Read it and Weep
Summary: Read it and Weep is a good podcast about bad books, movies, and TV. Each week 2.5 comedians and a guest make fun of things like Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, Going Rogue by Sarah Palin, and anything Keanu Reeves has been in.
"Breaking Dawn" is the final book in the Twilight saga by Stephanie Meyer. Unlike the other books, which focused on Bella and Edward moping around and being all emo about nothing, Meyer opts for batshit crazy this time around. For the first quarter of the book, "Breaking Dawn" follows the wedding nuptials of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. They tell Bella's parents, Alice dresses them up all fancy, they both say "I do" and then! And then! And then the moment we've been waiting four books for... they bone! And just like every other climatic moment in the series, Bella passes out for most of it. The rest of this section is a confusing mess of Bella getting beaten up by Edward during sex, Bella getting pregnant with an alien baby, and then Bella getting beaten up by the alien baby. If Twilight has one message, it's that Bella needs to be hurt. Most of this podcast is us just trying to understand all this grossness, only to find that the next section is worse. Much much worse.
Reviewing Wild Animus did something strange to us. For the first time, a book was so bad, we actually felt bad for the author. Then we remembered we had to sit through 10 hours of nonsensical, acid washed audiobook. And we were angry. Then we noticed that Rich Shapero only had 32 fans on Facebook. And we felt bad again. Then we remembered he's giving the book away for free and it makes a good doorstop. So we felt better. Wild Animus follows the journey of bat-shit crazy kid with a bit too much charisma for his own good. He seduces a young woman while attending school at UC Berkeley and convinces her to work full time as a waitress and give him all the money she makes so he can climb dangerous mountains in Alaska while high on acid and dressed like a sheep. For hundreds of pages, he dances around the mountain in his wool helmet, popping LSD like they were survival rations. All the while, he tries to write a terrible book about wolves and sheep named, you guessed it, Wild Animus. Finally, nobody is changed and everybody is exactly the same and the book ends. They don't teach you this in school, but it's important to remember. Don't do drugs because it might make you think the book you wrote about sheep is good enough to publish. And it's not.
In mixed company, it is unwise to mention that holiday specials are less than perfect. Everybody has their nostalgia-blinders on and can't admit the simple truth: It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is slow and weird. To soften that blow, we also reviewed to other "classic" Halloween Specials. One from Home Improvement and one from Scooby Doo. What all three of these specials have in common is that nobody knows the true meaning of Halloween. While modern costume designers have decided "slutty" is the heart of the holiday, Scooby Doo (and his partner Scooby Dum) think it's got more to do with stop jewel thieves. For Tim Alan, Halloween is about scaring children, getting revenge on your son's ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, and making tasteless jokes about Abe Lincoln. For Charlie Brown and his pals, Halloween is about recycling tired material from a comic strip and taking acid-trip-inspired breaks to watch a dog fight a war against invisible French people. Whatever you think the meaning of Halloween is, we hope you find it this year.
Back in 2001, before there was a Twilight series, there was another set of vampire books, this one focusing on blood suckers in the deep south. Since Stephanie Meyer hadn't yet ruined the genre, this series focused on the things vampires ought to do, have sex with people and drink their blood. Dead Until Dark is the first book in that series, and bloody sex is pretty much the only thing that happens. Vampires drink people blood, people drink vampire blood, vampires drink Japanese bottled blood, and everybody has sex with everybody else. All the while, there is a serial killer running around murdering waitresses. It's like a classic whodunit, if nobody really cared who dun it, but instead focused on fucking and exsanguinating each other.
Welcome back, students. Did you finish Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger? No? Well, let us tell you about it. He walks around New York and hates everything. So we do the only thing we can do, we talk about the stuff he hates and about New York. For the former, we play Hatin' Caulfield where discuss people who need a running start to talk, making out in taxis, and Jello cups. For the latter, we brought in Avery Monsen, coauthor of the book I Feel Relatively Neutral About New York. He tells us about ducks, whores, and pizza. We also discuss this amazing video of a monkey riding a bicycle with pants on. Monkeys with pants!
J.D. Salinger captured the angst of his age. Unfortunately, he created a whole new angst for generations of high schoolers that came after. Just like Mrs. Randolph did when I was in 12th grade, the fans forced us to read Catcher in the Rye. You'd think reading a good book would disrupt the normal flow of this podcast, but it really doesn't. Alex finds something not to like and picks fights with the guest. Chris and Ezra are funny and smart but nobody can remember which is which. A guest who is smart is forced to discuss taints. It's really a very standard episode, just with a better text book.
We bring back Amy from the Glee episode and the four of us watch the new Breaking Dawn trailer. There are weddings. There is monster baby pregnancy. There are jean shorts. Like it or not, we'll be there when the movie comes out. The trailer we watched is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1OHXR63a38
Fox has always answered the tough questions. Who is the next American Idol? What would happen if some people got lost on an Island and then nothing made sense for six seasons? What would happen if some of the most annoying kids in high school were played by 30 year old broadway stars? If you've always wanted to know the answer to that last one, Glee is the show for you. A group of super attractive and talented "misfits" fight for social survival through the power of pop songs, covered by Broadway singers and available on iTunes for a small fee. They sing, they dance, they go to New York to sing and dance, they put purple pianos around the school and then sing and dance. They have crazy love triangles that can only be solved by singing and dancing. Since the show is so low concept, we decide to go the other way by creating some high concepts of our own: "unflinchingly neutral" "orchestral Gulag", and the ingenious "outuendo." Want to know more? Then strap in for a gleediculous ride.
Just look at her mask. You see how crappy that is? How it's weird and you're not sure why anybody thought it was a good idea? That's the whole movie right there. In 2004, the woman of cat was split off from the Batman franchise, hoping to start a girl-kicking-ass super hero series of it's own. The only thing that got in the way was dreadful screen writing, stupid jokes, a nonsensical plot, bad acting, a confusing back story, a boring love interest, cheap looking CG, unlikable characters, a lack of onscreen chemistry, and a ridiculous villain. And probably a few other things. Fortunately we skewer this movie and answer some big questions: Would cat zombies still be cute? Yes. What sport would be the cutest for cats to play? Rugby. Is Chris racist? Probably.
Kids are so adorable. They ask questions we aren't brave enough to and they can't tell the difference between dreams and reality. Small town pastors are so adorable. They comfort people in their community and can't tell the difference between their kids' dreams and reality. And they write books about it. When he was only 3-years-old, Colton Burpo had emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. While under general anesthesia, he had a dream he went to heaven and Jesus won't let him have a sword and there were multi-colored unicorns. His dad believed it was real and, with help from the ghost writer of Going Rogue, writes a boring book about it. We interview pediatric emergency specialist Dr. Brian about these events and, because we're children ourselves, poop and wangoplasty. And lastly, Jesus looks a lot like Kenny Loggins.
Since the fall of Rome, things for Italy haven't been so hot. Things are about to get even worse as the cast of Jersey Shore has washed up on the beaches of Florence, ready to run amok. Hide your bambinos, hide your donnas. After a glorious first couple of days trying to figure out the European streets, cabs, phones, and power outlets, the cast of New Jersey's most disgusting export gets back down to business. Drinking, screwing, and fighting. While The Situation tries to three-some the two-some from Florida (twins!), Ron and Sammi get together and break up, Deena falls down a lot, and Pauly D and Vinny continue to be likable and amusing. Don't be surprised if these are the last Americans ever welcome in the beautiful nation of Italia.
Good evening and welcome to the worst book ever written, with your host, Spineless McWhinesAlot. That's right, it's the second half of Stehpenie Meyer's "The Host" and it's like the first part except the sappy ending you've been expecting for hundreds of pages actually happens in this half. Rather than flounder around the world of science fiction alone, we called in backup from author David Barr Kirtley of The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy on io9. He's a heavy hitter with a passion for the genre so we throw the dumbest questions we can think of about the dumbest book we could find. We even convince him to write a vampire romance novel on the one condition we can raise $1 billion. It's been a long journey (for Wanderer and for us) but at least we're done and we can go back to watching Jersey Shore with it's no-host bar.
What do you get when you take an annoying Bella clone and stuff it full of feelings and a parasitic alien? Boredom! Love triangles! Lava tubes! And further proof that Twilight wasn't a fluke: Stephenie Meyer really can't write. Tanya from #92 - The Royal Wedding is back for more awesome as we introduce a new game: Fun or Not, where we weigh in on three-legged races, cooperative sandwich-making, and sexual relations with ice sculpting-bears. Also in this episode: Star Wars references. Jokes involving genitalia. And lots of newspaper-based humor!
Have you ever not wanted to throw something away? Does it sound fun to collect your favorite things? How about living in a house with no heat with piles of your used adult diapers? No? Then that's where you differ from the people on Hoarders. This is by far the saddest show on reality TV this side of 16 and Pregnant. There's a sad woman who collects dolls, an angry man who collects toys, and an eccentric inventor who fills his 150-acre wildlife preserve with used cars. Actually, that last guy was kinda fun. But the rest of it is just terrible to watch. It makes you want to wash out your eyeballs and then throw them away because you've clearly been hoarding them. Joining us for the first time since the 4-Hour Body is fan-favorite Colleen, a connoisseur of reality TV. Also in this episode: Another Read it and Weep debate! A surprisingly long discussion about intimate relations with food products! A brand new Audible Ad! (May contain moose.) And some other stuff that I can't remember right now!
Highlander II: The Quickening is the rare sequel that's so much worse than the original that the series pretends like it never happened. Chistropher Lambert and John C. McGinley race to the bottom for the worse voice ever, Sean Connery hits on women in the creepiest way ever, and Michael Ironside blows up a hobo for no reason. By far the movie's biggest problem, however, was that the production's insurance company assumed creative control of the film. Don't believe what you've heard: just because you're good at insurance, doesn't mean you're the next Brett Ratner. Actually, maybe that's exactly what that means. Luckily we have a lot of help. Kseniya and Matt from I Love Bad Movies bring their enthusiasm, wit, and for some reason, a willingness to sit through Highlander II. Also, Lightening Bonus Round! (ding)