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.
The awards season has finally started with the 73rd Annual Golden Globes, which I live-blogged. How much the Golden Globes actually matter, even in the low stakes world of Hollywood awards, is certainly a question, but no matter what, the Golden Globes will always have the distinction of being the most surprising of the award shows. Sure, the Hollywood Foreign Press generally nominate things based on who they want to meet and fawn over, but they also genuinely care about making their awards actually say something and stand apart from the other shows. This means that many times their choices, especially in television, seem to be designed to reward the newest and shiniest thing possible. But it also means that there is never a chance the Globes can go the way of the Emmys, which are sometimes stuck on autopilot for years in certain categories. And because the Globes are so early, they actually act as trend setters to some extent for the award season. The Oscars may be considered the crème de la crème of awards, but one of the biggest problems with them is that by the time they happen, there have been so many shows that everyone kind of knows how things will go. For whatever reason, the Oscars have decided that instead of going their own way, they have to go with what everyone else said, because heaven forbid the Academy actually set a precedent or break with tradition. The Globes have a degree of mystery, which adds an air of suspense to the proceedings. Combine this with the HFP’s penchant for doing literally whatever the hell they want with the TV side of things–and of course, the copious amount of alcohol being drunk by everyone at the ceremony–and the Globes can be the most fun award show to watch, even if no one takes them seriously. Then again, I say all this, but the Golden Globes did just reward The Revenant, in what really felt like a make-up gesture for not awarding Birdman last year. So maybe the Globes actually just want to be a year behind on everything. If it continually awards the next movie of whatever director or group ends up winning Best Picture at the Oscars, then maybe the Oscars do set trends–we just aren’t looking far enough ahead. Who knows? Welcome to award season, where nothing makes sense, speeches get longer and longer, and things get less and less exciting as we go along. Maybe that is why everyone drinks so much at the Globes. They need to prep themselves for the bullshit that is about to come.
From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.
- Nothing new today because we have to clean out the sun room. It is a bit tricky, because in the Kraken, the sun room contains literal suns.
- We are taking a break today while we go on vacation into the Shark Dimension. It is as awesome and terrifying as you would expect.
- Thursday is when this year’s Oscar nominations are released, so David did some very last minute handicapping of the Best Picture category. What films are getting nominated and what films are condemned to the dumpster of history? Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. But whether or not these movies will stand the test of time, David’s post will be tested imminently, and with it, the Ouija board he uses to pick these things. Check back tomorrow to see if he’ll be switching to the I Ching.
- TV Roulette is in the midst of being retooled, but do not worry! Teen Wolf has returned, which means that old Drunken Thieves mainstay Welcome to the Wolfpack makes its first appearance at the Kraken. In this premiere installment, David covers the first two episodes of the newly returned teen supernatural drama. When Teen Wolf was last on, it was struggling quite a bit. Has the time away allowed it to get back on track? You’ll have to read to find out.
- Nothing But Trash returns as Keskel tackles Huntik, a show that… may not even be an anime? This show seems like a clone of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures. Whether that is a good or bad thing remains to be seen, but if the Kraken was a gamblin’ monster, he’d put his money on bad.
- Oscarathon 2016 begins in earnest with the first entry in David’s five-part Oscar Predictions series. This one focuses on the only award anybody really cares about, Best Picture. What’s going to win? David’s answer may surprise you! (Okay, no, it won’t.)
- Baturdays continues with Detective Comics #39, aka, “Batman: Uncomfortably Racist Edition.” This time Batman’s stereotyping the Chinese. Sigh.
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.
David: This week I’m recommending the works of Patrick Ness. Young adult fiction often gets a bad rep, and while some of that is deserved, a lot of it isn’t. Ness is an excellent writer whose books are clever and don’t speak down to his audience. For instance, The Chaos Walking trilogy is a brilliant series that combines the horrors of war with a coming of age story. Each book adds a new perspective, and it is a brutal and fun read that does not hold any punches. Meanwhile, A Monster Calls sees Ness adapting a concept by the late British author Siobhan Dowd to tell a story about dealing with guilt and impending loss. It is bittersweet and beautiful, and made of all the feels. Ness is a writer worth investing in, and all his works are highly recommended, even if you think you have long since outgrown the YA genre.
Kyu: Another week, another webcomic recommendation from me. Today it’s Dinosaur Comics, Ryan North’s innovative strip where the picture never changes but the words are always new (and hilarious). Despite having essentially static art going on 13 years now, North has managed to give each of his dinosaur characters unique personalities (particularly the star of the strip, the loveable T-Rex) and find clever ways to use text to add new ones to the mix, including the ALL CAPS God and red text Devil (who isn’t so much evil as he is obsessed with video games). Quirky writing and the strip’s amusing central constraint make for a creative and always funny webcomic. Check it out!
Keskel: This week I recommend checking out the Magic 2.0 series by Scott Meyer. It’s a clever thought experiment about a hacker who discovers that all of reality is a computer simulation, and that by changing values you can change reality. So he goes back in time to pretend to be a wizard in medieval England. The overall idea of wizards as geeks is a great updating of any fantasy setting or magic system, and each book in the series so far is a clever exploration of modern geek social dynamics. It’s a light read, but the core idea of wizards as medieval nerds is excellent. Be sure to start with the first book in the series, Off to Be the Wizard.
That’s it for this week. We hope you continue to find the Kraken to your liking. Be advised, it is best not to get too close to his Christmas tree. He refused to let us take it down, and at some point attained both sentience and a taste for human flesh. Let’s try to keep the casualties to a minimum.