**Ed Note: here’s the article from the excellent AV Club that inspired this post.
AV Club reader query:
What are your pop-culture rules? That is, the up-front guidelines that will prevent you from seeing/reading/listening to something, or that will guarantee that you’ll see/read/listen to it even if reviews or word of mouth or past experience with the creators have been negative?
First, I’m only going to talk about things I will or won’t see. Books and music require a separate post that will never be written. With that in mind…
Like the person who abides by them, my pop culture rules are nuanced and ever-changing. Because I’m crusty, I put more thought into the list of things I won’t see/listen to than things I will. Stephen Brunt says cynicism is easy. He’s right.
Things I won’t watch
Ben Stiller everything. Did you know he has 14 films in development? Clearly, the world does not agree.
vampire everything. It’s okay, vampire hysteria is just a phase - an exceptionally long and painful phase. Right?
Period dramas. Booooring and they make me want to spend ridc money on a corset dress. That’s not practical.
Slasher flicks. Upsetting in the bad way.
Bathroom Humour. I’m Catholic, we don’t talk about that stuff.
Overly intellectualized films. Example - the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man. What are you trying to say? Just say it already. People who try to make other people feel stupid can peace out. A few years ago, this entry wouldn’t appear here, but time changes you. It’s like how one year ago I was bothered by the Nepalese/Indian labourers who stare at me when I walk past. Now, I’m happy to let them take a good, long look. They have it tough and don’t get to see ladies on the regular. Plus, I’d check me out too. But ANYWAY.
A promise of non-stop hijinks. For why the nonstop hijinks? Hijinks need to stop and let realism work its magic on our wimpy human hearts. Hijinks without realism = calamity. A recent example of a calamity movie is The Hangover. Too many tigers, not enough oh, I care about these characters.
Will absolutely, positively watch a movie/TV show with these elements/actors in it:
-Will Arnett . Hilarious. Dreamy. Leafs fan.
-Philip Seymour Hoffman. We fell in love with Scent of a Woman and haven’t looked back since.
-John C. Reilly. Someone removed all of the Steve Brule clips from YouTube. Cruel!
-Meryl Streep. She doesn’t make mistakes. Even It’s Complicated was cute.
-Milo and or Otis
-This cat's entire canon:
-Norm MacDonald. This applies especially to YouTube clips of Norm on talk shows. Start here. I cry laughing every time.
My most important rule is that if something comes recommended at the urging of a dear friend, I will watch it. If I love you and you really love something I'm on it, even if it’s a calamity-filled Ben Stiller period drama about vampires.
And that’s that….until my mind changes.
Hey so the Oscars are on this weekend. How about this year, we skip the whole Oscar pool farce and you just wire me some money. Sound good?