Hey look, the anniversary episode is on time this year! Maybe we ARE improving!
Join Claire, Dan, Kit, Liz, and Miles, with a special appearance from the vacationing MeganBob, as they celebrate four years of complete madness, inexplicably aided and abetted by all of you. Once again, the episode opens with a patented SmashFic Supercut (longer and more self-indulgent than ever!) followed by the hosts, as usual, attempting to answer more listener questions than they could possibly get to. And finally, the special ends with an important announcement about the future of Smash Fiction.
Thank you all so much for listening to this dumb show for four whole years. It bears repeating, as it always does, that we could not have done it without you.
And once again, eternal thanks go out to Kevin MacLeod of www.incompetech.com for our music, which in this episode includes his songs Amazing Plan, Balloon Game, and Rains Will Fall.
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for July 2019. The original description follows:
After recording Smash Fiction episode 139 (The Shadow vs. The Phantom vs. Darkman vs. Dick Tracy), Claire, Dan, MeganBob, and Miles decided to have a brief but in-depth conversation about the experience of watching some of the weirdest films to emerge from the 90s. Enjoy this rare chance to listen to our hosts not scream at each other as we chat about bizarre characters, unfortunate creative decisions, and--strangest of all--stuff we actually kind of liked about these movies.
As a side note, at one point Claire shares a video link with us so we can watch a pretty perplexing ad from the era. Here's the link if you'd like to watch along with us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZO-Gf2_J4s
The villainous crime boss known as the Octopus has kept the citizens of Central City held tightly in an eight-tentacled grip of terror for a long time--perhaps too long a time, as it turns out, for the Octopus has drawn the attention of a quartet of dark and brooding heroes. All of them have designs on the Octopus and his criminal empire, but which will be the one to take this villain down? Will it be the evil-slamming Phantom, the mind-clouding Shadow, the strangely anachronistic Darkman, or the watch-having Dick Tracy?
Tune to hear Kit cling to the past (tense), Dan invoke Robocop, Claire struggle not to gush about the Shadow, Meganbob try out yet another personality, and Miles... well, Miles is beyond earthly cares at this point. Plus a very unexpected guest advocate shows up!
Programming Note: We had a somewhat long and fun side discussion about the films we watched for this match that we've moved to our Patreon page. It's available to anyone, whether you're a Patron or not, so be sure to check it out at patreon.com/smashfictionpodcast.
Additional music this episode from https://filmmusic.io is "Deadly Roulette" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Introducing a brand new pro wrestling podcast featuring Miles Schneiderman and MeganBob! Can Miles use his favorite wrestling show, NXT, to help Bob understand and enjoy the pro wrestling genre? Will Bob just start shipping everyone and read extraordinarily nerdy fanfic on the air? ¿Porque no los dos?
Follow on Twitter @nxtwrestlingfan, on Facebook at The NXT Wrestling Fan Podcast, and at nxtwrestlingfan.libsyn.com.
Claire, Miles and MeganBob are back in the lab, and joining them is Lawful and Orderly's own Andrew Young! Andrew brought a rather unique side dish to this particular picnic, and as a result, crafting a workable story out of these random pop culture artifacts is perhaps more of a challenge this week than usual. But of course, the greater the challenge, the sweeter the taste of success! Can Andrew and the rest of the gang prevent this episode from eating itself to death, with a set of tools that includes a Marvel Comics antihero, an insane news anchor, and a controversially cast baby? Or will they discover that the real screenplay was the terrible recurring jokes they made along the way?
Hey all! Our four-year anniversary episode is coming up, meaning we'll be taking your questions once again! If you have any questions you'd like us to address on the show, please get those into us by July 24th. We'd prefer an email with "Anniversary" in the subject line, but any of our usual methods of communication--Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc--will also work. Thank you!
Welcome, once again, to Tokyo, Japan. Once again, the stage is set for an age-old conflict to play itself out once more on the streets of this iconic city. Is it kind of insane that this keeps happening? Sure. Is there any end to the cycle of violence and confusion? Probably not. But are we going to try, once again, to repair the rift between opposing forces and find some sort of common ground? I mean, it's not what we usually do around here, but hey, you never know.
...wait, WarGreymon vs. Mechagodzilla? A pitched battle between a pair of powerful pugilists? Oh yeah, I guess that's also happening. I was talking about the conflict between Miles and all things produced by Japanese media. See, Miles is the judge for this one, and he knows almost nothing about Digimon. So in order to make their arguments, this week's advocates are going to have to... explain a few things. Will Miles' brain survive long enough for him to reach a verdict? Is there any hope that he might come out of this match with something resembling a better understanding of how and why these small digital monsters transform into larger monsters? And most importantly, is there any limit to the number of words you can add the prefix "digi" to?
Have no fear, listeners, there is also an actual match in here somewhere. A match in which Tai Kamiya's faithful friend, Agumon, must use all the powers of his final form in an attempt to defeat the metallic cyborg version of Godzilla! Will WarGreymon's Dramon Destroyers and Chrome Digizoid be enough to overcome the evil impostor and protect the DigiDestined? Or will Mechagodzilla's eye lasers, missile fingers, and gun knees bring it the victory over its comparatively diminutive adversary? Find out in what might be the most convoluted and yet joke-packed episode of Smash Fiction yet!
The League find themselves on the back foot with most of their members imprisoned on an inhospitable world of ice. Thankfully, some of their still-free members have taken it upon themselves to infiltrate this prison and rescue their captive friends... but with soldiers, droids, and war machines standing between them and their goal, this will be no easy task.
Stitch shoots for the moon; Adam Jensen is very new here; Vivian creates a monster; Yoshimitsu shares some sage wisdom; and the Cheat wears the pants in this group.
Thanks to Mr. Jumbo for the intro music used in this episode! Check out more of his work at youtube.com/jumboguitarist. Additional music licensed from Graham Plowman.
Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe became a Thing, there's one question that nerds have been arguing about with their nerd friends: What's your ranking? Well, since here at Smash Fiction, we're all about settled the great nerd debates, we took it upon ourselves to settle this one.
And how might one go about coming up with a definitive ranking of the MCU movies? No, not a time heist, but that's a good answer. In this case, we assembled six podcasters from across the internet in our own legendarily powerful Infinity Podcast, asked them to rank all 22 films from Iron Man to Endgame, and then averaged the results! In this giant-sized special episode, our six hosts will discuss their favorite MCU films, their least favorite MCU films, the MCU films they believe to be overrated and underrated, and much more! By the end, you will finally have an MCU movie ranking that is eternal, undeniable, and beyond question. You know, until we change our minds.
Your hosts include:
NERD PODCASTERS ASSEMBLE!
After the stunning outcome of last episode, Ship Wrecked returns... with original host Yvonne Datgotaway at the helm! And guys... this one is especially weird. Like, thieves and vampires and giant monsters and cosmic entities weird.
I know that Ship Wrecked isn't typically the Smash Metafiction show where you go to get scenes of giant robot fights, drunken speeches, and horses getting promoted to knighthood, but prepare to have your expectations blown away by this one. Plus, we check in with a previous Ship Wrecked OTP to see how things have gone, and... are those wedding bells I hear?
Pit children against one another? What an excellent idea! That's probably what Professor X and Aizawa said to themselves as they planned to bring students from UA together with students from the Xavier Institute for a giant danger room maze-running competition. The first group of students to reach the center of the maze as a complete team wins!
The students with their permission slips signed off for this one are Kitty Pryde, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Rogue, Nightcrawler, and Spyke. Will their cool costumes and repeat exposure to Wolverine's irritated mumbles give them the edge?
The other set of signed permission slips belong to Bakugo, Todoroki, Iida, Asui, Uraraka, and Midoriya. Has their intense training and their even more intense feelings prepared them to take the win?
Let's be real though, neither of these schools actually bothered with any permission slips. Not a lot of firm policies about adult supervision and the like at these institutions. To be fair, this match didn't have a lot of adult supervision either. Judge MeganBob presides over the court as Claire and special guest Jake Mason take the side of those big-hearted kids from UA and Dan and special guest Brad Bultman advocate for those cool X-teens.
Get on the bus and join us for this wild field trip! No permission slip required, just hit play!
Final frontier, Starship Enterprise, boldly go where no [insert preferred gender identifier or lack thereof here] has gone before...look, you know the drill. Star Trek has been a thing for so long that pretty much everyone knows at least the basics. But one thing Gene Roddenberry's classic sci-fi series has always done is push itself further, test the limits, explore new horizons. And, you know, what could possibly be a better example of that than a new version of the story replacing Kirk, Spock, and McCoy with Disney characters, Hogwarts students, and superheroes?
Join Miles, Claire, and MeganBob as they staff their own Enterprise bridge crew from the ranks of all existing fictional characters, each hoping to spout off the perfect technobabble solution to the challenges Dan throws in their flight paths! Will these new representatives of Starfleet's finest bring peace and knowledge to the Federation, or will they be forced to separate the saucer section and declare a red alert?
For the answers to these and several other questions you definitely haven't asked, set a course for this episode! Maximum warp!
Sometimes when we have to take a break mid-recording, magical things happen. In this case we were treated to an impromptu piece of live theater courtesy of Liz and a host of dragon sound effects.
Gather round for a tale of dragons, divisible hearts, Draco Malfoy, and how cool gold is!
In the not-too-distant future (next Sunday A.D.), there is a guy named Joel, not too different from the hosts of this week's episode, in that he has recently been reading The King In Yellow. Or rather, watching a filmed production of The King In Yellow - the only one known to remain. See, Joel has spent years in space aboard the Satellite of Love thanks to the evil Dr. Forrester and his dimwitted assistant, Frank, who regularly subject Joel to the worst films they can find, FOR SCIENCE. But thanks to Joel's ingenious creation of the riffing robots Tom Servo and Crow, he and his mechanical buddies have resisted all efforts from "the Mads" to drive them over the mental edge, blasting cheesy B-movies apart with an endless supply of jokes and turning legitimately terrible scripts into satirical sketch comedy, much to the Forrester's chagrin.
This movie is different, though. This is no poorly-acted financial flop featuring teenagers from outer space or a satanic Freddy Mercury. Since first coming to light via the short stories of Robert Chambers in 1895, The King In Yellow is a disturbing, sinister work of decadent nihilism that has a habit of driving those who read it into paranoia, delusion, sexual perversion, and violence. Its history is shrouded in the thick fog of the unknown; any knowledge of its origins and subsequent passage through the world has gone unrecorded, save for a few cases -- and the reliability of even those sources is questionable at best. Like the secret Lovecraftian horrors to which it provides humanity a brief, dreadful glimpse, it was never meant to be seen by mortal beings. Or, if it was, we must ask what sort of vile author would attempt to doom us all with such an act (well, two acts, actually).
Can Joel and the Bots use their wit and riffing abilities to withstand the sanity-destroying effects of a movie that is not just bad, but that inflicts supernatural damage to the psyche while also being bad? Or will Hastur the Unspeakable (shit, sorry) lead them like puppets into the bleak realm of the Hyades and dim Carcosa? Kris Newton of the Gameable Podcast and MegaDumbCast returns to Smash Fiction to help us find out, and folks, he has come prepared. The Yelling Sign is found, the dreaded name of Monster a Go-Go is invoked, and at least one of our regular hosts goes insane by the end of opening arguments. Not upon us, oh King, not upon us!
Far-Too-Late Disclaimer: Yeah, I'm afraid you definitely shouldn't have read that description, because while it may have seemed long-winded and banal, you now have no choice but to listen to this episode in full. We apologize for the impending insanity.
Even though the League find themselves on an unfamiliar world, they aren't without their allies. Eager to meet up with some friendly faces, our heroes end up in some very unfriendly territory, and a group of soldiers in white armor show a keen interest in ending our heroes' journey.
Luna finds a new species of flying mammal; Archer tries out his new toy; Stitch sees into infinity; Dante weaponizes tunes; and Mordin takes a walk.
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for May 2019. The original description follows:
Okay, this show is now officially called "Miles Has Feelings," so you probably think you know what you're getting into, but guys... Miles has so many feelings about NBC's sci-fi sitcom The Good Place, it's not even funny. Miles loves this show. And not in a half-trolling "I think this movie is deeper than it appears" way like Sucker Punch, or a novelty act "hey look, I like a video game way like VTM: Bloodlines. This is the real deal. Miles fell in love with The Good Place like you fall in love with another person, and the honeymoon period is far from over.
So what do you do when you feel this deeply for something you truly love? Talk about it with MeganBob, of course! Miles and Bob begin this bonus episode with a spoiler-free section aimed at those of you who haven't seen the show yet, in hopes of convincing you that you should rectify that immediately. Then it's time to dive headfirst into plot recaps, character arcs, and themes in an effort to unpack what, exactly, makes The Good Place so good. Along the way, they explore the new subgenre of hopepunk, discuss the difference between individual responsibility and systemic consequences, examine the show's focus on moral philosophy, interrogate its attitude toward gender, racial, and sexual identities, and explain why humans are fundamentally good while basically blaming all the bad stuff in the world on capitalism. So, you know, heads up if that's not your thing.
Don't worry, though, there are also jokes! Mostly jokes from The Good Place! Enjoy!
With an astonishing array of accents, Judge Liz brings us to the latest mishap at Hogwarts. Ron's just trying to get some dragons together for the "Quadwizard Tournament" and it goes pretty badly. Ron? Less than competent? Shocking #Ronshade. To be fair, Ron didn't know that Hogwarts was going to be temporarily housing all of Gringotts' gold. However, Ron probably could have figured out that it's a bad idea to send out an open invitation to dragons to descend on Hogwarts. Dammit, Ron.
Four dragons RSVP, or rather just show up in flaming glory, which is how dragons RSVP to events. Will Smaug be able to charm the competition? Perhaps Bahamut can weaponize his stoic gaze. Maybe Draco's need to get into dragon heaven will inspire him to win. Or, is Trogdor actually possessed of unimaginable powers that will ensure his victory is eternal?
The flames fly in this dragon-y episode as each advocate argues why their lizard boy should get the gold, and along the way make the case that dragons can do yoga, have their own bible, and might have some cultists on their side.
Press play and surrender to the fiery foolishness.
Claire and Dan are joined by special guests Jeff Eckman and Ryan Kasmiskie of the Final Fantasy podcast No One Can Know About This! These guys have clearly been spending a ton of XP on their storytelling skills, because what results is a tale of mystery and intrigue utilizing characters and story elements from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Larry Sanders Show, and King of the Hill. So grab some popcorn as we delve into a story of ancient conspiracies, young love, and mind-controlling cat poop: the stuff blockbusters are made of!
"Pray to the airwaves," the oracle said, insisting that we must not do this match. "Smash Fiction will fall. All of podcasting will fall. Trust not in Patrons. Honor the gods. But not the gods of thinking. Just the gods of yelling."
Well, to quote King Leonidas himself when faced with a similar situation, "an epic sneer that, could it be heard out loud, would definitely sound weirdly Scottish!" In other words, fuck wisdom and fuck the Carneia, we have to decide which idealized fictional version of the historic Spartans would win in an even fight, 300 on 300, at Thermopylae! Because while Leonidas may command a fighting force that includes both Faramir from Lord of the Rings and Magneto, before him stands a company of Daenerys Targaryen's Unsullied, aligned in perfect lockstep and led by Grey Worm himself. In a battle of phalanx formations and fearlessness between the hyper-masculine and the no longer functionally male, only one army can survive, while the other dines in hell (a meal that presumably includes unborn puppies, honeyed dormice, and whatever other awful foods George R. R. Martin feels like spending a full page describing).
To be certain, we are but humble podcast hosts and know little of the ways of war. Which is why we picked out 300 experts in both fictional and non-fictional history to be our personal bodyguards while we *sarcastic cough* just stretch our brains a bit. Unfortunately, most of them died in training and only Race for the Iron Throne's Steven Attewell was able to kill a child in front of its mother, but still, we're pretty sure he's enough. Can he help Miles finally take down both Zack Snyder and Frank Miller? Or will Liz Logan's obsession with abs carry her, once again, to eternal glory?
The end is in sight for our heroes. They've nearly collected everything they need to defeat Phyrexia once and for all--now it's just a matter of preparing for the final leg of their journey. But if you think the League's enemies are just going to sit idly by and let this happen, you're in for a rude surprise...
Stitch tries his hand at some cultural exchange; Dante explores a new vocation; Luna provides; and Mordin buries the hatchet.
"Doctor?" we can hear you ask. "Doctor who?" Which you're asking either because you're an insufferable nerd (like the rest of us), or because you legitimately don't know. In which case, it is incumbent upon us to inform you that the Doctor is an alien Time Lord who flies haphazardly through time and space in a magic phone booth called the TARDIS, solving problems and saving people. And this week, we put those skills to the ultimate test, as the Doctor (the tenth Doctor, specifically -- ask an insufferable Who nerd about his various incarnations sometime, they will have OPINIONS) must solve the ultimate problem: the adaptable, unstoppable cyborg hive mind known throughout the Star Trek universe as the Borg. Can the Doctor save a helpless colony of humans from assimilation at the hands of a bigger, badder, sexier version of the Daleks and the Cybermen? Or will he once again have cause for terrible, eternal regret?
To find out, the Smash Fiction collective has assimilated the biological and technological distinctiveness of game designer Jeff Stormer, of the Party of One, All My Fantasy Children, and Talking Nog podcasts (in our defense, he totally lowered his shields and surrendered his ships). Also, Miles repeatedly insults Montana in a bad British accent, MeganBob has many, many feelings about Star Trek characters, and the Lightning Round gets even weirder than usual, which, yes, that is apparently possible.
We are Smash Fiction. You will listen to this episode. Resistance is futile.
For those of you who understand the title, yes, you read that correctly. For those who don't...well, strap in, folks, because this week, we're putting on our spandex, lacing up our boots, and oiling the living shit out of our upper bodies before heading straight through that curtain and out into the spotlight. Just in time for Wrestlemania 35, it's a very special pro wrestling episode of Surprise Party!
To be fair, it's two weeks after Wrestlemania 35, but honestly, that show was so long it might still be going. Fortunately, this episode is also ridiculously lengthy! But why? Could it be each host's need to craft elaborate entrances for their characters? Could it be Dan's and MeganBob's valiant struggle to understand what in the blue hell is going on here? Or could it possibly be the fact that we're joined this week by Lucas Brown of The Math of You Podcast, who could literally talk about wrestling forever if we let him?
Whatever the answer, know that this Andre the Giant-Sized episode contains magical puppetry, sultry Southern accents, improbable victories, heartwarming collectivism, telepathic calls to action, bunnies with swords, and at least one broken barbershop window. It's a whole lot of fun. Really.
Also, we're extremely sorry. Blame Miles.
Let's face it -- this one doesn't require much explanation. This one is about as obvious as making a metric crapton of money adapting illustrated children's fantasy stories into major studio franchise tentpoles. And while you can rest assured in the knowledge that Judge Claire Mulkerin will spend the better part of ten minutes setting up the admittedly convoluted but undeniably cohesive narrative in which this week's battle takes place, you already know the real reasons.
Marvel vs. DC. The superhero known as Captain Marvel vs. the superhero who used to be known as Captain Marvel. The boss of space vs. Magic Superman. Over a billion at the box office vs. unusually good reviews for a DCEU movie. Carol Danvers vs. Billy Batson. Let the unrelenting comic book bullshit commence.
Sarah Langan makes her Smash Fiction debut and immediately proves that she belongs right here with all the other dinguses, while Miles, Bob, and Dan basically just grunt and make frustrated noises at one another. Will one of the many, many times somebody says "Shazam" manage to transform this comic book clusterfuck into a decent episode? Or will our audience drown alongside us in an endless sea of semantics, speculation, specific issue numbers, spelling corrections, and salty pickles?
Our heroes have escaped Phyrexia, but not without some considerable loss. Before they can turn their attention to their next mission, they need to address some loose ends, reflect on what's happened, and ready themselves for what's to come.
Dante is way out of his comfort zone; Stitch goes looney; Mordin completes a very important project; and Luna makes amends.
Additional music this episode is "Run Amok" and "Le Grand Chase" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/