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DID YOU READ

Gritty First-Person Shooter Being Built in Cuddly Ol’ “LittleBigPlanet 2”

Gritty First-Person Shooter Being Built in Cuddly Ol’ “LittleBigPlanet 2”  (photo)

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“LittleBigPlanet 2.” It’s the game that keeps on giving. First, the game on the disc gives you a cute, inventive adventure to romp through that also serves as a paean to creativity. Second, “LBP2” offers a robust suite of tools to execute your own ideas and–via the PlayStation Network–easy access to a robust community doing the same. Since the game came out late last year, developer Media Molecule’s claim has been that talented users could use it to not just make new levels but whole new games as well.

“LBP2″‘s spawned a lot of homages to other games and even to the work of artist Mathew Barney. But they’ve all had a certain level of commonality. The structure of these–side-scrolling platformers–was similar to “LBP2” story mode and the tone of inspired-by levels homes in on a cute-for-cute’s sake vibe that tracks back to the “LBP” aesthetic, too.

User Steve_Big_Guns is going for something different. A freshly released trailer for a level he’s working on reveals a brooding, first-person shooter experience vastly different than the majority of the hippy-dippy levels. Though you can access it through “LittleBigPlanet 2,” “Massive Epic Raging Destruction” isn’t playable yet. It just gives a glimpse of work-in-progress but still generates a bit of ideological whiplash when you think about it being made in one of the most non-threatening games around. “LBP2” allows for some playing around with depth-of-field, but most user-generated levels hew to the 2D side-scroller template. The big innovation with Steve_Big_Guns’ work in “M.E.R.D.” is that it appears to be taking place in a 3D environment. If you’ve ever tried to build even a 2D sequence in an “LBP” game, then you know that the level of crafting here must be mind-boggling.

FPSes are some of the most cliché-ridden games around, full of recycled gameplay ideas, settings and plots. Who knows if “M.E.R.D.” will try to work around any of these when it’s done, but the action it contains might feel fresher simply by virtue of its provenance. There’s going to be a little voice in the back of your head that will keep saying, “I can’t believe this was made with LittleBigPlanet 2.” No matter how Steve_Big_Guns’ efforts shape up, the building of a thing with another thing that wasn’t made to create it seems like reward enough.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.