The Underground — Issue #111
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: The Leftovers has its final season, Tom Hardy takes over London in Taboo, the Trump news conference that everyone is talking about, a short-doc on the rise and fall of AOL, and a weird erotica story read by the voice of Bender on @Midnight.
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 Leftovers final season is upon us. There is a load of good stuff to watch on television, but some really good shows often go unnoticed. The Leftovers is rolling into its final season on HBO and it feels as if not enough people know about this gem. The starting premise is that millions of people disappeared off the face of the earth without any explanation. Was it the Rapture? Aliens? Swamp gas? Who knows since it has yet to be explained, but that’s why the show has that name. Everyone not taken to wherever is considered to be the leftovers.
The first 2 seasons of the show were really stellar. Everything from the writing to the acting is on point. The only problem is that this show is really depressing. It’s not really one of those shows you can marathon through unless you want to blow your head off, but it may be worth doing to catch you up to the premiere on April 16th.
Have a look at the teaser for season 3. I think everyone is going to die from the looks of it.
2. Tom Hardy owns all of television in the FX show Taboo. If you don’t know about the greatness of Tom Hardy, you’ve been living in a cult that forbids you from film and television greatness. In the past 10 or so years, Hardy has become one of the most wanted actors in the world. Inception, Bronson, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Dark Knight Rises… I could go on, but that stuff on the resume will get you a part without having to audition. Hardy and friends decided to create a new television show for BBC/FX. It may just be on of the darkest shows on television.
Premise: James Keziah Delaney returns to 1814 London after 10 years in Africa to discover that he has been left a mysterious legacy by his father. Driven to wage war on those who have wronged him, Delaney finds himself in a face-off against the East India Company, whilst playing a dangerous game between two warring nations, Britain and America.
If you don’t know much about the East India Company, well, they were an evil corporation and the NSA combined into one company. If you ever watch anything from the mid-1600s to the late 19th century, you will no doubt hear about this company. That’s an entirely different post since they had such influence.
If you could predict by looking at the title, there is some sibling stuff that happens. If you can deal with the incest stuff in Game of Thrones, Taboo is a walk in the park. 6 episodes have aired so far, and Taboo airs Tuesdays at 10PM on FX. You can check out the recent episodes OnDemand. Check out the trailer for the show below.
3. President Trump held a volatile press conference that must be seen to be believed. As you probably know, President Trump’s first month in office has been quite the newsmaker. Or as he would put it, a “fake newsmaker.” It seems as if everyday when you check the news there is something new to roll your eyes at. I know that it’s fun to watch, but there are some really points of interest to be talked about.
Trump came out with the press at attention to announce who he was nominating for labor secretary, but instead just started blasting people left and right. The press was made fun directly and in passing. He at one point even answers a Jewish reporters question about anti-seminism by calling him fake news and by not actually answering the question. Love this guy or hate him, this was one of the most disastrous presidential press conferences of all time, and it’s only been a month.
Watch the press conference below for some laughs… and then that overwhelming feeling of anguish.
4. This history of the rise and fall of AOL. If you’re at least 30, you know the hell of growing up with dial-up internet. You can’t use the phone, it’s slow as hell, pictures take too long to load, and you had to rely on those 100 free hours CDs they would send you in the mail if you were poor. AOL was the company that owned the internet. Everyone in the United States probably had AOL at one point in history. It was only way later when we started hearing about a DSL modem or cable modem. Instead of waiting a night for one song to download, you could download the song in a minute. AOL was awful, but it was one of the first widely used ways of getting online.
Everyone in my high school used AOL Instant Messenger to talk after school. Texting on cellphones was just starting out, so talking online became so much easier. That’s one thing that AOL created that was top notch before social media really took off.
Watch this impressive short-doc on how AOL became the first internet empire.
5. The voice of Bender reads erotica by Chuck Tingle. If you don’t know Chuck Tingle, you don’t know what comedy is. He write books based on the weirdest sexual concepts you can possibly think of. Books like My Ass Is Haunted by the Gay Unicorn Colonel or Pounded in the Butt by My Book “Pounded in the Butt by My Own Butt.” Those are real books. What’s crazier is that no one really knows who Chuck Tingle is. He set up this whole weird, fake identity. I guess that’s a must when you write stuff like this.
Chuck Tingle showed up to @Midnight to write a chapter of his new book. When he finished it with the help of a guy in a raptor suit, he handed it off to John DiMaggio (voice of Bender on Futurama) to read it for the audience. It’s really strange seeing the guy who voices the character, but seeing him read that weird gay erotica really puts it over the top. If you have the chance, just google Chuck Tingle’s name. The names of his book are enough to make you laugh for quite a while. Since the link is being awful, here’s the direct link to the video.
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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.