When it comes to anime, the conversation surrounding accessibility in the community is a weirdly contentious one. I don’t just mean the usual sub VS dub debate either, as the conversation goes well outside that but for several reasons, supposed “fans” of the medium are quick to dismiss these ideas all too often. The weird thing though, it’s not really an issue in live-action media. That’s why I’d like to take a moment to talk about two recent things I watched: Amazon Prime’s Cinderella and Netflix’s Squid Game. What do these two experiences have in common when it comes to accessibility, and why anime licensors and distributors should be taking a page from their books? Well, you’ll have to read on to find that one out.
I know that I don’t usually cover live-action TV, but if you are in my Discord, you’ve likely seen some of us watching a show called Taskmaster. Genuinely one of the greatest shows I’ve watched in a good while. In some ways this is a British gameshow, much in the same way that “Qi” is a gameshow, which is to say it really isn’t. Five contestants (usually comedians) compete for the most points by doing deceptively simple tasks in order to have the most and take home some sort of “prize” at the end of the show. Each season follows this format, replacing the cast at the end of the season once an overall season winner has been declared. Really though, the focus is on the creativity and hilarity that ensues as each person tries to tackle the given tasks. Let me show you what I mean.Continue reading “Taskmaster – The Greatest Show You’ve Never Watched”→
After six seasons, ‘BoJack Horseman’ has finally come to an end, which is sad, being that there may be no new seasons to look forward to in the following years. If you knew me, ‘BoJack Horseman’ is my favorite show; not only is it filled to the brim with hilarious sight gags involving animals, but it is also surprisingly dark, depressing, and closer to reality than any animated sitcom could possibly dare tread. If you have never seen ‘BoJack Horseman’, the show concerns a former TV sitcom star known as BoJack Horseman (Voice of Will Arnett), a horse trying to find his purpose over twenty years later, only to spiral into self-destructive behavior. His friends include his feline agent/ex-girlfriend, Princess Carolyn (Voice of Amy Sedaris), who is always eager to find celebrities perfect roles, human Diane Nguyen (Voice of Alison Brie), who he hires to be a ghostwriter for his autobiography, his human roommate, Todd Chavez (Voice of Aaron Paul), who comes up with crazy ideas, and his TV rival, Mr. Peanutbutter (Voice of Paul F. Tompkins), a happy-go-lucky golden retriever who is always willing to help. At first glance, ‘BoJack Horseman’ may not sound like anything too special, but these episodes are what showcase its best form, and I am going to count ten of my favorites. Warning – This list may contain spoilers for the entire series as some episodes may contain plot points, so you have been warned
Finding herself caught up in the titular Liar Game, Kanzaki Nao doesn’t seem to stand a chance. She’s extremely honest and takes everyone at their word. However, she soon realizes that in order to escape this twisted game she’ll need help. Enter Akiyama, a con man who has just been released from jail. Together they teem up to take down the organization behind the game and save everyone caught up in the mess in the process.Continue reading “Liar Game (Season 1 & 2) – Outplayed with Kindness”→
My mom pestered me about watching Netflix’s You awhile back and I finally sat down and finished it over the weekend. It’s about a man, Joe, who after having his heart broken, falls in love with a beautiful woman, Beck, when she visits the bookstore he works at. However, Joe is a bit obsessive and is willing to do anything for love, even if that means a murder or two.Continue reading “You – Another Netflix Original”→
At one of the overnight youth functions I supervised over the Christmas vacation, it was suggested by one of the kids that we watch Nailed it! as a pre-bed activity. The kid in question told us that it was a baking show, but really funny. I’m not a fan of baking shows, but I am a big fan of Nailed it! and the hilarity that ensues when people who absolutely cannot bake get in the kitchen to recreate Pinterest level projects.
Even if you are like me and not big into cooking/baking programs, you should enjoy this program if you like comedy. Not only this, but it is also a great way to actually learn how to bake better yourself, which is never a bad skill for anybody to have. Alright, maybe that’s not enough to sell you. Just take a look at this image:
Now not everything the contests bake on this program turns out as horrifyingly hilarious as this, but this is about what you should expect. Coupled with the excellent direction and energy brought to the program from the hosts makes this easy to sit down and watch several in a row.
Given that this is a Netflix original series, the show is aware that most people are going to sit down and binge this. Listen, I didn’t think I would, but I did. It really is that easy to do and there are a decent number of episodes that will allow you to keep the party going (either alone or with friends, it’s obviously better with friends). That said, I do suggest being somewhat conservative with these because you should never burn through something like this too quickly.
On a personal level, Nailed it! hurts my soul. So many of the bakers are just awful. Not following directions, making obvious mistakes, etc… A lot of the time they get made fun of, and that can come off as mean spirited. It’s my only real complaint with the show, but most of the time they get constructive feedback and walk away learning something.
This is evident in one of the episodes where they have some of the worst-of-the-worst return, and while they still do poorly, they did improve as a direct result of their past experience! I’d say it is generally a more positive show that pokes fun at people who know they can’t bake, which is good.
Earlier I mentioned the hosts. Their are two static hosts, Nicole Byer and world-famous Jacques Torres, have excellent chemistry. Each episode a guest judge joins in on the action and they are almost always great in conjunction with the other two. It is really fun to watch them riff on each other and just generally mess around.
If you somehow missed Nailed It! when it first came out, then you should go and give it a watch. It’s rare that you find something that can teach you something, be largely positive, but also offer a great deal of humor! Netflix, you really have a winner here and I hope you do more episodes beyond the current three seasons.
Have you seen Nailed It! before? What was your favorite episode? Tell me all about it in the comments below. If you would like to support my work please head over to my donation page via the button under this. Lastly, thanks for visiting today and hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!
I have never done a full review of a stand-up comedy special, but there is something about ‘Adam Sandler 100% Fresh’ that is extremely noteworthy. “Special” is more than a word to describe it. In fact, this may be the best thing Adam Sandler has done comedy-wise in recent years. While he can be a great dramatic actor with films like ‘Punch-Drunk Love’, ‘Reign Over Me’, and ‘Men, Women, and Children’, his comedic efforts as of late have been nothing but juvenile and forced. Despite his brand of risqué toilet humor being portrayed here, it actually works to full effect. Never has something so dirty been so entertaining to watch and listen to.
Today I’m diving headfirst into the weird as I explore VRV’s recent addition of HiDive to its service, and by extension, The Fuccons. It’s about an American family of mannequins that move to Japan. What else do you need to know, really? Alright, I suppose you do need a bit more than that because The Fuccons is one of those novelty type shows that can really catch you off-guard.
As I’ve mentioned, this series centers primarily around the Fuccon family and their new lives in Japan. There’s the father, James, the mother, Barbra, and son, Mikey. Really though, this is a story about Mikey and the, surprisingly large, number of people he meets while living in Japan.
Some of the memorable characters include: Teacher Bob and Bob-Mama, Blueberry King, Laura, and of course a lot more! They are not all great, mostly looking at you Time Boy, but the recurring characters that get a lot of screen time are fun to watch. You’ll easily find a few characters you want to see more of.
The best way for me to describe this series is to compare it to a fever dream mixed with old Adult Swim shorts. It’s really funny for a show featuring mannequins and not much else. What really sells it is the voice work, either in Japanese or English, and just how unexpected the story actually is.
If you were to give this a watch right now, you probably wouldn’t think much of it due to a fairly shaky start. I looked back after completing what Sentai has licensed (volumes 1-4) and was surprised by just how awful the first few episodes were. However, if you stick with it, and this is your kind of humor, this will be well worth your time.
Each episode is only a few minutes, so the investment is not large, even with as many episodes as there are. You can easily knock The Fuccons out in an afternoon or two on a rainy day. The only unfortunate thing is that the show does not have a proper resolution.
There are more episodes, and even a film, of The Fuccons but they seem to have been largely lost to time. I did a cursory search for the film, and was able to find it available in Japanese only, but that’s about it. Does that resolve everything? I really don’t know since I currently have no way of watching it.
Despite this, the series is at least worth a look if you have access to HiDive, VRV, or know somebody with the (relatively cheap) complete set that Sentai sells on their site. It is definitely one weird show, but I guarantee there is no other experience like this one!
Apparently, HiDive makes this the only show available for streaming when they do maintenance too, which is pretty funny. Have you seen The Fuccons? Let me know your thoughts on it, or if you’ll be checking it out, in the comments below. If you’d like to support my investigations into other unusual programs, then click my donation button below and toss a few bucks my way. I’d really appreciate it. Lastly, thank you so much for reading and hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!
Most people I know really enjoy sleeping. It is one of their favorite activities after a long day. Who can really blame them? After all recharging and waking up refreshed is a nice feeling. Now imagine that if you went to sleep that you would die. This is the premise behind Rooster Teeth’s mystery thriller, Day 5. Come and explore the apocalypse with me and see why you should check this amazing series out!Continue reading “Freaky Friday 2 of 4 – Day 5”→
Note: this article was written 7/19/2018. Some points made in this article may be irrelevant as the service is updated for those of you viewing this in future land.
When most people think Steam they think videos games like Portal or the Half-life series, but today I’ll be taking a look at their video streaming service that’s built right into their platform. I aim to look at their streaming selection, pricing, and functionality. Recently I was inspired to use the service while watching the anime, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju since you can’t legal purchase the show outside of the Steam platform so it seemed like a good time to also write this article.Continue reading “Streaming on Steam – Looking at Selection & Functionality”→