, and @Tekcorps!

Links I Loved
5 Things You Should Never Say to an Adult Toy Collector – UnderScoopFire!

T-T-T-Toy Fair Roundup 2014! – The Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

Cereal Prize! – AEIOU and Sometimes Why

Nutbusters XXX: A Review of a Ghostbusters Remake (NSFW) – The Robot’s Pajamas

In Which I Seek My Father – The Nerds of Color

In Case You Missed It This Week
Comical Thoughts – 2/19/14

One’s getting used to new claws, while another thinks everything is awesome in space. One’s got a smug mug, while the other’s got a problem with pink. Only one, however, had the West Week Ever.

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Nobody had a week like Chris Pratt. The LEGO Movie is still ruling the box office, while the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy made its debut this week. People were clamoring so much for that trailer that they were eating up 15-second teasers of the thing. Pratt seems poised to become the big screen star that Taylor Kitsch couldn’t. They both have similar career origins (Kitsch on Friday Night Lights and Pratt on Everwood), but Pratt seems to be the real deal. If he keeps this up, one day we may eventually ask each other, “Remember when Chris Pratt was on that TV show?” That’s the same thing folks say about Clooney now. That’s a good thing. Anyway, for his rising star in Hollywood, Chris Pratt had the West Week Ever.

31st Jan2014

West Week Ever – 1/31/14

by Will

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So, I guess you could say that I’m still on a comedy kick. To be more precise, I’m on a Mike Birbiglia kick. It all started last Friday, as I was listening to the Comedy Central Drive Home, and they were playing Mike’s special Sleepwalk With Me Live. It was really good, and I actually related to him at a few parts. Well, I had to go into Walmart and ended up missing a good chunk of the show. When I got home, I found Sleepwalk With Me on Netflix. It turns out that wasn’t the same special. No, it was actually a movie version of the special, where names had been changed, etc, etc. It mainly focuses on the rise and fall of Mike’s relationship with his college sweetheart, Abby. Still, I ended up watching it and really enjoyed it. Since I wasn’t sleepy yet, I decided to watch his most recent special, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, where Mike talks about how he doesn’t believe in marriage and thinks it’s a chaotic, antiquated concept. The special ends, however, *SPOILER ALERT* with him telling us that he had, in fact gotten married. Though he doesn’t believe in marriage, he’s still giving it a try and taking it one day at a time. I really enjoy Birbiglia’s work because he’s very relateable and a great storyteller. I wasn’t as much of a fan of My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, but I highly recommend Sleepwalk With Me.

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So, I’m still watching Portlandia. In fact, it got really good. I’m used to the characters now, and I actually have favorites. There’s a hilarious episode revolving around Battlestar Galactica, where we see our first black Portlanders (“I want these white people outta my kitchen!”). I’m in the second season now, and it took me that long to realize that Armisen is supposed to be a woman in the women’s bookstore series. I mean, it’s a women’s bookstore! Still, I just thought he was an effeminate man. My bad. My least favorite skits involve the Mayor, as the show turns into some kinda campy, kid’s public television show whenever he’s around. Plus, I’ve got questions. Do Fred and Carrie share a house in Portland? Are they just roommates? Do they actually live in Portland, or is it a place to which they escape for its quirkiness? Why don’t they seem to have jobs? I mean, we know what Fred does, but what does Carrie do for money? SO many questions! Anyway, I’m powering through to the end, so this won’t be the last Portlandia report from me.

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Yay, my favorite interracial TV family is back! There’s a new Cheerios commercial airing during the Super Bowl Sunday, but since we live in the future, everything gets leaked before its time. Here’s the commercial:

They’re having a baby! I love that little girl so much. I hope my little halfy daughter is just like her one day.

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My new favorite website is Used To Be a Pizza Hut, and the name is pretty self explanatory. Readers submit pictures of establishments that clearly used to be Pizza Hut restaurants. It’s a great way to kill time, and I plan to submit a few myself pretty soon.

Here’s a pretty cool version of the Mega Man 2 theme:

Look at this! It’s called a Quokka. I got this from my Twitter pal @shankjackbel. I must own one of these!

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Ya know who had a great week? Ryan Lewis. “Who’s Ryan Lewis,” you ask? That’s just why he had a great week: his anonymity. Ryan Lewis is the other half of rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. As the group’s producer, Lewis is a bit of a silent partner, while Macklemore’s flamboyance tends to steal the spotlight. The duo cleaned up Sunday night at the Grammys, winning Best New Artist, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Performance. A lot of people felt that three of those categories should have gone to black artists, and it started the discussion of white appropriation of rap music. What was a great night for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis turned into a bad week, as everyone started questioning whether or not the duo was worthy of the awards that they won. Hip hop heads mentioned several acts that never won a Grammy, but should have, including the Wu-Tang Clan. It’s said that Macklemore himself tweeted an apology to his fellow nominee Kendrick Lamar after beating him. Then the debate turned to whether or not Macklemore had anything to apologize for. Anyway, while all this was going on, Ryan Lewis was having his cake and eating it too. He had all the same awards, but none of the spotlight. I’m sure it sucked when Macklemore got all the good publicity, but I’m sure Lewis is reveling in his background status at the moment. All eyes are on Macklemore and the debate rages on, but Ryan’s name rarely comes up. That’s why Ryan Lewis had the West Week Ever.

17th Jan2014

West Week Ever – 1/17/14

by Will

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I didn’t watch anything on Netflix this week, but I used the time to catch up on some TV. First up, I watched Enlisted on Fox. Someone on Twitter said that it’s basically Stripes: The TV Series, and they weren’t wrong. It focuses on a war hero who, due to insubordination, gets bumped down to a Rear Detachment unit back home with his two brothers. He’s dying to get back to combat, and his Rear D unit is made up of a bunch of underachievers. By the end of the episode, however, he learns that Rear D is a valuable unit, as they take care of the families of the soldiers who’ve been deployed. The show was really funny and has a lot of heart. I’d expect big things if Fox had put it on Tuesday with the rest of their comedies. Instead, it’s being burned off on Friday nights with Raising Hope. The numbers weren’t too good for the premiere, but Fox execs say they’re committed to it for its initial 13-episode run. You should definitely add it to your DVR.

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I caught the 2-episode season premiere of Girls, and I still can’t figure out how I feel about the show. I don’t have HBO, but luckily they put the episodes on their official YouTube channel. I thought this meant that certain things would be censored. After all, when I watched the free preview of the House of Lies pilot, there were black bars over all the naughty bits. I was wrong to think that was going to happen here. Despite YouTube’s content rules, nothing about the Girls episodes was changed. We still saw Lena Dunham’s sad little boobies, and we also saw Jessa go down on another girl – all on free, non-age verified YouTube. I was kinda impressed by the balls on that decision. Anyway, the titular girls are still deplorable, and Adam’s even weirder than before. Nice cameo by Amy Schumer, but that didn’t really help the need for diversity on that show. Shoshanna’s still my favorite character, though this article points out that she seems to have no real motivation for being there.

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How I Met Your Mother‘s writers must’ve just said “Fuck it. It’s the last season.” No, I’m not talking about the quality of the writing, but I’m referring to the fact that this week’s episode was full-on yellowface. If you’re familiar with the show, then you probably know about the Slap Bet – Marshall won a bet with Barney and won the opportunity to slap Barney, as hard as he could, over the course of what became 8 slaps. In the continuity of the show, there’s always been some build-up to the slaps, and they tend to happen on “Slapsgiving”. Well, this season, in “Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra”, the writers went full retard and told a tale of Marshall traveling to Shanghai to learn the Slap of A Million Exploding Suns. Yes, every chop socky Asian trope is displayed in the episode, and it even includes Ted looking like this:

slapsgivingThe creators have, since, apologized, but it’s a sour note for the show to go out on. After all, the series finale is in March, and this isn’t the kind of legacy that it should leave behind. I tend not to take things too seriously, but even I was watching the episode like, “Oh, shit. They’re really doing this?”

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It was announced on Wednesday that the 1966 Batman TV show would finally be released on DVD. This is a big deal because the rights have been tied up forever, as Warner Bros owns Batman, yet Fox owned the show. That said, I still feel like this was the worst-kept secret in Hollywood, as it was pretty obvious this was going to happen due to the onslaught of Batman ’66 merchandising over the past year. We’ve gotten everything from comics to action figures to Barbie dolls. There was no reason to be pimping an almost 50 yr old show if the DVD thing wasn’t happening. Still, as excited as people seem to be about the DVDs, I don’t really get it. I mean, if you really wanted them, you have them already. I bought my complete series for $40 at a comic show. Sure, it’s bootleg, but the quality’s just fine. I know that I’m not alone, so I feel that the extras are really going to make or break this set. There are folks lining up already, saying “Take my money”, but I’m gonna need to learn more about this before I get too excited.

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From here on out, I will be referring to the star of 12 Years A Slave as “Chitlin Ejector”. I can’t pronounce his real name, and I feel his new name is urban, yet futuristic.

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I had a bit of a milestone this week, as I got the most hits I’ve ever had in the history of the site. No, it wasn’t West Week Ever that did it. It turns out that a 10-year old post of mine was linked by NPR’s Code Switch blog. If you’ve never gone that far back in my archives (or you just don’t feel like clicking that link), I posted a quote from John Byrne’s message board where he gave his opinion of Jessica Alba being cast as Sue Storm. And he also said that he thinks Latinas with blonde hair look like hookers. Since his message board archive doesn’t go back that far, it seems like my snapshot of the conversation is one of the last remaining pieces of evidence that it ever existed. Anyway, the Code Switch blog was discussing race and identity in comics (you should totally read it!), and that link drove my traffic through the roof. I’m still feeling the residual effects of it, so welcome, new readers, if this is your first taste of West Week Ever.

When I wrote West Year Ever, I omitted another event that took place in 2013: my good friends James and Jenn came to visit. Jenn helped create this site, while you can see James in the Wonder Woman video clip I’ve been posting. Anyway, I didn’t have a pic of their visit, so they got no mention. Still, you can follow them on twitter: @snoopyjenkins (James) and @reappropriate (Jenn).

In Case You Missed It This Week

Track Star: Mr. Mister Vs. Boy Meets Girl

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On Monday, it was announced that Michael Douglas will be playing Hank Pym in Marvel’s Ant-Man movie. This is a pretty big deal for two reasons. First of all, the tabloids had Douglas on deathwatch just a year ago, so it’s great that he’s not only still with us, but ready to tackle such a meaty role. It’s also important because it means that Paul Rudd will actually be portraying the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang. This bit of casting made the Ant-Man movie plans that much clearer, and it’s gotten folks excited for the movie in a way that they hadn’t been prior to the announcement. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been pretty “meh” since the introduction of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but this was just the shot in the arm that the franchise needed. For this reason, Michael Douglas had the West Week Ever.

15th Nov2013

West Week Ever – 11/15/13

by Will

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I saw Thor: The Dark World over the weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised. That said, I never really go into a Thor movie expecting much, as he’s never been my favorite corner of the Marvel Universe. The movie’s not without its problems, though, and it’s probably best to just not think too hard about the whole thing. I’ve heard some people say that it’s now ranked as one of their favorite Marvel movies, but I don’t see where they’re coming from at all. Sure, it’s got some great character moments, but I, personally, rank it alongside The Incredible Hulk. That was a serviceable, yet underrated, movie that told a full story without doing much to further the overall push toward something greater (The Avengers film, in the case of The Incredible Hulk). I don’t feel that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is any richer for having Thor 2 in it, but I felt the same about the first Thor, which felt like it existed solely to get Loki into position for The Avengers. It was a fun movie, but it’s nothing special. Not great, but good. It also helped to wash the taste of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. out of my mouth. I enjoyed it, and if you just focus on Kat Dennings, you can pretend it’s a very special episode of 2 Broke Girls.

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I also watched Aziz Ansari’s latest Netflix special, Buried Alive. Aziz hit 30 and his material matured along with him. To me, that’s unfortunate, as I miss the old stuff about his fat cousin and Kanye. Instead, he’s become something of a relationship guru. The special is mainly about how most of his friends are getting married and having babies, and how crazy he finds the whole thing. It’s a smart special, but it’s not especially funny. I think I laughed once, which is odd when it comes to me and Aziz. I was really hoping for more, but this just didn’t land for me.

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While we’re talking about disappointing releases, Lady Gaga’s third studio album, Artpop, was released this week. I thought about doing a track-by-track review of it, like I did for Born This Way, but I know my audience by now; y’all don’t wanna read that shit. Still, I’d have probably done it if the album had been GOOD. It is not. I’ve probably listened to it 10 times by now trying to find a glimmer of something there, but it’s just so lackluster. I predicted this when “Applause” was released, but the Little Monsters tried to tell me that it was all part of something bigger that we’d have to wait and see. Well, now the whole album is out, and there’s nothing bigger to speak of. In fact, “Applause” is the closing track, which is odd because, well, who releases the final track as the debut single?

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Something big happened with Doctor Who this week, but when I tried to read about it, it felt like I was reading fucking Chinese. Seriously, how can a show about a fop in a phonebooth with a future dildo be so damn convoluted? I studied 90s X-Men! I can handle a complicated plotline, but that franchise just doesn’t seem to translate well to written descriptions. Maybe I’ll give it a shot one day. Maybe not. And yes, I realize it’s a “police box” and a “sonic screwdriver”, but you know I’m still right. Why couldn’t it be a show about a really smart owl, like the title implies?

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Last week, I wrote about the Muslim Ms. Marvel, and linked to the Nerds of Color roundtable post that featured some of my thoughts. Well, it seems that article was picked up by Racialicious, and I even got name-checked in their post. I thought about commenting, but no one has personally attacked me yet, so I’ll just hang out in the rafters until something juicy happens over there. It’s cute when minority communities get excited about something in comics, ’cause they have no clue that Marvel and/or DC will just find a way to fuck it up for everyone involved.

 

Links I Loved

Man Smoking E-Cigarette Must Be Futuristic Bounty Hunter – The Onion

The 16 Most Delightfully 80s Things in ‘Ghostbusters’ – UnderScoopFire!

The Top 10 Schwarzenegger Character Names – The Robot’s Pajamas

This Week’s Post

Thrift Justice – Fleas and Thank You, Xuxa

One fought dark elves, while the other is a dark elf. One sounds like an overeducated owl, while the other kinda looks like one. Only one of them, however, had the West Week Ever.

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From left field, it’s none of the above!!!!

I really enjoyed something this week, but I was afraid to give it the West Week Ever because I don’t trust the network. My latest man crush is Pitch Perfect/21 & Over‘s Skylar Astin, and he stars in TBS’ new comedy, Ground Floor. Think of it as a modern day Dharma & Greg, as Astin plays Brody, a workaholic money manager who has a one night stand with Jenny, one of the girls who works on the ground floor of the building. Since there’s a class difference between floors, the whole gist of the series is that they come from different worlds, but try to make it work. It’s from Bill Lawrence, who created Scrubs and Cougar Town, so there are lots of familiar faces. The cast is great, especially Rory Scovel who steals every scene he’s in. I also applaud the casting of Cougar Town‘s Briga Heelan as Jenny, who’s beautiful but not a waif. It also doesn’t hurt that Pitch Perfect‘s Alexis Knapp is in the cast, playing a similar role to her PP character. I tend to hate romantic sitcoms, as I tire of the will they/won’t they dynamic, but I like everyone so much that I’m willing to give it a shot. I still haven’t forgiven TBS for cancelling Wedding Band, and this show has a similarly troublesome timeslot (Thursdays at 10 PM). So, we’ll see how the show performs, but it was definitely my highlight of the week. So, that’s why Ground Floor had the West Week Ever.

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