All posts by Tim

Final Reckoning: Six Feet Under

Hey, it’s the first episode of a new season! We’re excited to see old favorites and dreading meeting new idiots. As usual, we cover the challenge, the elimination, and the drama. We disagree on Cara’s promiscuity but we’re all on board for the resolution to the fight we always seem to get initially. TJ is playing this game dirty and we learn a bit more about how dirty it’s gonna get.

Final Reckoning Preview

Buckle up, kids. The third part of The Challenge trilogy starts July 10. To prepare, your favorite Challenge podcast goes over the new cast, pairs, talks about theories on potential formats. We steer clear of spoilers except for casting spoilers, so avoid this one if you really don’t want to know who is on the show or the partners/teams they are on.

Champs vs Stars: Bank Rollin’ in the Deep

Well, we made it. Another season finale. Who puts on frozen clothes the fastest? Who eats the most gross food? Do the dad bods stand a chance against professional athletes? All these questions and more are answered. Also our interview with Laurel seems to have made waves in the Twitterverse. But hey, those comments were taken out of context.

Champs vs. Stars: Crossed Words and Mixed Signals

We’re winding down this season of Champs vs Stars and preparing for Final Reckoning. Wes shows what kind of mastermind he is and why he’s the greatest Challenge politician of all time. Louise and Casper face an uphill challenge to get to the final. Will they get there? I guess we’ll find out next week for the grande finale. Also they misspelled a word. C’mon MTV.

Interview: Darrell

Fan-favorite and one of the best players to play the game, Darrell is in the house! We ask the standard questions, but we also had to squeeze in some questions about Sarah Greyson, the Gauntlet Queen and one of my favorite players. Darrell was a super charming and personable guy, and we bought him hot dogs. We’re basically best friends now. This wraps up our interviews from the Challenge Throwdown for the Cause event in Yorkville. Thanks for listening!

Interview: Melinda

Melinda asked us to get a little weird with it, and we did. I think we made her a little uncomfortable, but that’s ok because she did the same to us. Or at least she tried. We haven’t seen Melinda on the show for quite some time, but we were still excited to meet her in person. We had a separate conversation before our interview that I wish we would’ve recorded but alas, this is all you get of the beautiful Melinda.

Interview: Nicole Z.

We weren’t sure what to make of Nicole exactly, but her over-the-top presence we see on TV made for quite the charming, interesting and exciting interactions we had at the Challenge Throwdown for the Cause event. She was very candid maybe a bit drunk for this interview, so prepare yourself.

Interview: Derrick K.

Let’s be honest, our podcasts are not competitors, so we love having Derrick on a show other than Challenge Mania. Word of warning, this was quite late in the night and many drinks were had, leading to some distraction and some nonsense. Challenged Superfan Kelly interrupts this episode to give Derrick a foot massage which certainly didn’t help the distraction issues. Derrick was super cool, very outgoing and we’re thrilled to have this fan-favorite on the show.

Interview: Jordan Wiseley

Thanks to Jordan for taking time out of his evening during the Challenge Throwdown event to talk to us about horror movies, his production company, his motorcycles and more. Unfortunately Tori D. wasn’t able to join him on this trip, or we could’ve helped figure out if that relationship has staying power. During the interview we definitely sort out why he and Laurel didn’t work out. We’re a podcast, but we’re also relationship counselors apparently. Some people insist their partners fold instead of crinkle.

On Location: The Challenge Throwdown in Yorkville

We’re taking a short break from interviews for this episode, where we sat down with other fans of The Challenge at the Throwdown for the Cause event in Yorkville. This is Kelly’s first live appearance on the show, so give her a hand! Also joining us is her husband Dan, Zach, and Derrick (but not THAT Derrick) who all tell stories about meeting the cast and try to stay coherent after several drinks. We also take some time to talk to Josh, the man behind the events, and get a little insight into the cast and what it takes to organize these events. Stay tuned, we still have interviews coming up with Melinda, Darrell, Derrick, Jordan and Nicole.

Interview: Tori Hall and Ashley Kelsey

More interviews from the Challenge Throwdown for the Cause event in Yorkville! This time we sat down with Tori Hall and Ashley Kelsey. Ashley was the captain for Hillary’s volleyball team, so you could say we’re all basically best friends now. We ask a little about the Challenge, but also play a fun game of “would you rather?” and learn more about the Challengers in life after The Challenge.

Interview: Laurel Stucky

Thanks to Laurel for sitting down with us in Yorkville Illinois to answer some questions about The Challenge, but more importantly the shows she watches on Netflix. Forensic Files for life. We also touch on her episode of Fear Factor and her one elimination loss against the terrible Camila.

Interview: Cohutta

We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Cohutta at the Challenge Throwdown for the Cause event in Yorkville, Illinois. We talked about many topics, from toilet paper to cell phones to careers and his cousin Jill. He also shares some of that deep southern wisdom and charm with us.

[powepress]

Champs vs Pros: Fire in the Butt, Ice in the Heart

Yeah, it’s another sausage fest up in here. We have a special guest, Zach, for this bite-sized podcast without notes that we go over out of order. We almost got Tori to watch us live, but I guess we failed. Wes is struggling to maintain his place in the house, the Stars are learning how to play the game a little faster than we expected, and we spend a lot of time talking about our trip to meet some Challengers next month in Yorkville.

Champs vs Stars: Face Off Gloves On

No girls allowed! It’s just the men of Challenged tonight, and you know what that means. A short show, no notes, no prep work and lots of distractions. We talk Tori, Ashley, Aneesa and the drama involved with all of them. Wes tries and fails to start an alliance. Tony Time embarasses us all. We end on a bunch of drama that leads nowhere and accomplishes nothing. A typical Challenge episode.

Champs vs Stars: Rainbows and Storm Clouds

It’s a very special episode of Challenged with Hill’s first time hosting and a special appearance by a 5-year-old fighting bedtime. We may be distracted, but I think we do a stellar job of covering the Champs and Stars divisions and the game-within-a-game of this season. Who can trust these crazy Champs with all their shenanigans?

Evil Dead: A Retrospective

I’ve been an Evil Dead fan since about 1994. I remember my buddy Scott showing me Army of Darkness very late one night when I was sleep-deprived and pretty punchy. I thought it was goofy but fucking hilarious. I was already a fan of horror and started talking about the movie to my buddies, who told me it was actually the third part of a series called Evil Dead.

This was before the days of streaming video, so I hit up the local Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, Second Cinema and more looking for Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. I came up short everywhere I looked, but I did not give up. I took to the internet and Evil Dead fans looking to bootleg their copies which, at the time, were very hard to find.

I loved Evil Dead in a way that was different than my love of Army of Darkness. Evil Dead was made by a couple crazy college kids, going rogue and making a movie against all odds on a limited budget and borrowed equipment. The movie gets even better as you know the obstacles they faced and the ways they worked around those obstacles. The commentary should be required listening to anyone looking to make films.

Evil Dead 2 was similarly goofy. It bridged the gap perfectly between the Evil Dead and Army of Darkness, being a legitimate horror but with some really goofy, funny moments.

I was such a fan of the series and of the community that was trading VHS copies of the films that I decided to give back to the community. I started and participated in several newsgroups about the movies and sent off many bootlegs of the movies to strangers across the country to share the love. I collected copies from other countries which sometimes included a few random different scenes and shots in them. At the time, these differences were painstakingly documents in websites and communities with screenshots or even low-res, horrible videos of them. This was the internet in the mid-to-late 90’s, and it was a rough time in the world of online video.

During this phase of my fandom, I also came across a video copy of Within the Woods. At the time, this was the crown jewel of Evil Dead fandom. It was the movie Bruce and Sam made to get money for Evil Dead. It had several similarities with Evil Dead of course, but also several differences. The video was low quality, but just fascinating to watch the beginning of the idea that spanned many decades of film.

During this time, I created a website devoted to Army of Darkness. It documented the differences between the various versions of the movie in different countries or shown on random cable channels that may have had elements added or removed or re-arranged. As an aside, I am also thankful for the movie series for this. I was in high school while I made this website and it turns out I really enjoyed it. And I was good at it. I went on to make websites for a living. Now, 20 years later, I’m still making websites and I love my job. I am thankful for the community back then and the passion that led me down this road, and in a very real way I credit these silly movies for that.

I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of a remake. But I have realized in my life as a horror fan who has seen several thousand remakes, that even the worse remake doesn’t ruin the original. I watched the remake and enjoyed it, although for me, it was ultimately more forgettable than the original. This may just have to do with my age and place in my life when I watched it. It was a good, modern take on some of the elements of the original.

I’d given up hopes of seeing Ash again decades before the announcement that Starz was bringing Ash back. I couldn’t believe that over 20 years since Army of Darkness, we’d see Ash back on our screens.

And yet, here he was.

Ash vs. Evil Dead was not perfect, but for what it was, it was brilliant. It was clear it was made for the fans of Evil Dead and Ash. They did not disappoint with the insane blood and gore from part 2, the goofiness of part 3, and even brought back Cheryl from the original movie. I’d hoped for more of course. I would’ve loved to see all the original cast back in their roles in some way.

We got an expanded mythology with a lot more information on the Necronomicon and Ruby and the dagger and the Knights of Sumaria. Over the course of 3 seasons, we got 15 additional hours of Ash and the Evil Dead. That’s far more than the original 3 movies ever gave us.

But all good things must come to an end.

This week, the series ended. Part of the show were summed up admirably. Ash finally acted like the hero we always wanted to see. He embraced his destiny and acted selflessly to save his friends and his daughter. We’ve always loved Ash as a reluctant hero of course, but I also loved seeing him finally act like the hero he’d accidentally been all this time. The last chunk of season 3 seemed very much like a “thank you” to the fans, bringing back our old favorite lines, even if they were sometimes shoehorned in.

The series ends with Ash waking up at some point in an undefined future, with his Delta that had been retrofitted as a tank and looking at a post-apocalyptic world. I don’t know if this was an intentional reference to the original ending to Army of Darkness when he wakes up in a similar predicament, but the similarities were too big to ignore.

For now, Ash’s story comes to a close. As does Brandi’s, and Pablo’s and Kelly’s. We don’t know where their fate lies. It does make me wonder if they thought a season 4 was surely coming, because there are still a lot of loose ends here.

I don’t know if we’ll see Ash again. I hope in 10 or 15 years, we’ll see him return and pass the shotgun and chainsaw on to the next reluctant hero and we’ll get the sendoff Ash, and the fans, deserve. I shouldn’t hold out hope, but I choose to hope anyway.

For now, that’s the end of Ash’s saga. And how does it feel? Groovy.

Champs vs Stars: Stairing Down the Competition

We’re loosey-goosey in our coverage of Champs vs Stars. I mean, do we even talk about this episode? I’ve had too many beers to know I guess, but it’s nice to see some of the Champs return. We like the division of the Champs even more, and the teams within teams that we see. Stay tuned to our Facebook group since our schedule of coverage will change as we go.

Vendettas: Vendettas Never Die

We took a break because the finale was terrible. C’mon MTV, stop making us wait to see the winner of The Challenge, we just find spoilers anyway. Zach and Hillary are here to help host, and we cover the winner of Vendettas. Spoiler, it’s Cara Maria. We’re too nice to make you wait to know. It’s Cara. You go girl. We cover the finale and the reunion episodes in this super-special craziness.

Vendettas: Czechmate

The remaining cast heads off to Prague to prepare for the finale. We see them dodge pylons and the stacked men’s team means we kick off some men in maybe unfair ways. The Troika is finally stacked with some females who save some men in a way you may not expect. We find out who the final 8 are that are heading to the final, but when is it and how long will it take? We’ll find out eventually.