It’s the Nerdfest review of the year! Join us as we celebrate all the joyful things that 2020 brought us, and none of the dumpster fire awfulness.
Peter, Andy, Dan, Hazel and Jon have all compiled our top ten lists of the best nerd pop culture this year, and we use our last podcast of 2020 to discuss, argue, surprise and tut our way through them.
And whilst we have some things on our lists which won’t surprise many listeners (yes, Dan and Hazel hijack the beginning of the podcast to sing the praises of Hamilton and yes, Jon has some more obscure horrors to recommend) there are a couple of unexpected entries. And as always, comedy hijinks ensue.
Whilst we haven’t been able to be in the same room together to record the vast majority of podcasts in 2020, we’ve loved being able to bring you episodes every two weeks. Thank you to Peter and his technical expertise for finding a way for us to do it.
Hopefully 2021 will be a much better year for everyone, but until then, there are plenty of nerdy things to distract us. Merry Christmas, and we’ll catch you on the other side of 2020.
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It’s double quiz time! We start the episode with a “Play Your Cards Right” quiz from Andy, who gives us the task of deciding which movies have the higher body counts. Join us as we compare the carnage from everything from ‘Lord of the Rings’ to ‘Commando’, ‘Terminator 2’ and ‘Team America: World Police’.
Then, it’s Buff or Bluff time. In celebration of “The Queen’s Gambit” (which is AWESOME and you all should be watching it!)Dan has a chess conundrum for us. Jon, partly in dedication to regular listeners Jenni and Gary, and partly for his own amusement, has 3 facts about “The Wizard of Oz”. Let’s just say he should have done his scarecrow homework…
After the news that Ryan Reynolds is the new part-owner of Wrexham AFC, Hazel decides to investigate whether he has any more hidden talents. And Peter has 3 facts related to The X Men, but just like Jon his bluff soon gets unravelled, albeit for different reasons.
And finally Andy has 3 plots of movies with the word “America” in. But which is the fake movie – is it “An American Christmas Carol”, “American Gladiator” or “American Angels: Baptism of Blood”? Tune in to find out!
It’s a bumper review special this episode, as we look for more wonderful things to help you fill these dark winter nights.
Dan puts his bigfoot in it by reviewing new novel “Devolution”, which does for sasquatch what World War Z did for the living-challenged. Andy haunts us with BBC TV comedy “Ghosts”. Hazel investigates Nathan Fillion’s detective series “Castle”. Jon hides out in “His House” with only a horror movie for comfort, and Peter gives Apple + comedy “Ted Lasso” a sporting chance.
And we track down Ian Mayor for three British comics recommendations from the depths of his void, at an undisclosed location somewhere on the western spiral arm of the galaxy.
In this episode we welcome an awesome guest nerd- Kerris Gibson. You’ll love getting to know her and her eclectic taste in movies in our opening segment. (Full disclaimer – We’re not sure WHY we got onto the subject of a certain part of the human anatomy and how often it ‘shows up’ in film, but that’s the path Kerris leads us down…)
We also have a bumper round of “Film Buff or Film Bluff”, the game where we try to outfox each other with both true and made-up trivia about the world of entertainment.
Jon has three ‘facts’ about movie plots and why they departed from their source material. Then Hazel, one of the biggest fans of “The West Wing” has three stories about its behind the scenes shenanigans, including the lesser-known lyrics to the opening theme. (Yes, we make her sing them.)
Kerris befuddles us all with pranks from Japanese game shows. Followed by Peter, who’s been spending his time wisely in lockdown on the trashiest of trash TV, and has three plots for movies allegedly streamed in 2020. And Andy finishes us off, with three facts about the awesome Orson Welles.
Halloween! Inspiration for so many great movies, which we try and rattle off in quick succession in our opening segment. From the moments that shook our childhoods, to what we think defines a great horror, be afraid. Be very afraid.
After a quick change of underwear, we move on to discuss our recommendations of the week. First up is Dan who is sucked in by “Vampires Vs The Bronx”. Then Andy recommends the latest Sofia Coppola/ Bill Murray collaboration “On the Rocks”.
Peter leads the charges against “The Trial of the Chicago Seven” (it was acquitted, on account of being great). And Jon recommends yet another disturbing horror movie that probably no-one else will ever watch, “Possessor”.
And finally Hazel rocks out to “Rocks”; the latest brilliant and heartwarming independent film to have found a home on Netflix.
Its “Buff or Bluff” time again, as our nerds try to hide 4 massive whoppers in amongst 12 fabulous facts- will it take a truth serum to find out which is which, and can you beat the team?
This time around, Dan covers masks (and’ The Mask‘), Jon describes some weird director antics, Peter polishes up our knowledge of ‘Metal Mickey‘, and Andy evokes great showman William Castle and the amazing stunts he’d pull to promote his movies.
In a “wide ranging discussion” we also reminisce fondly about ‘Gladiators‘ (although Jon and Peter are more concerned with Jet’s appearances on ‘GamesWorld‘) and a close encounter with a manatee.
And we peek a little behind the scenes at how the podcast is put together, as Jon storms off to his trailer.
We have lots of new movie, TV, book and even musical recommendations for you this week. But before that, we all discuss who we’d like to see as the next James Bond. (Is it Tom Hardy? Or possibly a more left field choice? Tune in to find out!)
To kick off our recommendations, Dan shares his nostalgic experiences of listening to the John Williams “Live in Vienna” album. He also reviews Stuart Turtons brand new book “The Devil and the Dark Water”, which we were lucky enough to be sent an advance copy of. Jon reviews “Bill and Ted Face the Musicbut”, which might just emerge as the best thing of 2020. Then we travel back in time for an absolute classic, as Andy shares his thoughts on a first watch of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid“. Peter recommends “Raised by Wolves”, a stunning new sci fi drama marking the TV directorial debut of one Ridley Scott. And Hazel reviews Katherine Ryan’s semi-autobiographical Netflix show, “The Duchess”.
Dan got married! Jon got a puppy! Ian grew a beard! We have lots of reasons to celebrate in this episode, so please do join us for a bit of non lockdown-related happiness!
We also have a great round of Film Buff or Film Bluff for you – including Jon’s definition of a “dedication” to Dan and his new wife. Ian has some made-up movie reviews to fool us with, Peter heads into the land of sci fi, Dan has 3 facts about the life of Buster Keaton, and Hazel treads dangerous waters with the plots of three propaganda movies, one of which she has made up from scratch (sorry Mr. Putin).
And finally Dan brings us his review of ‘Tenet‘, whilst trying (and somewhat failing) to explain what he saw.
This episode also includes our tribute to Chadwick Boseman, one of the world’s most beloved and inspirational humans, gone too soon.
Love is in the air today, as we open the show celebrating Hazel and Andy’s minus one wedding anniversary, and Jon and Peter offer up some unusual ways on how they can celebrate it 🙂
Then we bring you a tonne of new recommendations for your viewing pleasure. First up is ‘Lovecraft Country‘ which premiered recently in Sky’s ‘Watchmen’ slot. Hazel then talks about an easy binge-watch on BBC iPlayer – ‘Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience.’
Andy has another eclectic offering, with Ugandan film ‘Who killed Captain Alex‘. Hear about some of the amazing action Wakaliwood produces on a shoestring budget.
And finally Peter has two recommendations – ‘The Americans‘ and ‘Perry Mason‘ which somehow inspires Jon to perform a series of raps about the Terminator series…
In the second section of the show we tackle a listener question, which asks us what we’ve found most disappointing so far in nerd culture in 2020. Aside from all the cinema release postponements, this conversation takes us down some interesting paths. Some might even say it was a poignant discussion!
N.B this episode was recorded before the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman. We were incredibly devastated to hear about this and send all our thoughts to Chadwick’s family, friends, and legions of fans across the world. Wakanda Forever.
This time we answer a question from a listener about just how wrong we all are. This leads us into a fun discussion about certain films that we personally love- but need to mount a bit of a defence for, to others.
Before that we have our Film Buff or Film Buff quiz, which tests our knowledge on how movies coped with an actor’s untimely death, the movie ‘Almost Famous’, 50s Sci fi TV around the world, ‘Star Trek’, and the works of Alan Smithee.
Do send in more of your listener questions for us to tackle! @nerdfestuk on Twitter and Facebook.