🏝️ MetaDesertIslandPicks 📺 November 14, 2019 9:50 AM   Subscribe

We're close to the end of the week, let's talk about something other than politics. Let's talk about your desert island picks. Choose one film, one book, one television series, one album, and one video-game/console to take with you while stranded on a desert island*. What are your choices? Assume the media you choose will never degrade and that you have a high definition television and a consistent source of power. As always, be kind to yourself and to others. ⠀ ⠀ *No trilogies.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 9:50 AM (86 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

Film: The Wizard of Oz
Book: Dune by Frank Herbert
TV series: Twin Peaks
Video Game: The Binding of Isaac on Nintendo Switch
posted by Fizz at 9:51 AM on November 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

These can change, which I guess isn't the point of a desert island pick, but I can't help it ok lay off. This is what it is right now.

Book: The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay
Album: Vegas by The Crystal Method

I can't settle on any others.
posted by ODiV at 9:56 AM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ugh. I can't believe I forgot music album. My brain is tired. Please include that too!
posted by Fizz at 10:03 AM on November 14, 2019

Film: Triangle.
Book: A Tale of Two Cities.
TV show: Doctor Who (for episode count alone, this is a great value.)
Game console: I'ma cheat and say my Raspberry Pi loaded with a couple thousand games on RetroPie, mostly NES and SNES stuff.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:10 AM on November 14, 2019

film: The Mission
book: Night Watch
tv: Doctor Who
album: Metallica S&M
video game: SCII

*caveat some of these are chosen for value, some of them for personal relevance.
posted by mce at 10:17 AM on November 14, 2019

book: Moominpappa at Sea - not only one of my favorite books, but also highly relevant to the situation
album: Astral Weeks by Van Morrison

I don't play any complicated video games. I'd probably pick something that would let me play chess against online opponents. I'm not great at chess, so it would give me something challenging to work on long-term and it's something that would last forever, not like a video game that has finite things that can happen.

Is there any movie I'd want to watch over and over? Maybe Waking Life or Spirited Away? I suppose I'd have to pick Buffy for the TV show. But I might try to trade the movie and TV show for extra books.
posted by Redstart at 10:20 AM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Book: The Iliad
TV: The Wire
Film: Monsoon Wedding
Game: Port Royale-- can I have all of them?
posted by BibiRose at 10:26 AM on November 14, 2019

Added albums to the post!
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:31 AM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

And I am terrible at this sort of definitive-pick exercise because I can never settle, so I'm gonna pretend it's just "name a thing you like a lot and probably aren't getting tired of any time soon" and say:

Film: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Book: The Dune Encyclopedia
TV: Twin Peaks
Album: Chvrches, The Bones Of What We Believe extended version
Game: Rocket League, which assumes a lot about internet connectivity on this desert island
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:37 AM on November 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

Film: WALL-E. Every facet of it from the art direction to the music to the visual humor to the end credits is so pleasing, and the first third seems like sympathetic viewing for somebody stranded all alone. (Runner-up is The Lion King, for similar art/music/nostalgia reasons, but I never could get into the goofier sing-along parts.)

Book: Invisible Cities. Not the longest of books, but the writing is so beautifully poetic and richly imagined, and there are so many different places explored that I could never hold them all in my head at once and get tired of re-reading it. Second place... if the Hitchhikers Guide omnibus doesn't count, probably House of Leaves, which melds multiple storylines and genres into one massive tome.

TV: Futurama. The density and cleverness of the jokes is amazing, and in addition to the original run there's several movie-length specials and the later revival seasons I'm not as familiar with. (Runner-up here would be Key & Peele, but I'm not sure how well even the best two-man show would hold up if that's all you had.)

Album: OK Computer. Kicks off with my all-time favorite song, and proceeds through a tour-de-force of haunting, beautiful, and richly produced art rock. (Second place is a tie between fellow Radiohead masterpiece In Rainbows and Sound & Color, the sophomore record of the Alabama Shakes that has a kaleidoscopic diversity of sound.)

Game: Katamari Damacy. The game is concentrated joy, the core gameplay loop is super-satisfying, and the soundtrack is so fantastic it's like getting an extra album! (I was also tempted to choose Halo: The Master Chief Collection, but it would obviously lose a lot without multiplayer.)
posted by Rhaomi at 10:53 AM on November 14, 2019 [11 favorites]

Film: Airplane!
Book: My Side of the Mountain
TV: Emergency!
Album: Phish, Live in Brooklyn
Video game: Dungeons of Daggorath (TRS-80 CoCo)
posted by bondcliff at 10:56 AM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ohhh. Nirvana Unplugged in New York makes a good case too actually. Something about that album is like a warm blanket.
posted by ODiV at 11:00 AM on November 14, 2019 [5 favorites]

I forgot to mention my album: Frank Ocean - Blonde
posted by Fizz at 11:02 AM on November 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

Film: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Book: Anathem, Neal Stephenson
TV: Schitt's Creek
Album: The White Album, The Beatles
Video game: X-Com 2
posted by Rock Steady at 11:13 AM on November 14, 2019 [6 favorites]

Are we all on this desert island together so we can pool our resources? Just thinking about having only one book fills me with anxiety, and my natural instinct would be to pick some kind of giant multi-novel compilation which I think is against the spirit of the enterprise.

Film: La Dolce Vita because it is inexhaustibly beautiful and also long
Book: War and Peace if fiction because it is very long and also I like it; Richard Slotkin's Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in 20th Century America if non-fiction because it's very long and very readable
TV Series: I don't really watch TV, can I have an extra book? I guess Buffy because I've seen a couple of episodes and it ran for years and years and years so there are a lot of them
Album: Miles Davis, Panthalassa
Video Games: I have also never been into video games, so something with a narrative that takes an extremely long time to play and can be played multiple times?

If I got extra books instead of TV or video games, I'd take Delany's Dhalgren, also something I like that is very long, and maybe Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty, also relatively long.

My choices for "books I'll never tire of" would include these but would be different because I fear above all else in these situations running out of books. As long as we can pool our desert island selections on the mefite desert island, I'll be okay.
posted by Frowner at 11:15 AM on November 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

Film: Monty Python's Holy Grail AND Princess Bride AND Airplane!
TV: Futurama AND George Carlin's collected HBO specials
Book: Don't Panic! (all 6 books in the Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy)
Album: Pat Metheny Group (the "white album")

(I'm'a smuggle in the extras because I can't stand these contrived-limitation scenarios)
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:19 AM on November 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

Well then you don't even get to come to the desert island at all, Greg. You can just stay in society if you're not going to follow the rules!

*clips velvet rope closed*
posted by ODiV at 11:21 AM on November 14, 2019 [11 favorites]


/Goes back to consuming a variety of media with only the faintest pang of guilt
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:26 AM on November 14, 2019 [8 favorites]

Film: Casablanca because of course.
Book: Moby Dick because I liked it when I read it long ago but haven't gone back to it since. This is the perfect time.
Album: Highway 61 Revisited because I need something that will hold up to repeated listening.
TV series: The Simpsons because I'm going to need something to make me laugh and there are a lot of episodes.
Video game: I don't play video games. Maybe I could get the NY Times daily Sudoku?

And I'm already having second thoughts on some of these.
posted by maurice at 11:37 AM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

We get to add album now? Then mine is Third/Sister Lovers by Big Star.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:46 AM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

I would aim for things in which I tend to find something new each time I consume it...except for Film, hah:

Book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Album: Dark Side of the Moon
TV: Six Feet Under
Video game: Katamari, the one with the red panda level, I can't remember which one that is because I haven't played it in 9 years (X Box went elsewhere in the divorce) but it is the only video game I have ever truly loved
Film: Notting Hill, because I will never get enough of Honey's birthday dinner
posted by wellred at 11:48 AM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't know that I could possibly pick a desert island film, book, or album.

Can I cheat and go with a box set for the album question? Because I could probably listen to Neko Case's Truck Driver, Gladiator, Mule boxed set forever, but if reduced to a single album I don't know that I could choose a favourite.

For TV series, it's a tough choice between The X-Files and Bob's Burgers. I'd probably go with Bob's Burgers because it's a lot more consistent.

For a game, I think I'd go with Fallout 4. I wasn't that into the settlement-building in my first playthrough, but it would make the perfect time-waster to stretch out finishing quests and the kill, loot, return loop.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:00 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Film: A League of their Own
Book: Dictionary
TV: The Simpsons (because there are like 30 seasons)
Album: Eno – Here Come the Warm Jets
Game: Is a vibrator considered a game?

ETA: Oh... video game? Eh; maybe an old Mario. But I'd rather have a vibrator.
posted by heyho at 12:19 PM on November 14, 2019 [7 favorites]

Even though Binding of Isaac has consumed my life the last few years, I might actual change my video game to Age of Empires II. There's so much to learn and perfect and the AI is challenging. It would definitely not be a situation where I become bored with the game any time soon.
posted by Fizz at 12:19 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Film: maybe The Philadelphia Story?
Book: The Survival Handbook
TV: the Doctor Who people have a point, but I'm gonna go with The Good Place as long as I'm not stranded before this last season is over.
Album: Ella Fitzgerald: The Complete Song Books
Game: Civilization IV.
posted by fedward at 12:21 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Film: La Dolce Vita, because it's the film that I always come back to year after year and find new meaning and insight as I age.

Book: Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, because it's epic and mysterious and unputdownable.

Album: It's a tie between Patty Waters - Patty Waters Sings and Jorge Ben Jor - Africa Brasil.

TV series: It's a tie between Arrested Development and Gilmore Girls.

Video Game: Stardew Valley for mobile on the iPad
posted by nightrecordings at 12:40 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

book: anathem was an excellent choice, but i think i'll go with gurdjieff's sci-fi masterpiece beelzebub's tales to his grandson, or an objectively impartial criticism of the life of man.
movie: Andrei rublev
tv: star treks (if all series, for volume); else maybe treme for music and beauty
album: the white album was an excellent choice, but i think i'd go with the well-tempered clavier, don't have a particular performer in mind
console: i have no horse in the console race; could i just have two decks of cards and a table, instead? i think i recall how to manually deal spider.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:42 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

For a video game pick: I'll take Don't Starve (with the Shipwrecked expansion available, of course) to the desert island both for its replay value and the meta value.
posted by asperity at 12:47 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Movies: the movies that I like and the movies that are uplifting or funny and would bring joy to a desert island have basically zero overlap. I choose Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail because I will need the laughs I can get and it’s pretty consistent at generating those.

Book: The Doors of Stone, motherfucker. George R R Martin is not my bitch, but Patrick Rothfuss merits no such consideration. He can have the keys to the shackles when it’s done. Most books I truly love are ones I’ve read twenty or even fifty (Hitchhiker’s) times cover to cover and can quote at considerable length (ie the entire Rob McKenna introductory chapter), so I’m exploiting this power for good revenge.

TV: I’ve watched every TNG episode 3~5 times now, don’t really *need* anything else. Made in Abyss season 2, I guess? This isn’t like Doors of Stone because we’ll definitely see it at some point, and I want to know what happens.

Games: Minecraft, I guess. Just endlessly replayable, at worst it’s an infinite voxel etch-a-sketch. Rimworld but I can pick or write any mods I want would be a good second choice.

Frowner, the game you want is Planescape Torment. It’s the closest thing to a work of serious literary merit in game form, with the just-released Disco Elysium as a very close runner-up.
posted by Ryvar at 1:01 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not necessarily my favorites of all time but the ones I'd pick because I'd have to watch or play them many times over:

Film: This is Spinal Tap
Book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
TV: Columbo (only the ones from the 70s; the 90s I can dispense with)
Album: The Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime
Game: I don't play video games, but if I could pick an iPad game it would be Gorogoa.

bondcliff, judging from your choices I bet we're the same age.
posted by holborne at 1:07 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Film: The Blues Brothers
Book: Little, Big by John Crowley
TV: Star Trek (TNG if I must choose only one)
Album: Blue by Joni Mitchell
Video Game: EA Scrabble for iOS
posted by Daily Alice at 1:13 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

bondcliff, judging from your choices I bet we're the same age.

Older than dirt?
posted by bondcliff at 1:24 PM on November 14, 2019

I immediately read the post title as MetaDessertIsland.
posted by jgirl at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Book, Proust's monster thing. I never read it, so I'd finally do it.
TV, The Rockford Files. There are piles and piles of them, and, as I discovered when I tried to watch them again when Netflix brought them back, the pace is so incredibly slow, they'd put me to sleep no matter how dire the situation got there on the desert isle. I would never run out of them because I'd never be able to stay awake.
Dessert, Hershey's milk chocolate bars.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:43 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Older than dirt?

Even older than that!
posted by holborne at 1:55 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Film: Donnie Darko
Book: Moonglow, Michael Chabon
TV: Buffy
Album: Dilate, Ani Difranco
Video game: was it Yoshi’s World that came with the Super Nintendo? I want that.
posted by janepanic at 2:32 PM on November 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

Book : Pale Fire by Nabokov
TV: Samurai Champloo directed by Shinichirō Watanabe
Music: Reggae Got Soul by Toots and the Maytalls (we're on an island fcs)
Film: Castaway natch
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:38 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Film: I can't think of any names but it would have to be something dirty/X-rated wouldn't it?
Album: Rattle and Hum - It was the first CD I ever bought and I listened to it last weekend and it is still great.
Video Game: Stellaris - I have spent many, many hours playing it and haven't played through a single game yet.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:14 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Book: Ulysses*
Film: The Third Man
Album: This will be different tomorrow, but tonight it’s a dead toss between Sonic Youth’s “Daydream Nation” or Bill Evan’s “Alone”
TV: Slings &Arrows
Video Game: I don’t play these. Can i just have pens and paper instead?

*Traditionally I answer The Complete Works of William Shakespeare but with the no trilogies thing I think that might break the rules
posted by thivaia at 3:22 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Janepanic: that would’ve been Super Mario World most likely, which was the first title to feature Yoshi and the big launch cart for the SNES.

Oh and Tobasco: I built theoretical-max-population mega-bases in every single possible settlement in Fallout 4 + DLC areas, steel teeth and turrets outside, rich-living/party-time inside. The game simply doesn’t give enough feedback to reward your time investment. You’ve still got that little shit up in the airship barking orders at you like a dog, while every one of your 30-odd settlements is bristling with turrets capable of wiping out the combined military might of the entire Brotherhood of Steel on both coasts without taking a scratch, PLUS mini-nuke, gauss rifle & gatling laser-toting settler militia in game-breakingly-modified min/max power armor if they did get through the automated defenses. Plus there’s artillery capable of bringing down his fucking world, quite literally, primed and ready to fire at every last settlement.

I could pancake his flying tin toilet thirty times over and yet... “Bark bark bark, Knight!”, he yawps. “How you’ve disappointed me, Knight!”, he whines.

Fuck that guy. What I wanted was beyond a certain power level, when it’s clear the Minutemen are at least fifty times more powerful than any other faction, the ability to sit down with the other faction heads and flat out demand they quit being assholes to everybody in general and each other in particular. On pain of fiery nuclear death, you obstinate little shits.

We are rocking this post-apocalyptic wasteland Fully-Automated-Luxury, Gay-Space-Communist-Democracy-style. We are shamelessly imposing a muscular benevolence on you: deal with it. Anybody objecting can fuck right off (unless they represent a majority of the voters, which they don’t, because I have more fiercely loyal settlers than there are total named NPCs in this game).

So yeah, I have done the 400+ hours desert-island playthrough of Fallout 4 and while there was some measure of satisfaction in seeing it through to the bloody end, I can’t honestly recommend it.
posted by Ryvar at 3:48 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Book: Lord of the Rings
Film: Uhhhh idk I've always been a big rewatcher of movies so there are dozens of movies I've enjoyed enough to watch dozens of times. Picking one of those just at random, A Room With a View.
Album: Astral Weeks
TV: Hannibal
Video Game: Breath of the Wild
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:52 PM on November 14, 2019

Book: Surprisingly, not Ulysses but A Confederacy of Dunces.
Movie: Goodfellas
Album: Born to Run
TV: Absolutely Fabulous
Video game: I have never played a video game.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:55 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Book: An Aubrey/Maturin series box set, this is my desert island and I make the rules, dammit.
Movie: Bend it Like Beckham.
Album: Currently, Nothing Rhymes with Woman by Carbon Leaf.
TV series: The West Wing or Letterkenny, yes, these are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Video game: I don't do console games, but there are like 6000 levels of Candy Crush, so probably that?
posted by coppermoss at 4:30 PM on November 14, 2019

Book: endless supply of paper and art supplies and I'll finally make that amazing graphic novel about....something
Movie: Oh this is how it's gonna go, I suppose: now I also need a camera and way to develop, edit, and show film.
Album: agh I can't play a musical instrument although I can foodle around with music software but....I dunno, definitely a big big boxed set, so, uh, feck, All of the Talking Heads please?
TV Series: Monty Python Flying Circus
Video game: another Not A Player. We could make stupid costumes and sets and create a live action video game, and those musical can create doot doot doot BEEP BOOP sountracks. I will be a giant tortoise. It'll be fun.
posted by twentyfeetof tacos at 4:51 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Biography something
40 seeds of diesel
And a G-18 with 399 rounds.
posted by clavdivs at 5:02 PM on November 14, 2019

Movie: Seven Samurai, I think I could watch it forever
Book: The Dying Earth or Invisible Cities
TV: MST3K. I have beat the system.
Album: I listened to the S&G Concert in Central Park roughly thirteen thousand times growing up so it would be comforting. A lot of music I like leaves me kind of emotionally wounded. Maybe Dirty Three "Cinder".
Console: PICO-8
posted by fleacircus at 5:05 PM on November 14, 2019 [6 favorites]

Film: I tried to look at none of the above entries so as not so corrupt my choice but damn if fleacircus's pick of Seven Samurai doesn't also fit the bill. If not that then perhaps Princess Mononoke for sheer beauty and characterization that I could get behind.

Book: The Silmarillion by Toliken. As close as you can get to a trilogy and still have one dust cover and still an epic of stories within stories to pick apart forever.

TV series: Are You Being Served? It would remind me of the exact opposite situation from my current setting: a British department store in the 80s.

Album: A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean by Jimmy Buffet because desert island and sad times will appear.

Video Game: Dwarf Fortress IFF god came down and assured me I would be able to finally learn to play it. If not, then Nethack but same rule. If neither, then Minecraft despite having never played it, assuming I get updates even without internet connection. If not, well shit, Spelunkey? I dunno, I'd have a hard time choosing here.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:01 PM on November 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

Film: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. One of the few movies I've ever watched that never gets old, no matter how many times I see it.
Book: The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - so many different stories in a single volume.
TV Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation. Best sci fi show ever, IMO.
Video Game: World of Warcraft - mainly because I've never played it at all.
Album: The Wall by Pink Floyd. The kind of album that tells a complete story, when you listen to all of the tracks in order instead of skipping around.
posted by Roger Pittman at 6:25 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

As someone routinely paralyzed with indecision at dinner menus, this kind of thing is agonizing. Still

Film: Despite being a little problematic, Big Trouble In Little China.
Book: The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton.
TV: The Prisoner is a little too on the nose, so maybe The Good Place instead (surprisingly similar, on reflection).
Album: London Calling, The Clash.
Videogame: Brogue.
posted by rodlymight at 6:30 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

The video game question is interesting. Anything with the ability to build custom levels, especially if there's the possibility for in-game scripting, seems like it'd be really valuable to the right sort of person if the length of stay was going to be long enough. Other chewy aspects would be if there's any sort of narrative component versus a purely arcade/puzzle setup; do you just want to chill out and match threes, or would having NPCs brighten your lonely life?

I don't know what I'd pick for any of these.
posted by curious nu at 6:41 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Film: 10 Things I Hate About You
Television show: Northern Exposure
Book: The First Man in Rome - Colleen McCullough
Album: Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 4 - not my all time favourite album, but I'd like some variety.
Video Game: Rock Band
posted by Kris10_b at 7:01 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Seven Samurai is my favorite movie of all time, but decided not to name it because the ending is so bleak and anyway I don’t want to watch Toshiro Mifune die over and over.
posted by holborne at 8:15 PM on November 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

one film- Altman's The Long Goodbye

, one book, The Sunlight Dialogues by John Gardner

one television series, Doctor Who, all of it, that alone could keep me enthralled for 100 years

one album, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, Jawbreaker

and one video-game/console Civ
posted by vrakatar at 8:41 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have no idea what I'd pick for anything except the TV series, which would be Murder, She Wrote.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 8:44 PM on November 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

The Quintet: Jazz at Massey Hall

That‘s all!
posted by The Toad at 8:53 PM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

I rarely revisit media but if forced to choose:
Book - Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold or Cariboo Horses by Al Purdy
TV - Only once choice... Doctor Who. Wait maybe Blakes 7.
Album - Maybe Neu! or maybe Pharaoh Sanders' Karma? Or Glenn Gould's 1981 recording of the Goldberg Variations?
Video Game - I'd get tired of most games. Maybe one of the Civilization games? Probably Minecraft.
But film... ugh I can't choose. Jewel Thief? I'll go with Jewel Thief.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:22 PM on November 14, 2019

Film: Casablanca - have already watched maybe 40 times
Book: Henri Lefebvre's Production of Space; mine has a lot of post-its hanging out - sign of popularity.
TV series: I don't watch tv
Album: Nightclubbing Grace Jones
Video Game: I don't do this either, but have recently read Alex Bellos' Here's looking at Euclid. I've never got recreational math before and Alex helped me get it bigtime.

But I suspect I'd spend more time with the contents of Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook, and a local botany text!
posted by unearthed at 11:31 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Book: the no trilogy rule is tough! I would grab my Bible but as a compendium of books it doesn't count (also LOTR doesn't count for the same reason) - I would probably leave this to the last minute and grab the one I was feeling at the time-
Pride and Prejudice, The Hobbit or Carry on Mr Bowditch - probably leaning towards Carry on Mr Bowditch.

Film: Sound of Music. I have watched this many times over, though not for a while now. It's my happy place film.

Album: my taste in music is so eclectic I'd struggle to pick just one. Maybe Cardio Classics for a spread.

TV show: have been enjoying Brooklyn 99. But would probably pick Doctor Who.

Game: again, this would be a top 4 with the pick to be decided at the last minute: Roller Coaster Tycoon, Minecraft, Tetris, or Lode Runner Online- I was very sad that the installer is 16 bit and won't run on my 64 bit machine, so if the desert island has the tech for that I'm in.
posted by freethefeet at 3:26 AM on November 15, 2019

Film: An American in Paris. The comfort food of movies for me.

Book: Can I cheat and take the entire run of Fables with me? I feel like comics are a one-two punch of visual and literary art that I would need on a desert island. Okay if comics are out/a violation of the no trilogy rules, I guess... wow! this is impossible! everything I like is a series! Okay if I'm roleplaying I'd take The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz so I could be less likely to kill myself. Also it's a great read.

TV Show: Super Dimension Fortress Macross. It's old, it's less than 40 episodes, it's been hacked and screwed in English into unwatchability, but by god the original flavor is bone-deep good scifi with a killer vintage soundtrack.

Album: Mahler's Symphony no. 2, which I feel could carry me through multiple failed and finally successful attempts at building a shelter, eventually with plumbing.

Video Game: Tetris. I can't decide if this is because of or in despite of me being a tru g4m3r.
posted by Mizu at 6:52 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Film: The Sound of Music

TV: Doctor Who, for sheer number of episodes

Book: The Complete Works of JRR Tolkien (what, I'm sure it exists in some format)

Album: I would not bring an album, I would bring an instrument. Given the desert island climate, I'd probably bring a tin whistle or some other instrument that didn't require upkeep (like strings, repair, etc). If I was magically able to Maintain an instrument, I would bring a piano.

Video Game: Stardew Valley, if I was able to keep current with updates and mods.
posted by Gray Duck at 7:07 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm the guy that would die in the shipwreck because I couldn't choose.
posted by philip-random at 7:35 AM on November 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

Film - Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Book - Cloud Atlas, because it's long and it's good and it's several stories in one
TV - Steven Universe, obviously
Album - Thriller
Game - The Legend of Zelda for NES
posted by sugar and confetti at 7:36 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

one film: Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I probably watch this about once a year and I love it because it's a film about being stuck and being a mess when you really can't help being a mess. And then finding your way out.
one book: I'm going to pick Middlemarch by George Elliot. I've read it more than once even though it's long. I got new things out of it the second time and I think that would happen again.
one television series: I'm going to go with Schitt's Creek even though it's still in progress. I just love that it's about a family who can be really sharp with one another, but ultimately love one another and have each other's backs.
one album: Creedence Clearwater Revival's Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits. There are songs on here that always make me want to dance.
one video-game/console: Tetris! So soothing.
posted by CMcG at 8:02 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is hard and I keep being torn between things that I already go back to again and again and things that I know are big and rich and I have more to learn from them... Here's the best I can do:
TV: The Good Place
Album: Speaking in Tongues - Talking Heads
Book: Birds of America - Lorrie Moore
Game: a deck of cards, or if it has to be a video game, Portal 2? (I almost said Don't Starve because I find it endlessly engaging, but it puts me in a really dark headspace.)
Film: Princess Bride
posted by tangosnail at 8:14 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

The audiobook of Jesus' Son and Train Dreams (they're combined as a single item).
Veedon Fleece
Le Samourai
posted by dobbs at 8:25 AM on November 15, 2019

No prerecorded media at all.

Instead I'd rather take a bunch of modular synths and a computer loaded with music software and plenty of drive space.

Don't bother coming to rescue me, but you're welcome to visit if you wan to hear bleepy noises.
posted by loquacious at 8:56 AM on November 15, 2019 [10 favorites]

Film: Mad Max: Fury Road
Book: Can I just bring my kindle? Please? If not.... Fuck, I dunno. Cyteen by C. J. Cherryh? That's reasonably long and complex and every time I read it I get something new out of it. But choosing just one book is definitely the hardest question on this list for me.
TV: She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Album: Dirty Computer, Janelle Monae
Game: I don't play games much anymore, but probably one of the pokemon games, maybe heart gold or something like that. You can spend a loooot of time playing pokemon.
posted by bridgebury at 8:57 AM on November 15, 2019

Oh hey, what do you recommend for software, loquacious? I've recently set up a project computer with no games. I have a few music, game, software, etc tools installed, but am looking for suggestions.
posted by ODiV at 8:58 AM on November 15, 2019

Oh hey, what do you recommend for software, loquacious? I've recently set up a project computer with no games. I have a few music, game, software, etc tools installed, but am looking for suggestions.

Ubuntu Studio, REAPER, PureData, Ardour and more. In the case of this desert island box I'd just cram it full of stuff I didn't know how to use with the intent to learn how to use it, espacially PureData.

Start with Ubuntu Studio and check it out. It comes packed full of media and music production software.
posted by loquacious at 9:06 AM on November 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

Big anthology of Borges, have only dipped in and need to read it all,
Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle*,
Shiek Yerbouti, Frank Zappa**,

*Again thanks to the Mefite who turned me onto him like 10 or so years ago. He is my age, looks sort of like me, he is an asshole in the same way I am... his comedy is perfectly tailored to my demographic. WHAT'S WRONG WITH JUST WORSHIPPING A TREE?!?
**This is not, like the best album or even my favourite album... but it has a few guitar solos that I can play forever without getting tired of them
posted by Meatbomb at 9:51 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Being totally unable to pick a favorite anything, much less at this level, I'm just gonna pick things I've never read/seen/finished but keep meaning to. and hope I like them.

Film: Gravity (probable bonuses: sympathizing with lonely, isolated Sandra Bullock; comparing the movie stars In Space to the desert island stars.)
Television show: G.L.O.W.
Book: Jane Eyre (there's no way to make myself finish this thing if there's anything else I could be doing; even my guilt/sense of defeat aren't enough.)
Album: Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city
Game: which Assassin's Creed is the best one? The first one? I'll try that.
posted by Tess of the d'Urkelvilles at 11:50 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

one film, one book, one television series, one album, and one video-game/console

Galaxy Quest,
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis,
Doctor Who (going with everyone else who said "for sheer number of episodes!"),
Any one of the albums my husband played on, doesn't matter which one,
Since I don't really play video games, I'm choosing two more books (one for the game and one for the console): Thud! by Terry Pratchett, and Old Man's War by (MeFi's Own) John Scalzi.
posted by cooker girl at 1:37 PM on November 15, 2019

ugh this is really difficult

book: Watership Down
album: Mezzanine
film: Orlando
tv show: the X Files lol
game: none, can I have a second book?
posted by supermedusa at 1:42 PM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Film: Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles by Chantal Akerman
Book: 1001 Nights (Icelandic translation)
TV series: Star Trek - Deep Space Nine
Album: How Sad, How Lovely by Connie Converse
Game: Dwarf Fortress by Tarn and Zach Adams
posted by Kattullus at 2:59 PM on November 15, 2019

I was tempted to choose Crusader Kings III instead of Dwarf Fortress, but the latter got me through a bad break-up, so I figure it would serve me well on a desert island.
posted by Kattullus at 3:00 PM on November 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

No prerecorded media at all. Instead I'd rather take a bunch of modular synths and a computer....

Ok wait wait wait in that case I‘ll just bring a guitar!
posted by The Toad at 9:10 PM on November 15, 2019

Film: Shawshank Redemption
Book: Ulysses
TV show: The Simpsons
Album: In all seriousness, probably something like Harry Connick Jr. Christmas classics.
Video game: Free Cell solitaire

None of these are the best in their class. They are the ones that I have demonstrably been able to consume over and over again.
posted by drlith at 9:37 AM on November 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is surprisingly fun. I'm intrigued by the degree to which my answers are different from the answers to the question, "what is your favorite. . . "

Film: Does the Dekalog count as "a film?" If not, maybe Modern Times, which is far from my favorite but seems like it depends less on surprise than most.
Book: les Misérables. This one is a favorite, and around the fourth or fifth time through I did read it back-to-back without a pause. It was still pretty good. (I was quite sick and hundreds of km from an English language bookshop.)
TV show: If the Dekalog doesn't count as one film, then the the Dekalog. Otherwise, probably Red Dwarf. I'm tempted by Star Trek (DS9 or TNG), but I've recently discovered that, for me, watching either without a several year pause is disappointing. I'm also tempted to cheat and say Masterpiece Theatre or MST3K.
Album: Keith Jarrett's The Köln Concert. It's not on my top 20 favorites list, but it's the most surprising album I can think of. After years of repeated listenings, I still can't predict what's coming next. That seems desirable.
Video game: Can I swap this out for another album? Maybe I can find a "learn how to code" game that comes with a fully functional interpreter and a way to save work. Or a "game" that includes a musical synthesizer and freedom to make arbitrary music. But, those don't seem entirely in line with the spirit of the question.
posted by eotvos at 4:00 PM on November 16, 2019

Or a "game" that includes a musical synthesizer and freedom to make arbitrary music. But, those don't seem entirely in line with the spirit of the question.

Oh daaaaang ya'll Mario Paint.

Video game: Free Cell solitaire

Honestly, this would probably be my choice, if there's no chance for me to just bring a deck of cards.
posted by curious nu at 4:07 PM on November 16, 2019

Or a "game" that includes a musical synthesizer and freedom to make arbitrary music.

Fract OSC! Got me through a hell of a hard time I tell you what.
posted by Mizu at 4:32 PM on November 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Book: Bulwer Lytton's The Caxtons
Movie: Koyaanisqatsi
Album:Bob Marley and the Wailers Live
Single: Comfortably Numb
TV series: Monty Python's Flying Circus
Video game:Myst
posted by a humble nudibranch at 6:18 PM on November 16, 2019

Film: Time Bandits.
Book: To Reign in Hell.
TV: Stargate SG-1 or Farscape.
Album: Yes - Yessongs (Full Album - 1973) Live - Remastered.
Game: Nethack, one of these days I'm going to ascend. F*** that game.

Obviously leaving out the "how to actually survive on an island" things.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:06 PM on November 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

If I could bring only one album to play on a desert island, I think I would choose something like The Relaxing Sounds of Ocean Surf.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 10:11 PM on November 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

In case anybody would like to have such a thing for shuffle-listening, here's a Spotify playlist with all the albums on the thread -- I think I managed to get about everything in there except for Once Upon a Time in Shaolin (sorry!)

(Personally I'm mad for enormous shuffle playlists, and I think this will be a good one! A bit dominated by Ella perhaps due to a canny selection, but I have NO problem with that.)
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 7:32 PM on November 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Wow, slappy_pinchbottom. Neat!

I'm tempted to claim the Ella songbooks is cheating. But, mostly 'cause I'm jealous I didn't think of it.

It's interesting that there's such a range of media length in the question, and more interesting that so few of us really questioned it. A TV show today is a hundred hours. A book twenty. A film two. An album one. (I'm unqualified to comment on games. I'm guessing they're similar to books.) Are we making assumptions about the content density of different media? There's great TV, but even the best would be cut down by 90% if made into film. And the length of albums appears to be governed by how long an audience can listen to something in one sitting. (I've heard the arguments about LP and CD media length. They're nonsense. That you can fit nearly every 19th century symphony on one CD, but rarely two symphonies, is not a coincidence.)

Is it evidence for some qualitative notion of repeatability? I can easily listen to an album 50 times in a year. Doing that with a film or a book would make me walk into the sea. I'm not entirely sure why it's different.

If instead we were asked to pick one recording artist, one director, one author, one TV show, and one game franchise, I suspect I would have different answers. If we were asked to pick one TV episode, so as to better match the rest, I'm not sure I'd bother.
posted by eotvos at 6:16 AM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

In my own defense, I did buy the Ella Fitzgerald Complete Song Books in one single iTunes download. I think I spent $160 (basically that year's tax refund) but in terms of hours of enjoyment since I may not ever have spent money more effectively.

But yeah, totally cheating.
posted by fedward at 8:02 AM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

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