Two lapsed Harry Potter fans on a journey back through the books they (used to) love so much. Updates every Monday!
Catching Fire chapters 14-15 Life threw Liz some work-related lemons this past week, but we're here and discussing how best to turn them into bonus lemonade! We chat about future plans for discussing future plans, give an update on what's going on in strings world, and get attacked by Earl--and that's all before we get into our crazy chapters! We learn all about sugar, Hunger Games hacks, and Dr. Seuss ass map design. There's also some juicy critical stuff to discuss re: character work and the overall metaphor of the Games. Sugar cube?
Catching Fire chapters 12 & 13 We have a lot to catch up on this week! Neopets news, string performances, (not so) scary films... plus, we've got a pair of chapters that propel Catching Fire forward into exciting territory. Hopefully? There's going to be another Hunger Game in these books, it turns out. We speculate on how exactly that might shake out, what would make it more interesting than the first outing, and much more. Side note: I recommend Alan Wake in the beginning segment. I don't spoil anything direct, BUT if you are getting into the series because of the new sequel and want to go in as pure as possible, skip forward 3 minutes when I bring it up! Likewise, I bring up the FNAF movie and I don't think I truly spoil anything but I talk about the overall structure.
Catching Fire chapters 10-11 We're back! Load roadworks couldn't keep us away from talking about these chapters, that feature some absolutely massive twists--political and technical. Did you know that there are solar-powered perpetual energy generating guns in Panem? Neither did we! We discuss those strange new worldbuilding additions, and attempt to sus out this book's relationship is to America's political discourse in the 2000s. Is this about the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq? Is it about 2000s geopolitical fearmonger--and if it is, which end is it coming down on? Is it trying to say something, or is it just deploying all of this loaded imagery to make a point about American Idol? Plus: we consider taking out an ad at the DMV!
Catching Fire chapters 7-9 We start this week with another music game, with another unexpected twist! Plus, an update on all things strings and Neopets. Then we've got three exciting chapters to cover as the rebellion in District 12 starts heating up--or maybe doesn't, depending on who last spoke to Katniss. We chat about some of the great character development, the slightly silly worldbuilding, and try to figure out just where all this is going... and if that's another Hunger Games!
Catching Fire chapters 5-6 This week we're back on our string section stuff. We play a rousing game of Classical or From Something? (it'll make sense) that spins out in some unexpected directions before getting to work on this episode's pair of chapters, which are... fine? Good, even? But one thing's for sure: the road trip movie dream is dead, and we can't help but feel a little bummed about it. On the other hand we get some great Snow menace, some Effie comic relief, and some movement in the plot that's definitely interesting even if we're unsure about the direction the story is going currently. (Content warning for this week: Chapter 6 features a pretty mean and cynical portrayal of eating disorders. If you'd rather skip our incredulous reactions to excerpts from the text, skip 00:38:40 through 00:40:41.)
Catching Fire chapters 3-4 The PAX pox won't keep me away from recording! We've got lots to catch up on after taking a week off for travel, and we spend some time chatting about the PAX trip (thanks to everyone who came to say hi!) and Liz's exciting new musical venture. We've got two rich chapters to discuss this week too, with mostly high highs and a few low lows. What works? Katniss's character development! Peeta's new role! What doesn't work? Katniss's District 11 savior stuff still feels kind of disrespectful. What might work? The Quarter Quell, but how could they possibly make the Games more evil?! Plus, when we open card packs we learn what the Cornucopia looks like in the movie and ??????????
Catching Fire chapters 1-2 Onward to book two! We started the next installment of the trilogy, and we might have had more fun with these two chapters than we had with the entire last book. Who knew that what this series needed was a Bond villain? These chapters are a little short, but they introduce an irresistibly fun bad guy and get us incredibly excited for a road trip through the districts of Panem. Plus, we have some official Hunger Games trading cards from 2012 to crack open...
We've finished The Hunger Games, and we're feeling a little rowdy! We celebrate the end of the book (and Liz's birthday!) by immediately checking in on what sort of Relatable Hunger Games Content we can find. We take a quiz about how our taste in decor would affect our chances in the Games (really), read incredibly mean grandmas commenting on Williams-Sonoma cooking videos, and see what the Hunger Games subreddit has to offer--all that and a discussion about the final chapters of the novel and our thoughts on the book as a whole!
Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for scams! We apologize for our accidentally-prophetic bonus episode last week and discuss the market for 2000s internet nostalgia. Then we've got two action-packed chapters to discuss--well, actually, one is action-packed and the other is steamy. Kind of? It's attempting to be? We're still not sold on this Peeta guy, but there's plenty else interesting going on here. As we get closer and closer to the end of this book, one question lingers on our minds... who will win our game of spot the fake dystopian YA novel?!
The Hunger Games chapters 19 & 20 We saw Asteroid City! We chat a little bit about our latest movie outing (mild? spoilers? Hard movie to spoil!) but not for long--because it's Freak Day, the fateful day when everyone went crazy and started biting each other. Or something? Maybe we should be reading that book instead, because the third act of this one is starting a little... slow. Katniss is flustered by Peeta, who she's seemingly decided is Good Now, which we're having a hard time buying--but on the bright side, this chapter had some really gory field dressing scenes that kind of rocked! P.S Sorry my audio is a little overcompressed still! I thought I'd corrected things, but my settings still aren't quite right.
The Hunger Games chapters 14-18 (concluding act II) We've got Mario on the mind! Specifically Mario RPG, the game with the fakest sounding name ever that we have a lot of fond memories of. This leads us through a whole tangent about retro gaming setups, but we can't talk about that for long--we've got a lot of book to talk about! This week we finish out the second act of the novel, which sees Katniss getting her first kill(s), teaming up with Rue, and clearing an enemy camp Far Cry style. There's a lot that works (action! thrills! character dynamics!) and a lot that works less (mid-game patch notes! Peeta!) but one thing is for sure: we want Katniss to win now no duos. P.S Apologies for my sort of crunchy audio this week! My perfect angelic cat who has never done anything wrong sat on my audio interface the other day and I only noticed how out of place the settings were after recording, so my mic was picking up a bunch of chair/room noises.
The Hunger Games chapters 12 & 13 We went to the movies! We talk a bit about the new Spider-man movie (no spoilers) and the trailers we saw ahead of it before discussing our action-packed pair of chapters for the week. Katniss is mostly looking for water in these ones, but there are also some dastardly villains chasing her who have been trained from birth for combat (as long as it's not ranged combat or tree climbing). We still find a lot to talk about though--sports channel graphics packages, wrestling personas, reality tv, and more!
The Hunger Games chapters 10 & 11 It's game time! Where we dropping? Well, it turns out that in the Hunger Games arena, everyone drops in the same spot no matter what. Will Katniss score some good loot, or will she get taken out by a guy warping around on a laggy wireless collection? That's right, we're finally in the Hunger Games section of the Hunger Games. We're having a great time too--these chapters went down smooth, and we have a brisk discussion about Peeta's many faces, Katniss's toxic gamer chat, and the gritty realism of someone sprinting while throwing six ka-bars. Finally, we take it to our new third segment for a round of spotting the fake dystopian novel premise!
The Hunger Games chapters 8 & 9 The people have been crying out for more third segment content! But since we're both reading this series fresh, what can we do? This week, we find an answer (in the first segment, natch). We also discuss the final two chapters of the first act of The Hunger Games--it's good! So good, in fact, that we can't stop excitedly wondering aloud what might be in store for our heroes and villains.
The Hunger Games chapters 6 & 7 We're back with another two chapters of Hunger Games! This week's pair are a little plodding, but there's a lot of drama to discuss: Katniss and Peeta "just pretending" to be friends! Evil career fairs! And more badass knife throwing/bow firing moves to show other characters you mean business! We also fall down a rabbit hole reading a blog about fictional foods because I forgot what pesto was. P.S Here's the Purple Melon! http://www.fictionalfood.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/111003-Pale-Purple-Melon.jpg
The Hunger Games Part 1 Chapters 4 and 5 We've made it to the Capitol! But first we've got to talk about something very important: The 7th Saga, a SNES RPG with barely any merch. We've also got our first Hunger Games listicle. Our chapters this week are full of dizzying ups and downs: brutally honest characterization and heartfelt drama alongside ridiculous action movie antics and some puzzling portrayals of a society so depraved it... wears a lot of makeup? Hmm. We chat through our feelings on whether or not the story is portraying cruel opinions a character has or simply espousing them itself, wonder aloud what synthetic fire is, and beg to know what the other costumes in the ceremony were.
The Hunger Games Part One Chapters 2 & 3 We're the tip of the spear! Or maybe just the shaft. It seems the whole world decided to reread this series around the same time we did, so we discuss a little bit of what we're seeing out and about in the world and how it's shaping our expectations. We also chat about a recent TV show announcement... that's right, the Twilight one! After that, we've got two cool chapters to discuss. Neither of us have read this series before, so this time we're organizing our thoughts in real time as we ponder character voice vs. author voice, how we think the government works, what the allegories at play might be, and whether or not there are mutant dogs engaging in open warfare with mutant birds just outside the walls of Panem.
The Hunger Games Act 1 Chapter 1 It's time for a bit of a refresh! New book, new cover art, new... oops, I forgot to choose a new theme song. Well, we'll deal with that later--right now we've got Hungry Games to discuss! This week starts with an introduction to The Seam, The Meadow, The Forest, The Square, The Reaping, The Hob... and probably several other proper nouns I'm forgetting. We discuss the author's inspiration for the series, the wide dartboard of worldbuilding ideas this first chapter provides, and the surprising political awareness of the main characters. We also take a look at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website (this will make sense!) and look up adult coloring books on Amazon for no real reason.
It's been a while since we did a proper news segment, isn't it? We have grievances to air with the coming and going of that game's release, a certain author's doings and new media projects, and the shambling undead franchise we are finally free of. We miiight also have a teeny tiny bit of schadenfreude to spare for some gamers whose wildest dreams weren't met by a mid AAA open world game. But that's not the main event here... That's right, we watched Maximum Ride! A movie with a flying montage so nice they play it twice. We turn in a traditional longer-than-the-film episode, which is impressive considering the movie isn't even 90 minutes long and only covers the first half of the novel. How on earth did it manage that? Tune in and find out! Get in the cage, rarrrgh! (Content notes: naturally, we haven't played the game and have no plans or desire to engage with it beyond , but if you're not in the mood to hear even haters chat about it, skip the first 15 minutes. The Maximum Ride movie also prestige-ified a scene to give it some assault implications--It's nothing graphic, but when you hear us start talking about super hearing, skip ahead 5 minutes if you wanna skip the scene.)
The Da Vinci Code, pt. 2 We're back to wrap up our discussion of Dan Brown's novel and we brought cards! We explore the Da Vinci Code Top Trumps deck to refresh our memories on some of the facts of the story before we walk through some of the Facts of the novel, and end up falling down a rabbit hole trying to piece together the game's design through context clues. Come for our delight at the weird card game, stay for my bad explanation of Catharism--Either way, you'll never hear the number 3 the same way again! (I really gotta draw some new episode art! I'll get on that when I can)
The Da Vinci Code... part one! That's right--we called an audible mid-episode this week because there's just too much to fit into even a big two-and-a-half-hour episode! In a fitting development for discussing a novel all about dualism, we're devoting an episode each to the two halves of the story: The airport thriller novel this episode, and the spurious alternate religious history on the next. On this installment, we talk about
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment Liz has pulled the greatest coup in Shriekcast history! This week we discuss Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, the first (sort of) book in James Patterson's hard swerve into books for kids in the wake of the Harry Potter phenomenon. So much happens in this novel, and I can scarcely keep track of it all--you're just going to have to listen to it. That might partially be because I'm already forgetting key details. I do remember that there are mutants, werewolves, shotguns, guys getting kicked so hard they die, and teddy bears. We've also got a new reader questions section in the third segment! And a soundboard. I did set up a soundboard while we were taking a break.
Twilight (the movie) I have a confession to make: I've been listening to the soundtrack all week. Now that we've finished reading Twilight and Midnight Sun, it's time to talk about the crown jewel of the franchise: the movie! This film launched several acting careers and catapulted the series into unimaginable popularity, and is also responsible for an unbelievable amount of songs tailor-made for breakup playlists, AIM away statuses, and AMVs. So, how does it hold up? We were very pleasantly surprised. Join us for a traditional longer-than-the-movie episode where we walk through its myriad plot improvements, hilarious acting fumbles, and banger needle-drops. And of course... Why movie look like that? [Correction: Kristen Stewart was nowhere near as unknown as Pattinson when Twilight started! I've seen Panic Room, even!]
Twilight/Midnight Sun epilogues (which are really chapters) We did it! We made it all the way through the first Twilight novel and its companion, and we have over two hours of discussion about what a weird ending it all has. First, though, we touch briefly on the (developing; I'm sure we'll be back on this soon) story about Jo inserting herself into a library's Twitter controversy. Then it's onward to chatting about 2004 dance hits, vampire krumping, fantasy football, and much more!
Twilight chapter 'An Impasse'/Midnight Sun chapters 'Chores', 'Three Conversations', 'Inevitability' We've got a mystery on our hands! We open this week's episode with a discussion of the theory circulating on book blogs that a newly released novel--teased as being written under a pseudonym by a "New York Times bestselling author"--might be an undercover Meyer novel. After that, we have a lot of chapters to get through. Technically, the end of the books, since the next chapters are epilogues? But not really, those look like they're just real chapters. Anyway, these chapters are a real roller-coaster ride, and feature some of the most striking differences and additions in Midnight Sun for better and worse. We've got reverse heist movie antics, bizarre deep lore reveals, and Bella entering her most toxic era yet!
Twilight chapter 'The Angel'/Midnight Sun chapter 'Blood' Our chapters were very, very short this week, and we got a little rowdy. We chat about current events (respectfully), character birthdays that happen to fall on unfortunate dates (respectfully), Edward's horny blood drinking (respectfully), and much more!
Twilight chapters 'Phone Call' and 'Hide-and-Seek'/Midnight Sun chapter 'Race' On this week's episode we've got an exciting follow-up to last episode's amazing K-pop-related discovery, but first we have to catch up with the thousand page monstrosity that's been analyzed in more detail since last week. Then we have some really fun--dare we say, good?!--chapters of Twilight and Midnight Sun to discuss. We're in the home stretch, and things are finally happening: evil guys on the phone! Daring escape plans! Hot-wiring cars and doing sick stunts! There's high-octane action all of a sudden in this story, and we discuss what works, what doesn't, and what makes a good genre crossover tick.
Twilight chapter 'Impatience'/Midnight Sun chapter 'Ambush' We've got big news this week--literally, as early reviews have revealed that Jo's new book clocks in at over one thousand pages (Twilight talk starts at 30 mins in if you fancy skipping this). We've also got two wildly different chapters to discuss: one that is moody, plaintive, and mysterious, and one that might well be the funniest Midnight Sun change yet. Inexplicable action sequences, possible retcons, and the least observant vampire ever are just a handful of the highlights this week. Oh, and you're going to want to stick through to the very end of this episode to catch a late-breaking news bulletin that knocks us out of our chairs. Trust me.
Twilight/Midnight Sun chapter 'Goodbyes' The classic Song of Throne and Games button gets a workout this week as we discuss dudes' heads exploding on the new one of those shows, along with the rumor that a Wizarding World HBO show is in the works (again). We've also got quite a chapter to discuss: one with a brisk, thrilling pace that falls apart the instant we prod at any of its ridiculous setup. We've got dudes running, more Tracker Lore, and spy base shutter doors (???) and much more to get through on this week's Shrieking Shack!
Twilight/Midnight Sun chapters 'The Hunt' We ease into our new evening schedule with a check-in on the Peacock Box before discussing a truly electrifying chapter of our vampire romance novel(s). 75% of the way through the book, conflict is here! ...In the form of some French guys we've never heard of. How will Edward mind-read his way out of this one, and can he earn any boyfriend points along the way? Plus, while there wasn't time for a third segment this week, don't you worry: we take a spontaneous and extended detour in our chapter discussion this week that has massive third segment energy.
Twilight/Midnight Sun chapter 'The Game' The Money Fandom is out of control this week and we check in with the aftermath of the latest round of WB/Discovery news and lament how close we might have come to Fantastic Beasts meeting a dark fate. Then we have a packed chapter to discuss: Billy is making veiled threats! Bella isn't understanding them! Edward is running really fast next to the freeway! And of course, the long awaited baseball game--which, it turns out, is a lot different than the infamous movie clip. It features way more oversharing from Esmee, that's for sure. Finally, we attempt to take a vampire boyfriend quiz, but are forced to improvise mid-way through when the website craps out. cw for child death and self harm this week; no serious details (in fact the discussion is mostly about how out of the blue the scene is) but if you're not in the mood for that skip ~1:24:00 (when we start talking about Esmee at baseball) to 1:30:00!
Twilight/Midnight Sun chapter: Carlisle It's another no news week so far for us (knock on wood) so we spend our time at the anchor's desk goofing off and talking about private planes, Star Trek: Voyager, pricing errors, and movie lengths. Our chapters this week were incredibly short (Twilight's was 10 pages!) and maybe the most pointless content in both Twilight and Midnight Sun so far, but we have a good time dissecting what little there is to this gripping story about a guy who won't stop telling his new girlfriend how cool his dad is. Then, in the third segment, we consult several of the most popular online quizzes to determine something very important: what kind of vampire are we? (mild content warning--we don't dwell on any specifics for too long, but Edward has another Sickos monologue this week and it's just as CSI/Law and Order SVU as last time. If you don't want to bother with this, skip ahead 15 minutes or so after Liz gives her content warning to bypass the whole discussion) Twilight/Midnight Sun chapter: Carlisle It's another no news week so far for us (knock on wood) so we spend our time at the anchor's desk goofing off and talking about private planes, Star Trek: Voyager, pricing errors, and movie lengths. Our chapters this week were incredibly short (Twilight's was 10 pages!) and maybe the most pointless content in both Twilight and Midnight Sun so far, but we have a good time dissecting what little there is to this gripping story about a guy who won't stop telling his new girlfriend how cool his dad is. Then, in the third segment, we consult several of the most popular online quizzes to determine something very important: what kind of vampire are we? (mild content warning--we don't dwell on any specifics for too long, but Edward has another Sickos monologue this week and it's just as CSI/Law and Order SVU as last time. If you don't want to bother with this, skip ahead 15 minutes or so after Liz gives her content warning to bypass the whole discussion)
Bella visits the Vampire Family. After a recent run of Shriekcast After Dark recordings, we record a little earlier to beat the heat! We chat about morning television and blockbuster adventure movies based on YA movies before moving on to discuss our chapters. Edward has decided it's time to introduce Bella to his family, but how will she react to his giant windows and chessboards?
Twilight chapter 14/Midnight Sun chapter 18 We convene a Late Recording to deliver a rowdy episode about a rowdy pair of chapters! Bella has invited Edward into her house, but what's going to happen when there's only one bed!? It turns out that they won't, naturally, but things will get incredibly weird, between Edward admitting that he has been watching Bella sleep and Charlie entering a game of Spy vs. Spy with Bella to make sure she's not sneaking out to see anyone. We discuss Edward's music taste, how the sleep-watching reveal goes down in Twilight vs. the Midnight Sun version we've been dealing with so far, the strange high-wire act between romantic tension and abstinence fantasy, and much more. These books are so weird. (We touch ever so briefly on the JK/Walsh news that broke right after the last episode dropped and we declared no news for the week, but if you don't want the rundown on that skip to 8:30 to get to Maximum Ride)
Twilight chapter 13/Midnight Sun chapter 17 We've had a week (knock on wood) with precious little Potter or Twilight news, so we start this week's episode with another Maximum Ride check-in as a sort of Common-Room-Lite treat! Then we're off to the meadow to discuss Confessions, which is perhaps the origin of a huge amount of the popular criticism of Twilight from the mid 2000s. This chapter is equal parts boring, baffling, and overwrought--and the Midnight Sun revisit only adds to the confusion! Luckily, we have a lot of fun discussing the Edward ripping a tree in half and running laps around Bella, an excruciatingly long and pretty offensive addiction metaphor, and some infamously clunky lines of dialogue. (funny editor's note: the "no news bit" was literally recorded a day before some news happened)
It's a big one this week! After catching up with some updates on last week's news stories and checking in with Maximum Ride, we have four (!!!) chapters of Twilight and Midnight Sun combined to get to. Not much is happening, but there's a lot going on, not least of which is Edward's wardrobe. We've got so much Twilight content, in fact, that we have to take a little detour for our third segment and discover What Will Happen To Us In The Siren's Den--and more!
Twilight chapter 11/Midnight Sun chapters 12-13 Here we are! Safe from the heat with a late night recording, we cover the surprisingly ample amount of news from the past week and dig through a combined three (!) chapters of Vampire Content! This week, Edward and Bella have long, deep conversations about soda, Linkin Park, and much much more--all while watching movies in class and dodging shuttlecocks. We've also got our first cut content of the book to explore this week, which leads us to one of the most amazing website discoveries we've made in a hot minute.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Well, here we are. After actual years of filming delays, author controversies, and a theatrical release we didn't feel like spending money on, we've finally watched the third and hopefully final entry in the Fantastic Beasts series. Thankfully, for as predictably awful as it is, it's awful in some very unpredictable ways--and per tradition, we have an episode here for you longer than the movie itself. We discuss its bonkers ideology (weirder than the last movie, somehow!), its cute animal body count (shockingly high!) and so much more.
Twilight chapter 11/Midnight Sun chapter 12 Well, well, well! The money fandom is in shambles as two franchises race to the bottom of the box office. This week's chapters are the closest together these two books have been yet, so we have a fun time analyzing both characters' contributions to a very, very long conversation they have with each other about who loves the other more. Which one of these lovers is more persecuted? Edward and Bella are both petty, passive-aggressive, and myopic--they're honestly kind of perfect for each other. After that, we head on over to Goodreads to browse the "Twilight rip-off" section. Are the accusations fair? Do any of them sound good? Did celebs write any of them!?
Twilight chapter 10/Midnight Sun chapter 11 (Theory) Well, the new Fantastic Beasts movie is on HBO Max now, so I guess we have to watch it... soon. This week, however, we have a strange pairing of Twilight chapters set almost entirely in a car going 80-100mph. We chat about Bella's confession, how enigmatic Edward truly is (and how Midnight Sun fiddles with that perception), vampire murder morality, driving physics, and so much more! Then, in our third segment, we discover that despite being much smaller than Harry Potter, Twilight was not free from head-scratching op-ed pieces relating it to whatever was in the news that week (in this case: calling the 2012 election!). Will you be prepared when Kraalnor, the Soultaker, comes for you? (mild content warning: similar to last week, this book's fairly tasteless handling of assault is on the docket this episode)
Twilight & Midnight Sun joint chapter (Port Angeles) Well, well, well! Harry Potter is back in the news thanks to a maddeningly vague line in a Wall Street Journal profile of the new Warner/Discovery media boss. Since we can't glean anything of substance from that, we dig a little deeper by examining a recently published poll comparing the franchise to other current blockbuster tent-poles. Can data save us, or are we getting five thirty-eighted? After that, we have a rip-roaring pair of chapters to discuss full of drama, suspense, hacky tropes, and mushroom ravioli. Is it getting good? Well... it's certainly getting interesting! Finally, we wrap up with a delightful interview from one of Twilight's unlikeliest stars and an incredibly cursed op-ed from 2008! (Very mild content warning here; this chapter deploys the age-old heroine-gets-rescued-from-lecherous-goons-just-in-time-before-you-know-what scene; it's very dopey but if you'd still rather not hear us hash out the details and whatnot skip 10 minutes ahead when we start talking about Bella walking into the industrial district)
Twilight chapter 8/Midnight Sun chapter 9. This week features Bella storming off to her room to listen to Linkin Park (really!), getting so mad at Mansfield Park she slams her book shut, and Edward using vampire telepathy to read peoples' horny thoughts--and that's the easy stuff. There's also a pair of new evil vampires that Edward is worried might attack Bella, but not that worried? Oh, and we learn, through a throwaway line, that there are Vampire Wars. All this and more on a jam-packed Shrieking Shack... I'm starting to worry that Edward might not make up his boyfriend points anytime soon.
Twilight chapter 6/Midnight Sun chapter 7 We're back with another pair of split chapters this week! Bella is off to the beach with her school friends and learns some disturbing facts about the Cullens; Edward, meanwhile, is at home with his weird family composing tunes and hunting mountain lions. We've got lots to discuss, and it's a real range: from prose and chess rules all the way to racism and cultural imperialism, and much more in between. Oh, and of course, we tally up Edward's boyfriend points. Has he improved, or is he still fouling as if the refs aren't watching? Finally, we poke around ancient Pottermore lore to compare Twilight vampires to HP vampires--and end with truly one of the most diabolical quizzes we've ever taken!
Twilight chapter 5/Midnight Sun chapter 5 We're back! After a week's break, it's time to check back in with the money fandom again, now that the new Fantastic Beasts has been in theaters for nearly a month. More importantly, we've got a new pair of Twilight/Midnight Sun chapters to discuss! This week we see some of the most recognizable moments and traits of the series on display; for better and for much, much worse. Edward is finally starting to behave the way all the memes, jokes, and critics in 2005 pointed out--does it hold up? Were their assessments fair? We chat about the ins and outs of romance tropes, book marketing, and the odd intersection of pop culture and cultural critique that Twilight generated. Slapping a pretty broad but firm content warning on this one!! This chapter sees Edward becoming the domineering, possessive leading man he's (in)famous for being. The book is obviously very corny and we keep the discussion light and fun, but there's no getting around the fact that, all discussion about presentation, context, and romantic fantasy aside, the behavior we're discussing is pretty upsetting.
We check in once more with the money fandom to see how Fantastic Beast's U.S. box offices numbers look before diving into a triple (!) helping of vampire drama. This week, Bella is free from the hospital and already back to gruffly monologuing about everything that bothers her--and this week, it's boys; both boys who aren't Edward, but perhaps Edward most of all. We've got tons of school drama, vampire council meetings, outrageous displays of vampire superspeed, and a truly shocking last minute revelation from Liz's side of the reading that turns everything about Twilight upside down. How will Edward's Boyfriend Points stack up this week? (minor note: the third segment this week is a very funny article comparing Twilight to the new Batman movie, so naturally there's spoilers for that in case you've been waiting to catch that on streaming which I guess came out this week??)
Twilight Chapter 3/Midnight Sun Chapter 3 The money fandom is dying! We tally up Fantastic Beast 3's international box office numbers. How is it faring in the Season of Morbius? Speaking of vampires, we have some juicy character stuff to explore this week. How long will Edward's roguish charms and gatekeep-gaslight-girlboss vampire secret hiding routine stay charming, and how long can Bella successfully navigate being world-weary and wizened without tipping too far in that direction? We also have a lot of thrilling action--from Edward's Superman powers to deep dives into the lore of Meyer's vampires (and their houses that they apparently do CRIMES in). Some housekeeping notes: new podcast art is coming! I will get it out ASAP but I have been very busy recently. Also, there's a strange sound on the recording that sounds like something wobbling that I tried my absolute best to get rid of but couldn't completely remove--if you hear a faint oscillating sound, that's what that is!
Twilight Chapter 2; Midnight Sun Chapter 2 After a brief check-in with the advent calendar of bad PR events marring the countdown to the new Fantastic Beasts film release, we head back to Forks WA to hear more of Bella's adventures! This week... well, not much actually happens, but there's a lot to talk about! Meanwhile, Edward is in Alaska whipping his car around corners and ordering exclusive burgers. We dig into some of the romantic weirdness and the unfortunate side effects of attempting to de-himbofy Edward in Midnight Sun, and grapple with some of the popular criticisms of the time as they appear in Twilight.
It's a big news week for the Shriekcast! We've got a loooong discussion of the State of Play gameplay reveal for HP Skyrim (or, from the looks of things, HP Fable) this week to make up for the fact that we are now free agents when it comes to reading! We have a lot to discuss, from our gut reactions to the game in a vacuum and the precarious, exhausting position it has forced itself into as a AAA game based on... well, you know. We mostly keep it fun, but there's no getting around discussing JKR's behavior and beliefs, the game's alarming presentation of things like the uhhhh goblins?? So be prepared for a more serious episode in spots. Is it stupidity? Is it malice? Does it really matter either way? As I'm sure you all know, nope, not really. In the second half, however, we log back into our reddit account and sow the seeds of some mischief, so that we may return to them next recording to see what happens. Hey, sort of like a mechanic they showed off in that game demo... (Oh also! Fun note: my "prediction" that there will be a quote unquote inclusive character creator is apparently real, according to a Bloomberg report from a year ago, so I might've been channeling that)
Cursed Child stage play. We're in the big apple, baby! We took a plane/time machine into the past to see a performance of the Cursed Child in New York with the original London cast. We... had a surprising time! We dig into all of our detailed thoughts: what met our expectations, what surprised us, and what let us down. This 8th story has been a real roller coaster for us, and you might be surprised on where we end up on this one! What main character did we find ourselves hugely disappointed in? Did the effects and production dazzle us as much as the reviews said they would? Did Imogen Heap's jukebox musical score delight us as much as the Voldemort Day video did? Find out all this and more on this week's Shrieking Shack! NOTE: This is the wackiest of warnings to give but I edited a car horn honking into the intro--so if you happen to drive while you listen to this show be aware that yes, that honk came from the podcast!! We're taking a week off to plan our next moves, but we'll be back week after next with some Sloper Content and more!