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DID YOU READ

The most anticipated video games of 2012

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By Russ Frushtick

The new year is finally upon us and, chances are, you’re probably broke, thanks to one of the best gaming holiday seasons in recent memory. But it’s time to start saving up once more, as 2012 will be a doozie of a gaming year, as well. We’ve collected our list of the most anticipated games coming out this year, presented here in no particular order.


Grand Theft Auto 5

As if there was any doubt we’d be getting another Grand Theft Auto game! Yes, Grand Theft Auto 5 is coming this year and, as with every installment of the franchise, it’s sure to wow fans and horrify old people.

GTA 5 will return to the California-inspired state of San Andreas. The game’s first trailer showed glimpses of the streets of Los Santos (read: Los Angeles) as well as some nature-ridden mountainous areas. It’s hard to imagine that it could match the scope of GTA: San Andreas, which had three cities and seemingly hundreds of miles of explorable terrain, but then again, Rockstar has always been pretty good about meeting and besting expectations.


BioShock Infinite

Ken Levine and his team at Irrational Games are known for brilliant storytelling and unbelievable worlds. BioShock Infinite looks to offer both, abandoning the underwater city of Rapture in favor of Columbia, a city suspended by hot air balloons in the early 1900s.

Levine isn’t spilling any details with regards to how Infinite will relate to the original BioShock (or if there’s even any connection between the two), but Irrational has shown off some remarkable gameplay which sees players using roller coaster-like rails to zoom through the cloud-laden streets of Columbia. We’ll likely be seeing more as the year progresses, but Irrational has always been good about keeping secrets (especially with regards to story twists), so expect them to be mum until the game releases later this year.


Diablo 3

Woo boy, this is a big one. Diablo 2 released way back in 2000 and continues to be one of the top selling PC games, thanks to its spot-on hack-and-slash gameplay and addicting, loot-heavy collection elements. But, come this year (we hope), it’ll be dethroned by Diablo 3.

Diablo 3 brings the series into 3D, with fully modeled characters and environments. Returning classes, like the Barbarian, are joined by new ones like the Monk, known for his fists of fury, and the Witch Doctor, with the ability to raise the dead and shoot nasty poison from a blow gun. The game will also let players trade and purchase items with real-world cash, in case you don’t have 60 hours to run the same dungeon over and over again.


Halo 4

When last we saw Master Chief, at the end of Halo 3, things were not looking very good. His ship had been cut in two and he was left floating in deep space. With no other options, he hopped into his favorite deep freeze machine and went sleepy bye.

The first trailer of Halo 4 sees him waking up as the ship is falling apart. Narrowing escaping disaster, he finds himself floating high above an alien planet. What’s down there? Who knows! But we’re sure to find out this holiday season. In addition to an epic story, Halo 4 will definitely have multiplayer of some sort. Because people like that sort of thing. Beyond that, we’re completely in the dark.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

OK, this game has not officially been announced yet, but I’m willing to bet the contents of my fridge that this year’s installment of Call of Duty will be Black Ops 2. It is, after all, being developed by Treyarch, the company behind the original Black Ops, which ended in a nifty cliffhanger.

Our guess? Black Ops 2 will stick to the same Vietnam-era timeframe, and will focus on conspiracy theories like the assassination of JFK, as well as that supposed “moon landing.” And, seeing as how it’s Treyarch, we’re likely to see the return of everyone’s favorite Zombies mode. Because zombies make everything better.

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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.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.