The content below is from Episode 139 of the Who’d a Thunk It? Podcast


  • This week I recommend HBO’s In Treatment
    • Based on an Israeli Academy Award-winning TV drama series, “In Treatment” features a psychologist confronting some uneasy personal truths. For the first three seasons, the featured doctor is middle-aged Paul Weston, who has sessions with his own psychotherapist. 
      • Apparently, they brought the show back recently and talked about issues like the Pandemic, but with a different cast. I haven’t seen those episodes yet and so I am not recommending those. I am only about 8 episodes into the show. I’m not knocking this newer version of the show… I just haven’t seen it.
    • It has 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and won a few awards back in the day. It originally came out towards the end of the flip phone era back in 2008.
    • Watching In Treatment with my Licensed Professional Counselor wife makes it even more enjoyable, but when I watched the first two episodes by myself and those were the ones that got me hooked.
    • The show is quite simple: each episode starts with the therapist sitting in his chair (sometimes you hear him take a phone call from a family member, sometimes he is just sitting and doing something mundane like reading the paper), but shortly after the episode begins, so does the next session. Patients enter the therapist’s home office and they begin talking about all sorts of facets of their lives. Usually, when the session ends, so does the episode.
  • So In Treatment isn’t an action show and there is only 1 set: the home office. But the dialogue is written with the utmost care and interest. Shannon and I are at the edges of our seats when we watch.


  • Even if you aren’t a gamer, chances are you have seen an Among Us character somewhere. They are the little colorful space characters with no arms and bluish-gray visors. They’ve been in memes and MANY pop culture references (the latest of which is the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 trailer).
    • At 45 seconds and 1 minute-10 seconds, you see characters in different colored space suits… I know, that could be just a coincidence and not a direct reference to the game as different colored suits is pretty simple of a concept… but I’m telling you: Shannon and I both looked at each other and said “Among Us!”
      • well… technically Shannon said “Impostor” because she can never remember the actual name of the game and just calls it Impostor, but you get it. Anyone who plays Among Us and saw this trailer KNEW it was a reference to Among Us.
  • A little side note, like Among Us, Guardians of the Galaxy is a black sheep title in its genre.
    • Just how Among Us is a game that non-gamers can and DO enjoy (my wife for example), Guardians of the Galaxy is a superhero movie franchise that is enjoyed by people who typically don’t like superhero movies.
    • Both Among Us and Guardians of the Galaxy were released with little expectation of success because the concepts don’t fit the mold of the genre they are in… yet they both became mega hits.
    • I just wanted to point out that similarity.
  • Among Us[c] is a 2018 online multiplayersocial deduction game developed and published by American game studio Innersloth. The game was inspired by the party game Mafia (also referred to as Werewolf) and the science fiction horror film The Thing.
    • John Carpenter’s The Thing is my #1 favorite horror movie because of the social deduction concept used in the movie: who’s the impostor?
    • What is social deduction?
      • social deduction game is a game in which players attempt to uncover each other’s hidden role or team allegiance. Commonly, these games are played with teams, with one team being considered “good” and another being “bad”. During gameplay, players can use logic and deductive reasoning to try to deduce one another’s roles, while other players can bluff to keep players from suspecting them.
    • Among Us takes place in space-themed settings where players are colorful armless cartoon astronauts. Each player takes on one of two roles: most are Crewmates, but a small number (1 to 3 depending on the host’s decision) play Impostors, which appear identical to Crewmates. The goal of the Crewmates is to either identify and vote out the Impostors, or to complete all the tasks around the map like calibrate the phasers and unload the trash. The goal of the Impostors is to covertly sabotage the mission either by killing the Crewmates before they complete all their tasks or by triggering a disaster that is not resolved in time.
  • The game was created by a small independent company in 2018 and had very little success, but online Twitch streamers started playing it and made it famous.
    • Twitch is like YouTube, but is mainly used for video game streaming.
    • While Among Us released in 2018, it was not until mid-2020 that it saw a surge of popularity, initially driven by content creators online in South Korea and Brazil. Bromander stated that the game is more popular in Mexico, Brazil, and South Korea than the United States.According to Willard, Twitch streamer Sodapoppin first popularized the game on Twitch in July 2020.Many other Twitch streamers and YouTubers followed suit, including prominent content creators xQcPokimaneShroudNinjaDisguised Toast and PewDiePie.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic was frequently cited as a reason for the popularity of Among Us, as it allowed for socializing despite social distancing. Emma Kent of Eurogamer believed that the release of Innersloth’s The Henry Stickmin Collection also contributed to awareness of Among Us,[56] and PC Gamer‘s Wes Fenlon credited Twitch streamer SR_Kaif for “prim[ing] Among Us for its big moment.” Fenlon also praised Among Us for improvements over other popular tabletop games that had been inspired by Mafia, such as Secret Hitler. He said other video game adaptations of Mafia such as Town of Salem and Werewolves Within were “just add[ing] an online interface for the basic Werewolf rules,” whereas Among Us is as an entirely new take on the concept.[37] Along with Fall Guys and the Jackbox Party PacksAmong Us provided a narrative-less experience that helped to avoid the “cultural trauma” of the pandemic, according to M.J. Lewis of Wired
  • The game embraces how silly it is.
    • The colored astronaut characters have no arms and bounce around when they walk in a comical way.
    • You can also pick from various “hats” (including ball caps, a fried egg, a plunger, etc.), suits (overalls, tuxedo, yeti costume, etc.), and pets (alien dogs, blobs of gue with eyes, etc.)… all of which are only aesthetic and don’t give the player any advantage in gameplay.
    • Yes, players are “killed” in the game, but the deaths are in a cartoonish manner and are typically seen as harmless. Most parents don’t see the game itself as offensive (though other real-world players may say inappropriate things).
  • When a game starts all players launch into the map in the same room (meeting room) that has a big red button in the middle. Each player is shown a screen that informs them if they are an impostor or crewmate before the match begins. The majority of players are crewmates. All the players scatter to different parts of the map, either doing their tasks (crewmates) or trying to find a good place to ambush another player to kill them (impostors).
    • When a dead player is found, other players (both crewmates and impostors) can report it. This brings all the players back to the meeting room where they can discuss what was seen, who is safe, who is “sus” (suspicious), and who (if anyone) should be voted out of the airlock (kill the player). Pressing the big red button in the meeting room does the same thing as reporting a dead body.
      • If you have seen John Carpenter’s The Thing, it is VERY similar to that movie’s premise. There are the good human crewmates who have a murderous monster (or multiple monsters) who can shapeshift to look exactly like a real human among them. And it is the crewmate humans’ job to figure out who the impostor is before they die.
      • Imagine the movie The Thing, but being able to play it… Yeah, this concept could have been made into a horror game, but Among Us isn’t horror, it is more of a light-hearted social experiment.
      • One could also draw similarities between Among Us and a murder mystery dinner date type of game. A video game “Who Dunnit?” type thing.
    • It is during the meeting when everyone is talking to each other to figure out who is the murderous saboteur that the game is most enjoyable. It is also when the game’s true genius shines. The players make the fun. The game itself is super simple compared to most modern video games, yet when you input the complexity of human behavior into this very simple game’s framework, you get true entertainment.
    • On this episode’s blog, I included a video of my friend Travis and I playing Among Us on Playstation one night. I encourage you to watch it or search for Among Us gameplay on YouTube. You will see how friends deceive each other in elaborate ways and how teammates can’t seem to work together no matter how easy it seems to do so.
    • If everyone playing the game was calm and rational and had unlimited time to discuss, every game would be boring and solved easily. A simple use of the Buddy system would expose the impostor very quickly. But that isn’t how games go. Gamers… no people, are erratic, impulsive, and are usually HORRIBLe at communicating with each other. Not to mention, the discussion forum where players have to talk to figure out who is the impostor usually comes with a 90 second timer and is usually only through text (though some people do use Discord and talk audibly).
    • But when in an audio lobby where players can actually hear each other speak are usually even more chaotic. LOL it is hilarious, and fun.
  • I mentioned how Among Us appeals to a wider audience than most games and that is because it feels like an interactive social board game that just happens to be on the video game medium.
    • My wife Shannon has almost 0 interest in video games and hasn’t really liked video games since she was a kid playing mariokart. Yet, she enjoys playing Among Us from time to time with my friends and I. She is pretty good at it too. LOL I remember my buddies and I were stumped one game and couldn’t figure out who the impostor was. I even defended her saying “no way its Shannon guys.” At which point my screen flashed red and her character snapped my neck in the meeting room right in front of the rest of the players. To this day it is one of my favorite moments ever playing Among Us LOL.
  • Shannon caught me watching video game clips on YouTube the other day and saw there is an Among Us VR version. “Virtual Reality Among Us?!” she exclaimed.
    • And I can understand her excitement. Instead of watching a character bounce around on a tiny screen on your phone you can actually run down spaceship hallways fleeing from impostors trying to kill you!
    • There were some independent Among Us VR games that fans created on VR Chat before, but they were a bit clunky and unreliable. The official Among Us VR didn’t release until November of 2022.
  • Here’s another point I’d like to make… the game is Free…
    • On Playstation it cost me $5, but to play on your smartphone is 100% free.
    • I strongly recommend you play Among Us yourself. It may seem daunting at first if you don’t play any video games at all, but you will get the hang of it.
    • Huh… I guess this entire episode is one big recommendation segment. I wanted to talk about how the game is a big social experiment on how people are really bad at working together, and I did a little. But mostly I just want to talk to you guys about this game. What is your favorite part?
    •, the site I use to create this podcast has a fun interactive Q&A feature. Be sure to write in any of your thoughts there.





Here is a video of my buddy Travis and I playing Among Us on Playstation

WARNING: we are drinking beers and we do curse LOL

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