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Jumping the Shark Podcast #179

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For our 179th episode, Brandon and I went out to see Man of Steel, just so you don’t have have to. Kidding. We both got our kicks from it and there’s a whole section at the end in which we dig into all the spoilery details. (The spoiler lamp this week is more of a spoiler bonfire where this flick is concerned.) Before that, though, Bill returns ever-so-briefly to talk about his time at the Origins board game show as well as a bunch of updates on the progress being made on Conquistador’s forthcoming video game podcast. Should be a good one. Brandon also heads down deep into the ugly world of Last of Us and guess what? Just between you and me, he doesn’t so much think it sucks. Can you believe it? Yeah, me neither. Tune in to find out more!

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READ ALSO:  Jumping the Shark Podcast #106

Todd Brakke

Todd was born in Ann Arbor with a Michigan helmet in one hand and a mouse in the other. (Never you mind the logistics of this.) He grew, vertically anyway, and proceeded to spend over 16 years as a development editor for Pearson Education, publishing books, videos, and digital learning products under the Que and Sams Publishing imprints. Because that wasn't enough of a challenge, Todd has also been a 20-year part-time snob about video games, writing reviews, features, and more for multiple outlets. Follow him on Twitter @ubrakto or check it out his website at

One thought to “Jumping the Shark Podcast #179”

  1. Regarding the board game show, yes: I think it always takes a few episodes for people to get comfortable with their on-air personalities. Check out any early episode of Game Informer’s Replay or Giant Bomb’s Quick Look and you can hear how hesitant they get in front of a microphone.

    And about Man of Steel — SPOILERS — SPOILERS — SPOILERS

    The scene I keep coming back to is the one in the desert when Clark floats down to chat with the military about turning himself in. So many problems! Why does everyone immediately assume the guy floating in mid-air is the refugee the aliens are looking for? Did he call ahead and ask the army to park some tanks in a tight, easily targeted clump somewhere in the desert? How did they vet his credentials against the thousands of hoaxes that inevitably pop up during high-profile news stories?

    Oh, intelligent alien life exists, by the way. I wonder how Pa Kent would have felt about giving his life to conceal this world-shaking revelation if he’d known it would have merited little more than a casual chat between the weather and entertainment beats on CNN. The name of Kim & Kanye’s kid has given rise to more hysteria than a skypod simulcasting to the globe that a dangerous alien who may or may not have survived the trip to Earth must be turned over immediately…OR ELSE!

    Later in the movie, Christopher Meloni informs everyone he has first-hand experience with how dangerous the Kryptonians are. What is he basing that on? The one preceding scene when Faora peacefully took Clark and Lois into custody? Or is he extrapolating based on what he’s seen Clark do: float and break handcuffs? Treating the enemy as though they’re armed and dangerous is not the same thing as telling everyone, “Yo, I’ve seen these guys in action, and nobody swaggers around in black uniforms unless they can withstand 30mm Gatling fire!”

    I agree with Brandon and Todd that the human military was portrayed as refreshingly professional and competent for a change. The same cannot be said for the Kryptonian military. Zod is supposed to be the supreme commander of their planet’s armed forces, but from his first moment on screen, Michael Shannon is bellowing and gnawing on scenery like a Saturday morning cartoon villain. What does it say about Kryptonian eugenics that a man with the emotional bearing of Alex Jones was born to be in charge of anything more dangerous than a soup ladle?

    But obvious megalomania aside, Zod was also pretty terrible at his job. His weapons outclass human technology by thousands of years and his crew of veteran soldiers are indestructible gods among men, and he loses it *all* to a computer glitch and one guy with no combat experience or tactical training whatsoever.

    This is why Man of Steel was such a deeply unsatisfying movie. To paraphrase me some Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Clark doesn’t win because he’s smart enough or dedicated enough or inspirational enough to earn it…he’s just improbably lucky.

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