joe perra talks with you ADULT SWIM

One of my most cherished discoveries in the before times (pre-pandemic) was finding Joe Pera Talks With You. A slow-paced, quirky, feel-good, 11-minute-ish episode series that’s a nice soothing balm for the soul.  

Joe Pera (the actor) always seems to stay in character,* even when giving interviews on local news or late night talk shows. A calming, even toned feel both in the character and show episodes is his trademark. To quote Mr. Pera,


The show is supposed to give you warm fuzzys. Like a really good visit to your Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Two things enhance this: The cinematography of Jason Chiu and Gabriel Patay**  provides a visual calm that is muted and lingering, and the music of composers Ryan "Holland Paten Public Library" Dann*** and James “Skyway Man” Wallace, underscoring episodes with a nice, breezy audio calm background.

My favorite episode? “Joe Pera Reads You The Church Announcements.” This is the episode where Joe discovers the song “Baba O’Riley“ by The Who.

It is hilarious and heartfelt. Classic Joe Pera.

On his website, there is merchandise, short segments with show writers, and older videos of his work. Within the videos section, I draw your attention to the animated one titled “Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep.”**** 11-minutes of soporific monologue guaranteed to carry you to sleep. There’s also a book he just published where the title really says it best, A Bathroom Book for People Not Pooping Or Peeing But Using the Bathroom as an Escape. Genius stuff!!

The show, now on its third season, consistently presents real world happenings and filters them through the Pera character’s prism. No spoilers, so I will not even mention what any of those may be. Just know that if you like the first season, you’ll love the next two. It gets better and better.






* Think Andy Kaufman, Paul Ruebens (Pee Wee Herman) , Gilbert Godfried, or the even more eccentric Dadaism comedy of Brother Theodore.


** Think old home movie hues! Also, check out their websites—very cool short movies they worked on!

*** Not to be confused with The South Holland Public Library in South Holland, IL off Route 6, or The Holland Patent Free Library in the Village of Holland Patent, NY off Route 305.

**** There’s also a 10-hour version! Although if you have 10 hours to fall asleep, I envy you! Ha!

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finding friend

In 2019, I was watching the documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? and crying. Even as an adult, I was feeling seen by Mr. Rogers. I didn't realize he had such an impact on me. In an era where feelings or anxiety weren't really met with care, Rogers was holding space for all of us.

Finding Fred, Carvell Wallace invites guests to talk with him about lessons Rogers brought to the screen. The first episode, "A Genius of Empathy," is about how he addressed JFK's assassination by directly talking to kids about it. He knew kids were more emotionally evolved than most adults did.  

In episode seven, "
Superheroes Aren't Real," Wallace asks, "Did Fred Rogers do enough?" Did you gasp a little? I did. Well, Fred Rogers thought he did all he could for kiddos. He stopped visiting the neighborhood and started Old Friends, New Friends for adults. Unfortunately, adults squirmed at the intimate, slowly paced show seeking the meaning of life and making a difference.

Rogers feared his ability to write more scripts for kids, but in 1979 he returned to the neighborhood and kept visiting until 2001. He may have not reached adults in the 70s, but he definitely molded the adults of today.  




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motor girl

EDITOR'S NOTE: There are spoilers in this review. If you already know, in your heart of hearts, we point you in the right direction for your media consumption (which we do), go read it first. Or... if you have a craptastic memory like me, just wait a little bit, and you're golden.

Winter forever feels like the season for reflection. Not sure why. Maybe it’s the weather. The crisp clean air runs purer through the body, and it becomes a time in one's life when thoughts begin to stir about what’s important—what is essential in thy own life—because the new year always feels like it’s going to be... a fresh start, a do-over. The previous year could have been better in some way. This is a time when gravity pulls you toward reading/watching material that calls for contemplation, with the hopes that whatever it is, it’s relatable and can be applied to your life. Motor Girl complements these needs.

I read
Motor Girl in color. That is, the illustrations are in black and white, but everything is vibrant. From the words to the sketches, the colors in your head are thrown onto each page and it’s all enthralling. Then it’s sadly over before you know it.

Motor Girl is a story that follows Samantha Locklear, a war veteran with PTSD, living and working in a junkyard fixing vehicles alongside her best compadre Mike, an imaginary gorilla. Even if we haven't personally had an imaginary friend at some point in our life, we can relate. We can understand the need for one. We can understand the yearning for a friendship that makes sense. We can understand the want for a presence to be with us during the difficult and trying moments in life. Life is about perception, and for Samantha Locklear, having Mike by her side has saved her life.

It follows the relationships in her life, from the one with Mike to the one with her landlord to the one with a freelance hitman trying to take her out to the one with friendly (yet terrifying) aliens that need her help. But most importantly, it follows the relationship with herself—her mental struggles and how she deals. Motor Girl is Tank Girl but with relevant emotions. It’s an innocent comic that will leave you wanting more—which sucks because I do want more and there is no more. But as the theme of this issue goes—you can’t always get what you want, that’s life, and learning to cope and accept the things we cannot change is essential to our perception.

Moral of the story? Fuck it. Have an imaginary gorilla best friend. It could save your life.

P.S. Rumor has it Terry Moore is working on a pilot episode for a Motor Girl Hulu series. Hoorah!