“Nerd Culture” is taking over. Face it, Brosef, with your “Sun’s Out, Guns Out” tank top and oversized shades and flip-flops. The Tyranny of the Bully Era has ended, and popular culture has embraced everything that used to get some poor skinny kid wedgied and stuffed into a locker. Comic books? Only the highest grossing movies at the box office. Computers? Yeah, I think they’ve gone a little mainstream. Video games? You get the point, Mr. Straw Man, so suck it. Even things like tabletop role-playing games are no longer an automatic ticket to Nerd Hell, thanks to offshoots like World of Warcraft making the concept approachable, and having someone like Vin Diesel come out and say they’re cool also helps, because you go ahead and call Vin Diesel lame, then let me know when you finish fishing your forearm out of your own throat.
Now, not everything that geek culture embraces is mainstream yet. Cosplay? Slowly but surely getting more accepted, thanks to the exploding popularity of Comic-Con and the other hugantic cons (that’s “conventions” for those unfamiliar with the term) out there. Anime fanatics? Well, some things still deserves wedgies. (I kid, I kid. However, Dragonball Z and a lot of popular anime is some of the worst dreck I’ve ever seen in my life. Yes, Princess Mononoke and Akira and Ghost in the Shell are incredibly beautiful and moving pieces of art, but most of the big-eyed panty-flashing’ tentacle-rapin’ underage-girls-who-are-“eighteen” kung-fu superpowerfulragefestin’ anime shit is purely awful in every way. But that’s neither here nor there.) There’s another geek staple that still isn’t embraced, and it’s near and dear to my heart, as I’ve said before.
This might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but I am a nerd. A big one. I don’t confine myself to just one or two branches of the Geek Tree either. I am a multidimensional dork. Tabletop gaming? Yep. Live action role playing? Uh-huh. I’ve even added boffer fighting to my repertoire. Comic book fan? Oh yes. I even find myself in the nerdiest of all possible corporate professions. That’s right. I’m an accountant. I am an all-around geek.
But of all of my nerdy pursuits, my favorite is video games. I was a PC and console gamer back when Combat! and Adventure were awe-inspiring. I was jaded before Super Mario Bros. came out (I owned E.T. for the Atari 2600, after all). Video games have been a life-long love of mine, and that hasn’t changed. Luckily, my wife shares this passion with me, and our side-by-side TVs and separate XBox 360s mean that we can both stay up until 5 am playing Skyrim or ME3 and not feel guilty about it. In fact, we’ve been known to apologize for going to bed and leaving the other to game by themselves. It’s our main hobby.
We don’t watch a lot of TV, because that gets in the way of all the multiplayer Mass Effect playing we can do, but there are a few we always catch. Top Shot. Archer. The most obscure one, however, would be one found on the G4 network. You probably have never watched it, because it mostly shows Cops and its teenaged counterpart Campus P.D. No one should ever watch those shows. My wife and I used to watch two of their shows religiously – Attack of the Show, which was about pop culture with a heavy emphasis on technology and other nerdy things and went to shit when Olivia Munn left, and our favorite of them all, X-Play.
I use my blog mostly for the forces of Hate and Complaining. Rarely do I take the time to talk about things I enjoy. Why? Because ranting and using cuss-words is fun. Plus, my crazy readers (that would be you) seem to prefer it that way, which is just fine by me. I rant about inconsequential things. It’s what I do. It completes me.
But sometimes, I have a desire to step out of my cantankerous sarcastic shell and talk about something that I truly enjoy, something that deserves to be treasured and adored. Hence my Mass Effect 3 review that reads like a 12-year-old-girl’s crushfest on a cast member of Glee. Clearly, being positive is something I need to work on. So here goes. Smiles on, everyone, it’s time to talk about something awesome, that is not to be missed, and if you don’t start watching it, I will track you down, cut your eyelids off with a pair of safety scissors, and make you watch every second of every show of the greatest thing on TV.
Archer is that thing.
When we last saw our band of… whatever, they were all staring raptly at their last possible glimpse of DaleFace, trying to memorize every last unruly eyebrow hair and getting a good look at the Judgemaster General’s fillings before Daryl made his head explode by firing a high-powered revolver into his skull two feet away. Too bad they faded to black then, because I’d have loved to have seen the reaction of all of those people close enough to get hit by shards of flying bone and brains. “Dude, seriously, what the fuck! I was sitting on the guy! You couldn’t have waited like two seconds. God it got in my mouth!” That would’ve been cool.
This episode begins with Rick eulogizing the dead guy, something he’s starting to get a lot of practice at because he’s been doing a great job of keeping the group safe. Since he took over as Big Bossman, at least 7 members of the group have died (and probably some extras that didn’t get enough airtime to count). That’s close to a 50% loss ratio. He’s, uh, struggling in the role that he claims to have never asked for but sure as hell has gladly taken and run with, telling everyone what to do and making the decisions himself, at least until he changes his mind (Shoot the boy! Help the boy! Abandon the boy! Kill the boy! Keep the boy! Thank god someone else dealt with the boy!)
When last we saw the world’s most dysfunctional zombie apocalypse survivors, Rick had just blown away two guys from Philly for having the audacity to ask where the group was staying, Lori was suffering from brain damage before she actually suffered head trauma from a car accident, and some blond girl that hardly had any airtime at all before now was catatonic. Is this the week where our prayers our answered and Lori gets eaten, Carl tries to find her and gets eaten, Dale looks for the two of them and gets eaten, and the audience lives happily ever after?
Well, no, not so much. But I do have a confession to make. This episode didn’t make me angry. Not once. I know, right? Crazy. Well, OK, I did get angry once, but that was when they showed the car wreck from last episode, which is still just awful in every way. But other than that, I didn’t hate it. Did it have issues? A couple, but they were minor. Instead, we had a mostly plausible story, maybe for the first time since the first season. So put away your Haterade, pick up a gun, and follow along with our intrepid band of somewhat-less-stupid-than-normal survivors.