04 March 2016


Listening to: Grimes, Art Angels, the entire album. And also watching all her accompanying videos. Start with "Kill V. Maim."

We just wrapped up 12 Monkeys, the TV show on Syfy, now Netflix. In the series, James Cole (as played by Pyro from the X-Men movies) is tasked with stopping a biological apocalypse that dooms the world in 2017. He starts off about thirty years from then starts hopping backwards in an attempt to stop the plague.

At first, I was concerned that the show wouldn’t compare to the movie — which I loved to the point of almost obsession. However, after finishing the first season, I almost like the TV series better. Blasphemy, I know! Sure, there’s no Bruce Willis, or Brad Pitt, or Terry Gilliam’s mad genius around but the extended TV format allows this 12 Monkeys to bring in more characters and sub-plots. Some of the side pieces felt a bit dragged out for no reason and there are currently too many new characters around but by the last three episodes of Season 1, I was already anticipating the start of Season 2 in early April.

"Where are you right now? Somewhere warm? Safe? Next to someone you love? Now what if all that was gone, and the only thing you could do was survive? You would, right? You'd try. You'd do things, horrible things. Until you have that last thing you have left: yourself. But what if you could take it back? All of it. A reset switch. You'd hit it, right? You'd have to. Even if you didn't want to. Because sometimes the choice isn't even yours, it's fate.”
-12 Monkeys Season 1 Finale Review: May the Circle Be Broken-
Back in college I sat around theorizing a lot about what was really happening in 12 Monkeys. The Internet was around then but it wasn’t yet the repository of fan theories so it was left to us lone idiots to puzzle out what had happened. It’s the kind of thing you do in your twenties I guess. “We need to figure out what is happening, and if it makes sense!” A good time travel movie is catnip for anyone trying to prove their intellectual prowess. Sidenote: If you want to get into a serious time travel movie, try Primer by Shane Carruth. The post-movie deep dive can go on forever for that one. All the charts and graphs and explanations, it’s wild.

Non-spoiler spoiler alert for 12 Monkeys, the movie: Basically I thought that no matter what happened, James Cole’s mission would be a success because each successive failure could just be fixed the next time around. I assumed we were just watching one version of Cole’s journey. And if there were a 12 Monkeys sequel or something that he would eventually save the world. Of course, that’s not accounting for the fact that Cole might die or that the time machine could run out of power. Both of those factors means that there aren’t an infinite amount of jumps available to fix things.

And let’s make this entire post monkey-themed. We also recently saw Zootopia, which opened out here before the States. My friend who saw it said simply, “It’s going to be huge.” After watching it, I have to agree. I don’t think I’ve giggled so much through a movie since Cloud With a Chance of Meatballs 2. Zootopia is whodunit set in a world where anthropomorphized mammals rule the earth. Minus the humans. And any primates. At the end of the movie I was just listing animals that weren’t in the movie. Like dogs, and cats. And marsupials. It’s hard to disagree with leaving monkeys and man’s best friend out of the movie — they already get enough shine — but if you’re going to use some more obscure animals like a Fennec fox, why not go all out and use cool mammals like a platypus or something? Anyway, go see Zootopia, it opened bigger than Frozen and if there was a good song attached, it would probably dominant the airwaves too.

Last thing, Vainglory, the iOS game I pushed last year, is still in my daily routine. They recently released a special map and character skins to coincide with Lunar New Year. Included with that was a new character, Ozo, who is basically like the Monkey King-lite, but this version carries around a giant golden ring as a weapon. It’s a dragon ouroboros, which also coincides with the name of my fantasy football team: Hungry Hungry Ouroboros. A big life decision was if I should purchase this Ozo character and fulfill my destiny.

I mean, do you believe in fate or not? Happy Year of the Monkey, I guess.