Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dragonfly Ripple's Weird West/Star Wars show



Carlin and I were part of the Nerd Lunch episode on the first Star Wars movie, but we're not even close to done talking about the series. It comes up again on this month's episode of Dragonfly Ripple. First, Carlin and I talk about the right approach to introducing kids to Star Wars. (Do you start them on the prequels or the original trilogy?) And later, in the Jetpack Tiger segment, Carlin talks with his son Dash about the Clone Wars series.

But most of the show is about Western TV shows with a twist. Annaliese and Carlin review The Adventures of Brisco County Jr and then David and I discuss The Wild Wild West (both the '60s show and the '90s movie). Hope you'll check it out and maybe recommend some excellent steampunk.

5 comments:

Jack said...

Good day to you, Michael. I've long been a follower of the Nerd Lunch gang, especially CT, and it was them that led me to your site some months ago. Now to find you collaborating is awesome. Couple of points:

First, cellphones have indeed ruined movies for me, though maybe for different reasons than yours. First, you need to know that I'm 66, so one of the big dramatic scenes in thrillers for the first half of my life was when the killer showed up outside the victim's house and cut the phone line! Oh, no, what will she do now?

On the westerns, grew up in the '50s, when there were maybe 50+ westerns on TV every week, most of which blended into one another in terms of plot and character... and then there was The Wild Wild West, which had to be the Briscoe County of its day. No chance of mistaking that for anything else, though it always seemed more like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to me than James Bond.

My pitch for an odd western? How about a western set on a small ship making the rounds from to Seattle to San Diego and points south hauling goods and supplies? The crew is your built-in cast of regulars, every little town has its own personality so you can do every traditional western storyline, plus you get to add pirates, smugglers, Mexican nationals out to avenge the theft of California, same deal with the Brits in Vancouver. Gads, I don't see any end to it, in fact, you may have just set me off in pursuit of my next book...

And my final point: I'm a writer of steampunk, and I'm going to do something that I hate because it makes me feel sooo cheesy. I'm going to pimp my own work. I write a short story series called Beyond the Rails which has been well-received by aficionados of the genre. As someone who finds it kind of *meh,* you'd be an interesting test reader; you did ask... The books are for sale on Amazon, but I don't want to take that route with you. There is a complete story offered as a free sample on my author's site, http://steampunkjack.weebly.com. Hit the free sample tab at the top, and see what you think. And please, I invite you to delete this comment with no hard feelings. It was never my intention to use your blog to advertise. Just trying to pass you some information.

Overall, this is a great site that I've favorited, and read frequently. Whether you like steampunk or not, keep up the good work!

Michael May said...

Hi, Jack! Great comments. Thanks!

I agree about the tone of Wild Wild West being closer to Man from UNCLE than it is to Bond. Do you think that's because both were facing the same challenges in bringing a Bond-like spy adventure to the weekly format on a TV budget? I've had Bond so much on the brain lately that I hadn't considered other comparisons, but that makes sense to me.

As a fan of sea adventure stories, I'm totally on board with your Western idea too. Combining Zorro-style California adventures with pirates and the Pacific Northwest is an amazing concept.

And thanks for the steampunk recommendation! No worries about it being your own work. I'll definitely check out that link!

Jack said...

Good point about the weekly format challenges. Of course, Bond set the bar for everything after, but Britain managed a serious spy series with Secret Agent, and the US did all right with I Spy, but like all the westerns, you had to differentiate your product somehow, so we saw the range from the shows above to Get Smart at the other end of the scale. Wild Wild West went for camp in a lot of ways, and Man from U.N.C.L.E. never really decided where it wanted to land. Its agents acted as serious as Bond, but the threats they faced were often out of The Twilight Zone. As a young teen, though, U.N.C.L.E. was my favorite; not sure that would be the case now.

Fun podcast, and enjoyable discussion. To quote another movie icon, "I'll be back."

Michael May said...

Man from UNCLE and The Avengers are both huge holes in my spy viewing. I need to correct that soon!

Jack said...

Oh, forget The Avengers! Don't know how that happened. If Bond is at one end of the scale, and Get Smart at the other, then The Avengers form the third point of a triangle, outside the spectrum completely. Yes, hasten to watch that one; you'll be amazed!

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