My Favorite Apocalpyse #3: And We're All Out of Bubble Gum

*Recorded in April* Em and E.J. take a detour from the typical, bleak, oh-no-the-world's-ending typical apocalypse sob stories and face off for the title of wackiest doomsday. Get ready for snarky aliens, distant planets, and naturally, the '80s.

FANTASY+GIRLS
My Favorite Apocalypse Ep. 3: And We’re All Out of Bubble Gum

Note: This episode was recorded in April, before the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, and the subsequent protests. When Em and EJ talk about the current state of the world, they are referring to the very beginning of quarantine. FANTASY+GIRL Podcast stands behind Black Lives Matter. For our full Black Lives Matter statement, commentary on its impact on publishing, and how to support black authors, see the opening of episode 4 in this miniseries.

It is about to get really wacky on here! 
  • Picture this: it’s the ’80s. Perms. Bleached mullets. Bruce Willis still had hair and your favorite hosts were only babies! There’s all kinds of movie goodness that came out during this time. But what she chose is C movie deliciousness that has somehow achieved cult status online. Em discovered this movie during a Halloween parade and has wanted to watch it ever since and she finally had an excuse (as if she needed one!).
  • Em sets the scene: Imagine your mullet is blowing in the wind. You mosey into town in your acid washed jeans…also you’re a dude. You roll up to a homeless camp that somehow has an outdoor television with cable. But every so often there is static as something breaks illegally into the signal to proclaim, “They are among us and we are only safe because we don’t know about them! Wake up! They live!”
  • Em is talking about the cult classic THEY LIVE! 
  • The main character of the movie refuses to believe in the scrambled random cable messages until one day when he picks up a random pair of sunglasses and suddenly he can see the truth! They live among us! Aliens disguised as humans! Ah!
  • With these random tech sunglasses you can read all of the subliminal messages that surround you in daily advertising. 
  • This is the movie that gave us the one liners “You look like last week’s cheese dip!” and “I came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum…and I’m all out of bubble gum!” and “Mama don’t like no tattle tales!” and “Life’s a bitch and she’s in heat.” 
  • There’s no explanation of why the aliens are here, or why we care the aliens are here. The movie definitely isn’t plot heavy and if you love plot holes and senseless action scenes and a definite ’80s aesthetic, this might be for you! Just…don’t overthink it. It’s pretty terrible in a drinking game kind of way.
  • Em admits that it is more pre-apocalypse than true apocalypse. And it definitely isn’t post-apocalypse.
  • Em says the movie has quite the online following once she began digging into it.
  • EJ’s pick is also pre-apocalypse. She asks Em if she is familiar with INVADER ZIM.
  • EJ was obsessed with Invader Zim in college. It was her first binge watch—before binge watching was a thing. EJ lets Em know she can still find Invader Zim online on youtube.
  • EJ gives us the premise: there are aliens who are planning to execute Operation Impending Doom 2 (bc Operation Impending Doom 1 failed). 
  • Their entire hierarchy of alien power is based on height. We meet our invader, Zim, who is the reason the first Operation Impending Doom failed.
  • Invader Zim gets sent to Earth (just so his leaders can get rid of him…although he thinks he is on an important mission.) Every episode is about taking over the world. EJ proclaims that it has one of the best soundtracks of any animated show.
  • EJ says the show has a very PINKY AND THE BRAIN feel. Em is here for it—she loves Pinky and the Brain.
  • Em asks EJ if she saw the animated movie Home because the people who wrote it must have been fans of Invader Zim. 
  • Em asks how could they forget HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams? EJ says it’s one of the few stories that begins with a true apocalypse—the destruction of the Earth. If Em remembers correctly, the world was destroyed to make room for an interstellar highway and Earth forgot to file paperwork to avoid being destroyed. However, the dolphins knew what was up! 
  • Em talks about how people are still super fans of this series and you can still spot stickers on people’s cars that say, “So long and thanks for all the fish,” and, “Don’t panic!” It makes Em super happy and EJ interjects that it’s always relevant.
  • Em admits that all of the episodes are running together and she wonders if they were supposed to research sweet apocoli. Who knows?
  • Em brings up for LOOKING FOR A FRIEND AT THE END OF THE WORLD with Steve Carrell and Kiera Knightly. 
  • EJ brings up the heaviest, artsy, moodiest apocalypse movie: MELANCHOLIA. Melancholia is dark the entire time, however it was visually beautiful.
  • EJ says that the movie was more about beautiful scenes than plot. 
  • Em still struggles saying Apocalyptic. Can she even talk? Quarantine brain!
  • Omaha comes up again! This time because of their amazing nonprofit movie theatre. The movie theatre focuses on film education and offers talks with directors and info sheets. This theatre meant a lot to EJ (as does Omaha in general).
  • Em takes a trip down memory lane to the early 2000s and the awesome cartoons that debuted. Her favorite was THE GRIMM ADVENTURES OF BILLY AND MANDY, about a goofy sibling duo where the sister, Mandy, is best friends with the Grimm Reaper. It was amazing.
  • EJ asks Em if she remembers HOMESTAR RUNNER and Em decides that EJ and her little sister are basically the same person.
  • The hosts talk about their real-life apocalypse. Em mentions that her kids are on spring break but that means absolutely nothing during quarantine. EJ talks about how she and her hubs structured their entire lives about living outside of their studio apartment, so learning to exist inside the space 24/7 has been interesting (but also good).
  • Quarantine has definitely shifted how people view their lives.
  • Em tells a funny story that is probably TMI about her husband and a video conference. It could have ended badly…thank goodness for good luck!
  • Things take a serious turn. EJ mentions knowing people who have been very negatively impacted by COVID. Em says that they are joking around to help others relax and smile, but the show is in no way making light of the actual situation—they’d never discount the trauma some people are facing.
  • EJ is happily surprised at how creators are getting creative to help entertain people and lift spirits (specifically online sing-alongs and the Disney sing-along on television). 
  • The girls talk about finding the balance of staying positive and protecting your mental health, but also not living in bubble of denial. 
  • EJ mentions BookShop.Org. 
  • BookShop is a sort of non-profit where you can buy books and designate a bookshop in your community to receive the funds from your purchase. The shopping experience is amazing—so much better than Amazon. 
  • EJ vetted BookShop.org for an article and it is legit. There are amazing curated lists of books based on many different things. The mood is very similar to walking into a real bookshop. It wasn’t created specifically for quarantine—but came out just in time.
  • Em cannot wait until she can go and eat some Indian food and walk around a bookstore. She misses normalcy.
  • EJ suggests curating lists for the podcast for Bookshop.org. It is a great idea and will happen! 
  • Hit us up with your favorite apocalypse! Leave us a review! Until next time! 

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