Big Mouth: My Thoughts

Honestly, when it comes to the hip and popular thing everyone won’t shut the fuck up about, I usually tend to be an avoider.  Case in point, I still haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books past The Sorceror’s Stone, I haven’t watched ANY of Breaking Bad, and I actively went out of my way to AVOID House of Cards.  I still don’t know how I got talked into Orange is the New Black, but long time readers already know where I stand on that.  And if you’re new…  Yeah, the book was better.  Oh yeah, did you know there was a book?  And about four different versions of the book are on Audible.com, weirdly enough.  Not sure WHY there’s four, but there’s apparently four.  But I digress.

I usually tend to avoid the trendy things…  Except in the case of Big Mouth, the trendy thing is probably the most polarizing thing out there right now.  I think the only thing anybody can agree on is that the character designs suck.  I’ll own up to having certain designs I don’t like (IE, football headed characters), but really once you see your way past the character designs, the show is actually…  Meh.

I’ve heard the popular joke/statement where someone says it’s all about those awkward years of going through puberty, and “The last thing I ever want to do is relive those awkward years.”  Yeah, at least you had NORMAL middle school experiences.  Got to go to normal middle school, make awkward mistakes around a bunch of other normal kids who knew just as little as you did, and nobody threw you into a special little asylum school where you were a confused thirteen-year-old forced to coexist with a bunch of sixteen and seventeen year old assholes who fucking resented every minute you were in the same room as them, made fun of you for having arachnophobia, and calling you several variations of “gay ass faggot” for liking professional wrestling.  Yeah, you definitely had it rough.  My life was smooth sailing.

Oi, the sarcasm kills me inside.

In all seriousness, though, the show is…  Okay.  It’s not horrible, it’s not amazing, it’s just okay.

Admittedly, I heard one of the guys who wrote Sausage Party was involved with this show, which was a red flag right out the gate.  As mentioned in Red Flannel Radio, I watched about three minutes of Sausage Party, and Immediately called it quits.

But suppose Sausage Party was a fluke.  Hell, it’s happened before.  I mean hell, Rob Zombie makes some of my favorite horror movies of all time…  But he ALSO made a shitty remake of the first two Halloween movies.  Everybody’s entitled to one fuck up, right?

Well fortunately, Big Mouth isn’t as terrible.  Hell, I’m up to episode 8 as of this writing, and…  Well…  I’m not exactly laughing at every single joke the show throws at me.  Far from it, really.  Yet at the same timeI don’t really feel compelled to turn away in revoltion, either.

There are some aspects of the show that are more annoying than anything else.  Coach Steve is that character I know they’re TRYING to make funny, but boy is it not working at all.  I see what MarsReviews was talking about when they mentioned they have a habit of running jokes into the ground.  Yes, I’m familiar with the comedy rule of three, but things like the “shit covered basketballs” wasn’t funny the first time, and it never gets funnier with repetition.

On the other hand, it’s actually an interesting take on the concept of puberty.  The “hormone monster” is unsurprisingly the character they want you to consider your favorite, and it’s not hard to see why.  It’s very Family Guy esque in how it’s supposed to be an entity only kids going through puberty can see and interact with, but sometimes adults can see him because SHUT UP AND LAUGH YOU FUCKING CRETINS!.  That being said, I’ve laughed more at things the hormone monsters and monstresses have said than pretty much any other joke.

Notgoing to lie, this show is pretty fucking gross.  I personally have made peace with the idea that the human body is disgusting, and anyone who says otherwise is either a fucking liar, or they’re more focused on the outside.  They’re more about your image than about the inner workings and the horrible, disgusting smells and objects the body can produce such as feces, urine, tumors, and children.  Fucking grody, man.

That being said, yeah, there’s a lot of masturbation jokes in this.  And yeah, there’s a whole episode about a girl getting her first period.  The worst of it is probably the episode of Jay getting his pillow pregnant in his weird schizophrenic fantasy world.  Part of me definitely could’ve lived a lot longer without seeing a lot of that.  And another part of me can’t help but wonder why I never thought of that till now?  Oh well.

If you can see your way past the grossout factor, it’s actually not the worst thing ever.  Believe me, I’ve seen worse.  Shit, I listen to GWAR for crying out loud.  You want to talk gross…

At the same time, though, I’m not in a huge hurry to recommend the show.  It’s not terrible, but it’s probably nothing I’m going to watch more than once.  As far as recommendations go…  I don’t know, check it out for yourself.  Formulate your own fucking opinion instead of getting it from a half-blind insomniac who probably ought to be writing his next novel instead of spending his Saturday off watching Netflix and listening to Hunter S. Thompson novels on Audible.com.

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Disjointed: My Thoughts

Can I just say, I hate a lot of 1960s television.  A lot of it isn’t even 1960s television’s fault, either.  A lot of tropes at the time were REALLY to blame: the canned laughter, the hokey jokes, the acting…  I’m way to used to 90s sitcoms I guess.  Home Improvement was always my jam.  Mostly because things got all splody when Tim tried to fix stuff…  But I digress.

Disjointed’s approach to the 60s esque sitcom was a sort of red flag for someone like me, but honestly, I’m glad I took the challenge.

For starters, the tropes may be there, but the language, and some of the subject matter is a LOT more adult.  And I’m not just talking about the fact the show is set at a marijuana despensery, either.  There’s plenty of dick and fart jokes, F-bombs, and what not that you’d THINK would clash with the kind of show they were going for, but in fact, works perfectly.

The thing I always look forward to in each episode of Disjointed is the animated sequences.  Most of which seem to exist in Carter’s head, but a few take place elsewhere.  I Guarantee that about seventy-five percent of the show’s budget went into those.

I’d say Dank and Dabby were my favorite characters in the entire show, but let’s face it, they were designed to be everyone’s favorite.  They’re the Jay and Silent Bob of Disjointed.  Except Jay’s a black guy, and Silent Bob is a chick who’s anything but silent.  In fact, this looks more like Jay and Jay than anything else.  Fortunately, these guys don’t get obnoxious despite all the potential in the world being right there.

Stories do get multiple episodes to develop (IE, Pete’s weird obsession with his latest bunch of marijuana plants), but for the most part, I’ve found this is a show you can walk away from for about a week, come back to, and not feel like you missed anything TOO important.  Say for maybe the last two episodes, which are a legit two-parter for sure.  I appreciate shows like that.

All and all, I recommend Disjointed.  Admittedly, they do have some real groaners in there (Kim Jong Un-believable comes to mind immediately), but what sitcom doesn’t?  As long as they’re few and far between, and the show holds my attention, it’s all good.

Netflix Presents: Deathnote: My Thoughts

Whew boy, this thing right here SUUUUUUUUUUCKED!

Okay, let’s back up a little.

I actually love Deathnote.  It’s probably the last anime I truly enjoyed from start to finish.  It was the last time something on television felt like it was super urgent to watch, and that missing so much as one episode would ruin my weekend forever.  I had to avoid any and all spoilers for fear it would ruin the mood.  And even with all that, I STILL managed to have a couple minor gripes.

The biggest of all my gripes with the original Deathnote anime was probably the death of L.  Even at my most otaku, I was never one of THOSE fans, but L was the kind of character that had me come pretty close.  I saw this dude who was solving nigh impossible crimes while injecting himself full of diabetes, and I said to myself: “Dude, I have a new hero.”

My gripe with the death of L has less to do with the fact L died, and more to do with the fact Near (L’s replacement) was basically L with bluish hair.  The way the show was looking, I thought for sure they’d end up doing more with Mellow.  I personally would’ve approved of Mellow being the new L.  He was significantly different from his predecessor, almost to the point where you couldn’t even tell who the bad guy was anymore.  With Near, you really might as well have just kept L alive.

But that detail aside, plus the typical complaints/jokes associated with the English dub, I still enjoyed the ride, and I hold Deathnote in really high regard.

You really wouldn’t think anime, a genre that, in the states at least, is associated with fist fights, giant robots, and cute creatures popping out of magic balls fighting each other to the death, would feature something this cerebral.  I mean yeah, this isn’t exactly a Sherlock Holmes novel, but this is probably the closest thing to a cat-and-mouse rivalry I’d seen at the time in anime, and wasn’t a joke like Mouse or Lupin the 3rd.

Then, about ten years later, they released a Deathnote movie on Netflix.  Whew boy, the grievances!

The moment I saw that trailer, I was already dreading the possibilities.  The closest thing to a positive remark I had was that Willem Defoe as Ryuk was actually a pretty good casting choice.  Pretty sure Willem Defoe was living in my closet when I was a kid.  I checked every night, but…  You know, Family Guy already made that joke, and Family Guy is a whole other dumpster fire for another day, so let’s move on.

I’m pretty forgiving as far as the Americanization is concerned.  Light Yagami is now Light Terner.  Misa is now Mia.  L is a black guy.  The story is set in Seattle (I think).  All of these are fine.  I have no problem with this.  Some loudmouth neoliberal fucktard would, and probably HAS used this as a jumping off point to bitch about white-washing Hollywood or whatever, to which I say “Dude, shut the fuck up.”  Seriously, have you ever seen anime?  You’d think a country like Japan wouldn’t be making so many cartoons with white people, but look at it.  I think the only anime where the characters actually looked like Japanese people were Magical Shopping Arcade Obashi, and Monster.  And to be fair, the main protagonist of Monster was a Japanese man going to Germany.

I was about to end that tangent with something along the lines of “Stop making every fucking thing a social justice debate and enjoy the fucking show.”…  Except I forgot for a moment we were talking about Netflix’s Deathnote.  Yeah, I stand corrected.

I’ll give props to the production crew.  This looks like there was a budget behind it, and it looks like something you’d probably see on the CW.  Unfortunately, there’s plenty of other things wrong with it.  For example, IT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING YOU’D SEE ON THE FUCKING CW!  CW: The young adult network.

I know I should treat different incarnations of a series as their own story, and should stop drawing comparisons to the version I like.  It’s one of the things that drives a friend of mine absolutely insane.  On the other hand, this is the same friend that thinks Kekistan is the greatest fucking thing in the world, so…  Yeah, advice not taken.

Light Yagami was a fucking sociopath.  Light Terner is a pussy.  If anything, MIA was the sociopath in this movie.  The dynamic was all sorts of wrong.

Ryuk was basically nothing but a spectator.  He chimed in with comments every now and then, and he offered to give Light the eyes of a shinigami (death god) at one point, but he never egged him on.  In this version, Ryuk might as well be the fucking devil.  He’s constantly double-dog-daring Light to write a name in the deathnote.

There are at least ninety fucking rules in the Netflix Deathnote, and a lot of them are stupid, or exist soully for the sake of plot convenience.  The anime Deathnote had…  I originally thought eight, but Panda from The Thrifty Niggle says twenty.  Either way, the rules were minimal, and introduced in a nice steady flow that didn’t feel like they were all being crammed into my head all at once.

I can understand needing to speed things up, considering this is a two hour movie instead of a thirty-seven episode show…  But that’s probably one of the biggest flaws of all.  This thing only had about two hours to work with.  And I ended up tapping out at an hour and thirty.

That’s right, I didn’t finish the movie.  Hashtag-SuperUnprofessional.  Whatever.  I don’t believe inflicting pain on myself for fun.  If I watch a movie, it’s because I want to have fun.  At absolute worst, I THINK it’s going to be enjoyable.

Long story short, this whole thing was a massive disappointment.  I probably ought to have known that the moment I saw the trailer, but what can I say?  I do a lot of stupid shit in the name of fandom.  Hell, I was talking about going to see Saw 8 the other day.

Thumbs Vs. Stars

Netflix had been talking about switching from the five stars system to the thumbs up or down system for a few months, but up until earlier tonight, I had dismissed it as a rumor. However, I logged on to Netflix after a day of work, proofreading, and what not, and found that they finally made good on that promise.
I wonder out loud why they bothered switching from one system to another like this. A friend of mine is convinced that the thums system was set up after Amy Schumer threw a fucking temper tantrum over the fact her special was getting record-setting amounts of one-star ratings. Some people (Schumer herself included, apparently) claim it’s people being assholes because a woman is doing stand up. Others believe it’s because Amy Schumer is legitimately not funny, and spends more time talking about her vagina stink than actually telling jokes. Normally, I belong to group B, but as far as whether it’s the reason Netflix switched from stars to thumbs… I don’t know, man, I think it was a lot more complicated than that.
Well, whatever their reason is, they switched to thumbs. So instead of five possible options, now you have two: thumbs up, or thumbs down.
Am I in favor of stars, or thumbs? Honestly, I don’t know. They both really have their ups and their downs.
Bill Burr: stand up comedian and recent hero of mine, was on his podcast talking about the negatives of the thumbs system. He made claims that one simple, petty complaint that ultimately contributes fuck all in the longrun might be enough for Mr. Petty-fucking-asshole to thumbs down your standup special. “Oh, I didn’t like the color of the background. Thumbs down. Oh, that one joke wasn’t funny. Thumbs down.” etc.
In a way, he’s definitely on to something. I’d like to think that the average Netflix bingewatcher isn’t a savage retard like about ninety percent of the people who leave comments on YouTube videos. Of course, we are talking about people. This may be my misanthropic attitude from my early twenties talking, but people are assholes, there’s too god damn many of us, and the world would be better off if seventy-five percent of us died right now.
The star system had more variety. If you liked a show, but didn’t LOVE the show, you could just rate it four. If you thought it was just okay, you could rate it three. Five and one were the extremes. A lot of the time, you could follow the same philosophy a lot of Amazon.com users follow, and trust only the four, three, or two star reviews. The ones who rate it five or one probably love or hate the show that much, but someone who rates it four, three, or two is probably more guaranteed to be genuine, and not a kiss-ass.
The thumbs system, meanwhile, demands a lot more of you. It takesaway the ambiguity four, three, or two stars may leave behind, but with the thumbs system in place, you either love it, or you hate it. No middle ground is possible.
If Amy Schumer hissyfits were really the reason for this change in ratings, I have a hard time seeing it accomplishing anything. The people who rated it two stars, or even three stars will probably just thumbs-down the standup special now. Which between my friend’s comments, and my own research, means people still fucking hate her special. Congratulations, dipshit, you accomplished nothing.
In the longrun, I prefer the stars. There’s more flexibility in the star system. There’s a lot of stuff I watch on Netflix I don’t feel deserves a positive rating, but it doesn’t deserve a negative rating either. I give shows like Bordertown a nice neutral three, because while they keep me amused in the moment, I don’t see myself watching it again. I only ever give the truly horrendous a one-star.
In the thumbs system, though, there is no nice neutral rating. You either love it, or you hate it. Or you decide not to rate it, but that’s not really contributing anything. Dead silence is the worst thing you can give an artist. Or an actor. Or a comedian. Or a lonely blind guy on OKcupid trying to find some sort of companionship in a fucked up world where Donald fucking Trump can be president, but I can’t even get a book published for real because…
Uh, got a little sidetracked.
I personally favor the star system. But maybe I’m a fringe minority. Maybe people prefer the thumbs system. Hell, maybe the next step is to put a Facebook esque system in place where there’s no thums down. Either like my show, or get the fuck out.
What do you say, audience? Stars or thumbs? Or do you even care?