Friday, December 28, 2012

Favorite Things 2012 Edition

Even though the main focus of my blog has been music from decades back, I do have a few other things going on in my hobby circles. With the end of the year upon us, I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about some of the new things that I got into during 2012. Wherever applicable, I'll include some links if it sounds like stuff you want to check out too.

Let's take a look, in no particular order, at a few categories:

TV: the new Fall season did not yield me as many fruitful debut seasons as last year. I was watching Partners, the CBS Monday comedy wedged between How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls; unforutantely that one got the axe from the network in early November. I am not sure why I keep FOX turned on Tuesdays after Raising Hope as the show following Ben & Kate is such a disappointment (it is almost mind-numbingly dumb but, like a car accident, I just can't seem to turn away).

Thankfully, Netflix streams a lot of TV seasons so I did managed to watch all of the recently completed SyFy channel show Eureka from start to finish (yes, I know, I was late on the bandwagon).

Also, speaking of late to the wagon, I am getting back into Dr. Who. I started watching the new season this Fall on BBC America and have begun catching up via Netflix with the previous seasons since the 2005 relaunch. Now, I did watch this British sci-fi show back in my college days in the 80's (mostly because my roommates and fellow role-playing-gamers were huge fans) so this is really more of a homecoming of sorts. With the Christmas episode that just aired, we were introduced to the Doctor's newest companion, so that makes it a great time for folks to jump on board.

YouTube: Sure I have been using the Internet site for years for watching funny videos or listening to hard to find songs. In 2012, I discovered it as a great source for original programming as well. My gateway show was Felicia Day's The Guild, a show now in its sixth season about a group of online gamers who get involved with one another in real life. It is loads of fun, especially for folks like me who come from decades of a geek culture.

The Guild is just one of many of the shows I enjoy on Day's Geek And Sundry channel. Day also has her weekly The Flog, a short video-blog hybrid. There is Tabletop, a show where Wil Wheaton and his many guests play a variety of fun games; I have picked up a few of the featured games after watching episodes. New to the channel is Space Janitors, a scripted show about the manual laborers aboard a thinly veiled Star Wars space crusier. There are also a series of four Google-chat discussion shows that run, one each Tuesday night of the month, that discuss things like writing, geek parenting, dating/relationship video games, and fantasy-romance books.

Another favorite channel of mine is The Nerdist Channel, spearheaded by actor/comedian Chris Hardwick. His network includes shows like Just Cos (which focuses on people who dress up in costumes at conventions), Neil's Puppet Dreams (a very adult-themed show with Neil Patrick Harris and the Henson Muppets), Celebrity All-Star Bowling (Hardwick comes by his bowling love honestly as his father was professional bowler Billy Hardwick), Cops: Skyrm and so much more.

Other random shows I've watched regularly include Bonnie Burton's Geek D.I.Y. (a craft show), Sandeep Parikh's Save the Supers (a humorous super-hero parody), Teal Sherer's My Gimpy Life (the exploits of a handicapable actress), The Jeff Lewis 5 Minute Comedy Hour and more.

Video games: speaking of Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim, this has become THE video game for me this year. Sure, I got Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes which is loads of fun, but it not as nearly as addictive as Skyrim has become. I blogged about it a few months ago and have continued to enjoy the game. Playing on the PC, not only have I added the official DLC (downloadable content) packages of Dawnguard (a vampire hunting themed package) and Hearthfire (the ultimate in player homebuilding), but I have also gotten additional user-made mods off of the Steam Workshop and the Skyrim Nexus website. With the official Dragonborn DLC hitting PCs in January, this game continues to provided days upon days of playability.

Podcasts: in 2011 I began to dabble into weekly podcasts. A Twitter friend Chris Cordani hosts a weekly music show called Revenge of the 80's which focuses on great alternative music from that decade and interviews with the folks who made it. Comedian Christopher Titus has his weekly Titus Podcast which mixes comedy with topical subjects.

In 2012, I added two more to my regular listening cycle. Post-Apodaclypse is a weekly show by two of my old friends (Mike O'Connell and Tim Watts) that discusses on all things post-apocalyptic from TV (like NBC's Revolution and AMC's The Walking Dead), movies, books, comics, games and more. The Nerdist Podcast is Chris Hardwick's show which comes out multiple times a week and features amazing interviews and lots of humor; Hardwick co-hosts with his buddies Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. All of these shows are available for free online and are also downloadable for free from iTunes if you like to take your shows on the go.

As promised, here are some links for all of you who need to be digitally wired in:

- for Geek and Sundry, click here
- for the Nerdist Channel, click here
- for Revenge of the 80's, click here
- for Post-Apodaclypse, click here
- for the Nerdist Podcast, click here


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the plug dude!

Martin Maenza said...

Any time, guys! Keep your bunkers stocked.