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
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!
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!
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for March 2019. The original description follows:
So here’s a fun opening story… The first thing I recorded for this song was the bass line. I then picked up my sax to play in order to figure out what key I had played the bass line in. Well, I actually couldn’t figure it out. No note or scale was matching up with what I had played, it sounded terrible! Of course, I then realized, I HADN’T TUNED MY BASS. I turned on the tuner and lo and behold, I was 20 cents flat. That’s enough to be its own unique note. I had already written the entire bass line and promptly forgot how to play it. My fix was to literally tune all my instruments to 20 cents flat! It somehow worked and my sax was matching up. Unfortunately, I had picked an extremely difficult key for an Eb instrument (which is what an alto sax is). It ended up being in the key of B, which has 5 sharps for the sax. Plus I was adding additional accidentals (other sharps and flats) to give the song a jazzy feel. Ok, that’s enough music theory.
This was quite a challenging song to write. I’ve played tons of jazz music in my lifetime but have actually never wrote/recorded a song. Instruments included are alto sax, guitar, bass, drums, and my lovely voice. This would essentially be a small combo jazz group. Some combos have three “horns” (i.e. trumpet, sax, clarinet, etc.) so this is definitely a small one. Jazz groups always have a bass, usually drums, and then some type of “comping” instrument (i.e. guitar or piano, one or the other, not usually both). Guitar or piano generally provide chords for the horn to play off of but as you can hear, at some points I just followed the vocal line with the guitar, giving it almost a rock type feel. Jazz is the progenitor of most modern music so I thought it was fitting. Here I am talking about music theory again, sorry!
Onto the actual League content of the song, I tried to make this a string of consciousness for Dante remembering the League’s various exploits. There really is no rhyme or reason to the song and I tried to make it seem like scattered thoughts. Of course, the song revolves around the events that Dante thought were cool (Corolla frames) or annoying (like Lace being a better distraction than him in the fight against Cthulhu). As I was listening to episodes, I came across a line that absolutely made me laugh: Luna asking if we were very likely or mostly likely to die. I had to incorporate it as it could have easily been a Dante type question. Then, there is the title… Shout out to my friend Evan Staves for this title immediately popping up in his head and helping me get my groove started. That made me just have to comment on the fact that yeah, I forget my swords and guns exist. Ultimately, Dante is happy to be involved with the League and loves the new friends he has made.
What’s the Name of That Sword Again?
Welcome to the Castle Club
Drummer, hit it
I’m gonna tell you about some of my friends
They’re called the League
And it’s gonna be their stories
Actually, it’s mostly gonna be about me
Feels like just yesterday, I joined the League
It’s been a fun time, with no reason or rhyme
Except I kinda lost my arm
This is the only job where I wonder
If I’m very likely or mostly likely to die
Sometimes people ask me to use my sword, but I don’t!
Luckily we’ve beat a bunch of Phyrexia
I don’t really use my swords or my guns much
But I do remember the Corolla
It was a good car…frame
Once, we stopped Dracula
Because I stole his cool ass cape
And everyone else got there too late
They were still clapping at my performance at that play
Dante saves the day! Yes I did. Without my swords and guns people
But y’all are pretty cool too, anyways…
Think about all the cool things that we’ve done
Except I got upstaged by a dino driving on the run
At least we beat Cthulhu
Then one time we got famous for playing rock without a clue
And too bad our only reward was a green slime Stitch fu Manchu
So thank you friends for the good and bad
Your double taps and your portal guns, take me to my favorite danger zone
Is he bothering you over there? No? Ok great.
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for February 2019. The original description follows:
Man oh man, I never know what sort of team we'll end up with when we do these bonus episodes, but the $5+ Patrons never fail to make some really interesting choices.
As usual, I didn't decide on the central concept of this episode until I saw what characters everyone was going to be playing. In this case, I wanted to give our stealth- and social-centric characters plenty of opportunities to be sneaky and manipulative, so I came up with a scenario that would lead them away from taking a forceful and direct route, at least at first.
Most of the PCs were pretty straightforward to design. The ones that gave me issues were Austin Powers and Esmé Squalor.
In the case of Austin Powers, I felt like it was important to give him abilities beyond just being a James Bond clone--I eventually came up with the Mojo mechanic, which allowed him to weaponize his catchphrase.
In the case of Esmé, both Claire and I wanted to make sure that she could at least handle herself in combat. Claire eventually came up with the idea of giving her a clothing-based weapon from another setting--we tossed a number of ideas back and forth before settling on the Dresspheres from Final Fantasy X-2. It felt very appropriate to essentially tie her combat abilities to being able to change clothes rapidly.
This was a fun episode to record and I hope it's a fun episode to listen to!
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for December 2018. The original description follows:
Those of you $5+ patrons who get our monthly bonus content poll must have been surprised when Miles gave you a list of media he liked... and one of them was a video game! That's right, Miles is (briefly) putting aside his role as everyone's favorite curmudgeon to gush about the 2004 computer role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. He's joined by Dan, who has played the game, and Kit, who has not, and the three hosts have fun chatting about the video game, the tabletop RPG, and the wonderful, terrible World of Darkness as a whole.
There are some light spoilers for Bloodlines in this episode, but if you're interested in playing the game, our discussion should hopefully only whet your appetite for a genuinely great, if not perfect, cult classic of a game. Let us know what you think!
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for September 2018. The original description follows:
Thank you to everyone for allowing me to finally use one of my two ukuleles and a harmonica in an actual meaningful context. This song truly is a tribute to my fellow podcasters in how much I enjoy playing League with them and how interesting it can be solving problems with characters who approach things very differently. This song is also a great way for me to ask for Kit's forgiveness regarding a certain episode (listen to Surprise Party 3, you'll understand).
In terms of instrumentation chosen, you are listening to a ukulele, a standard size harmonica, a palm-muted electric bass, a Jamaican hand drum, my vocals, and Kit's lovely Stitch statements. It is me playing everything except Kit's voice. I used my condenser microphone for everything except the bass, which I just plugged straight into my audio interface. Just so you know, I was using pots and pans for percussion at first but it sounded so loud and ridiculous, I had to take it out.
Did you know
What family means in Hawaiian?
Well I didn't know
Until Stitch came along
Ohana means family
Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten
And then this motley crew
Went and stepped on through
To become ohana
How would we have known
That Stitch doesn't like whipped cream
That Luna just wanted to have a pet
'Cause she's sick of you assholes
That Mordin clearly likes to watch the world burn
Incinerate it all
That Nico really likes to read that one weird book
That Dante probably doesn't know what ohana means
Hint, it's family
And you know what
Just like a real family
We certainly have some problems
Dante cares too much about his muscles
And Nico has some homicidal urges
Mordin sometimes wishes he could stay in his lab
And Stitch has an issue with, SHINY... LET ME EAT IT
And Luna is, wait, yeah I don't have anything for this one
One big League family
That everyone can see!
Saving the universe
One world at a time
If we weren't together we wouldn't be ohana
Didn't feel right, not putting out a supercut of the last stretch of episodes on August 1st. Happy anniversary!
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for July 2018. The original description follows:
So I'd been wanting to do something a bit different with this month's bonus League episode and eventually settled on doing a plot a la the movie The Hangover, in which a group of people wake up, discover that they've lost all memory of the night before, and have to retrace their steps in order to figure out what happened.
And then I got the results of the $5 Patreon poll and saw the characters that you wanted the hosts to play. Skeletor? Janet from The Good Place? Freaking Optimus Prime?! How was I supposed to do a memory loss plot with characters like that?
This was probably the single most difficult session of League I've ever had to write, but in the end I found it very fulfilling and tons of fun to do. I hope that you all do too. Thanks for your support!
Additional music this episode is "Noise Attack" and "Exhilarate" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for June 2018. The original description follows:
Miles' June bonus content is a little late, but better late than never! Unless you happen to be Claire Mulkerin, of course. In that case, you would have chosen the "never" option in a heartbeat if it meant never, ever having to re-watch Zack Snyder's much-maligned 2011 film, Sucker Punch. Unfortunately for Claire, Miles really likes Sucker Punch, and now they have to TALK ABOUT IT.
What is Sucker Punch, anyway? What does it mean? Why can't Claire see past the violence, the implied violence, the lack of characterization, the inconsistent acting, the dubiously-constructed dialogue, and the shoddy action sequences to whatever the hell it is that Miles sees beneath, and finds fascinating? Fortunately, you support our work with your hard-earned money, so you get to find out!
How's that for a sucker punch?
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for April 2018. The original description follows:
It's that time again. Instead of Smash Fiction's usual brand of yelling and making lowbrow dick jokes, Itchy Brains is a time for having deep philosophical conversations about art and making highbrow dick jokes. This time I'm joined by MeganBob and Kit, and we're experimenting with the format a bit: whereas last time we centered our discussion around a single topic, this time we're centering it on a single work of art, "The Shape of Water."
How does "Shape of Water" manage to be erotic without perpetuating the immoral qualities of pornography at its worst? How can you make an accurate period piece without endorsing the pervasive problematic attitudes of that time? What is "coding" and how has fiction used it to associate villains and monsters with certain real world marginalized groups? Would it have been more or less hot if we had seen that fish dick? Damn, didn't even make it to the end of the description this time... I think I have a problem.
The music used in the episode is "Blip Stream" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for March 2018. The original description follows:
I think it's safe to say that writing this song has been an exploration of Skeletor's sensitive and emotional, yet still very evil, side. Based on how many times he's utterly failed over the years, he's finally turned to a classical music piece to maybe make a name for himself, but even then, still can't escape He-Man.
When I started out with writing this song, I was torn between writing a bombastic, dissonant piece or a more somber, emotional one. I basically attempted to combine all of those feelings into this twisted, classical amalgamation. I started out with samples of all the hosts' most terrifying Skeletor laughs and some extremely dissonant piano... and then, because I'm Liz Logan, thought it would be a great idea to go from evil (what you would expect) to something unexpected, i.e. pleasant sounding. Then, I wanted the end of the song to be Skeletor's mental snare and bass-driven march to actually completing something for once. Bravo!
LYRICS for "Skeletor Symphony No. 1"
No one cares for me,
No one seems to see
That I'm so powerful
That I even impress myself.
I like to feel evil.
I live to be bad.
You're a loser Skeletor!
He-Man, you boob!
Everything I do
Is for the sake of evil!
Too bad I'm surrounded by dolts and halfwits and brainless idiots
Who couldn't even beat a motley group of gnomes
Skeletor is love!
You poor metal munching morons
And this is how it ends,
With Skeletor triumphant, at last!
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for January 2018. The original description follows:
Thanks to your continued support, I am... proud?... to bring you the latest bonus episode of Extraordinary League!
It all started with a simple question I posed to myself: what would happen if a bunch of League characters got on a train? The answer ended up involving a lot more improvisation, sky pirates, and ghosts than you might initially think. I'm so grateful to all of you for making this possible--I hope you have as much fun listening to to it as we had making it.
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for December 2017. The original description follows:
Welcome to another bonus episode featuring your favorite curmudgeonly Smash Fiction host ranting about something he hates! This time around, you folks voted for something that most other people hate, too--the Star Wars prequels. Dan Mulkerin joins me for a discussion on all things that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, with emphasis on how, why, and to what degree Episodes 1-3 sucked. From Jesus analogues to death by loss of willpower to inexplicable hostility toward sand, the prequels don't stand a chance against us. After all, we have the high ground.
This episode originally aired on Patreon as a public bonus episode in November 2017. The original description follows:
Since we try to keep our episodes around an hour long, sometimes Miles has to leave a lot of side talk on the cutting room floor. But sometimes that side talk is just a little too...flavorful.
Enjoy this free-for-all pre-show bonus snippet from our Thor/Wonder Woman episode, but beware. It's a little spicy.
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for October 2017. The original description follows:
Hey folks. This month our bonus content is gonna be part of a possible series that I'm calling "Itchy Brains," where for once in our miserable lives, we yell a little less and think a little more. Each episode, we address some sort of concept in creativity by discussing how it has been applied for good or for ill in your favorite art, then guess what! We also talk about how the principles that we discuss can be used when you make works of art of your own.
This time, me and Dan and Kit are talking about "Unanswered Questions" through the examples of Steven Universe and Shadow of the Colossus. Why are there five gems on that door? What's a Dormin? What am gem? Why eating lizards make climb good? WARNING: If you listen to this episode, you'll never have an excuse to write terrible exposition again!
Let us know what you think and if you're interested in hearing more!
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for September 2017. The original description follows:
Oh man, where to start with this bizarre song. As decided by many of you, I was tasked with writing a song about Dante's aversion to clothing. Honestly, I couldn't have been happier, so good job! In League, Dante really likes to tear his clothes off. I don't know how or why I came up with this character convention but it happened for better or worse. It's worked so far in game so it's probably here to stay.
Anyways, for the lyrics, I had to incorporate some fun events where the clothes tearing actually worked (sort of). During the fight with Dracula, Dante tore off his clothes and successfully stole his cape! During the League's stay in Westeros, there was a "romantic" rendezvous between Dante and Mordin, which, you guessed it! Involved Dante striking a bare ass pose.
For the music, I knew I had to do something strange. For the intro, I tried to emulate Sir Mix a Lot's "Baby Got Back" because I figured Dante probably thinks that is how people view him, the egomaniac! For the rest of the song, I tried to emulate Devil May Cry's hard rock soundtracks. I knew it had to be loud and crazy and full of distortion.
Thank you for listening.
LYRICS for "A Body of Art...Work"
Oh my God, have you seen Dante?
His abs are like, so defined.
Oh my God, how do you know that?
Oh my God, how do you know that?
Because he never wears a shirt silly!
Because he never wears a shirt silly!
Why would you want to hide it?
Don't you want to find it?
I'm basically beautiful,
And I've got a beard, that's important.
Things, kilts, footie pajamas, red coat, white shirt, black pants, big boots, I hate it all!
That's right, you heard me, I hate it all!
This is getting too long now and I don't know what to say anymore, LET'S GO!
TEAR IT OFF!
I've tried tank tops, I've tried coats and pants and those sweet ass boots.
Try a sock? I think not.
Nothing quite compares to that wind up my derriere!
And it looks really nice, I mean, I've been told that before, I believe it, uh anyways uh, moving on.
No one can resist my super good looking nakedness.
So why wear clothes, when I can strike a bare ass pose?
You cannot stop it, I know you like it, don't be ashamed because I cannot blame you.
I'm going to do my part, because my body is pure art!
TEAR IT OFF!
My power is increased, when my clothing is deceased.
Go ask Dracula.
My shining chest, is just the best.
Go ask Mordana.
I can't really talk well, but I'm really good at tearing shit off.
Clothes just suck a bunch, and I'd rather wear my lunch...ABLES!
Oh my God, Dante.
This episode originally aired on Patreon as a public bonus episode in September 2017. The original description follows:
During some behind-the-scenes silliness, Space Jam came up in a random discussion (because of course it did). Kit requested that Miles isolate this clip of Liz and Bob's combined awesomeness to turn into an alert tone for her phone. Miles did the thing. And it was good.
Now we leave it here for all to enjoy and use for whatever space and hoop needs you may have.
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for August 2017. The original description follows:
We asked you what you wanted in the crosshairs of my neverending hatred, and the majority of you chose Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a film considered by many to be a legitimately great movie and considered by me to be kind of a pile of crap. The question of why I dislike Terminator 2 has been floating around the Smash Fiction oeuvre for a while now, and now the answer lies before you!
But this bonus episode isn't just me ranting! Our very own Colin Mulkerin joined me moments after exiting a theatrical screening of Terminator 2, and what you're about to hear is our in-depth conversation about the film, from shaky time travel continuity to surprisingly awesome 1991 special effects to James Cameron's inexplicable love of turning horror movies into action movies. Please enjoy, and thank you so much for your support!
This episode originally aired as the Patreon bonus episode for July 2017. The original description follows:
Well, you did it. We sent out a poll at the beginning of the month to see which characters you'd like our hosts to play, and boy howdy did you respond. I just want to say that I claim zero responsibility for what ended up happening when this particular combination of characters was put together.
Seriously though, this episode ended up being extremely fun. Listen in to find out what happens when a ragtag group of League rejects is pulled in to defend a helpless Eternian town from a group of dangerous raiders... and sets out to figure out what's really going on. Speeches are given. Weapons are dropped. The Cheats are kicked. One of the characters spends about half of the episode running around naked. It's kind of great.
Everyone loves an encore, right?
Book, music, and lyrics by Claire Mulkerin, with assistance from Miles Schneiderman, Kit Mulkerin, Dan Mulkerin, Liz Logan, and Meganbob.
If you're hurting for some more Smash Fiction content, we have a blast from the past for you! Cast your mind to Phoenix, Arizona, back to the halcyon days of 2018, where Miles, Sharon, and Matias hosted a Surprise Party panel! Listen as three unwitting volunteers find themselves drawing characters from sources like Ben 10, Akira, Warhammer 40,000, Gravity Falls, and a surprising number of actual living people, and then send their parties on an epic quest for real, physical prizes! It's fun for the whole family! Presuming, of course, your family is a bunch of nerds.
Our heroes say goodbye.
Music from https://filmmusic.io "Motherlode" and "District Four" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Additional music and sounds from tabletopaudio.com
This is it: the final, climactic end of the Smash Fiction saga! As we prepare to draw the curtain on this story, we gather together for one final, over-the-top contest of strength, wits, and bullshit. We've seen fifty characters rise to victory over the course of season 3, but only one of them will ascend to the truly elevated status of SMASH BASH champion!
The show may be coming to a close, but we have plenty of plans for the future, so make sure you stick around till the end of the episode to hear what to expect from us very soon. Thank you for such an amazing ride!
Theme song is from https://filmmusic.io - "Hitman" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)