The Category Is: DAZZLER! – Dark Phoenix / Pose [Spoilers]

Two queer geeks (Cody & Ben) chat about the final X-men movie, Dark Phoenix. Then they finally get around to watching Pose on FX.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro to Dark Phoenix
  2. [04:41] Captain Marvel, Skrulls, and Namor the Submariner
  3. [09:26] Are the Bad Reviews Accurate?
  4. [12:48] “Totally Unlike the X-Men”
  5. [16:16] Jean, Phoenix, Dark Phoenix
  6. [20:48] What Stakes?
  7. [23:37] The Things We Did Like…Kind Of
  8. [26:18] DAZZLER
  9. [28:26] Magneto’s Team: Both Whack and Weak
  10. [31:17] Is This the Worst X-Men Movie?
  11. [36:59] Intro to Pose
  12. [40:11] Paris Is Burning
  13. [42:15] What is a Drag Ball?
  14. [45:51] Drag Houses
  15. [49:24] The Stories of Pose
  16. [52:45] Trans Representation
  17. [54:13] “The Really Intense Presence of HIV/AIDS”
  18. [58:55] Elektra…
  19. [62:21] Household-ifying Gay Culture
 

Links

Detective Queekachu – Detective Pikachu / Drag Race: Season 1

This week the Queeks discuss Detective Pikachu. Then they get around to watching Drag Race season 1 part 1.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro to Detective Pikachu, Starring Danny DeVito

  2. [03:14] Who is This Movie For?

  3. [07:22] Rita Ora & Cyndi Lauper

  4. [09:50] The Torterra Disaster

  5. [13:04] Bill Nighy & Ryan Reynolds

  6. [15:44] Lucy the Love Interest

  7. [18:42] CGI vs. Costuming

  8. [21:07] Horse Doping, Dog Fighting, or The Flintstones?

  9. [25:44] The Sequel/Other Video Game Adaptations

  10. [30:04] Intro to RuPaul’s Drag Race

  11. [35:05] A Lizzie McGuire Movie Detour

  12. [37:42] The Evolution of Drag Race

  13. [41:11] The First Season

  14. [45:38] Season 1 Heroes & Villains

  15. [48:27] Spoilers for Reality Shows (and Historical Dramas)

  16. [50:20] Drag Lingo & Standard Definition TV

  17. [54:27] Where To Next, Dorothy Cyclone?

Links

CODY: Hi.

BEN: Hello.

CODY: Welcome to “Queeks.” This is queer stuff and geek stuff.

BEN: It’s both of them.

CODY: At the same time.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: How’s it going, Ben?

BEN: It’s going pretty good. How’s it going, Cody?

CODY: Pretty well. We’re recording this on Mother’s Day.

BEN: Happy Mother’s Day, moms.

CODY: To you as well, Ben.

BEN: Oh, thank you. Yes, I’m a mother of none.

CODY: I’d like to think of you as a mother to me.

BEN: I am your mother.

CODY: Thank you.

BEN: I’m your mommy. We had kind of a big week. We did a lot in preparation for this because we have two new things that we had not seen this week that we had to watch in preparation.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: So we went to see “Detective Pikachu.”

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: And it was an experience.

BEN: It was something.

CODY: Yeah. One, we kept having to push it back because it kept being sold out because of children.

BEN: Yeah, the fact that children are going to the movies is garbage, even though it’s literally a children’s movie. I mean, when we looked at the tickets the night before, the seats were pretty much entirely clear, other than, like, a chunk in the middle.

CODY: Right, which, I’m usually pretty good about being like, I don’t think it’ll fill up, and usually being right, not anticipating that most parents taking their kids are not going to be buying tickets ahead of time in case their kid, like —

BEN: Vomits or puberty something.

CODY: Throws up on the dog or something and can’t go.

BEN: Throws up on the dog.

CODY: That’s what kids do.

BEN: Throw up on dogs.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Throw up on clothes.

CODY: So we had to push it back several times.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But we did end up finally getting to see it.

BEN: We made it.

CODY: So I was not familiar before I saw this movie with the fact that it is based on —

BEN: Based on a video game.

CODY: Right.

BEN: That was only released in Japan.

CODY: I knew it was based on a video game series.

BEN: You’d never heard of Pokémon before this.

CODY: No. I knew of the Pokémon.

BEN: Ah, yes, the Poké-mans.

CODY: I was not familiar with “Detective Pikachu” itself. Although, I mean, I think I had heard of it. I think I’d just forgotten about it entirely.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: And it was released worldwide.

BEN: They did?

CODY: Yes, just much later than that. So the Japanese version, it was a shortened version of the full game itself, what it later came to be, that came out in 2016.

BEN: Oh. Good year.

CODY: And it was released, I think worldwide, in 2018, so it did eventually come out.

BEN: I mean, there was a lot of buzz when they announced that they were gonna do a movie. There was, like, a kind of pop culture campaign to try to get Danny DeVito to do the voice of Detective Pikachu.

CODY: Really?

BEN: Yes. That was, like, a whole thing.

CODY: I was unaware of this. I didn’t know it was a thing until the first trailer came out, actually. I had not heard they were doing this. DeVito would have been a pretty good choice.

BEN: I know.

[LAUGHTER]

CODY: Especially for the ending, which we will get to.

BEN: Just him waddling up.

CODY: I was looking at the stuff for the game. It did take the characters and, like, basic plot elements like the mystery chemical that they have and all the different locations.

BEN: Oh, really?

CODY: That all comes from the game.

BEN: Oh, wow. That’s impressive.

CODY: It is, but the story is pretty different. Like, all the scenarios are pretty different.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: It still involves, I think, his dad being a detective and all that. Um, so what were your initial overall thoughts?

BEN: Well, I came up with this great line, ‘Detective Pikachu? More like Detective P.U.’

CODY: Alright. Well, we can build on that.

BEN: No, that’s it. That’s it for me.

CODY: That’s all.

BEN: That’s all. That’s everything I have. That’s all my collective thoughts.

CODY: Fair enough. I was not the biggest fan.

BEN: Yeah, I think my biggest complaint about it is that it couldn’t decide between whether it wanted to be a movie for the original fans of Pokémon as, like, a nostalgia trip, or if it wanted to be a movie for a new generation of Pokémon fans. And there’s definitely been movies that have been able to bridge that gap. Like, “Toy Story 3” does a really good job of appealing to both new fans to those characters and the fact that, like, just under the surface, the entire plot is about, like, growing older and letting go of childhood and how sad that is. And I mean, it’s, you know, a whole other level for parents, too, which, despite me being a mother, you know, at the time I wasn’t, and so I didn’t necessarily know what that was like.

CODY: Right. Yeah, I feel like the initial response to someone saying they didn’t like this movie would be, ‘It’s a kids’ movie. You’re just not thinking about it like that.’ But I was thinking about it like that, and to me, it failed more as a kids’ movie than it did as a just a movie or someone who knows about Pokémon. Because we — there were a good amount of kids in the theater when we saw it.

BEN: It was mostly kids.

CODY: I mentioned this afterwards, there weren’t a lot of times, maybe a few, where there were a bunch of kids laughing, like burst out in laughter, or even, like, aahing and oohing over a cute Pokémon. That happened like once or twice. There really wasn’t a lot of reaction from them, which is the best part about seeing a kids’ movie in the theaters. You should always see a kids’ movie with kids.

BEN: Unless it’s something like this, but again, I think they partially marketed this as both for a new generation of fans and the OG nerds, but I think in an effort to not go too far in either direction, it just didn’t really go in any direction. Like, it wasn’t super satisfying for me as someone who played Pokémon Red and Blue, and that was the last Pokémon game I played.

CODY: Nor for me, who has played all of the main ones.

BEN: Right.

CODY: And most of the — not most of, actually, but a good number of the side titles. I can’t say most of because they have —

BEN: There are thousands.

CODY: — like, 400,000 games.

BEN: Yes. Well, I’ve played “Pokkén Tournament,” which is really fun.

CODY: Yeah, the fighting game. That one is very fun. Yeah, there just wasn’t much there, and even for ones who maybe were fans when they were younger, like we were, it was very rehashy of the original. Did you see any of the other movies, the cartoons? I only saw the first one, “Pokémon: The First Movie.”

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: Did they call it “Pokémon: The First Movie?”

CODY: Yes.

BEN: I don’t even remember that. Is that the one with the scene where Ash turns to stone?

CODY: Yes, that’s it.

BEN: And then all the Pokémon combine all their friendship magic?

CODY: That’s the big Mew/Mewtwo story, yeah.

BEN: Okay. I saw that.

CODY: And it’s, like, that’s cool. And they’re actually making a remake of that as well.

BEN: Are they going to do it like live-action/CGI?

CODY: I don’t know.

BEN: Because I feel like remaking an animated movie is an interesting choice.

CODY: There’s a trailer for it. It is a Japanese production, as well.

BEN: Oh, it is. Okay.

CODY: I think it’s still animated, but maybe it’s like CGI.

BEN: Do they remake animated movies very often? Because I feel like it’s just basically tracing at that point.

CODY: Oh, you mean like animated to animated.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Yeah, no, not that I can think of.

BEN: I mean, kind of “The Lion King,” but like —

CODY: I remember I saw the teaser for it. I think it is very, like, updated.

BEN: Okay.

CODY: It’s not, like, you know, cel shaded cartoons or anything, which, that, to me, makes more sense if you’re going to go that kind of way because they only did it halfway, where it’s like yeah, we remember, the whole Mewtwo being experimented on. He breaks out of the lab that’s  run by scientist Rita Ora, which, I was still shocked to find that out at the end.

BEN: I don’t know who that is, and I mixed her up with Ore-Ida, the potato people.

CODY: I don’t even — which is, I mean, come on.

BEN: Well, I don’t know.

CODY: I can’t even name one of her songs.

BEN: Can I at least name an Ore-Ida product, though? I bet you can.

CODY: French fries, crinkle cut.

BEN: Yeah, there you go.

CODY: In the oven.

BEN: In the oven.

CODY: Thumbs down.

BEN: But whaa, you don’t like them?

CODY: I oppose Frenched fries that are baked.

BEN: Frenched fries that are baked?

CODY: Yes. Baked Frenched fries.

BEN: Baked Frenched fries.

CODY: Yeah, it’s not my favorite.

BEN: It’s not the same, for sure.

CODY: But yeah, no, I still don’t understand why she was in it. I guess probably, I think she did the song at the end as well. I’m not positive, and I didn’t check, but I’m going to assume that’s true. Because why wouldn’t it be?

BEN: Who else would it be?

CODY: Like Madonna doing the song for “Die Another Day” and also appearing in it.

BEN: Cyndi Lauper doing the song for “The Goonies,” but not appearing in it.

CODY: Did she?

BEN: She was not a fan of — so apparently she had written the song, and the studio basically was like, Yep, we’re also releasing “Goonies,” so can we just add, in parentheses, “The Goonies Are” before the title, “Good Enough?” And she was like, no. And then they said yes, and that was it.

CODY: Oh, that sounds fun.

BEN: And that it gave birth to an amazing music video that’s about 20 minutes long that’s on the DVD of “The Goonies,” that’s mostly just her and some pirates, and then also the Goonies show up with shirts that say ‘Goonies,’ just in case you didn’t know they were Goonies.

CODY: I’m not familiar with this. I’ve not seen “The Goonies” in a very long time.

BEN: We could do a full episode just about that music video.

CODY: We might have to.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: So, regarding Mewtwo, very cool, but don’t just use him and toss away the details. It’s just like, Oh, he’s a clone. By the way, man-made Pokémon. You don’t need to worry about that. He’s just here to look cool.

BEN: Right. We’ll hint at his origins and make it sound like we’re trying to explain it to you, but if you’re not a longtime fan, you’ll have no idea what we’re talking about, and if you are a longtime fan, you’ll just be either bored at the rehashing or annoyed at the lack of commitment.

CODY: And it’s not like it mattered.

BEN: No, no.

CODY: It was immaterial.

BEN: Right. They could have just thrown it in as an Easter egg of, like, showing an ancient ruin of Mew somewhere in the background in the lab, and that would’ve been it.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Like, that would have been fine.

CODY: And there was a lot of that, little things that didn’t really matter. I have to get to this now before we get sidetracked because the scene that makes the least sense in the entire movie is the Torterra garden scene.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: So, I mean, they find these Torterras, the big tortoises with land on their backs, which is cool. They see them in there, and then they read a little read-out in front of the display.

BEN: On the exposition machine.

CODY: Right, that they’re doing growth experimentations on evolution to make them bigger. And then later, the entire world starts crumbling, apocalypse-style.

BEN: We’re led to believe that’s because of a Greninja throwing a grenade. Is that where they’re called Greninjas?

CODY: I didn’t think that. I thought there was something else, like there was some machine under the ground or something. Did you just ask if they’re called Greninjas because they throw ninja stars?

BEN: Grenades.

CODY: Oh, excuse me. Yeah, I think that is why they’re called grenades.

BEN: No, not why they’re called — not why are grenades —

CODY: No, they’re called grenades because Greninjas throw them.

BEN: Yeah, that’s where the name comes from. That’s so cool that they knew that even in, like, World War I and stuff.

CODY: I know. Which is when grenades were invented, during the war.

BEN: Right. Yeah, in the middle of the war.

CODY: On the battlefield.

BEN: Some scientist was like, Oh, a Greninja grenade.

CODY: Lieutenant MacGyver was his name. It goes all disaster movie.

BEN: It does, for like four minutes.

CODY: And then you — and it’s very disaster movie, like, the ground is vertical.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But somehow they don’t die, which — usually I never really care about “plot armor” about people not dying in crazy situations because it’s like, that’s how you make a movie exciting.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But it was a little ridiculous considering the stakes of the movie before that were not at that level.

BEN: Not especially high.

CODY: And it immediately ends because as soon as they find out they’re on the back of a giant turtle, the turtles then lay down to rest.

BEN: Sit back down.

CODY: Everything’s back to normal.

BEN: I guess I didn’t think about it till now. They were probably just irritated from the Greninjas throwing their ninja stars.

CODY: I guess so.

BEN: And that made them all wake up?

CODY: Make them wake up, stand up, and then be like, Oh, back to bed.

BEN: Oh boy.

CODY: And then get back down.

BEN: Enough.

CODY: Stop moving. And I guess the implication is that they’re also, they never move.

BEN: Is that, like, canon?

CODY: I don’t think so.

BEN: I guess if they’re land, they have to stay where they are, right?

CODY: Well, it’s just, they have land on their shells. It’s like they have an ecosystem on their shell. But it really, that scene was just, I mean —

BEN: It didn’t contribute really anything to the plot.

CODY: No.

BEN: Like, we already knew that they were experimenting with growth.

CODY: But it also wasn’t a movie that has, like, a ton of scenes that are just for action that don’t contribute to anything.

BEN: That’s true.

CODY: This was really the only time it happened because it wasn’t a very exciting movie.

BEN: No, it wasn’t.

CODY: Not much happened.

BEN: Which is rough for kids.

CODY: That’s the thing. There’s so much exposition, but it’s not explaining to kids what they’re seeing on screen. Most of the action of the story did not happen within the narrative limits of the movie.

BEN: Yeah, that’s true.

CODY: It’s mostly, like, flashbacks at best.

BEN: Holograms.

CODY: Holograms. At worst, it’s just them talking about what has happened.

BEN: It’s a classic telling and not showing.

CODY: Yeah, the entire movie.

BEN: Which doesn’t go great with kids’ movies.

CODY: No. That’s, I really don’t —

BEN: I mean, Bill Nighy was fun.

CODY: He was, as he always is. I adore Bill Nighy.

BEN: It is Bill Nighy, right? As opposed to Bill Nigh?

CODY: I just say that.

BEN: I say that to make sure it’s not Bill Nye.

CODY: Right, to make sure no one thinks that the Science Guy was the villain in “Detective Pikachu.”

BEN: I guess we should have done a spoiler warning of the start of this with it.

CODY: Well, I think if anyone’s foolish enough to listen to 20 minutes of us talking about “Detective Pikachu,” they should —

BEN: — by now have been like, Oh, well, maybe I shouldn’t.

CODY: Also, in fairness, anyone that’s, I assume, an adult that’s listening to this —

BEN: Doesn’t care enough?

CODY: — is smart enough to realize that he’s the villain within, like, the first minute. Which is fair. It doesn’t need to be a big twist.

BEN: Did you also make the connection, as soon as they made the reveal that you could put human souls inside of Pokémon, that Detective Pikachu was the dad?

CODY: I figured there was something going on with that initially. The old ‘your dad was with you the whole time.’

BEN: Yes.

CODY: What is that movie where the dead dad becomes a snowman? Is that “Jack Frost?”

BEN: I believe that’s “Jack Frost.” And isn’t that Michael Keaton as the snowman?

CODY: Is it? I don’t know.

BEN: Like, not the voice. He’s just inside the suit.

CODY: Yeah, I haven’t really thought about it since —

BEN: Warwick Davis was the voice.

CODY: — before I really know who Michael Keaton was.

BEN: Yeah, I don’t even know when that came out. I believe it was —

CODY: I just remember I was a kid, seeing the, like —

BEN: The snowman looked terrifying.

CODY: It did. I remember seeing the opening scenes, and I really, really hated it.

BEN: Is it just kind of like a snow version of “The Santa Claus?” Like if you punch a snowman’s head off, you become a snowman?

CODY: I don’t think so at all.

BEN: Oh. How would he become a snowman? Did he die?

CODY: I think he died in, like, a car crash, and then he —

BEN: But then these kids make a snowman, and it’s him?

CODY: Yeah, I think.

BEN: What a sad message to tell children who lose their parents.

CODY: Right. Hey, if you lose your dad, maybe there’ll be a snowman.

BEN: If you miss him hard enough, maybe a snowman will become him.

CODY: I don’t remember the details. I just remember a specific scene of the kid outside shoveling snow furiously, and the mom being like, ‘it’s okay to cry.’

BEN: It’s your father!

CODY: Right.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: Put your father down!

CODY: Yeah, I assume that’s how it went down. We should watch that for our next episode.

BEN: “Jack Frost” as a Christmas special?

CODY: Oh, good call.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: You’re right, Bill Nighy was fun. Bill Nigh-y.

BEN: The Science Guy-y.

CODY: Ryan Reynolds was good. I’m still, like, the whole thing of Pikachu with his voice is, like, it’s more just it’s still kind of just Ryan Reynolds being funny as himself, and there’s a Pikachu there.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But whatever. I did like the main character as well, played by Justice Smith.

BEN: I did, too. I thought his performance was good.

CODY: Yeah, I did, too. I do have to address his companion.

BEN: Pikachu?

CODY: No, the lady.

BEN: Oh, her performance was very cartoonish.

CODY: It was, and I think part of it is because of the script.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Because I don’t know if you noticed, a lot of the dialogue in the entire movie was pretty, like, grounded.

BEN: Mm-hmm.

CODY: Especially the main guy, Tim. His stuff almost seemed improvised a lot, where it was very, like, natural reactions.

BEN: Right.

CODY: And maybe it was partially improvised. I don’t know. Hers were written like —

BEN: Hers felt like video game dialogue.

CODY: It felt exactly like dialogue straight out of a GameBoy Pokémon game.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Like, ‘I’m a detective’ — or, ‘I’m a reporter.’

BEN: ‘I’m the best there’s ever been.’

CODY: ‘I like to get the scoop.’

BEN: Right.

CODY: It was the most cartoonish, like, wacky reporter who’s up and coming, played by what I thought of immediately as thrift store Amber Heard.

[LAUGHTER]

CODY: But apparently she has — I’ve seen her in other things because she’s in “Big Little Lies.”

BEN: Oh, wow. Of the new season?

CODY: She’s in the first one.

BEN: I need to watch that show.

CODY: Yeah, you do need to. She’s also in other things, like “Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri.”

BEN: Oh. Was she the mom?

CODY: She was the kid who had died.

BEN: I thought it was a son. Oh my god, yes. Of course, duh.

CODY: And she’s in other things, too. So I think she probably — I mean, I thought she was fine in “Big Little Lies,” so I think that is mainly a dialogue problem. But, yes, she was — that character, Lucy, was grating.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: I mean, it was rough. It got better towards the end of the movie when they stopped giving her lines.

[LAUGHTER]

CODY: Or not even giving her lines —

BEN: When they just edited her out of the entire film?

CODY: — but they stopped writing her as a character and wrote her as, like, a plot device, I guess.

BEN: Right. Before the end of the movie, a lot of the characters just kind of became plot devices.

CODY:. Right? She kind of stops — I mean, she’s still trying to be a reporter, but she doesn’t have the attitude she has in that first. The first scene where she’s, like, hidden in shadows on the staircase is really just, I mean, that one almost got an audible groan.

BEN: And the gag of her being an unpaid Buzzfeed intern is cute, but like, it doesn’t really — it’s not a character.

CODY: Right.

BEN: It’s a trait.

CODY: Yeah, and also, I mean, I know this is not an uncommon thing for kids’ movies, do we — can we stop doing the shoehorned romance plots for kids’ movies?

BEN: Yeah, in Pokémon, it wasn’t needed. If anything, there should have been a romance between two Pokémon. That would have been really cute.

CODY: And it didn’t even have a payoff because it’s not like they kissed at the end or anything.

BEN: Which is what all the kids wanted to see.

CODY: Which I also don’t want, but it just seemed unnecessary. Why can’t they just be friends?

BEN: I was really tempted to sing.

CODY: You should’ve.

BEN: I didn’t.

CODY: You’re gonna have to at some point.

BEN: Yeah, eventually.

CODY: Or else.

BEN: It’s in my contract.

CODY: Yeah. You really gotta fill that out, or else we’re finding someone else.

BEN: My contract? Oh shit, okay. I’ll get on it.

CODY: I don’t — I do have to say that the heroes of this movie were definitely the animators and the, like, character models designers because they are stellar.

BEN: The design was awesome.

CODY: It was. But I still have to say just the designs of the Pokémon because one, I think they could have had a lot more fun with, like, the human characters and the costuming because, I don’t know, they look pretty wacky from source material. And if they had wanted to go that route, that could have made people look a little more interesting.

BEN: I just wish they picked a route to go.

CODY: Right. They didn’t.

BEN: If they had decided to go, like, gritty noir style, that could have been really cool. Like a noir interpretation of this wacky world would have been really, really fun to watch.

CODY: But they chose to do this, like, grounded realism for all the people.

BEN: But then, like, full-on cartoonishness — well, I guess they weren’t really cartoony. They were kind of realistic with the Pokémon.

CODY: They were, which could have — but I still think they were still fantastical, but it’s still like a crazy element to have in there.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: You can’t just have all these monkeys with hands for tails running around, but then, I don’t know, have people dressed in slacks. I don’t know.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: It could have been fun, though.

CODY: I just, I usually don’t have such a problem with costuming when it’s not anything special, but for some reason, it really stood out to me as being, like, why isn’t anybody wearing, like, a Pokémon trainer jacket or something? Or a fun hat?

BEN: Right. Well, I think his T-shirt in it might have been an Unown, right? I think.

CODY: Oh, I didn’t even catch that.

BEN: Possibly. I’m not sure. I kept looking for little Easter eggs because I figured, like, if they were gonna make a movie that was not necessarily overtly appealing to older fans and was more catering to the younger audience, then I would have hoped that they would have sprinkled in more Easter eggs and cameos, which, maybe they did and I’ve just played one or two games, so I might not be the target for those Easter eggs and cameos.

CODY: True, and I’m sure there are ones that we didn’t catch, just little things. And I guess a lot of it maybe was for the game itself, the “Detective Pikachu” game.

BEN: That could be.

CODY: Because a lot of the locations, like the cafe they’re in at one point, or like the — I think maybe the fighting arena they’re in, a lot of them are from the game.

BEN: Interesting. Okay.

CODY: But we didn’t have any frame of reference for that.

BEN: Right.

CODY: The environments themselves were fine.

BEN: I keep thinking of what this movie would have been like in other interpretations of it. Like, imagine how interesting it would have been if it was a drama talking about, like, performance enhancing drugs with Pokémon. They could have focused on that. Like, a, what are the ethics of Pokémon fighting at all? And b, what are the ethics of, you know, performance enhancing? Because I think there was just some article recently with the Kentucky Derby, where the winning horse was disqualified because of doping or something. But apparently doping is, like, rampant in all animal sports because the animals aren’t considered the athlete. And so it’s like, who cares? Like, that — no kid’s gonna wanna watch a movie about an allegory for horse doping.

CODY: Right.

BEN: But I don’t necessarily think I would either, so I don’t know where I’m going with this.

CODY: Funnily enough, one of the games you haven’t played does very lightly touch on —

BEN: Horse doping.

CODY: The subject of — yeah, it does.

[LAUGHTER}

CODY: One of the Pokémon games is entirely about horse doping.

BEN: It’s a Ponyta just doped out of its mind.

CODY: They do lightly touch on the aspect of maybe Pokémon are slave.

BEN: I mean, they are.

CODY: Yeah, I mean, it’s sort of unclear in the movie.

BEN: And that’s a premise in the movie, though, too.

CODY: It’s sort of unclear in the movie. Like, we don’t ever see an animal, do we? That’s not a Pokémon?

BEN: Well, that’s been a running joke in the Pokémon games of, like, what do they eat for meat? Do they eat Pokémon?

CODY: Right, so it is a little confusing. Because it’s hard — I mean, I think it’s fair enough that they don’t address it because it’s hard to keep it being Pokémon that we know without being, like, is this any different from dog fighting? It’s not.

BEN: It’s dog fighting.

CODY: It’s a little worse.

BEN: It’s worse because they’re super sentient.

CODY: Also, the element that’s always been present to make it okay that they’re fighting is that they just faint.

BEN: Yes, they don’t die. They faint.

CODY: But there’s like Pikachu near death scene in this movie, so I guess that doesn’t count for this one?

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: It was hard to tell.

BEN: I mean, Mew, like, lit him up and made him glow to come back to life, I guess.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Which implies he was losing his life.

CODY: Well, it seemed from the reactions of Tim that he was losing him, and not that he was just — because he was saying we’ve got to get him to a healing Pokémon. There was a sense of urgency, not like, let’s just take him back to the healing center and throw him on the conveyor belt.

BEN: Right.

CODY: It also was a little — I mean, clearly Pokémon pretty central to lifestyle in this whole world.

BEN: In Ryme City.

CODY: But yet, Tim has taken on the position of like, I don’t really —

BEN: I don’t need one.

CODY: Yeah, or not even that just that. But it’s like, I don’t deal with that. I don’t like them. Like, at one point Pikachu asks him, he’s like teasing him, “you like Pokémon, don’t you?”

BEN: Right.

CODY: It’s like, that would be so weird for someone in a movie for their position to be, like, I don’t like animals.

BEN: Yes, and then someone else later to be like, You do like animals, don’t you? You do see that they’re valuable.

CODY: And it’s especially even more comical in this because they have, like, a Flintstones-like place in society, where they’re being used to fight fires.

BEN:  And as a shower.

CODY: And to light a grill for a wok.

BEN: Was there one of those?

CODY: Yeah, a street vendor was cooking —

BEN: Charizard, or something?

CODY: There was a Charmander, and his tail was lighting it. It was cute.

BEN: That’s wonderful.

CODY: Yeah, those elements are really cute.

BEN: I really enjoyed the Squirtles as firefighters.

CODY: Yeah, I thought they did that kind of stuff pretty well. I wish there would’ve been more of it, actually.

BEN: I agree. I would have watched, like, an hour and 25 minutes of just that.

CODY: Of just Pokémon in society?

BEN: Just like a clip show.

CODY: And also making sort of self deprecating, dejected comments to the camera like the dinosaurs do in “The Flintstones.”

BEN: Oh yeah. Like, ‘It’s a living,’ as it puts out a fire.

CODY: Right. Exactly. It needed about 1000 times more of that.

BEN: Except it would just be saying its name over and over again into the camera.

CODY: Yeah, true. I need to go back and watch the trailer because I feel like there were at least a couple things in there that I didn’t see in the movie.

BEN: Really?

CODY: Yeah, I don’t know. One particular image from the trailer with Ludicolo, who was the server in the bar in this, with his sombrero.

BEN: Yeah. That was in the movie.

CODY: It was, but there was a part in the trailer that I seem to remember — I might just be going crazy, but it seemed like he was in action of some sort.

BEN: That would’ve been fun. He was great.

CODY: He was funny.

BEN: He was the breakout star of the film.

CODY: He really was.

BEN: I want him to have a spin-off.

CODY: I think he should. Detective Ludicolo. They are making a sequel. There’s a sequel development.

BEN: Already.

CODY: They announced that before it was released.

BEN: Okay, big mistake. That’s what they did with “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” and it didn’t work out.

CODY: In fairness, I do think this is going to do a bit better than “Herbie.”

BEN: They thought that “Herbie” would do great.

CODY: I think — I feel like the stakes are a little bit different. I think Pokémon is a more bankable property than Herbie the Love Bug.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: I would like to see a Herbie the Love Bug-verse.

CODY: I have not seen either of the — I’ve not seen any of the Herbie. I’m not familiar with the Herbie cinematic universe.

BEN: Are you not?

CODY: I’m not.

BEN: It’s fine.

CODY: Lindsay Lohan is in that, right?

BEN: Yeah, she was in “Herbie: Fully Loaded.”

CODY: Okay.

BEN: I think that was one of her last movies before she went off to Mykonos. Or the Poconos?

CODY: Mykonos. Maybe she’s been to the Poconos as well.

BEN: She could’ve been to the Poconos, I don’t know. I mix up my -onoses

CODY: That was when she left for Mykonos to develop her dancing skills.

BEN: Right.

CODY: Interesting to note, this movie sits at 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the highest rated video game adaptation ever.

BEN: Wow.

CODY: How depressing is that?

BEN: Yeah, that’s a bummer. Well, I mean, have you seen the live-action “Super Mario Bros.?”

CODY: I have.

BEN: I have it on DVD.

CODY: I was looking through the list because RT did a list of ranking all these.

BEN: Russia Today?

CODY: Yes, Russia Today did this ranking of all the video game movies, and the “Super Mario Bros.” movie was not as low as you’d think.

BEN: I think it was fine for what it was.

CODY: Yeah, I think it’s fair enough that they had a lot under it that we’re just, like, these Z-list movies, where it’s like, who and why? I only recognized them because they were directed by Uwe Boll.

BEN: Who’s this?

CODY: Notoriously terrible director of video game adaptations.

BEN: Oh, wonderful.

CODY: Seriously, look at that list. In the bottom, it’s astonishing how many of them he made.

BEN: How? Why do people keep giving him money to do them?

CODY: I don’t really know. I haven’t looked into it much. There has to be some — I mean, I don’t know if he’s, like, helping to finance these things.

BEN: Oh, that could be.

CODY: I have no idea, but it’s really alarming. And I’ve never seen a full one of his movies, but I have seen clips and, like, best-of reels. But it’s 73%. The next highest, tied for second, are “Tomb Raider” and “Rampage,” both from 2018 —

BEN: I forgot about “Tomb Raider.”

CODY: — at 52%.

BEN: Yikes.

CODY: That’s so crazy that we’ve only had one.

BEN: Wait, so does that mean this is the only one that also has a Fresh rating?

CODY: Only Certified Fresh.

BEN: Is it Certified Fresh or just Fresh? Because there is apparently apparently a difference.

CODY: Maybe it is just Fresh. I don’t know.

BEN: How do they determine what is certified and what is not? Does certified mean, like, we promise you’ll like it?

CODY: I think certified has to have a certain number of top critics.

BEN: That would make sense.

CODY: I think.

BEN: But bottom critics don’t get a say.

CODY: Right. Classic. Yeah, that’s kind of crazy that we’re this far into the video gaming era and still only have one, according to Rotten Tomatoes reviews, one decent video game movie.

BEN: Right.

CODY: I’m hoping we’ll get more. We do have “Sonic” coming out, which I have very high hopes for.

BEN: That’s a joke, yes?

CODY: That is a big joke.

BEN: Excellent. Yeah, the fact that they are binge remaking the entire movie in nine months based on negative Internet response to the trailer is concerning.

CODY: Well, let me say this unequivocally, them fixing the animation is not going to fix the movie.

BEN: Which is so disappointing because it’s Ben Schwartz as the voice.

CODY: I mean, his character model looked bad. It didn’t look as bad as the script did.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: Because none of those jokes landed.

BEN: No.

CODY: And you should be putting some pretty good ones in the trailer.

BEN: Yes. Especially — I mean, Jim Carrey, like, he can make things funny, even if they aren’t funny.

CODY: Him and Ben Schwartz, I think, was pretty good casting.

BEN: It  was great casting.

CODY: But I don’t think they’re gonna get to do anything worthwhile.

BEN: Aw man, that’s disappointing.

CODY: Yeah, but I don’t know. We should probably still see it and talk about it.

BEN: I mean, I think we have to.

CODY: So, any last thoughts on “Detective Pikachu?” I would say take your toddler to see it. Don’t take your kid if they’re —

BEN: Over 10.

CODY: Or if they’re old enough to go see a better movie.

BEN: Yeah. Just go see “Avengers” again at that point.

CODY: Yeah, do that. Let’s take a break and talk about something else.

BEN: Okay.

Queeks Assemble! – Avengers: Endgame/Queer Eye original series [Spoilers]

Two queer geeks (Cody & Ben) give their hot takes on Avengers: Endgame and the state of the MCU. Then they finally get around to watching the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro
  2. [01:12] Avengers: Endgame Overview
  3. [05:49] The Captain Marvel Connection
  4. [08:22] Time Travelling the MCU
  5. [12:59] The MVP(s)/Regarding That Fat Suit
  6. [19:35] The End/Saying Goodbye
  7. [22:20] Coming Soon: Far From HomeBlack Widow, and The Young Avengers?
  8. [28:04] The Next Big Bad: Galactus vs. Doctor Doom
  9. [30:18] Intro to Queer Eye

  10. [35:16] 2003: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy In Context

  11. [38:32] Stereotypes/The Role of Gay Humor

  12. [45:05] Positivity and Tone

  13. [48:46] Bobby vs. Tom/Tan vs. Carson

  14. [54:58] Childhood Crushes/”Degrassi is Fine”

  15. [57:26] A Shocking Revelation

  16. [60:26] Outro

 

Links

CODY: Hi!

BEN: Hello.

CODY: This is Queeks.

You already know that because you chose to listen to it.

My name is Cody Brantley.

BEN: My name is Ben Palmer.

CODY: Yeah.

How are you, Ben?

BEN: I’m good.

How are you, Cody?

CODY: I’m doing well.

We should probably tell people what this is because they have no reason to know.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: If you could tell from the name, queer and geek, because that’s what we are, so we know a lot about nerd stuff that we don’t need to know.

BEN: Yeah, and then we don’t know quite as much about the queer stuff —

CODY: Right.

BEN: — that maybe would be more beneficial for us to know.

CODY: Yeah because we get ostracized.

BEN: Routinely.

CODY: And left on the streets.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Because of the things that we haven’t seen or listen to or read.

Not so much that one.

BEN: Yeah, there’s not a lot of classic gay novels.

CODY: The gays aren’t a reading people.

BEN: Yeah.

Who has the time?

CODY: I’m sure there are, but they’re not being talked about.

BEN: Reading gays?

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: Reading Gaynbow. That could be a fun spin-off.

CODY: Oh. Yeah, no, let’s start a spin-off.

BEN: Okay, I’ll get the paperwork.

CODY: I think we’ve made enough progress that we can afford a spin-off.

BEN: I think we’re already ready. I meant spin-off of Reading Rainbow, not a spin-off of this.

CODY: Well, it would be both.

BEN: Okay, like a crossover.

CODY: Crossover spin-off, yes.

BEN: Yes, okay. I’m a fan.

CODY: So very recently in our nerd purview (ner-view), Avengers: Endgame is out.

You’ve seen it twice now, right?

BEN: I have. I’m fresh off that.

CODY: I have only seen it once. I saw it opening night.

But I guess we should say, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, that you shouldn’t listen to this.

BEN: Yeah, there’s gonna be spoilers.

CODY: It is the 22nd movie and final chapter of this act of Marvel movies that’s been happening for the last decade and a bit.

BEN: It’s been dubbed The Infinity Saga, I believe.

CODY: Right, and they’ve already — I saw those plans for the Blu-ray set release, which are real or fake?

BEN: $42,000, I believe, for a box set.

CODY: As it should be, yeah.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: And I do really want it.

BEN: That’s not true.

I don’t actually know the price.

CODY: It’ll probably be close to that because I remember the Phase One box set after the first Avengers movie came out was very expensive, and I really wanted it.

BEN: Yeah, that was like $200 at least, at first.

CODY: So this one, I’m sure —

BEN: And got a lot more expensive in the aftermarket.

CODY: Speaking of expensive, it has made a lot of money already. It’s been out just over a week

BEN: How much is money was it?

CODY: Thank you.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: It’s $474 million domestically so far, which puts it 15th all time for total domestic release, so not just opening week.

BEN: Oy.

CODY: So it’s gonna keep shattering those records, I would imagine, because it’s exciting. There’s never really been a movie like this before.

BEN: No.

I mean, imagine if Titanic had an entire cinematic universe of just all the other boats that sank.

CODY: I think that’s what they should do next. Abandon all the superhero stuff.

BEN: The boat cinematic universe.

CODY: Yes.

Is it all just about boats?

BEN: There’s that, the Lusitania.

CODY: Okay, I see.

BEN: That boat that sank in the Chicago River, and all those people died.

CODY: You’re gonna — we’re gonna have to dress this early on.

Ben is from Chicago.

BEN: I am?

CODY: You can’t just bring up Chicago facts at me because I’m going to know not many of them.

BEN: You don’t know about that boat that sank?

CODY: I don’t know about that.

BEN: I don’t either.

CODY: I know about that fire that happened.

BEN: There was a fire, thanks to Mrs O’Leary.

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: Although that was just like anti-Irish propaganda.

CODY: We’re going to have to derail you from talking about Chicago right now because we don’t have six hours for you to get into this before we even talk about anything else we have planned.

BEN: I will concede.

CODY: So if you have not seen Endgame yet, stop listening and go watch it.

BEN: Yes, go away.

CODY: If you haven’t seen any of the other Marvel movies before, watch Iron Man from 2008, and then watch this movie. Don’t watch any of the others.

BEN: Really? You don’t think you need to see any of the others?

CODY: No, I think you do need to see the other ones, but I want to see someone just see those two. That’s my dream.

BEN: Just the beginning and the end.

CODY: Right.

To say, like, this was a fun movie, and then alright, now you have to see the sequel.

BEN: Oh, what’s the most recent one?

CODY: I’m desperate to see that happen to someone. We have a mutual friend whose girlfriend hadn’t seen any of them, and I begged him to do that to her, and he didn’t so —

BEN: That’s very disappointing.

CODY: I was unhappy. He also made her watch Thor: The Dark World, the second one, which is easily the worst movie of the 22.

BEN: It is, but it’s also important to the plot.

CODY: Oh, it is important.

BEN: Although Thor does do a good job of summarizing it in the movie, even though everyone in the movie is not a fan of hearing him talk about it, which is a reference.

CODY: Right. So let’s talk about the movie itself.

What did you think?

Overall thoughts about it?

BEN: So I loved it both times. The first time I saw it, it was opening night, which kind of has its own energy to it where everyone’s screaming and clapping and cheering, which is like on one level fun because you feel like you’re part of this cool thing, and on another level it’s like, I just want to watch this movie, please.

I’m a big fan of like, the movie theater is a place of respect.

Please be quiet.

CODY: See, I guess I am — I do understand that, and sometimes it does get on my nerves, but I do also like theater screenings as an event and as a group activity because I think that’s what you miss watching movies at home or something.

BEN: That’s true.

CODY: You don’t get this collective experience because I do like that. And I think it does depend on the number of assholes in the particular theater you’re sitting in.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Because sometimes, you know, they can ruin it.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: The one I was with was pretty good. You know, there’s clapping and cheering and aahing and oohing, but no one was doing anything dumb.

BEN: No one was hissing whenever Thanos showed up on the screen?

CODY: That I would have appreciated. There was no one making jokes, like screaming jokes at the screen. I don’t like when people do that.

BEN: Oh, yeah no.

CODY: Or just try and draw attention to themselves. Those are those people are unsavory, and I want nothing to do with them.

BEN: They’re the real stars.

CODY: That’s right. So this came out just about a month and change after the previous movie, Captain Marvel.

BEN: Captain Marvel, yes.

CODY: So I thought that was interesting how they would include someone in a movie that definitely a lot of the audience would have seen the movie already, but not all of them because not everyone is going to the movies that often. Some people only go once or twice a year.

BEN: Right.

CODY: So being able to include her without making it too reliant on having seen that movie, how do you think they pulled that off? Because I thought it was really well done. You know, she sort of shows up, wrecks shit immediately because she’s super powerful —

BEN: Yes.

CODY: — and then is sort of on the back burner, just from our perspective, but also doing a lot because she’s handling a lot of galactic issues that we aren’t seeing.

BEN: For sure. I mean, she does make the point in the movie that there are thousands of other planets in the universe that are going through the exact same thing that Earth is going through, and those planets don’t necessarily have the Avengers.

CODY: Right.

BEN: So she’s got a lot of territory to cover, so I think that reasoning makes sense to me. I do know that, like, logistically it was mostly a thing of the fact that they filmed her scenes in Endgame before they filmed her scenes in Captain Marvel, and they just didn’t, they had no idea what — I mean, they did. You know, they’d written it and everything, but it was just not — it wasn’t out yet. They didn’t know how people would react to it. Same with Black PantherBlack Panther hadn’t come out yet when they were filming — 

CODY: Infinity War?

BEN: Yeah, Infinity War and then Endgame back to back. it hadn’t come out yet.

CODY: See,  I didn’t realize it at the filming for Endgame before that.

I knew that for Infinity War.

BEN: I believe that they did.

CODY: Interesting.

BEN: It might have just been Infinity War. I could be a liar.

CODY: I definitely think they wouldn’t want to bog it down because they’ve always talked about before, in interviews and things, about not wanting to close off viewers from not having seen things, like how there are interactions with Agents of SHIELD.

BEN: Or lack thereof.

CODY: Right. They’re definitely there, but it’s minimal because they don’t want someone to say, oh, I can’t go see the movie because I haven’t watched 20, 30 hours this TV show.

BEN: Right.

CODY: Which is coming back soon, and I’m very excited.

BEN: Yeah, like two weeks? One week?

CODY: I think next week, yeah. So I’m sure we’ll talk about it then. Great show.

BEN: Yes. I need to get TV.

CODY: It’s fantastic.

BEN: TV?

CODY: TV, yep. If you haven’t heard of television, well boy, let me tell you.

BEN: Oh boy.

CODY: It’s incredible.

BEN: What a hoot.

CODY: So other than Captain Marvel, which I do think they utilized pretty well —

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: This was really the first big foray into time travel stories for the cinematic universe, which is of course a huge deal in the comics because comic plot lines are absurd in every way.

BEN: Very loopy, many parallel universes, sometimes specifically created because of time travel shenanigans.

CODY: Right.

BEN: So I’m glad that they started to acknowledge that this is a thing that can happen.

CODY: And it’s definitely a tricky thing for something that’s already the most complicated cinematic plot ever because they’ve never had a movie come out that has its reliance based on 20 other movies.

BEN: Right.

CODY: I thought they handled it brilliantly.

BEN: Oh, absolutely.

CODY: I was in love with the way that they approached time travel in this because they made it not super complicated.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: And they took their time making sure to, you know, not just saying, oh, we can time travel now.

BEN: Right.

CODY: And also not, you know, getting too in the weeds about all of the implications of it, but then doing some really cool things. Going back to be able to see the previous movies, previous iterations of the characters. That was, I think, one of my favorite things about the movie, was the way that they handled the time travel story.

BEN: Well, I definitely think that what they said going into this movie was that it was going to be kind of an homage — not an homage, but like an ode to what had come before.

CODY: Like a reflection.

BEN: Yeah, a reflection.

And time travel makes perfect sense to do that, and the fact that they’re revisiting kind of the greatest hits, and then also Thor: The Dark World, just made it kind of like a fun — it was nice. It was nice to revisit those. I mean, I had been planning on rewatching them anyway, but it was just, I don’t know. It was like a throwback to a simpler time.

CODY: Right, and it didn’t feel hokey to me, or like, you know, like a clip show.

BEN: Right.

CODY: Oh, remember that time? Wistful look, harp sound.

BEN: Although that would’ve been a fun three hour movie.

Cody That’s true.

BEN: Just a harp sound, and like, remember that time this happened? And then just do all of Captain America.

CODY: Yeah, I agree.

BEN: Just one big flashback.

CODY: And I kind of,even though The Dark World is not the best —

BEN: Right.

CODY: It was kind of cool that they — I mean, we got to see them go back to The Avengers, which is the obvious choice, but then The Dark World, which is maybe not the most exciting or good or entertaining of the movies.

BEN: Right.

CODY: But it still has its relevance in that it’s —

BEN: — in that it is a movie.

CODY: Right, and that it was still meaningful to the story.

BEN: Well, it introduced the Aether, I guess technically the third on-screen Infinity Stone.

CODY: Right. We had the Time and the Mind.

BEN: Because we were introduced to the Tesseract in Captain America, and the Mind Stone, which we didn’t know was the Mind Stone yet, inside Loki’s scepter.

CODY: Well, some people didn’t know was the Mind Stone.

BEN: Did you?

CODY: Oh yeah, but not by my own doing.

BEN: Oh, but like via the online.

CODY: Sure, yeah. Because that was pretty — people were already looking for the stones everywhere.

BEN: I do remember that being a thing, yeah.

CODY: So I think — and definitely just because of its relevance to comic books, I’m always curious about how close things are, not in plot, but in feel to a comic book, and I think the Captain America v. Captain America fight scene was the best. That was the most like a page out of a comic book I think I’ve seen in any of these movies.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: I mean, that was fantastic.

BEN: It was extremely entertaining to watch.

CODY: And also I’ve really loved Captain America in all these movies.

BEN: Yeah, me too.

CODY: And I think this was probably his best, one of his best performances. He was a rock star.

BEN: Oh, 100%. And not just because we got to see his happy ending, which was a long time coming, but I think partially because of the fact that it was him continuing to be that point of optimism.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Which, like, is impossible to be when half of the world has been eliminated, and you’re not to blame by any means, but like you were charged with stopping it and didn’t.

CODY: And also him having that optimism, but not staying stale. There was some growth. 

BEN: Yes, which he had a knack of doing.

CODY: I loved, you know, seeing the definitely more hunky dory version of himself from the past and being sort of exhausted with him.

BEN: Yes, right.

CODY: I thought that was really funny.

BEN: Yeah, that was good. I mean, the movie was hilarious as well.

CODY: It was, and they always are. Some people — I’ve seen sort of complaints about the way they weave humor into everything. I love it.

BEN: Yes. It fits the form.

CODY: I think it’s perfect comic tone. It keeps everything remains super dark and gritty and self serious. I think it’s great. I like the levity. So I did love Captain America. Who do you think — would you say you have an MVP of the movie? Because there’s, you know, a lot of them that had been snapped in the previous movie that had disappeared and came back.

BEN: Right.

CODY: Didn’t get as much screen time, but there are still a ton of characters to deal with here.

BEN: Oh yes.

CODY: Do you think anyone had any particular time in the spotlight?

BEN: I think Scarlet Witch, if I had to pick one character who made possibly the biggest impact on everything other than, you know, the obvious, Tony Stark for doing a snap that kills everyone. All the bad guys, at least, and such.

CODY: Right.

BEN: It would definitely be Scarlet Witch, primarily because of the fact that she seemed to do the most direct damage to Thanos during the battle when nobody else could touch him.

CODY: True.

BEN: Nobody could really get anything done. She was able to not only throw a bunch of shit at him, but then to single-handedly tear all his armor off, which was incredible.

CODY: Right. Yeah, that was fantastic.

BEN: It literally took him firing his own ships on himself and all of his troops to stop her, and I think that’s a pretty good sign of how powerful she is.

CODY: It is. I love Scarlet Witch, and I love Elizabeth Olsen.

BEN: Me too.

CODY: I’m really glad that she’s gotten a chance to shine in the past two movies, really.

BEN: I loved her in Infinity War.

CODY: And even in Civil War. I think she’s been really well used, even though she’s not had her own standalone.

BEN: Although she will have a TV show.

CODY: Right, there is a series coming, a miniseries.

BEN: Which, wondering what that’s going to be. Is it going to take place during the time prior to Infinity War and after Civil War?

CODY: It is unclear at the moment. I’m not sure. I’m very curious. They’ve said something about — I saw something about —

BEN: As a quick note, this is WandaVision, I believe, is the name of the show.

CODY: Right. This is the Scarlet Witch and the Vision, their own six-hour miniseries, that’s going to be airing on Disney+ when that is released, which I’m very excited about.

BEN: Which I will be having.

CODY: They have a ton of shows set out for that when it comes out.

BEN: Star Wars, Marvel.

CODY: Right. Even just Marvel. They have WandaVision, they have the Hawkeye thing, Winter Soldier and Falcon, which I think they have said now is going to be about him taking on the mantle of Captain America.

BEN: Really?

CODY: Which is fascinating.

BEN: Awesome.

CODY: And I love that they made that decision. I really think it was the best choice.

BEN: And the studios did say that they’re going to have the things that are happening in the shows on Disney+ have an impact that you can feel in the movies, which, I am wondering how they’re gonna tow that line because they really didn’t do that before. With Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter, which were the two Marvel cinematic universe based TV shows, those — things would happen in the shows that reflected what was happening in the movies, and things that happened in the shows were set up so that you would think that it led directly into the events of the movie. So, for example, in, what was it? In Age of Ultron there was sort of a running plot that Agent Coulson was, in Agents of SHIELD, Agent Coulson was working on some secret project for I guess Nick Fury.

CODY: Yes.

BEN: And it turned out that the secret project was him getting another of the helipads — no, not helipad.

CODY: Helicarrier.

BEN: Helicarrier. Yes, getting a helicarrier back. And then that was the same helicarrier that swept in and saved the day.

CODY: And then it was very intricately tied in the first season with The Winter Soldier

BEN: Oh, my God.

CODY: Which was really, really well done. But it also, again, you didn’t have to watch either to watch the other. 

BEN: Exactly.

CODY: You could watch the show without going to see the movie. 

BEN: It was a good movie, and it was a great episode of TV. So either of them would have stood on their own for sure.

CODY: So I think for me, my MVP would be Nebula in this movie, who I love. That is probably one of my top 10, maybe top five characters in the MCU.

BEN: Really?

CODY: I really, really love Nebula. And she —

BEN: And not just of the actress, obviously.

CODY: Right. I adore Karen Gillan, as a Doctor Who fan, and just as a fan of hers. 

BEN: As Amy Pond.

CODY: She was phenomenal. She was so intricately tied into the plot, and I knew that she would be because of being Thanos’ daughter. But being able to see her growth, but then still staying — like her playing paper football with Tony Stark.

BEN: Yes, to pass time.

CODY: Fantastic. And I really liked the contrast of it because I think easily the MVP from Infinity War was Gamora.

BEN: Oh, 100%.

CODY: She was. She owned that movie.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: So I think having the focus on them, especially Nebula, but even Gamora, you wouldn’t think from Guardians that she would be the character to like lead the story.

BEN: No.

CODY: But of course, because they’re so tied into the whole Thanos lore, it makes sense. So I really enjoyed that. What about worst-served in this movie? Do you think anyone got short shrifted? I do. I did like what they did with Thor, but I do think it was a little limiting that he didn’t get to be — because I think part of the humor initially with him was his self-seriousness as a god. 

BEN: Yes, and his obliviousness to the fact that it was ridiculous.

CODY: Right. And I still — and that sort of changed a little in Ragnarok. He was definitely more openly comical.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Which I think was the perfect balance. And this one, I think, maybe tipped a little too far to just a comic foil, not quite enough of the self seriousness. I don’t think we got enough of that. I still enjoyed it, and I’m not super sold on the fat suit. I mean, it looked good.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: I wouldn’t say it looked amazing. But it’s hard.

BEN: Yeah. I don’t think fat suit technology has really advanced much.

CODY: Well, I think it’s advanced, but I think the limits of making someone like Chris Hemsworth look fat is a difficult task.

BEN: It’s harder than hiding the mustache on Superman. It’s just not really possible.

CODY: You’re having to add fat. He doesn’t really have fat. 

BEN: Any fat. So you don’t even know where it would be if it was there because you don’t have a reference point.

CODY: Yeah, no. So you know, it’s not like it ruined the movie or anything, but it’s hard not to be like well, he clearly doesn’t look like that.

BEN: Well, that’s clearly rubber. 

CODY: Yeah. Smart viewer. So the ending. 

BEN: Yes. 

CODY: Let’s talk about this. We already — excuse me — we talked about Captain America a bit. 

BEN: You getting choked up? 

CODY: Yeah, no.

BEN: I did almost. On second viewing, I almost cried during Captain America’s closing. 

CODY: Oh, during Captain America’s?

BEN: Yes. I still didn’t cry during Iron Man’s farewell. 

CODY: Well, I didn’t. I’m not a crier typically at things. It definitely was emotional. And really I think it was handled very well.

BEN: It was powerful. And it felt right.

CODY: But it still wasn’t saccharine or super sweet because he really you know, he didn’t get these, like, last words while he was dying. 

BEN: I don’t think he had any last words.

CODY: No, I think his last words were before the snap. 

BEN: Yeah, he snapped, and then he sat down, said nothing, and just died.

CODY: Right, which I just read, funnily, that that line, him saying, “I am Iron Man,” in response to Thanos saying, “I am inevitable,” that was not in the script originally. They had him saying nothing before, and then it seemed weird because he’s quippy. 

BEN: Yes he is.

CODY: And so the editor for the movie suggested that he say “I am Iron Man.” 

BEN: Oh.

CODY: So I thought that was pretty interesting. 

BEN: That’s really cool.

CODY: Yeah, I mean, I think it was really fitting, given that he’s the father of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: And a good — I think it would have been a little, you know, it would have been nice to see him get a happy ending. But it would have been weird having him alive, but not part of what’s going on, because he’s always been so integral to everything.

BEN: I mean, his company, his technology, his influence in terms of political sway. All of that you can’t overshadow.

CODY: Yeah. So I think it really fit, and he got to do what he needed to do, and sort of everyone was — even, you know, Pepper was at peace with it because, you know, how could he not do it? 

BEN: Yes, I mean especially given the fact that he had been haunted by visions of what was coming for years.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Which was partially the plot of Age of Ultron, partially the plot of Iron Man 3, from which we got that little kid who came back at the end for Tony Stark’s funeral.

CODY: Did you recognize him initially?

BEN: Did not recognize him.

CODY: I did not.

BEN: My first thought was I almost gasped out loud because I was like, this has to be someone from the future, and then I was like, that wouldn’t make any sense. And then of course I googled it, and it turned out it was the little kid from Iron Man 3 he sort of mentored. 

CODY: And it also makes sense that no one would recognize him, one because —

BEN: He was a child and now he’s not. That’s a big one. 

CODY: And also because I have not rewatched Iron Man 3. It’s fine.

BEN: I haven’t, but it was just on in a restaurant that I was in recently, in the background.

CODY: So really quickly before we take a break, before we move on, the future of the Marvel universe. We already talked some about the Disney shows, but those seem like they’re not — you know, they are tertiary, even though they’re gonna feature in. But as far as where they go with the main story, coming up, we have Spider-Man, which will definitely  — they’ve said that this is technically part of Phase Three because it’s just dealing with the fallout of it. 

BEN: Have we confirmed that it is for sure taking place after Endgame?

CODY: I believe so. I’m saying this without as much information as I could have, because there is a new trailer out I saw today. 

BEN: Oh.

CODY: I saw the news for it. I’m not gonna watch it. 

BEN: Are you on the no trailer train?

CODY: But it has a spoiler warning on the trailer.

BEN: Oh, for Endgame?

CODY: Right.

BEN: Interesting. 

CODY: And I think, you know, from the initial trailer, it’s him, you know, going away on this vacation. It does seem like it’s him trying to, you know, get away from everything. 

BEN: But I thought it was just like a school trip. 

CODY: I think it might be, but I think I think it might be, you know, an excuse to get rid of losing his father figure again. 

BEN: Again. Not that we know much yet about Uncle Ben, although we did see his initials on a briefcase, or on the suitcase that he was packing in the first trailer for Far From Home.

CODY: I did not know that.

BEN: You see Ben’s initials. So finally getting some some clues about what’s going on there.

CODY: Right. So that will be the follow-up initially, and then we have the Black Widow movie.

BEN: Is that confirmed?

CODY: That’s the next thing after Far From Home.

BEN: Are you serious? 

CODY: Yeah, it’s next year, I believe. 

BEN: Seriously?

CODY: Yes.

BEN: This is the first I’m hearing of this. 

CODY: Really? Yeah, this is really interesting because, of course, she he died in Endgame. They haven’t said much about it, if it’s going to be a prequel or what. To me, a prequel would be less interesting now that we have her finished story, than would be exploring the soul realm. Is that what it’s called?

BEN: So that, it’s referenced in Black Panther, I think. Like, the spirit realm, when he communes with his —

CODY: So just to bring in people who might not quite understand this deep, so in the movie, she sacrifices herself because that’s how they have to get the Soul Stone. And in the comics, there is this whole realm that exists that is the spirit realm.

BEN: Within the Soul Stone, essentially?

CODY: Yes. But then it’s also unclear how that — I think it is in the stone, but I don’t know that we have any evidence of that in the movie. 

BEN: That’s fair.

CODY: There were theories around that, about how they would get Gamora back. But now we have a different timeline’s Gamora. 

BEN: And we also don’t have the stones.

CODY: To me, it would be interesting to see Black Widow in the Soul Realm. I don’t know if that’s gonna happen or if that’s too cerebral. If we’re just gonna get a prequel, that, to me, is way less interesting. It can still be good.

BEN: My theory was definitely prequel, and I had been betting for some time that when they would finally give her a movie, it would be her backstory.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Because every single movie she’s in, she drops a couple of lines about where she came from. There are references to her backstory.

CODY: Budapest? Is that where she and Hawkeye fought together?

BEN: I think it might be. 

CODY: I think it was Budapest.

BEN: She also, I think, if I’m remembering this right, Agent Carter, her roommate in the show Agent Carter, was a part of the same Soviet task force that Scarlet Witch — or that Scarlett Johansson, as Black Widow, eventually was a part of as well. Liken it was the same. They referred to the same — not the red room. I think that’s from —

CODY: I’m not sure. I watched the first season of Agent Carter, but not super attentively because it — I thought I was fine. 

BEN: Yeah, I thought it was fine as well. 

CODY: But yes, I do think prequel is most likely. But I do think it would be way more interesting to see a way for her to come back because I think that she still could have more to do if they gave it a chance

BEN: And pay her for it as well.

CODY: Well yeah, true, but I don’t think that should be a huge issue. 

BEN: Especially for Disney.

CODY: I think they’ve got some money. They’ve got some cash sitting around, right?

BEN: After this film alone, I think they’re OK.

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: God love ‘em.

CODY: We’ve also got a lot of potential for Young Avengers because we have so many children. 

BEN: So many kids now.

CODY: Right. We have Scott Lang’s daughter is older now. 

BEN: We have Morgan Stark, who was five. But, you know, five-year-old Stark.

CODY: And the other kid who was at his funeral.

BEN: Yes. Who, at the end of Iron Man 3, had an entire lab donated by Tony Stark for him to become an engineer.

CODY: And he’s an inventor. Potentially, he could just succeed him as a scientist in the universe. We also have Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel.

BEN: Yes, who in the comics, is a big deal.

CODY: She is a hero in her own right, and initially is one of the Captain Marvels, but then also takes on her own names.

BEN: Right.

CODY: And I’m sure I’m forgetting some. There’s a lot of kids.

BEN: Shuri.

CODY: Right, Shuri. So they could easily do something. Oh, Hawkeye’s daughter, which is going to be —

BEN: The new Hawkeye? Is she going to be in the show?

CODY: Well, I think in the Disney+ show, I believe they have said that it’s gonna deal with him training her. 

BEN: That’s awesome.

CODY: I don’t know if that will be also focus.

BEN: Well, that would be cool if he became Ronin, which he kind of was evolving into/fully already was in Endgame, and let her take up the mantle. He also called her Hawkeye during the sequence when he was training her at the beginning. He said, like, “good job, Hawkeye.”

CODY: I didn’t catch that. Really quick, the next Thanos. The next big bad. Who do you want? 

BEN: Galactus.

CODY: Boring.

BEN: Bah, why boring?

CODY: Ben, boring. Because we’ve just had a big galactic threat.

BEN: But Galactus is bigger in size.

CODY: He is, but his motivations aren’t as exciting. He’s just wants to eat planets.

BEN: Which, like, who among us does not get hungry?

CODY: Boring. 

BEN: I would like to see it.

CODY: My pick, Doctor Doom.

BEN: Oh. But he’s not the same cosmic threat.

CODY: Exactly. He comes from Earth. We’ve done cosmic. We can take a break from that. Doctor Doom being a big threat coming from Earth, and his motivations are so awesome. I love Doom.

BEN: What do you think his motivations would be in the MCU, though?

CODY: Well, his motivations are pretty much, at least in most of the better versions of his character, that he has seen the future. There’s this whole thing where he goes to this shaman in the desert or something, but they could have a bunch of different ways to do it. But that he’s seen all of these different futures, similar to Doctor Strange in Infinity War, and that from all the ones he saw, the only one where humanity lasted as far as he could see was the one where he was the outright ruler. And that’s why he wants control.

BEN: Interesting. I don’t think I knew that.

CODY: So is his thing is that he’s trying to save humanity, but he’s also a terrible tyrant and dictator. But in his mind, that’s the only way.

BEN: What needs to be done.

CODY: So he’s fascinating. 

BEN: Interesting.

CODY: And they’ve already done sort of that region because they brought in Sokovia.

BEN: But Sokovia was not his country. 

CODY: No, it wasn’t. But they’ve already explored the area.

BEN: I was thinking Sokovia would make sense. They could just retroactively make him the ruler of Sokovia.

CODY: Instead of Latveria.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Or they could introduce it as part of, you know, just sort of a neighboring country to Sokovia, something like that. But now that we do have the Fantastic Four rights back in the grasp, I’m excited to see a good Fantastic Four. 

BEN: Which also allows Galactus to come in.

CODY: It does, but let’s see —

BEN: Something else.

CODY: Doom first. 

BEN: I think he would be a good, at least like a phase villain, the same way that Loki was kind of the overarching villain.

>> [beep]

CODY: Well, we’ve got some beeping. I’m sure what that is. That’s a good time for us to take a break. So let’s do that, and we’ll come back and talk about something else.

BEN: See you in, like, a second.

CODY: As much as we could keep talking about Marvel and the future of the movies forever, for the rest of our lives, we should get into some gay stuff.

[laughter]

CODY: Right?

BEN: Yeah. Let’s let’s get into some gay stuff here.

CODY: Right. So we’re just gonna pick something that maybe we haven’t seen, or haven’t seen enough of, or haven’t explored much of, and get into it and see what we think. So we thought a good place to start would be Queer Eye.

BEN: Yes. So for those who don’t know, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It was a show in the early 2000s in which a gaggle of gays took over a straight man’s life and helped make him over. And the show from there kind of branched out a little bit and stopped doing just straight guys. They did an episode with a gay guy, which we actually watched. They have since stopped the show, and then restarted it again years later with a new batch of gays. And it’s still pretty great. So I had seen the new series, but I had not ever watched the original. The closest I ever got was the parodies in South Park, and that’s not a great representation of the show, I don’t think, although it captured the essence, I think pretty well.

CODY: I’m sure.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: I’ve not seen that. We’ve both seen all of the new series, and since it’s in vogue, we thought it would be a good place to start because even though it’s very popular, the original was also very popular, especially for —

BEN: And groundbreaking.

CODY: Yes. It aired on Bravo, so basic cable. The first season, at its highest, drew almost 3.5 million viewers.

BEN: Wow.

CODY: And had about 3+ million for the course of its first season, and then about 2 million for the second. So it was a really big deal.

BEN: Yeah. That’s impressive.

CODY: It was.

BEN: Especially in those days.

CODY: Right. It had an Emmy win for Outstanding Reality Program. It had a spinoff, Queer Eye for the Straight Girl, which I didn’t know about. And I have a sneaking suspicion one of the reasons why it may have not been successful, the Fab Five was instead the Gal Pals, which was three gay guys and one lesbian.

BEN: Oh.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Three different gay guys?

CODY: Yes.

BEN: Huh. Three different gay guys and a lesbian.

CODY: Right. So not like five lesbians, or like — I just feel like that was pretty misguided. It only lasted for one season and was not popular.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: It also, I didn’t know this, has 13 international adaptations.

BEN: Wow.

CODY: Most successful being the Norwegian one, which lasted for three seasons. And I was looking through some of them.

BEN: Norway has some great reality TV, side note.

CODY: Well, is it Norway where Big Brother was?

BEN: Where Big Brother came from?

CODY: Or was that Sweden?

BEN: I think it was Norway. It was one of them.

CODY: Right.

BEN: One of the cold, dark ones.

CODY: Yeah, so I guess they must have a big reality scene going on there. Some of these international ones I’ve got to get into the names for because it’s amazing.

BEN: Can you tell me the name in the native language, and I can guess?

CODY: For some of them.

BEN: Okay.

CODY: The Norwegian one I don’t have the name of, but the translation was The Gay Patrol.

[laughter]

BEN: That could’ve been a podcast name.

CODY: Phenomenal. The French version is Queer, Cinq Experts dans le Vent.

BEN: Okay. And that translates to?

CODY: “Queer, Five Experts in the Wind.”

[laughter]

CODY: I’m sure there’s probably an idiomatic version of what ‘in the wind’ is.

BEN: I hope not.

CODY: I didn’t look up what it was.

BEN: Maybe like on the run?

CODY: The Chilean Queer Eye was Ojo con Clase. “Classy Eye.”

BEN: I was gonna say ‘eye.’

CODY: The Australian one, big name, Aussie Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Great.

BEN: Love it.

CODY: And definitely my favorite is the German version, Schwul macht cool, which means —

BEN: School for cool?

CODY: “Gay makes you cool.”

BEN: Oh my god.

CODY: ‘Schwul’ means gay. I know this because I took German in college, and we had to go over many times —

BEN: How to say gay?

CODY: No, how to not say gay, because it’s very close to the word for cloudy. So they have a lot of problems with new German speakers saying that the weather is gay, apparently.

BEN: I also misheard you and thought you said ‘nude German speakers.’

CODY: Schwul macht cool.

BEN: Shoon?

CODY: Schwul.

BEN: Schwul.

CODY: Macht cool.

BEN: Macht cool.

CODY: Which I think I’m gonna have tattooed on my forehead.

BEN: You should.

CODY: Because I think it’s fabulous. Yeah, so we went ahead and watched some of the earlier series’ episodes. I had seen them growing up sporadically. My parents watched it, and I watched it with them.

BEN: My parents did not. They weren’t big on reality TV, but I watched a lot of musicals. So who knows?

CODY: Right. I didn’t realize the precise context of when the show came out. It came out just a month, the premiere of the original series, was only a month after the Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. Texas, which, of course, banned antisodomy laws across the country. And then a few days, I think, after — no, excuse me. A few days after that was when the Canadian prime minister announced that they were going to legalize gay marriage. Right.

CODY: So then it was shortly — it was a big time.

BEN: Yeah, that is insane that as of 2004 —

CODY: It was also the summer when Mamma Mia premiered.

BEN: On Broadway?

CODY: Excuse me, Hairspray.

BEN: Oh, that also. It was a big year for the gay community. 

CODY: It was.

BEN: It wasn’t illegal for them to have sex, they could get married in Canada, and —

CODY: And they could go see Hairspray.

BEN: — and they could go see Hairspray.

CODY: So yeah, big deal. 

BEN: That is a big deal.

CODY: And I do — it, of course, didn’t dawn on me at the time because I didn’t realize the context, didn’t know gay when I was this young. This was in 2003, so I was 11 at the time. That it was sort of a big deal being able to watch this and see gays in their element, acting as themselves —

BEN: In their natural habitat.

CODY: And it being okay and not everyone freaking out. I’m lucky enough to have tolerant parents, but I still did grow up in church and around a lot of, you know, religiously antigay rhetoric. So it was nice to be able to see that even though, you know, growing up in the Bible Belt.

BEN: I grew up in a synagogue, meanwhile, where antigay would not have worked out well.

CODY: Literally in the building.

BEN: Well, yes, I was raised — yeah, my parents dropped me off at the synagogue steps. It was just me and a latke.

CODY: So that’s I think where a lot of the praise for the show comes because it was just a big thing for visibility. I know that it — let me see. There was a quote from Tan France, who is one of the stars of the new series, that said that “the original show was fighting for tolerance. Our fight is for acceptance,” just as a way of describing the two different aims of the shows.

BEN: Interesting.

CODY: And tolerance, I think that’s a really good way of putting it. Tolerance does seem appropriate because it was, you know, it was just letting these gay guys come into your life and be themselves, and not really calling attention to it, but actually benefiting from it.

BEN: Right. Plus, especially given the fact that with Lawrence v. Texas, that prior to that case it was legal for the country to criminalize men having sex with men, women having sex with women.

CODY: Right.

BEN: That’s insane.

CODY: So it really was a time when that was needed.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: And I think it made a big difference. I mean, you know, it’s hard to tell the exact metrics of a thing like this, but I feel like it was a watershed for being able to see more not just gay characters, but actual people on television. 

BEN: Actual gay people, yes. It wasn’t one token character with a lisp who was fabulous. It was five characters.

CODY: Or even a well-drawn out character.

BEN: Right.

CODY: It was, you know, it was a person just being themselves. So the big debate that’s always been about is, does the benefit of that outweigh any perpetuation of stereotypes of the magical gay fixer from the show? I know my thoughts on it are that that’s ridiculous. I kind of hate, one, calling it out for being too stereotypical.

BEN: That’s who these people were.

CODY: Right, that they were being themselves, and for anyone to criticize them for harming the gay community overall for being too stereotypical, when it’s actually just them being themselves, is hateful, I feel. And I just don’t buy that, that someone being themselves, even if it is a stereotypical what some would think of as gay, is harmful. I just think it’s absurd. I don’t agree with it all. Do you have any thoughts on it?

BEN: Yeah, I mean, what it kind of reminds me of, and this is a totally different topic, is like how you discern the difference between the symptoms of, say, a mental health issue versus just who you are in terms of your personality. Like how at — please note, I’m not comparing being gay to a mental health issue at all.

[laughter]

CODY: Right, both as gays and people who have experience dealing with mental health issues.

BEN: Exactly.

CODY: They’re not the same.

BEN: No, they’re they’re not the same. But the idea of I don’t know what is a symptom of this part of me versus what is just a part of me.

CODY: Right.

BEN: You know? And the idea of you grow up thinking, well, this is what gay culture is. This is what I’m supposed to do if I am gay.

CODY: Right.

BEN: I mean, that’s that’s like a trope in TV that as soon as someone comes out, they’re suddenly like, well, I guess I have to go to a gay club, and they have this bucket list of gay things that they need to do.

CODY: Which is sort of what we’re doing now.

BEN: It is 100%. We’re not exactly coming out, but we’re still engaging in the culture because we felt like we needed to.

BEN: Right, and that side of it, I get why people would have grievances against that, you know, saying I don’t want to change my life. I want to do everything the way I was doing, but just as a gay man or woman. But I also think there’s value in having shared community touchstones.

BEN: Yes, agreed. I know for me, I was reading an article maybe about two months ago about the AIDS crisis when it was in its early days and was being pretty much just completely ignored, and it was one person’s story of how they just lost everyone that they loved, their entire adopted family, because their biological family had disowned them, and just saying, you know, I was losing everyone who mattered to me, and no one seemed to care. And I was like, I didn’t live through that. I can’t — that’s so important because that person has fought for people like me, and I don’t know the story. I don’t know about this community. And I previously had been the type of person to say, like, well, I am who I am. I don’t need to go out of my way to like gay things or engage in gay culture, but I realized it’s kind of doing a disservice to the people who came before me, who fought for us to be alive and accepted.

CODY: Right.

BEN: So I think it’s — I’m proud of us, is what I’m saying.

CODY: It’s also been described as sort of voyeuristic, the show in itself, that you’re not seeing someone performing as gay or presenting themselves to you. It’s just them acting as their own selves in their own ways, and you’re watching it happen. And they’re doing it to a person, but —

[laughter]

BEN: They’re being gay at a person.

CODY: — in a different way, which I think is a pretty good way of describing the show.

BEN: I would agree.

CODY: One thing I think that was striking, just from having watched all of the more recent seasons and then going back, is the way that humor is used and sort of the difference in tone. I think there is a huge reliance in the early show of being funny, and about the value of being funny as a way to make —

BEN: People more comfortable with you.

CODY: Right, exactly. And I, you know, in one way I think it was them being themselves because obviously, you know, Carson Kressley seems like the type of person that just does quips like that a lot.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But also it’s a way of making people comfortable with who you are.

BEN: Yes, which, at that time, and I mean, to a degree still today, but at that time especially, a lot of people had never met a gay person before.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Or I mean, even now in the new series, there’s occasionally people who they will be making over, and they’ll say this is the first time I’ve spent any time with a gay person.

CODY: Right, and humor is a great way to make yourself more relatable, but also disarm any misgivings or anything, because if you make someone laugh, then you’re sort of breaking down barriers. So it seems like that’s a very big deal in the first one.

BEN: Well, I think they were relying on it more. In the new one, they certainly did it because I just think they’re funny people.

CODY: Right.

BEN: And they needed to disarm the folks they were working with, not because they were not used to having gay people around for the most part, but just because you’re coming in and telling someone how to change their life, and that can be stressful.

CODY: I would say in the new one, it seems more for — the humor, you know, jokes they’re making, just being silly or funny — is more for the benefit of the person they’re interacting with, making them comfortable, whereas it used to be in the older one more for the audience.

BEN: Yeah, that’s fair.

CODY: And I think there’s also something there too about the jokes that they’ll make in regards to the person, which sometimes in the older one did come at their expense.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: It never seemed too, you know, hateful or anything.

BEN: No.

CODY: But, you know, just poking fun a little.

BEN: I mean, any of the times when they first get to the house, apartment, shack, whatever it might be —

CODY: Usually a shack.

BEN: — quite literally tearing apart the home and tearing through all their clothes, making their food and making fun of how bad it is, just ridiculous. Smelling things, tasting things.

CODY: And the do that definitely in the newer series, but there’s a different tone.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: It definitely has a few more barbs.

BEN: The new one I think is more playful.

CODY: It is.

BEN: And the old one almost felt — I don’t want to say catty, because I think that word’s overused when describing gay people.

CODY: Yeah, but I see what you mean. It is sort of — it’s for humor. It’s not them just being playful.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: And I think I understand, but it’s also a little jarring, sort of, going back and watching it because of how positive the new show is. And I have to say, I am not usually — I, sort of notoriously to people who know me, I hate anything that is inspirational.

[laughter]

CODY: I really don’t like being inspired or spoken to, uh —

BEN: With pep.

CODY: Anything that wants to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, or alternatively, that tries to make me cry either happy or sad tears, I don’t like. But —

BEN: On the flip side, I very much enjoy providing that kind of material. I enjoy providing pep and spirit. I worked in my college’s orientation office, which you hated.

CODY: Right, because I don’t like the idea of pep and spirit.

BEN: Yes, and that was literally my job.

CODY: Right, but the new Netflix Queer Eye is very much that sort of thing, but to me it’s pretty much always felt really genuine and not very preachy or — you know, it definitely aspires to be something that’s maybe, you know, making the world a better place, but it doesn’t — I don’t think they overestimate their abilities.

BEN: Yeah, I think they’ve elevated the show to, like, another level.

CODY: I definitely agree.

BEN: Each episode seems like it’s not just trying to help the person who is being made over. It’s also, each episode is very directly pointed at the audience and saying, like, you might relate to this person in this way. Here’s how you can help yourself, too.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Which is nice because I think most people feel a little weird going into, like, a self help book section or something, and this is like, oh, I could just watch it, and it’s what everyone else is watching, and I can get some tips on how to do the French tuck or, you know, how to eat an avocado, which is in every single episode.

CODY: I don’t buy into that hype that there’s an avocado in every single episode.

BEN: Okay, there’s not an avocado in every episode.

CODY: There is a French tuck in every single episode.

BEN: There is a French tuck, which, learned recently maybe that it’s called the French tuck because it was invented by Tan France. France, French.

CODY: Really?

BEN: His tuck.

CODY: Really.

BEN: Unconfirmed.

CODY: Unconfirmed reports.

BEN: That’s my theory.

CODY: Oh, that’s your theory. So when you say —

BEN: That might be backed up by truth.

CODY: Okay, well, I would attribute it to him because I’d never heard it called anything before.

BEN: No, neither had I.

CODY: I think I’d maybe seen it done before. I’m a big fan though because I gotta say —

BEN: I’d seen it when, like, you put your pants back up, and then your shirt was stuck.

CODY: — because I really hate tucking in my shirt all the way because it makes me feel very stuffy, but it does look nice. Thanks, Tan.

BEN: Thanks, Tan.

CODY: But the — what I — [unintelligible nonsense] — what I was saying about the negativity —

BEN: The avocados?

CODY: No, not the avocados. We’re done with that.

[laughter]

CODY: The negativity versus the positive. The new series is definitely more positive, but it’s also — I feel like you get to know maybe a little bit about who the people are when the episode is done, whereas —

BEN: The Fab Five? Or the straights?

CODY: A little bit of both. “The straights” in quotes, because they’re not always straight. The person being made over, made better.

BEN: The contestant.

CODY: Yeah. See, in the original show, they also didn’t use the term makeover.

BEN: No.

CODY: It was a make better. And I’m not sure what they called their people in the episodes, but I know in the new one, they’re referred to as heroes. Like if you look at the episode guide, it says the hero for the episode, and it’s that person, which is a little —

BEN: Interesting. Huh.

CODY: That’s kinda corny.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: It’s fine.

BEN: Well, I mean, in some cases it’s pretty explicitly, like when it was a firefighter, who was having the firehouse rebuilt and redesigned, like hero. Not to say that, you know, if you’re getting your home redone, that doesn’t make you a hero, but —

CODY: And some of those homes, good god.

BEN: Yes.

[laughter]

CODY: Bobby is a wizard.

BEN: I think he gets the least credit where credit should be due.

CODY: Well, I think they don’t make it super flashy, but I do think from everyone I’ve talked to who’s watched the show, I think everyone really understands that he is — I mean, it’s incredible. 

BEN: It is amazing, and I think he has the largest amount of work to do in what theoretically is the shortest amount of time.

CODY: Oh certainly, sure.

BEN: And probably the most expensive work to do. So the fact that he’s able to do all of that is insanely impressive.

CODY: And he’s also very good at it. I mean, I’ve watched enough HGTV to have some opinions on home interior things, and really everything he’s done has been like incredible. It always looks amazing.

BEN: Well, nothing is over the top. Everything is very understated, classy, especially compared to — I don’t want to fire shots of the original Queer Eye, but —

CODY: Well, I knew we were going to reach this place in terms of the comparison to Bobby Burke, the interior designer in the new show. The original one was Tom Felisha. I mean, he was very good. It was also, one, he was more limited because it was in New York and he was always working with these small, weird spaces.

BEN: Hallways.

CODY: Right. And it is more dated, but you know.

BEN: It worked for the time.

CODY: It was a while ago, like, 15 years ago. So I think it was good. But we definitely, when we watched a few of them together, the contrast between Tan France, who does the fashion in the new show, versus Carson Kressley in the original is striking.

BEN: It is stark.

CODY: Yeah, I don’t want to fire shots either, but —

BEN: But here we go.

CODY: Some of those outfits — okay. Tan always does seem to approach things of making it work for the person that he’s designing for.

BEN: He starts with the person he’s designing for, fashion sensibilities or lack thereof, and just amplifies it and takes it to another level.

CODY: Carson is definitely more of like a fashionista or a guru.

BEN: You should wear this instead.

CODY: And that’s not entirely fair because he does, even in some of the ones we watch, say, you know, I’m not trying to put my look on you. But the looks that he was putting out, I mean, some of them are going to be dated because it’s an older show. Some of them were absolutely horrendous.

BEN: In any decade.

CODY: Horrifying. There has never been a time or a place or a person where fur-lined pockets are acceptable. That is unacceptable in every context.

BEN: Regardless of the fur.

CODY: And so I don’t know where that comes from, if it’s just like his style.

BEN: His sensibility?

CODY: But then some of the other things I’ve never heard of. There was one where he was just, like, rolled down a cuff on their waistband.

BEN: Oh my god, yes.

CODY: It was just like, what is happening? What is any of this?

BEN: Yes, the loopless pants —

CODY: With the belt.

BEN: — without any belt loops, but the belt was there.

CODY: It looked like tied up potato sack.

BEN: Oh, ridiculous.

CODY: Some of them — I mean, we were screaming at these because they were just so horrible.

BEN: Awful.

CODY: But I mean, they do also serve a different purpose because whereas the new one is sort of changing their overall look and just teaching them how to dress, sort of like What Not to Wear —

BEN: Which is great.

CODY: — speaking of gay touchstones. The original, it was more of, even though they still had a similar time frame where they were filming it over a couple weeks, they presented it as being a one day, like we’re coming in and out and doing a makeover. It’s a makeover. It’s us dressing you in this, not us changing your wardrobe so much, even though they would give them new clothes.

BEN: That’s fair.

CODY: The focus wasn’t on building a new aesthetic for them. It was just like, you’re gonna wear this jacket with this horrible print and roll the sleeves up and wear these. Another thing we did notice, so this was 2003, so post-Matrix fever was alive, and you can see it in the sunglasses.

BEN: The sunglasses!

CODY: Everyone was wearing Neo sunglasses, and they were all terrible because those are terrible. It was amazing to see that many people wearing those sunglasses, because it’s —

BEN: Unironically.

CODY: What a weird time for fashion and for other things. But just, I’m surprised we didn’t see anyone in like patent leather trench coats or anything.

BEN: Yes, that’s true.

CODY: Also a disturbing amount of soul patches in that era that had nothing to do with anyone on the show, but it was just — guys, stop.

BEN: Stop it.

CODY: Guys, if you’re listening today, in 2019 —

BEN: If you’re listening to this from 2003, please stop.

CODY: — or from 2003, or from in the future. If you have a soul patch, get rid. Don’t do it. That’s our gay tip for the day.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: We can do hip tips.

BEN: We should. We should do a hip tip every episode.

CODY: That’s one thing I do wish they had kept. I mean, they do still do the hip tips, but it’s just one thing.

BEN: It’s not the same.

CODY: And it’s not even a tip sometimes. I do like that they all gave a tip in their area.

BEN: I liked that, too.

CODY: It was fun. Kind of wish they still did that. I was reading several articles about the original show, just about its reception at the time. And this is not a very deep thought, but I love the fact that Carson was talking about his treatment after the show of being like, they became cultural icons, and that a woman that he had known previously asked him for an autograph at a horse show, which, of course that happened.

BEN: What is a horse show?

CODY: I don’t know if it was like buying horses or like riding horses. I have no idea. But it was just, he said it was at a horse show, which is funny. But also, he was saying that she then said it was for her nephew who had just come, and it seemed like there was a lot of that.

BEN: Wow.

CODY: People being inspired to do that because of seeing these people being — oh, they’re living their lives as gay. And not only are they happy, they’re successful and helping other people.

BEN: They cuff their waistbands, too. Finally they have representation on TV.

CODY: Okay, in fairness, we never saw Carson or any of them cuff the waistband. They just did it to a straight guy.

BEN: They just did it to a straight guy.

CODY: Oh, I’m sorry. I think they did that to a gay guy because it was one of the episodes we watched.

BEN: We watched Queer Eye for the Gay Guy.

CODY: So we watched the pilot.

BEN: Yes, we did.

CODY: Which I found out later on that the first episode —

BEN: Wasn’t the real pilot?

CODY: Well, it was the third one filmed because the first two filmed have a different culture guy.

BEN: Oh.

CODY: Because was for the main series it was Jai Rodriguez, who I discussed while we were watching. I didn’t remember, and had just flashbacks when we started watching it, I was in love with him.

BEN: Was he your first gay celebrity crush?

CODY: Maybe. Definitely of a gay guy, yes. It had to have been.

BEN: My first celebrity crush period was Cindy Lou Who from the live-action Grinch.

CODY: That’s not what I expected, I have to say.

[laughter]

CODY: That’s not even who I’d pick from The Grinch.

BEN: Would you pick the Grinch?

CODY: No, I’d pick Christine Baranski.

BEN: Ugh, perfect. Speaking of gay culture.

CODY: I’d pick her in whatever she’s in, honestly.

BEN: She could be in anything, and she’s mine.

CODY: I love Christine Baranski.

BEN: So Cindy Lou Who, and then my first guy crush was probably JT from Degrassi.

CODY: I’ve never seen Degrassi.

BEN: Speaking of the early 2000’s.

CODY: Never got into it. I mean, I’ve seen an episode here and there.

BEN: Gotta catch up. It’s Drake.

CODY: Yeah, I’ve seen some of Drake in it. I saw where someone got shot or something, or stabbed.

BEN: Jimmy. Jimmy got shot.

CODY: Drake got shot?

BEN: Jake got Drake.

CODY: He was Jake? Drake was Jake.

[laughter]

BEN: Drake was Jimmy.

CODY: And he got shot?

BEN: He got shot.

CODY: Didn’t some get stabbed, though?

BEN: JT got stabbed on the show to have died.

CODY: I think I’ve seen that, too.

BEN: So JT was the host of a kids’ show, like a local kids’ show, and I’m remembering this wrong 100%, but I seem —

CODY: On the show?

BEN: On the show. I seem to remember he was in the costume of the kids’ show character when he was stabbed.

[laughter]

BEN: I don’t think that’s right.

CODY: We have to check this out because that would be transcendent. I want to see that.

BEN: That would be world-shattering television.

CODY: I also was slightly mixing up, when I was thinking of the shooting, I was thinking of the character shooting from The O.C.

BEN: Oh, famously parodied on Saturday Night Live.

CODY: Right, but also was basically just adult Degrassi, in my mind at least.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: I only ever saw clips of both shows, but I have made the executive call that they are the equivalent of each other, just for a different age.

BEN: My sister has the first 6 seasons of Degrassi on DVD.

CODY: Oh, I thought you’re gonna say, of The O.C.

BEN: No.

CODY: I have no desire to watch either.

BEN: Degrassi is fine.

CODY: Okay.

BEN: And that’s all I have to say on it.

CODY: I’ve seen some some things about it, that it had some relevance occasionally, but otherwise I’m okay with it.

BEN: One of the other episodes that we did watch was the makeover of a soldier who was headed to Iraq in 2004, I believe.

CODY: And was also the day — well, presumably the day of, even though it took, you know, they do them over several weeks — it was about his wedding, and they did, just looking through the episode list, several weddings.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: So that was interesting. They also did some weight loss episodes.

BEN: That’s fun.

CODY: Well, I didn’t think so. I had no interest in watching them. I just feel like that’s a weird element to add all of a sudden. Like, we’re gonna come give you a makeover. Also, get on this treadmill.

[laughter]

CODY: I don’t know. It just seemed weird.

BEN: The Biggest Gay Loser.

CODY: Yeah. Also, we didn’t get a chance to watch it before recording this, but we were planning on watching, in the fifth season they do it a straight guy pageant —

BEN: Which is pretty great.

CODY: — where they do like a contest for several of the guys that they’ve made over. We did, one of the ones we watched was the first gay man that they made over, who they dressed horribly.

BEN: I do want to — I have a dramatic reveal.

CODY: About that episode.

BEN: About the soldier episode.

CODY: Oh, the soldier one. Okay.

BEN: Yes, the soldier episode. So, from “The New York Post,” January 13, 2005, headline — “Jeer for Queer, Straight Guy Liar Threw Out My Heirlooms, Says Ex.” So, turns out the soldier was married to another woman when he married his fiance on the show that he eventually married. He was still married to his ex-wife.

CODY: Whaaat?

BEN: And all of the furniture that they were making fun of and throughout was apparently her grandmother’s furniture —

CODY: What?!

BEN: — that she left at the house when they split up. He tossed it while still married to the first wife.

CODY: How — who — this is shocking.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Shocking revelation.

BEN: Bravo claimed that they investigated and confirmed it was all lies, but it’s Bravo, and they’re just stirring the pot.

CODY: Okay, well, this is also, I do have to say from the other point of view, that article is from, you said, “The New York Post?”

BEN: “The New York Post.”

CODY: Okay. In the episode, he says something. They’ve been married before, but in Colombia or somewhere.

BEN: Yes, he was. And they said it wasn’t legally recognized in the U.S. because it was in Colombia. Probably wasn’t legally recognized in the U.S. because they’re he was already married.

CODY: That’s definitely possible.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: We also saw his mom and his sister in that episode, who —

BEN: I thought it was her mom and sister.

CODY: Well, I thought it — because they had that whole moment before it started.

BEN: Yes, they did. You’re correct.

CODY: And she was upset that he was — or not upset. Well, she was upset —

BEN: Understandably.

CODY: — about him leaving to serve, and so it was emotional for her. And they didn’t, I don’t recall them mentioning another wife, which isn’t to say they didn’t. Maybe they just cut all that out.

BEN: I do have to give you the quick pull line from this piece that starts it out, which is, “perhaps ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ should be renamed Queer Eye for the Scorned Girl.”

CODY: I think they should rename it that. The new series.

BEN: Yes, the whole thing. Queer Eye for the Scorned Girl.

CODY: Yeah.

BEN: I would watch it.

CODY: So —

BEN: I think we’re in a good place now.

[laughter]

CODY: I do, too. Yeah, it’s cool to look back on it.

BEN: It is.

CODY: Especially since it’s continuing and very popular. Of course, I don’t have the viewership figures for Netflix because they don’t release theirs. Boo.

BEN: Monsters.

CODY: I hate that they do that because it’s very opaque, and I like knowing viewership numbers because I —

BEN: Am a nerd?

CODY: Yeah. I was trying to think of a better way to say it, and there just isn’t. No one non-nerd likes looking at viewership figures.

BEN: You know what you are? You’re a Queek. That’s the name of the show.

CODY: Good way to wrap it up. It is the name of the show. Thanks for listening, if you made it this long.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: We’ll see you again next time.

BEN: See you soon. Goodbye.

CODY: Bye.