The Underground — Issue #87
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: An animated teaser to one of the biggest cult shows of all time, a trailer for an alien landing movie that actually looks great, a man visits Chernobyl and has an epiphany about delusion, and John Oliver once again takes on and exposes a big subject no one knows exists.
At Social Underground we go beyond the mainstream stuff and see what’s underneath the surface. What should we get into, listen to, read, eat or watch? If there is something in our culture that needs attention that’s our job: Show you the underground things that you need to know about: Books, music, television, movies, comedians, art, and whatever else we can find to get you into something you never knew about. That’s The Underground.
1. The Animated Adventures of Firefly teases a TV show that will never come. Before Joss Whedon dipped his feet into the Avengers, he made great television shows. Arguably his best is Firefly. It’s the one of the finest space westerns I have ever seen, and it’s only 14 episodes. Fans begged and pleaded for more, and in in one of the most rare occassions at the time, they got a sequel film called Serenity (unlike now where it seems that everything is being revived. Full House? Stop it. Just stop it). That movie is one of the best sci-fi movies ever made. That isn’t even hyperbole, that is the truth.
One animator decided he wanted to see more of the crew of Serenity, so he decided to make a one minute teaser trailer for an animated series. The sad thing is that there isn’t a show. I wish some studios would get on the phone and bring it back as an animated series (or live-action!), but I seriously doubt it. Fox is really bad at dealing with television shows. Most TV shows on the channel lose viewers because they change when the shows air so many times that you give up. That, or they mix up the order of the episodes. Firefly’s first aired episode was actually the second episode of the series, and its pilot episode — you know, the episode that introduces the characters, worlds, plot, and everything — was the series finale. So I started the series not knowing who anyone was, but stuck it out. Bang up job, Fox. Brooklyn Nine-Nine won best comedy? Might as well change up time slots after that to confuse everyone.
Anywho, check out this action packed trailer below that captures the entire tone of the show. After that, if you haven’t seen the series, you can check it out on Netflix. Then go and watch Serenity. After that, you will feel a dark feeling in your chest. That’s called grief.
2. Arrival gives us a more realistic look at an alien landing. After Independence Day: Resurgence completely sh*t the bed in the theaters, people were really starting to get sick of bad alien movies. Well, Edge of Tomorrow was great, but it was marketed extremely bad. This movie, however, looks absolutely amazing. I think it’s partly because of the cast and crew behind it.
Premise: When multiple mysterious spacecrafts touch down across the globe, an elite team is put together to investigate, including language expert Louise Banks (Amy Adams), mathematician Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), and US Army Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker). Humankind teeters on the verge of global war as everyone scrambles for answers—and to find them, Banks, Donnelly, and Weber will take a chance that could threaten their lives, and, quite possibly, humanity.
What really catches my eye is the look of realism in the trailer. I give credit to director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners) for that. I also like how they’re smart and releasing the movie during the holidays. They must’ve seen that this summer has been an absolutely dreadful dumpster fire for movies. It seems like every weekend was another disastrous failure from all the studios with few exceptions.
Have your first look at a guaranteed critical and commercial hit below (calling it!). If you don’t get chills at least once during this trailer, you’re an alien.
3. A man goes adventuring in Chernobyl and discovers our great delusion. I went into this thinking it would just be about Chernobyl for the whole time, but this guy really digs deep into the rocks in a philosophical and nihilistic way. Yes. Rocks.
He explains how workers that come in can only work there for 2 weeks at a time. Not because of the radiation, but because they start becoming weird. They start having strange thoughts if they stay any longer than the 2 weeks. This guy was there for only 4 days, and it seems he had a full-blown experience that really made him (and us) think. It all starts with rocks. Yes. Rocks.
What makes it really good is that he preaches what I have preached for so long: What’s the meaning of life? What is the meaning to it all? Nothingness. We try to live beyond our years by doing so many things, but we all die. Animals all live with a finite number of days. We carve our names into trees, rocks, wet cement, walls, and so on because we see them as permanent. We look at mountains and know they move and change, but they were here long before us, and they will be here long after us. Embrace nihilism!
I guess you could say hanging out at Chernobyl for 4 days can really make your mind go places. Thankfully, that abandoned city took this guys mind somewhere very interesting. Watch this whole thing with your complete attention. It’s quite existential.
4. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver takes on car loans. It seems that every Sunday on HBO delivers yet another crushing take down of a subject by John Oliver and crew. This past Sunday he went on to reveal all the sleezy bullsh*t that comes with getting a loan for a car. I’ve dealt with something similar a few years ago when I went to lease a car. Sure, it’s not an auto loan like what’s portrayed in my example, but they still try to screw you with the ticket price. When this guy sees my credit wasn’t so good (it is now, baby!), they take that $159.99 a month and raised it to $419.99 a month. I obviously laughed in his face. Then he said they will work with me on the price, and then come back with $399.99 a month for that JEEP that wasn’t first choice anyway. Luckily, my Dad was there to say “No, f*ck you.”
What Oliver takes on is subprime car loans. Sound familiar? Yeah, they’re LITERALLY just like subprime mortgages. These scumbags bring in people who have no/bad credit and can’t afford a car to buy a car with a loan. You get to drive off in a new car! But then they totally screw you over, it gets repossessed, you have no car for work, you’re in debt, and you want to burn down every car lot you see. It’s a shock that this is still being allowed to happen, but then again, the housing crisis was allowed to happen because people were making money. Why stop making money? I mean, you will help destroy the economy along with the student loan bubble getting ready to burst, but screw it, let’s pour more gas on the fire.
I’ll let the master educate you on car loans before you make a mistake and go in there to deal with some A-hole named Big Bob. Oh yes, Big Bob. You’re the douche that ruins all of my Detroit Tigers games during each commercial break. I’m on to you.
Anyway, get ready to laugh, feel bad, feel angry, and then laugh again with John Oliver.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.