TV Good Sleep Bad, episode 15: “Two Episodes of Black Mirror”

One day the world makes sense, and then you go to sleep and when you wake up in the morning you find out you’re actually living in the world of BLACK MIRROR, the series we cover in our latest episode.

For the fifteenth outing of TV Good Sleep Bad Elwood and I take on two episodes of Black Mirror, the British science-fiction series that’s giving new meaning to words like “prescient.” You go to bed one night in a world that makes sense, and in the morning you wake up only to find that you actually live in the world of “The Waldo Moment.”

Black Mirror: "The National Anthem"

In this episode, we discuss:

Black Mirror series 1 episode 1, “The National Anthem” (2011): A mysterious terrorist makes a bizarre demand of Britain’s Prime Minister: fuck a pig on live television or a beloved member of the royal family dies. Starring Rory Kinnear, Lindsay Duncan, Donald Sumpter, Anna Wilson-Jones.

Black Mirror series 2 episode 2, “White Bear” (2013): A young woman wakes up in an unfamiliar house with no memories except for some fractured visions of someone who may have been her daughter. Who is she? What happened to her? And why are all these people in masks chasing her? Starring Lenora Critchlow, Michael Smiley, Tuppence Middleton.

Next month: We get in the holiday spirit with Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas and The Star Wars Christmas Special.

TV Good Sleep Bad, episode 14: “Bottom & Kindred: The Embraced”

Elwood and Lackey explore the bowels of British comedy and the depths of obscure American drama in the latest horrific episode!

From the depths, it rises…its awakening foretold by a plethora of fart jokes and clunky exposition. It’s the horrific fourteenth episode of TV Good Sleep Bad, horror-themed as is appropriate for the season!

Bottom: "Terror"

In this episode, we discuss:

Bottom season 3 episode 2, “Terror” (1995): Richie and Eddie want to hold a Hallowe’en party and meet women to have sex with, but they have no money, so they go trick-or-treating with an electric cattle prod and attempt to sell their souls to the Devil.

Kindred: The Embraced episode 1, “The Original Saga” (1996): San Francisco police detective Frank Kohanek’s investigation of crime boss Julian Luna takes a bizarre turn when Luna’s bodyguard suffers a bizarre death at the hands of Luna’s rival Eddie Fiori. This in turn leads to a startling revelation: Luna is the leader of a secret society of vampires that also includes Fiori—and Kohanek’s girlfriend Alexandra.

Next month: Two episodes of Black Mirror: “The National Anthem” and “White Bear.”

TV Good Sleep Bad, episode 13: “Cyber City Oedo 808 & Danger Mouse”

Can Lackey survive the overdriven riffmongering of Cyber City Oedo 808? Can Elwood tolerate the slapstick antics of Danger Mouse? If they can’t, will the episode end early?

London, England*. And in a basement in moneyed Mayfair** lives the greatest guardian of cult television the world has ever known. Yes, Elwood Jones, the secret agent so secret that even his code name has a code name. And with his trusted assistant Daniel Lackey (code-named “The Jigsaw,” because whenever he’s faced with an episode of Buffy, he goes to pieces), he has delivered the thirteenth terrific episode of TV Good Sleep Bad!

* He actually doesn’t live in London.

** And if he did, he certainly wouldn’t live in Mayfair.

Special appearance by "that bloody duck."
Special appearance by “that bloody duck.”

In this episode, we discuss:

Cyber City Oedo 808 episode 1, “Memories of the Past” aka “Virtual Death” (1990): In the twenty-ninth century, three ruthless, hardened criminals are given the chance to reduce their sentences by taking on missions too dangerous for regular police. It’s up to these three antiheroes to save the 50,000 occupants of a massive skyscraper when the structure’s central computer puts the building on lockdown. But who’s controlling the computer?

Danger Mouse season 2 episode 6, “The Four Tasks of Danger Mouse” (1981): Baron Greenback kidnaps Penfold and issues an ultimatum to Danger Mouse: collect the ingredients for a powerful ritual the Baron wants to enact, or the hapless hamster gets it in the neck. But can even the world’s greatest secret agent claim a piece of the legendary Fog Monster of Old London town? And is television ready for a certain showbiz-obsessed vampire duck?

Next month: Bottom and Kindred: The Embraced.

TV Good Sleep Bad, episode 12: “The Prisoner & Masters of Horror”

Two fantastical takes on the electoral process still somehow manage to seem more realistic than Donald Trump or #Brexit

Good morning, citizens! Numbers 15 and 16 present a new episode of TV Good Sleep Bad, the cult TV podcast that will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered!

In this episode, we discuss:

The Prisoner 1.02*, “Free for All” (1967): Number 2 encourages Number 6 to run in the upcoming Village council elections. But our hero soon learns that so-called free elections are just another form of mind control in the Village.

* According to the A&E DVD boxed set.

Masters of Horror 1.06, “Homecoming” (2005): Soldiers killed in action in Iraq come back to life…to exercise their constitutionally-guaranteed right to vote. Which might not be a good thing for the incumbent administration…Starring Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager).

Next month: Cyber City OEDO 808 and Danger Mouse.

TV Good Sleep Bad, episode 11: “Rick and Morty & The Outer Limits”

Mad science runs amok as a feckless suburbanite goes to extreme lengths to improve his golf score, and a cancer patient turns into a human jellyfish

It’s time for another episode of TV Good Sleep Bad, the cult-TV podcast that is not born into this world fumbling for meaning! It was created to serve a singular purpose which it will go to any lengths to fulfill!

(Well, not any lengths, not really. I don’t think we would have shot someone for the opportunity to watch Sapphire and Steel.)

In this episode, we discuss:

Rick and Morty 1.05, “Meeseeks and Destroy” (2014): Morty convinces Rick to let him lead their latest adventure, one that ultimately results in him being trapped in a restroom with a lecherous jellybean. Meanwhile, Rick gives the other Smiths a little something to get them off his back: magical creatures who exist only to help them improve their lives. But things take a dark turn when they can’t help Jerry take two strokes off his golf game.

The Outer Limits 1.15, “The New Breed” (1995): A terminal cancer patient injects himself with his future brother-in-law’s body-repairing nanites, but things go disastrously wrong. Starring Richard Thomas (The WaltonsItThe Americans) and Peter Outerbridge (ReGenesis).

Next month: Masters of Horror and The Prisoner.

TV Good Sleep Bad, episode 10: “Jess Archer Versus & Speed Racer”

Who has framed the captain of the football team? Who has been hired to steal the plans of the Mach 5? How can we be expected to take a man named Skull Duggery seriously?

Here it comes, here comes TV Good Sleep Bad! It’s a demon on wheels!

In this episode, we discuss:

Jess Archer vs. the Ex (2011) and Jess Archer Versus. 1.01-1.04 (2016): Sardonic high school Jess Archer may fantasize about kicking zombie ass, but her real life features adventure aplenty as she investigates a stolen comic book and a football team frame-up, all the while trying to convince her BFF Chase that it’s a bad idea for him to just come storming into the ladies’ room whenever he feels like it.

Speed Racer 1.01 & 1.02, “The Great Plan (parts 1 & 2)”: Speed enters his first real race, hoping to win the money Pops needs to upgrade the Mach 5 into the most advanced racing car yet. But who has hired the dastardly Ace Deucey to steal the secret plans for the new Mach 5…?

Next month: The Outer Limits (1995 revival) and Rick and Morty.

TV Good Sleep Bad, episode 9: “Sapphire and Steel & Dark Season”

British high school students work to defeat world-destroying plots, and alien troubleshooters encounter a faceless man.

When Elwood and Lackey discovered that their next assignment would be to team up with Jay Cluitt of the LAMB and Life vs. Film and review episodes of Sapphire and Steel and Dark Season, their reactions were something like this:

darkseason002

In this episode, we discuss:

Sapphire and Steel 2.07-2.10, “Assignment IV” aka “The Man Without a Face” (1981): Joanna Lumley and David McCallum are troubleshooters from beyond time who find themselves pulled into strange occurrences at an abandoned junk shop, including a mysterious man with no face, the sudden appearance of Victorian-era children, and a young woman who spends three straight episodes “getting ready for work.”

Dark Season (1991): A trio of precocious students face off against the villainous Mr. Eldritch, a man with a number of sinister technological toys and a deep, abiding loathing of human life. Best known for launching the careers of Russell T. Davies (creator of Queer as Folk and inaugural showrunner of the Doctor Who revival) and Kate Winslet (expect you’ve heard of her).

Next month: Jess Archer Vs. and Speed Racer (’68).

TV Good Sleep Bad, episode 8: “Mystery Science Theater 3000 & Ultraman”

In our latest episode, Joel and the ‘bots encounter Teenagers from Outer Space, while a mad scientist creates his very own Loch Ness Monster.

Sorry this episode is much, much later than it ought to have been, but mad scientists kidnapped Elwood, Lackey, and special guest Brian “The Last Angry Geek” Heinz, shot them into space, marooned them on an orbital satellite, and forced them to watch cheesy cult science-fiction television shows. (They needn’t have bothered; we watch this kind of thing by choice.)

In this episode, we discuss:

Mystery Science Theater 3000 4.04, “Teenagers from Outer Space” (1992): This week’s experiment: a 1959 Warner Bros. cheapie about aliens who plot to turn Earth into a breeding ground for giant lobsters.

Ultraman 1.10, “The Mysterious Dinosaur Base” (1966): Ultraman takes on a mad scientist who has been breeding a massive dinosaur beneath the waves of Lake Kitayama.

New month: Dark Season and Sapphire and Steel.

...and sentenced to TORTURE!

…what do you think, sirs?

TV Good Sleep Bad, episode 7: “Doctor Who & Japanese Spiderman”

In our latest episode, Doctor Who uncovers a plot to steal the Mona Lisa, and Spider-Man owns a giant robot.

Elwood and Lackey are back to take on two slices of late-night television goodness, in the form of Tom Baker-era Doctor Who and Japan’s tokusatsu take on Spider-Man. Yowza!

In this episode, we discuss:

Doctor Who 17.05-17.08, “City of Death” (1979): The Doctor and Romana arrive in contemporary Paris and stumble across a tentacle-faced alien, dangerous time-travel experiments, and a plot to steal the Mona Lisa.

Supaidāman, episode zero (1978?): Takuya Yamashiro, a motocross racer with superpowers granted by alien technology, joins forced with Interpol’s Secret Intelligence Division to take on Professor Monster and his evil Iron Cross Army.

Next month: Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Ultraman.

TV Good Sleep Bad, episode 6: “The X-Files & Kolchak: The Night Stalker”

This month: THE X-FILES and KOLCHAK. Special guest Will of Exploding Helicopter.

It’s time once again for another episode of TV Good Sleep Bad! This month, to celebrate the return of The X-Files to our television screens, we examine not only an episode from the show’s creative peak but also an installment of one of its strongest influences. Featuring special guest Will from Exploding Helicopter.

In this episode, we discuss:

The X-Files 4.02, “Home” (1996): Mulder and Scully investigate a clan of hideously deformed inbred freaks, and yet somehow manage to slip in a reference to Babe.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker 1.03, “They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be…” (1974): Dead zoo animals, disappearing lead ingots, and the appearance of a strange tar-like substance distract the iconic reporter from something really important: the Cubs making the World Series.

Next month: Doctor Who (original series) and Japanese Spider-Man.

TVGSB 6 featured