In what used to be -- and probably still should be -- two episodes, Russ and Zach talk for two hours and change about the changing face of streaming, how it's going to cost users a fortune, how coporate America doesn't care to make your movie-watching more pleasant or convenient, and why everyone maybe made too big a deal out of the whole Disney+/Marvel Cinematic Universe kerfuffle last week.

You can find us (and a number of other awesome podcasts) on the ACPN family of shows.

The Emerald City Video Podcast is a periodic podcast hosted by entertainment journalist Russ Burlingame, with a rotating cast of hosts who used to work at the Emerald City Video store in East Syracuse, New York. The store was once awarded by the Video Software Dealers of America as the best small video store in the U.S. Though it closed in 2009, the store’s legacy still touches the daily lives of a lot of the people who used to work there, and the Syracuse community as a whole still has a lot of fondness for its memory.

The idea behind the podcast, which launched in 2016, was to bring the discourse you would get at a video store — talking with real humans about your movies, rather than trusting in an algorithm — back to…well, if not the world, or even Syracuse, at least to the guys who maybe missed that human connection the most: a bunch of pop culture junky loudmouths who used to run a really cool video store. Over the years, the Emerald City Video banner has flown over a number of themes, including specific episodes about TV series like Riverdale and Psych.

If you like what we’re doing here, you can become a patron of the Emerald City Video Podcast, which comes with fun perks. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also have Instagram and Vero accounts where we share images, photos, memes, and nonsense. You can support us on Patreon, too, and do things like requesting custom episodes and the like.

Be back for more by noon on the fifth day, and please — always remember to rewind your videocassettes.

 

Rating: 3/5

Russ is joined by Logan Bretschneider and Dan Fecteau to talk about the new Netflix film, Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus.

You can find us (and a number of other awesome podcasts) on the ACPN family of shows.

The Emerald City Video Podcast is a periodic podcast hosted by entertainment journalist Russ Burlingame, with a rotating cast of hosts who used to work at the Emerald City Video store in East Syracuse, New York. The store was once awarded by the Video Software Dealers of America as the best small video store in the U.S. Though it closed in 2009, the store’s legacy still touches the daily lives of a lot of the people who used to work there, and the Syracuse community as a whole still has a lot of fondness for its memory.

The idea behind the podcast, which launched in 2016, was to bring the discourse you would get at a video store — talking with real humans about your movies, rather than trusting in an algorithm — back to…well, if not the world, or even Syracuse, at least to the guys who maybe missed that human connection the most: a bunch of pop culture junky loudmouths who used to run a really cool video store. Over the years, the Emerald City Video banner has flown over a number of themes, including specific episodes about TV series like Riverdale and Psych.

If you like what we’re doing here, you can become a patron of the Emerald City Video Podcast, which comes with fun perks. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also have Instagram and Vero accounts where we share images, photos, memes, and nonsense. You can support us on Patreon, too, and do things like requesting custom episodes and the like.

Be back for more by noon on the fifth day, and please — always remember to rewind your videocassettes.

Hello, and welcome to the Emerald City Video Podcast. This is Russ Burlingame, and tonight is going to be a little different than usual.

Today saw the cancellation of KRYPTON, a TV series that ran for two seasons on SYFY and which was not just one of my personal favorite shows on TV but one of the series that has kind of shown me the most love in return. Along with Deadly Class, also cancelled this season on SYFY, these are two of the only shows that have ever quoted me in TV spots.

The series was a huge critical hit, especially in its second season, and its cancellation is 100% one of those situations where the ratings did not keep up with the reputation of the show. I’m not going to go after SYFY for this choice; the show was averaging almost 2 million viewers in its first season and was the third-highest-rated show on the network. A year and change later, it’s barely pulling 400,000.

Krypton centers on the character of Seg-El — played by Cameron Cuffe. Seg is the grandfather of Superman, and there is a time-travel element that created something of a ticking clock in the first season. If they didn’t stop the bad guys, it would mean that Superman never existed, and Earth’s future is doomed. By the end of the first season, though, the characters had made things infinite worse, and not only was Set exiled to the Phantom Zone, but Zod was in control of Krypton, and years in the future, that would spell disaster for Earth.

Krypton was originally billed as “Game of Thrones in Space,” an easy characterization since they actually filmed in Belfast, where Game of Thrones had, and the series featured Ian McIlhenny of Game of Thrones as See’s grandfather, Val-El. The show actually turned out to be something else entirely, and that led to a few growing pains. Ironically, the most GAME OF THRONES-y scene in the whole first season was probably an argument between Elliot Cowan’s Daron Vex and Ann Ogbomo’s Jayna Zod. I saw that scene being filmed during a set visit to Belfast back in 2017. That same week, they were filming the episode — “House of Zod” — which would fundamentally alter what the show was.

It has been a hard few months at SYFY. Happy — a series based on the comics from artist Darick Robertson and writer Grant Morrison — was cancelled after two seasons, and after just a single season and a crazy cliffhanger, the network declined to pick up a second season of Deadly Class, based on the comics from Rick Remender and Wes Craig. Krypton had a sequel planned, based on the character of LOBO, who appeared in the show’s second season, but unless either that pilot, or Krypton, or both, can find a new home, it ain’t going to happen. All of these cancellations happened while the network was waiting on new episodes of WYNONNA EARP, which it actually DID pick up but which failed to go into production on time due to a financial shortfall from IDW Entertainment, the current publishers of Wynonna Earp comics and the series’ producers. Suddenly, WYNONNA is the only comic book show still on the air at SYFY, and it’s currently on a weird, unplanned hiatus.

While I am not going to lay into SYFY — working in the entertainment industry I know that almost no network ever roots for a show to fail — I will say that it is a strange choice for them to leave fans hanging on both this and Deadly Class. Genre TV has some of the most passionate fans, and every if there aren’t a lot of them, they will punish you for supposed bad behavior. The easiest thing you can do — and something that almost every other network has already figured out to do — is to renew shows for a “final season” to give the producers time to make a good ending and the fans time to adjust to the fact that their show is going away. While something like Deadly Class, which didn’t make it past the first season, might not have supported such a move, certainly Krypton could have.

Whatever the case, Krypton was a gorgeously designed, beautifully-shot, wonderfully-acted show that had real heart and real consequences. That might be a surprise to anybody who hasn’t watched it, since the premise — that a time-traveler from the present was going back in time to keep history intact so that Superman could exist — is just begging for a forgettable series that had no real stakes. But Cameron Welsh, the show runner, along with David Goyer, the writers’ room, and series stars Cameron Cuffe, Shaun Sipos, Georgina Campbell, Wallis Day, and others, would not have anything of the sort.  The show’s Kryptonite was arguably that it was so predictable, and its power was in how completely the producers resisted that.

Another strength was in the way the characters were treated. While Seg-El has basically no presence in the comics, and most of the other characters had around the same amount of pages in their history, the series treated each of them like a valuable piece of intellectual property. As far as the show was concerned, the El family was Superman, and Seg was treated with as much seriousness and respect as if he had been his grandson. Colin Salmon played General Dru-Zod, best known as one of Superman’s greatest enemies, and he managed to do what many would have though impossible: he surpassed the standard-setting performance of Terrence Stamp in Superman II. Krypton, more generally, managed to be just as exciting and “alien” on a TV budget as it had in MAN OF STEEL, of which Goyer was a writer. Part of that was the show’s ability to do something movies have not so far: embracing the history of the comics. The Justice League, the Green Lanterns, and more exist in the world of Krypton, and even though we don’t see them, there are clear references to them. That status quo set the stage for the introduction of Doomsday, an ancient, biological weapon created by two of Krypton’s greatest scientists and hidden away underground because it was too dangerous to ever use.

In the pilot, Val-El, facing execution for “heresy” because he dared to tell the Science Guild that doom was coming in the form of an alien called Brainiac, reached out to his grandson in his final moments. “Keep believing in a better tomorrow,” he told young Seg, and that message reverberated and echoed through Krypton for two seasons. It was, in a lot of ways, the clearest mission statement that the House of El had since Christopher Reeve declared himself “a friend” back in 1978. As far as narrative themes go, you could do a lot worse for a show about heroes, and the writers even managed to turn it back on itself a few times, with a season 2 episode called “A Better Yesterday.”

Krypton, though, was a marvel. It was a technical and creative achievement, filled with talented people who all bounced off one another in a way that made each part better, and elevated the whole. Some iconic characters — notably Zod and Doomsday — had their best versions appear on Krypton, and Seg-El will now be a character who people care about for decades to come, in spite of having had something like a total of 30 pages of comic book story before the show began.

The show raised the bar for quality on a comic book show. Certainly it is not alone: series like Deadly Class, The Walking Dead, Doom Patrol, and Gotham all contributed to this movement, but Krypton’s second season earned a 100% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and, in all likelihood, will have launched the career of some fan-favorite actors before all is said and done.

In my day job, of course, I come to know a lot of actors, producers, and the like. Most of them I get along with fine, although it’s rare that I can say with a straight face that I have more than one — MAYBE — friend on any given show. Krypton was different. Krypton was a show full of people who were excited to talk to the press, who were passionate about their stories, and who never failed to know my name when we met up at  crowded events. They followed me on Twitter, they replied to my reviews and theories, and they thanked me for the kind words I had for the show — even though there was no thanks necessary because the only reason I praised it is that they had earned the praise.

I will close out, then, with a message for the writers, producers, cast, and crew of KRYPTON. I told Cameron Cuffe something similar in a message I sent him shortly after I heard about the cancellation, but he is not alone. As a viewer of the show and as a reporter who covered it, thank all of you for this gem of a series, which brought me a lot of joy and raised the bar for comic book adaptations on TV. I look forward to what comes next from this stellar cast and crew, and will be more than happy to cover whatever that is. For me, I'm bummed by the loss of a great show, but I'm far more sad for those who are losing jobs and opportunities due to the cancellation. Krypton was a great, talented, and friendly cast and crew that it was a pleasure to get to know and cover over the last year and a half.  And the doors they opened, and the bar they raised, will reverberate into the future, spawning a better class of comic book show and making stars out of some of these young, talented, unknown actors and writers. This particular show, and these particular people, may not be around to enjoy the better tomorrow they have helped to build for the audience, but their contribution will not be forgotten.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight, folks, so thanks for listening. Be back by noon on the 5th day for more form Emerald City Video, and keep believing in a better tomorrow.

You can find us (and a number of other awesome podcasts) on the ACPN family of shows.

If you like what we're doing here, you can become a patron of the Emerald City Video Podcast, which comes with fun perks. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also have Instagram and Vero accounts where we share images, photos, memes, and nonsense. You can support us on Patreon, too, and do things like requesting custom episodes and the like.

Be back for more by noon on the fifth day, and please -- always remember to rewind your videocassettes.

August 2, 2019

iZombie Season 5 Overview

Review Score: 5/5

Russ Burlingame and Shawn Carpenter from Delicious Flavor: A Psych Rewatch Podcast break down the final season of iZombie, a criminally underrated show with heart, humor...and a pinch of horror.

You can read Russ's interview with showrunner Rob Thomas here.

You can find us (and a number of other awesome podcasts) on the ACPN family of shows.

If you like what we're doing here, you can become a patron of the Emerald City Video Podcast, which comes with fun perks. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also have Instagram and Vero accounts where we share images, photos, memes, and nonsense.

Be back for more by noon on the fifth day, and please -- always remember to rewind your videocassettes.

 
Craig, Russ, and Chris get together to talk about the second episode of Riverdale, and it's AWESOME.
November 30, 2018

Employee Picks: Television!

Hello, and welcome to the Emerald City Video Podcast.

Today, we’re bringing in a very special episode of the show, featuring Employee Recommendations.

This is something we have done before, usually when one person wants to spotlight a particular movie. This time around, we’re instead doing it on behalf of a…well, we’ll call her a video store customer.

On her Instagram story the other day, an acquaintance of mine posted that she was looking for new shows to watch after a long day at work. She gave the following guidelines:

The show should be intelligent, but not too heavy. It cannot be a superhero show OR a CW show — so Legends of Tomorrow is out, even though that means her life will not be as full and rich as it otherwise might be. Being funny is a bonus but not a necessity, although she did say she preferred a feel good show, and does not want to cry every episode. She also said nothing too artsy.

I don’t want to name this person, since the episode is being done without letting her know, but she also told me once that she is not SUPER film literate. Between that and the fact that I do not know her well, I figure I will just assume that she hasn’t seen anything we’re going to recommend, and that will give us the opportunity to talk a little bit about the things that make the shows special.

She did provide a little more guidance, in the form of a list of shows she likes: Shameless, The Haunting of Hill House, The IT Crowd, Sabrina — which I take to be the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, since it’s new, although obviously the ‘90s version is a lot more “feel good” — Friends, and Outlander.

That gives us a pretty good range of emotion to work with, so let’s see what we come up with.

You can find us (and a number of other awesome podcasts) on the ACPN family of shows.

If you like what we're doing here, you can become a patron of the Emerald City Video Podcast, which comes with fun perks. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also have Instagram and Vero accounts where we share images, photos, memes, and nonsense.

Be back for more by noon on the fifth day, and please -- always remember to rewind your videocassettes.

Hello, and welcome to the Emerald City Video podcast. I’m your host, Russ Burlingame, and if you listen to the show at all, you know me.

If you don’t listen to the show — and it just so happens that the episode where I give an explainer is your first episode to the show — then I’ll break it down for you.

Emerald City Video was, until April of 2009, a video rental store in Syracuse, New York. I used to manage the store for a while, and since this show started, nearly every voice you have heard on this show is someone who used to work at Emerald City at one time or another, as well.

This episode, I am introducing the ECV Spinner Rack, named for the spinning magazine racks that people used to be able to get comic books off of back when comics were sold anywhere other than comic book specialty stores. And, as you might guess, this segment, or this type of episode, will be dedicated to looking at comics and comic book adaptations on TV.

I am leaving the movies alone, since they are huge blockbusters and almost always get covered on the New Release Wall anyway.

When I am not podcasting about movies with people who used to work at a video store, my real, paying job is writing about comics and related media for ComicBook.com. Up to now I have kept a wall up between the two gigs, but as we near our hundredth episode, I am looking to roll out some new features and some new ideas for ECV.

More on that in the weeks and months to come.

For a long while, I had a podcast called Panel Discussions, in which I talked about comics and related media with people who, believe it or not, NEVER EVEN WORKED AT A VIDEO STORE. Crazy, I know.

I recently shuttered that podcast; it was just another thing costing me $15 a month to host, and I did not have the time to consistently update it. But since I still like talking about that stuff, and sometimes I like to talk about It in ways that are not conducive to how we write stories or what I am assigned to cover at work.

So here I am. And in keeping with things like the New Release Wall and Five for Five, I wanted to give this a veneer or the video store, creating a title for the feature that would resemble something you might actually find in a video store. So — The ECV Spinner Rack.

In the near future, one of the big changes we are going to be rolling out is that we are going to have other co-hosts who haven’t all worked for ECV in the past. When I do so, I will introduce them by asking them where their home video store was, when the last time was they were in a video store, and what their favorite video store memory is. That will give us all a point of commonality and community, even when they aren’t people who worked or rented at ECV.

Today’s guest is Michele Curran, the co-host of the Krypton Podcast and the Hashtag TV Geek Podcast. I met Michele through another show I host, Archie Digest: A Riverdale Podcast, and we have become friends in the couple of years that show has been running. She has appeared on Panel Discussions in the past, discussing last year’s “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover event with me.

Tonight will be another chance for Michele and I to talk about The CW’s shared DC Comics universe of shows, as we will be looking at DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. Legends, which debuted its fourth season tonight, centers on a ragtag team of misfits and C-list superheroes who travel through time fixing things, breaking them again, and then fixing their own mistakes. After an underwhelming first season — which I actually didn’t mind, and so you can see quotes from my review of the pilot used as examples on the show’s Wikipedia page — the show found its groove by embracing the weird, fun energy that the characters and its cast brought to the table naturally. 

Each season of Legends has been something of a soft reboot, and this year things are getting a bit…magical. At the end of season three, the Legends defeated Mallus, a demon who had been trapped in a time prison. In order to have their final showdown with the demon, they needed to release him from his prison, but doing so opened the door for other beings and creatures who now have to be rounded up and sent back to where they came from.

The team will be joined in the quest by John Constantine, played by Matt Ryan. Constantine is a demonologist and master of the mystic arts — or a petty dabbler, if you want to be really specific about it. Ryan’s version first appeared on a self-titled NBC series that ran for a single season before moving to The CW, where he has made occasional appearances on Arrow and Legends, as well as headlining an animated movie that was serialized and shown as short episodes on the web-based CW Seed network. The movie, along with about a half an hour of previously-unseen footage, is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

As I have always endeavored to do with Archie Digest, this segment is intended to be released immediately after Legends airs its premiere on the East Coast. So — spoilers ahead, and don’t listen to us talk about the show until you have had a chance to see the episode. If you missed it, press pause now and wait until tomorrow, when you can either buy it on your Video On Demand service of choice or stream it on The CW’s website.

Without further ado, the first episode of ECV’s Spinner Rack.

You can find us (and a number of other awesome podcasts) on the ACPN family of shows.

If you like what we're doing here, you can become a patron of the Emerald City Video Podcast, which comes with fun perks. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also have Instagram and Vero accounts where we share images, photos, memes, and nonsense.

Be back for more by noon on the fifth day, and please -- always remember to rewind your videocassettes.

This week’s episode is the first recorded on new hardware, the first recorded while part of the ACPN group (as opposed to recording an episode and then being invited while in production), and the first in a while to have the “classic” format of an old release and a new release.

For anybody who might be new to Emerald City Video and is currently reading these notes (likely at ACPN), here’s what our deal is:

Russ Burlingame (that’s me!) is a senior writer for ComicBook.com, but in another life, I managed Emerald City Video, a family-owned video store in Syracuse, NY. During that time, I worked with Visu.News's Zach Roberts briefly as well as a number of other people who have been featured on this show less regularly, including Logan Bretschneider, Dan Fecteau, Erica Ladd, Eva Furmanska, and Dave Nielsen.

The idea of this show is to have the kind of conversations people used to have at the video store: a little more casual, a little more in-depth, and a lot more organic than you get from the crappy algorithms of Netflix, Amazon, and the like.

For example: today, YouTube Movies suggested six movies I should buy, and — as acknowledged under each one with the caption “you purchased this,” each of their purchase suggestions was a movie I already owned. Additionally, they were all six Marvel movies. That seems like a huge missed opportunity to pitch me on…I don’t know, literally any other big blockbuster?

At any rate, Emerald City Video.

In the beginning, over two years ago, our format was that we would talk about one new or new-to-video movie that everyone was buzzing about, and another, older movie that was somehow thematically linked.

For instance, our first-ever episode was Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the underrated girl-power masterpiece Josie and the Pussycats.

Yes, masterpiece. Fight me.

The reason we chose this format goes back to our video store: at ECV, when it was in business, you could rent any movie at full-price and get an older/catalog movie for free. The most frequent combination, of course, was that somebody would get one of the hot new releases, come to the counter, and be reminded “you can grab an older movie for free if you want.” This was one of the most frequent ways that conversations would start, with the cutstomer saying “well, what might go with the thing I have in my hands?”

In today’s case, Zach and Russ are talking about Jack Ryan, the new Amazon series, and the very first live-action Jack Ryan adaptation from 1990, The Hunt for Red October, directed by Die Hard and Predator filmmaker John McTiernan.

There are four more Jack Ryan movies, and we will get to those (and a little more talk about the rest of Jack Ryan season one) over the next few episodes.

You can find us on Facebook at facebook.com/emeraldcityvideo or Twitter at twitter.com/ecv_podcast. If you want to support our show, we have ways you can do that, either at PayPal.me/emeraldcityvideo or at https://patron.podbean.com/emeraldcityvideo.

And for more from Russ, Zach, and the rest of the ECV crew, make sure to be back here by noon on the fifth day, and always remember to rewind your cassettes.

Russ is on site in Toronto visiting the set of Shazam!, and has a number of other reporters on to bask in the glory of "House of Zod" with him. Krypton is great, guys.

You can find us (and a number of other awesome podcasts) on the ACPN family of shows.

If you like what we're doing here, you can become a patron of the Emerald City Video Podcast, which comes with fun perks. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also have Instagram and Vero accounts where we share images, photos, memes, and nonsense.

Be back for more by noon on the fifth day, and please -- always remember to rewind your videocassettes.

Russ is joined by Jon Wilson and Jeffrey Taylor to talk about the fourth episode of Krypton, "The Word of Rao."

You can find us (and a number of other awesome podcasts) on the ACPN family of shows.

If you like what we're doing here, you can become a patron of the Emerald City Video Podcast, which comes with fun perks. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also have Instagram and Vero accounts where we share images, photos, memes, and nonsense.

Be back for more by noon on the fifth day, and please -- always remember to rewind your videocassettes.

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