The War of Jokes and Riddles, Master Chef, and a Cabinet of Curiosities

FINALLY FRIDAY is a weekly review article meant to give you some suggestions on what to geek out about over the next week… or so.

READING

Batman (DC Comics)

If you’ve been living under a rock, you may not know this, but Batman is getting married to Catwoman. Since I have been living under a rock and am way behind on my Batman issues, I’m slowly working my way to the epic 50th issue, where they will supposedly tie the knot. I’m all the way back in volume 4 (issues 25-32), The War of Jokes and Riddles, in which (surprise) the Joker and the Riddler are at war with each other and effectively destroying Gotham in the process. I was a big fan of most of Scott Snyder’s New 52 run, but I have to admit, Tom King is doing a fantastic job. And the artwork in this volume, largely done by Mikel Janin, is absolutely on point. I’ve got a little ways before I can actually read the latest issue, but I’m looking forward to where King takes the story from volume four.

WATCHING

Master Chef (Fox)

Gordon Ramsey used to scare the crap out of me. All of the yelling, cursing, and insulting he did on Kitchen Nightmares took a toll on my opinion of him. In recent years, however, he’s grown on me. In Master Chef, he and two other judges – in the current season, Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich – choose eight home cooks each and watch them battle it out during various culinary challenges. My wife and I spent a large portion of our dating years watching Food Network shows and we’ve developed a fondness for cooking competitions. Master Chef is no exception with it’s gorgeous plating and over-dramatic production. We’ve already picked our favorites – Fahran, I’m rooting for you, man – and it’s fun to judge people on how well they cook, despite my lack of skills.

LISTENING

Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities

In last week’s episode of the podcast, I mentioned a new podcast from Lore creator, Aaron Mahnke, and HowStuffWorks. On July 3rd, they dropped three episodes to whet the appetite and yesterday (July 5th) they released a fourth. I’ve talked at length about my love for Lore and while Cabinet of Curiosities is an extension of that show, it isn’t what I expected. Each episode is broken into two different stories for a total run time of roughly 10 minutes. I enjoy the stories, but they’re incredibly short and for me, at least, require a second listening to fully understand. That’s not a complaint, although I know it sounds like it. It’s simply a critique and might even clue me in to how well I’m actually paying attention. If I have a complaint, it would be that the transition from the first story to the ad – which so far has been for other HowStuffWorks shows – isn’t done very well from a production standpoint. I’m still listening, though, and am very glad to have more of Mahnke’s now-recognizable voice in my life.

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