One of the things I love about blogging is that I get to tell perfect strangers all about the things I love. Imagine trying to do that during a long flight, or sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. The difference is that I don’t have a captive audience. This blog is more like the magazine that’s lying on the coffee table in front of you while you’re sitting there bored. It’s your choice whether to pick it up and start reading or not, so I don’t have to feel guilty about force-feeding you fandom fare.
Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, and maybe even some of you who haven’t, already know that I love pub food, Tolkien, and D&D. I mean, that’s fairly obvious. You may even already know that I love the D&D actual play Twitch.tv series Critical Role. And, if you’ve read my post from not too long ago in which I mention how much I love animation, you also know that I backed the Kickstarter project The Legend of Vox Machina animated series at the Defender level, and got a bunch of rewards for it, including getting to watch the first two episodes a couple of days before the show actually debuts on Amazon Prime.
But what you might not know is, there are quite a few other things I love that have nothing to do with pub food, Tolkien, writing, or D&D. I just don’t blog about those other things as often because, well, this is literally a blog about pub food, Tolkien, writing, and D&D. So, in the spirit of the holidays we’ve just been (hopefully) celebrating, I thought I’d list a few of the other things I love, with a brief description of what they are and why I love them (and I know the song from The Sound of Music I’m referencing technically isn’t a Christmas song).
But first, check out this trailer for The Legend of Vox Machina. I’m really excited about this!
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Known as MST3K for short, this quirky little puppet show centered around a group of comedians riffing on bad movies has become a household name, and in fact you might even catch folks of my generation and younger using a brand new verb, MST-ing. If we MST’d something that means we made fun of it while it was happening. Of course this most often applies to movies, but it can be used for other things as well.
Born from MST3K, another series built around riffing on bad movies and featuring some alumni of the seminal show, RiffTrax, lacks some of the charm brought by the puppets and intermittent skits, but is still worth checking out if you haven’t yet. They’ve even riffed a few movies that aren’t generally considered bad, such as The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
One of the best things we got from MST3K, however, is the Turkey Day Marathon. Every year on the day people in the United States celebrate as Thanksgiving, we are treated to a marathon of episodes of MST3K, hosted by one or more of the cast who comment between each ep, sometimes even doing a short skit. You can still watch last year’s Turkey Day Marathon for free on YouTube:
Both the series of video games and the animated Netflix series are things I hold dear. I remember when I played the first game in the series I found it too difficult to finish, but I loved the gothic atmosphere, and the graphics for the time were not bad at all. I also still have a T-shirt with that amazing box art printed on it. I’ve played almost every Castlevania game, many of them unfinished due to my inability to get past certain areas. My favourite will forever be Symphony of the Night, though.
When the animated series came out I was eager to see it, but to be honest I wasn’t expecting much. All too often I’ve seen filmmakers or showrunners get their hands on a beloved property and then systematically destroy it with their grubby little capitalist fingers. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case here.
The first season of Netflix’s Castlevania left much to be desired, but I could tell it was off to a good start. Then the second season blew me away–and the third–and the fourth–each better than the last. I really wish we could’ve gotten a season 5, but you know Netflix. We’re lucky we got a season 4.
To be perfectly honest, this apocalyptic miniseries about a flu pandemic that causes the collapse of civilisation wouldn’t have interested me in the slightest if it hadn’t been starring MacKenzie Davis, whom I fell in love with during her stint as Cameron Howe in the series Halt and Catch Fire. I also probably wouldn’t have even known about it if it wasn’t for The Matrix Resurrections, which I signed up for a 30-day trial with HBO Max just in order to see.
As it turns out, production for Station Eleven was actually interrupted by the real-life pandemic we’ve all been living through for the past nigh on two years. How surreal that must have been for all involved! I have to say, this show which was based on a book I haven’t read yet but am sure to now, grabbed my attention immediately and never let go, pulling me in like nothing else that streaming platform had to offer except Snowpiercer, an ongoing TNT series which I highly recommend, and the all too brief British miniseries It’s a Sin.
Well, that’s all I have time for right now. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it.
This article has been corrected since it was posted; it previously stated that I would be prescreening the first three episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina instead of just the first two. The first three episodes premiere on January 28th.