Every week (just about) the contributors to The Irrelevant will share the one thing we've been into this week. It can be a movie, a book, a song, an album, some youtube video, a random meme, or twitter user, anything that's been taking up more space in our mind than it should. We want to share this with you because we like sharing things we're into. Also these are perfect things that you can consume over the weekend, so here they are:
If you’re looking for something to binge this weekend, Dark will likely scratch every itch you have. In an effort to describe this beautiful piece of television, I’ll resort to using other shows and movies as a comparison. This German produced series is a thriller that keeps on thrilling. We start off with a Stranger Things vibe after a child goes missing in the first episode. Set in a small town with a nuclear power plant on the outskirts, nothing is quite as it seems, and the more the layers are peeled off of this story, the crazier it gets. We have a mystery that involves nearly every family in town, and small clues are slowly revealed as the characters themselves begin to put pieces of this huge puzzle together. There is an interconnectedness that has the mind-bending effects of Inception, with the timeline of the story bending back on itself again and again. Visually, the show is shot beautifully, with a cinematic feel reminiscent of True Detective at times. The acting is superb and the music is eerie and affecting. All of the elements just work together so well. It’s the type of television that makes you think and makes you want to talk about it with all of your friends. I will say that if you’re like me, you’ll turn off the English dubbing and watch it with subtitles in the original German.
If you start it and need to reach out, tweet at me, because I can guarantee I was mulling theories and trying to figure out the plot just as much as you are. Just no spoilers, because I’ve still got two episodes left.
FiveThirtyEight's The Lab Podcast
As I mentioned last week baseball is back and with my sport’s resurgence comes the disappearance of almost all other interests in my life. With that being said I did get more into basketball this year than I have in a long time, including the time the best basketball player of all time brought his talents to my team to play with my favorite player. As I prepare to forget about basketball until the playoff start, I would like to bring attention to one of the main reasons for my unprecedented interest in the sport.
FiveThirtyEight’s The Lab hosted by Neil Paine rose the the ashes of their last sports podcast, one of my favorites, Hot Takedown. When they first announced the programming change I was a little perturbed because I used to really enjoy listening to a broad range of sports in small increments particularly when Neil and then co-host Chadwick Matlin would nerd out on, surprise, baseball. I begrudgingly continued to listen as The Lab inherited the feed of Hot Takedown and found myself surprisingly intrigued by the content. Being a sports fan who likes to base his opinions on data and analysis to hear basketball discussed in this way was not necessarily eye-opening because I am informed enough to know that all sports are using analytics and data in one way, shape or form. This was however the first time I was exposed to new ways of analyzing basketball, ways I was completely unfamiliar with. I am still starting to get a grasp of some of these stats and their uses but delving into them feels like my early days exploring the emerging Sabermetric geared statistics. If you’re looking for intelligent basketball discussion to compete with the silly retired players on TV who like to fool themselves into thinking they would stand a chance against the Warriors check out this podcast it’ll be more than worth your time.
The Road to Wrestlemania
This week has been filled with a lot of wrestling, particularly WWE live events and I can’t get enough. It is always an enjoyable time geeking out with fellow marks, and going to a live televised event in general is a whole other experience. I had tickets to watch both Raw and Smackdown Live and got to enjoy the full event without commercials which was great for this episode of Raw because Seth Rollins wrestled for over an hour during his gauntlet match. As we left the building there were already stories about how it was the longest televised match. I didn’t get to see the rebroadcast of it, but the man did not stop for 3 matches! Usually the live shows before a Pay Per View are...duds. The matches don’t usually make sense, the promos are a little redundant and we pretty much get a phone-in. Don’t worry though both events did deliver their usual 6 woman tag matches that have become commonplace as of late so there’s that. However, during this Sunday’s PPV it will feature its first ever women’s Elimination Chamber match and if you haven’t seen one I can assure you it is brutal, both on TV and live in person.
We have the Elimination Chamber PPV and Fast Lane next month before we head to “The Grandest Stage of Them All” in New Orleans and I hope the momentum only keeps picking up. Before I would have told you I only care about the women’s matches because I want to see their stories move out of the 3 on 3 formula WWE has been pushing. And even though we may or may not see Asuka’s undefeated streak come to an end (longest ever in the company) I am actually pretty invested in seeing where John Cena falls on the card this year when Nikki Bella isn’t involved so that’s saying something.