Apple-Obsessed Author Fella

Fallout Is The Perfect Video Game Adaptation (And Other Things I’m Digging)

Fallout is, so far, the most videogamey of all the potential video game adaptations. When I say it is the perfect adaptation, I don’t simply mean in quality — though the quality is high! — I mean that it somehow has distilled the experience of the game into the sweet narrative liquor of a television show. Game mechanics are represented organically, and in a way that makes sense, down to (and these are first episode spoilers, very light, but be warned) using stimpaks and having a scene of “presenting my skills for character creaton” and the bloody mess perk and the junk jet gun, and, and, and. Every time I see a game mechanic lovingly folded into the story I’m like

It feels like it’s not trying to transcend the material, which, honestly, is pretty refreshing. Transcending the material is fine! But it can also feel like, “Oh, we can do better,” in a kind of looking-down-your-nose-y way. “We’re making art here, turning the raw unprocessed pablum of the video game into something so much more.”

This isn’t that. It isn’t so much more. It’s exactly the game. Not the story! The story is new. But if you play the Fallout games and feel like you’ve lived in them, this show will also feel like you’re living in it. It is, in a weird way, the same comfort of playing the game. It feels like going home. As long as, y’know, “home” is “a brutal cartoonishly violent satirical nuclear wasteland.”

Ooh, also, the violence and gore are off the charts but at the same time, don’t feel… upsetting? Is that weird? There’s a cruelty and a cynicism to the violence in some shows, from Game of Thrones to The Boys. And it works in those places, don’t get me wrong. But here it’s a little more Looney Tunes? Someone on Threads said that it was more EVIL DEAD 2 than SAW, and I think that’s definitely a good way to put it.

Anyway! Only a couple episodes deep but it’s great. It’s kind of a shame they released it all at once? Not sure why they did that. I’d rather savor it week to week. Parcel it out instead of wolfing it all down in one go.

Hey, here are ten songs I’ve been listening to and enjoying.

You know, if you like music.

(Links all go to YouTube.)

(I don’t dig on the Spotify.)

1. All the new Girl In Red album, but hey, check out Serotonin.

2. Tom Cardy: Perception Check

3. This rehearsal version of Olivia Rodrigo’s Obsessed is great.

4. Okay, more Tom Cardy, this time with Ninja Sex Party, Dance Till You Stop, which is about being at a party and hating being at parties

5. Last Dinner Party, Nothing Matters, is lush and sad and excellent

6. Mama Zu’s whole album is great, and here I’ll shout out Lip as maybe my favorite. I was like, “wow, Mama Zu is great, I want more,” and then I Googled the band and found out the lead singer died a few years ago? And this album is only just coming out and I’m sad about this in so many ways. Lost a great artist and we’re only just discovering the artist who is lost. Anyway, Lip may be one of the truly best songs of recent memory.

7. This acoustic session of “The Becoming” from NIN — video directed by Rob Sheridan, fuck yeah — is great and I’m just now rediscovering this version.

8. Paramore’s Burning Down the House cover? Yes please.

9. My music-buddy and friend Liz sent me this one a little while back and it is in steady rotation at the Wendighaus — Sweeping Promise’s Good Living Is Coming For You

10. I anticipate Remi Wolf’s Cinderella will be a COOL SUMMER JAM for me.

What’s that? YOU LIKE-A THE BOOKS?

First, just go get Sarah Langan’s A BETTER WORLD immediately. It’s a little bit satire, a little bit speculative, a little bit thriller, lot of social commentary, and it’s just racing through my head even after I’m done it. It shares some sort of spiritual terrain with Rob Hart’s THE WAREHOUSE.

Also, M.L. Rio has a novella out soon you need to look for — GRAVEYARD SHIFT. It’s a lot in a little package. It’s rats and fungus and great character work and has that nice balance of mystery and thriller and “literary.”

I’ve heard Paul Tremblay’s HORROR MOVIE is fucking great, but no one has sent me a copy yet, PAUL, which is of course fine because I’m an adult and can buy my own books, PAUL, but where is my book, PAUL, goddamnit. You can never, ever, not even once, go wrong with Paul Tremblay. Unless you try to feed him a pickle. Then it’s game over.

Cina Pelayo’s FORGOTTEN SISTERS was really, really good, and it’s out now. I technically sent in a blurb for it but I don’t think it ended up anywhere? I said in that blurb, “Pelayo’s darkly poetic prose captures you like a river current and pulls you into its embrace.” Anyway! Go get it!

Got the newest ARC from my homie Delilah, GUILLOTINE, too, so I’m excited to read that this weekend. If you haven’t read BLOOM yet, fix your shit immediately.

I’m always on the lookout for good standup comedy, but man, it’s fraught turning on nearly any comedy special by A WHITE DUDE in the year of our lord 2024. Not to get all “””woke””” on you but the moment your comedy devolves into a grievance rant about how you can’t say this or that anymore and something-something trans, I’m noping the fuck out. Can’t you just do comedy? Just be funny. Make jokes that work instead of making a special of shitty signals an increasingly marginal audience. Don’t be an asshole.

The Anthony Jeselnik commentary on this is worth a watch, btw.

Anyway. Good (recentish) comedy specials out there to watch, though, still — Jacqueline Novak, Taylor Tomlinson, Marc Maron, Dimitri Martin’s newest, Sam Jay, Tig Notaro, Trevor Noah, Mike Birbiglia, and so forth.

What else? Shit, I dunno. GODZILLA X KONG was really silly and a lot of fun, and I’m happy to hear that the Monsterverse is continuing in more TV iterations, too, because Monarch was great.

I also liked The Gentleman on Netflix a lot? Haven’t seen the movie.


Buy my books or I perish.

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