Episode 22: Whimsy

Rachel and Leeman are struck by a whim and discuss the role of whimsy in the various books, movies, and TV shows we allow into our house. Also, we forget to check if our microphone was on so we’ve got a punk rock feel to today’s show.

Topics Discussed and/or Spoiled:

90s Christian rock, Babylon 5, Lois & Clark, Due South, Hercules and Xena, Farscape, Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Hannibal, Better Off Ted, Sandman, American Gods, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Next Generation, Buffy, Deep Space Nine, Heroes, Gilmore Girls, Once Upon a Time, Red Dwarf, Dorothy Sayers, The Magicians, The Night Circus, and the Crossover Nexus

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5 Responses to Episode 22: Whimsy

  1. Robert Sullivan says:

    Fuller does indeed produce Hannibal. I find it a lovely show, for a horror show at any rate. The costumes, sets, cinematography and acting are all surprisingly good for main stream TV. The writing is often uneven though. However, I would like to hear – from Rachel in particular – your response to the show because Fuller has said Mads (the actor playing Hannibal) has a take on the character that is not a rip off of Hopkins or Cox (who played the role in Manhunter), but to player the character as “Satan.” Those are his words. Hannibal is pure, corrupting evil, the devil in an attractive and seemingly trustworthy guise. Hannibal himself is anti-whimsy.

    • Rachel Kolar says:

      Wow, that would be an interesting topic–fictional characters who are ultimately satanic. Hannibal! Heath Ledger’s Joker! The villain from Revolutionary Girl Utena, I.e. “if my brain wrote an anime”!

  2. Allan Reini says:

    Regarding Star Trek whimsy. I’ve always felt that, even though almost every episode of the original series had a camp / cheesy vibe, or perhaps because of that vibe, the original series slid into whimsy the most effortlessly. The prime example would be, of course, “The Trouble with Tribbles.”. But it seemed like, every five or six episodes, they would air one that seemed to have been conceived and executed with nothing more than a whimsical point of view. We are moving along, enjoying a “serious” season, exploring the nature of man, etc. when all of a sudden we are presented with “Shore Leave” and Alice’s Rabbit. This pattern was very effectively continued in the film series with ST4: The Voyage Home. Directly following the seriousness of Kahn, and The Search for Spock, we are greeted, in the fourth installment, right on time, with Kirk and Spock, trying to blend in to the 1980s (“Double Dumba$$ to You!”) This, along with Chekov’s silliness and Scotty’s quaint “hello computer,” into the mouse are just plain fun for the fun of it. The somewhat heavy-handed “save the whales” storyline is, thankfully, balanced by a joyful, sense of whimsy (“everyone, don’t forget where we parked.”) throughout the film that captures, very effectively, the sense of humor that so often permeated the original series. Perhaps the reason TNG and DS9 come off as too cheesy when they attempted to turn into whimsy is that the switch from serious subject matter to a “fun” episode was to much of a hard, right turn, while in the original series, it was more of a gentle swerve.

  3. Rachel Kolar says:

    I liked “Magicians,” but it definitely was a bit of a joyless slog at times. “Magician Kings” is much better. Quentin gets a lot more likable, so he goes from “total jackass” to “deeply flawed but basically OK.” The best part, though, is that only half of it is about Quentin–the other half is flashbacks to what Julia was doing to learn magic after she flunked out of Brakebills. That part is AMAZING. I’m not 100% sure that Rachel would like “Magician Kings,” but I’m certain that Leeman would. I don’t love the whole story, but I love the Julia stuff.

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