Monday, August 3, 2009

You, take out your boobs.

OK, quick explanation of today’s status update. My friends, Kirt and Morc for the purposes of this topic, and I were having lunch in the cafeteria at work. The topic went, unsurprisingly, to films before turning, even less surprisingly, to Italian horror cinema. There was discussion of a scene where a woman’s nipple is bitten off by her zombified child in an inexplicable series of events. Morc speculated that this scene was indeed written by someone at a typewriter, though with much incredulity I countered this postulation with doubt, believing instead that the scene was of a more improvised nature. I went on to propose that the scene played out much more like so:

Me (in my best Italian accent, sounding probably not unlike Sesame Street’s The Count): You, take out your boobs.

As Morc would gleefully point out now an older man happened to be walking by at this exact moment, and did a quick double take, having apparently overheard my command. He did not comply, much to everyone’s great relief, and walked on. He then came back over and sat behind us, probably hoping to get some idea of what had just happened. And that is the story of how I told an old man to take out his boobs. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rob Liefeld has no idea how gay his defense of "not gay" comic character is.

Rob Liefeld, of Levi's 501 commercial fame, raised his voice recently against outed creation, Shatterstar. Now, I haven't read anything about this character in a long time or anything by Liefeld in at least as long, but here's what I remember: He wore a hairstyle that combined the ease of the ponytail with the effort of a middle school girl's towering hairspray nightmare. He wielded pointlessly double-bladed swords. Every word he spoke was banal in a most quintessentially 90s comic book way. And now he's making out with another comic book dude. Congratulations, your first spark of personality, 'Star!

Except co-creator Liefeld came out (snicker) against it. Go Here: For This:
"As the guy that created, designed and wrote his first dozen appearances, Shatterstar is not gay. Sorry. Can’t wait to someday undo this." says the outraged Liefeld. He went on the give this astounding defense of why Shatterstar is not gay: “Shatterstar is akin to Maximus in Gladiator. He’s a warrior, a Spartan, and not a gay one.”

I don't think he's being homophobic, really. If anything he's just likely trying to get people to remember he's still alive without laughing. But what I do love about this is the way Rob tries to back pedal in the middle of his defense with "and not a gay one." It's like while he was talking the light bulb finally went off over his head and the little voice came on. You do realize that in defending your "not-gay" character you are likening him to some of the gayest shit in modern popular culture, right?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Betty pubic dyes, now in every color of the rainbow, ladies! (myspace 7/29/08)

I saw what has to be the greatest thing ever on the subway this weekend. We had just finished shooting the rest of the therapy scenes in Asher and I was heading home when a poster caught my eye for Betty brand dyes, for the "gray hair down there." Yep, touch up the graying pubes. I supposed that could help someone feel better about themselves...except for one inexplicable color: hot pink.
Yeah, you read that right. The color makes no sense in any context of the advertisement. If you're getting gray in the crotch you have no business having hot pink hair in the first place. Second, I'm pretty sure no one with hot pink hair has pubic hair anyway, because that would cover up some of her tatoos. The last reason I can think of is that you hope that maybe, just maybe, if the carpet matches the curtains you can make people believe that's your natural color.
Update- it also comes in blue with cut-outs for styling, including a whale!

Today I killed a dozen boys. (myspace 9/15/08)

That's correct. I killed them on the battlefield...with laser's!
My friend, Kirk (see friend's list) invited me to play laser tag here to celebrate his birthday. We ran around in the woods, shooting lasers with, surprise, a bunch of little kids. But it was fun. Started off very rocky for me. I was the first one out on our team in each of the three rounds before we swithced bases with the opposing team. It was a much better position from which to defend. I did OK in the next two rounds which were team elimination. However, I found my position in the final round of capture the flag.
Rather than run around anymore because I am old and give out, as the man says, I stayed to defend the base. I must have shot half of their players, safely ensconsed in my hiding space. My weakness became a strength as I'm pretty sure I was so easily eliminated early due to my height (I'm nine feet, seven inches). But in the base my headgear, which registers your opponent's shots, was up in the ceiling. Our teammate, Billy, came back and we were firing away, picking off kids left and right. We owned the little snots. The referee called time eventually but declared us the winners as the other team couldn't get anywhere near us. Anyway, we left victorious and everyone had a good time. Thanks for the invite, Kirk (as well as the pizza, cake and beer) and happy birthday!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The IT Crowd, ep 2

OK, I gave The IT Crowd a second chance and was still disappointed. While the second episode was not as bad as the first it still suffers from the same flat characterizations, broad comedy and grating laugh track. The wig and glasses on Richard Ayoade still remind me of Andy Millman on When the Whistle Blows ( far too much. The interminable plotline revolving around Jen's obsession with a single pair of shoes to the point of deformity was neither funny nor remotely original. I did get a couple of laughs out of the way Maurice handled the fire situation and the fact that he built his own stress tester when he wasn't allowed to use someone else's. However, the biggest, ripest target, the doctor giving the stress seminar, was entirely wasted on the dullest, simplest of ironies (lol he is really stressed, too!). Roy still has yet to DO anything to make me notice he's in the show.

Nearly all of the time dedicated to Jen's shoes and Maurice's lack of soldering wisdom could have been dedicated to fleshing out the stress therapist for a better delivery on deflating a self help windbag rather than aiming for the low hanging fruit of 'women sure are car-azy about shoes!' and nerds not having any common sense.

What I find most frustrating about this series is its middling sensibilities. It doesn't have enough balls to do a Dada approach and let the situations grow to absurdist proportions like, say, The Young Ones. But it lacks subtlety and depth of character to become a show where you honestly care about what's happening to any of the characters either, such as (to be cliche) The Office. Just when the show looks like it is about to really skewer a target it pulls back and relies upon something safe and easy to digest. For example, the boss character (who's so remarkable I can't recall his name or title) has all the makings of a tyrannical dictator, demanding more and more unreasonable tasks from his crew. Instead he begins to demand these things and then pulls back and threatens to fire everyone. Far too simple a punishment if he's going to make demand such as "you can't have any stress." The show needs to actually follow through on what it begins before it will make any progress.

I'm going to watch the full first series this week or next (I actually do have some packing, travelling and editing to attend to this week) but I'm frankly not expecting much from such a highly touted series. Thus far still unimpressed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Yo ho ho, I TV critic am I part 2

The IT Crowd (

I also caught this pilot episode this weekend on Netflix. I had high hopes for it as it has been talked up for a while by friends of mine, has won an International Emmy for best sitcom and co-stars Richard Ayoade of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and The Mighty Boosh fame. Those hopes were dashed by the end of the first ten minutes. The pilot episode of the first series was dreadfully corny, relying on the worst and broadest of 'IT tech are nerds' stereotypes as jokes and possibly the laziest and most grating application of a laugh track I have ever seen in a comedy series. Well, a British comedy series.
None of the characters are worth recalling anything about. Ayoade plays Maurice Moss, the Revenge of the Nerds style character with thick glasses, fuzzy hair and naivete so thick you can cut it with a knife. He gets very few lines of note, mostly just acting as though he doesn't understand what's going on around him. Chris O'Dowd's Roy is the other kind of geek showcased by this series, the smelly comic book dork with poor social skills and a chip on his shoulder. His dialogue is also quite cliched and trite. He is confrontational where Maurice was clueless. Their inept boss, Jen Barber, is played by Katherine Parkinson. The show begins with her being assigned to run IT by her own clueless and arrogant superior. In an ironic twist (yes, seriously) she knows nothing of computers. Hilarity. A series of sub-Three's Company attempts at sabotage and undermining the boss ensues until Barber's big secret is revealed. Roy attempts to rat her out to her own boss until it is established that everyone on a team will be fired if the team doesn't work together. Yes, that broadly is the manager character written. He's like something from a Monty Python sketch but lacking the depth and likely expected to recur. Eventually all agree it would be in their best interest to stop screwing one another over and work together.

I'm mildly interested to see where the series goes from the dull and clumsy set up. Now they are allies but what does this mean to them? Will they keep attempting to one up one another in a power struggle but with the subtlety not to get then entire dept fired? I am not in the least interested in a single of the only four characters from the pilot but the series began in 2006 and won the Emmy in 2008 so there must be some growth in between here and there. Given the nature of the comedy in the show this could be simply painful to sit through as well. I was hoping for another series on par with Garth Merenghi or Black Books but the pilot was all too much like the fake show "When the Whistle Blows" from Ricky Gervais' Extras.