tv

/Tag: tv

Today Big Mood.

Man isn’t it great Doctor Who is finally back on TV after seven years. Man, those seven years where it didn’t air were tough, but they’re over now, so woohoo!

2018-10-08T13:16:21+10:008th October, 2018|Tags: pop culture, sff, tv|

Six twenty-nine.

Interesting take on what happened to The Simpsons, from someone who binge-watched all 629 episodes.

For the record, I don’t agree with their “turning the show character-driven killed it”, if only because a lot of the “Golden Age” Simpsons episodes were extremely character driven.1 You can’t tell me episodes like “Bart Sells His Soul” (7×04) or “And Maggie Makes Three” (6×13) or even “The Crepes of Wrath” (1×11) aren’t “character-driven” and/or focused on emotional catharsis. And the thing is… I couldn’t even really tell you a single one-off joke from any of those episodes. But I can recall every one of the climaxes: Bart’s growing wonder watching his “soul” flutter down in front of him, and his subsequent heart-to-heart with Lisa; “DO█IT FOR███ █████HER████████”; Bart suddenly speaking French to the policeman.

What I do think is that the Golden Age was better at integrating serious—or even emotionally complex—plotlines in around the jokes, which I think is also why people tend to remember the jokes and the plots separately. I mean, which episode is Lisa’s “I AM THE LIZARD QUEEN!” even from? I had to look this one up; after some thinking I was pretty sure the immediate context was the Duff Gardens episode, but… what episode even was the Duff Gardens episode?

Well, as it turns out, it’s “Selma’s Choice” (4×13), which is the one about Selma wanting to have a baby.2 And here is I think the real crux of the difference the Golden Era and the post-Golden Era. In the post-Golden Era, the plot would’ve been about the Simpson family visiting Duff Gardens, because someone thought the concept of “Duff Gardens” was lulz in-and-of itself. But in the Golden Age, the presence of Duff Gardens as a vehicle for humor is framed in the context of the broader, and (crucially) completely mundane set-up; an older woman struggling with her relationship to the social pressure for her to have children.3 In other words, what makes the Golden Age golden was its ability to successfully hide its humanist dramatic elements underneath its one-shot set-piece jokes. It was a clever (and humanist) show that worked very hard to convince its audience it was stupid (and nihilistic) and, for the most part, it succeeded. The fact that it eventually succumbed to its own version of Flanderization on a meta-level—making its jokes “jokier” and its humanist elements more glurgy—is both a bummer but, also, not surprisingly for a show that, if it were a person, would be old enough to vote.

All that being said, I do totally agree that the show massively, massively fucks over Lisa…

  1. Also, I’m sorry, but if you think the “Australian” episode was in any way anything other than awful your takes don’t count. I don’t make the rules. []
  2. You remember it too, now, don’t you? She adopts Jub-Jub the iguana at the end. []
  3. This is also why, for example, I think “The Crepes of Wrath” works in a way “Bart vs. Australia” doesn’t, even though they’re both technically Golden Age and have the same kind of “lawlz foreigners so weird amirite fellow Americans?” set-up. Under the jokes, “Crepes” is fundamentally about Bart’s own insecurity over his intelligence—a common theme in older Simpsons episodes, where Bart is shown to be smart, just not academic–as well as Homer’s relationship to his troubled-and-troublesome son. Meanwhile, “vs. Australia” is… I don’t even fucking know, man. It is its one-shot joke premise, all the way down. []
2018-07-27T14:30:19+10:0022nd September, 2018|Tags: pop culture, tv|

The first of reality TV.

The fascinating, and highly problematic, history of the TV show Cops.

I think the quote, [show creator John Langley] decided he didn’t want to perpetuate stereotypes, so he insisted that the show feature as many white people being apprehended as people of color is pretty much the TV version of that diagram of the kids standing on the boxes. According to FBI data for 2016, 69.6% of arrested persons in the US were white, while 26.9% were Black or African American. On those statistics alone, showing “as many white people being apprehended” is over-representing the criminality of people of color by more than double.1 Assuming the show actually sticks to its “fifty-fifty” policy which, let’s face it, it doesn’t.

  1. Note that the FBI divides Hispanic and Latino figures down on a separate axis, as ethnicity. Even assuming that all Hispanic/Latino arrests are counted under the “white” racial category—a big assumption—it still means arrests of people of color are over-represented. []
2018-02-02T13:58:25+10:0022nd July, 2018|Tags: culture, pop culture, tv|

Apocalyptic fashionistas.

Probably not what you’re thinking, given the article title of “How We Dress Women For The End Of The World“. Instead, it’s interviews with the costume designers for The Matrix/Jupiter AscendingThe Hunger Games, and The Handmaid’s Tale.1

  1. None of which are actually “apocalyptic” fiction, but… whatever. Never let the facts get in the way of the headline for a stealth ad for a Hulu miniseries. []
2017-06-26T07:53:32+10:001st August, 2017|Tags: design, fashion, film, pop culture, sff, tv|

Omg and now the kid boys just gave the Wheedon Waif a makeover and put her in makeup and a pink frilly dress and a blonde wig so she looks “pretty” holy shit WTF even is this?

How do pre-pubescent boys even know how to apply makeup? Why do they even own so many dresses? Am I legit supposed to think the chick looks better now? Because she looks like an awkward meringue.

What even is this show I stg.

2017-09-05T18:42:12+10:0014th September, 2016|Tags: pop culture, stranger things, tv|

Do you think anyone at work would notice if I ran out of this meeting, hid in my office, and watched the new Gravity Falls?

That’s a responsible adult thing to do, right?

2017-09-05T19:06:50+10:008th September, 2015|Tags: gravity falls, pop culture, tv|