The reign of Borderlands continues, finding its way into the Suggestion Box once again. We can’t help it, it’s just a fun series to play! But fear not, Ben is back with a handful of varying recommendations in tow, bouncing back from his paltry two suggestions two weeks ago. Who does he think he is, me!?
Ben’s Comic Pick: Dark Nights: Metal – I initially thought that the first issue of this story arc, which feels more like an episode of Power Rangers than a Justice League comic, was absolutely insane, but that’s just the tiniest tip of a gargantuan, batshit crazy iceberg. Dinosaurs, demons, a few seriously messed up versions of Batman, and so, so much more show up in Dark Nights: Metal, an equally bonkers and brilliant story that is one of the caped crusader’s (and Wonder Woman’s) better capers I’ve read in a good while. There’s a zaniness to it that some Batfans may find off-putting, but I’d strongly suggest all comic fans at least give it a chance.
Ben’s TV Pick: Fleabag – The less you know about this British dramedy going in the better; just know I highly recommend it because A) you can binge both seasons in just a few sittings, and B) each episode is genuinely amazing. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s inspired writing and natural charm as the star of Fleabag make it laugh-out-loud funny, incredibly moving, and cement it as one of my favorite TV shows in the past couple of years. Matter of fact, it’s quite possibly the best of 2019.
Ben’s TV Pick: Hannibal – Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, a prequel-turned-reimagining of Thomas Harris’ novels gives a stylish flair to the carnage you’d expect from a show about a cannibalistic serial killer, making it one of the most visually stunning shows to ever grace the small screen. The violence, terror, and even the gore (kind of) are presented in an almost artistic fashion, both disturbing and engrossing at the same time, and the phenomenal writing allows you to get to know Hannibal Lector and Will Graham (the man who’s destined to catch Hannibal), while also building up their twisted-yet-believable obsession with each other. Hannibal is the best horror TV series out there, and one of the best from any genre period, for that matter.
Lauren’s TV Pick: Stranger Things Season 3 – I’m not gonna lie, the first 10 minutes of the premiere episode had me really worried for the rest of the season given the CGI heavy jump to Russia and awkward teenage “romantic time.” Fortunately I had nothing to worry about as the season zeroes right back in on the unluckiest small town in America, where our ever-expanding group of friends is having a surprisingly upbeat time (Eleven smiles! Multiple times!), blissfully unaware of all the body snatching that is about to drench Hawkins in enough blood and guts to compete with the unending Member Berry approved references. Seriously, don’t get too comfortable within the safety of the much appreciated Max + Eleven friendship montages, or the continued jokes at the expense of everyone’s favorite babysitter; this season gets dark, and I mean DARK, thanks to an amazingly rendered grotesquity of rats and goop that has no qualms diving headlong into what is arguably the deepest this show has gone into horror yet. I know season 1 will always have a special place in everyone’s heart, but season 3 might actually be my favorite season of Stranger Things yet. A Russian who respects the sanctity of icees, an unbeatable rendition of a childhood film’s theme song, a collection of hats that I wish I was cool enough to wear, America’s Erica… what’s not to love?
Ben’s TV Pick: Young Justice: Outsiders – Now that it’s no longer targeting the wrong audience (the show was cancelled by Cartoon Network in 2013 because it resonated with adults more than children, and was revived for the DC Universe streaming service), Young Justice’s storytelling has matured even further, continuing to build on its beloved characters, their relationships, and the strains of living the superhero life. In season 3, original team members like Superboy, Miss Martian, and Artemis are joined by newcomers Forager, Halo, Cyborg and Geo-Force, some of the best characters introduced since the pilot. Fans had been clamoring for Young Justice to return for years, and it was worth the wait.
Lauren’s Video Game Pick: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – I know Ben just listed this in our last Suggestion Box, so I’ll do my best to keep this one short and sweet by simply stating that I agree with him. The Pre-Sequel isn’t the strongest entry in the series as I found myself not caring as much about my character’s dialogue interjections (minus the Mr. Freeze level puns), nor the origin story of Handsome Jack. That said, jumping around in low gravity listening to happiness-inducing accented characters say things like: “Why don’t we just make up a word that rhymes with orange?” is still an experience worthy of your time. And to every pyromaniac like me who worried about not being able to light everything on fire in low oxygen environments, fear not. The newly introduced ice guns that’ll freeze attackers solid are a worthy successor to the flame. Now if only the game didn’t seem to forget the two best new characters, Springs and Pickle, later on…
Ben’s Video Game Pick: My Friend Pedro – For just $20, My Friend Pedro makes you feel like a bonafide badass action anti-hero (who’s taking advice from a sentient, floating fruit) in a silly, unique platforming world. The controls take a little getting used to, but once you do… Oh boy. The moment I knew I loved it was when I entered a new room, kicked a knife at a dude’s head, dropped down a floor, spun through a hail of bullets coming from various directions, and killed multiple enemies in front of, behind, and above me without taking a single hit, and that was in the first half hour. It’s only gotten more bananas since then.
So what do you think about these picks? And what content did we miss over the past two weeks while we were spending time with these? Be sure to leave a comment below letting us know about everything (both current and simply new to you) you’ve been consuming lately!
And while you’re here, be sure to check out our podcast episodes on James Cameron’s Avatar, Toy Story 4, and Edward Wright’s films of the past decade, as well as Ben’s written review of Crawl, Lauren’s written review of Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Jon’s written review of Aziz Ansari’s new comedy special.