My Favorite Things: Emergency Fun, Serialized Fiction, Geeky Ts, and Zombies on a Train

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, a weekly column where we gab about the greatest in geek. This week, we have a successful reboot of a beloved cult classic, a fiction serial that’s perfect for urban fantasy fans, a scary/action packed zombie film from South Korea, and super comfy nerdy t-shirts. Read on for more!


 

Whitney’s Favorite Thing is… Mystery Science Theater 3000!

A few years ago, I had the worst birthday ever while going through a divorce. Until, that is, I opened my mailbox to discover an envelope from one of my closest friends that contained a small thumb drive with the words “EMERGENCY FUN” written on it. Well, if there was ever a need for emergency fun it was right then. On that thumb drive were a slew of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes. So while wading through one of the darkest periods of my life, I found myself laughing my ass off with the re-discovery of Joel, Mike, Crow, Tom Servo, and the rest of the crew. So when original creator Joel Hodgson put out a call to fans to help him fund a brand new season of the show through Kickstarter, I gladly did my part. After the campaign set a new Kickstarter record and scored a fully funded season on Netflix that debuted this past Friday, I had the privilege of watching an advanced screening of the first episode. So I am delighted to report that the brand new “reboot” of MST3K is most definitely my favorite thing this month.

The concept behind the show, making fun of bad movies with your friends, is timeless, which means bridging the nearly 20 year gap between season 11 and season 12 is virtually seamless. You’ll see some unfamiliar familiar faces taking up the mantle, including Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day, and the jokes are as witty and hilarious as they’ve always been (now with updated pop culture references!). Die-hards might take a little while to adjust to the new voice actors behind the beloved snarky robots, but they still have the same feel and heart of the original. All 14 episodes of the new season are streaming on Netflix. Go! Watch! Laugh! Have some emergency fun. Some days we all need it!

 

Lane’s Favorite Thing is… Bookburners: Season 1!

This month, I’m all about Bookburners, season 1. Sometime in later 2015 or early 2016, Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery & Margaret Dunlap started a serial about a team based in the Vatican that fought demons. I purchased the first three “episodes” and fell in love with the characters and the format. It’s really very much like a good urban fantasy TV show put to text. I stopped buying them only because at 1.99 a pop, that was going to be one expensive “season” of reading. But at the start of this year, they collected all 16 episodes into one book at a much more friendly price and I pounced. 800 pages of fun. And of course, with Gladstone, you know the magic is going to be really evocative. And Lafferty is wonderful at team dynamics. I wasn’t familiar with Slattery or Dunlap before, but now I’m a fan. This put-together “season” ends up feeling a lot like a good tv show, in that you “watch” the first episode and the next thing you know, you’re bingeing the rest.

If you liked the Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette serial Shadow Unit, this will probably be your cup of tea.

 

Nu’s Favorite Thing is… Train to Busan!

My favorite thing this month is the South Korean zombie movie Train to Busan. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see this when it was out in the theaters, so I was thrilled to find it on Netflix this month. Train to Busan is action-packed and scary, but it also focuses very much on human nature (and how sometimes it’s more terrible than the flesh-eating monsters). I liked their version of zombies (they run really, really fast in large hordes, and their transformations are mostly instant as soon as they are bit). The main story focuses on a workaholic father and his strained relationship with his young daughter. As they board a train to Busan to send her back to her mother, the outbreak occurs. Along the way, they band together with several memorable survivors including a working-class man, his pregnant wife, and a high school baseball team traveling for a game (yes, those bats come in handy later). I was surprised to find out that this was the director’s first live-action movie. He previously wrote and directed animated films, and it shows in Train to Busan, but in a good way when it comes to pacing and storytelling. If you’re looking for a great emotional story along with a new take on zombies, definitely check this movie out!

 

Sherry’s Favorite Thing is… TeeTurtle!

I’m not usually one to geek-out about clothes. I like them. I wear them. I can appreciate fun fashion choices and statements. Rarely do I wish I could buy up half a store’s inventory to wear them every day for work. TeeTurtle makes me want to do just that. I’d probably seen their ads on Facebook for several months but as I tend to ignore most Facebook ads, they really only came to my attention at the end of October (2016) at my local Comic-Con. I allowed myself to buy 2 t-shirts, but it was really difficult to narrow down my choices. I ended up with Nerd Princess and I Can’t Adult Today because they define me the best on most days. But there were so many more I wanted, to express my love of books and unicorns and Star Wars. And those are just some of my favorites. Never mind the stabby bunnies, dinosaurs, and other fandoms. The designs are adorable, which is why I wanted them. The material is super soft, which makes me want to wear them every day.


Any thoughts on the selections above? Let us know in the comments.

5 Comments

  • Shara White April 24, 2017 at 7:17 am

    OMG. I just saw Train to Busan a few weeks or so ago and I was enthralled. Such a fantastic movie, and I loved how it eschewed all the typical Hollywood horror beats. Kept me guessing about the scope of the plot. Great film!

    Reply
  • Nancy O'Toole Meservier April 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Putting this together was a reminder that I really need to pick up Bookburners. As someone who loves both books and TV, serialized fiction seems like a perfect fit to me. But damn, 800 pages is LONG.

    Reply
    • Lane Robins April 24, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      It is! Really really really long! But it’s also clearly serialized so it would be easy to stop and start and still find it a rewarding read.

      Reply
  • Ron Edison April 24, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Loved TRAIN TO BUSAN. Zombies are so common these days it succeeds as more of an action thriller than horror, but great pacing and twists. MST3K also brightened a dark period of my life back when it was on Comedy Central in the early ’90s. We got to meet Joel and the original gang at a community college appearance a few years ago.

    Reply
  • davidbrawley April 24, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    I really need to sit down and watch some MST3K…. One of those things I just sort of missed.

    Reply

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