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.
E3 is upon us as the video game industry takes its time on stage to shine. E3 has always been a fascinating look at the games industry, and ever since the show closed itself off to the public years ago, it’s had a unique vibe compared to a lot of other events. The prominence of streaming technology has helped in these endeavors, because it has at least made it possible for the general public to see the main presentations from the various studios and console companies. This has always allowed E3 to create quite the buzz for video game fans as major announcements have been the norm. Lately this has changed a bit, though. Major announcements still come–I mean, look no further than last year, where the internet exploded after FF VII‘s remake, Shenmue III, and The Last Guardian were announced–but things don’t feel quite like they used to. Part of this is because Nintendo has basically stopped doing a presentation, choosing instead to either do a Nintendo Direct or, like this year, just deciding to make announcements throughout the week. Considering the Nintendo NX should be announced and unveiled sometime this year, it seems like a perfect E3 announcement, but it will not be one. Microsoft and Sony still come to play, but Sony, for example, has basically already said that it won’t be talking about the Playstation Neo upgrade. (Yeah, to be fair, they did announce it will be happening and what will be in it, but unless this is some grand Jedi mind trick against Microsoft, that isn’t enough.) Which seems silly, considering this upgrade could be a shift in how consoles cycles work, and Sony really needs all the time and press they can get to convince gamers that this is not in fact a terrible idea. A big presentation would be just the thing.
With the main publishers mostly forgoing big announcements, the E3 presentations now feel a little less special. But while that’s kind of sad, it’s not actually a big deal. E3 was always supposed to be more about showing off new games and ideas to others in the video game industry, and that is still prevalent… just not to the public. The presentations are nice, but they were never supposed to be the main event of E3, even though they became so at points in the past. So it’s good the video game industry seems to realize what is important, and is focusing on it. That doesn’t mean I am not looking forward to the presentations this week, but it does mean I am not going to be that upset if there isn’t some big reveal… Okay, maybe a little upset… Last year was awesome, after all.
From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.
- Sadly, Episode 010 of the Life in the Kraken Podcast is gone, and will forever remain lost, like a robot’s tears in the rain. But in Episode 010.5, “The World’s Best Schoolhouse Rock! Episode,” David and Kyu talk about the now Tony Award-winning smash Broadway hit, Hamilton. Then they introduce a new segment, the Lightning Round, where random pop culture questions fly fast and furious.
- David is here with the fourth part of his Take Me To The Upfronts series. This time he is taking a look at Fox. The network hasn’t exactly been doing all that great the last couple of years, but maybe this will finally be the year they turn things around and build off the success of Empire. Really, this could actually happen.
Tuesday: Nothing new today, as we are still cleaning up some poor people who flew too close to the sun room.
Wednesday: Atomika reacts to the Orlando shooting.
Thursday: David is here with the final part of his Take Me To The Upfronts series. The final look will be at NBC. The peacock network has taken advantage of Fox’s destruction to get itself out of the basement, and has actually built quite a bit of momentum lately. So what do they have to offer this year? Possibly a good comedy? Probably not…
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: I guess I will stick with the video game theme this week, while also using this as an excuse to weave sports in. With the NBA Finals heading towards its conclusion at some point this week, this seems like a good time to highlight the NBA 2k series, and in this case NBA 2k16. These are really fun games that do a great job of letting you pretend to play as all of your favorite basketball players (even if the game is still trying to figure out how to make Steph Curry work as a video game character). The NBA 2k series has long been quite the innovator, and this one is no different. So if you like sports games, this is definitely one for you, especially if you are a Playstation Plus member (as right now those people can get the game for free). 2k16 is sure to keep you content long after the current NBA season is over.
Kyu: A belated rec from me this week, but one not without controversy. I think the The Matrix movies are really great, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Even if the series doesn’t quite stick the landing, that’s still three out of four films (including The Animatrix) that tell a big, bold sci-fi story of the sort that is so rare in cinema. The worldbuilding especially is just remarkable, a strange and rigorous vision that still reminds you from time to time that it takes place in our future, not some fantasy realm. The ideas in it are more interesting and complex than the vast majority of action movies–and speaking of action, it’s not only a series that was initially innovative, but after the first film, the trilogy pushed its action forward into the modern realm of CG, precipitating (particularly in the third film’s climax) the kind of over the top DBZ-style superhero punch-ups that have come to suffuse that genre. A deeply personal narrative from the Wachowskis about being reborn and freed from an artificial prison, told through a series of expertly choreographed explosions, fist-fights, and philosophical tête-à-têtes–these movies should be celebrated as a rich, vibrant part of our popular cinema.
That’s it for this week. We apologize for the earthquakes, the Mauve Moon is out in full effect and it makes the Kraken really dance-y.