Really Weird Stuff E7: Realization Time

On RWS E7, we’re discussing Twin Peaks Season 1, Episode 6, “Realization Time”, written by Harley Peyton and directed by Caleb Deschanel. This is best known as the one where Waldo the Myna bird helps the investigation, and the Bookhouse Boys go to One-Eyed Jacks. But there are so many other delicious scenes, including Audrey sleuthing all over Horne’s Department store and a nod to “Double Indemnity” in Catherine’s scene with the ambitious life insurance agent, Mr. Neff. Special guest, Matt Fisher of Ex-Rated Movies Podcast helps us explore such mysteries as:

HOW does Audrey know exactly what to say to the stock boy?
WHY doesn’t the Bureau have a budget for better wigs?
HOW does Blackie keep from gagging during that failed flirtation with Big Ed?

PLUS: Matt discusses why Twin Peaks is the only television drama he’s watched more than once!

Listen to RWS Episode 7 here!

Really Weird Stuff E6: Cooper’s Dreams

“Cooper’s Dreams” is the 5th episode of Season One of Twin Peaks. It was written by Mark Frost and directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, who is one of the more experimental auteurs in the Peaks-verse Lynch/Frost, notwithstanding. It originally aired on May 10th, 1990 and is perhaps best known for being the one where Cooper’s a little on edge and only has time for coffee, and the gang hikes to the Log Lady’s cabin for tea and spooky log testimony. Special guest, Cecelia Gunn joins us to explore such mysteries as:

WHAT is Doc Hayward doing, tagging along on strenuous police field work?
WHY does “Flesh World” keep publishing photos of Leo’s truck?
HOW come nobody, including Maddy, remembers meeting Maddy?

PLUS: Donut Crimes, gun-happy Peakers, and of course, STFU JAMES!

Listen to RWS Episode 6 here!

Really Weird Stuff E5: The One-Armed Man

On RWS Episode 5, we’re discussing Twin Peaks S1E4, “The One-Armed Man”, written by Robert Engels and directed by Tim Hunter. This is a very plot-heavy episode but it’s still a lot of fun. Special guest Ryan Weadon (Ex-Rated Movies Podcast) joins us to explore mysteries such as:

WHY won’t Lucy just tell Andy what’s on her mind?
WHAT is the real purpose of Ben’s Little Elvis?
HOW much time did Hank spend on his domino sketch?
IS Hawk’s girlfriend a local gal?

PLUS: Ryan inspires our very first t-shirt with the line, “Call me when you’re a drawer, Josie!” Get it here!

Listen to RWS Episode 5 here!

Really Weird Stuff E4: Rest in Pain

On RWS E4, we’re discussing S1E3: “Rest in Pain”, written by Harley Peyton and directed by Tina Rathborne. It’s the first episode without any direct Frosty Lynchness, but we do get plenty of time with the delightful Shakespearean insult machine that is Albert Rosenfield, and two iconic Bobby Briggs moments. Special guest Chris Brugos joins us to explore mysteries such as:

HOW can two perfectly terrific women be in love with Ed?
WHY doesn’t Donna wear that derby hat more often?
WHAT is up with that dumb Bookhouse Boys signal?
WHERE are Gersten and Harriet Hayward?

PLUS: James, WHO?

Grab your best funeral garb and join us!

Listen to RWS Episode 4 here!

Really Weird Stuff E3: Zen or the Skill to Catch a Killer

Zen or the Skill to Catch a Killer” is also known for being the episode that really leans into the weird stuff. We have Sarah Palmer’s visions, Nadine’s super strength, Cooper’s unusual methods, Albert Rosenfield’s delightful diatribes, and a visit to the Red Room! It’s written by David Lynch and Mark Frost and directed by David Lynch, so you know it’s gotta be a juicy one. 

Special guest Chris Brugos joins us to explore mysteries such as:

WHY does Ben Horne eat his sandwich from the middle? 
HOW hard is it to talk backwards?
WHERE is Queer Street in relation to the police station? 

PLUS! An acapella version of Audrey’s Dance. 

Grab a double scotch on the rocks, and a double scotch ‘nother and join us!

Really Weird Stuff is available on all major podcast platforms and our website. You can also download this episode directly by clicking here

Really Weird Stuff E2: Traces to Nowhere

On RWS Ep 2, we’re discussing Twin Peaks Season 1, Episode 1 – Traces to Nowhere, directed by Duwayne Dunham, who also edited “Blue Velvet” and the Twin Peaks pilot. Dunham makes some dubious choices, but this episode is still a lot of fun. 

Mysteries include: 
HOW does Coop really want his bacon?
WHY is James so dumb?
WHAT is up with that silly dance from the picnic video?
WHERE did Bobby and Mike get those nicknames for each other?

Plus: Catherine and Ben’s perplexing sexy talk!

Really Weird Stuff Podcast is available on all major podcast apps and on our website. Or download the episode by clicking here!

New Podcast: Really Weird Stuff!

Welcome to Twin Peaks, an Eastern-ish Washington town full of eccentric characters and plenty of really weird stuff for Annie Malone and Jessica Baxter to discuss at length. For our pilot episode, we discuss our personal histories with Twin Peaks and David Lynch, the origin of the show, and of course, THE Pilot, which aired on April 8th, 1990 on the American Broadcasting Company. 

On RWS, we aim to analyze each episode of Twin Peaks in the context of the whole, including Fire Walk with Me, The Missing Pieces, The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, The Secret History of Twin Peaks, and The Final Dossier. This episode is a taste of where we’re headed. Please subscribe, and add us on insta (@reallyweirdstuffpod), and twitter (@reallyweirdpod). We will continue this deep dive into all things TWIN PEAKS in Fall of 2021.

Really Weird Stuff is available on all major Podcast apps and our website. Or download the pilot directly by clicking here!

FINT Book Review: Joss Whedon & Race


Let’s face it. White liberals are having a “woke” moment that is shamefully long overdue. Growing up in the 1980s and early 90s as a white middle class kid from a moderately open-minded family (albeit residing in the conservative American south east), I was taught that the most respectful way to treat people of color was to be “color blind”. That is, to behave as if the color of their skin did not matter. It’s who they are inside that counts. And while that is a lovely notion for a fictional, utopian, post-racial society, it is unrealistic for our world. Moreover, it’s disrespectful and hurtful because it negates the realities of people of color. In Virginia, I could see that racism was alive and well. But I moved to Seattle, Washington at my earliest opportunity and was quickly absorbed into a little bubble of like-minded people. How easy it was for me to forget what it was like beyond the membrane of my blue cocoon.

Mary Ellen Iatropoulos and Lowery A. Woodall III’s collection of critical essays, Joss Whedon and Race cover Whedon’s relationship with race, ethnicity, and nationality on his television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), Angel (1999-2004), Firefly (2002-2003), and Dollhouse (2009-2010), as well as the Firefly movie, Serenity (2005). Though Whedon is known for his progressive narratives, he’s not immune to perpetuating cultural stereotypes even as he seeks to subvert or transcend them. This is particularly true of his early work…

Read the rest on Film International!

What’s Your Vector, Victor?

Though it was, perhaps, inevitable, there are many reasons I am going to miss Dollhouse. Right now, Fox is in the middle of its episode clearance sale, throwing up back-to-back episodes every Friday until their warehouse is empty. And while it’s nice to see such a serialized show in larger chunks, it also feels a little cheap, because it’s very clear that they are just trying to get to the end of their deal as fast as possible and fill the time slot with some trite garbage. I know Dollhouse isn’t a perfect show but it could have gotten pretty close. It has the strongest ensemble cast on TV right now. Sure, Dusku lowers the curve a little bit. But there are so many candidates for valedictorian that it still looks like a class full of geniuses.

We’d already seen what many of these actors were capable of. Amy Acker played two roles on Angel: The beloved Fred (though it took me a while to warm up to her) and the powerful god in an indifferent world, Ilyria. She played the latter with complexity and deadpan humor. Harry Lenix played the conniving Aaron with a hint of sympathy in Julie Taymor’s Titus. As Miss Cross in Rushmore, Olivia Williams played a widow and scholastic Helen of Troy and it was clear what all the fuss was about. Even Fran Kranz, whose character started out a little on the annoying side, has turned Topher Brink into an incredibly multi-faceted persona with almost an excuse for his moral dubiousness.

And then there’s Victor. When we first met this doll, played by Enver Gjokaj, he was acting as a Russian informant, and leading FBI Agent Ballard astray in his Dollhouse investigation. His accent was terrific, or, at least, nothing like Harrison Ford’s in K-19: The Widowmaker. But what else could he do? It turns out, a better question is what CAN’T he do? Along the way, he has shown the most astounding range in doll characters. From dashing to dorky, and with all the necessary accents, Victor is easily the most versatile doll they have in their arsenal. Even his blank slate “doll state” is full of personality, as he exhibits a love and loyalty to fellow doll, Sierra, that no machine can erase. The narrative also hints at some sort of post-traumatic combat stress from his former life, though we still haven’t seen (and perhaps never will) his backstory. In one episode, he is imprinted with the mind of a comatose serial killer and plays it with all the necessary Anthony Perkinsness. Later, in the episode, his personality switches with Echo’s light-hearted party girl, and his transformation is flawless and hilarious.

Most recently, he was imprinted with Topher’s personality to hold down the fort in Topher’s absence. Gjokaj’s performance is air-tight. He nailed the cadence and mannerisms that Fran Kranz has built for his character. Even without the sweater vest ensemble, it was immediately clear who Victor was on that particular day. That level of acting goes a long way toward being able to use “show-don’t-tell” writing.

So who is this Enver Gjokaj fellow? Why have we never seen him before? And when can we see him again? He played “remote pilot” in Eagle Eye and a few bit parts on other TV shows, but that’s about it for priors. He has all the potential to be the next Gary Oldman. I sincerely hope that other casting directors see this too so that he’s not relegated to a career in doomed Joss Whedon projects.

What Up With That?

It wasn’t long ago that SNL seemed promising. Of course, with a rotating cast, these things are absolutely cyclical. But when it was Maya Rudolf, Amy Poehler, Tina Fay and Will Forte, there were a lot of quality sketches. Any one of those people can pretty much do or say anything and make it funny. They also weren’t so much with the recurring sketches. And the characters that were recurring (Donatella Versace, the arrogant, one-legged chick, fucking MacGruber!) somehow seemed fresh every time. Now the funny ladies are gone, replaced by much less funny ladies and Kristen Wiig, who can be very funny, but not all the time. So far this season, SNL has been a real dud. They seem to be mostly falling back on recurring characters, mostly played by Kristen Wiig and those sketches are indistinguishable from one another, save the appearance of that week’s host. Seth Meyer is absolutely lost without Amy Poehler. Will Forte has pretty much been relegated to play the straight man (Gilly…GILLY…). Furthermore, Andy Samberg’s once fresh Digital Shorts are generally one-noted.

And then there’s the “What Up With That?” sketch. It’s Keenan Thompson playing a soul-styled host of a talk show called, you guessed it, “What Up With That”. The joke is that his theme song is so long and involved that he never gets around to talking to his high-profile guests, people like James Franco and Al Gore, who are brought in just to sit there and look annoyed and bewildered. It goes on way too long and it’s not terribly funny. BUT the song is extremely catchy.

I was just in the elevator with 4 young ladies on their way to lunch. For some reason, they were all discussing corndogs and they all agreed that corndogs are “gross”. “I like hot dogs. I like cornbread. But I just don’t like corndogs,” said one. “Yeah! I can’t rememeber the last time I even ate one. I was probably drunk,” said another. I didn’t know these people so I couldn’t chime in. But I think corndogs are terrific. In my head, the phrase “Corndog haters in the elevator” popped up. “What up with that?” And with that, I’d written a new verse of the annoyingly infectious “What Up With That” song. And now it’s in my head. Till the end of time.

See for yourself.

It always seems like the most obnoxious sketches are the ones that people remember. And the truly original, funny ones, get banished to obscurity. No one will ever remember the “Garden Party” sketch as well as they’re remember Penelope the one-upper or fucking Gilly. What up with that?