Top 10 Power Rankings: The Umbrella Academy Season 1 [SPOILERS]

he Umbrella Academy! A 10 part television show based off the award-winning comic book series written by My Chemical Romance’s lead singer Gerard Way debuted this past week on Netflix. The show has drawn obvious comparisons to Marvel’s X-Men and NBC’s This Is Us, but we’re going to paint it with a different brush. Imagine if Tim Burton got high and watched Real World for the first time and then immediately thought to bring The Addams Family back to tv and for some reason, gave them all super powers. This is essentially what you’d get. A healthy mix of crime-fighting action, quasi-insestual romance, dark comedy and some good old-fashioned time traveling hi-jinks make this show more dynamic than your average superhero series. It’s not perfect, but it’s got a little something for everyone. We thoroughly enjoyed the binge and are ready to break down the animated beings (no offense Dolores). #couplegoals

 

 

10. Cha Cha & Hazel

This tag team of assassins hired by The Commision to stop Number 5 from preventing the apocalypse get a ton of screen time in this adaptation. Maybe a little too much. Cha Cha is a male in the comics and the gender swapped role is brought to life by award-winning R&B queen: Mary J. Blige, while Mindhunter’s breakout star Cameron Britton takes on the psycho killer Hazel. We found their bizarre love triangle to be too much of a departure from the main storyline and didn’t seem to contribute anything substantial to the narrative. Basically, we didn’t buy the chemistry. We don’t hate hate their portrayal. We just would’ve scaled them back to make room for other more captivating characters.

9. Ben (No. 6)

Justin H. Min plays the boy possessed by monsters. Unfortunately, Ben was sidelined for most of this season. Shadowing Klaus and releasing The Horror every now and then. A statue in his likeness stands at the front of the mansion. It serves as a commemoration to his death, as well as a reminder that even though these heroes are super, they are still mortal. His reduction only leaves us with more questions like, how and why did he die in the first place? Hopefully season two can provide clarity.

8. Sir Reginald Hargreeves

The adoptive father of the family’s shadow looms heavily over the series. The Monocle, played by Colm Feore, is featured solely through flashbacks and one crucial divination. His intentions are difficult to pinpoint throughout the season. Depending on your perspective, he walks the line between maniacally abusive father and misunderstood philanthropic protector of humanity. Robot nanny/mom Grace would suggest that he means well, but that’s a difficult sell when you’re locked inside a soundproof jail cell. I’m sure all of us with similar daddy issues can relate.

7. Diego (No. 2)

I’m not exactly sure how accurate knife throwing became a trendy superpower, but I ain’t down with it. It’s not a superpower. It’s a trained skill, like ice-skating or archery. Yes, I’m looking at you Hawkeye. If he could throw a knife from New York that traveled across the world and hit a bullseye in China, then maybe I would consider that superpower-esque. This guy hits targets at a close range and I couldn’t be less impressed. How is he number two? How is the kid that can time travel not number two? Why is he The Kraken and not the kid with a giant squid living inside of him? Maybe he’s number two because his powers are shit! That being said, it was a great dramatic portrayal by newcomer Dave Castaneda (golf clap).

6. Allison (No. 3)

Starting rumors always has the potential for devastation, but this takes it to another level. Emmy Raver-Lampman’s plays Allison, a celebrity with persuasive abilities and her role as the connective tissue between Vanya and the rest of family is critical (as if she doesn’t already have enough to deal with). She’s balancing her career as a movie star, budding relationship with Luther, failed marriage and child rearing responsibilities and, oh yeah, she has to save the mother loving world from god knows who and while we’re at it, let’s slit her throat too. She goes through a lot in season 3 and it’s miraculous she even makes it out alive. Here’s to hoping they take it easy on her in season two.

5. Luther (No. 1)

Spaceboy is the leader of the group with superhuman strength and an unbelievably tireless work ethic. His stoic managerial style is reminiscent of Leonardo from the early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles years. His commitment to duty and maintaining the family bond seem exhausting, which makes the few moments he takes to let loose that much more rewarding. The multi-faceted Tom Hooper shows off his talents on the battlefield as well as the dance floor. All while rocking a big gross gorilla bodysuit. He would’ve been higher on the list if he wasn’t such a bad crier. Yeah. No. I’m serious. Go back and watch. Not a good crier.

4. Vanya (No. 7)

No disrespect to the academy-award nominated Ellen Page. She played Vanya with both incredible strength and fragility. The suspense in her arc is the heartbeat (no pun intended) of the main plot. She’s the key to preventing the apocalypse and it’s such an emotional predicament to both root for her ascension to relevance and, at the same time rail against her for succumbing to her dark side. We look forward to where her journey takes her in season two and she probably should be higher on the list if it weren’t for one unforgivable act. She killed Pogo. I’m just…I’m sorry. Some things are just irredeemable.

3. Pogo

My favorite character from season one is the talking chimpanzee uncle you wish you had. At least I wish I had. Pogo, voiced by Adam Godley and, personally, best known as Elliot from Breaking Bad, is Reginald’s closest assistant. We don’t get much back story on him or how he came to be and he barely leaves the mansion. But, every time he’s on screen it’s magical. He’s always dropping little vaguely threatening nuggets of wisdom that could either unlock the secrets of humanity or seal your doom. His death at the hands of Vanya was crushingly tragic and we don’t know if we’ll ever recover. Luckily, the season finale teased the idea of the gang traveling back in time. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed in hopes of reuniting with young Pogo once again.

2. Number Five (No. 5)

Aidan Gallagher is really, really good at being a little kid that plays a 58 yr-old man in the body of a little kid. Seriously, he was an awesome Number Five and genuinely sold the persona of a grumpy senior citizen. He really took command of every scene he was in and showed the confidence of an actor thrice his age. Now that I think about it, perhaps he really is a 58-yr old in a 13 yr-olds body. Maybe he’s got Andy Milonakis disease. It wouldn’t surprise us. But I digress, Number 5 had the most fun powers of the group. BAMF-ing around like Nightcrawler and travelling time like a true boss. Number five would’ve been number one if it weren’t for another closely-related number.

1. Klaus (No. 4)

Robert Sheehan really owned season one in his role as the eccentric drug-addict/ghost whisperer. Just a wonderful ball of entertainment in every frame he was in. Amongst the diverse, award-winning ensemble of talented actors, The Seance truly stood out. Whether he’s crawling across a war zone imagined dance floor searching for pills, or travelling across existential planes to get a shave from his dead dad, Kraus provided the most pure enjoyment per second out of the entire cast. His role isn’t a walk in the park either. It’s the most physically demanding of all, as it requires him to act high while both getting beat up and beating himself up. Mentally, he has to border on the line of psychotic and emotionally, he has to channel a victim of heartbreak and PTSD. He balances each masterfully and really comes through at the end when it matters. We’re most looking forward to the next stage of his evolution in season two.

 

 

So what do you think? Did Klaus really have the best season of them all? Did Cha Cha & Hazel ever spark joy? Is Pogo the G.O.A.T.? That’s a fact actually. Pogo is the best. Pogo definitely sparks joy. ♦

he Umbrella Academy! A 10 part television show based off the award-winning comic book series written by My Chemical Romance’s lead singer Gerard Way debuted this past week on Netflix. The show has drawn obvious comparisons to Marvel’s X-Men and NBC’s This Is Us, but we’re going to paint it with a different brush. Imagine if Tim Burton got high and watched Real World for the first time and then immediately thought to bring The Addams Family back to tv and for some reason, gave them all super powers. This is essentially what you’d get. A healthy mix of crime-fighting action, quasi-insestual romance, dark comedy and some good old-fashioned time traveling hi-jinks make this show more dynamic than your average superhero series. It’s not perfect, but it’s got a little something for everyone. We thoroughly enjoyed the binge and are ready to break down the animated beings (no offense Dolores). #couplegoals

 

 

10. Cha Cha & Hazel

This tag team of assassins hired by The Commision to stop Number 5 from preventing the apocalypse get a ton of screen time in this adaptation. Maybe a little too much. Cha Cha is a male in the comics and the gender swapped role is brought to life by award-winning R&B queen: Mary J. Blige, while Mindhunter’s breakout star Cameron Britton takes on the psycho killer Hazel. We found their bizarre love triangle to be too much of a departure from the main storyline and didn’t seem to contribute anything substantial to the narrative. Basically, we didn’t buy the chemistry. We don’t hate hate their portrayal. We just would’ve scaled them back to make room for other more captivating characters.

9. Ben (No. 6)

Justin H. Min plays the boy possessed by monsters. Unfortunately, Ben was sidelined for most of this season. Shadowing Klaus and releasing The Horror every now and then. A statue in his likeness stands at the front of the mansion. It serves as a commemoration to his death, as well as a reminder that even though these heroes are super, they are still mortal. His reduction only leaves us with more questions like, how and why did he die in the first place? Hopefully season two can provide clarity.

8. Sir Reginald Hargreeves

The adoptive father of the family’s shadow looms heavily over the series. The Monocle, played by Colm Feore, is featured solely through flashbacks and one crucial divination. His intentions are difficult to pinpoint throughout the season. Depending on your perspective, he walks the line between maniacally abusive father and misunderstood philanthropic protector of humanity. Robot nanny/mom Grace would suggest that he means well, but that’s a difficult sell when you’re locked inside a soundproof jail cell. I’m sure all of us with similar daddy issues can relate.

7. Diego (No. 2)

I’m not exactly sure how accurate knife throwing became a trendy superpower, but I ain’t down with it. It’s not a superpower. It’s a trained skill, like ice-skating or archery. Yes, I’m looking at you Hawkeye. If he could throw a knife from New York that traveled across the world and hit a bullseye in China, then maybe I would consider that superpower-esque. This guy hits targets at a close range and I couldn’t be less impressed. How is he number two? How is the kid that can time travel not number two? Why is he The Kraken and not the kid with a giant squid living inside of him? Maybe he’s number two because his powers are shit! That being said, it was a great dramatic portrayal by newcomer Dave Castaneda (golf clap).

6. Allison (No. 3)

Starting rumors always has the potential for devastation, but this takes it to another level. Emmy Raver-Lampman’s plays Allison, a celebrity with persuasive abilities and her role as the connective tissue between Vanya and the rest of family is critical (as if she doesn’t already have enough to deal with). She’s balancing her career as a movie star, budding relationship with Luther, failed marriage and child rearing responsibilities and, oh yeah, she has to save the mother loving world from god knows who and while we’re at it, let’s slit her throat too. She goes through a lot in season 3 and it’s miraculous she even makes it out alive. Here’s to hoping they take it easy on her in season two.

5. Luther (No. 1)

Spaceboy is the leader of the group with superhuman strength and an unbelievably tireless work ethic. His stoic managerial style is reminiscent of Leonardo from the early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles years. His commitment to duty and maintaining the family bond seem exhausting, which makes the few moments he takes to let loose that much more rewarding. The multi-faceted Tom Hooper shows off his talents on the battlefield as well as the dance floor. All while rocking a big gross gorilla bodysuit. He would’ve been higher on the list if he wasn’t such a bad crier. Yeah. No. I’m serious. Go back and watch. Not a good crier.

4. Vanya (No. 7)

No disrespect to the academy-award nominated Ellen Page. She played Vanya with both incredible strength and fragility. The suspense in her arc is the heartbeat (no pun intended) of the main plot. She’s the key to preventing the apocalypse and it’s such an emotional predicament to both root for her ascension to relevance and, at the same time rail against her for succumbing to her dark side. We look forward to where her journey takes her in season two and she probably should be higher on the list if it weren’t for one unforgivable act. She killed Pogo. I’m just…I’m sorry. Some things are just irredeemable.

3. Pogo

My favorite character from season one is the talking chimpanzee uncle you wish you had. At least I wish I had. Pogo, voiced by Adam Godley and, personally, best known as Elliot from Breaking Bad, is Reginald’s closest assistant.We don’t get much back story on him or how he came to be and he barely leaves the mansion. But, every time he’s on screen it’s magical. He’s always dropping little vaguely threatening nuggets of wisdom that could either unlock the secrets of humanity or seal your doom. His death at the hands of Vanya was crushingly tragic and we don’t know if we’ll ever recover. Luckily, the season finale teased the idea of the gang traveling back in time. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed in hopes of reuniting with young Pogo once again.

2. Number Five (No. 5)

Aidan Gallagher is really, really good at being a little kid that plays a 58 yr-old man in the body of a little kid. Seriously, he was an awesome Number Five and genuinely sold the persona of a grumpy senior citizen. He really took command of every scene he was in and showed the confidence of an actor thrice his age. Now that I think about it, perhaps he really is a 58-yr old in a 13 yr-olds body. Maybe he’s got Andy Milonakis disease. It wouldn’t surprise us. But I digress, Number 5 had the most fun powers of the group. BAMF-ing around like Nightcrawler and travelling time like a true boss. Number five would’ve been number one if it weren’t for another closely-related number.

1. Klaus (No. 4)

Robert Sheehan really owned season one in his role as the eccentric drug-addict/ghost whisperer. Just a wonderful ball of entertainment in every frame he was in. Amongst the diverse, award-winning ensemble of talented actors, The Seance truly stood out. Whether he’s crawling across a war zone imagined dance floor searching for pills, or travelling across existential planes to get a shave from his dead dad, Kraus provided the most pure enjoyment per second out of the entire cast. His role isn’t a walk in the park either. It’s the most physically demanding of all, as it requires him to act high while both getting beat up and beating himself up. Mentally, he has to border on the line of psychotic and emotionally, he has to channel a victim of heartbreak and PTSD. He balances each masterfully and really comes through at the end when it matters. We’re most looking forward to the next stage of his evolution in season two.

So what do you think? Did Klaus really have the best season of them all? Did Cha Cha & Hazel ever spark joy? Is Pogo the G.O.A.T.? That’s a fact actually. Pogo is the best. Pogo definitely sparks joy. ♦

 

LIVE-ACTION CASTING: Seven Deadly Sins [NO SPOILERS]

ow. I don’t even know where to begin with this show. It’s as if the writers of Dragon Ball dabbed while playing Final Fantasy and chased it with a stein of Guinness, then shotgunned the bible and threw an impromptu bachelor party at Medieval Times. It’s about as well-polished a flaming turd can get, and I fucking love it.

The plot is simple. Princess Elizabeth is on a mission to take back her kingdom from the traitorous Holy Knights. Sir Meliodas, tavern owner and leader of a once legendary group of knights called the Seven Deadly Sins, joins her as she seeks the assistance of the remaining diamond level warriors. The Sins are represented by five different clans ranging from humans and giants to fairys and demons (even gods) and they each have their own unique set of abilities and magical powers.

Season three was incredible and I devoured it almost as soon as it premiered. Like most animated series, I started thinking about how fun a live action adaptation would potentially be. An A-list ensemble fantasy action-comedy? Say no more fam! Grab some mead and follow me to the casting couch.

 

Tom Holland as Meliodas (Wrath)

The current Peter Parker trades his web-shooters in for a broken sword called Dragon Handle. He’s got the look and more than enough charm to carry a big studio picture. It should be an easy transition to go from Spider-man to Sir Meliodas given their similar comedic wit and nimble athleticism. He’ll have to turn down the Disney-ness and turn up the perviness, but he of all people should know: “With great power comes great responsibility.”.

ALT: Taron Edgerton, Alex Lawther

 

Saoirse Ronan as Elizabeth

Given the current cultural climate, a ditsy, over-sexualized female character like Liz definitely could use a bit of a rebrand. There are other aspects to her character we’ll choose to focus on. Like an unrelenting determination to take back her kingdom from the Brittanian dangers. Saoirse offers a nice balance of the strength and warmth required to deal with Sir Meliodas. You can find a “continuing trajectory of her Oscar-nominated Ladybird performance” in the directorial notes.

ALT: Jamie Chung, Auli’i Cravalho

 

Tiffany Haddish as Hawk

The Girls Trip star is on a roll and she’s got some experience with voiceover work in the upcoming sequels to The Lego Movie and The Secret Life of Pets. Meliodas’ sidekick is referred to as a “he” in the show, but we feel that Haddish is talented enough to transcend gender (and species). Look, she’s playing a talking pig and the last Charlotte’s Web movie was like 12 years ago. So relax, I need this.

ALT: Kevin Hart, Awkwafina

 

Michael B. Jordan as Ban (Greed)

Meliodas and Ban are besties and often engage in friendly scuffles. MBJ and TH are both leading men with Marvel ties, so we’ll bet they won’t have a problem finding inspiration for their competitive rivalry. That edgy Killmonger energy works for this role, as long as he tones down the rage and ramps up the sarcasm.

ALT: Ryan Reynolds, Ansel Elgort

 

Zendaya as Merlin (Gluttony)

This is an easy cast. Merlin is a sexy and mysterious witch (that’s like…90% of hollywood). We’re gonna go with Z. She has the chops to get to that dark place, but also keep it light. Her history with Holland in Spider-man Homecoming will help and we’re betting her role as a wise-cracking MJ in general could translate well here. She’s versatile enough to play Elizabeth, if the Merlin fit doesn’t pan out.

ALT: Cara Delevigne, Zoe Kravitz

 

Finn Wolfhard as King (Sloth)

The fairy king may take on the appearance of a diminutive teenage boy, but he’s actually massive in his human form (and dangerously over dramatic). We’ve seen the same type of emotional instability and passion from Wolfhard’s Mike in Stranger Things. A will to fight for loved ones is necessary and we’re thinking the Mike/Eleven chemistry carries over perfectly between King and Diane.

ALT: Cole Sprouse, Jack Gleeson

 

Millie Bobby Brown as Diane (Envy)

One of the biggest stars in Hollywood is also one of the smallest. Young Millie rocks as the powerful Eleven in Stranger Things and she’s gonna need to bring that same power for this literally gigantic role. IRL she’s way warmer and more charming, which is an added energy needed for Diane. But like we said, the established chemistry she has with Finn is gonna be what polarizes these characters.

ALT: Maisie Williams, Yara Shahidi

 

Timothee Chalamet as Gowther (Lust)

The sexually ambiguous former doll requires an actor both highly intellectual and emotionally vapid. Chalamet (still in his moment) is ridiculously pretty and has shown the Oscar-worthy capacity to bring those exact qualities to this character. Tim feels introspective enough to play observant and caring, plus he could use a blockbuster to add to his fresh yet prolific young resume.

ALT: Ezra Miller, Chance Perdomo

 

Dwayne Johnson as Escanor (Pride)

If there’s a role The Rock has even the slightest potential to play, you don’t hesitate to offer it to him. He’s the most bankable movie star out there and apparently hasn’t seen a project he didn’t like, making this a no-brainer. We have no doubt that he could play the body morphing Escanor, as evident in Central Intelligence and Jumanji. His unique ability to flip from action hero to bumbling buffoon is essential. He’s already gone CGI-fat, so going CGI-thin shouldn’t be a problem. The role is more of an extended cameo, and he’s got so many other things going on that this should be a cake walk for the hardest working man in Hollywood.

ALT: Dave Bautista, Terry Crews

 

The Hemsworth Brothers as The Holy Knights

Finally! The planets have aligned for the Hemsworth triplets in this epic team-up. They’ve been playing good guys for most of their careers, so I’m sure that a crack at villainy would certainly pique their interest.

Chris and Liam do most of the heavy lifting as Dreyfus and Hendrickson, respectively. Liam is quite limited as an actor, so he can easily play righteous. Dreyfus requires more cunning and Chris has both the necessary talent and experience (see Ghostbusters). Big bro/runt of the litter Luke squeezes in for some light work as Zaratras. So, you know, good for him.

They’re known for having a fairly boring healthy relationship with one another, but tapping into some secret, hidden, deep-rooted sibling rivalry could add a surprise element to this villainous dynamic.

ALT: Matt Damon, Ben and Casey Affleck

 

Sorry to get your hopes up, but there’s probably a less than zero chance of this ever getting made. Americans don’t exactly have a successful track record with anime adaptations: Dragonball Evolution, Street Fighter, Speed Racer, Death Note, Ghost in the Shell…I could keep going. Blame it on the over-westernization or tone-deaf executive input. Either way, we’ve dropped the dragon ball.

This is why we can’t have nice things. They need to put an actual weeb in charge. A true anime nerd should be commanding this Holy War. I wouldn’t consider myself devout, but I do partake in the sacrament. Throwing my hat in the ring: Prime Minister of Adaptations, Anime Division. Probably less than a less than zero chance of that ever happening. But, hey, a girl can dream. ♦

ow. I don’t even know where to begin with this show. It’s as if the writers of Dragon Ball dabbed while playing Final Fantasy and chased it with a stein of Guinness, then shotgunned the bible and threw an impromptu bachelor party at Medieval Times. It’s about as well-polished a flaming turd can get, and I fucking love it.

The plot is simple. Princess Elizabeth is on a mission to take back her kingdom from the traitorous Holy Knights. Sir Meliodas, tavern owner and leader of a once legendary group of knights called the Seven Deadly Sins, joins her as she seeks the assistance of the remaining diamond level warriors. The Sins are represented by five different clans ranging from humans and giants to fairys and demons (even gods) and they each have their own unique set of abilities and magical powers.

Season three was incredible and I devoured it almost as soon as it premiered. Like most animated series, I started thinking about how fun a live action adaptation would potentially be. An A-list ensemble fantasy action-comedy? Say no more fam! Grab some mead and follow me to the casting couch.

 

Tom Holland as Meliodas (Wrath)

The current Peter Parker trades his web-shooters in for a broken sword called Dragon Handle. He’s got the look and more than enough charm to carry a big studio picture. It should be an easy transition to go from Spider-man to Sir Meliodas given their similar comedic wit and nimble athleticism. He’ll have to turn down the Disney-ness and turn up the perviness, but he of all people should know: “With great power comes great responsibility.”.

ALT: Taron Edgerton, Alex Lawther

 

Saoirse Ronan as Elizabeth

Given the current cultural climate, a ditsy, over-sexualized female character like Liz definitely could use a bit of a rebrand. There are other aspects to her character we’ll choose to focus on. Like an unrelenting determination to take back her kingdom from the Brittanian dangers. Saoirse offers a nice balance of the strength and warmth required to deal with Sir Meliodas. You can find a “continuing trajectory of her Oscar-nominated Ladybird performance” in the directorial notes.

ALT: Jamie Chung, Auli’i Cravalho

 

Tiffany Haddish as Hawk

The Girls Trip star is on a roll and she’s got some experience with voiceover work in the upcoming sequels to The Lego Movie and The Secret Life of Pets. Meliodas’ sidekick is referred to as a “he” in the show, but we feel that Haddish is talented enough to transcend gender (and species). Look, she’s playing a talking pig and the last Charlotte’s Web movie was like 12 years ago. So relax, I need this.

ALT: Kevin Hart, Awkwafina

 

Michael B. Jordan as Ban (Greed)

Meliodas and Ban are besties and often engage in friendly scuffles. MBJ and TH are both leading men with Marvel ties, so we’ll bet they won’t have a problem finding inspiration for their competitive rivalry. That edgy Killmonger energy works for this role, as long as he tones down the rage and ramps up the sarcasm.

ALT: Ryan Reynolds, Ansel Elgort

 

Zendaya as Merlin (Gluttony)

This is an easy cast. Merlin is a sexy and mysterious witch (that’s like…90% of hollywood). We’re gonna go with Z. She has the chops to get to that dark place, but also keep it light. Her history with Holland in Spider-man Homecoming will help and we’re betting her role as a wise-cracking MJ in general could translate well here. She’s versatile enough to play Elizabeth, if the Merlin fit doesn’t pan out.

ALT: Cara Delevigne, Zoe Kravitz

 

Finn Wolfhard as King (Sloth)

The fairy king may take on the appearance of a diminutive teenage boy, but he’s actually massive in his human form (and dangerously over dramatic). We’ve seen the same type of emotional instability and passion from Wolfhard’s Mike in Stranger Things. A will to fight for loved ones is necessary and we’re thinking the Mike/Eleven chemistry carries over perfectly between King and Diane.

ALT: Cole Sprouse, Jack Gleeson

 

Millie Bobby Brown as Diane (Envy)

One of the biggest stars in Hollywood is also one of the smallest. Young Millie rocks as the powerful Eleven in Stranger Things and she’s gonna need to bring that same power for this literally gigantic role. IRL she’s way warmer and more charming, which is an added energy needed for Diane. But like we said, the established chemistry she has with Finn is gonna be what polarizes these characters.

ALT: Maisie Williams, Yara Shahidi

 

Timothee Chalamet as Gowther (Lust)

The sexually ambiguous former doll requires an actor both highly intellectual and emotionally vapid. Chalamet (still in his moment) is ridiculously pretty and has shown the Oscar-worthy capacity to bring those exact qualities to this character. Tim feels introspective enough to play observant and caring, plus he could use a blockbuster to add to his fresh yet prolific young resume.

ALT: Ezra Miller, Chance Perdomo

 

Dwayne Johnson as Escanor (Pride)

If there’s a role The Rock has even the slightest potential to play, you don’t hesitate to offer it to him. He’s the most bankable movie star out there and apparently hasn’t seen a project he didn’t like, making this a no-brainer. We have no doubt that he could play the body morphing Escanor, as evident in Central Intelligence andJumanji. His unique ability to flip from action hero to bumbling buffoon is essential. He’s already gone CGI-fat, so going CGI-thin shouldn’t be a problem. The role is more of an extended cameo, and he’s got so many other things going on that this should be a cake walk for the hardest working man in Hollywood.

ALT: Dave Bautista, Terry Crews

The Hemsworth Brothers as The Holy Knights

Finally! The planets have aligned for the Hemsworth triplets in this epic team-up. They’ve been playing good guys for most of their careers, so I’m sure that a crack at villainy would certainly pique their interest.

Chris and Liam do most of the heavy lifting as Dreyfus and Hendrickson, respectively. Liam is quite limited as an actor, so he can easily play righteous. Dreyfus requires more cunning and Chris has both the necessary talent and experience (see Ghostbusters). Big bro/runt of the litter Luke squeezes in for some light work as Zaratras. So, you know, good for him.

They’re known for having a fairly boring healthy relationship with one another, but tapping into some secret, hidden, deep-rooted sibling rivalry could add a surprise element to this villainous dynamic.

ALT: Matt Damon, Ben and Casey Affleck

Sorry to get your hopes up, but there’s probably a less than zero chance of this ever getting made. Americans don’t exactly have a successful track record with anime adaptations: Dragonball Evolution, Street Fighter, Speed Racer, Death Note, Ghost in the Shell…I could keep going. Blame it on the over-westernization or tone-deaf executive input. Either way, we’ve dropped the dragon ball.

This is why we can’t have nice things. They need to put an actual weeb in charge. A true anime nerd should be commanding this Holy War. I wouldn’t consider myself devout, but I do partake in the sacrament. Throwing my hat in the ring: Prime Minister of Adaptations, Anime Division. Probably less than a less than zero chance of that ever happening. But, hey, a girl can dream. ♦

Big Mouth Season 2: Power Ranking the Cast [SPOILERS]

ig Mouth was a surprise breakout hit for Netflix last year. Critically, it sits at a perfect 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. To be honest with you, the overall design is kind of…gross. I had no interest initially, but then I got stoned and gave it a chance. I had such a good time, I ended up binging the entire series in one night. Not that you have to get high in order to watch it. I’ve had multiple sober viewings that have been just as enjoyable. The show isn’t just dumb funny either. It explores some real life growing pains and speaks in a language (other than vulgar) that most kids, pre-teens, teens and maybe even some adults can relate to. Fast forward to season two and, just as I would have hoped, it does not disappoint. This show’s got heart and a compelling enough narrative to keep anyone engaged. Whether you’re a horny nerd with a micro penis or a horny nerd with a massive penis and everything out and in between, you’ll find something to laugh your ass off to. Here are my power rankings for the cast of Big Mouth season two.

10. Gina
A newbie to the series, this season two standout is the only rookie to crack the list. She’s a student-athlete who becomes the victim of objectification and slut-shaming. But, by the end of the season, learns to turn embarrassment into empowerment.

I liked getting my boobs felt, and if that makes me a slut, well, then that’s your problem.

Gina is an important reminder to all of us that teenage girls shouldn’t feel ashamed of their sprouting sexuality. She might be the show’s most lovable female, inside and out. You go girl!

9. Missy
Missy really comes into her own in season two. The former dense outcast learns to overcome her manifested insecurity: Mirror Missy. She’s a sweet nerd who uses her newfound strength to embrace her inner hornball (shouts to Mr. Wiggles).

I’m the biggest perv in the world.

Taboo? She’s just out here trying to masturbate in peace. We ain’t mad at you girl. We’re looking forward to the next phase in your evolution.

8. Andrew
Big man had himself quite a busy season. When he’s not skydiving into boob heaven or getting caught yanking it to Nick’s sister, he’s surviving shame court, the blue waffle nightmare and his first lip waxing. The volume alone gets this guy on the list. He entered his first relationship and ended it, all in the same episode.

Sex is so…complicated.

From awkward creep to lauded pimp, season two was an adventure for young Glouberman. He sure is lucky to have a hormone monster like Maury.

7. Maury
The shining star of season one is back and he brought an extra serving of funny with him. Maury is just…the best. Everything that comes out of his mouth is gold. You can always count on the monster behind all of Andrew’s sex-capades to help him through every scenario.

Cunning? We talking about eating pussy? Too bad you lost your womb broom.

He even shaved himself bald as a sign of solidarity. There’s nothing else to say other than, we can’t wait for more Maury in season three.

6. Jessi
Jessi is not handling her parents separation well and we’re embarrassed at how much we’re enjoying it. We feel for her, so when she dabbles in kleptomania and edibles, we give her a pass. She’s earned it after having to endure all that family drama at home.

Finger-knees.

A line is finally crossed when she slips and tells Nick and Gina’s secret to Devin. The guilt pushes her underneath the comforting weight of Depression Kitty but, thankfully, the recently fired Connie is there to save her. It’s been an emotional ride. Hopefully she can catch a break in season three.

5. Connie
SNL legend Maya Rudolph has found her calling as Constance the hormone monster. Connie’s got her hands full dealing with Jessi’s school and family drama and heroically manages to get her out of the depression cell. Let’s also not forget her swinging disco number at the Korean spa: I Love It All.

My booty is a beauty. My boobs a work of art. My love handles. My bat wings. I love every single part!

Her stint with unemployment was brief, seeing that she’s got a new project for season three in Nick. This might be her best professional role and i’ve seen Bridesmaids.

4. Jay
Girls. Guys. Girl pillows. Guy pillows. You’re probably asking yourself, “Is there anything this guy won’t hook up with?”. Probably a bag of microwaved tomato soup…oh wait, nevermind. Jay gets the most action on the show, and if he wants a subscription to jean short monthly then, by god, we should let the man live. 

If I was gonna get laid, I wouldn’t use a condom. I’m not a woman.

He also has a surprisingly positive outlook, despite having to deal with a (let’s say toxic) family dynamic. We agree with Maury on this one: “He’s his own hormone monster.”.

3. Lola
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more despicable character in season one. And for the first half of season two as well, now that we think about it. They give her a bigger role this year and she did not waste the opportunity. She really breaks out with a comedic performance no one could have seen coming.

Hey, Humpty Dumpty, last one to rub my front is a rotten egg you, rotten egg.

Partially furnished condo? Check. Nabbed herself a short-term boyfriend? Check. Makes a new bff in Gina? Check. All while starting a school-wide feminist movement. Her confidence may be irrational, but we’ll allow it.

2. Nick
Speaking of irrational confidence, Nick is our runner-up. He had quite a second season. My man hit a game-winning buzzer beater, grew his first set of pubes, plus attempted murder (and that was just the first episode). He had the balls to approach the widely coveted Gina Alvarez and, even though he started in the friend zone, found a way out (and managed to grab a boob along the way).

You’re so funny, and you have such kind eyes. You’re like a white shit.

Hooking up with Gina gives Nick some major clout going into season three and losing Rick as his hormone monster (R.I.P.) might be a blessing in disguise. Because we couldn’t be more excited to see what debauchery will ensue after pairing him with the conspicuous Connie.

1. Coach Steve
That’s right. The MVP of season two goes to DJ Pendejo himself: Coach Steve. Check the highlights: gains a best friend, loses his virginity to said best friends mom propelling him into “Gary” status, leading to the best song of season two (and maybe history):

I Want To Do Sex On A Lady!

He introduces us to the Bad Mitten and breaks down the shame wizard with his ultimate weapon: shamelessness. He’s a caring soul and retains a weirdly positive outlook given his depressing social status and literal garbage living situation (shouts to the diaper barge). If it weren’t for his recent firing, he might be pitching a perfect season. His future moving forward seems cloudy but, no matter what happens, we know it’s going to be both hilariously dismal and the most funnest thing ever. LeBron James! (Pube-fetti rains) ♦

ig Mouth was a surprise breakout hit for Netflix last year. Critically, it sits at a perfect 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. To be honest with you, the overall design is kind of…gross. I had no interest initially, but then I got stoned and gave it a chance. I had such a good time, I ended up binging the entire series in one night. Not that you have to get high in order to watch it. I’ve had multiple sober viewings that have been just as enjoyable. The show isn’t just dumb funny either. It explores some real life growing pains and speaks in a language (other than vulgar) that most kids, pre-teens, teens and maybe even some adults can relate to. Fast forward to season two and, just as I would have hoped, it does not disappoint. This show’s got heart and a compelling enough narrative to keep anyone engaged. Whether you’re a horny nerd with a micro penis or a horny nerd with a massive penis and everything out and in between, you’ll find something to laugh your ass off to. Here are my power rankings for the cast of Big Mouth season two.

10. Gina

A newbie to the series, this season two standout is the only rookie to crack the list. She’s a student-athlete who becomes the victim of objectification and slut-shaming. But, by the end of the season, learns to turn embarrassment into empowerment.

I liked getting my boobs felt, and if that makes me a slut, well, then that’s your problem.

Gina is an important reminder to all of us that teenage girls shouldn’t feel ashamed of their sprouting sexuality. She might be the show’s most lovable female, inside and out. You go girl!

9. Missy

Missy really comes into her own in season two. The former dense outcast learns to overcome her manifested insecurity: Mirror Missy. She’s a sweet nerd who uses her newfound strength to embrace her inner hornball (shouts to Mr. Wiggles).

I’m the biggest perv in the world.

Taboo? She’s just out here trying to masturbate in peace. We ain’t mad at you girl. We’re looking forward to the next phase in your evolution.

8. Andrew

Big man had himself quite a busy season. When he’s not skydiving into boob heaven or getting caught yanking it to Nick’s sister, he’s surviving shame court, the blue waffle nightmare and his first lip waxing. The volume alone gets this guy on the list. He entered his first relationship and ended it, all in the same episode.

Sex is so…complicated.

From awkward creep to lauded pimp, season two was an adventure for Glouberman. He sure is lucky to have a hormone monster like Maury to guide him.

7. Maury

The shining star of season one is back and he brought an extra serving of funny with him. Maury is just…the best. Everything that comes out of his mouth is gold. You can always count on the monster behind all of Andrew’s sex-capades to help him through every scenario.

Cunning? We talking about eating pussy? Too bad you lost your womb broom.

He even shaved himself bald as a sign of solidarity. There’s nothing else to say other than, we can’t wait for more Maury in season three.

6. Jessi

Jessi is not handling her parents separation well and we love it. We feel for her so, when she dabbles in kleptomania and edibles, we give her a pass. She’s earned it after having to endure all that family drama at home.

Finger-knees.

A line is finally crossed when she slips and tells Nick and Gina’s secret to Devin. The guilt pushes her underneath the comforting weight of Depression Kitty but, thankfully, the recently fired Connie is there to save her. It’s been an emotional ride. Hopefully she can catch a break in season three.


5. Connie

SNL legend Maya Rudolph has found her calling as Constance the hormone monster. Connie’s got her hands full dealing with Jessi’s school and family drama and heroically manages to get her out of the depression cell. Let’s also not forget her swinging disco number at the Korean spa: I Love It All.

My booty is a. beauty. My boobs a work of art. My love handles. My bat wings. I love every single part!

Her stint with unemployment was brief, seeing that she’s got a new project for season three in Nick. This might be her best professional role and i’ve seen Bridesmaids.


4. Jay

Girls. Guys. Girl pillows. Guy pillows. You’re probably asking yourself, “Is there anything this guy won’t hook up with?”. Probably a bag of microwaved tomato soup…oh wait, nevermind. Jay gets the most action on the show, and if he wants a subscription to jean short monthly then, by god, we should let the man live.

If I was gonna get laid, I wouldn’t use a condom. I’m not a woman.

He also has a surprisingly positive outlook, despite having to deal with a (let’s say toxic) family dynamic. We agree with Maury on this one: “He’s his own hormone monster.”.


3. Lola

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more despicable character in season one. And for the first half of season two as well, now that we think about it. They give her a bigger role this year and she did not waste the opportunity. She really breaks out with a comedic performance no one could have seen coming.

Hey, Humpty Dumpty, last one to rub my front is a rotten egg, you, rotten egg.

Partially furnished condo? Check. Nabbed herself a short-term boyfriend? Check. Makes a new bff in Gina? Check. All while starting a school-wide feminist movement. Her confidence may be irrational, but we’ll allow it.


2. Nick

Speaking of irrational confidence, Nick is our runner-up. He had quite a second season. My man hit a game-winning buzzer beater, grew his first set of pubes, plus attempted murder (and that was just the first episode). He had the balls to approach the widely coveted Gina Alvarez and, even though he started in the friend zone, found a way out (and managed to grab a boob along the way).

You’re so funny, and you have such kind eyes. You’re like a white shit.

Hooking up with Gina gives Nick some major clout going into season three and losing Rick as his hormone monster (R.I.P.) might be a blessing in disguise. Because we couldn’t be more excited to see what debauchery will ensue after pairing him with the conspicuous Connie.


1. Coach Steve

That’s right. The MVP of season two goes to DJ Pendejo himself: Coach Steve. Check the highlights: gains a best friend, loses his virginity to said best friends mom propelling him into “Gary” status, leading to the best song of season two (and maybe history):

I want to do sex on a lady!

He introduces us to the Bad Mitten and breaks down the Shame Wizard with his ultimate weapon: shameless- ness. He’s a caring soul and retains a weirdly positive outlook given his depressing social status and literal garbage living situation (shouts to the diaper barge). If it weren’t for his recent firing, he might be pitching a perfect season. His future moving forward seems cloudy but, no matter what happens, we know it’s going to be both hilariously dismal and the most funnest thing ever. LeBron James! (Pube-fetti rains)

How the Evil Snells Became Netflix’s Cutest Couple [SPOILERS]

The nominees are:

Charlie and Harper, Set it Up.

[applause]

Mike and Eleven, Stranger Things.

[applause]

Lara Jean and Peter, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

[applause]

And the winners are…Jacob and Darlene, Ozark!

[silence]

Confusion…even for the crickets.

 

eah, no, you heard that right. Adjace the ever growing catalog of Netflix Original rom com’s, hit crime drama Ozark features the cutest couple the streaming service has to offer and I’m not talking about anti-heroes Wendy and Marty Byrde (no, yeah, they suck).

So how exactly did the Snells become Netflix’s Cutest Couple?

 

They made their debut in episode four of season one. He was a soft-speaking, big-rifle-carrying cowboy. She was a crazy looking crazy person. The heroin dealing power couple quickly established a terrifying on-screen presence and proved a massive thorn in the Byrde’s side. How does that Stealers Wheel song go?:

Cartel to the left of me. Feds to the right. Here I am. Stuck in the Ozark with you.”

The Snells are a church going, God-fearing people. Sure, their bibles are used to distribute dope, but I respect family businsses that stay open on Sundays. Who am I to judge? (At least they go). The Snells of season one are obstacles. An intimidation device whose purity of evil is matched only by their devotion to one another. It’s admirable, but the season one finale actions of hillbilly Harley and Joker place everyone in danger, and by the end we’re still rooting against them.

Jacob
If there’s one thing Mexico is full of, it is Mexicans.

Facts.

Jacob
Why would we kill someone we’d just gone into partnership with? No logic to it…is there Darlene?

Darlene
I might have overreacted.

I know. I know. These two are the worst. I didn’t expect to switch sides, but just wait. The heel half turns and it’s weirdly magical.

 

Season two starts off on the same foot. They’re still the co-workers from hell, but the first three episodes reveal their softer side. Darlene gets baby fever, Jacob teaches Jonah to hunt and together they successfully burn down corrupt political donor Charlie Wilkes’ dock in an act of “democratic preservation”. The subsequent “celebration” is a pivotal moment of delight. A quick and unexpected sex scene with equal parts sugar and spice and a handful of bizarre acting choices. There’s playful moaning, laughing and some interesting post-coital decisions that only couples with a deep level of comfortability will understand.

Jacob
Oh Darlene. You are a marvel to me.

It’s a nice departure from the browbeating we’ve become accustomed to. We’re shown that, when they’re not busy ruining other people’s lives, the Snell’s are just like every other average couple that has hot and hilarious sex ending in an argument over family planning.

Darlene
You know what I’ve been thinking about?

Jacob
My mind is an empty shell right now.

I f*cking love this guy.

Darlene
I’m serious Jacob. What is the point of all this if we got no one to leave it all to?

 

The next few episodes find Jacob in the doghouse. Boyfriends and husbands around the world shake their heads in agreement. Women…am I right fellas? By episode six, he trades the doghouse for a jailhouse and this somehow upsets us. You don’t realize it, but you’ve been incepted. The duo you hated in season one have hijacked your rooting interest. A quarrel during episode eight:

Darlene
You killed Ash for no reason.

Jacob
I killed him to save you.

Awww.

Darlene
I guess we just see things differently.

Just a couple kids figuring it out.

 

A flashback in episode nine transports us to the couples first meeting. Young Jacob, donned in military garb, has returned from war and is on an apparent lackluster diner date. Young Darlene crashes their booth:

Young Darlene
Five more minutes listening to her, you’re gonna wish you’d died in a ditch in Hue.

This kitty’s got claws.

Young Darlene
Are you telling me you made it back home from ‘Nam unscathed just to come home and run out the clock?

Young Jacob

Young Darlene
Drop a ten on the table, follow me out that door, I promise I’ll at least make it interesting.

Sold.

Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman plays as we cut forward to the two young love birds preparing to dip skinny in a lake.

Young Jacob
Got the feeling you’re all kinds of trouble Darlene.

Young Darlene
Only the best kinds.

We don’t get back story on their rise to drug king and queen pin and it doesn’t matter. It’s the puppy love that’s driving this runaway train. Flash forward to Jacob bleeding out in the back of a recently bullet-bombarded Chevy. Darlene praying over him:

Darlene
Oh, God, don’t you die on me.

It’s ironic that her prayers are answered…for now. He later strikes a one on one deal with Marty and the cartel to end the violence and stand down, but now we’re as helpless as the one-armed Jacob. Concerned about what this vengeful psychopath will do.

Jacob
What do you do, Martin, when the bride who took your breath away becomes the wife who makes you hold your breath in terror?

A question I hope never to ask.

 

The Snells final scenes are affectingly stirring. It seems rushed, but the truth is, this was beautifully doomed since the day they met. A romantic tragedy forty-plus years in the making. A short walk. A metaphor. And an unforeseen cup of poisoned coffee. Jacob pulls out his knife a mug too late:

Jacob
[Straining] I never could keep up with you Darlene.

Darlene
It’s okay, baby. Just rest. I love you, Jacob. You rest. I’ll make sure it means something.

Never do you find a happy ending that results in murder, but the rules were different here. A mutual love and respect you barely see in healthier, non-genocidal couples. Anti-villains broken before they had a chance to fully turn the corner. There might’ve been a missed opportunity to spin this off into its own series. It would’ve fit nicely into the queue (after Stranger Things 2½: Rise of Barb and right before Peter & Jamey Kavinsky’s Parent Trap remake).

 

But alas, we’ll never get to find out what Meet the Snells looks like with adult Zeke. The product delivered and the arch is what it is. Regardless of what you thought, it was real. An incomparable love (as Netflix Originals go). They were certifiable and nefarious, but theirs was strong. The only thing that would ever get in between their love was them and they made sure to kill it before anybody else could. What’s cuter than that? ♦

The nominees are:

Charlie and Harper, Set it Up.

[applause]

Mike and Eleven, Stranger Things.

[applause]

Lara Jean and Peter, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

[applause]

And the winners are…Jacob and Darlene, Ozark!

[silence]

Confusion…even for the crickets.

Yeah, no, you heard that right. Adjace the ever growing catalog of Netflix Original rom com’s, hit crime drama Ozark features the cutest couple the streaming service has to offer and I’m not talking about anti-heroes Wendy and Marty Byrde (no, yeah, they suck).

So how exactly did the Snells become Netflix’s Cutest Couple?

They made their debut in episode four of season one. He was a soft-speaking, big-rifle-carrying cowboy. She was a crazy looking crazy person. The heroin dealing power couple quickly established a terrifying on-screen presence and proved a massive thorn in the Byrde’s side. How does that Stealers Wheel song go?:

“Cartel to the left of me. Feds to the right. Here I am. Stuck in the Ozark with you.”

The Snells are a church going, God-fearing people. Sure, their bibles are used to distribute dope, but I respect family businsses that stay open on Sundays. Who am I to judge? (At least they go). The Snells of season one are obstacles. An intimidation device whose purity of evil is matched only by their devotion to one another. It’s admirable, but the season one finale actions of hillbilly Harley and Joker place everyone in danger, and by the end we’re still rooting against them.

Jacob

If there’s one thing Mexico is full of, it is Mexicans.

 

Facts.

Jacob

Why would we kill someone we’d just gone into partnership with? No logic to it…is there Darlene?

 

Darlene

I might have overreacted.

 

I know. I know. These two are the worst. I didn’t expect to switch sides, but just wait. The heel half turns and it’s weirdly magical.

Season two starts off on the same foot. They’re still the co-workers from hell, but the first three episodes reveal their softer side. Darlene gets baby fever, Jacob teaches Jonah to hunt and together they successfully burn down corrupt political donor Charlie Wilkes’ dock in an act of “democratic preservation”. The subsequent “celebration” is a pivotal moment of delight. A quick and unexpected sex scene with equal parts sugar and spice and a handful of bizarre acting choices. There’s playful moaning, laughing and some interesting post-coital decisions that only couples with a deep level of comfortability will understand.

Jacob

Oh Darlene. You are a marvel to me.

It’s a nice departure from the browbeating we’ve become accustomed to. We’re shown that, when they’re not busy ruining other people’s lives, the Snell’s are just like every other average couple that has hot and hilarious sex ending in an argument over family planning.

Darlene

You know what I’ve been thinking about?

 

Jacob

My mind is an empty shell right now.

I f*cking love this guy.

Darlene

I’m serious Jacob. What is the point of all this if we got no one to leave it all to?

 

The next few episodes find Jacob in the doghouse. Boyfriends and husbands around the world shake their heads in agreement. Women…am I right fellas? By episode six, he trades the doghouse for a jailhouse and this somehow upsets us. You don’t realize it, but you’ve been incepted. The duo you hated in season one have hijacked your rooting interest. A quarrel during episode eight:

Darlene

You killed Ash for no reason.

 

Jacob

I killed him to save you.

Awww.

Darlene

I guess we just see things differently.

Just a couple kids figuring it out.

A flashback in episode nine transports us to the couples first meeting. Young Jacob, donned in military garb, has returned from war and is on an apparent lackluster diner date. Young Darlene crashes their booth:

Young Darlene

Five more minutes listening to her, you’re gonna wish you’d died in a ditch in Hue.

This kitty’s got claws.

Young Darlene

Are you telling me you made it back home from ‘Nam unscathed just to come home and run out the clock?

 

Young Jacob

 

Young Darlene

Drop a ten on the table, follow me out that door, I promise I’ll at least make it interesting.

Sold.

Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman plays as we cut forward to the two young love birds preparing to dip skinny in a lake.

Young Jacob

Got the feeling you’re all kinds of trouble Darlene.

 

Young Darlene

Only the best kinds.

We don’t get back story on their rise to drug king and queen pin and it doesn’t matter. It’s the puppy love that’s driving this runaway train. Flash forward to Jacob bleeding out in the back of a recently bullet-bombarded Chevy. Darlene praying over him:

Darlene

Oh, God, don’t you die on me.

It’s ironic that her prayers are answered…for now. He later strikes a one on one deal with Marty and the cartel to end the violence and stand down, but now we’re as helpless as the one-armed Jacob. Concerned about what this vengeful psychopath will do.

Jacob

What do you do, Martin, when the bride who took your breath away becomes the wife who makes you hold your breath in terror?

A question I hope never to ask.

The Snells final scenes are affectingly stirring. It seems rushed, but the truth is, this was beautifully doomed since the day they met. A romantic tragedy forty-plus years in the making. A short walk. A metaphor. And an unforeseen cup of poisoned coffee. Jacob pulls out his knife a mug too late:

Jacob

[Straining] I never could keep up with you Darlene.

 

Darlene

It’s okay, baby. Just rest. I love you, Jacob. You rest. I’ll make sure it means something.

 

Never do you find a happy ending that results in murder, but the rules were different here. A mutual love and respect you barely see in healthier, non-genocidal couples. Anti-villains broken before they had a chance to fully turn the corner. There might’ve been a missed opportunity to spin this off into its own series. It would’ve fit nicely into the queue (after Stranger Things 2½: Rise of Barb and right before Peter & Jamey Kavinsky’s Parent Trap remake).

But alas, we’ll never get to find out what Meet the Snells looks like with adult Zeke. The product delivered and the arch is what it is. Regardless of what you thought, it was real. An incomparable love (as Netflix Originals go). They were certifiable and nefarious, but theirs was strong. The only thing that would ever get in between their love was them and they made sure to kill it before anybody else could. What’s cuter than that? ♦

NBA JAM ‘18-’19: A Hypothetical Tiering

his year marks the 25th anniversary of NBA JAM’s arcade release. I’m a massive NBA 2K supporter and would never deny my fondness for NBA Street, but there will always be a special place in my hippocampus for this ridiculously over the moon brand of 2-on-2 basketball. There hasn’t been a release in over 7 years, but word on the street is that a remake is in the works. In an attempt to soothe my raging enthusiasm, I went and ranked my hypothetical roster projections for this upcoming season. Hope I don’t jinx it. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: There is no science to these rankings. Talent is important, but the true metric is fun.

 

Tier 8: “REJECTED!”
Zero to little interest.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
STARTERS: Marc Gasol & Mike Conley
ALT: Jaren Jackson Jr.

In a game called NBA JAM, it’s never great when your best players don’t dunk! There’s not enough juice for me to want to give them a run, but maybe Jackson Jr. can give them a little somethin’ somethin’?

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
STARTERS: Lou Williams & Tobias Harris
ALT: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Dearest Clippers, my mama once taught me: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. So…moving on.

BROOKLYN NETS
STARTERS: D’Angelo Russell & Jarrett Allen
ALT: Spencer Dinwiddie

The Nets are about as interesting in this game as they are irl. If you’re one of the 6 actual Brooklyn fans, your cap sitch should get you excited for NBA JAM 2020.

 

Tier 7: “CAN’T BUY A BUCKET!”
When you want a challenge.

DETROIT PISTONS
STARTERS: Blake Griffin & Andre Drummond
ALT: Reggie Jackson

Peak Blake and all-star Drummond would’ve been a great JAM pair 5 years ago, but Blake’s high flying days are behind him. Andre has enough skill to intrigue. I guess I don’t hate them.

SACRAMENTO KINGS
STARTERS: De’Aaron Fox & Marvin Bagley III
ALT: Buddy Hield

They don’t have much talent, but they are young. Which I guess is better than being old and talentless. I want to see these guys succeed, so this is my go-to-team for trolling.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
STARTERS: Kevin Love & Collin Sexton
ALT: Larry Nance Jr.

Just 2 Year’s removed from LeBron and Kyrie, the Cavs are left with…you know…stuff. I had a difficult time leaving JR off the squad, until I realized I didn’t care.

 

Tier 6: “FROM DOWNTOWN!”
Genuine excitement, but not to be taken seriously.

NEW YORK KNICKS
STARTERS: Kristaps Porzingis & Kevin Knox
ALT: Tim Hardaway Jr.

As a die hard Knick fan, I’m happy to see the Unicorn flourishing. He’s got all the tools in his new unbreakable body. Both Knox and THJ are capable of providing enough complimentary scoring to succeed.

CHICAGO BULLS
STARTERS: Lauri Markkanen & Jabari Parker
ALT: Zach Lavine

Immortality means a fresh pair of new ACLs for Jabari! They’ll most likely max out Lavine’s dunk rating. I wonder if he could takeoff from 3? Don’t sleep on Markkanen. He’s for real.

PHOENIX SUNS
STARTERS: Devin Booker & DeAndre Ayton
ALT: Josh Jackson

The young Suns have a bright future. Devin is a blue chipper that can score from anywhere. Ayton has the tools to dominate down low and Jackson has…cool hair.
Update: Jackson no longer has cool hair.

ORLANDO MAGIC
STARTERS: Aaron Gordon & Jonathan Isaac
ALT: Mo Bamba

This lineup makes absolutely no sense irl, but this isn’t rl, and they have enough length and bounce for Barnum and Bailey (You the REAL greatest show Orlando).

DALLAS MAVERICKS
STARTERS: Luka Doncic & Dennis Smith Jr.
ALT: DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre’s defense should make up for the children’s lack thereof and I decided to bench Barnes because, tbh, I just want to see the kids play.

ATLANTA HAWKS
STARTERS: John Collins & Trae Young
ALT: Taurean Prince

Collins has top flight bunnies and Trae has streaky range. The Hawks have just enough talent to be a fun sleeper in whatever scenario they could be considered a sleeper (which is…most.).

 

Tier 5: “IS IT THE SHOES?”
Time to take things seriously.

PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS
STARTERS: Damian Lillard & CJ McCollum
ALT: Jusuf Nurkic

Portland sports one of the league’s best scoring backcourts in CJ and Dame, inducing flashbacks to the old Porter/Drexler team.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS
STARTERS: DeMar DeRozan & LaMarcus Aldridge
ALT: Lonnie Walker IV

San Antonio’s legendary big 3 era is officially over. Well, 4, if you count the Kawhi trade. But, don’t sleep on the Spurs. Consider the chip on DeMar’s shoulder a multiplier.

MIAMI HEAT
STARTERS: Goran Dragic & Hassan Whiteside
ALT: Edrice Adebayo

The Dragon is their multi-award winning all-star and, in a game sans fouls or goaltending, Miami’s big men have the freedom to protect the paint recklessly.

DENVER NUGGETS
STARTERS: Nikola Jokic & Jamal Murray
ALT: Gary Harris

Joker might be the best passing big man in the league. You expect more defense at his size, but he makes his teammates better. The young guards are ready to make a leap.

CHARLOTTE HORNETS
STARTERS: Kemba Walker & Nicolas Batum
ALT: Malik Monk

Sorry Kaminsky, Lamb and MKG, but I’d rather have Kemba run the break with Frenchie and young Monk.

 

Tier 4: “RAZZLE DAZZLE!”
Difficulty level: Difficult.

WASHINGTON WIZARDS
STARTERS: John Wall & Bradley Beal
ALT: Otto Porter Jr.

The combination of Wall’s speed and Beal’s shooting keeps DC competitive. I decided to go with Porter’s defense and versatility over Oubre’s scoring. Dwight could be fun on here too?

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
STARTERS: Jimmy Butler & Karl-Anthony Towns
ALT: Andrew Wiggins

Another fun group that feels better suited for NBA JAM rules. Love the athleticism, but I question the toughness from Towns and Wiggins. ‘Bows will be thrown. Can they handle it?

TORONTO RAPTORS
STARTERS: Kawhi Leonard & Kyle Lowry
ALT: Jonas Valanciunas

Kawhi’s defense will be a nice upgrade over Derozan’s. But the Raptors strength is in their depth. Something they won’t be able to utilize in this game.

UTAH JAZZ
STARTERS: Donovan Mitchell & Rudy Gobert
ALT: Ricky Rubio

Spida was the true ROY imo. Pairing him with the reigning DPOY, aka The Stifle Tower, should prove formidable. Mitchell will have to carry the scoring load.

INDIANA PACERS
STARTERS: Victor Oladipo & Myles Turner
ALT: Tyreke Evans

Victor had a breakout season last year earning his first all-star nod. He’s probably the only guy in the game who could execute NBA JAM dunks irl.

 

Tier 3: “HE’S HEATING UP!”
Clear out and let him work.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS
STARTERS: LeBron James & Brandon Ingram
ALT: Lonzo Ball

Showtime is back baby! King James is the NBA JAM G.O.A.T. (Since Jordan never made it into the game). His perfection will carry them to the brink, despite young Brandon and Ball’s inconsistency.

HOUSTON ROCKETS
STARTERS: James Harden & Clint Capela
ALT: Chris Paul

Cliff’s brother’s best days are behind him. But, a double alley oop between the reigning MVP and one of the leagues premiere big men would be nearly unstoppable.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS
STARTERS: Giannis Antetokounmpo & Kris Middleton
ALT: Eric Bledsoe

Give the Greek the rock and let the freakishness ensue. Middleton can stroke it and if they could just get a little more consistency from Bledsoe the deer would truly be something to fear.

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
STARTERS: Anthony Davis & Jrue Holiday
ALT: Julius Randle

If you’re running 2’s and need a teammate, you won’t do much better than The Brow. He’s poised for a legit MVP push, but he’s gonna need help. Can Jrue and Julius provide enough?

 

Tier 2: “HE’S ON FIRE!”
Unlimited turbo activated.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
STARTERS: Russell Westbrook & Paul George
ALT: Steven Adams

I know. Seems like a reach. But, without the burden of multiple teammates, NBA JAM Brodie is essentially Legendary Super Saiyan Brodie. Which makes PG13 Krillin? Adams is Hercule, obviously.

BOSTON CELTICS
STARTERS: Kyrie Irving & Jayson Tatum
ALT: Gordon Hayward

The Celts are loaded (when healthy). Good thing injuries aren’t a factor in this game. Uncle Drew and the gang can score at will, but their lack of rim defense could hold them back.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
STARTERS: Kevin Durant & Steph Curry
ALT: Draymond Green

This is the greatest NBA JAM team of all time. Forget about Durant and Curry both catching fire. Picture Draymond in a world where nut punching is legal! There’s just no denying it: this team is a cheat code. But, cheating is cheap and that’s no fun.

 

Tier 1: “BOOMSHAKALAKA!”
Big head mode.

PHILADELPHIA 76ers
STARTERS: Ben Simmons & Joel Embiid
ALT: Markelle Fultz

The LJ/Zo/Mugsy Hornies were the most fun team to play with growing up. Philly’s titular trio brings comparable talent and excitement. But, imagine if Fultz’ yips magically disappear. What if Joel’s injury concerns go away? Ben’s lack of outside shooting won’t matter as much in a game where you can takeoff from the arch.

This team embodies everything that makes NBA JAM so sensational. We want to see these players push defy the boundaries of human capability. Nerf the limitations. Nerf the rules. To a lot of fans these guys are heroes. In this game, they’re super. ♦

Dear American Vandal, Season 2 was Perfect and It’s Not Your Fault

Here’s a sentence:

I was surprised by how much fun I had while chasing the dick drawer!

So, when Netflix brought you back for a second season with promises of a turd burglar, I was more than ready. Expectations were high and, although I can’t say I didn’t thoroughly enjoy myself, the overall experience was just…better.

ut, that’s okay! The half-baked concept stretching going on here has been miraculous. But, when you follow the same narrative formula as season 1 (almost beat for beat), you’re going to get comparisons. Same recipe, fresh ingredients, but the problem is you’re missing one crucial ingredient: my guy Dylan! Don’t get me wrong, what you cooked up was still massively delicious. The supplementary ingredients more than made up for what was missing. (Via Rotten Tomatoes) The audience approval from season 1 to 2 bumped up nicely from 88 to 93. Critically, the show maintained its near perfect rating, taking only the slightest of dips from 98 to 97. Proving that dicks and turds are the new apples and oranges.

Dylan Maxwell, played by Jimmy Tatro of YouTube fame, brought a certain dimwitted charm to the show the likes of which I haven’t seen since Entourage’s Johnny Drama. A lovable bro who despite all his flaws was redeemable enough to earn my undivided rooting interest. Not to mention his outright hilarity.

The second season introduces two primary suspects: jock star DeMarcus Tillman (brilliantly portrayed by fellow social media entertainer Melvin Gregg) and actor Travis Tope’s eccentric tea enthusiast Ryan McClain. They were standouts and deserve all the praise for carrying this seasons comedic load. Hollywood refers to it as an ensemble film (multiple actors sharing equal plot importance and screen time). There were more pieces to the ensemble, but if this were an Oceans movie, consider them Clooney and Pitt (that was supposed to be a compliment).

Did I mention that season 2 is really really good? Impressive storytelling. You guys really amped up the difficulty level for yourselves by adding a crap ton of new potential culprits. It must’ve been a blast to film though. How did everyone keep a straight face? It’s just an unfortunate circumstance I guess. Dancing after Michael. Singing after Beyoncé. Sequels rarely live up to the original (see Trevor Noah). It’s tough when a star leaves the team. The team has to adapt and find ways to fill the void. Yet, that’s what you did. Michael Jordan retired and we had to settle for…a pair of Kobe Bryant’s (MJ shrug).

As I wrap this up, I have to re-emphasize that season 2 was incredibly well-acted and expertly crafted. I applaud the level of detail that went into capturing the real-life drama faced by modern day high schoolers. As the story resolves, you once again found a way to victimize humanize the vandal(s). The motives are fairly relatable and the social commentary lands gracefully. A strength of the series that can’t be overstated. Ya’ll are juggling some important (wait for it) shit here. Transcending the surface explicitness of what could simply be described as: one long poop joke.

This is, without a dingleberry of doubt, a near flawless production (as fecal-based mock-u-series go) and I can’t blame you for that. I still rep for my boy D, but I thank you for this gift. Let’s pour a cup of horchata out for my homie!

Sincerely and impatiently clenching with love til season 3 arrives,
Choz

P.S. The Wayback Boys > The Horsehead Collective ♦