Episode #102: Pop Culture Seriousness

Some TV shows really work, others don’t.  Some special effects look amazing and others look cheesy.  Some video games are enthralling, others can’t hold your interest.  Why?  Obviously, there are many reasons why a project in any particular medium might be successful, or not.  Here at The Brick Room, we think one of those reasons is how seriously a TV show, or movie, or video game takes itself.  Projects in entertainment need to strike a consistent tone.  If your film is meant to be really gritty and dark and takes itself super seriously, then it ruins audience suspension of disbelief if characters then take actions or display abilities that are not consistent with real life.  Even more so if character actions and abilities are not consistent within that film’s own universe.  We start off our discussion today with the first example that pops into our heads:  the Call of Duty series of video games.  Whatever that series started out as, it’s a joke now.  A parody of itself.  Part of the reason that happened is because the games take themselves very seriously and, on the one hand, attempt to achieve a high degree of realism but then, on the other hand, pack both the story line and the gameplay with an ever increasing amount of unbelievable and downright absurd shit.  Suspension of disbelief is lowered and enjoyment of the game is decreased because the audience can never figure out what the tone of the game is supposed to be.  We move on from this to discuss several other examples from pop culture that suffer from the sin of taking themselves to seriously.  Grab your drink, take a listen, and then tell us your thoughts in the comments section of this blog, or on iTunes.  Thanks for listening!

Episode #101: Superheroes

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How well do you know your superheroes?  How well do we know our superheroes?

This week we find out because special guest Chris Daily is back in the Brick Room and Chris is a big fan of superheroes and comics in general.  In fact, Chris is an artist who currently does storyboards and has made comics in the past.  You can find links to his work below the audio.

We play a game this week where Chris tells us the name of a superhero and then we try to guess what that superhero’s power is, or whether or not Chris made up that hero and they don’t really exist.  We had a lot of fun playing this game and we think you’ll find it entertaining.  Grab your drink and play the game along with us.

Check out Chris Daily’s art here:

ChrisDaily.com

stripteasecomic.com

punchanpie.com

Episode #100: 100 Episodes!

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We hit 100 episodes!  We’re pretty excited about this accomplishment.  We both really enjoy doing the podcast and we want to thank all of you who listen and who have given us such great and supportive feedback.

We’re celebrating today by having a special guest on the podcast:  Chris Daily.  Chris is an improviser who performs with us at National Comedy Theatre, which is where we all met. Chris is also a very talented artist who does storyboards, caricatures, and all kinds of other stuff.  Most importantly, he’s just a cool guy.

Today we start off by talking about the effects alcohol can have on the human brain.  We know it isn’t smart to drink and drive, but are there any skills that improve as you drink?  Everyone has had the experience of having a few drinks and becoming amazing at playing darts or pool in the bar.  What other skills does this apply too?  Do you get better or worse at doing the dishes at home as you drink?  What about judging the quality of a TV show or movie?  We think an experiment is in order.

Talking about drinking of course leads us to talking about Las Vegas.  We discuss the nature of objects in Vegas and how they are all huge and oddly shaped.  We also talk about what it means for a place to be a “vacation spot”.  We all live in San Diego which doesn’t feel like a vacation spot to us because we live here.  People who live in Vegas probably feel the same way.  We suppose, a vacation spot is pretty much any place that isn’t where you live.

Finally, we finish up this week by talking about Star Trek.  You read that right:  not Star Wars, Star Trek.  We’re mixing it up this time.  Which scifi universe has cooler technology?  When it comes to holograms, the Star Trek folks have the Star Wars folks beat.

Give us a listen and then tell your friends about the podcast:  spread the word!  Also, if you want to check out some of Chris Daily’s art you can visit him at his webpage:  www.chrisdaily.com.  Also, check him out on twitter:  @scribblemonkey.