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media diary - april 2024

come and listen to my story about a man named ted. a poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed. one day he was shooting at some food, and up through the ground came a bubbling crude.

oil, that is.

black gold.

texas tea.

...wait what was i talking aboutOH IT'S MAY ALREADY

[01-14/04/2024] UHHHHH

i had a weird month generally. releasing my massive, huge big and large video on kingdom hearts II left me in a strange in-between state that most certainly wasn't aided by a THREE WEEK BREAK for easter. while everyone went and visited home, i stayed here in my dorm because i didn't have it in me to visit my family for a prolonged period of time away from my PC and thus be unable to work on the several big class projects i had due. every one of my flatmates, and pretty much all my friends from class, were away for the whole break, so i was left on my own for three weeks.

this didn't change much of my usual life as an indoorsy slob that eats whole cherry pies in one go, but i did feel significantly lonelier and so the Status Quo was kinda wrecked because i didn't really have anything to run to if i got bored. not helping is that i did in fact need to work after i took nearly two months to make that KH2 video, and i was bedridden for a few days at one point because of some very specific minor surgery. (i'm fine btw!)

all this is to say that for this three-week period, which included half of april, i fed off of background noise and casual viewing just to keep me company for my temporarily lonesome and nocturnal lifestyle. and on the first of april some guy's dad uploaded a 40 hour video talking about THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES in excruciatingly in-depth detail. so in-depth in fact, that it was taken down by viacom a couple weeks later. i watched the whole thing, but it was gone by the time my break was over, a ghost memory of a liminal period of time in my life.

it was due to this monolith of a video, as well as brutalmoose's bingoXP vods, that i spent so much time not watching movies, hence the resounding lack of movies in this article. in this break i rewatched THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER and that's about all i checked out, but it's not like i wasn't consuming media whatsoever!!


as this series was starting i kept hearing folks talk about it and how good it is -- it started around the start of the year, and only grew in popularity with each weekly episode, and so i've seen tons of fanart and posts and whatnot about it. this show is BIG, and i ended up watching it cuz my friend from class convinced me that it's one of the best modern pieces of fantasy. (something along those lines at least, they really love it.)

it appears like a normal fantasy adventure-y anime on the surface, but the big pull is that it's all about FOOD, and how the protagonists survive in the dungeon off of the monsters they harvest and prepare dishes with. it's not only an insanely good premise for fantasy worldbuilding potential, but it also strongly represents a passion for cuisine no cooking show has ever expressed in such a way. not that i've seen too many cooking shows. and on top of that, it's got lesbians!!!

i've never really described myself as a fantasy fan, but for similar reasons that i haven't described myself as a horror or sci-fi fan -- there's an oversaturated market with a lot of trashy popular franchises that i'm generally sick of seeing, and that tends to cloud my vision for what IS good in an ocean of stuff that might be just ok. i often fall into the trap of avoiding good media on the basis of its genre alone, which is just no good. checking out DUNGEON MESHI and taking risks across the board in regards to my media consumption has been a lot of fun, and i'm glad i was able to catch up with this series as it continues to air!


this sorta came out of nowhere???

on april 15th, this series turned 30. it's something i've heard about in the past but never watched or checked out, but hearing about how it's the first adult swim show gave this anniversary some weight to make me go "oh neat!". usually i would just see a post about it and go about my day, but this managed to reel me in due to an official youtube livestream, broadcast to celebrate said anniversary. i put it on just to see what it was like, and immediately got its deal.

cartoon network is a pretty solid Thing with a wide lineage, but right now i feel like it's seen as a brand of TV show. the way television culture has changed in the past couple decades has been gradual, from the switch to HD to the switch to streaming to the current battlefield of streaming sites that are "basically cable" cuz they're all spread out and expensive as hell. while it might be as expensive as cable to subscribe to all these, it's not even close to the same experience broadcast TV provided, a discretion i feel many folks don't really address.

the streaming landscape is so brand-heavy and IP-loaded that you kinda have to know who owns what to understand what's going on, and due to the still-fragile nature of The Streaming Biz everything that gets made tends to play it pretty safe. i can yap on about how this upsets me for hours, but i want to give this context so i can tell you how stunning something like SPACE GHOST is to a modern viewer like me.

cartoon network in its early years was dedicated to just kinda showing reruns of looney tunes and hanna barbera shows, a vast library that warner kinda just Had. they would air them, it was the cartoon network, it was the network for cartoons, that's what they did, but then i guess someone snapped and wanted to make the 1990s equivalent of a youtube poop with an old cartoon no one cared that much about. SPACE GHOST is that old cartoon, and SPACE GHOST: COAST TO COAST is the talk show presented by characters from that old cartoon. cartoon network didn't have its own animation studio yet, so they could get away with just reusing old assets and crudely editing them together.

the reason i find the show so remarkable is that this can Not be done now. the nature of streaming prevents this kind of thing from working, because there's no Network with a Programming Block that has dead air they need to Fill with Original Programming. watching episodes of this show in isolation simply doesn't provide the intended experience, it's so integrated into the TV culture of its time but somehow managed to be ahead of its time in terms of humor so revisiting it now is still fascinating. SPACE GHOST really caught my attention because it's enigmatic, and nostalgic, and entertaining all at the same time, and it's wild to think how much came AFTER it. its sensibilities feel so modern, and i think it's just cuz this kind of thing influenced the kind of thing we see on youtube. space ghost is a vtuber.

i feel like i'm being overly dramatic and hyping it up but man. warner in its current state really bums me out. this show is really good at taking me to a certain time in history, and i only have access to it via the series archive i torrented from archive.org that's subsequently been taken down because zaslav is a massive weenie.

and yes, i admit it, i was pulled in because i found out david byrne had a guest spot. i also later found out moltar (from the show) did a promo for final fantasy VII when it came out. cool guy.

[XX/04/2024-] SONIC????

i'm not saying much about this yet. i wanna make a video first. i will tell you that this month i beat sonic 1, 2 and CD though!

[19/04/2024-] HYRULE WARRIORS & THE 3DS

this month, official support for the online services of the 3DS and WII U was simultaneously terminated. this now means that, in any official capacity, weirdos like me can't play splatoon 1 anymore. if you wanna play any mario maker levels, you've gotta hack your system and log in to PRETENDO NETWORK, which is just a new server entirely. not the same, but far better than the nothing nintendo's left us!

this got me thinking about that bygone generation, how it's been so long since those platforms were new and current, but it's NINTENDO, man. we're more than ok. people got mario 1 running on a toaster probably, the community is immensely dedicated. if you wanna know what i REALLY grieved over this month, the littlebigplanet servers were officially shut down. i'm not talking about that here though.

towards the end of the month i got to help two of my friends out by modding their 3DSes -- a pearl white 3DS XL and a jet black "new" 3DS XL -- and doing so had me reminisce on the 3DS generation in a different way to what everyone else was busy with. i only own a "new" 2DS XL, the most recent and feature-rich DS model that only removed the 3D functionality for cost efficiency. borrowing 3DSes that had that 3D feature let me retry it and literally see what i've been missing out on since i got rid of my very 3D 3DS around 2019. that 3D functionality? it's pretty good!

i took the liberty of installing extra games onto these 3DSes too, which was a lot of fun since i could tailor each set of games to each friend's tastes, and this also got me reminiscing since i pondered my own collection and history with the platform to see what'd fit. what resulted was a lot of fiddling around with my own 2DS, checking out games i hadn't checked out yet and downloading new ones. in particular i checked out HYRULE WARRIORS: LEGENDS, the 3DS port of the wii u dynasty warriors zelda spinoff by koei.

i was drawn to this thing cuz it's seemingly such an ambitious game for the hardware, an entire console experience crunched down into a handheld rendition which, as far as i can tell, doesn't alter or compromise the gameplay at all. sure, the graphics are worse, but c'mon man they're Gonna be. i found it notable cuz i got weirdly into it, and the more i think about it it really makes sense that i Would be into it.

my time as a ZELDA fan began pretty much a decade ago now -- i ate up videos about it on youtube and it generally revealed to me the depth game worlds can have without being overwhelming or densely cinematic. i was attracted strongly to majora's mask, a game that continues to influence me today, and the whole history of nintendo i previously had no knowledge about. i refer to this personally as my "nintendo phase", where i just started non-stop consuming videos from questionable youtube channels talking about old games i never heard of cuz i was ten years old. the nintendo phase sailed strong, and my obsession with zelda was at the helm.

HYRULE WARRIORS released around the same time as my initiation into zeldism, but i didn't have a wii u at the time. so a couple years later when it got a port for the 3DS, i... still didn't wanna check it out. i think it's just because the gameplay is too different, but it's a fanservice game through and through, so i'm not really sure why i never at least considered it. i got XENOBLADE CHRONICLES 3D when it came out, so why the hell was i deterred from a damn zelda spinoff??? regardless, long after the release of this 3DS port, i finally gave it a shot, and it's been an overwhelmingly nostalgic experience despite never having played it. i think it's because i totally Would have played it at the time, and so it's satisfying to do so now. i don't know.

the 3DS is cool. it lets me live childhood memories i never had. get one and hack it if you haven't already!!!

[27/04/2024-] PARANORMASIGHT

this is an ongoing playthrough, but i thought i'd note it here because the game is REAL good. i started playing it so i could study its narrative, and boy was that a good decision!!! only a few hours in but it's given such a strong impression. i heartily recommend it :)

[29/04/2024] UHF

come and listen to my story about a man named ted. a poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed. one day he was shooting at some food, and up through the ground came a bubbling crude.

oil, that is.

black gold.

texas tea.

....sorry i zoned out

UHF actually isn't what i was expecting at all, i went in assuming it was a movie About weird al (as a character) but it's moreso just a movie he made that he also stars in just not as himself. it's very much a weird al movie, don't get me wrong, but it surprised me a little. in general it's a great comedy movie that seemingly takes a lot of notes from stuff like AIRPLANE but still very much with its own style, and the occasional musical number lets it make sense as a movie by a musician despite actually being a movie about TV.

being of the same era and having similar origins, i couldn't help but compare it to TRUE STORIES -- both make some amount of commentary on the then-modern world, and are by unusual musicians, but they handle things completely differently from each other. like, TRUE STORIES is autistic and UHF has ADHD, if that makes sense.

what kinda shocked me in particular was this one music number that just kinda. appears out of nowhere as a dream sequence. and it's ambitiously animated in CGI and it's about the god damn BEVERLY HILLBILLIES. being a movie about a small TV station, it features reruns of that and MR. ED because i guess they were cheap for syndication and common enough for there to be a whole original song about it. i literally just found out about this earlier in the month because of some random youtube video that's now lost to time and you're telling me it actually HAD cultural relevance??? huh???

stay tuned..!