April 22, 2016

Episode 52 - WILD WILD WEST

In this episode we go way, way back--not just back to an alternate-history version of the American West, but also back to the retrograde masculinity and offensive sophomoric humor of pop culture in...well, in almost any time, sadly.

An unholy alliance of ego-stroking and trend-chasing can explain much of Wild Wild West, the film that finally gave Jon Peters the giant spider he always wanted. But is the movie the right kind of dumb juvenile fun?

We peel back the layers of Wild Wild West's steampunk aesthetic and latent homoeroticism in a scintillating debate, including a bonus discussion of the music video for Will Smith's iconic contribution to the film's soundtrack. So swallow your pride, don't let your lip react, and enjoy this wild, wild What Were We Watching!

Wild Wild West (1999)
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
Produced by Jon Peters and Barry Sonnenfeld
Written by S.S. Wilson & Brent Maddock and Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman
Based on "The Wild Wild West" created by Michael Garrison
Starring Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Salma Hayek, M. Emmet Walsh, Bai Ling, and Ted Levine

April 8, 2016

Episode 51 - GALAXY QUEST

On Christmas Day in 1999, at the height of anxiety over the "Y2K Problem" in which technology might finally have been our undoing, Galaxy Quest was released in theaters to remind audiences of a more optimistic vision of the future worthy of Gene Roddenberry. Not only did the film parody Star Trek the franchise, but Star Trek the phenomenon, lovingly sending up every element from the real-life drama between cast members to the culture of fandom the series helped create.

Trekspert Charles Benimoff returns to the podcast to lend us some context and to argue why Galaxy Quest deserves to be an honorary part of the Star Trek canon, if only to keep that pesky even-odd curse firmly intact... By Grabthar's hammer, what an episode!

Galaxy Quest (1999)
Directed by Dean Parisot
Produced by Mark Johnson and Charles Newirth
Written by David Howard and Robert Gordon
Starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni, Missi Pyle, and Justin Long