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Case studies in the pop culture of a dying empire. // Friends, writers, and inveterate dumbasses Brian, Josh, and A.J. are your guides through The Worst of All Possible Worlds, the first and only media criticism podcast on the planet. Each episode deconstructs how the narrative and artistic choices of a given piece of pop culture reflect or subvert the broader decay of contemporary America. No matter what the story is, we vow never to stop yelling about it until we figure out what‘s really g ...
 
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THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full episode at patreon.com/worstofall The lads hop on the midnight train to Güllen as they explore the delightfully weird and morally murky depths of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s classic tragicomedy: The Visit. They discuss the many adaptations of the play, the enduring legacy of its themes, and the uneasy feelings broug…
 
While Josh is out sick with the novel coronavirus, Brian and A.J. return once again to Elsinore Castle as they dive headlong into the four-hour, bloated monstrosity that is Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. They discuss the difficulties of adapting Hamlet to the screen, Kenneth Branagh’s lips, and the dangers of treating…
 
Last week, Josh got on a call with Harm Venhuizen, outgoing editor-in-chief of Calvin University's student newspaper Chimes to discuss the recent policy choices made by the school and their consequences. Links to Harm’s articles: “Calvin’s Policies Against Same Sex Marriage a Motivator in Split with Center for Social Research, Sources Say”https://c…
 
THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full episode at patreon.com/worstofall The lads follow a trail of corruption and intrigue as they return to Odyssey to dig up a scoop on the greatest calamity facing the youth of today: the ethics of middle-school journalism. Topics include the true meaning of free speech, the importance of school newspaper competit…
 
You’ve probably seen a lot of clips recently of the ongoing culture war coming to a flashpoint in school board meetings across the country. To learn how the reactionary right is using these conflicts to push for increased school privatization, Josh (@boshj) sat down with Wendy Lecker and Nicole Ciullo from the Education Law Center, a Newark-based o…
 
The lads throw on their bad hair pieces and fine Italian suits as they, along with special guest Michael Kupperman (@Mkupperman), gaze into the gaping maw of the much-maligned Bob Hoskins and Denzel Washington buddy-cop/ghost/crime-thriller/“comedy”: Heart Condition. Topics include mid-budget 90s studio movies, Denzel Washington’s comedy chops, and…
 
This is a PREVIEW. To listen to the full episode, go to https://www.patreon.com/WorstOfAll It’s D.A.R.E.’s worst nightmare as the lads, along with renowned cannabis lawyer Stefan Borst-Censullo (@Stefan_BC), reach new highs and tackle the devil’s weed in the 1936 propaganda film Reefer Madness. Topics include the racist history of narcotics crackdo…
 
The lads and special guest Lev Novak (@LevNovak) do battle with the Imagination Station as Adventures in Odyssey tackles its two toughest topics yet: death and also those three guys that visited Jesus that one time. Topics include the gifts of the magi, the preposterousness of hell, and the seemingly unkillable deity known as John Avery Whittaker. …
 
THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full thing at patreon.com/worstofallMy name is Alan Wake. I’m a writer. Three podcasters and their friend, Jack Horton Gilbert, played through my story and talked about it for three hours. What followed was wild and dark and weird, even by my standards. Stephen King once said, “My wife and kids won’t touch a pizza w…
 
Saddle up your horses as the lads, along with Rosey Armstrong (Hans Gruber and the Die Hards, Los Kurados), slap on their Crosses of Gold and dive headlong into the varied and wild world of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). Topics include what makes Christian music Christian music, the importance of artistic integrity in an industry seemingly des…
 
THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full thing at patreon.com/worstofall Nate Bethea aka @inthesedeserts (What a Hell of a Way To Die, Trashfuture) returns to Odyssey (and the podcast!) as he and the lads tackle the real problems facing a divided America: insecticide, new highways, and bigotry against “citters”. Topics include the environmental activi…
 
The lads, along with special guest Matt Barbot (@BarbotRobot), have rockets in their pockets as they rumble with Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s 2021 adaptation of the musical theater classic: West Side Story. They discuss the complicated legacy of the original musical, the pitfalls of adaptation, and the importance of producing new work in an …
 
THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full thing at patreon.com/worstofall Bust out your ring lights and twenty dollar phone clamps because this week the lads dive headlong into the world of influences with the hit (?) reality shows Netflix’s Hype House and Hulu’s The D’Amelio Show. Topics include the emptiness of influencer culture, the pressures of be…
 
The lads face down the dastardly Dr. Regis Blackgaard as they once again return to Odyssey for a dizzying foray into the world of forgiveness and electronic stores. Topics include Midwestern social mores, the nature of revenge, and the importance of unionizing in a world full of John Avery Whittakers. Episodes discussed:#155 & #156: Waylaid in the …
 
THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full thing at patreon.com/worstofallThings get WILD as the lads, along with special guest Anne Huston (General Manager of Caveat), strap on their Gibson Flying V/EB-0 1961 Bass guitars and dive headlong into the Loony Tunes madness and shocking poignancy of Kazuya Tsurumaki and Yōji Enokido’s hit anime: FLCL. Topics…
 
The lads make their long-awaited return to Odyssey as they bring special guest Nate Lamagna (@vrunt) along for some wacky adventures in dealing with the second coming of Christ, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the realization that your best friends’ dad has debilitating alcoholism! Topics include the business of rapture-mongering, the parallels between A…
 
THIS IS THE FIRST HALF OF OUR DISCUSSION. For the full episode, check us out on Patreon: patreon.com/WorstOfAll Special guest Trevor Beaulieu (Champagne Sharks) joins the lads as they solve a pretty boilerplate case and then dress up in fancy disguises for a negligible amount of screen-time to discuss the immensely popular and massively overlooked …
 
The lads and special guest Trevor Strunk (No Cartridge, Story Mode) take up the mantle of the Chosen Undead as they attempt to link the fire by climbing the trap-filled Snake Fortress of video game culture that is Dark Souls. They discuss difficulty settings in video games, the pernicious gatekeeping of gitting gud, and what Dark Souls can teach us…
 
THIS IS THE FIRST HALF OF OUR DISCUSSION. For the full episode, check out our Patreon: patreon.com/WorstOfAllThe lads and special guest Josh Sawyer (Fallout: New Vegas, Pillars of Eternity) go beard to beard with the mob as they face down one of Shakespeare’s most brutal and overlooked tragedies: Coriolanus. They discuss Ralph Fiennes’ excellent 20…
 
The lads, along with special guest Ashleigh Stoneman (The Very Worst, The Merry Worst), venture off into the tall grass to do battle with the literal wild animal that is the Pokémon franchise. They discuss the pastoral origins of Pokémon, its literal demonization at the hands of the Christian Right, and the existential nightmare of being the very b…
 
THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full thing at patreon.com/worstofall The lads knock back a few eggnogs and experience a true Christmas miracle as they cover the first actually good episode of Adventures in Odyssey: “Monty’s Christmas”. Topics include the power of empathy, Christmas angels, and the legacy of the late, great voice actor Will Ryan. E…
 
The lads enlist Nate Bethea (What a Hell of a Way To Die, TRASHFUTURE) to help battle their way through some of Adventures in Odyssey’s most patriotic episodes. They discuss the cliches of war stories, the manufactured outrage around flag burning, and getting uncucked at the hands of Dr. Beanes. Nate’s Twitter: @inthesedeserts Nate’s Podcasts:What …
 
One week ago, the world lost the greatest musical theater composer of all time. This week, we brought in Graham Techler (The New Yorker, Tooning out the News) to record an episode about Stephen Sondheim’s life and legacy. What started out with sharing favorite shows and tunes turned into a broader conversation about art, commerce, and the paradox o…
 
THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full thing at patreon.com/worstofall Brian's (@spocks_brian) back in town and in our first in-person episode, he, Josh (@boshj) and A.J. (@thefuzzymask) go over his favorite holiday: T-Givez. Yes, that's what he calls it. Yes, he's called it that for years. No, he won't stop. In this episode we discuss the history o…
 
The boys and special guest David Armstrong (The Omni Bilateral Panic Podcast) press X to Shaun as they clumsily stagger through the wasteland of David Cage’s 2010 damp catastrophe: Heavy Rain. They discuss the creative limits of video-game-as-movie, the allegations of Quantic Dream’s toxic work environment, and the pros and cons of weapons-grade co…
 
THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full thing at patreon.com/worstofall Everybody’s gone to the rapture as Josh (@boshj), Brian (@spocks_brian), and A.J. (@TheFuzzyMask) go on the slow helicopter ride into the apocalypse that is the 1972 evangelical fear-mongering classic: A Thief in the Night. They discuss the cult of rapture-pilling, California Chr…
 
The Sinister Sisters, Felicia Lobo (@girlygorehorror) and Lauren Harris, join Josh (@boshj), Brian (@spocks_brian), A.J. (@TheFuzzyMask) to battle the forces of darkness, goths, and spiders (mostly spiders) as they face the 2003 movie adaptation of Frank Peretti’s evangelical horror disaster Hangman’s Curse. They discuss the power of spooky fonts, …
 
Grab your swords and belts and other things you need as Josh (@boshj), Brian (@spocks_brian), A.J. (@TheFuzzyMask) and former Christian ska artist/Night in the Woods co-creator Scott Benson (@bombsfall) kick off the Halloween season by larping their way through Adventures in Odyssey’s most scarring episodes. They discuss the insidiousness of the Sa…
 
Strap on your long tails and ears for hats, because Brian (@spocks_brian), A.J. (@TheFuzzyMask), Josh (@boshj), and special guests Jessie Cannizzaro (Puffs, @JessCannizzaro) and Eleanor Philips (Puffs, @ecphilips) are literally climbing up the Billboard Charts to talk about the 2001 cult classic Josie and the Pussycats. They discuss the legacy of t…
 
Unless you're a pinball enthusiast or keep an extremely close eye on SEC litigation, you've probably never heard the name Deeproot. But just a couple weeks ago, this fledgling startup got slapped with a massive civil lawsuit that sent shockwaves throughout the pinball collector community. Join Josh (@boshj) and Brian (@spocks_brian) as "Crazy" Levi…
 
THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full thing at patreon.com/worstofall There’s something rotten in the CORPORATION of Denmark??? Josh (@boshj), Brian (@spocks_brian), and A.J. (@TheFuzzyMask) whip out their bodkins and throw themselves headlong into the morose, brooding world of literal corporate backstabbing that is Michael Almereyda's Hamlet (2000…
 
Rob Mobley (@VillainologyPod) joins Josh (@boshj), Brian (@spocks_brian), and A.J. (@TheFuzzyMask) on their slow descent into the depths of evil as they face Adventure in Odyssey’s Biggest Bad: Dr. Regis Blackgaard, Child Psychologist. They discuss the nature of evil, the surprising careers of the voice cast, and the tragic story of a man whose wif…
 
THIS IS A PREVIEW. Check out the full thing at patreon.com/worstofall Josh (@boshj), Brian (@spocks_brian), and A.J. (@TheFuzzyMask) get thrown headlong into Imagination Station as they continue their journey through Adventures in Odyssey as part of their Whit’s Endless Summer. They discuss the insidiousness of Evangelical brainwashing, the merits …
 
Join Josh (@boshj) and Brian (@spocks_brian) as they dive into the ambitious 2017 space-station spoop-fest Prey! They talk the joys of fake-out openings, the pitfalls of immersive combat, and the sticky beauty of a good ole fashioned GLOO cannon. They also delve into the depths of the infamous Bethesda/Kotaku brouhaha of the mid 2010s and the endur…
 
A.J. and Brian take a relaxed trip through the walking simulator Gone Home, its influences and its legacy, which stretches beyond the medium of video games. We also discuss how the game gets used as a virtue signal among gaming's reactionary wing.For more listening, check out Steve Gaynor's GDC talk: https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1020376/Why-Is-Gon…
 
In December of 1993, a congressional hearing takes place. The subject: violence in video games. The culprit: Night Trap. How did such a silly little game get so much negative attention? Who was behind this? What is Joe Lieberman's, like, deal? That's what A.J. and Brian try to solve as we dig into the morass of politics in the 90s.…
 
Brian (https://twitter.com/Spocks_Brian) and A.J. (https://twitter.com/TheFuzzyMask) check out one of history's most notorious video games, and discover that it's really just some good clean fun. Well, depending on your definition of fun. But there are some cultural forces a-churning, and this campy, interactive Dana Plato vehicle might be in for s…
 
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