The Silver Lining… At Least I Can Still Share “All Star Bowling Trick Shots” With You

This was going to be Worth 1002 Words, but I forgot I had one waiting.  You’ll see that tomorrow.  Instead, I’m upset I can’t embed videos unless they’re of a certain kind on WordPress anymore.  But like the title of the post says…

Air Robinson

Air Robinson

(SIDENOTE: You see, because that’s Craig Robinson of Hot Tub Time Machine and The Office, and he’s dun— oh, never mind. Watch the video by clicking here.  There are more stars than you can shake a stick at.  What’s that, you say?  You can shake a stick at seventeen stars?  Well then there’s as many stars as you specifically can shake a stick at.)

The Silver Lining… Punk Is Not Dead – It’s On YouTube

There needs to be some type of backlash coming against all the pop acts in this world.  But then again, everything is so corporate, I’d have to dig deep to find the backlash.

SIDENOTE: I should mention that I’m lazy.  So I looked up some of my favorites on the ol’ YouTube.  Enjoy.  Or don’t.  Fuck you.

  • Liam Lynch’s United States of Whatever
  • Sex Pistols’ Who Killed Bambi?
  • Suicidal Tendencies’ Institutionalized

The Silver Lining… Alternate Titles For Firefly That Could Have Saved It (Maybe… Probably Not)

Does this title scream western sci-fi space romp or what?

Joss Whedon is about to hit the proverbial big-time very soon.  Fans that know him already love him and probably consider him “big-time”, but I’m talking about the next level shit here.

Much like how Jon Favreau was merely that guy who was in that cool indie Rat Pack-era inspired 90’s film (that he wrote) alongside Vince VaughnFavreau was not a name the masses knew until a little flick called Iron Man.

With The Avengers, the masses will now know Whedon.  And if they don’t, they should.

That having been said:

What the fuck was he thinking when he named his best television show to date Firefly?

If you don’t know the show, you should be ashamed of yourself.  It’s the one-season wonder that was so beloved, it got a theatrical follow-up, Serenity… which is also a sucky name.  Firefly is the class of ship and Serenity is its name.

This is tantamount to calling a Star Wars TV show, Corellian Freighter, and the movie based on it, Millenium Falcon.  (Okay, the movie title kind of works.)

If Firefly had a different show title, would it have lasted?  All I can say is it would have stood out more.  (When I originally heard of the show, I heard “from the creator of Buffy, comes Firefly“… needless to say, I didn’t watch it in its original run.)

Here are my alternate suggestions for Firefly/Serenity:

  • “Mal” – could have evoked Darth Maul, or malice… it’s better than using the lead character’s full name, “Mal Reynolds” (which is still better than John Carter), but it does not capture all the characters
  • “Browncoats” – this is what the rebels of the Alliance were called… we’re getting somewhere, but this still only covers two players
  • “OutRiders” – a play on the word that means forerunner or harbinger… evokes outsider and rider of horses/ships, perhaps… also sounds like it could be a show on Bravo
  • “Spacecoach”since this show is like Stagecoach In Space horrible idea
  • “The Last Frontier” – frontier = boring to me
  • Space Western” – it worked for That 70’s Show

So why did Whedon go with Firefly?

Whedon wanted to give the show a name that indicated movement and power, and felt that “Firefly” had both.  This powerful word’s relatively insignificant meaning, Whedon felt, added to its allure.  He eventually wound up creating the ship in the image of a firefly. (via)

The Silver Lining… Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Aliens

I’ve come to Michael Bay’s defense once before.  I’m not going to do it again.

But I might have to find The Silver Lining in his decision to reboot the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as aliens.

These are not Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

What good might I find in the seemingly asinine idea to change the beloved oozy origin of our pizza-loving, sewer-dwelling crime fighters?  Midi-chlorians, anyone?

These are not Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Sometimes such changes work.  In the Sam Raimi Spider-Man series, didn’t a genetically altered spider make a lot more sense than a radioactive one?  (Maybe not enough.  Part 3 did suck, and the new film is abandoning that concept.)

This might be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

I think the best part is that we might finally get to see this guy: Krang.

Okay, he's technically from Dimension X, but isn't that alien enough?

Four movies in, and the best baddies we’ve seen are these two?

Tokka and Rahzar. Why not Bebop and Rocksteady?

That’s at least my hope.  I can’t take any more Shredder nonsense…

The Silver Lining… Episode I: The Phantom Mess, I Mean, Menace

What’s that old saying?  Time heals all wounds.  Well, time might not heal all, but it sure can heal some.

Over the weekend, I went to the show to see the re-issue of Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3D, and you know what?  It wasn’t as bad as I remembered, and here’s why:

1) It has two of the best characters in all the prequel story lines.

Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn, which translates to "Half Slice" and "Hole in Chest"

I always maintained that Liam Neeson brought a gravity to the Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn that Ewan McGregor never could to his Obi-Wan Kenobi.  I still don’t know if it’s his size, voice, or demeanor, but when Qui-Gon defies the Jedi Council to stand by his belief that Anakin is The Chosen One, his conviction is convincing.  Everything in the Star Wars universe we know and love hinges on his gut feelings, and we buy (and buy and buy) into it, too.

As for Darth Maul – once a bad-ass, always a bad-ass… until he falls down a pit like other fan favorite, Boba Fett.

2) Jake Lloyd is a much more tolerable Actor! than Hayden Christensen.

If he says "wizards" one more time!

Notice I didn’t say “better.”  He’s a kid, for Yoda’s sake.  What am I gonna do?  Ridicule him like how… he… will… eventually… kill a bunch of Padawans?  I also think this video existing helps his situation:

3) Jar Jar Binks wasn’t as jarring.

He's wearing Pajarjars.

I’ve come to Jar Jar Binks’ defense before (or at least George Lucas’ decision to include him), so it was no big surprise to me that this time around, he hardly annoyed me.  That’s probably because he was a big surprise in the first place, much like the Midi-chlorian debacle (which was nowadays just as negligible).

4) Were there more practical effects and sets in Episode I?

Seemed like it to me.  To all you non-film school students, practical effects means “it’s really there.”  Episode II and III relied heavily on CGI, whereas this one went partially old-school, and the look of the film benefits greatly.  Palpatine’s senate office looks real when he’s in it; Anakin’s Podracer and Naboo Starfighter look real when he’s in them.

There was an article I read (that I don’t feel like looking for) that stated mixing CGI and practical effects tricks the mind much better.  That’s why Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs were so convincing for early CGI.  It even explains why Ray Harryhausen’s clay figures can mess with us – they really exist.

Now I’m not knocking CGI in lieu of practical effects either, and here’s proof:

"There is no try... only do-over."

(For the flip side of this Silver Lining, check out this article on Time Magazine’s site.)

The Silver Lining… The Heart Hand Gesture

The HeartMark™ is trademarked?!

Trends.

They’re always stupid.  Pet rocks, sequenced gloves, pogs… and now this.  The inescapable heart hand gesture.  It’s everywhere.

Aeroswift™

But would you believe some lady “claims” to have the trademark on it?

This lady looks like she makes many "claims"...

She even licenses it out allegedly (although it just looks like she just made a list of places she’s seen it used and retroactively authorized it).

(SIDENOTE: Did she donate the gesture to Show Your Hearts?  It could be a tax write-off.)

My hope is that it actually is trademarked, and that she’s making bank on its pervasiveness.

I mean, what she claims is not impossible.  She could figured it out during a round of This is the church and this is the steeple gone bad.  I haven’t seen it in use until recent years, and it seems like a simple gesture to devise.

But was she the one who told Taylor Swift about it?  Because Swift claims she invented it, and her fans claim that Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, et. al. stole it from her.

All that matters is did this woman really trademark what she calls The HeartMark™?  Because I have an idea of my own:

My trademark... Deez Nuts™.

The Silver Lining… Nielsen Ratings

(SIDENOTE: This category of post used to be In Defense Of, but I’ve seen tons somes of In Defense Of’s all over the TripleDoubleU, so I’ve decided to change my angle on the same subject.  Voilà The Silver Lining!)

The People Meter, a.k.a. The Grating Ratings Box

When I was a kid, it was my dream to be a Nielsen Family.  In my mind, the concept was simple: we must watch TV.  (Or if NBC still had their druthers, we Must See TV.)

In reality, though, it’s not that simple (here’s the simpler explanation).  Nielsen is a monopoly (TiVo is a distant second in terms of tracking viewership).  And mostly families considered “less-well-off” (TRANSLATION: anyone that can’t afford to time shift the shows they watch or skip commercials) are the sample public.  What this means to TV fans is if you can skip past the commercials, that show will get cancelled.

So shows like Firefly and Arrested Development, and more recently, possibly NBC’s Community, suffer because their fans don’t watch commercials (“commercial-watcher” could become a fairly cruel epithet… at least as cruel as “mouth-breather”).

So where’s The Silver Lining?

In a nutshell, the Nielsen Ratings are a good indicator if the show I’m watching is actually good or not.  It didn’t used to be that way when we only had three channels to watch, but in these days of cable and the TripleDoubleU, the converse is true.

Don’t believe me?

American Idol gets high-ratings every year, and for most seasons, I’ve watched it.  I know it’s brain garbage, but the Nielsen Ratings prove that it is gray fecal matter.  Need another example?  American Horror Story’s season finale drew the highest numbers for FX ever, and that show sucked.

That’s really what this post is about… how much American Horror Story sucked.  And LOST, too.  Remember when that had high ratings?

So in closing, I must stick to my guns and not waste my time on any “popular” shows.  If a program makes it to a second season and the ratings were decent, that series just might be my cup of T… V.