What I’ve Been Doing 14 May 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
May 14th, 2012 by Dan

Tropico 4

I felt a little guilty being El Presidente. Photo courtesy SegmentNext)

Want people to get a taste of your game? Have a free weekend. I put in 11 hours and I probably would have bought the game if it wasn’t for Diablo 3 dropping tomorrow. Sorry, Tropico 4. Maybe next Steam sale.


Election – The prototype that all kinds of high school shows like Popular and Glee seems to crib off of. Not amazing or anything, but I thought Reese Witherspoon’s performance was just perfect. She really hit the right notes in Tracy’s obsessive need to win and I especially liked when she had that confrontation scene with Broderick about the teacher she was sleeping with.


Mad Men – Mad Men is really killing it, man. Really great performances make for solid character work. The Megan/Don relationship continues to be intriguing, but who knows how much of it is left.

Girls – I loved the last couple of minutes of the show with the diary reading. Really hooked me in to want to see more.

Veep – Best line: “You’re not fucking Thor, mom?” Although the cutouts in the closet scene was a little on the nose. This show continues to improve every episode and I already loved it at the premiere!

The Voice – The cover of Joe Cocker’s cover of “With a Little Help from My Friends” made me want to go and listen to the original (the cover, that is) and I’m not only way more impressed with that version, I’m impressed with the restraint Cocker shows that the artists on the show don’t seem to have. You don’t have to turn every note into a power note, guys, but I see why you might want to on a singing show. Oh, also Christina Aguilera never wears pants and it’s weird/gross/hilarious.

New Girl – Rushed. Overdone. Why are Schmidt and Cece breaking up? Would have been “Most Improved” sitcom of the year if it had stuck the landing.

Fashion Police – Joan Rivers is really mean, but kind of funny. Still could do without watching this show.

Parks and Recreation – “Jerry forgot to vote.” “Dammit Jerry!” Not everything about the election storyline worked, but it was a solid season of good comedy. I hope they rally to S3 levels for S5.

Community – The second clip show goes and improves upon the first so much that I like it even more. Fantastically done.

Bob’s Burgers – Eh. Didn’t love it as much as the premiere. I think this show is good, but not great.


Bold words from Lupe Fiasco. Pretty great stuff.


Not really…

Video Games

The Old Republic – Finished Nar Shaddaa with my Trooper. This new droid companion is awesome. Super funny. I think Bioware has cornered the market on funny droid writing.

Tropico 4 – I like having a steady sim to sit down and chill out with. Don’t get me wrong, T4 is a second tier sim, but you could do worse in the time before the next Sim City game launches and now.

What I’ve Been Doing 23 April 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Apr 23rd, 2012 by Dan


Unrelated shot of the beautiful Red Rock Canyon

It was a nice, lazy, fun weekend full of baseball, movies, and video games. Who could complain?


The Cabin in the Woods – If you think for a second you want to see this movie, you probably shouldn’t read anything about it. Those of you who don’t, well I thought it was an interesting deconstruction of the horror genre that was expertly written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, but perhaps a little too elbow nudge-y, wink wink to be taken completely seriously. Still worth seeing. Lots of fun.


The Voice – You have to make sacrifices sometimes when you have a girlfriend. This is one of the watchable ones. Some of the eliminations continue to baffle me, but at least RaeLynn is gone. Yay!

Glee – The Quinn in the wheelchair episode was absolutely terrible. The disco one, on the other hand, is a return to form. Diana Agron mysteriously disappeared for long stretches of the episode (perhaps her wheelchair dancing is not to par). I wish they’d use Mercedes more…she’s tragically underused and has the best voice on the show.

New Girl – “I might as well call you ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ because you make kids cry” New Girl…what do I think of you? Most improved show of the year? Perhaps. It’s gotten to be quite good, but it’s still not perfect and I still think Happy Endings does the young 20-30 somethings hanging out thing better. Glad the show is improving, but I could do without all the sappy moments.

Justified – Great great GREAT finale. Gonna miss watching Raylan Givens solve crimes every week. See you next year, Justified!

Mad Men – I remain a week behind on this, per usual, but the boxing match between Lane and Pete was hilariously awesome. Fantastic episode.

Community – It was one of those weeks where they really go all out in the emotional, barely funny route. It worked before and it works again, mostly because Alison Brie is a joy to watch.

Dollhouse – The guy who plays Topher (Fran Kranz) was in The Cabin in the Woods, so I felt like trying to watch some of S2. The show definitely has problems (lots of them), but it’s improving and I am interested in seeing how it all ended.

Bob’s Burgers – Food truck episode…way to be timely? They’re still a thing, but it’s just not that funny in 2012. At least the cast makes it work…mostly.

Baseball – Two Marlins games, two Marlins losses. To the Nationals! WTF!

Parks and Recreation – Bradley Whitford’s part was too small, but that’s ok. Aubrey Plaza continues to show range and grow. I find Aziz Ansari to be increasingly irrelevant in Parks…


All of the Coachella news has put one song permanently in my head last week:

If you know someone who doesn’t like “Changes”, you know a monster. A MONSTER!


Sadly none.

Video Games

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP – Only got like 15 mins in so I didn’t get a chance to get a serious impression. I like the style and the sneaky interactive elements. Music seems cool so far too.

The Old Republic – Started up a Trooper so that Min and I could have the full compliment of buffs as we leveled. Love hearing Jennifer Hale’s voice again. Great game and the Trooper and Smuggler have neat stories.

Devil Survivor 2 – Made it to Wednesday, I think. Fighting the first boss that appears at like 0830. Love this style of game, but I’ve got a long ways to go still.

What I’ve Been Doing 19 Mar 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Mar 19th, 2012 by Dan

They are a group of six friends evenly split among men and women. Haven't seen this formula before! (Photo courtesy

I’ll get into it more later, but despite it being pretty standard fare for a sitcom, Happy Endings is actually hilarious and kind of awesome. I blew through season 1 this weekend (half on Netflix, then I bought the entire season on DVD).

Just catching any TV is impressive considering that I haven’t watched a second of it since Mass Effect 3 came out. Now that I’ve beaten that I had a chance to catch up on all the TV I’d missed.


The Descendants – Picked up the movie at Best Buy this weekend too. Great flick. I think Tiffany liked it despite its Oscar film plot meanderings.


Community – Oh god, so glad it’s back! So glad! This week’s episode was pretty solid work for Community. Everyone showed up and was great. Even the Britta stuff was hilarious. I loved that she was a wizard with domestic stuff and wedding planning. Then of course she Brittas the entire thing by getting too drunk with Jeff.

Archer – Space! Pretty excellent episode of Archer. Can’t wait for the finale next week

New Girl – “Did you just Fredo kiss me?” The singing part was kind of “eh”. “Are those cannons on your back”. After watching a lot of Happy Endings later on in the weekend, I think that New Girl is a less good version of that. Bummer. Still, it’s coming into its own and I dig it. Max Greenfield’s Schmidt is hilarious.

Parks and Recreation – The Ron stuff was great. I guess I’m pretty tired of the Ann and Tom stuff too.

Bob’s Burgers – Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman are HILARIOUS! Footloose warehouse dancing is great! “No more lick foot”. “If guys had uteruses they’d be called duderuses” Great episode.

Justified – The show knows how to make things seem real bad. “I found the gun.” “Did you touch it?” “What am I, an asshole?” I think Winona’s great! Is she gone for good? Good to see Ava returning to prominence. I like her too. Boyd’s got a real firebrand preacher streak and that’s always fun to see. This season is about to get more real quick and I love it!

Up All Night – Maya Rudolph is great. Spitting the scotch back out was pretty hilarious. The stinger with “gift” and “seed” was the best part. I kept wanting to use that as a line, but it’s so gross.

Happy Endings – Not too bad. Wow. Extra Hot Great turned me on to this show and I spent all weekend watching as much of it as I could. I thought it was pretty hilarious. It’s got a modern Friends vibe, but with the jokes pace of a Community, 30 Rock, or Arrested Development. Just BAM! BAM! BAM! Jokes, jokes, jokes. I really enjoyed it. If you know me I hope you don’t mind me making you watch it.


Just listen to more Rhythm Heaven music, guys!


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Ok, Martin Vanger is dead already. Why does this book still have like 100 pages left?!

Video Games

Mass Effect 3 – Finally finished this sci-fi epic and…I loved it. Naysayers out there will tell you that the ending is terrible. They’re kind of right, but that doesn’t mean the game isn’t fantastic.

Ghost Trick – This is another one like Dragon Tattoo that I’m getting closer and closer to beating and I just need to put time in to finish.

Mass Effect 2 – Coming back to this after 3 is rough. Combat is slower, the engine is not optimized for PC, it’s trying too hard to be edgy…Still good, but I like 3 and 1 better.

What I’m Watching [IB]
Feb 17th, 2011 by Dan

Japanese TV

Been a while since I’ve talked about the tv I’m watching. Here’s a breakdown:


Based on novels and a short story by Elmore Leonard, Justified is about to enter its second season. I’m catching up on S1 and I gotta say I’m a huge fan of US Marshal Raylan Givens (played by Timothy Olyphant) and the crime landscape of Eastern Kentucky. It’s definitely worth tuning into.

Party Down

I’m tuning into this one a bit too late, but this canceled Rob Thomas show about failed actors working in a catering business is reliably funny enough for me to keep watching on Netflix instant. Rob Thomas’ other critically acclaimed canceled show, Veronica Mars, lends many guest stars to Party Down and it’s both hilarious and bizarre to see them in such different roles.


It’s been a long while since Matt LeBlanc was on TV. Joey was a pretty short lived failure, which I’m sure contributed to Matt LeBlanc’s lack of work, but he’s back and doing remarkably excellent work on Episodes. If you watched the second season of Extras, you should be somewhat familiar with the whole “network ruining our smart show” concept, but the real beauty of this show is the way Matt LeBlanc plays, well, Matt LeBlanc. The other characters in the show initially give him very little credit, but his sneaky, behind-the-scenes machinations are actually quite intelligent and I’m eager to see how this show ends now that we’ve caught up with the media res introduction of the first episode.


Did you know this was based on an English show? I guess it makes sense. First episode was pretty good. I don’t have much more to say on the topic, but I plan to keep watching.


Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armison are the brains (and primary actors) behind this sketch comedy analysis of Portland, the city where the dream of the 90s lives on. Some of the sketches are miss, but most are decent hits. I’m actually chuckling a little about the cacao sketch right now. I admit that I also take a little more out of it thanks to living two years of my life in a Portland suburb. Not gonna bust your sides, but worth a watch.


H. Jon Benjamin is the super secret agent Sterling Archer. It’s about as madcap and raunchy as you’d expect cable tv animated shows to be, but it’s also just funny enough to keep me tuning in each week. I think my enjoyment stems entirely from H. Jon Benjamin’s vocal work. He just knows how to voice a character.

Bob’s Burgers

Speaking of H. Jon Benjamin vocal roles, Bob’s Burgers couldn’t be more different from Archer, but is also as good or better thanks to Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal. All three combine to make a FOX animated show that is (thankfully) not a Family Guy knockoff. Last week’s capoeira episode was hilarious.

and the usual stuff:


I don’t quite know where they’re going with this mini-Chevy Chase arc, but I’m not too fond of it. I think Pierce is the weakest character in the show and they’re going out of their way to make us hate him. Character death? God, I wish it were so. The ensemble doesn’t need him.


Season 2 just hasn’t lived up to Season 1. I blame the music. Too much pop culture, perhaps, and not enough classic rock and Broadway. Every time I think I might quit watching the show they go and wow me with something fantastic. Before the break it was the “Singin In The Rain/Umbrella” mash-up. Last week, amid the awful Justin Bieberfest, we got “Take Me Or Leave Me” from Rent. Just like that I’m back in.

Parks and Recreation

If you still think this show is The Office 2.0, you’re still wrong. Parks & Recs has matured into its own fantastic show and it’s firing on all cylinders. This past week I found myself literally guffawing at the episode. I think it might be my favorite comedy on television at the moment.

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