Friday, October 09, 2015

This Week in Neat-O

Well, certainly the neatest thing that happened to me this week is that Jez in Dallas generously gave me a few bucks after I declared my love for this year's Lego Minifigures. It turns out they sell these things in one of the stores Becca works in, so she picked some up for me. They sell these in mystery packs so you don't know which ones you're getting, but honestly, these are all so great that I wouldn't have been unenthusiastic about a single one of them.

These are the four I got: the Wacky Witch (complete with surprisingly complicated skirt and a black cat), the Gargoyle, Bigfoot Squarefoot (with a camera, so either he's on vacation or, as I like to imagine it, taking blurry selfies and selling them to tabloids), and the Fly Monster. This is the order I opened them in, so I unknowingly saved the best for last. As soon as I saw him in the pictures, I knew Fly Monster was my favorite, and I actually got him! Fantastic stuff! I love them all, and one day, I'll actually build my Lego sets again and incorporate them all. Hmm... maybe Fly Monster and Squarefoot can be a pair of aliens for my Space System astronauts to encounter.

Thanks again, Jez! These things are just wonderful, and you're a generous person.

Here's some other neat-o stuff:

:: WNYC's Sex, Death and Money podcast has a short interview with Sonia Manzano, aka Maria from Sesame Street. I can't wait to read her book.

:: Two more teasers for Jessica Jones.

:: The exciting trailer for season 2 of Star Wars Rebels. More Vader! More Ahsoka! A new Inquisitor! Captain Rex! Hondo!

:: The trailer for the Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar! looks like the kind of movie I love and my wife hates. I can't wait to see it. Alone, but still.

:: Leonard Nimoy reads Isaac Asimov's classic story "The Last Question."

:: One of my favorite sites on the internet, which I don't link to often enough, is Dinosaur Dracula. We're in the midst of his Halloween Countdown, one of my favorite annual occurrences, and I particularly liked this post about McDonald's Halloween Pails. I remember having them when I was a kid... I'll have to see if I can track those down one day.

:: Birth Movies Death has an interesting post: The Muppets Have Always Been for Grown-Ups. I think it's a nice answer to the people who have been upset over the tone of the new sitcom. The post's author, Bob Chipman, points quite rightly to the history of the Muppets, how they've always mixed tones, and how they've always been aimed at a truly general audience and not just for kids. Most of what I've been seeing has been either older people misremembering The Muppet Show or confusing it with Sesame Street, who are making a depressing case that Kermit should be nicer and inoffensive and basically all of the mistakes Disney made by curtailing Mickey Mouse's bratty tendencies and neutering the character. Or it's Millennials who grew up with the much more kid-oriented Muppet Treasure Island and don't understand that the Muppets in the sitcom are much more in-character than they've been for the last 30 years (with the exceptions of the two most recent movies).

I've been trying not to go on a long rant about it, because I've said everything about it so often over the last few years. Look, it's like 90% of the population just forgot about the Muppets for 30 years. They weren't there to support The Jim Henson Hour. They weren't there to support Muppets Tonight. I watched people freaking walk out of Muppets from Space with their kids and then complain later that it was too slow and quiet and not wacky enough, like the Muppets are supposed to be the damn Teletubbies. But you saw Muppet Treasure Island in between sixteen straight viewings of The Lion King (the most overrated movie ever), and now suddenly the Muppets belong to you, and you're going to lecture me about what you think Jim Henson's original vision was and how the new show has strayed from it?




(Chipman also makes a good point about ABC trying too hard with the ad campaign and turning viewers away, or promising a different show than it actually is. That's par for the course with ABC. Remember when they kept murdering Lost with misleading promos?)

I'm going to end on a lovely note, with Glen Keane's newest animation, Nephtali, a production of the Opera National de Paris.


Jez In Dallas said...

woot! Those are pretty awesome, love the witch!

MC said...

And there is a new trailer for Lego Avengers out of the NYCC now too:

SamuraiFrog said...

Exciting! I can't wait to play it.

Roger Owen Green said...

I showed the daughter the Keane video; she likes it.