A new year is upon us, and that means one thing: new shows, movies and games that will leave pop culture fanatics cheering, “Shut up and take my money!” Whether it's a game you didn't even know existed or a show you've had your eye on for a while but just haven't tried yet, this is your go-to list for stuff you should give a try in the new year. This list is culled from The Funkast's Cool Stuff We Saw Last Week segment, Netflix and the Funko hive mind.
A lot of people called Crazyhead “British Buffy” which is somewhat accurate but also severely underestimates the British comedy-horror created by Howard Overman and currently available on Netflix. Unlike Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show ran for a mere six episodes which was enough for SyFy Wire to call it “crazy fun” and lament “it's a shame we won't see more of it.” Vox did more of a deep dive on the subject, calling Crazyhead “a direct descendant of Buffy, with one major subversion.”
“Crazyhead, in its genre-bending apocalyptic playfulness, is deeply indebted to Buffy and to the tradition it pioneered,” Vox raves. “But it doesn't just recreate its predecessor. Instead, it does what all good successors should do: It furthers the genre. It plays with its predecessors' tropes, takes them apart, and dumps out everything it finds.” With a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and two insanely powerful and entertaining female leads, Crazyhead deserves a moment of your time.
On January 4, Creed II went where no Rocky movie had gone before: China. The eighth movie in a series that spans 42 years, Creed II hasn't garnered rave reviews, but most critics seem to be positioning it as a solid contribution to the overall franchise. In summation: If you like the Rocky series, you'll probably like Creed II. In a ranking of all eight Rocky movies, Variety placed the latest offering fourth sandwiched between Rocky IV and Rocky Balboa, stating the movie “may feel more like a long-overdue resolution to 1985's Rocky IV…Stallone reprises his portrayal of the aged Rocky Balboa as a battle-scarred sage in young Creed's corner, Tessa Thompson once more makes Adonis' beloved Bianca a more substantial character than Talia Shire ever was allowed to be as Adrian, and the movie itself provides such a satisfying closure for every character (yes, even for Viktor and Ivan Drago) that there doesn't appear to be any compelling reason for Stallone (who co-wrote this one) and company to produce another sequel.”
Ashley Anderson from the Funkast recommends this protein blend to her workout peeps, stating, “You know how protein has that taste to it? This does not have it.” The GHOST® website calls itself “the world's first lifestyle sports nutrition brand,” adding that the mantra of be seen “come[s] from that feeling of being behind the scenes and wanting to be heard, wanting to make an impact; we're all ghosts.”
GQ called The Imposter, “the craziest documentary on Netflix,” a designation many critics and viewers seem to support. The documentary tells the story of the Barclay family whose son Nicholas disappeared in 1994 when he was presumed dead until he reappeared in 1997. Except that the man claiming to be their son very obviously was not. Nonetheless, the Barclays seemed to accept that the man who was 23 and impersonating a 17-year-old, had dyed hair, the wrong color eyes and a French accent was, in fact, their son and allowed him to live as Nicholas. “Did the grief-stricken Barclay family simply wish so hard for their son back that they would believe anyone?” asks GQ. “Or did they, deep down, know that Bourdin wasn't really their son and decided not to care? Or—as Bourdin himself alleges as his living lie starts to unravel—was something more sinister at work?”
The Funkast's Cameron Deuel recommended this absurdist dystopian black comedy written by Efthimis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos and directed by Lanthimos and currently available on Netflix. “It's about this dystopian future where single people have to go to this hotel and they have 45 days to find a partner but if you don't find that partner in 45 days you're turned into the animal of your choice,” Cameron summed up the concept. Starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, the movie is “really well done, and it's also hurts your heart a lot too,” Cameron concluded.
You haven't lived until you've heard comedian Nicole Byer yell out “Nailed It!” while the screen zooms in on a wilted cakepop that looks like yesterday's leftovers before Nicole releases a series of delightful cackles that somehow aren't at all mean. The Netflix baking show, which Vulture calls “the cooking show you did not know you needed” is utterly charming for so many reasons and co-host and comedian Nicole Byer is just one of them. According to Vulture, ““Nailed It is a cooking show that celebrates human error over culinary mastery. It's like The Great British Baking Show, if The Great British Baking Show featured contestants who are not British and think it's a good idea to stick a bunch of Kit Kats into a microwave when a recipe calls for melted chocolate.” Prepare to laugh. Prepare to laugh until you cry. And prepare to be thoroughly charmed.
Funkast host Christopher Sully was recently looking for a new router and wound up purchasing a Nighthawk router which are advertised as operating on the latest technology, offering superior wi-fi coverage and functioning optimally across all devices from phones to security cameras to 4K TVs. Sully was not disappointed. “I powered up this bad boy,” he recounted to the Funkast crew. “I felt the lights dim a little. I could hear something pop in the distance. I swear to you, I tested this thing…and it made for some nice Rocket League Switch gaming.”
The Funkast's Hilary Gray recommends the Netflix reality show Super-Fan Builds, which is pretty much any fan's dream come true. “Basically, they find super fans and then they have master builders create something for these super fans,” she explained the show's premise. “The first episode was a huge Sherlock fan and they built a dog house. The second episode was a Back to the Future fan and they made him a DeLorean time machine hot tub.” There are currently one season comprised of 11 episodes of Super-Fan Builds available on Netflix, just enough to get you fantasizing about what the team might build for you to honor your favorite fandom.
Given that the show's been running for more than 13 years, even if you're not a fan, you've likely heard of Supernatural. What you might not have heard is that the dark fantasy television series is about to celebrate its 300th episode on February 7. And to celebrate they're bringing back two beloved characters. In mid-December the CW announced that they'd be bringing back John Winchester—the protagonists' deceased father who has been absent from the show since the Season 2 finale—will be brought back and while there's been word of some possible time travel to achieve this goal, fans are utterly thrilled. On January 7, word dropped that another character would be returning as well: actor Kurt Fuller will reprise his role as the angel Zachariah who died in Season 5, Episode 18. Episode 300 will air on The CW on February 7 at 8/7c.