Notes from the Kraken: January

In All, Notes by David

Welcome again to We Have Always Live 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 month’s posting schedule, but first here are some thoughts.

Well, this may not be any good, I guess we’ll see, but bringing more laughs to DC is never a bad thing.

Hope you all had a Happy New Year! Which could not come soon enough. It is nice to leave 2016 behind and enter the warm welcoming embrace of 2017 (before it turns on us in some horrible horror movie twist). So from a pop culture perspective, what is there to look forward too? Well, I am going to ignore movies for now, because there is an entire column here based around that continuing soon. But on the TV side, lots of exciting things are happening. Comics are still riding high, but unlike with movies this feels invigorating instead of depressing. NBC is bringing DC show Powerless (which has admittedly been ridiculously retooled) to add to the already impressive DC TV Universe (unlike their dumpster fire of a cinematic universe). Meanwhile, Netflix will give us Iron Fist and their own shared universe event show with The Defenders, which actually feels like an earned team up and not a cynical cash grab. Meanwhile, Game of Thrones will return, though later than normal, to begin the first of its final shortened seasons (well, at this point it looks like the same amount of screentime over fewer, longer episodes). American Gods is coming to help Starz continue finding relevance by adapting famous books. We will see if SyFy truly has the next prestige show, as The Expanse returns to try and make the leap for its second season, and well, I could go on and on about this year in TV. Hell, even Freeform is getting into the Netflix-style binging game with supernatural show Beyond.

Meanwhile, this may finally be the year that George R.R. Martin finishes his sixth book, and allows Game of Thrones book readers to join in the fun again (I’ll believe it when I see it). After a so-so movie adaptation, Ransom Riggs looks to be bringing more Miss Peregrine books into the world. On the comics and graphic novel side, Marvel will finally finish Civil War II, and maybe we’ll even get more information about Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Worst World. Then in video games we are getting the first hybridized console and handheld system with the Nintendo Switch. There will be a new Zelda game, and Persona 5 will at some point come to sooth the hearts of JRPG fans everywhere. Best of all, this is all just the tip of the iceberg, and the biggest thing to remember is that a new year breeds new opportunity. So be ready to take advantage of it, 0r 2017 will end up being nothing more than a cheap rip-off of 2016, which no one wants…

David Robertson 

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

  • Let the catching-up begin with the latest edition of The Anticipated, as David finally gets around to looking at Steven Spielberg’s The BFG.
  • Sunday January 8th is the Golden Globes! Check out David’s predictions and then tune in for his snarky live blog of this, the award season’s weirdest and wildest show.
  • Oscarathon 2017 continues with Part 1 and Part 2 of David’s new round of Oscar Race Forecasts, now taking into account the Golden Globes results and nominations from BAFTA and the PGAs, among others. Also enjoy our companion Life in the Kraken podcast episode 019, with Kyu taking over as guest host while he and David discuss the current state of the Oscars race and how they would change the show.
  • Before the Oscar Nominations are announced on January 24th, David offers his predictions on how things will go. This will end well…
  • With 2016 gone, it is time for us here at the Kraken to reflect on the Best ofs 2016 Edition. So be on the lookout for our thoughts on the best movies, television, anime, video games, and more surprises.
  • The Life in the Kraken podcast returns with two special episodes–a guest-heavy podcast featuring David, Matt Morris, and Bryant Cannon talking 2016’s best video games and animated movies… and a sequel to our very first podcast episode! Yes, it’s the Best Of 2016 podcast, as David, Sam, and Kyu talk movies, TV, anime, and all the best and worst experiences of the year.

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 Month.

Special note: we’re exploring new ways that you can support the Kraken. If any of this week’s recommendations interest you, feel free to click on our Amazon affiliate links below. We get a small kickback on anything you buy at no extra cost to you, and that money goes toward sustaining and improving the site. Thanks!

Kyu: Gorgeous and haunting, Dan Simmons’ novel Hyperion is a science fiction masterpiece that deserves to be read and studied by every fan of the genre or of literature at all. A far-future update of The Canterbury TalesHyperion tells the story of a handful of travelers from all over the galaxy on a deadly pilgrimage to the mysterious titular planet and its dark god, the murderous Shryke. As war threatens and society stands on the knife’s edge, each pilgrim tells their story–stories that may hold the key to understanding the secrets Hyperion holds. Incorporating an array of genre modes and styles into a complex narrative about death, religion, love, and poetry, the book’s real triumph is its worldbuilding. In subtle details, a bevvy of invented expressions, and dark implications, Simmons envisions a future where space travelers slip sleeping across the centuries, the wealthy teleport between planets on their way from the kitchen to the living room, and advanced simulations make anything possible. But don’t let the technical brilliance and thematic depth fool you; this is still a deeply personal, powerfully affecting work whose ideas and emotions intertwine. Go read it.

David: So, it starts a bit off-kilter, and struggles at times to hit Douglas Adams’s tone consistently, but BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is a lot of fun, and a good short binge watching show to help you get through the holiday season. Starring Elijah Wood amongst a fun and stellar cast, this show may have finally found the proper venue for Max Landis’s particular strengths as a writer. The season manages to both tie a neat bow while also set up what could be an epic Season 2, so give it a watch and see how everything is connected.

Or, you know, just read the book this series is based on…



This week I recommend a pair of analytical videos by the Youtuber Digibro about Akiyuki Shinbo’s style in the 90s:

He’s an excellent analyst, and his critical approach to auteur theory in the sometimes artistically muddled waters of anime production is fascinating.

That’s it for this month. The Kraken doesn’t like the cold, and for the next few weeks will be taking us into warmer, Southern waters at a slow and steady pace.