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Posts related to Disney content (that isn’t Marvel or Star Wars).

Surviving 2020: Kyrun Silva

Surviving 2020: Kyrun Silva

2020 was a year that upended all expectations. Though the threats that 2020 brought affected people in a variety of ways, for most it became a year of simple survival. For nerds, of course, we turn to the things that occupy our attention, inspire our imagination, or generate conversation. This year, we are looking at the things that helped us survive 2020. Today, Kyrun Silva––creator at Taurus Comics and co-host of the Con Artists podcast on this very website––shares what kept his spirits up this year.


Okay, let’s get this out of the way: 2020 sucked for most of us. For me it sucked a lot. No comic book conventions, no family gatherings, no martial arts training (which also meant I didn’t get my black belt this year, maybe next year; who knows?), and so many other things. 2020 will be a year that remembered forever, but even through all this turmoil Some things still brought joy to my life. A few of those joys were geeky things. While my family’s love (and the sheer variety) of anime––a mainstay of my 2019––allowed us to explore all of the feelings that came with the pandemic, there was one thing in particular that––aside from annoying my wife for half the year––really hit me hard.

HAMILTON

I have to admit, ever since July happened my family hasn’t been the same.

July 3rd, 2020 was the exact day. It was a warm evening. Dinner had been consumed, and we sat down to relax. Instead of watching more anime, I suggested we watch Hamilton, which had just been released on Disney+.

I heard about Hamilton over the years. I even watched a couple of YouTube videos showing clips of the original cast performing on stage, off stage, and in the White House. For years, my wife and I tried to get tickets to see it live. When news got out that Disney had bought the rights to stream it, I knew I had to watch it. From the opening couple of notes I was hooked. The music, the voices, the pageantry, the dances, I loved every minute of Hamilton. Maybe a little too much.

Source: Disney

The entire musical is three hours long with an intermission in the middle. For my wife it probably felt like an eternity. The problem is, after my first viewing, my love for Hamilton didn’t end. One viewing turned into two, then three, and soon became double digits.

I quickly found the soundtrack and lyrics online and soon began singing the entire musical all day every day. My enthusiasm for this phenomenon spread to my oldest son, who quickly joined me in my madness. He and I started taking different parts of the show––he, as Alexander Hamilton; me, as Aaron Burr. Then my two youngest joined us.

My wife was not amused. She said I was a grifter1 of sorts, tricking them into liking the show. I say they just have good taste.

Presumably, this is Kyrun and his son at least twice a day. At least. Source: Disney

I became a Hamilton zealot, searching from anything I could get my hands on about the musical. My browser history became filled with searches of the cast and crew. Even to the point where I started watching the show Station 19 because Okieriete Onaodowan, an actor from the musical, was now on the show. Side note: I already watched all the episodes of Black-ish that featured another Hamilton cast member in Daveed Diggs.

Hamilton is still played at least once a week in my household. Yes, the enthusiasm may have died off a little, but the love is there.


2020 was a crazy year. Though I wasn’t able to consume my geekdom in ways I had been accustomed to in the past, I found alternatives that filled that void and helped bring my family together. We’ve created new memories together that will strengthen my family’s ties and give us something to look back on years down the line.

Weekend Ramboing

Weekend Ramboing

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew befriends dogs and murders zealots in Far Cry 5 while D. Bethel finally gathers his thoughts (now that he’s seen it both at the drive-in and now at home) on the final X-based release from 20th Century Fox (albeit after Disney’s purchase), The New Mutants, directed by Josh Boone.

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RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Episode 136 – Make It So” (02 June 2017): Where D. Bethel and Andrew discuss the controversy surrounding the release of Far Cry 5.
  • We Still Don’t Know $#!&” (31 May 2019): Where Andrew first enters the Far Cry universe with Far Cry Primal.
  • Arias In Embers” (21 June 2019): Where D. Bethel discusses––and defends––the second-to-last Fox X-film, Dark Phoenix.
  • Playing the Menu” (20 March 2020): Where D. Bethel discusses playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a game that seemingly had something important to say about colonization, but crumbled underneath the weight of a AAA budget and the expectations that brings with it.

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The Unnaturals

The Unnaturals

WONDER WOMAN TO THE MAX: It was announced, in an unprecedented move by a streaming service, to release Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day to both theaters and HBO Max subscribers simultaneously. Unlike Disney+ with Mulan, Wonder Woman 1984 will be available to all HBO Max subscribers at no additional cost for a month. Andrew and D. Bethel discuss this move and how it relates to how Disney has been doing business, as well as what it means for movie in the future.

RELEVANT LINKS:

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Episode 137 – Atomic Karate” (09 June 2017): Where D. Bethel and Andrew talk with fellow nerd podcaster, Mary Traverse, about Wonder Woman.
  • News Cruise” (07 Aug. 2020): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the news of Mulan costing Disney+ subscribers $29.99.
  • News Bruise” (11 Sept. 2020): Where D. Bethel and Andrew talk about the odd political discourse around the release of Disney’s live action adaptation of Mulan.

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Non-Stop Jason

Non-Stop Jason

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew find a lot lacking in the latest open world RPG by Obsidian Entertainment, The Outer Worlds. D. Bethel, on the other hand, finds a lot to love going back and playing Capcom’s lost NES classic, Darkwing Duck.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • “Tile Pile” (22 November 2019): Where D. Bethel discusses his initial impressions of Outer Wilds (which is very much a different game than The Outer Worlds).
  • “Duck Law” (30 October 2020): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss “Let’s Get Dangerous”, the mid-third season premiere of Disney XD’s Ducktales that is dedicated to The Terror That Flaps In The Night himself.

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Duck Law

Duck Law

LET’S GET DANGEROUS: With the genius resurgence of Ducktales on Disney XD, fans around the world were delighted with the introduction of another Disney Afternoon fan favorite, Darkwing Duck, into the series during the second season. For the third season’s mid-season premiere, Disney released an hour-long Darkwing Duck-focused episode that delighted Andrew––who has watched all of the rebooted Ducktales so far––and D. Bethel––who has only seen a few scattered episodes. They discuss how the episode looks forward, looks backward, and looks inward in one of the most clever episodes of television either have seen in a long while.

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News Bruise

News Bruise

I’LL MAKE AN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT OUT OF YOU: The live action version of the ’90s animated classic, Mulan, was released to Disney+ subscribers (for the cost of an extra $29.99) and, with it, came a lot of controversy––from Chinese reviewers not being too keen on it to human rights issues, D. Bethel and Andrew run through the discourse of this interesting, troubled film.

ANOTHER DUNE: The first trailer for Dennis Villaneuve’s new adaptation of the Frank Herbert sci-fi philosophical classic, Dune. Andrew and D. Bethel muse on the potential this new film has (and how people will still likely be disappointed by it).

And here’s an example––from Jodorowsky’s Dune––of some of the pure artist intent Jodorowsky had in his approach to movie-making (with his Dune being the center of it).

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News Cruise

News Cruise

ANY PORT IN A NERD STORM: Rather than blasting the news, Andrew and D. Bethel blur the distinction between nerdy news and Weeks in Geek with Andrew expressing his excitement for Star Trek: Lower Decks on CBS All Access, Dan’s strange sense of place after watching the HBO true crime documentary mini-series, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, before they discuss the news of the upcoming live-action Mulan remake getting a simultaneous (albeit for $29.99) release on Disney+ and in theaters.

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • Bethel, D. “News Blast: Three X-Films Announced for 2018.” A Website [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes. 23 April 2017. –– Where D. Bethel discusses the announcement of the New Mutants movie, along with the announcement of Deadpool 2 and Dark Phoenix. Deadpool 2 was the only film to release in 2018.
  • Diaz, Eric. “Mulan is Going Straight to Disney+ for $29.99.” Nerdist. 04 August 2020.
  • And, for the sake of completion, here is the website for the city of Cerritos, CA, which indeed translates to “little hills.”

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • A Veritable Odyssey” (12 July 2019): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the first trailer for the live-action Mulan remake.
  • Bouncing Waveforms” (15 May 2020): Where D. Bethel discusses the most recent (and final?) announced theatrical release date for New Mutants.

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Chasing Chickens

Chasing Chickens

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew tunes into the new Apple TV alternate history drama created by Ronald D. Moore: For All Mankind. D. Bethel also watches some tv; however, it’s animated and old––Disney XD’s Gravity Falls.

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • Trailer for the upcoming animated series on CBS All Access, Star Trek: The Lower Decks:

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Arcabar

Arcabar

#CAPITALISM: With Disney taking ownership of the 4th of May, Andrew and D. Bethel talk about the role of ownership in public discourse for a bit.

MUNDANE FANTASY: Looking at where the world is now, and with the meteoric landing of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, D. Bethel and Andrew wonder––why do we love playing games about working…and love them?

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Constitutional Role-Play

Constitutional Role-Play

THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE MANDALORIAN: A brief check-in to the release of Disney+ this week as Andrew reacts to the first episode of their original, Star Wars show, The Mandalorian. He is surprised more at how much it pulls from Westerns than Star Wars.

A LONG TIME AGO, WE USED TO BE FRIENDS: Veronica Mars was always a show that hovered just below wide popularity, but its fans were devoted and supportive. From the original three seasons that aired on UPN/the CW to its Kickstarted movie, to Hulu’s revival with a fourth season, Andrew and D. Bethel did a rewatch of the show and have some thoughts on what it has been, what it is now, and what it could be in the future.

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