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November 25, 2008

South Park "The Ungroundable": Twilight in Review

I just wanted to give a short reasoning behind why I completely agreed with what this episode had to say about vampire kids, Twilight, and Hot Topic.  Lately I think the boys from South Park have been stalking my sister and finding out what she loves most in life, so that they can make fun of it.  She loves Twilight, she loves High School Musical, she loves Guitar Hero, she loves Hot Topic.  I think it's funny, personally, when the show she's loved for years has turned on her and started destroying everything she loves in life.  It's not quite that dramatic, but it's still pretty funny.

The funny thing about an episode like this is that it's making fun of people who follow these trends while at the same time realizing that most things are a trend and there's no stopping that.  We just seem to be living during a particularly stupid and annoying trend.  My favorite quote from the episode was probably where they said that anyone who believes he or she is actually a real vampire is an idiot, something like that.  And then the one Goth kid flips everyone off.

I've been saying for months (two posts, but who's counting?) that Twilight is light but trashy, heavy on the sappy love, syrupy sweet, and mostly annoying.  I'm glad this view has come to light through one of my favorite shows.  Let me clarify though, of course I'm happy that kids are reading, but why can't they read something better? If a 12 year old is introduced to Twilight and the book series ends, what does she go on to read? Romance novels, most likely, Nora Roberts and Linda Howard and Jo Beverley and Cassie Edwards.  Or even worse, vampire romance: see Christine Feehan.  (Don't judge me, I used to work in a book store, I know what romance is popular.)  Then where will this girl be?  She'll be knee-deep in trashy non-literature, not knowing who Jane Austen is or what people mean by feminism.  She'll just be dreaming of her very own Edward, who will sweep her off her feet into a teen marriage and teen pregnancy, name her child the stupidest thing she can think of, and only really live when faux-Edward is around to berate her for being a human.  It's the future that every little girl dreams of, really.

I've said so much on the topic of this series that I almost feel bad even mentioning it again. I know I'll review it once again when I read the last book next summer (oh goody) and when I see the movie with my sister.  And of course I have friends who read the books and that's totally cool with me, as long as they understand the difference between reality and trashy fiction and don't expect a real man to abuse them in the way Edward does to Bella.  Oh, and I hope they realize also that being whiny and annoying like Bella will not get you anywhere in life and a relationship is not the most important thing to have in life.  Just because you are 15 doesn't mean you need a boyfriend.  Just because you just broke up with a guy doesn't mean you have to hook up with several more in order to feel good about yourself.  You don't need a romantic partner in order to be a real person.  That shouldn't be the thing that gives you self-confidence.

I apologize for going off on several random tangents, I just have a lot to say about a lot of different things, none of which are that interesting.  I might return to this topic again someday.  I'm not looking forward to it.

September 1, 2008

The Office

I’ve been trying to catch up on older episodes of The Office.  I’m on season two right now, and I really like it.  I loved the British version, and I avoided the Americanization for a long time, but I decided to give it a try and I’m really enjoying it.

Steve Carell is just amazing.  I loved him in The 40 Year Old Virgin, he’s so earnest and intense.  I wonder if he ever worked in a place like that or if he had a boss like that.  He actually reminds me of my mom’s boss.  I know that’s terrible to say, but it’s true.  At some points in the show, I love Michael Scott.  Like in “Take Your Daughter to Work Day," when he's so nice to the kids.  He can be sweet when he's not being such a jackass.  But in other episodes, I actually hate him and can't believe anyone could ever put up with him.  Ever.  Like in "Michael's Birthday."  Or "The Injury."  Or "Dwight's Speech."  Or really some point of every episode.  He always has to make things about himself.  "Oh, Kevin might have skin cancer?  Well it's my birthday."  "I burned my foot.  Dwight has a concussion.  I think my injury is way worse than his and I should be treated as such."  "Dwight just spoke to a thousand people and killed.  But I enthralled Dwight with a bar story.  Therefore I am better."  I just want to slap him sometimes.  Most of the time.

But I do enjoy the whole "that's what she said" thing.

Everyone always talks about Dwight being the funniest part of the show, and the Pam and Jim love story.  But I think what makes the show so great is the supporting cast.  Kevin, Kelly, Ryan, Oscar, Meredith.  All hilarious.  But everyone forgets them.  So I just wanted to say they are great.  Kudos, supporting cast.

I realize this is not a horror show.  Although arguably working in an office like that could be pretty horrible.

August 24, 2008

Olympics

I thought I’d switch things up for once and write about something not-so-scary.  At least not for the viewers.

Before this year, I thought the Olympics were super boring.  I hated them and didn’t understand how anyone could possibly be entertained by them.  I don’t know what changed my mind, maybe because I’m older now or they had a good marketing campaign or there were some well-publicized athletes.  Whatever it was, I couldn’t get enough of the Olympics.  For me, huge sports competitions like this are both fascinating and frightening.  I can’t imagine getting all the way to the games, representing yourself and your country and then blowing it all because you had a bad dive or you weren’t quite as fast as usual.  How do you recover from something like that?  Every time someone lost, I felt so bad for them that I couldn’t even watch anymore.  Like when that thirty year old female diver messed up really bad on her first or second dive because her legs weren’t straight enough.  This was her last meet.  She was expected to win or at least be in the top three.  She was dead last.  I felt so bad for her, she was crying at the end and stuff.  I wanted to cry.  These people devote their whole lives to these sports, and while I normally hate sports, I can’t help but admire their persistence and devotion.  But how awful that must be to train your whole life just for this one day and then it’s gone in just a second.  What’s left in life?  That’s pretty depressing, so I guess the Olympics are good for promoting teamwork, sportsmanship, and bringing together the world.  But for those individual athletes who mess up, it must suck.

Plus all the other athletes have to put up with everyone talking about Michael Phelps all the time.  I bet the other parents of the swimmers say, “Why can’t you be more like Michael Phelps??  He’s amazing, but that would just suck to be up against him or to be even on his team.  Constant comparisons, I guarantee it.

And the whole China thing was big too.  It was amazing that they took out that whole chunk of Beijing just to host the Olympic games.  I think overall though, it’s good to promote these sportsmanlike ideals and world togetherness.  I hope the next Olympics is as dramatic and epic as this one.  And what am I supposed to watch for the next four years?

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

From what I’ve heard, most of my peers have watched this show at some time or another.  It ran on Nickelodeon during the Saturday night block called “Snick,? which I don’t think they do anymore.  I don’t know why, I loved Snick.  I think for a lot of kids in the 90’s, Are You Afraid of the Dark? was their first taste of horror and it was the show that scared us the most.  I’ve watched a few of the episodes more recently and I am questioning why anyone actually watched this show.  It’s not only ridiculous, but it’s not even scary and the acting is terrible.  Those little Canadian kids piss me off.  So I just looked through a list of episodes and chose two to describe in detail.

The Tale of the Dollmaker

This one really scared me at the time.  The girl turning into a full-sized doll freaked me out, especially when her porcelain hands fall off and the other girl has to put them in her pockets.  Is that really appropriate for children?  That’s really scary, I think.  And why would anyone build a giant dollhouse in their attic anyway?  I know I haven’t seen this episode in awhile, but I honestly don’t remember any real explanation of that dollhouse.  What gave it the power to turn little Canadian kids into living dolls?  Why didn’t anyone just burn the damn thing down?  Why didn’t that first girl try harder to escape?  It’s like she just got in there and thought, “Hmm, this is a nice place.  I’d like to go home, but I think I’ll just wait here a few years for some other stupid little girl to save me.  Oh, look, my hands fell off.  I’ll just sit on this chair and hope my parents come looking for me soon.?

Didn’t she get hungry?  Is there a bathroom in that dollhouse?  Do her parents even care about her?  I think this one scared me so much because it seemed so hopeless.  I know she eventually got out, but how depressing is it that that little girl had to just hang out in that dollhouse for months or years or whatever?  What is there to do in an attic dollhouse?  She missed school, friends, and the most important parts of childhood.  I guess I’m over-thinking this, Nickelodeon doesn’t care about those things.

The Tale of the Dead Man’s Float

This one scared my sister, and still does in fact.  I think it was just that bloody red monster guy, who slowly moved his head back and forth as he walked.  It’s really just a stupid idea when you think about it.  But that’s what horror anthologies are: stupid.  They have to think of new and quirky horror ideas, they can’t just recycle zombies and vampires and werewolves, they have to think of their own ideas.  And most of them are idiotic, especially the low budget kid show versions.

I do remember thinking the little love story thing was cute, but the janitor was kind of creepy too.  I think the pool monster man came from a graveyard under the pool or something (how original), and the main characters find the pool and use it for their swimming lessons.  Oh, and some kid drowned in it in the 50’s while his big brother flirted with some chick (it’s TV Y7, remember.)

The kids in this show have no concerns for consequences.  Swimming by yourself in an abandoned pool, probably not a good idea.  The water probably wasn’t even clean.  I think they deserved to be chased by the pool man.  He was probably going to give them safety warnings when they killed him.