More Podcast and You Tube Recommendations
As part of the Blaugust Festival of Blogging, I thought I’d take the time to promote some of the content creators whose work I enjoy. Despite all the white noise, click bait and snake oil salesmen, there is still a wealth of good material to be found online, be it blogs, podcasts, You Tube channels or streamers. Most of what I currently enjoy, I discovered through word of mouth. I feel more disposed towards trusting the views and opinions of friends than I do of “recommendations” made by Google and You Tube, driven by their “questionable” algorithms. These are often determined by key words and have no ability to ascertain quality. So here are a mixture of You Tube channels, podcasts and blogs that I wholeheartedly recommend. Between them they cover such subjects as movies, gaming, comedy and history. Feel free to leave comments about my choices and share your own recommendations.
Dark Corners Reviews. If you have a liking for cult, obscure and trash cinema, then Dark Corners Reviews can provide in-depth commentary upon such content. Presented by writer Robin Bailes, films such as The Clones of Bruce Lee, Trog and Warriors of the Apocalypse are dissected in a droll and knowledgeable fashion. Robin also provides some very detailed retrospectives on classic horror movie franchises such as Universal Horror movies of the thirties and Hammer Studios Frankenstein series. These are extremely well researched and offer intelligent genre analysis along with clear love and affection. Dark Corners Reviews has been running for over five years so there is a wealth of content available on the channel. It is also interesting to see Robin refine his style and technique over time.
Extra Credits. Created by Daniel Floyd and James Portnow in 2008, Extra Credits was initially a You Tube channel about video games studies. However over the years it has broadened its scope and now offers regular content analysing Science Fiction, History and Mythology. Each subject is presented as an animated video with casual but extremely informative narration. It’s a great way to come to grips with weighty subjects such as the history of the Irish Potato Famine or Greek Myths. The games study videos are all written by those with first-hand experience and explore such subjects as common mechanics, development schedules and sales and monetisation. Furthermore, the videos are always presented in an upbeat fashion, even when tackling tough issues. The team also put out updates to previous videos and will correct or append content where appropriate. It’s all extremely professional, intelligent and yet presented in an entertaining and easily digestible format. All involved seem to be genuine and likeable. Something that’s quite rare online these days.
Rule of Three. This is a somewhat niche market podcast but is really excels at what it does. British comedy writers Joel Morris and Jason Hazeley invite other comedians, actors and writers to discuss what they find funny and provide one example for discussion. Hence you will get the likes of comedian Phil Jupitus waxing lyrical about animator Chuck Jones, comic actor Kevin Eldon heaping praise upon The Rutles and writer Charlie Brooker dissecting the comedy genius of the movie Airplane. The show is informative, extremely funny and at times an utter geekfest. These guys know about their craft (as do their guests) and among all the humour and banter, the budding writer can glean a lot of useful information via their show.
Scormus Fails. As long as I can remember, Scormus (formerly known as the MMO Troll) has been writing, podcasting, producing You Tube videos and live streaming. He is a familiar face in the MMO fan community; part of the furniture if you will. Like many of us, he has seen an ebb and flow in his content and audience. Yet he doggedly produces content, tries different mediums and talks about the things he loves. He knows he’s not to everyone liking but he is resolutely his own man. You have to admire someone who just does their own thing and keeps going. Over the years his sense of humour has grown on me and I enjoy dipping into his various content. I think he sends a very positive message to those who are just starting out on their blogging, podcasting or streaming career.
Murf Versus. I wrote a blog post a while ago about how overfamiliarity can be fandom’s Achilles Heel. In my case it’s movies. I’ve seen a lot and therefore, it takes more to impress, surprise or inspire me. However, a great tangential way to enjoy material you’re already familiar with, is through the experiences of others. And that is why I enjoy Murf’s blog. He and his partner Diane regularly sit and view classic films and do their upmost to put aside their own cultural baggage and give a fair and logical appraisal. Sometimes they find a point of entry and some common ground. Other times not so. Murf writes eloquently and thoughtfully. His musings are often astute and mature. He is also happy to eschew critical consensus. If he doesn’t like a cinematic sacred cow, he’ll happily say so and provide cogent reasons for doing so. So if you are more than just a casual movie viewer then do take a look at his blog. You may or may not agree with him on certain films but you cannot fault his honesty.