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Television

Top 10 – Fan Created Products

GeekOut Top 10s

You may be wondering how much content genuinely has been made by fans that we wanted to make a list about and the truth is – There’s a lot. We could get specific by saying best “fanart”, or best “fanfic”, or even best “fan made game”… But the truth is, there’s a lot of great content out there by crazy talented individuals. This week, we dedicate it to the fans who make their mark on the world, by taking something they enjoy and running wild with it.

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Top 10 – Water-Wielding Characters

GeekOut Top 10s

By Poseidon’s beard, it’s time for another Top 10 and this week, we’re going to be diving deep into the world of water. These picks are all going to make a splash, as we are going to be analysing what we consider to be the best of the best Water-Wielding Characters. These individuals have command over water, or have abilities to conjure, manipulate or otherwise use water in a capacity to give them an advantage.

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Three Netflix Reviews

I have been quite unwell, and with all the time spent glaring at a screen from behind my diseased haze I have consumed quite a lot of the newer releases on Netflix. Rather than draw out reviewing each of the more interesting titles until past the point where anyone is interested, here’s a trio of opinions in quick succession, and relatively spoiler free.

The Umbrella Academy

What do you get when you cross X-Men with Preacher?

It’s an academy of kids with super-powers being trained by an eccentric old lunatic with a monocle, his monkey butler and robot maid! It’s been a while since they all got together, one died, one vanished through time, the others just filtered away to live their own lives until the only one that remained was sent to the moon. This all makes sense, right? We’re keeping up? Based on the 2007 Dark Horse comic series of the same name, the show takes us on a story of loneliness, time-travel, family conflict, and why eccentric billionaires shouldn’t keep secrets from the children they purchase.

Plot beats are fairly predictable once you’ve got a solid grasp of the characters involved, the end of the world is coming, there’s a time-travel plot including a time-cop agency that’s done moderately well, although it’s impossible not to draw comparisons to the agents of heaven from Preacher. Also like Preacher the tone strikes an odd balance between comedy and heavy drama, you have Robert Sheehan playing his own typecast of troubled class-clown with super-powers that he laid down in Misfits* alongside a fifty-something time-traveller in a child’s body, and opposite them you have Ellen Page as “the plain girl”, a mother torn apart by celebrity and relationships, an edgy “Nightwing” dealing with his own ego, and a man who has spent years alone on the moon.

All in all, not a bad watch, nice to see something that is neither Marvel or DC, and the performance from all parties is thoroughly enjoyable. The series does not balance its tone as well as Preacher, which can make it hard to invest in the stakes or characters, and of course the constant reveal of secret after secret does rather have you twiddling your thumbs waiting for the next “grand reveal”. Still, not a bad series, and easily worth watching an episode or two.


*Another Misfits and Preacher bridge, after a dramatic cast-shift in Misfits the character niche occupied by Robert Sheehan was taken up by Joseph Gilgun who plays the vampire Cassidy in Preacher! I hope those two are friends.


The Dragon Prince – Season 2

An improvement on season 1 which was already good, and I’m glad I gave The Dragon Prince chance to develop. We pick up where we left off, a potential war between humans and elves is beginning to reach the boiling point, and the only ones actively trying to put a preemptive stop to it, the newly orphaned prince who has the inexplicable ability to talk to animals, his older half-brother whose determined to learn magic despite the human inability to tap into primal energy, and an elf who is slowly learning to trust humans but whose scrutiny is proving far to useful to ignore.

Again, the real strength of the showrunners shines through in their character and world building that they proved in Avatar: the Last Airbender, although the narrative is still hitting some fairly tame plot-beats. Our main villain is, once again, evil for the sake of being evil, and I can see no reason for him to have gone kill-crazy. His best friend, the deceased king, was nothing but loving to him, heeded his counsel, gave reasons when he turned it down… anyway, let’s kill that rant early.

The show sticks to the D&D party paradigm, each party member fulfilling a role within the group and within the adventure, you can practically see the DM’s screen in the backgrounds of certain scenes. At times it feels a lot more “kids show” than Avatar ever did, but it doesn’t make it less fun, and the fact that you can consume a season in an afternoon makes it worth committing a bit of time to.

Velvet Buzzsaw

End this with one hell of a moodshift, a new horror that has been on Netflix for a couple of weeks now, we have a story of a mad artist whose work causes strange deaths among those who sell it. Told from the perspective of those in the art industry, the world we occupy is quite removed from a classic horror setting, bright, cheerful, full of life and business, no one is isolated, no one is removed from society or cut off from rescue, and that alone makes this an abnormal and interesting approach.

Our cast of characters are cutthroat and volatile, consumed with their own dramas, almost oblivious to the terror unfolding around them, more caught up in their own dramas, undermining and outdoing one another, that by the time it occurs to anyone that anything spooky is going on they’re already screwed. It’s a joyous thing to enjoy watching a cast of characters that you utterly despise, and there’s something a little cathartic about watching a horror film where you are not encouraged to feel bad for anyone except for Zooey Deschanel in the role of “innocent”.

It’s different, but I cannot say that it’s all good. The all star cast is great, sure, but it’s never proof against a failed experiment or a horror film that lacks tension. While I enjoyed what I watched, I found it all too easy to simply not pay attention to the story, skipping great chunks of the inter-personal drama, having to backtrack occasionally for bits of tension I’d inadvertently ignored while working on something else (work’s good, you?) and coming back to enjoy the grizzly moments and Zooey Deschanel finding another body and none of the nearby police thinking to arrest her for always finding the bodies.


Top 10 Evil Laughs

GeekOut Top 10s

Sometimes, the villain likes to get a laugh in. Infrequently, the villain gets the last laugh, but when they do get their laughs in, you know you’re going to be etched with their echoing laughs for a long time. We wanted to honour those bad people who wanted nothing more than to show us how much they enjoyed messing with our heroes, in this week’s Top 10 Evil Laughs list.

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Spider-Manuary – Getting Amazing

To a chorus of “why though?” we get into the first major reboot of the series. Five years after the critical flop of Spider-Man 3, Sony elected to take a do over than try and save the Raimi series. With Tobey Maguire in his late thirties and a lot of ill feeling around the mishandling of the third film of an acclaimed series, it was a reasonable response, although the staggering box office return and the good favour bought by the first two films made a lot of people a little nervous. Sam Raimi had a proven track record, and there was hope that the studio might have learned the lesson to take their hands off the reigns and let the creativity fly.

A cautious audience went to see Amazing Spider-Man, with new face Andrew Garfield and director Marc Webb. name jokes aside, Webb’s previous credentials included 500 Days of Summer and a host of pop-punk music videos, and Tom Holland was already 29 and trying to play a high school student. A cautious audience also left the cinema… (more…)


Review – Punisher Season 2

And so it looks like I am here to finish my reviews of Marvel’s foray onto Netflix. Oh sure, Jessica Jones hasn’t been cancelled, and neither has Punisher, really, but it’s only a matter of time and not a lot of time either the way these things are dropping. So while we wait for the last of the bad news, while Disney pulls in the dragnet, calling the last of its properties back to the mines, we have another series of Punisher to watch. (more…)


Top 10 – Catchphrases

GeekOut Top 10s

Can you feel it? We’re going to get catchy in this week’s article. There’s no doubt you’ll have heard a lot of the phrases spoken today, as we’re going to be looking at our Top 10 Catchphrases. Our caveats are simple:

  • Single Word catchphrases aren’t included – These could be considered for a future list!
  • The catchphrase had to be a genuinely recognisable trait of the character; not something said just once.

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Top 10 – Artificial Intelligences

GeekOut Top 10s

We all love the fact that the future is bringing us to a much more autonomous way of living. Some of the things that humanity have had to work hard for in the past is slowly becoming a robotic-filled niche, but that doesn’t mean that all Artificial Intelligence is good. When AI goes bad, it can go maverick – But we’re not here to talk about the bad or the good today. Instead, we’re going to check out our Top 10 Artificial Intelligence in all of media.

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Top 10 – Christmas Trees in Pop Culture

By now you should all be raising your evergreens, be they plastic or living… well, not living anymore. Christmas draws ever nearer, and presents have to go somewhere, classically piled into novelty oversized footwear, or placed in a space on the carpet that may be suddenly prone to getting covered in pine needles. The Christmas Tree may very well be the single most iconic symbol of the season, unique to the time of year but embraced by so many, including us nerdy types.

Gather around young ones, as we tell you the tale of the 10 greatest Christmas Trees to ever grace pop culture. (more…)


Top 10 Geeky Christmas-Themed Stories

GeekOut Top 10s

It’s December 1st everybody, which means we’re legally obliged* to start spamming you with Christmas every second of the way. We thought we’d start the festive season off with a bang, as we’re going to celebrate all that is geeky about the holiday spirit… And what could be better than keeping warm with a nice cup of hot chocolate, a sofa and a nice Christmas-Themed Story? Welcome to our Top 10 Geeky Christmas-Themed Stories.

*We’re not really legally obliged to do this, we just felt like it.

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