Posts Tagged ‘Saturday Supplement’

The Saturday Supplement

Hello! I hope you’re having a merry weekend. I’d planned to spend my Saturday out and about but a week of wounds and wandering caught up with me, and now I’m contenting myself with a day of cookery shows and occasional naps. Below, you’ll find the fruits of our weekly entertainment regime, outside the world of games. It’s been a melancholy week for lovers of pop and stardust, and Alec remembers David Bowie, while I avoid the sadness and instead begin my journey into Marvel with The Sentry, which is everything I love about comics in one continuity-dodging miniseries.

After last week’s love letter to Kino’s Journey, Graham digs deeper into the anime pile, picking out his favourites. And, in the first part of what will hopefully become a long-running series, Pip takes us through the latest events from Holby City and Casualty. Meet Guy Self, narcissist.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Anime For People Who Dislike Anime

Last week I wrote about Kino’s Journey, one of the few animes I’d recommend to people who don’t care about anime. The reason I think that’s a useful statement is because I want to draw a distinction between “anime” as a medium of Japanese animation, and “anime” the collection of tropes, stock characters, and, well, bullshit that is generally associated with the form.

If Kino’s Journey is number one on this, here’s numbers 2-5.

Read the rest of this entry »

Modern Marvel Part 1: The Sentry

A journey through Modern Marvel, beginning in the period leading up to the Avengers Disassembled event and continuing until the heat death of the universe. Given the nature of comic books, the universe(s) may suffer multiple heat deaths. We’ll go right up until the last one.

It might make sense to begin my exposure to Marvel Comics with an origin story of some sort. Maybe find out how one of the big-hitters first donned the spandex or how The Avengers came together. Those are the stories that I’ve picked up through cultural osmosis though – I might not know what names the X-Men go by when they’re not using their oh-so-descriptive callsigns, but I have a good idea about who most of the main players are and what they can do. I know about Uncle Ben. I’m aware of the Weapon X program.

Where to start then? The Sentry, a 2000 miniseries by Paul Jenkins (words) and Jae Lee (art) is as good a place as any. It is both the most continuity-heavy comic I could possibly have picked and also the one in which continuity matters the least.

Read the rest of this entry »

Casualty and Holby City

I guess this is where I discover whether anyone who reads RPS also watches Casualty or Holby City. I’m toying with the idea of doing weekly (or weekly-ish depending on work trips) roundups of the two BBC soaps for this Saturday Supplement malarkey.

I caught up on this week’s Casualty and Holby City episodes over lunch breaks when I came back from Atlanta. I actually tried to watch Casualty while I was out there but BBC licensing restrictions meant I had to wait. Let’s take Casualty first.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bowie Is The Bedrock

I feel the spirit of the 20th century just died. Or, at least, the part of it that was the Western world in recovery, able to breathe and discover itself now the darkest of times was behind it. Celebration and change and fragility all at once. The euphoric songs were always brittle too. The descents into darkness always wove in musical ascents out of it.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Saturday Supplement

The Saturday Supplement made its debut right before the Christmas break. It should have returned from its holiday slumbers a couple of days ago but I managed to hospitalise myself (I’m limping but intact) so this week’s supplement is a…Monday Mixtape? We’ve got Alec on Making a Murderer, John on Supergirl, Graham on anime and my thoughts on Western horror Bone Tomahawk.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Necessary Bias Of Making A Murderer

This is part of our new Saturday Supplement feature, in which RPS’ writers run some bonus, non-gaming articles on weekends. Apart from this week, when it happened on Monday instead due to Adam ending up in hospital.

Contains spoilers for the entire series, though not in detail, and nothing that wasn’t made public by news reports some years ago.

One of the hardest things about Making A Murderer – and there are a great many hard things about it – is the realisation upon finishing it that you mean nothing to it, or to the people in it. That it is not in any way your story.

The Netflix 10-part documentary series focusing on the controversial twin convictions of Wisconsin scrapyard worker Steve Avery feels like such an intensely personal experience to watch – this marathon of faith and doubt, horror and hope. It’s the drama of the journey, not the discomfort of the denouement that makes it, even though almost all discussion around the series is focused on that denouement.
Read the rest of this entry »

Bone Tomahawk Is A Glorious, Gory Western Horror

Not yet released in the UK, I’m lucky enough to have seen Bone Tomahawk thanks to the kindness of a gift-giving friend over in the States. It’s odd to see Kurt Russell looking for all the world as if he’s reprising a role in a film that I only know through trailers and stills – that film is Hateful Eight, Tarantino’s much-hyped and somewhat divisive chamber piece.

Bone Tomahawk sees him inhabiting a similarly brutal world, in a similar time period. He’s also got a similarly impressive set of facial furniture. This is a horror film, though it hides its fangs and claws for more than an hour. It is almost unwatchably grotesque at times once the blood starts to spill, however. The film’s success, however, is down to the kindness at the heart of its grim and cruel frontier.

Read the rest of this entry »

Travelogue Kino’s Journey Isn’t Like Ordinary Anime

I love anime. Sorry, wait, I misspoke. I hate anime. Anime is Japanese animated television about jerks with hearts of gold saving the world, tripping into the breasts of their unfathomably tolerant and smitten (and/or meaninglessly violent) female friends, and in which the same six characters – barely even archetypes, just characters – appear in every single show, whether it’s set in a medieval fantasy land or outer space or modern day Tokyo, and whether the character’s occupation is ninja, cyberpunk police officer or the actual devil.

What I like is animation. What I like is genre fiction. And so there’s a certain amount of anime – the least anime of anime – that I love. Kino’s Journey is the top of that list. It’s the anime I’d most recommend to people who don’t watch or like or care about anime.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Is Supergirl (CBS, Sky 1) So Terrible?

When the trailer for Supergirl first appeared, Twitter got itself into quite the frenzy. It looked really bloody awful, but oh my goodness, people weren’t allowed to say so. The Twitter Police were out in force to decry any who dared question. And you could sort of see why – there are so few TV programmes with female leads that aren’t romcoms, and aside from Agent Carter, none that have a woman in a superheroic role. (Jessica Jones appeared soon after, so wasn’t part of the discussion at the time.)

Here, finally, was a show which looked like it was going to have a dominantly female cast, with women in dominant roles, and yet here was a trailer that featured not just scene after scene of “Wah wah, I have feelings,” but even an “Ew, thank goodness you don’t mean gay!” moment almost worthy of Teen Wolf. There were some cool explosions, some fights, but they were drowning in simpering awfulness.

Waiting and seeing was obviously the best course of action. And, rather devastatingly, the result is far, far worse than anything the trailer could have implied. This is the most saccharine, feeble, self-hating crap imaginable, and nine episodes deep, it’s showing only signs of getting worse.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Saturday Supplement

Here at RPS, we play a lot of games. You might think that’s all we do, given how much time we spend writing about the latest and greatest PC playthings. That’s not the case. When we’re not playing games or thinking about games, we’re often indulging ourselves with the latest and greatest books, films, TV shows, comics and music. Sometimes we even go to the theatre or the pub.

The Saturday Supplement is a new wing of RPS, and it’s where we’ll gather our thoughts about whatever catches our attention in the wider world of pop (and unpop) culture. Think of it like those glossy magazines you get with the weekend papers. From week to week, you might find our verdict on the latest blockbuster film, a journey through our personal libraries, a paen to a favourite recipe or just about anything else that’s tickling at our hivemind.

This week, our verdict on Star Wars: The Force Awakens (with spoilers hidden behind appropriate cover), Graham’s thoughts on Sense8 and The Matrix, a brief journey through Alice’s reading materials and the beginning of a newcomer’s chronological critique of modern Marvel comics.

Read the rest of this entry »

RPS Verdict: Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Adam, Alec and Pip all went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens this week, as did many other people around the world. Yesterday, they discussed their feelings and thoughts about the film in the company of a transcription droid, which produced the following report. Plot spoilers are clearly tagged and hidden, but there are discussions of structure and character throughout so turn back now if you want to go in completely cold.

Adam: Christmas comes but once a year. And for the forseeable future, it appears that Star Wars will arrive on an annual basis as well. Episode VII: The Force Awakens opened in cinemas across the UK this week, with packed midnight screenings and all manner of excitement. We three have seen it already and the first matter for discussion is, naturally, wot did you think?

Alec: IV, V, VI, VII, I, III, II.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sense8 Versus The Matrix

Sense8 starts badly. It’s a show about eight people with a telepathic link that allows them to share each other’s skills, language, and pansexual orgies. Those eight people each live in a different country, but their link means they are frequently thrust together – sometimes literally, re: orgies – across time and space to share the same moments.

Read the rest of this entry »