Media Diet: May–June 2024

I went another two months without writing a media diet! These posts are way too important to ignore for that long, so let’s get into the crap I took in.

But before that, look at this 👇

Table of Contents

Why, its an expandable table of contents to jump sections! My innovations for you, gentle reader, knows no bounds.




Yes it’s on the nose, but there’s no other way to say it: this album boulders. Raw, heavy, boogie riffs, and more energy than I thought possible, especially given growing up with their slick ballad 90s era. I had gone back and listened to the first three Aerosmith albums years ago after finding them in my ex’s music collection, especially liking Toys in the Attic, but they never totally grabbed me. This album though. I got turned on to it from the Cobain 50 Podcast, which examines Kurt Cobain’s 50 favorite albums list. I didn’t realize how influential this record was, and man, I just can’t get enough. 🪨🪨🪨🪨🪨

Black Focus—Yussef Kamaal

Smooth, funky jazz with lots of complexity hiding under the hood. From what I read, it kicked off a jazz explosion in Brittan after it was released in 2010, and the group never put out another record. Sleek grooves, deep strange. It’s like if a velvet chicken made you wiggle.


If you listen to anything from this list, listen to this. What if disco, but now, and Australian in Germany? That is the question that the band Parcels answers, and boy, is the music way better than it has any right to be. The drive of electronica, the beat of disco, the heart of forever, the face of Prince Valiant, the soul of a dance party, the secret pathos of a tear streaked cigarette. My roommate Hean introduced me and my other roommate Ivy to them while we played a few rounds of Magic: The Gathering. Besides the music, the highlight was the silly words the game makes you say, like, “I crew the Dreadmobile with the Cranial Ram.” We laughed a lot. Then went back to grooving, and exclaiming with surprise that the tunes remained great, song after song after song. Dig in.

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From almost everyone behind 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the strange-until-you-watch-titled Girls5eva is really funny. It’s got a heart on it, and a plot following a flash-in-the-pan girl group getting back together and taking another crack at it two decades later. The characters are full and creative, but the show never strays far from it’s mission of delivering high quality jokes. Solid, and works even better the more you know about music history. Highly recommend.



This was recommended to me a few times by a few people, and I finally got around to watching it. Only a few episodes in, but it’s solid. Hannah Einbinder and especially Jean Smart give great performances, and it’s sharply written. I found myself caring even though both lead characters are pretty unlikable in opposite ways. What does it say about me that I ended up rooting more for Smart’s rich corporate-comic workaholic over Einbinder’s self-involved, self-defeating underdog who’s closer to my age?

Conan O’Brien Must Go


Look, this may come as a shock, but Conan O’Brien is funny. He’s very funny. The found comedy he makes being an idiot abroad is very, very funny. Do yourself a favor, get up off your unfunny couch, then sit back down on it and watch this funny thing. Werner Herzog does the intro narration. What are you doing just watch.

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Video Games

Super Mario Land


This was the other big launch title for the Gameboy, aside from Tetris, which naturally took the spotlight. This is such a fun little Mario game, though. Made by a different team than was making the NES games at the time, and built to withstand the severe limitations of the Gameboy’s hardware, it has a distinct feel to it from pretty much any other Mario game. I’ve been told that its short and super easy, but I haven’t beat it. One day.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night


I played this around 2010 on a hand-me-down PlayStation One, and I don’t think I ever beat it. I’ve been meaning to replay it ever since. I’m doing so now on my little Miyoo Mini, which came pre-loaded with a shit-ton of ROMs, including Symphony of the Night. However, the ROM is the Japanese version, which is normally not a problem, and I like the voice acting better, but does mean extra work anytime I need to access the menu system. Who cares, though. I’m Dracula’s son, running around his castle stabbing cursed Medusa heads, leveling up and trying to kill my dad.

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Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter


Finally, back to everyone’s favorite movie marathon, Friday the 13th.

A fan favorite, this one is edging in on being a real movie. Tom Savini is back, so the gore effects take a jump in quality, and it stares Crispin Glover and a little Corey Feldman. It has all the iconography in place, and is pretty much what you think of when you think of Jason Voorhees slicing people up.

Even if you don’t like horror movies or slashers or any of this shit, check out the legendary (violence and mostly dialog free) Dance by Crispin Glover.

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning


Everyone hated this one, because it:

  1. came out a year after the “final chapter”
  2. doesn’t really have Jason in it
  3. is weird

However, that’s exactly the reasons why my roommates and I liked it. The tone takes a sharp turn, flying out bug-eyed gonzo while staying within the slasher mold. It continues the story of a non-villain character for the first time in series history, and its a whodunit. Sort of. It’s not really a real movie.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives


Okay, this is a real movie. Or, if it isn’t, it’s very close. Part six takes a comedic, self-aware slant in addition to the horror, and strikes the right balance. It’s campy and silly and gruesome and knows it all. If you think these movies are silly, or if you take them seriously, this movie agrees with you. A lot of fun.

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood


Okay, this one introduces a psychic protagonist, a la Carrie, who eventually takes on Jason directly. What? Yes. TVs flying across the room and shit. Jason is an ominous presence, but the real villain is the manipulative psychologist that is trying to control our psychic heroine’s life. His murder feels huge.

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan


No one likes this one because Jason spends all of twenty five minutes in Manhattan, and the rest on a small cruise ship, for budgetary reasons. Not the strongest, but has some fun moments, including a young punk rock woman getting stabbed with her own guitar, the gross creepy uncle getting drowned in a barrel of New York sewage, and a man boxing Jason and getting his head punched off.

Monkey Man


I saw this alone in the theater on a whim after a long day of driving back from an improv festival. I was so tired, but I’m glad I saw it. Dark, brooding revenge flick with an obvious debt to John Wick while still being its own thing. It was shot on a nothing budget, and it doesn’t show. Big, beautifully brutal set-piece action scenes. The underpinnings of social and class critique in India are present and relevant everywhere. The temple of trans monks that serves as our heroes training montage was a nice touch.

Mad Max: Fury Road


I re-watched this with my friend in anticipation of seeing Furiosa, and it holds up. It’s nothing like seeing it on the big screen, and I was nervous that my girlfriend wouldn’t like it after an exclamation of, “what the hell are we watching?” following one of the more violent images, but she ended up enjoying it, and even if she didn’t that’s okay, it’s a movie, you know? It’s a good one, IMO, though.

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday


Another one fans don’t like. It really changes the lore, which fans really care about, you know? Jason is a demon from hell who jumps between bodies, and has been the whole time, despite this being the first time there’s been any evidence of this. We never see hell, but the title is true on a technicality. Feels dumb. The movie doesn’t know what it wants to be or do, and flops around a lot, but there’s this mercenary guy hunting Jason who, despite switching motivations a couple times, does wear a cowboy hat.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga


This is the darkest Mad Max movie by a good bit. It’s also too long, and has a chunk of dialog scenes that can drag a bit. I think George Miller is strongest with visual storytelling with this series, and while interesting, some of the talking scenes felt flat to me. All that being said, I saw it with a group of friends and had a great time. There’s incredible action scenes, rivaling the best in the series, and the characters are indelible, popping off the screen. Take a peek, I’d love to discuss.

Jason X

The first post Scream Friday the 13th, and the first not to have a title without any mention of the day of the week. This movie did not do well with fans or general audiences. It’s Jason in space. It’s silly. It’s alien meets Jason meets jokes. I can imagine at the time, people were tired of the franchise, and were looking for something more “serious”. But now? Oh dear, this is fun. Get your camp goofy space killer on! The tone is so self aware, taking the most obvious, dumb jokes, and it worked. One of the best kills in the franchise, and someone refers to how many died in “the Microsoft wars”. It’s good.

Freddy vs. Jason


This movie was in development hell for years, and they finally made it, and it’s pretty good. Not nearly as good as it should have been given the time in the tank, but I had fun watching it. It’s mostly a Freddy Kruger movie, from The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, with Jason coming in as a blunt force object. The concept is probably as good as could be done to mash these two things together. The director, Ronny Yu, brings a fresh Hong Kong style to it. It’s never boring. I don’t know how much you’d get out of it if you didn’t have any familiarity with either Friday the 13th or The Nightmare on Elm Street series, though.

And we’re done with Jason movies!

Or are we…?

Stand Up Solutions


Was recommended this arch satire of stand up specials while also being a stand up special by my friend Ryan. It’s really funny. It uses our fears around technology and drive for self promotion as conceptual engines that fuel the jokes. It works. From a Seth Myers writer slash Aidy Bryant’s husband.

Dan Licata: For The Boys


I never heard of Dan before hearing him on The Best Show. The special is him doing stand up in front of an audience of 13 year old boys that attend Dan’s old high school. The comedy comes from Dan leaning into the difference in generation and philosophy, painting himself as a proud burn out, and the kids as awkwardly looking at him askance. It’s funny.

Friday the 13th (2009 remake)

Jason’s back! But from the beginning, all over again. The remake serves as kind of a greatest hits of the first four Friday movies, ups the budget, and in the process, becomes a real movie. It manages to keep the tone of the originals, while becoming a real boy. Its maybe a little preoccupied with trivial realisms like how Jason moves around so quickly and nonsense like that, but overall this might be the one to see if you’d like a good place to start, and see if its your speed.

Dicks: The Musical


I saw this again with my girlfriend as a birthday present to myself. She hated the sewer boys. I make no apologies.

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th

What do you want to watch after seeing all 12 Friday the 13th movies? A six hour documentary about the making of all those movies, that’s what! Frequently more interesting than the movies themselves, this is a loving, detailed romp. They get interviews with almost everyone involved, and some of the stories behind the scenes are absolutely wild. The series was started as a knowing rip off of Halloween, with no script, no one attached, but they had a title and an ad campaign! It’s really good. I think it would be fun to watch even if you never saw a second of the Friday movies. Can recommend.

That’s it for my Friday the 13th movie marathon, at least until they work out the rights and make a new one.

But wait, there’s a television series based on the property? And it was successful? And there’s 120 hours of it? Oh dear.

When Evil Lurks


I was meaning to see this for a while. Interesting, fresh take on the demonic possession trope. And wow, what a brutal movie. It does not hold back, and that really lets it take you on an emotional ride. Don’t let the subtitles be the thing that scares you off.

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