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.
I’ll admit it, I am a huge sports fan. Normally I have to keep that side separate from the blog, but today is the Super Bowl, one of the few days sports and pop culture collide perfectly (the NCAA Tournament and the Olympics are probably the two others). I have always found this fascinating, because the Super Bowl is able to get people that normally have no interest in sports whatsoever to at least be in the room watching the game and not hating it. Part of this is due to the collective herd mentality of the country, where everyone is supposed to know what happens. This is an experience that we have talked about a lot on the blog in terms of how it impacts how people watch television. As these experiences have started to become rarer and rarer on the the television side, it has actually made sports even more important. Live sports are the biggest cash cow for the television industry because it is one of the few things that people want to watch live. That means no skipping commercials, it means you have to be engaged with what is happening, and it means maximum eyeballs on a given event. The Super Bowl is the biggest example of this phenomenon, and that is why the viewership for this game is unlike anything else that happens during the year. So I am excited for all the pageantry, the competition, and for everything this game represents, certainly; but most of all I am excited for the communal experience that comes from the Super Bowl. In our fractured media landscape, anything that makes us come together as a people for one shared experience should be celebrated and enjoyed.
From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.
- Why not kick back, relax, and listen as the Kraken gang casts some pods right into your earholes? That’s right, our first real episode of the Life in the Kraken podcast is now out. In this one we go in depth on The Force Awakens, Jessica Jones, and Tarantino and The Hateful Eight; also, David nominates Mr. Robot as the current greatest show on television.
- Kyu’s biweekly board game column The Loaded Die returns with another three games: Lords of Waterdeep, Times Square, and Carnival. Find out which ones are worth playing and which should go back on the pile.
- Nothing new today, because the Kraken is still recovering from the Super Bowl, after devouring the Broncos. Guess they won’t be going to Disneyland!
- With The Anticipated up for 2016 you may have thought David forgot about the last film on his 2015 list, The Revenant, but fret not! His thoughts are finally here as he looks at one of the top Oscar Contenders from 2015.
- Nothing new today, so why not check out our archives? Meanwhile, we’re going to curl up and read a good book about the best way to summon a Great Old One, because hey, you gotta network to get work.
- Baturdays continues with Detective Comics #43, “The Case of the City of Terror.” You may now begin rampant speculation as to what is terrorizing this city. An evil clown? Some kind of half-man, half-bat? Job-killing government regulations? The answer is only a click away, friends.
Also, be on the look out for more Awards Predictions for Oscarathon 2016, which will come out at irregular intervals during the coming weeks.
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.
Keskel: This week I’m recommending the anime The Perfect Insider, an adaptation of a late 1990s novel about a murder mystery set on a remote island. While it has some pacing problems, the actual mystery is interesting, and the resolution is surprisingly effective.
Kyu: Less of a recommendation than a call for awareness, this week I want to point your attention at the hearing continuing this week in Baltimore in the post-conviction relief appeal by Adnan Syed. His case became nationally known last year due to the first season of seminal podcast Serial by journalist Sarah Koenig, whose lengthy investigation strongly suggested that Syed was innocent of the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Others have followed up on the case, uncovering details that point to potential police and prosecutorial misconduct, including a team of lawyers with their own podcast (Undisclosed). They, Koenig, and others reported on the hearing’s progress from Baltimore last week and information will continue to flow. Regardless of the outcome, it’s an exciting case of pop culture having real world–and hopefully positive–effects.
David: This week I recommend the Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film from France, Mustang. A bitter sweet movie from Turkish-born and French-raised filmmaker Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Mustang tells a haunting and beautiful story about five sisters raised in a conservative village in Turkey. This layered film starts as a simple slice of life film about the five girls, and slowly morphs into so much more. It is well worth a watch, and the kind of movie that is both universal in its appeal and specific to its country of origin, which is the perfect blueprint for a great film.
That’s it for this week. We hope you continue to find the Kraken to your liking. Now if you’ll excuse us, the Kraken is having an argument with Godzilla, and we better step in before they both destroy Hawaii.