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[] Spectrum Spectator: Strange and Stranger

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Lars: Strap in, buckos, and hold on! I’m Lars Gonall. That’s Daisy Wences. And you’re in the Spectrum Spectator zone!

Daisy: This is where the sweet laser effects would go if our show had any laser effects.

Lars: You know what, we would consider it a personal favor if you could imagine your own sweet laser effects at this point.

Daisy: Or better yet, pause our show, go find some sweet laser effects to watch, and then come back to us. That last step’s important. Don’t get so distracted by sweet lasers that you forget to watch the rest of the show.

Lars: Maybe they could make their own laser effects, like if their ship has a repeater or something.

Daisy: And for all you historians watching, that statement right there is what led to our show getting canceled.

Lars: Speaking of, we have to address the elephant in the room before we can get to today’s review. It seems that Spectrum Spectator has got its very own scandal going.

Daisy: I gotta say, while being deeply embroiled in controversy is crazy stressful, it also kind of feels like a weight has been lifted off me. It’s a weird mixed bag of emotions. Sort of like how when you get a new ship, you can’t really relax until you get your first scratch.

Lars: You’re totally right. This is like a big dent in the rear hatch of our show. Sure, we might not be as pretty anymore, but maybe we won’t be as scared to fly around in riskier sectors. Which, now that I’ve said that, I’m not sure what that means? Does that mean we’re finally going to review Skinjobs? I really don’t want to have to review Skinjobs.

Daisy: So, for those of you who don’t belong to the Spectrum Spectator forums, you might not be aware that there have been accusations that Lars and I have been taking money in exchange for giving shows good reviews. More specifically, that we recommended all of you watch Halcyon only because that show’s sponsor, Fizzz Soda, happens to also be one of our sponsors.

Lars: First off, drink more Fizzz, it is delicious. Secondly, all our opinions are our own. We specifically avoid directly dealing with sponsors for this reason.

Daisy: Part of the problem might be that we’ve never taken the time to explain publicly how we sell ad time. Not because we wanted to hide anything, mind you, but just because we figured no one wanted to see the sausage being made.

Lars: How it works is that we contract with a third-party service called Shine Marketing. They analyze our episodes before they’re uploaded and use an algorithm to match which of their clients’ ads would be most suitable to run as our sponsor for each episode.

Daisy: For example, later on when we talk about the most recent episode of The Avenger and how it was beyond insane, we might wind up with a commercial for an Aegis Avenger or something. Now, did we get money directly from Aegis to talk about the Avenger? No.

Lars: So, despite what the conspiracy theorists will have you believe, we did not receive credits from Halcyon or Fizzz for our review. We received credits from Shine who received money from Fizzz.

Daisy: Actually, hearing you say it, it does sound like a conspiracy.

Lars: Can we address the fact that the real issue here is just how much people hate Halcyon?

Daisy: Seriously! I really thought it was good. A murder in interspace? Great premise.

Lars: I know, right? I stand by our review. The acting was a little stilted and all the adjudication scenes looked like they were shot in somebody’s aunt’s basement, but the legal drama side of it was tight. Raised some really interesting questions. Can any government claim interspace as their own? Do crimes committed in jump tunnels count as crimes?

Daisy: I still get nervous every time before I enter a jump point now thanks to the show. I just keep thinking about how I’m technically leaving the UEE and that the normal laws don’t apply.

Lars: I think it really was the fact that the show left everything as an open question that has people so annoyed with it. But I guess I don’t always need everything wrapped up into a neat little package to enjoy it. Who knows, maybe when they inevitably remake it in a few years, it’ll do better.

Daisy: I heard that some Senator might introduce a new bill to cover some of the legal loopholes the show exposed.

Lars: That would be awesome. Talk about a piece of fiction having an impact.

Daisy: I don’t think we’re going to have time to cover The Avenger before we take a break. Do you have a quick one we can do?

Lars: In the spirit of all the talk around the HuXa treaty stuff, I watched the new Xi’an co-financed comedy Strange and Stranger, about two brothers who are trying to track down the Freelancer they grew up in after their parents’ death.

Daisy: And?

Lars: My biggest takeaway is that, despite every trailer stating the opposite, there is no way this movie can be considered a comedy. The brothers are two of the most unlikeable people you could be forced to spend two hours with and I couldn’t care less if they reconciled with their past or not. That being said, the young Xi’an T.ōng really stole the film for me. Played by newcomer Nyalā Yimm, the few scenes we spent running around with her on Indra 1a were almost worth struggling through the rest. I want a whole story just focusing on her world. The way she portrayed the sadness over leaving her mother’s family-line in sharp contrast to the freedom she felt being on her own was fantastic. A really awesome look at some of the unique culture that has sprung up there recently and at what these Xi’an go through when they give up their house.

Daisy: There was some controversy on the Xi’an side concerning her character, right?

Lars: Oh yeah, giving up your family is a huge deal for Xi’an, so there were a lot of important people in their government arguing that this film glamorized it too much. I guess the compromise was the Xi’an who backed it get to keep the profits, but the film won’t be screened in Xi’an systems at all.

Daisy: It’s so funny. As soon as I hear a vid is banned somewhere I always want to see it more.

Lars: To be honest, I’d just wait until someone releases an edit of only the T.ōng scenes.

Daisy: All right, we’re going to take a break for a quick word from our Shine-supplied sponsor.

Lars: When Spectrum Spectator returns, we’re going to discuss the latest episode of The Avenger.

Daisy: Alexi Dario finally comes to terms with the fact that his long-lost brother is not only alive but may have been the one who sabotaged his ship, while Lars and I come to terms with the fact that this show is somehow still being made. So, make sure to stick around.

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Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely. - Lord Acton
Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. - Rhett Butler

I am the Law. - Judge Dredd

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