Tag Archives: Pop Culture

5 TV Shows I Don’t Care For (That Everyone Else Likes)

I spend a lot of time watching TV, probably too much time. So, inevitably, I’ll be engaged in conversation, and someone will say, “Don’t you love that show?” Then I have to say that I, in fact, do not care for their favorite show. So I decided to compile a list of shows I don’t like that my friends, family and critics like.

Anyway, here’s the list:

How I Met Your Mother

I think I was a sophomore in college when everyone kept telling me I had to see this show. And this summer I found out my brother was a fan of the show. Well, I don’t care what my friends and family say, this show is way overrated.

Don’t get me wrong, I like individuals from the show. I find Jason Segel hilarious. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of the best comedies in recent memory. The problem is that he basically plays himself  in all his Judd Apatow related work. But in the show his character is the complete opposite of every other character he has played, so it’s obvious that he’s acting. It’s forced.With a good performance you shouldn’t know you’re watching a performance.

 

Best breakup scene ever.

Then there’s Neil Patrick Harris, who had one of the best cameos ever in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Except in the show, his character, Barney, is an insufferable douche. Alyson Hannigan is also in the show for some reason, and she just grinds my gears, exactly like she did in the American Pie series.

Not even Bob Saget’s narration does it for me.  But that’s all ancillary to my main beef. It feels so sitcom-y. The laugh track, the supposedly outrageous events that aren’t really that outrageous, the jokes and gags you see a mile a way. Basically it’s a hipper version of Two and Half Men.

Commence judging.

The Big Bang Theory

This is another show that feels extremely sitcom-y. Coincidence they’re both on CBS? Doubtful.  So most of what I said about How I Met Your Mother goes for this show too.

Believe me, I’m a dork so I appreciate all the superhero and sci-fi references, but the show pretends like it has a new, fresh premise when it doesn’t. I mean, no hot chick could possibly put up with a few dweebs even if they’re good-hearted because all attractive women are terribly shallow. But wait, one does! How shocking! That has never happened ever!

It’s Revenge of the Nerds and every John Cusack movie from the ’80s, only they did it more than 20 years ago.

Oh, and they were funny.

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Back To The Future Is Messed Up

Back To The Future is unequivocally awesome. Virtually everyone likes it, and any person that doesn’t is probably a jerk. But  have you actually sat down and thought about the events depicted in the movie? You probably haven’t because you’re not a pop culture fiend with too much time on his hands like me.

If you do, though, you come to some disturbing realizations.

Great Scot!

Apparently, Cracked has been monitoring my brainwaves because they posted a video about the insanity of Back To The Future last Monday. There’s a good chance you’ve already seen it, but, if not, here’s the link: http://www.cracked.com/video_18203_why-back-to-future-secretly-horrifying.html

They bring up some points I’ve discussed with other dorks, but I have a few thoughts that they didn’t mention. I’ll discuss both starting with Cracked’s observations.

The Ending

Marty wakes up in a bizarro world where his parents and siblings are hip, successful yuppies. However, George and Lorraine both had substantial relationships with Marty in the past. His mom even tried to seduce him. Twice. But she and George get married and have kids. One of which is an exact clone of some kid they went to high school with.

Once Marty got to high school and started looking like the Marty they both knew, wouldn’t that set off any alarms? Especially after they gave him the same name? I know, I Know, he said his name was Calvin Klein. But, he told people to call him Marty. Seriously, that wouldn’t weird you out? Wouldn’t that challenge your whole perception of reality?

But on to another weird part of the ending…

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On Writing: The Value Of Comics

Influences

I walked into class and sat down at a desk in the front of the room. I never sat in the back of the room. My buddy Adam sat directly to my right. We always tried to take one elective journalism class together. It made class more like fun and less like work. This particular shared class was Editorial Journalism.

Clyde, my experienced yet surprisingly animated teacher, announced  the subject of that day’s class was “finding your voice.” He lectured. We listened. Eventually, Clyde asked the question that I knew he would ask. I mean, I knew he would ask this particular question when he announced the day’s subject. I didn’t know it when I woke up. That would be witchcraft.

“So, who or what are your influences?”

A couple of people volunteered answers, and by a couple, I mean exactly two. So I volunteered.

I rattled of the names of three writers: Nick Hornby (of High Fidelity fame), Irvine Welsh (of Trainspotting fame) and Clive Thompson (of Wired fame). I explained my love for their quirky senses of humor and how they inject pop culture into their writing effectively and with purpose. I also named Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene (I won’t insult you with links). I explained my fondness for Hemingway and Greene’s tight sentences and their ability to set intimate scenes.

Clyde, to his credit, said, “That makes sense. I can see that in your writing.”

I love those writers, and they’ve helped my writing more than they will ever know. But after I finished talking, I felt guilty. I felt guilty because I cheated. I didn’t plagiarize; I wouldn’t do that.  However, in a way, I didn’t give credit where it was due. I didn’t say anything about comics, comic writers or comic artists.

That’s right, I like comics (of the strip and book variety). GASP!!! Believe it or not, they’ve actually influenced my writing and designing. Comics have a stigma, though, and that’s what kept me from mentioning them. They have bright colors, pictures and onamonapia words that the original Batman TV show made oh, so famous:

It all adds up to create the perception that comics are nothing more than literary pulp for children. That assumption is so simplistic and pompous it makes my blood boil. Comics have incredible value if you have the right mindset.

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The Top 5 Futurama Episodes

Recently, I wrote a list of the best Futurama episodes for Suite101. That site requires that you write in the third person, which was difficult for this particular article. You have no idea how hard that was for me. Futurama is probably my favorite show, and not being able to make the list more personal killed me. So, here’s the list with the original copy and my additional thoughts in italics. And, my policy is: if for any reason you are not completely satisfied with my picks, I hate you.

See what I did there?

#5 War is the H-Word

This episode is great for so many reasons, but mainly, it’s because of Zapp Brannigan, the totally unaware, incompetent captain and Kif Kroker, his sad-sack sidekick.

It’s also a great take on war in pop culture with parodies of Patton (Zapp delivering a speech in front of the Earth flag), M*A*S*H (the robot surgeon iHawk that has a irreverent-maudlin switch) and Starship Troopers (the brain balls as the bugs).

Fry and Bender are sent to war on Spheron 1 after enlisting in the army for a military discount on gum. Apparently, Zapp started a war despite the planet being “devoid of natural resources and possessing no strategic value.” Leela, not wanting her idiot friends to die, poses as a man and enlists, which causes some “weird and deeply confusing” feelings in Zapp. Along the way, Fry, predictably, acts like a coward and Bender, surprisingly, saves the day.

Like I said, Zapp and Kif really make this episode. Zapp Brannigan might be one of my favorite characters of all time. He’s part William Shatner, part Adam West and  part Lionel Hutz. He’s clueless mostly, but always hilarious.

This episode earned a spot on the list partly because it has two of my favorite Zapp-Kif moments of the entire series:

Zapp: “I suffer from a very sexy learning disability. What do I call it, Kif?”

Kif: *sigh* “Sexlexia.”

————————————————————————————–

Zapp: “I’m de-promoting you soldier. Kif, what’s the most humiliating job there is?”

Kif: “Being your assistant.”

Zapp:“Wrong. Being *your* assistant!”


Fry being a coward

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