Nerd Lunch Podcast 7: Does It Live Up to the Hype?

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Nerd Lunch Podcast 7: Does It Live Up to the Hype?

[Begin HYPE mode] Robert Zerbe joins the guys on what is assuredly the greatest podcast episode ever recorded! After Robert fills us in on his blog, “To The Escape Hatch!”, and how Bruce Campbell rolls, we catch up on a few of the most hyped movies and TV shows from the last 15 years. Can reality possibly match the buildup for Braveheart, The Wire, Mad Men, or The Walking Dead? Find out in the funniest and most insightful 71 minutes of audio on the ‘Net! [End HYPE mode]

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Nerd Lunch co-founder and podcast co-host

5 Comments

  1. Jack February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Talk about overhyped! Oh, wait, you just did. As chance would have it, I have seen none of the shows you discussed, but as an avid gamer, I have to say The Walking Dead sounds like some TV people sitting around a table said, "Left4Dead made a lot of money. Let's get our share."

    When you say overhyped to me, I don't include word of mouth; that's what I call "buzz." My friends know what I like, and when a friend says, "You've gotta see this!" he's right about 3 times out of 4. To me, hype is when the network/studio/cable service spend six months before the property is released beating me over the head with how great it is, and how much I'm going to like it. That's just a little too self-serving for my taste, and tends to set off my BS detector. Couple of examples:

    PRIME SUSPECT: All summer long I couldn't escape the hype for this blatant ripoff of the classic British detective series, or I should say the name of the series. I was at first intrigued, then I began to suspect that this wasn't as much like Prime Suspect as they were trying to brainwash me into believing, and by the time it started, they had convinced me that the whole concept was nothing but a money-grabbing insult to Helen Mirren and her wonderful cast and crew. I have not yet watched an episode, and none of my friends has tried to convince me that I'm wrong.

    TERRA NOVA: Amid mucho hypo, they got me with the dinosaurs. Because of my crazy schedule, I wasn't able to start watching until the third episode, when I stretched out with drink and snack, and prepared to be amazed. They should have called this Jurassic Trek; they couldn't decide whether they wanted to be Jurassic Park or Star Trek, so they said, "to heck with it, we'll do both." Obviously, they wound up being neither. I invoke a healthy dose of personal discipline to make it to the first commercial break, and I don't plan to be back. Again, none of my friends are saying, "You've got to see this!"

    Note to CT: When your friends tell you, "You've got to see this," we like you, and we want you to enjoy whatever it is. When a studio tells you, "You've got to see this," they like your wallet, and they want your money. Do yourself a favor. Learn to recognize the difference!

    Great job, as always, and I'm already looking forward to next time.

  2. CT February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I think I mentioned on the show that The Wire doesn't sound like my cup of tea. Probably due to the lack of robots or space aliens. I'm not much into gritty and real when it comes to entertainment.

    That said…I'll have to make an attempt to watch this next year once I'm done with school. Shawn's made a great case for it and I am beginning to feel like I should at least give it a chance.

    Probably will get it watched before I ever get around to finishing Mad Men.

  3. Robert February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I really am looking forward to finishing The Wire but my Netflix Disease has progressed and it might take a while before I get back into the series.

    Once again, thanks CT, JEEG and Pax – I had a good time!

  4. Brian (Cool and Collected) February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    OMG THE WIRE IS THE BEST SHOW EVER!!!!!! (Sorry, I had to do it.)

    Another great episode of the Nerd Lunch guys! I find myself looking forward to it every week. I especially enjoy the episodes that don't mention Star Trek. 😉

  5. Shawn Robare February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Egads, I wish there was a way to jump though time and connect up through skype to step in and give my thoughts on The Wire. I'm probably going to end up contributing to the crazy hype with this comment. I'm not going to say it's the best TV show ever made and it has a lot of flaws (especially in seasons 3 & 5), but I will say that there isn't much television out there that is as meticulously crafted and thoughtful of characters than The Wire. If nothing else, stick with the first season through the end.

    I will admit that it's a downer a lot of the time, but it's also amazingly interesting to see how real police work is done. You don't see cops running through the city with guns drawn or buildings blowing up, but instead you see the process. What I love about this show is the same thing that I loved about David Fincher's Zodiac, it's the process of working as a detective or a sleuth in it's more realistic form.

    Also, talking about characters, part of what makes The Wire so good is that it's simple to get immersed in every character's story, from the lowliest corner kid, to the down and dirtiest drug addict. None of these characters are paper-cut-outs, all of them have a rich story, and the first season is wonderful at painting the picture of what life is like in the city of Baltimore from all sorts of aspects.

    As far as the series as a whole goes, the thing that I found the most interesting was how the creators eventually made the City of Baltimore the main character of the show. It's not about the cops, it's not about stopping the drug trade, it's about how a city runs. In season one you get the basic premise of the drug problem in the city. In season two you get to see the docks and unions. In season three you get to dip back into the stories from season one to see them through to an end. In season four you get to see the school system and how the kids deal with growing up in the city. In season five you get to see it all from the perspective of the newspapers. That's the genius of the show, that it's all about process, the process of a city.

    Again, I will admit that there are some huge issues along the ride. There are some outlandish plot-lines, particularly in season 3 (which gets into unrealistic territory as far as the police go), and season 5 (which ends up breaking so many of the characters that the series painstakingly sets up in the prior four seasons.) But if nothing else, the 1st season is worth the time investment to see how episodic tv should be written.

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