Even though my last one was late, I’m trying to get this on a schedule. So this will be a bit short!
What I’m Listening to/Went to see: Throwing Shade
Something I haven’t really mentioned on this blog yet is that I’m a bit of a podcast addict. I really love a lot of podcasts, and I really enjoy trying more. That said, one of my favorites is Throwing Shade, and yesterday I got to go see the live show at Lee’s Liquor Lounge in Minneapolis.
If you haven’t listened to Throwing Shade, the basic premise is that the two hosts, Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson, cover women’s issues and LGBT issues “with much less respect than they deserve.” That means bringing humor to pretty much anything, and it’s hilarious. They also are pretty ridiculous, doing impressions of the various people who they’re talking about and generally being a podcast that goes off-topic about 75% of the time. In a really fantastic way. Both Brian and Erin also work for Funny or Die, and as someone from Minnesota I very much appreciate their Michele and Marcus Bachmann videos (and was a little disappointed they didn’t bring that up at all at the live show).
They were both hilarious live, and the crowd was completely eating it up. After the show Bryan and Erin sold merch, took photos and talked. They gave a lot of hugs, and seemed really happy to be there. It was really fantastic meeting them, and I had a really fantastic time. Throwing Shade is definitely one of my favorite podcasts, and one of the funniest. Go give them a listen, if you haven’t, and support them if you can! Erin said this was a really great showing, so hopefully they’ll make it to Minneapolis again soon!
What I’m Playing: Dragon Age: Origins
OK, yes, I know, third week in a row playing Dragon Age. But I’ve really been on a roll with this. Since I’ve been playing this game almost every day for a couple of hours, the time’s added up. I checked in game today to see how much I’d completed out of all the things you can do. 20%. That was it. After hours and hours of playing this one game, and getting pretty far within the main campaign I might add, and I had only gotten a fifth of the way through what the game had to offer.
I suppose that’s what I really like about games like Dragon Age, and especially other Bioware RPGs; there’s just SO much to do. However, I think that might be a detriment, as well. For example, in Dragon Age I want to play pretty much every sidequest and mission, and get frustrated when I can’t. I’m not particularly a completionist when it comes to video games; I can do just fine not getting every achievement or every collectible. However, the aspect that’s most important to me is a story. And games like Dragon Age have so much that’s dependent upon what you choose to do; my character is an elven mage, but one who is also against blood magic. Those things limit what the story’s like. I recently started doing the missions around the Dwarven city of Orzammar, and I know that things would be vastly different had I chosen a dwarven origin as opposed to being an elf.
This was brought up on an old episode of the Indoor Kids podcast, where video game journalist Adam Sessler talked about reviewing Mass Effect 3, and how, talking to other reviewers, other people had vastly different experiences, which lead to the question of how many playthroughs are required to review a game. Games with very linear storylines, such as Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs, Bioshock Infinite, etc. could probably survive on one playthrough, but if you’re playing something where you have many, extremely-fleshed out options, you might want multiple playthroughs.
I’m considering doing a review post of all the different origins you can do, in regards to the story, but I can’t realistically play through the game six times in order to do so. It’s an interesting predicament, as a reviewer.
What I’m Reading: Entertainment Weekly
OK, confession, I love and read Entertainment Weekly every single week. I just really love entertainment news, and Entertainment Weekly is a fun thing to read every week.
This week, the thing that made me want to write about this was that they did a list of the 100 greatest movies, tv shows, music and books. I started reading, and started getting a bit annoyed. Buffy the Vampire Slayer ranked all the way at #8 (Buffy’s a great show, but #8 seems too high)? No ELO albums on the music list, despite their influence? Great Expectations ranked above Bleak House?
I like top lists. They’re fairly easy articles to write (I do a lot of them for my other blog), they’re fun for readers, everyone wins. And really, some lists could be more valuable than others. I would accept a “Most Influential Comedy TV series” list more than this Top 100 Greatest Shows list. Because really, how do you measure that? Some choices were on there seemingly for influence, while others were on there for their quality. It’s also extremely difficult to compare genres. How does one even go about comparing a comedy to a drama? Should a comedy be penalized if it doesn’t make you laugh quite as much, even if the jokes are smarter and better constructed?
I know this has been said before, but these lists, while well-intentioned and conversation starters, are pretty useless.