The ManDADlorian Chapter 9 Recap, Easter Eggs, and Minor Freak-outs

You’ll have to forgive me for this one, but the last time we saw Din Djarin and Baby Yoda it might as well have been a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….specifically 20,000 years ago, in the year 2019. With an incredibly divisive election, a global pandemic, and the Bon Appetit Youtube channel getting canceled for most of the year, nothing could be more welcoming than the warm nostalgia bath that is The Mandalorian

But the show works because it’s more than a collection of cameos from the Bad Motivator Droid, and writer/director/creator John Favreau opens season two with his signature blend of restrained storytelling and refreshingly straightforward action. Let’s talk about all the things that made me excitedly turn to my partner and whisper “that’s [whatever it was that was on the screen].”

So, ManDADlorian and Baby Yoda are searching for more Mandalorians to help track down any remaining Jedi. The best person to ask? Cyclops John Leguizamo. But the one-eyed gangster instead turns on our heroes because we need a cool pre-credits fight scene. After making short work of the bad guys, Din promises the one-eyed double-crosser won’t die by his hand, which of course is just a badass little fake-out move – the kind of loophole nomadic drifters love to throw around. Maybe I’m getting ahead here, but I think this little trick says something coming from a guy who normally takes himself too seriously. It’s one of a few examples throughout the episodes that Din isn’t the same dude as last season. Fatherhood changes you, man(dalorian).

We’re off to Tatooine again because apparently there are only six planets in Star Wars. No, I’m kidding, there’s a good reason for going back this time BUT THAT’S IT. NO MORE TATOOINE FOR A GOOD LONG TIME, STAR WARS, I MEAN IT. Din reunites with Amy Sedaris’ Motto who doesn’t know where this mystery Mandalorian is, but does know about a mystery town full of mysteries to investigate. Our old buddy R5 helps with a map, and the poor little guy still hasn’t had a nice oil bath since blowing his own motivator to keep R2 and 3P0 together in A New Hope

Credit: Lucasfilm

Off to Mos Pelgo we go, with Baby Yoda strapped into a speeder like Robin riding shotgun in the Bat-Pod. It doesn’t take long for Din to find the Mandalorian he’s been looking for: Timothy Olyphant! And he’s not a Mandalorian, he’s just wearing Boba Fett’s armor! Here’s where Favreau’s visual flair really sings. When Olyphant’s Marshal takes off the helmet, fans are given the longest, closest look at the OG bounty hunter’s visage. It’s a real soak-it-up moment. But more importantly, is how this immediately ups the stakes: We know Mandalorians don’t take their helmets off. This dude just blasphemed in front of our super religious main character, and the show lingers in that moment, combining fan service with character-driven stakes. 

Boba Fett's Helmet
Credit: Ringer

The Marshal is Cobb Vanth, whose story is rehashed from the Star Wars Aftermath books; showing how the Empire falling was great, but also led to more immediate problems for the Outer Rim. The Empire’s whole big selling point is order through fear and control. And sure enough, once the Death Star is destroyed, some Dune-looking jerks from the Mining Guild come shoot up the bar because…i dunno, there’s nothing to mine on a desert planet? Cobb escapes with an ice-cream maker of fancy rocks, which he trades to some Jawas for Fett’s armor so he can go back to town and get his Justified on.

The new marshall in Boba armor gives us more than one wink-wink during the episode, but the most ludicrous/fun is finally seeing that sweet not-suitable-for-children-under-3 rocket launcher finally have its moment in the sun. 

Cobb Vanth Fires His Backpack Rocket
Credit: Gizmodo

Back to the story at-hand, the real Mandalorian challenges Vanth for the armor. Vanth, however, notices Baby Yoda which clues him into the fact that Mando has a potential soft spot. Before any blasters go off, the village is attacked by one of the graboids from Tremors, which is not your daddy’s Krayt Dragon. Vanth makes a deal to fork over Boba’s armor if Mando will help him take out the monster of the week.  

The second half of the episode follows our helmet buddies teaming up with the Sandpeople, who are also looking to take down the Krayt. We got a hint of Din’s familiarity with the nomadic tribe in season one, but this episode is the most we’ve ever gotten to see of the Tusken culture in a mainstream story.  The tension between them and the citizens of Mos Pelgo is kind of the dramatic hook of the story, even though we don’t even get into it until the third act. I kinda wish we had a little bit more of that baked in throughout – when Vanth speaks to the townspeople to convince them to team up with their sworn enemies, we don’t really have a relationship with either side to make the union satisfying.

While scoping out the Krayt’s nest, Vanth makes a reference to it being an empty Sarlacc pit. Flag that for later.  We see more and more of the Krayt Dragon as the episode goes on, and it’s definitely one of the bigger departures of old-school design the show has done yet. Though, while the original McQuarrie concept and the KOTOR boss both have chonky boi dragon legs, the skeleton C-3P0 whines about in New Hope looks more serpentine matching what Disney has given us. 

Krayt Dragons From Various Media
Credit: Lucasfilm

The final battle with the dragon plays out the same way it did in the Knights Of The Old Republic video game, with some added Jetpack action. They plant charges outside the cave and lure the beast out to get blown up. Things don’t go all that great, Krayt dragons have acid lava, apparently.

While Baby Yoda didn’t have much to do in this episode, the real catharsis moment comes when Din hatches a plan to blow up the dragon from the inside. We get our second nod to -and don’t hate me for this- but to how much of a big dumb loser Boba Fett actually was when Mando pops Cobb in the back.  The famously faulty jetpack sends our new friend shooting off the same way it got the last guy to wear it swallowed by a desert snake-spider, but this time the whoopsie-doo ends up being a life-saver.

Look, I’m just gonna say what nobody else will admit: Cobb Vanth is way cooler than Boba Fett. Sorry, not sorry. Before getting himself swallowed with a Bantha strapped to the gills in space-dynamite, Mando tells Cobb to take care of The Kid. Throughout the episode, the Marshal changes in Din’s eyes from blaspheming armor thief to Baby Yoda’s Godfather. One of the main themes of the show is having a strict ideology and perspective that is challenged through the actions of others. The Mandalorian keeps having to change his mind about people – and droids – who may not follow his creed, but still uphold his standard for honor.

You know, I’m really curious to see how that goes. I wonder if he’ll end up having to face-off against someone who possibly shares his creed, but not his sense of honor. Like maybe another Mandalorian? Perhaps someone we’re already familiar with, or like maybe a legacy character who we all have preconceived notions about? I dunno. Something fun. Anyway, the episode ends and nothing else of note happens.

Ha, no I’m kidding, of course. Temura Morrison, who played Jango Fett in the prequels, shows up at the last second looking all chewed-up-by-a-sarlacc, and we all – every one of us, not just me – screamed out loud. I’m clearly not even a Boba Fett die-hard but this is the kind of serotonin drip I pay Disney for. Now, technically this could be any number of characters since literally all the clones would be played by him in live-action, but c’mon. It’s Boba Fett. That’s why they teased the dead Sarlacc earlier, and also: every other thing that happens this episode. Who else is it gonna be, Cody? FOH.

Guess we’ll have to come back to Tatooine again this season after all. *shakes fist*

Blaster Fire:

  • VIBRO-BLADES! Or I guess, VIBRO-AXES!  I guess we’ve seen these before, but seeing them all vibratey was a treat. Here’s the thing, I believe you can overdo fan service callback stuff, and that Star Wars should always try to be new and weird; but I also clap and say “yay!” like a toddler given ice cream when they pull out random old KOTOR Level One weapons 
  • W. Earl Brown, who played Dan on Deadwood, was the Weequay behind the bar in Mos Pelgo, essentially reprising his role with Olyphant in what is basically the greatest TV show of all time. And now I want Space-Deadwood. 
  • Seeing some theories that that Cobb Vanth’s speeder bike is made out of Anakin Skywalker’s old pod racer, but that’s one-to-many coincidences for me in my Star Wars. It’s the same model engine for sure, but my head cannon will say it’s just a nod to the design until told otherwise.
  • “Sand people always travel single file, to hide their numbers.” 
Sand People In Single File
Credit: Lucasfilm

I miss “I have spoken.”

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s Soccer Club Will be in “FIFA 22”

It’s been a great year for Wrexham AFC. The Welsh football club (or “soccer team” depending on which side of the world you live) got two high-profile owners in Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney and now the team is being added to EA Sports “FIFA 22”.

Having celebrities as owners is ALREADY paying off in a big way for the team, as most smaller clubs don’t get the visibility of being a playable team in one of the most popular sports video game franchises. Wrexham will be playable in FIFA’s Kick-off mode, listed in the “Rest of World” category because no other National League teams were even included.

This sets up a perfect and hilarious promo video from Wrexham’s famous owners, as they attempt to teach the rest of us about the “Rest of World” and the geography involved. Learning is always more fun when your teachers are two of the funniest people working in show business.

“Rest of World is an important geographic area known for its random assortment of cultures, climates, and football clubs,” Reynolds said. “If you’re planning on visiting Rest of World, please consider visiting Wrexham. It’s a proud team honored to be in FIFA 22.”

The team and its fans are PSYCHED. A publicist for the club (as if its owners aren’t enough to get the word out) said “everyone is truly excited about Wrexham joining FIFA 22. The co-chairmen talked about making Wrexham a global force when they became its custodians and are now able, with our fans, to take on the Rest of the World, as part of that journey.”

So when you can pretend you’re Reynolds and help conquer the “Rest of World?” October 1st is when the game hits all platforms.

Heroic Teen Saves Sisters From House Fire, Then Is Rescued by His Dog

A teenage boy is being hailed as a hero after he helped save his four sisters from a devastating fire that destroyed their family home. Not long after his parents left to pick up dinner for the family, Briar Omar smelled smoke in the home. One of his sisters said it was really smoky upstairs, and when he saw fire, he sprang into action.

“My sisters: That’s the first thing I thought of,” he told a local TV station. “I knew I had to get them out of the house.” Briar is the family’s oldest child and his youngest sister is only six months old.

The boy successfully located all his sisters and got them out of the house. Then, he decided to go back into the burning house and put out the fire with the fire extinguisher. It was far too late for that, though, and the flames quickly escalated. Briar couldn’t see or breathe. And that’s when the hero was rescued by another hero, as the family dog came to guide the boy out of the home now engulfed in flames.

“I almost collapsed, and then that’s when I felt my dog rub against me,” he said. “I grabbed her, and she led me out the door.”

A family friend started a GoFundMe campaign to help the family get back on its feet after losing everything in the fire. The goal is to raise 20,000 to replace clothes and other necessities. They’re still short of their goal, you can help by donating here. The friend has asked that if people are unable to donate they keep this poor family in their hearts.

While the material loss is devastating, thankfully everything that was taken CAN be replaced. A heroic boy and his faithful dog made sure of that by getting his sisters to safety.

Powerlifting Champ Calls Thor’s Dad Bod in God of War “Peak Male Performance”

Since the first character art for God of War: Ragnarok was released, the character Thor (who will be played by Sons of Anarchy’s Ryan Hurst) has been under scrutiny.  After years of watching Chris Hemsworth play the MCU version of the God of Thunder, I guess everyone was expecting some chiseled dude to show up to fight Kratos in the anticipated sequel.  But British powerlifting champion Darren McCormac has shared his insights on Thor’s appearance in Ragnarok, saying Thor’s bulk is indicative of just how strong he is.

“Like it or not, God of War‘s Thor is the peak of male performance,” McCormac told The Sixth Axis. ” As a strength athlete, there is a correlation between bulk and strength.  In powerlifting, the most competitive classes are the under 100kg and under 110kg–guys who are lifting multiple times their own bodyweight. They won’t be tall, they’ll be bulky.” In terms of Norse mythology, this depiction of Thor in God of War: Ragnarok is considered accurate.  Sure, Hemsworth is going to look great in Thor: Love and Thunder, but give me back the Thor from Avengers: Endgame.

Finally, McCormac goes on to say, “Not all these guys will have abs, far from it.  They’ll have a layer of lard over it, a power belly.  Any old fool can get abs–yes I am looking at you, Mr. Hemsworth–but a power belly and big traps (the muscles either side of your neck) are the sign of a bloody strong man.”

You hear that? Any old fool can get abs!  I’m going to start referring to my belly as a “power belly”.  As long as the heaviest thing I’m lifting are the groceries, none shall question my epic strength.

Proud Mom Shares Moving Letter From Son’s Teacher on Reddit, Quickly Goes Viral

Adult or child, it’s easy to write someone off for behavior you don’t quite understand. In every social situation, there are unspoken expectations that make or break the way the world sees us. While understanding social norms comes naturally to many, for people with autism, socializing can feel like playing Minesweeper blindfolded. When Loan, mom of 8-year-old Carter shared a note from his teacher on Reddit, it reminded us all that a little patience and understanding can go a long way.

From a young age, Carter’s parents realized he was developmentally different from his older sister. He had speech delays, and once he started preschool, his hyperactivity became evident. Rather than sitting with his class, he would run from the classroom at any opportunity. He struggled to sit still, and an evaluation revealed he had ADHD. With a 504 supporting his needs in kindergarten, Carter’s parents breathed a sigh of relief. In first grade, however, Carter’s struggles became impossible to ignore.

“I received calls almost everyday from his teacher or principal,” Loan told The Dad. “His impulsivity was getting worse. ​​He would take papers in class and tear them up. He would flip the chairs and throw pencils around the room. He could not calm down at all.”

Teachers were unable to help Carter regulate his behavior, and as a result, he was suspended.

“I can’t even imagine how painful it was for him,” Loan recalled. “He had a million emotions going through his head and he wasn’t able to control them. Kids saw this and just thought he was a bad kid and that something was wrong with him.”

Carter struggled, but his family knew his intention was not to hurt others. After further evaluations, Carter was diagnosed with ASD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Unwilling to let the world paint him in an unfair light, Carter’s parents hired an advocate. They had an IEP (Individualized Education Program) put in place, and transferred Carter to a school that could meet his needs. Before long, Carter began to thrive.

Carter's family
(Credit: Courtesy of Carter's Mom, Loan)

The now second grader’s frustration was met with understanding, his outbursts met with patience. Without constant fear that emotions outside of his control would lead to punishment, Carter’s kindness and empathy were free to shine through. Teachers at his new school shared countless stories of Carter’s generosity, but one letter in particular stood out.

In the now viral note Loan shared on Reddit, Carter’s teacher wrote about an incident where another student was upset. Carter learned that his classmate lost her retainer, and she was inconsolable at the thought of getting in trouble. Carter offered to help look, and asked to see a picture to help him find it.

He asked his teacher how much retainers cost, and then responded, “oh man, if I hadn’t spent my money I would have enough to buy her one so her parents are not mad.”

Letter from Carter's teacher
(Credit: Courtesy of Carter's Mom, Loan)

Carter’s teacher went on to say that the 8-year-old cared deeply for his classmates, regularly displaying acts of kindness. The same second grader who was suspended for his behavior is now “a pleasure to have” in class, thanks to compassion and support from his teachers and family.

“When kids with ASD/ADHD act out, it’s not out of malice. It’s that their brains are not wired the same as other people,” Loan explains, a reminder that we can all stand to have a little more compassion. “They want to focus and not be impulsive, but they can’t sometimes. They are misjudged because they don’t act like everyone else.”

Rolling Stone Updates Top 500 Songs, Everyone Predictably Not Happy

Who doesn’t love a good list? Before social media, they, were one of the best ways to start an argument. Now they are a great way to encourage conversation, which is technically exactly what Rolling Stone got when they released their newly updated Top 500 Songs list.

They do this from time to time, and let’s be honest: it’s mostly to generate clicks. A few years ago they created an uproar when Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” took over the top spot on their Top Albums list. Lots of people went to the Rolling Stone website that day, and so it was a big success.  They basically admit this tactic in the introductory paragraph:

“In 2004, Rolling Stone published its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It’s one of the most widely read stories in our history, viewed hundreds of millions of times on this site. But a lot has changed since 2004; back then the iPod was relatively new, and Billie Eilish was three years old. So we’ve decided to give the list a total reboot.”

The new list definitely has some changes, such as the additions of Kanye, Lady Gaga, and Lizzo. The aforementioned Eilish shows up with “Bad Guy” coming in at #178! Rolling Stone explains: “More than half the songs here — 254 in all — weren’t present on the old list, including a third of the Top 100.”

Not to give away the milk for free, but for the sake of talking about their choices, the Top Ten is as follows:

10. Outkast’s “Hey Ya!”
9. Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”
8. Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On”
7. The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever”
6. Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”
5. Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
4. Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”
3. Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”
2. Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power”
1. Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.”

I’m sure you have an opinion on this list because just about everyone does. Especially on Twitter.

Lorde over MJ?

Somebody loves classic rock:

Somebody hates modern music:

All eyez off him:

Seems reasonable:

Never change the internet. Or Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs List. People don’t like it when you do!

LeVar Burton Is No Longer Interested In Hosting Jeopardy

Who knew that a simple game show could cause so much drama?

The saga of “Who Will Host Jeopardy?” has been keeping the internet riveted ever since beloved longtime host Alex Trebek lost his battle with cancer late last year. The show has been auditioning countless guest hosts, including former champions, current NFL players, TV stars, even its own executive producer. All this in the face of much of the public’s, Ryan Reynolds, and Dick Van Dyke’s, desire to see former Star Trek and Reading Rainbow star LeVar Burton get the gig.

Well, LeVar no longer wants it.

Burton finally got a chance to host the show in July, just before the drama with Mike Richards – the aforementioned executive producer of the show who seemingly installed himself and then had to step down after questions of the process, and problems with past behavior and comments he’d made on his podcast – exploded. But now, despite his initial desire to give the people what they want, Burton is out.

He appeared on The Daily Show this week and explained to Trevor Noah how the fan support emboldened him. “You know, we did a kickstarter several years ago. I discovered then that the generation of adults now, who grew up on Reading Rainbow, they were down with whatever it is I wanted to do, and the same was true with this Jeopardy! thing.

“I made it public that I wanted it for myself, that it made sense to me, and they were all about it. It made as much sense to them as it did to me. And, so, they wanted it for me as much as I wanted it.”

And then he explained that losing out on the gig was the best thing that could have happened.

“The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something, you know, they say be careful of what you wish for, because what I found out is that it wasn’t the thing that I wanted after all. What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, right, but then, when I didn’t get it, it was, like, well, OK, what’s next? And, so, the opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn’t have dreamt it up.”

So we may not be seeing Burton behind the Jeopardy podium anytime soon – the show just announced that Mayim Bialik and former champ Ken Jennings will be sharing hosting duties for a while, while the search for a permanent host continues – it sounds like we’ll be seeing him plenty of other places.

Hopefully, places that are a lot more drama-free than Jeopardy.

11 Most Powerful DC Characters (You Know, In Addition To Superman)

Superheroes have taken over nearly every form of media. They’re showing up on the small screen on networks, cable television, and subscription services. On the big screen, there’s such a giant collection of comic heroes and villains that it often seems easier to name someone who hasn’t been in a DC or Marvel movie than someone who has. The classic Batman vs. Superman fight is no more, either — now that the greater public knows more than just those two powerhouse superheroes, the conversation has gotten deeper, richer, and more convoluted. And, among DC fans, part of that conversation includes a robust debate centered on the most powerful DC characters.

It’s a loaded question that leaves us with a ton of follow-up questions. Hero or villain? Male or female? Super nerds might even ask you which timeline, but we’re not going to confuse the laypeople by getting into the various comic timelines. We will, however, address the rest. And maybe, just maybe, we can figure out who the most powerful DC character really is.

Most Powerful DC Villains — Female

Rampage

When scientist Dr. Kitty Faulkner was exposed to the powers of the Bio-Energy Actualizer, it had gruesome effects. It turned her from a nerdy hero trying to save the planet to a hulked-up, angry she-beast intent on succumbing to her most basic instincts and destroying Metropolis. This girl had Superman powers and “Hulk-Smash” rage.

Maxima

Maxima is, in essence, a gorgeous, powerful, and angry alien. Her brute strength comes from her psionic powers. She came to Earth because she believed Superman was the only entity in all the universe worthy of giving her a child. He was, unsurprisingly, uninterested, which only made her more volatile. The two superpowers go head-to-head on numerous occasions.

Cheetah

On the surface, Cheetah seems like a pretty tame (pun intended) villain. Oh, so you can run fast and have sharp teeth and claws? Cool, cool, cool. But, like, she can run really fast. She’s managed to catch The Flash before. And those teeth? They’re sharp enough to pierce even Superman’s skin and do some damage. Cheetah’s biggest foe was Wonder Woman — and even she stumbled a few times in their go-arounds.

Most Powerful DC Villains — Male

The Decreator

The Decreator is a bit of an unreasonable and volatile anti-god or a shadow god. He’s believed to have been created at the same time God created the universe. While God “creates,” The Decreator destroys or dismantles (or, you know, decreates). Upon his discovery, the only thing anyone could do was slow him down in his quest to destroy the world, but they couldn’t entirely stop him.

Krona

Krona is utterly evil and badass. When it comes to “power,” it’s hard to top psychic abilities like telekinesis and telepathy. I mean, how do you defeat someone who always knows your next move? Krona, though, goes even further: He’s also nearly immortal. Remember the old phrase, “What doesn’t kill me makes me strong?” Yeah, that’s Krona in a nutshell.

Mxyzptlk

As far as we can tell, you won’t find Mr. Mxyzptlk in any movies — at least not yet. He’s an old-school villain. He’s almost magical in his abilities because nothing needs to make sense or be even somewhat logical. If he can imagine it, he can make it happen. Fighting the guy in the middle of a desert island on a sunny day? He can crush you with a piano falling from the sky (except he probably won’t). Mr. Mxyzptlk is extremely powerful and a bit of a scamp, so he’s for sure a villain. But he’s not exactly evil.

Most Powerful DC Heroes — Female

Wonder Woman, Obviously

Even without her lasso, Wonder Woman is basically unstoppable. She can fly and move at warp speed. She’s also exceedingly strong and has unbelievable stamina. You can try to go 10 rounds with Wonder Woman — but only one of you will make it through the first two without losing your breath.

Supergirl

Supergirl is in every way, shape, and form the same as Superman, except she’s, ya know, a girl. As long as the sun is burning, Supergirl is flush with unfathomable power that starts with ultra-heightened senses and ends with, well, they don’t really ever end.

Power Girl

Just like Supergirl and Superman, Power Girl hails from Krypton and brings with her all the same incredible strengths as her cousins.

Most Powerful DC Heroes — Male

Manhattan

Dr. Manhattan was once just a regular dude, but he became something altogether different once exposed to nuclear energy. Like those Fukushima daisies, he was a bit of a freak but still as super as they came. Here’s a shortlist of just some of Dr. Manhattan’s superpowers: replication, resurrection, space travel, and time travel.

Superman

There. Are you happy? We included Supes. Superman is as equally powerful as Superman fans are annoying. Anything you can do, Supes can do better — and with a sickening earnestness that sometimes makes us want to unleash our tiny (useless) fists of fury on him.

The Spectre

Spectre has literally defeated the Anti-Monitor, which, in our opinion, makes him much more powerful than even Superman. His power is so overwhelming that it’s passed from human to human, just in an attempt to rein him in and keep him under control. And, yeah, he’s a good-ish guy.

A final note for the Batman fans who are mad we left off their favorite sulking “superhero”: We’d like to remind you of something very simple. Batman isn’t powerful. He’s rich. Don’t @ us.

Article Claims ”Grown Men Shouldn’t Waste Their Lives Playing Video Games”

Hoo boy.

It has been a while since I’ve read a “video games are the devil” article, but here we are.  I mean, we’ve come a long way since the days when playing video games was the “nerd” thing to do.  Video games have become a billion-dollar industry, and everyone from Brendan Fraser to Patrick Mahomes to your grandpa plays them.  It’s a shame that a recent article published in The Telegraph ignores the positives of adults who play games and shines a negative light on the whole thing.

The article, which was written by Camilla Tominey, is titled “Grown men shouldn’t waste their lives playing video games”.  Tominey talks about Nintendo advertisements “infantilising their customers”.  The ads feature grown men and women playing Nintendo Switch, which is something “her eight-year-old daughter enjoys playing”.  She also refers to us adults who play games as “overgrown school children”:

“Hashtagged #SetPlaytimeFree, it appears to make the false assumption that most commuters like to while away their spare hours playing Mario Kart, Minecraft and Pokemon. Doesn’t Nintendo realise that the only adults who still use the word “playtime” post puberty aren’t the types to be found on the tube? They are the overgrown school children riding around outside on e-scooters.”

It’s baffling to me that “grown men” are the target demographic for Tominey’s article.  Women play video games too.  It’s also a major understatement to only mention Minecraft, Pokemon, and Mario Kart when talking about video games.  I mean, those games are awesome, and there’s a rush of adrenaline one gets from knocking their kid out with a blue shell and taking first place, but it’s a statement that only scratches the surface of gaming.  What about games like The Last of Us and God of War?  They’re not exactly kid-friendly experiences.  These are fantastic and mature games with engrossing stories that have captured the hearts of millions of fans.  The gaming industry isn’t just for kids anymore.

The article brings up the whole idea of gaming as an adult and considers it a waste of time.  Video games unfortunately are always looked at as a waste of time, but compared to what?  Sure, you could watch your favorite sports team kick a ball around, binge watch eight hours of your favorite TV show, or read a book over the course of a week and end up hating it.  I just don’t understand how any of that could be considered a better use of your time.  I feel that as long as you love something and are passionate about it (and it isn’t causing harm to anyone else), it shouldn’t be considered a waste of time.  Do what makes you happy.

Video games have evolved over the years into more than just something you would “play with your friends in your mom’s basement”.  There have been friendships made through online gaming that are truly wholesome, and video games have become a source of joy for those with children with disabilities.  My wife and I love to play games like Final Fantasy XIV together.  My kids and I love to sit down and play games together.  There’s lots of bonding time, and it can be a positive experience, no matter your age.  Video games, just like anything else, are a form of entertainment that can be great for kids and adults to relax and blow off steam with.  Personally, I’ve been playing games since I could hold a NES controller, and I’ll continue to play them for years to come.  Video games especially helped me out when I was going through my fight with testicular cancer.  Being able to spend a few hours in a fantasy world helped take my mind off things and acted as a form of escapism during tough times.

If you’re one of those grown-ups (like myself) that loves to play video games, The Dad has a Facebook group called The Dad Gaming Community.  There are over 36,000 members in this group, and it’s not just all dads.  Everyone is welcome, and it’s one of the most positive communities I’ve ever been a part of (and I’m not just saying that because I write for The Dad).  If you love video games and want to talk with other like-minded individuals, this is the happening place to be.  We also have Facebook groups for individual games and even a tabletop gaming group, so seriously, no matter your preference, there’s something for everyone.

I feel like life’s too short to be upset about something that millions of people (yes, even grown men) get enjoyment from.  If you’re reading this Camilla, maybe sit down with your daughter and play some Minecraft or Super Mario 3D World: Bowser’s Fury on Switch.  You can’t go wrong with any of these co-op experiences, and who knows, you might actually have some fun too.

Ken Jennings Takes Over for Mike Richards as New Jeopardy Co-Host (For Now)

Ken Jennings is the new host of “Jeopardy.” And much like all Jeopardy hosts these days, it’s not permanent. The show announced Thursday that Jennings would be stepping into the now-vacant second host slot after Mike Richards was bounced from the show. So now the game’s GOAT player will have yet another run behind the host podium as he shepherds the show through the end of the year. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

Actress Mayim Bialik (who was very good on her guest-hosting run) had previously been announced as the host for special primetime specials and tournaments. She’s been filling in for the production of new daily episodes as well, after the show was left without a host when Richards was fired. Bialik also stars on a sitcom on FOX, so she can’t do the gig full-time. And that’s where Jennings comes in. The two will split hosting duties through the rest of 2021.

Richards stepped down from his hosting job after a shady search for Alex Trebek’s successor, combined with a bunch of comments he made on a podcast that were problematic enough for Sony to cut ties. He stayed on as an executive producer and then was fired from that too.

Jennings is a fan favorite and even joined the “Jeopardy” team as a consulting producer. He was close with Trebek and was widely seen as the successor to the TV legend. He was the first guest host but never seemed to pick up much traction as the full-time host. Much of that hype went to LeVar Burton. In the end, it was Richards, the man leading the search, who decided he was the best for the job.

So now Sony executives have bought themselves some breathing room. At first, they announced they would go back to the guest host format while a new permanent host was found. This way, the show gets *some* level of stability and continuity as the two hosts tag team their way through the rest of the year as their respective schedules allow. And who knows, maybe the best decision Sony can make is no decision, and let the future of the show be split between the two permanently.