Notes from the Kraken: November 29th 2015

In All, Notes by David

Welcome again to We Have Always Lived in the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this week’s posting schedule, but first, a little Seafood for Thought.

Is there too much TV? There are hundreds of scripted shows, and if you go into non-scripted shows that numbers rises into the thousands. While not all of these shows are worth watching for every individual, even a tenth or a twentieth of those numbers could prove daunting to any normal person, and outright impossible for TV lovers and professional critics. But where many people today see an issue, I see an opportunity. I love the water cooler conversations that television shows inspire, and in the past those moments would be about the handful of shows that everyone was watching. That’s no longer the case–few shows still have that communal feel (Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead being two of the very few exceptions), and instead TV has become more niche and nuanced, with a wide variety of shows embraced by very specific audiences. To anyone with broad taste or who is otherwise compelled to watch any show as long as it’s good (I weep for the TV critics), this can be overwhelming. But for most people this state of affairs just offers them a different mode of water cooler conversation. Instead of everyone talking about the same show, people share different experiences with one another, spreading their knowledge of and love for their own particular set of shows. Maybe the other person tries out this new show and expands their own interests, maybe not; either way, this is an even better bonding experience than in the old paradigm, as people express their own personal taste and get to know each other better. So don’t worry about the feeling that you can’t watch everything. Just pick what you like, and share it. It’ll be fun. And you never know what someone else will share with you.

David Robertson

From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.


  • Nothing new today. The Kraken has a case of the Mondays, so we are going to beat the copy machine to death.


  • Now playing in The Screening Room, Kyu takes a look angry rant at Creep, a truly terrible movie. Fuck you, Mark Duplass, and the film you rode in on.


  • Relax. Enjoy life. Read our archives. Breathe deep. Today is a mellow day.


  • It’s said that life is a circle. That may or not be true, but as long as the Kraken remains caught in Charybdis, our lives are certainly circular. And very dizzy. Enjoy our archives while we figure out how to escape the whirlpool.


  • After a slew of dramas, TV Roulette finally chose David a comedy, as this week he covers South Park. Zombies and mysteries are great and all, but sometimes you just want to laugh.


  • Baturdays finishes off 1939 with Detective Comics #34. What happens when Gotham’s Dark Knight heads to Paris? …not much, really. I hope Bruce at least took in the sights.
  • Nothing But Trash continues with Heat Guy J, a show about a man whose superpower is that he is always uncomfortably warm. At least, that’s what it should be. Check out Sam’s post to find the true shape of this trash.

Spotlight on Blogs Past:

This week we’re showcasing one of Kyu’s periodic attempts to discover and define a new subgenre or film movement. This time, it’s a Lo-fi Sci-fi Revolution, encompassing interesting analysis of movies as diverse as Looper, Upstream ColorTriangleThe One I Love, and others–what they mean, how they are, what they have in common, and what they do so differently from mainstream Hollywood science fiction.

Catch of the Week:

Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week.

Kyu: We come at last to the end of November, so why not curl up with one more good book? My next old favorite is Austin Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible, a funny, fascinating, and surprisingly perceptive book written from the perspective of a comic-book supervillain, a man who is painfully aware that even with all the gadgets, all the schemes, and his off-the-charts genius IQ, he still always ends up in jail. Grossman not only understands the lunatic logic and gaudy beauty of classic superhero comics, but also what it feels like when birth, trauma, or upbringing makes you an outsider. This is great pulp art, and that makes it the perfect choice for those cold winter nights.

Keskel: This week I’m recommending the manga Fort of Apocalypse, a completely unique take on zombie stories. Falsely accused, Maeda Yoshiaki is sent to a juvenile prison full of assholes, murderers, delinquents and sociopaths–just who you’d want on your side when the end of the world starts. Check it out!

David: I want to shine a light on Spotlight (ugh, I’m not proud of myself for that one). This movie walks a fine line, showing the staggering impact that real investigative journalism can have without missing the staggering destruction and despair that comes when an entire town (newspapers included) look the other way from injustice. Anchored by a stellar cast and a refreshing lack of over-dramatization, this film explores the devastating effects of the early-2000s Catholic priest scandals with a discerning eye and keen wit. This is definitely an Oscar contender, and well worth a watch.

That’s it for this week. We hope you continue to find the Kraken to your liking. Now if you could all grab a bucket… The monster is letting on water, and we could all really use the help staying dry and, you know, alive.