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Clever ad copy for one of the best shows this season. (Photo by Katya Yakubov)
It’s been another awesome week! I got to meet Adam Jones at a tailgate and watch the Ravens win along with…all the stuff below!
None this week!
The Amazing Race – Katie and I shotgunned the entire tenth season because it had a leg that passed through Madagascar. I think she’s really starting to get into the show, which is great because it’s loads of fun to watch. I’m also working on the fifth season on my own and watching the current season. I’m really liking Nicole and Travis to win the race…
Masters of Sex – The show is pretty slow-moving, but I’m really enjoying the way that it’s setting up its relationships and plotlines so far. Lots of great character work.
How I Met Your Mother – Ask and ye shall receive, I guess. The mother made an appearance, but now I’m gonna complain that she’s not interacting with the present day cast. Soon enough, I’d think!
New Girl – Coach is back! I forgot how he was supposed to be characterized, but it was a little disappointing. Just felt trite and overdone with the whole “guy acting like girlfriends are controlling their friends” thing. His role in Happy Endings was way more interesting. Also who remembered that Winston used to play basketball in Europe?!
The Mindy Project – It’s a bummer that this show probably isn’t gonna survive, because it’s just got so many hilarious lines. They’re usually throaways, but they make me and Katie laugh so hard anyway…
Homeland – Remember how Homeland never lets you get comfortable because it’s always “GO GO GO!”? It’s that again for sure. Did you think we’d have another quiet interrogation episode like last year? Nope. Carrie’s already laying out the long con. It was pretty cool, but they seem to be randomly mismanaging stuff, so people ended up…dead.
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys today because I heard it this morning and I love it.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies – Second case is progressing and I’m getting really close to finishing off the proper verdict. Still fun, if not a little quirky and weird. This case has been pretty convoluted and I’m still not sure where all the details are going to end up.
Pokemon Y – One gym leader left!
Tiny Death Star – F2P gaming at its worst, but it’s fine to set timers and have going on in the background for all the silly Star Wars jokes.
Plants vs. Zombies 2 – I’d rather play this on my PC. It’s not the worst, but it’s still not anywhere near as good…
Katie was out of town, so I spent most of the weekend mainlining Dead Space 3 with David and not seeing these weird soldiers because, I dunno, video games! (Photo by GameXpect)
The funny thing about this list is that it was mostly generated over the weekend when Katie was out of town. The rest of week I spent watching the second best baseball game I’ve ever seen and hanging out with her and Kara.
Guys…I just want to see Star Trek. Why haven’t I seen it yet?!
Veep – I hadn’t even thought of the comparison until I read it on The AV Club, but it’s fascinating how some photo memes turn into viral, badass things and others are just embarrassing.
Community – Finally saw the body switching episode. I guess the Troy and Britta thing never really worked or gelled in the non-Harmon era, but I don’t know that I buy that Troy would handle it that way considering how much he struggled to get Abed to confront his feelings last year. Not a bad episode otherwise.
Happy Endings – Best line of the four (or so) episodes I saw: “If I met you today, we would not be friends”. I wish the show hadn’t gotten rid of Pete, but it remains as funny as ever. The news that ABC won’t pick up this show (and it’s questionable status as a TBS or USA pickup) saddens me greatly.
Here’s a great track by Thundercat, “Oh Sheit It’s X”
Uh…I swear I’m not an uncultured animal. I swear!
Monaco – Holy crap, Min, Dave, and I are just stumped by the museum level. We need a fourth who’s very good at the game, methinks…
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box – Still moving along slowly. I thought I was gonna beat it last night, but I chose to Monaco it up with Min and Dave instead.
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask – Mostly playing the daily puzzles and not even touching the story. I’ve got two games to beat before I get to it anyway, so get off my case!
Dead Space 3 – Played just…hours and hours (like 8 this week) of this over the weekend. Dave and I are nearly done and having a blast recording it for the channel. Hopefully we get good views from that, but even if we don’t we’ve had fun. My favorite part: fighting Necromorphs for 10 minutes while David tries to figure out what to do in hallucination-land.
Somehow left off…
DmC Devil May Cry – Beat this sucker and the Vergil DLC over the weekend. I never played the original games, but the attitude and fun of this version is rather tongue in cheek and very funny. It could easily have been too self-serious and boring, but they 100% avoided that.
Everyone loves to mock it, but it’s home.
It’s that time of year again, everyone. Baseball season has begun anew!
Ruby Sparks – Way darker than I expected it to be, but, then again, I always expected it to be skewering the manic pixie dream girl trope. Well acted and quick. I dug it more than 500 Days
30 Clubs in 30 Days – Watched the Orioles breakdown with Katie. Pretty fun. I think the team will exceed expectations this year too.
The Amazing Race – Oh man did I mainline episodes of this show. Finished watching S2 this week and loved Danny and Oswald and hated Wil and Tara like everyone else. Also saw the Botswana episode of the current season and rather enjoyed it as well.
Happy Endings – They came back hitting the wordplay jokes (seemingly) harder than ever. Good, if not quite as strong episodes.
Archer – The Vatican City episode was ridiculously good, guys. Pam getting stuck by the heroin needle was pretty funny. They’re just making everyone field agents now, huh? I doubt we’ll ever see Cheryl in the field, but with all of this going on now, who knows?
The Daily Show – I really dug the strong indictment of the President on veteran issues. It’s not common for Stewart to be so hard on Obama, so it’s good to see it happen every once in a while.
New Girl – I’m not sure that the Nick Kroll stuff (or any of the family stuff, really) worked, but it was a decent episode.
This isn’t the first time I’ve put a Disasterpiece track on here. Enjoy it!
The Outlaw by Disasterpeace
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Still making progress on this guy and still loving it. Truly epic. I’m at the part where the fruit company is there and I’m wondering what’s gonna come of that.
Mass Effect 3 – Got through all the required missions and did the Javik one as well because having him come along makes the game infinitely better.
Bioshock Infinite – Has a lot of the same issues as Bioshock. Really pretty and I’m interested in seeing where it goes, but I’m not impressed yet.
Dead Space 3 – Co-op time with David. Man do I love playing co-op games with him. It’s so much better than randos and we’re able to get some fantastic jokes in.
It really should be a snow day today, but circumstances conspire against me… (Photo by Hobbes vs Boyle)
It’s cold and snowy and I hate it, but this should (hopefully) be winter’s last hurrah before spring and baseball season.
Silver Linings Playbook – You know? I actually enjoyed this movie a lot more on second viewing. The acting is all quite good. Definitely one you should see if you have yet to catch it.
The Americans – Mole spotting and infidelity ahoy these past two episodes. Still rather intriguing. Definitely not the best show on tv, but definitely fun and worth watching.
Archer – Haven’t managed to watch the most recent episode yet, but the tower one and the coyote one were both superb. Just super funny stuff.
Girls – This year’s finale was messy and kind of rushed feeling. I like that they’re all back where they were (under different circumstances) from last year, but I also didn’t love how much it felt like a happy ending when, based on what we know about these people, it really shouldn’t be.
The Amazing Race – The Vietnam leg was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. That pro-Socialism song is something I want in my music library, seriously. The Botswana leg was cool too. I have no idea why anyone would opt to do a task where you have to make fire with sticks. Too. Hard.
Happy Endings – Watched the kickball episode to prep Katie for kickball last week. Still super funny. Yippie Ki Yay Mother Failure!
Community – Really not enjoying the new show. :sigh:. This is like the eighth time that Jeff and Pierce have a moment. Also the show is way sappier this year.
New Girl – Do not like the Jess and Nick storyline at all. I was really hoping that she wouldn’t date any of her roommates. It’d be better if they weren’t stretching it out so much too. Oh well…
Glee – Slowly pushing through my backlog. Boring ballads between Jake and Marley are boring. Really…At least the show has a few good numbers tucked in there.
PHOX – Fairly typical indie rock stuff, but that’s not all that bad.
One Hundred Years of Solitude – There are these details in this book that are so random, but so perfect in conveying the magical tone of this work. It’s just absolutely brilliant and I love it. Feels like an epic tale.
Mass Effect 2 – Cruised through my corrected Paragon playthrough to prepare for ME3 and the Citadel DLC. That game…still not as good as the others. I don’t know if it’s the way that it tries too hard to be “cool” and “mature” or something, but it gets on my nerves.
Spelunky – Played some multiplayer with Min. Good times. Look forward to the episode next week.
New Super Mario Bros. U – Min and I pushed through another world. Things are getting complicated, but we’re making our way to Bowser without playing too poorly.
Professional Baseball Spirits 2013 – The new edition is here! Can’t wait to get all the translation stuff in order and get my Carp season underway
Mass Effect 3 – Got to where you can save and exit, but really excited to get this paragon game in. I do wish my paragon Shepard was female because Hale is so much better than anything else, but I’ll make do.
Maybe it’s ripping off They Live a bit, but I really dig the way that the city seems to hate Dante.
Not a lot of things going on last week because it was busy! There was a Super Bowl that the Ravens were winning! So much fun being out in Baltimore last night.
Next week, I promise!
The Thick of It – This show is so mean (like Veep!) and I love Tucker’s “bollocking face”.
Happy Endings – I think the sight gag of Marlon Wayans, Jr. giving a reluctant lapdance to Jane because he was covered in stripper glitter was the biggest laugh of 2013 so far.
New Girl – I wish they’d kept it “won’t they,” but I strangely trust New Girl in S2 to handle this Jess/Nick thing fairly well. They’ve been firing on all cylinders and this season has been a real Nick highlight.
Archer – Best Archer episode of this young season so far. Full of callbacks (almost too full) and brilliant humor. Hilarious episode.
Girls – There was so much brilliaant drama in this episode I don’t know where to start. Ray and Shoshana were the clear highlights, but Jessa and Thomas John’s fight was brilliantly acted out. This show is really clicking right now and I hope it stays strong.
Beyoncé runs the world right now.
A Confederacy of Dunces – Finally finished the book. The convergence of all the plots was so funny and tight and perfect. It’s definitely a book that rewards reading it all the way through. Everyone has a neat/proper ending and Ignatius’ fate felt strangely right.
Are We Winning?: Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball – An annual prepping for baseball season read. I love Will Leitch’s insights and his love for his Cardinals. I don’t know of a baseball book that I enjoy reading more.
Spelunky – Thanks to a new Elgato capture card courtesy my mom for my birthday, I’m now able to capture console footage and use it to show the world how bad I am at Spelunky. So much fun, you guys!
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Man, those Second Wave switches are almost way too hard to deal with. Gonna lose this game and start a new one.
DmC Devil May Cry – Who knew that this game would be so fun/awesome? I’m digging the combat system and all of Ninja Theory’s great character work. This game is stupid in all the right ways too. Loved that intro with the bat and junk food in front of Dante’s junk.
Fun fact: The blonde in this picture is Julia Stiles! (Photo courtesy emrahozcan)
Wow guys, this is pretty late, huh? Sorry bout that!
Silver Linings Playbook – It may be the most accessible Oscar nominee to watch, but that doesn’t preclude it from being just astonishingly well acted. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper turned in fantastic performances. I have a hard time imagining a person who would dislike this movie.
New Girl – Who thought I’d ever utter the words, “I’m gonna miss Olivia Munn…” Loved the pogo stuff from this week’s ep.
Archer – I didn’t really love the first episode, but it cracked me the hell up. Great stuff.
Happy Endings – I really dug the “other friends”. It’s a stock conceit, but Happy Endings usually puts a unique enough spin on that type of thing where I don’t mind it.
One Piece – I’ve got something like 260 episodes to go to catch up to the present.
Girls – The premiere was really strong. The second episode less so, but this show is still top notch. Some shows have unlikeable casts that aren’t believable. I know a lot of these people…
I really dig “Apocalypse Dreams” by Tame Impala
A Confederacy of Dunces – This book is really starting to come together. The cast is converging and it’s all gonna culminate on this political rally. I can’t wait.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – That free Second Wave DLC is super awesome, but man are its modifiers tough. That Red Mist one makes it near impossible, but I love it anyway.
Sleeping Dogs – Not really grabbing me. I should just burn through to the end…
Hotline Miami – Beat the main story. Pretty fun game. The bonus missions are tough, but I think I’ll manage. Gotta get the secret password too.
Borderlands 2 – Still having fun, but it’s tough to get everyone together sometimes. I really should take the time to level up Gaige since she’d be more fun to play, I think. On the flip side, the healer role I kind of have with Maya is fun too.
FTL – I came so close to getting the Stealth Ship. I don’t want to talk about it…
The main guy in Virtue’s Last Reward (Photo courtesy Giant Bomb)
This past weekend was a haze of parties and Virtue’s Last Reward. The good news is that I beat the game and had fun at all the parties, but the bad news is zzzzzzzz…
Justified – So happy to have this show back. Raylan is such a badass. Loved the shot to the airbag. I’m really interested in seeing where this season goes. It looks like IA is gonna really get on Raylan’s ass.
Happy Endings – Pretty elaborate episode chiefly centered around making jokes about inappropriate-sounding use of the word “come” and a jerky making circle :cough: circle jerk :cough:. Still fairly hilarious and I’ve got like two episodes still on the DVR!
Two tracks for you today.
First off, who the heck is Bonnie Bear?
Yeah, that’s Bon Iver’s “Perth”. I love that guitar.
Then we’ve got the credits song for The Walking Dead game. It’s just got a sweet sound to it. Not sure if my association with the game makes it stronger…
Alela Diane’s “Take Us Back”
A Confederacy of Dunces – More hot dog shenanigans. I’m coming around on the book, but I’m also taking it a little too slow.
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward – It’s so hard to talk about this game without spoiling everything that makes it so incredible. Trust me, guys, this game’s story is just awesome. I’m officially a fan of Kotaro Uchikoshi now. It’s the kind of story that makes you think and that makes smart use of its mechanics.
FTL – Died in a fiery Engi Cruiser wreck. Not enough offense.
Borderlands 2 – Our posse is starting to get pretty strong, but the game is also getting a lot harder. Really digging the slag/other elemental combo. I think it helps tremendously with damage.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – The Second Wave DLC came out allowing you to customize additional really tough XCOM rules and…I got my ass kicked on my first attempt. This next game is going a little better, but I think the soldier I named my guy after just bit the dust.
Saints Row: The Third – I think we played this during this week, right, Dave? Co-op campaign is loads of fun, but I wish I heard David’s character in cutscenes or that we were both present. Loads of fun.
The cast of Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward (Picture courtesy: SegmentNext)
I finished 999 last week and I thought, “Should I wait a bit before picking up Zero Escape?” Then I ordered it and got it on Friday. Man, I’ve spent something like 10 hours on it already. I’m loving all the new thought experiments, the prisoner’s dilemma, and the quantum aspects of the story
Not this week.
The Amazing Race – About 3/4 of the way through S1. I think there’s 2 or 3 episodes left. I’m curious as to who’s gonna stay ahead.
SNL – “It’s origami. That’s Spanish for swan”. Great line. Medium episode.
Portlandia – Caught the first episode of the new season and the one with Ronald D. Moore. Decent show, but it’s not going to bust your gut.
Happy Endings – A few mins of this until I got to the tipping car salesman part.
Homeland – Finally went and watched the last three episodes of the season. Holy cow! I want next season already! It wasn’t the strongest sophomore effort, but it sure was exciting. Can’t wait to see what they do next year.
Heard about this song on All Songs by Josh Ritter. It’s pretty good. I’m really starting to enjoy all these breakup songs.
A Confederacy of Dunces – Hot dog cart Ignatius!
Borderlands 2 – My mechromancer is starting to be way more interesting than my siren, but the siren has great group healing abilities, so I might stick with her anyway.
FTL – Why can’t I ever trigger the stealth ship event?
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward – This game has completely grabbed me, just like 999 did. The storytelling is so interesting that I’ve been up until like 2 or 3 each night playing it. This is a 3DS visual novel that I’m playing at home on a Sunday at the expense of Borderlands 2, mind you, but it’s so cool. The genre’s not for everyone, I know, but trust me, this game is neat.
Cabin pictures aren’t up on flickr yet, so here’s Eric’s home tree (Photo by DJOtaku)
The long drive from North Carolina is over and I had a lot of fun while I was with the family for Christmas. I hope all of you had a great holiday too.
The Dark Knight Rises – Watched it with my Dad over the holiday since he hadn’t seen it. I still think it’s a little bloated, but it was nice to see the same Nolan care for detail the second time through and know what was leading to what.
Juan de los muertos – Saw this with my old man too. I think he was unamused by the more crude bits of humor and the plot aimlessness, but I think he was entertained by the Cuban slang and the setting.
Happy Endings – The Jane-mas thing was hilarious, guys. I mean, Alex and her sexual present opening fetish? Max and his eggnog spraying everywhere? The final dance off?! This show is so brilliant.
Glee – Saw the pastiche episode that was trying to be like Love, Actually. I was pretty firmly unimpressed, but that’s not a surprise for me and Glee nowadays.
Eric gave me the Final Fantasy VI soundtrack for Christmas and it’s pretty boss. Here’s Terra’s Theme.
A Confederacy of Dunces – Ignatius has been fired from Levy Pants and is now in flux. I’m curious if that means we’ll be abandoning the Levy’s or not. I bet they’ll be involved later.
The Old Republic – Started the HK questline. Boy it’s not that interesting at all. Just a fetch quest across planets so far. Bummer…
999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors – Finished all but the True Ending. I’ve figured out a lot of details about Seven, Lotus, Snake, and Ace, but Clover, Santa, June, the Ninth Man remain enigmas. I’m really excited to see where this story goes because all the morphogenetics and information passing stuff seems crazy interesting.
Street Fighter x Mega Man – Beat Chun Li, but couldn’t manage the other levels quite yet. A pretty neat little game, but the lack of even a password system makes it a little tough to deal with.
Hotline Miami – The hospital escape and the police station assault levels were not fun and kind of freaky/weird to play. I think I’m getting close to the end, but I also need to go back and get the rest of the password glowy pixels.
Nintendo Land – Played so much of that with the family. Mario Chase is really fun with a lot of folks and I even managed to beat Donkey Kong. Love it.
Pac-Man CE DX – I’ve said so much about how amazing this game is. Do I need to say more? Man do I love eating those long ghost chains…
Spelunky – Played some with David. That was lots of fun as we quickly did tremendous damage to each other. Good times.
Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead. (Picture courtesy Rich Ford)
I got to share my favorite episode of Doctor Who with Min today. I’d forgotten how eerie and excellent that episode was. I mean, I literally shouted out loud in fear when one of the angels popped into view. Freaky stuff. Love that ep.
Breaking Bad – I don’t know why I had such a long gap before where I wasn’t watching this, but these past few episodes have been brilliant. Walter White is absolutely fascinating in his almost impotent villainy. I love how addicted he is to power and how much pride he has. Just brilliant stuff.
The Amazing Race – Up to the finale on the current season and that’s been pretty exciting. I’m glad the twins didn’t get eliminated as they’re the funniest. On the S1 DVDs things are getting interesting. Team Guido is hilariously evil. It’s awesome.
Parks and Recreation – Episodes revolving around Jerry are usually pretty awesome and this one did not disappoint. Tammy 2’s ridiculous brand of evil sluttiness was gross AND hilarious. Not an easy bar to hit.
The Mindy Project – It seems like every week I’m saying, “The net critics don’t like this, but I find it funny.” Copy-paste that here.
New Girl – Another one that all the internet hated, but I thought was hilarious. The bathtub crashing through the ceiling and the Remy three-way callbacks? Brilliant.
Doctor Who – Started Min off with “Blink”, but then I took him back to “Rose” to show a more typical episode. It’s still mostly introducing stuff, but I think his interest in piqued.
Happy Endings – Man did Rob Corddry get away with saying some filthy things on network tv. Also the Penny thing was fairly predictable from her. Alex continues to be hilarious as always.
Glee – A week where I didn’t want to just turn off the show for being aggressively stupid? Wow! That first Rachel number was stunningly good.
The League – Odd pacing and dropping of plot points make me think that there are big things afoot for the finale. Totally dug the lucha libre bit.
Childrens Hospital – Madonna episode: meh. Chief episode: better.
NTSF:SD:SUV:: – I don’t think they did enough with the found footage conceit, but Alphonse’s creepy Christmas song was amazing.
Saturday Night Live – I didn’t get past weekend update, but Jamie Foxx was doing his thing ok. He seemed less comfortable that I thought he’d be considering how good he is in other stuff. Maybe live isn’t his thing?
Just go listen to more Frank Ocean. Channel Orange is Awesome.
A Confederacy of Dunces – At around the 100 page mark. I feel like I’ve met all the principals and now it’s time to see where this farce is headed.
The Revolution was Televised – Finished the chapters on The Sopranos and The Wire and I’m working on Deadwood. This tv backstory stuff is fascinating and I’m really digging all the analysis.
Sleeping Dogs – I like Wei Shen and I like the undercover cop conceit. It remains to be seen how deep the story gets and if it’ll allow for character depth or go the GTA IV route where, regardless of how serious the main guy claims to be, every one else is a cartoon.
The Old Republic – Just got Vette, but we sadly haven’t had much interaction at all. Seems like a dropped ball so far, but, then again, my character has only just gotten license to head to Dromund Kaas.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – A power issue (perhaps related to SLI-ing my cards) caused save file corruption on my main game. I might have to restart and that’s heartbreaking. We’ll see if the forums come through for me or not.
FTL – I’m getting much better at this game, but I still haven’t gotten the hang of Mantis B. Racking up wins with other ships though.