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.


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.


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.


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.

Finally Friday (06.15.18)

This week, I (Dave) am the lone contributor. Mainly because I didn’t ask anyone else. 😀


Titans (DC Comics)

I started my journey into DC Comics a couple months ago by reading The Flash, beginning with the New 52 run and continuing through the most recent issues. When Wally West showed back up after (unbeknownst to me) being missing for quite some time, I got curious about who he was. David Hunt recommended that I pick up Titans, since he’s a key character. I’m really enjoying this series. The dynamic of the group keeps you on your toes. It also makes me want to look into other books with these characters. It’s getting me excited for the upcoming Titans series on DC Universe. (Rated 8/10)


Ugly Delicious (Netflix)

Food, man! I freaking love food to a fault! Ugly Delicious is quickly becoming a favorite in the food/travel documentary genre. In this series, David Chang – an award-winning chef – explores a variety of cultures and cuisines without the hoity-toity air. In the first episode he tackles what pizza really is. Is Neopolitan the only real pizza out there? As a chef, are you allowed to even like Domino’s? After that, he tackles barbecue and creates an American/Korean dish that makes my mouth water as I’m typing. There’s strong language, so if you’re not familiar with the way Chef Chang interacts with food, that’s your warning. If you love food, though… mmm… you need to be watching this. (Rated 9/10)


Reply All (Gimlet)

Generally I avoid podcasts created by media companies. I like supporting the little guy (GEEK THIS is one of them), but Reply All caught my attention due to it’s use of storytelling, research, and how it dives into the humanity behind everything. It’s also just a fun listen back and forth to work. The relationship between hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman feels like one developed over a good amount of time and not thrown together solely for the sake of the show. They have a segment called “Yes Yes No” where Gimlet co-founder Alex Blumberg (the guy who Zach Braff kind of played on Alex, Inc) asks Alex Goldman and PJ about something he saw on the internet, usually from Twitter, and they make him understand.

Want to contribute to Finally Friday? Fill out the contact form below and I’ll get in touch with you about guest-writing for an upcoming week.