Into the Breach with Billie Eilish’s dont smile at me

Into the Breach with Billie Eilish’s dont smile at me

Because I had planned poorly, the Vek—burrowing, alien kaiju—came swarming out of the dirt. The war was over, I had lost. With Earth thoroughly doomed, I took my one surviving pilot and abandoned the timeline, jumping through a rift in time and hoping to do better in an alternate universe. That sequence, on loop, is the [...]

The Lessons of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

The Lessons of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

Deep in an ancestral crypt, a group of wizards gathers to uncover a nefarious plot. That sounds like an exciting premise, right? Spooky and mysterious and full of ambiguous power. Except that when that exact scenario unfolds in the latter half of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, it falls completely flat. There are a [...]

Christmas Is a Lot of Things: On Linus and Owen Meany

Christmas Is a Lot of Things: On Linus and Owen Meany

It's one of the most famous moments in syndicated Christmas special history. Linus, wearing a green beanie and carrying his trustworthy blue blanket, steps to the front of the stage in an empty auditorium. A single spotlight illuminates him as he recites scripture from memory, describing to his best friend, the constantly beleaguered Charlie Brown, [...]

The Sound of the Season: Empty Houses’s Holiday

The Sound of the Season: Empty Houses’s Holiday

I'm not particularly proactive when it comes to holiday traditions. While I'm partial to a Thanksgiving dinner, I'm certainly not going to prepare it. Though I'm fond of Christmas lights and decorations, I don't know that I've ever bought any. For the most part, I rely on those around me (*cough* my wife *cough*) to take [...]

Don’t Define It: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

Don’t Define It: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

When asked to describe what kind of music his band plays, Andy Dwyer—the kindhearted lug played by Chris Pratt on Parks and Recreation—states that he "doesn't like to define" their sound but that they sound like Matchbox 20 and The Fray. "So ... rock," someone responds. "Well, again," explains Andy, "I don't really like to [...]

Ocarina of Our Time: The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Ocarina of Our Time: The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

The Nintendo 64 was the first video game system that really and truly impressed me. The flat graphics of the 16-bit generation were, from my adolescent viewpoint, limited but the N64 presented games in three dimensions, changing what video games could be and allowing for a previously inconceivable level of immersion. And while the Sony [...]

It’s Complicated: Sara Bareilles’ “She Used to Be Mine”

It’s Complicated: Sara Bareilles’ “She Used to Be Mine”

Halfway through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, titular hero Harry is in need of reassurance. Like a lot of teenagers (and, frankly, a lot of adults), Harry is suffering from a common malady: He thinks he sucks. Because J.K. Rowling knows her way around a plot device, Harry's lovably rogue father figure [...]