Episode 23: The First Death

Rachel and Leeman have the first of what promises to be many discussions on death and its role in literature and pop culture.

Topics Discussed and/or Spoiled:

Babylon 5, DS9, The World’s End, Spaced, Hannibal, Luther, Man of Steel, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Avatar, Elysium, Buffy, This Film is Not Yet Rated, Three Kings, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, The Discworld series, The Sandman series, and Never Let Me Go.

Our outro is Debs and Errol’s “AT-ATs In the Snow”

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13 Responses to Episode 23: The First Death

  1. Robert Sullivan says:

    You didn’t talk about Death until *after* you talked about Hannibal?
    I agree with Rachel about death being trivialized in so many movies and shows. Part of that is the “comic book deaths” which is usually happens most egregiously in genre shows and movies. Joss Whedon kills lots of characters, but then undermines the impact by bringing them back incessantly. The only show which I ever thought handled it – bringing someone back from the dead – well was B5, after the commander died at Zahadoom. Dead should be dead.
    Also, I thought Mr. & Mrs. Smith were actually mercenaries killing mercenaries, but I’ve not seen the film in some years.

    • Leeman says:

      At the start of the movie they are just assassins going after odious people and then fighting off other assassins a la Grosse Point Blank (although even that movie did a better job exploring the problems inherent to the premise). In the final act however, they are just killing federal employees who have not been established as corrupt or in any way villainous.

  2. Rachel Kolar says:

    I had exactly the same reaction to the third “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie as you did to “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” Pirates killing zombies? Awesome. Pirates killing pirates? Sure. Pirates killing evil East India Trading Company guys? OK. Pirates killing non-evil East India Trading Company guys who just wanted to collect their paycheck, and also British soldiers whose job it is to protect innocent people from getting robbed and murdered by pirates? Not cool.

    Have you seen “The Fountain”? If not, go see it now. No, NOW. Why are you still reading this? It is absolutely the best meditation on death I’ve ever seen.

  3. Marty says:

    Hooray for improved audio quality!

  4. Allan Reini says:

    Yes, the Audio Quality is superb. Well done.

    Also: “AT-ATs in the Snow.”

    Wow. Just…wow.

  5. Jason says:

    Leeman and Rachel,

    Your podcast (named for ii Cor. 6:14) is brilliant and I find myself being engaged by your Aug 31st discussion of fictional violence. In that same vein, and you both being devotees of television, has either one of you discovered the AMC series Breaking Bad?

    • Leeman says:

      I love Breaking Bad but every time I lovingly describe what I like about it, Rachel just shakes her head and walks away.

      • Jason says:


        Wives count leading a double life against a husband as a transgression worse than infidelity so a snub from one’s wife on this topic comes as no surprise.

        • Leeman says:

          We didn’t even get that far. I think it was the bleakness and my glee at how Walter White, in trying to sacrifice everything for his family, only winds up sacrificing his family. I Love stories like that. Rachel… not so much.

          • Rachel Kolar says:

            I can’t blame Rachel for not glomming to it. I absolutely love it, but it took a few episodes for me to actually like and care about the characters, since it starts out as “a jerk and his jerk wife are jerks.” My deep love of Jesse Pinkman is pretty much what got me through to season 2, when the other characters also start getting more interesting. (Also, the battle for Jesse’s soul is much more engaging. I like Walter’s story , but we’ve seen things like it before and we pretty much know how things will end for him. It’s just a matter of how he gets there. But Jesse? Will he end the show as a good person or not? No clue, and that keeps me coming back.)

  6. Jason says:

    I will just come right out and say it, Breaking Bad is, for reasons too numerous to mention here, the greatest show ever aired on television.

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