Welcome to What’s the Buzz, 25YL’s feature where members of our staff provide you with recommendations on a weekly basis. In our internet age, there is so much out there to think about watching, reading, listening to, etc., that it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, filter out the noise, or find those diamonds in the rough. But have no fear! We’re here to help you do that thing I just described with three different metaphors. Each week a rotating cast of writers will offer their recommendations based on things they have discovered. They won’t always be new to the world, but they’ll be new to us, or we hope new to you. This week’s entries come from: Abbie Sears, Laura Stewart, Hawk Ripjaw, and John Bernardy.
John: So David Lynch announced the Twin Peaks Z to A box set this week, maybe you’d heard? It sure got ALL of us talking.
Dear Twitter Friends, “It’s yrev very good to see you again old friends.” pic.twitter.com/yL2UXyxeWT
— David Lynch (@DAVID_LYNCH) August 21, 2019
Part of what we talked about was the art design, and part was about whether we will buy another Twin Peaks set or not.
The show’s been past the point of double dipping for so long (that point was the Gold Box DVD collection), yet every time there’s good reason to re-up.
First off the box will be gorgeous. Those foggy trees on the outside and the Red Room on the inside is thematic and classy. And the die cut acrylic figure of Laura Palmer kissing Dale Cooper is ripe for being turned into Christmas ornaments for the irreverent folks not into terms like mint condition. Really, the 5 x 5 art cards could suffer the same fate.
For those of us who skipped a set or two (raises hand), the fact that all previous content and special features from The Entire Mystery and A Limited Event Series will be included is great to hear. But for everyone else, are the “over six hours” of new bonus material worth re-buying the set?
It’ll be nice to have the full length unedited Roadhouse performances, and the Harry Goaz and Kimmy Robertson special feature promises to be endearing as hell as they reminisce together.
I’m most excited to see the bonus feature of Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee and biographer Kristine McKenna. Those three people are probably closest to understanding Lynch’s central philosophies at the moment, and of course MacLachlan and Lee are the twin centers of Twin Peaks. So there will be details that surface from this that alone could make the set worth it.
I know they’re not done announcing how the rest of the six-plus hours are allocated but I’m pretty much at a “pre-order now” place, even though I’m not even 100% sure this will be the final Twin Peaks set we’ll ever see.
After all, the last time they released the “entire mystery”, new Twin Peaks episodes were announced within months…you just never know.
Twin Peaks: From Z To A, a deluxe 21-disc collection of everything Twin Peaks plus over 20 hours of special feature content will be available by the end of 2019! This worldwide Blu-ray only release includes every ‘Episode’ and ‘Part’ of all three seasons of Twin Peaks, the Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me feature film and its deleted scenes called The Missing Pieces.
Hawk: Praise be to the power team of Jody Hill and Danny McBride, the creators of Eastbound and Down and Vice Principals—two of the finest modern comedy shows to hit premium cable. Their latest, The Righteous Gemstones, just hit HBO this past Sunday and it is glorious.
The Righteous Gemstones follows the family that owns and ministers for a spectacular megachurch. The wrinkle is that John Goodman is the family patriarch, and his sons are played by Danny McBride and Adam Devine, and they hate each other.
The pilot opens with the family ministers in China for a “24-Hour Baptism Marathon” that escalates into brothers Jesse (McBride) and Kelvin (Devine) bickering over who’s better at baptizing people correctly. Then it’s revealed that they’re in a wave pool, and it’s just been turned on, accompanied by disco lights and pop music. It ends up being a great way to foreshadow just how chaotic the lives of the Gemstones are about to become.
Danny McBride wastes no time taking aim at megachurches and their ultra-rich ministers. It might be low-hanging fruit to skewer the irony of prosperity gospel, but McBride squeezes as much juice as possible from the concept. These megachurch evangelists use the generosity of their attentive congregation to make themselves incredibly wealthy while preaching that wealth is a sign of righteousness, that God wants them to have these earthly possessions. McBride pushes this to an extreme, giving the family a trio of planes called The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and a compound with multiple houses and a shooting range. There are constant allusions to how filthily rich the family is and how that, rather than faith, drives them.
The most interesting character is still Goodman’s Eli, who still mourns for his wife, does seem to have some remnant of faith, but most certainly doesn’t mind being incredibly wealthy. Post-Sunday service, he strides into his regular restaurant like an Italian mobster, soaking in the quiet awe from the other patrons. The bickering between Kelvin, Jesse and their sister Judy (Edi Patterson) is what drives the comedy, as their insults and gestures get increasingly more creative. The writing is done in such a way that these three adults still sound like 13-year olds that failed to mature.
The driving force of the plot so far is a video of Jesse partying and doing cocaine, for which he is being blackmailed. Even in the first episode, The Righteous Gemstones has no shame in going dark, weird, and eventually violent. Indeed, Jesse is a massive prick, but one of his children is experiencing a crisis of faith surely brought on by his father’s inability to act with faith. One of Jesse’s sons has apparently already flown the coop, which is a sore spot for Jesse.
Meanwhile, Kelvin (amusingly one of the only members of the family without an obviously Biblical name) is friends with Keefe (Tony Cavalero), a former devil worshipper recently reformed. Keefe is an awkward, soft-spoken man with faded tattoos of an upside down cross and right side up cross earrings, who frequently delves into strange monologues and has an awkward, homoerotic dynamic with Kelvin.
I personally found Vice Principals to be one of the most entertaining programs I’ve seen in some time, and so far McBride’s next is looking equally enjoyable. There’s something about watching unpleasant characters go up in flames, sometimes with a little bit of diagonal character maturation (where they learn something, but maybe not what they really needed to learn) and it’s something that McBride and Hill are exceptionally good at.
Abbie: This week in the world of YouTube, Phil Lester (AmazingPhil) dropped a second ‘Draw My Life’ video, and with both Phil and Dan coming out of the closet for Pride month this year, this new video was able to go into a lot more detail about personal life and struggles. If you’re a member of the Phandom, you’ll know Dan and Phil both announced a hiatus from the collective Gaming channel after Dilmas last December. Well, unfortunately, this new video from Phil didn’t give us much hope for that channel to return..
I want Dan and Phil to focus on themselves like I’m sure we all do, but I have turned to Dan and Phil Games when times got tough for years of my life, and their Sims 4 series has captured our hearts. We wanted a Dab and Evan wedding, and to see Dalien become the Partihaus leader. Now it feels like it all came to a pretty abrupt end. I am so grateful for Dan and Phil putting in years of dedication and work to the gaming channel and if this hiatus does turn into an end, well I’ll be content with re-watching those videos, I have been doing that all year and it’s been quite fun.
Anyway, back to Phil’s latest video, it was quite surprising to hear Phil talk about the bad that he’s been through, and actually it’s quite heartbreaking. Phil is a ray of sunshine and to think about him trying to make his audience happy while going through such anxiety and stress with work and family struggles, it’s just terrible.
In a way though, I think we are all quite glad that Phil spoke up about things like these, and it’s especially great that he is talking about what he truly wants for himself in the future. Both Dan and Phil have always sort of skipped over questions about them personally or about the future for them both and I feel like with each upload we are peeling off another layer of their inner selves and seeing who they truly are and what they do/want to do with their lives.
Perhaps if you’ve never seen a Dan and Phil video or somehow never actually heard of them, this could be a great video to introduce you to Phil and what he’s all about. Daniel Howell’s most recent video ‘Basically I’m Gay’ is also a great way to start watching Dan. That video is 45 minutes of the honest coming out story we wanted but thought we may actually never see.
AmazingPhil and Daniel Howell make the best team on Youtube, but I’m pretty excited about them beginning their separate journeys too. If DanandPhilGames doesn’t return, I still really recommend it. There’s 63 heartwarming, and sometimes inappropriate, episodes of the Sims 4 series, and a magical Undertale let’s play, plus various horror games and Spooky Week playlists. It’s a really fun channel and it’s really fun to spend time with Dan and Phil.
So to conclude, if you aren’t a fan already, I encourage you to take a trip down the Dan and Phil rabbit hole and get to know them like I feel I do. They are the rare kind of YouTubers that somehow stick to their roots and remain the people who you discovered them as even through periods of growth, and they are both the most lovable humans on the planet. So check out Phil’s most recent video. Hopefully it will be the beginning of a new chapter for you and for Phil.
AmazingPhil – I share my strange life with the internet! Subscribe to see what happens next ^_^ Follow me! http://www.twitter.com/amazingphil
Laura: This weeks feature should really be renamed ‘What’s the Crack’ as for the first time ever the ragtag gang of shky boys have been unleashed on American audiences as the Hardy Bucks landed on Netflix.
Castletown lads Eddie Durkan, Buzz McDonnell, French Toast, Tommy ‘The Boo’ Hagen and their rivals Viper and co have graced Irish screens since 2010, after first gaining popularity on YouTube in 2008, before they were picked up by RTÉ.
Hardy Bucks has become a staple of Irish culture, expertly satirising life in a small country town where there is absolutely nothing to do and booze is both the cause and solution to all of life’s problems.
Hardy Bucks is a mockumentary style cross between The Trailer Park Boys and Shameless with a splash of Phoenix Nights. It is definitely ridiculous, immature humour, yet I still can’t help but laugh. There’s something comforting about watching these guys make complete and utter tits of themselves, get themselves into the most absurd situations and be so totally inept at relationships with women, or pretty much anyone.
The weird thing is that despite all this, its convincingly real. I can put that down to the great acting and improvised script because I really don’t know how any of them kept a straight face making this show. All four seasons are now available to stream in the UK, America, and Australia too. On top of that, the Hardy Bucks ,ovie is also on the streaming platform so you can enjoy the feature-length adventure. So what are you waiting for? Cut yourself off from the world for a while and get binging all those brilliantly nonsense Hardy Bucks moments.
Those are our recommendations this week. What are yours? Let us know in the comments!