Pit Stop After Infinity War, or, Fifty Outcomes

It’s out! It’s out! Infinity War is out! And I saw it! Twice! And now the bill has come due and I’ve got to live up to the fifty predictions I made for the film just before going into the theater opening night. I got basically everything and the stuff I didn’t correctly predict is absolutely there in the subtext, so without further adieu, enjoy how impressive I am!

 

 

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Thor and Black Panther “King High-Five”
I mean… maybe off-screen?

2. Ebony Maw is horrifying
This is a bit of a gimme, since he was a total creep with his creepy little “shush” finger in the trailer, but whatever punks, called it!

3. Cap and Doctor Strange “Steve High-Five”
This is a sore one as not only did Cap and Doc not “Steve High-Five,” I also failed to predict that Star-Lord and Spider-Man would “Peter High-Five” and on top of that Star-Lord and Spider-Man didn’t “Peter High-Five”

4. Cull Obsidian turns to camera and says “remember when my name was Black Dwarf? Anyway, where’s Supergiant?
Look all I’m saying is I didn’t understand a word that doofus said, so I’m probably wrong, but, I mean, you don’t know

5. Tony and Doctor Strange “Facial Hair High-Five” a.k.a. “kiss”
Okay I’m “wrong” in the sense that they didn’t actually kiss, but I’m right in the sense that they actually came really, really close

6. Lando shows up
I found this blockbuster both as thought-provoking and as infuriatingly Lando-less at The Last Jedi

7. Hela lives! #goddessofdeath #Avengers4
If I’m being real, this theory was based on Hela replacing the role of Death from Infinity Gauntlet in Infinity War, but if I’m being petty… juries still out suckers!

8. Surely someone makes fun of the name Proxima Midnight
Seemed like a dead-ringer and than no one in Thanos’ Black Order, or the Black Order itself, ever got name checked, aside from Ebony Maw getting the illustrious “half-name-drop”

9. That GD soul stone is in Wakanda whether they know it or not!
Swing and a miss!

10. By the time the movie starts Thanos has already murdered Glen Close and John C. Riley
“Blah, blah, blah Xandar, blah, blah, blah last week.” -Thor. Boom.

11. Tony quips. Cut to: Thanos making “Jim” face
Tempted as I am to try and claim “Jim” face just means a purple face, I can admit when I’m wrong

12. The real Hawkeye was the friends we made along the way
Prove me wrong.

13. Bucky is very unhappy with Cap’s beard and he’s not to keen on his facial hair either
Inconclusive

14. Bucky gets to work on a jealousy beard and starts growing out his facial hair too
Slightly less inconclusive, but he’s got stubble and he certainly had a moment with that racoon!

15. Tony and Pepper already divorced
Even though they didn’t say it’s their first wedding, I’ll own up to this one

16. Red Skull has something to do with something somehow
Alright come on, this one was pretty freaking impressive

17. Vision just gets totally #*%@ed over by the whole mind stone thing
I mean, obviously, but still

18. Groot experimenting with recreation drug use, or the implication of as much
Video game addiction is a thing! But I guess it’s not a drug…

19. The Guardians’ various space-gibberish languages revealed at last!
I’m just saying I did genuinely think this would be a thing

20. Rocket bullies the shit out of Thor
Who’da thunk?

21. Scarlett Witch? She’s just kind of there
Wouldn’t ya know it, the ol’ Witch arguably had more to do than ever before. Spooky!

22. No one invites Ant-Man to the war and when he confronts everyone about it they’re all like “oh you weren’t there? We thought you were just tiny” but they didn’t, they knew
I mean… half right.

23. Justin Hammer saves the day, again
Apparently we’ll have to wait until Avengers 4 to find out… all I’m saying is, Rockwell’s got that Best Supporting Actor Heat

24. Peter Parker still a virgin
Prove me wrong, I dare you

25. Some crafty backpedaling regarding the ol’ Aether
Not a word! Just go with it I guess?

26. Joke or jokes made at the expense of Bruce Banner’s penis
Seemed reasonable at the time

27. Nobody notices Black Widow changed her hair
Boom!

28. No explanation of Thanos’ hat provided
So what? He get’s the space stone and all the sudden he doesn’t need a hat anymore? So it’s, what? A space hat? Huh? Huh?

29. Banner Hulks out in the Hulkbuster armor and is like “Hulk bust!” or some shit
Nope!

30. We find out who bought Avengers tower and it’s just sort of whoever
Nada!

31. Anthony Mackie kills it
Briefly, but I’ll take it!

32. Someone calls Rhodie “Iron Pants,” then remembers he’s disabled, and feels like a dick
But somebody probably thought it

33. Gamora stabs someone or something to death
Thanks, reality stone. More like “BS” stone, amiright? #aether

34. Nebula and Bucky “Metal Arm High-Five”
I don’t think anyone ever high-fived in this whole god-forsaken movie

35. The Outriders are way creepier on film than in LEGO
Look, those LEGOs aren’t creep at all, so, right by default

36. Someone makes fun of Thanos’ chin right to his face
Huzzah!

37. Peter Quill’s Zune has transformed him into an insufferable hipster
Mark my words, they’re holding on to this for Guardians Vol. 3

38. Nobody says anything about the Agents of SHIELD TV show and nobody cares
I said predictions, not impressive predictions

39. Nobody says anything about any of the Netflix Marvel shows and some people care for a second but then they GTFOver it
Not an immortal weapon in sight!

40. Groot in Infinity War is a third Groot and the Baby Groot from Guardians Vol. 2 died off screen and if nothing in the movie explicitly contradicts this than I’m right
Called it!

41. Wong and Thanos go way back
I’m just thinking about prequel sitcom spin-offs here

42. An Avenger gets the gauntlet, but, like, in a bad way?
Not yet anyway…

43. Dinosaurs, surely somehow dinosaurs. Or at least a shark or dragon
Sorry, you did what with the time stone? Anything but bring dinosaurs back alive? Oh, oh okay, sure. Sure, real realistic. Oh brother

44. When Thanos finally gets out of his space chair he puts his hands on his knees and goes “ooooooooooph”
Definitely offscreen though

45. Loki not happy about Cap or Bucky’s beards and he’s not to keen on their facial hair either I’m here all week
Yeah, yeah… rule of threes though!

46. All the white Avengers constantly embarrass Rhodie and Falcon in Wakanda
I mean… didn’t they though? Just in a not funny way?

47. Thor is missing an eye and I’m pretty sure Rocket and Groot stole an eye from the Ravagers and I’m just saying this specific prediction is actually cool and good!
I mean, c’mon! Pretty, pretty, pretty impressive. Maybe not a Ravager, maybe. But c’mon. This should count for all 50

48. Nick Fury finds a way to creep out of a dark corridor even though everyone’s on, like, $&@#ing Pluto
Nope, he just creeps out of the dark and into our hearts and souls in this one

49. Someone acknowledges Mantis
Mantis actually had, like, stuff to do in this movie!

50. Thanos is at least 38
Inconclusive, but you sure as shit ain’t going to convince me he’s 37

 

Come back next year for, I don’t know, like 100 predictions for Avengers 4? Maybe some Ant-Man & the Wasps predictions in July? This is so much easier than baking hot takes.

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Nathan For Us All, or, The Dawn of Prestige Comedy

Like a year ago author/Derrick Comedian D.C. Pierson tweeted a link to a video in which a man is handcuffed to a steel bar next to a robot claw that will remove his pants, exposing him to bleachers full of young children in front of a cop, if he doesn’t pick the lock to the handcuffs in 90 seconds or less.

THE CLAW OF SHAME

THE CLAW OF SHAME

The show is called Nathan For You and it follows host Nathan Fielder as he pitches provocative gimmicks to small businesses. The first season is currently streaming on Hulu Plus and though it might be eight episodes long it felt like I watched the entire run in five minutes. Luckily, the second season premieres on Comedy Central today, July 1st.

Timely, amiright?

I haven’t laughed as hard as I did watching the first season of Nathan For You since I saw the series premiere of Comedy Bang! Bang! I’m chomping at the bit for more, and I absolutely cannot wait to stream the premiere of season two the day after it airs because I go to bed early.

But I can’t help but wonder, when the hell did this happen?

For the longest time it seemed like, Stewart and Colbert aside, Comedy Central was sort of just a Lazy Susan of disposable, raunchy comedies desperately trying to fill the shoes of Dave Chappelle or sustain the ratings lead provided by South Park on Wednesday nights.

Somehow, while I wasn’t looking, it seems Comedy Central, with the likes of Key & Peele, Inside Amy Schumer, Nathan For You and Review, has transformed into a bastion of prestige comedy.

The term “prestige drama” gets thrown around a lot, usually in reference to Mad Men or Breaking Bad. I myself would throw in Hannibal and True Detective and I’m sure you’ve got a shortlist yourself. To me it’s indicative of a series that is consistently thought-provoking and often enough transcends the constraints of television either through how it makes us feel or think.

Only it would appear that transcendent quality is no longer limited to hour-long, Sunday-night dramas.

Much like True Detective could have just been a murder mystery, or Hannibal could have just been a shameless franchise prequel, Nathan For You could have been a pretty mean-spirited show that garnered cheap laughs by relying on people to embarrass themselves on camera.

Nathan For You doesn’t entirely lack that sense of pulling one over on unsuspecting bystanders, but its reliance on embarrassing people is extremely minimal, as the show is instead entirely more concerned with the inherent comedy of business.

When you begin to think about why people buy what they buy where they buy it, or why and how the people we buy things from sell the things they do, you quickly find yourself in pretty strange territory. Territory Nathan Fielder basks in for our amusement and, hopefully, reflection.

Brilliance.

Brilliance.

There’s an episode of Nathan For You in which he convinces a gas station owner to sell gas for $1.75 after rebate. It is hilarious, sure, but it’s also one of the most fascinating episodes of television I’ve seen recently.

And I’m rewatching True Detective. On Blu-Ray!

That I’m still deeply considering an episode of a half-hour show on Comedy Central nearly a week after viewing it is quite a testament.

CBS may still be a thing, but make no mistake, we’re living at the dawn of the prestige comedy. Sure, there have been phenomenal comedies throughout television history, but the sheer quantity of insightful, well-written comedies on television today is staggering.

Definitely check out Nathan For You. And Nathan, if you could get more people to listen to my podcast, that would be great.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. What is your favorite prestige drama? Is it ER?

2. Remember that episode of ER where that guy dies on the beach or whatever? Bummer.

3. Remember that song they play on that episode of ER where that guy dies on the beach or whatever? Bummer.