Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We get knocked down, but we get up again...

We're disingenuous here at QOTD. So even though Schadenfreude Week technically started last week, we didn't technically say that it was going to be one contiguous 7-day period. So on we go!

We've covered some bad movies, some bad TV, and some bad movies and TV starring Hulk Hogan. But as anyone who's listened to the radio since - well - ever knows, popular music has long been pretty awful.

The miles-long list of especially questionable number one hits in the U.S. include stinkbombs like "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman" (by the detestable Bryan Adams), "Macarena" (14!! weeks at Number 1 in 1996) by Los Del Rio, "Batdance" by Prince, "In the Year 2525" by Zager and Evans, and "Jingle Jangle Jingle" by Kay Kyser (yeah, we don't know this one either).

You will see no denigration of Ms. Katy Perry on these pages - both because the Official Wife of QOTD loves her, and because we love her HUGE...talent. (apologies to Monty Python)

We referred to this band in an earlier post last year, but no discussion of silly music would be complete without an appearance from the ultra-ridiculous Freddie
and the Dreamers. Below, their number one hit from 1965 (amazingly knocking The Supremes' far superior "Stop! In the Name of Love" out of that spot) "I'm Telling You Now":

Next season, on So You Think You Can Dance...

This sets up today's quote from the legendary rock critic Lester Bangs, in the Rolling Stone History of Rock n' Roll:

"... Freddie and the Dreamers [had] no masterpiece but a plentitude of talentless idiocy and enough persistence to get four albums and one film soundtrack released ... the Dreamers looked as thuggish as Freddie looked dippy ... Freddie and the Dreamers represented a triumph of rock as cretinous swill, and as such should be not only respected, but given their place in history."


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'd rather...I'd rather...just sing!

Like Prince Herbert from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, sometimes we here at the QOTD bureau are known to just belt out a tune in the middle of doing something else. Off-putting? Sure. We're much less likely to angry dance, like Bret:

But sometimes you've just gotta sing. Speaking of which, tonight at Loft 1523, the last ever karaoke night. You know where to find us. (which, given our average daily hit rate is like 10 people, I'm guessing we won't be seeing anyone extra this evening. The saddest thing about that is that we averaged significantly more visitors when we took a year and a half off blogging. This is like land that loses value when you build a house on it. QOTD: It's fantastic!)

Anyway, back to the singing stuff. Since it's Day 3 of Schadenfreude Week - we're going to delve into the glories of two shows that died way too young (for those of us who like terrible tv shows). Musical theatre + dramatic television = together at last in the form of 1990's Cop Rock and 2007's Viva Laughlin.

The oft-mocked Cop Rock was a Steven Bochco production (Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue) that featured musical segments interspersed between police drama. The ridiculous name probably brought a lot of the ridicule the show faced, but not as much as segments like this, from the pilot episode, when the jury (spoiler alert!) finds the defendent guilty. In gospel choir-style.

QOTD would like to remind its alert readers that ELEVEN episodes of this show aired on network tv, back when people still watched network tv. Today, Cop Rock might be cancelled at the first commercial break.

Learning nothing from this humiliation, Hugh Jackman and company tried another musical drama called Viva Laughlin. This show lasted an entire 2 episodes (1 in Jackman's native Australia) before the merciful end, proving Dr. Cox from Scrubs correct.

If only Professor X could see me now!

For today's quote, Joel McHale from The Soup after Viva Laughlin's untimely demise:

"Sad news. Viva Laughlin, the show that was loved by hundreds, has come to an end after a respectable 2-episode run."

Joel goes on to express his deep sorrow that the show would no longer be around for future segments here:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Say your prayers and take your vitamins...

It's day two of Schadenfreude Week, and when it comes to substandard movies and television, Hulk Hogan is the world heavyweight champion, with such credits as Suburban Commando, Mr. Nanny and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain under his (WWE title) belt. Of course, all of these bombs are balanced out by his Emmy-winning performance as Hurricane Spencer in the award-winning Thunder in Paradise. We are contractually obligated to post the brilliant opening sequence below. Slice up a lime, crack open a beer and enjoy.

James Cameron wishes he had a special effects budget like this!

But since we're in Schadenfreude Week, we're going to focus on the Hulkster's 1996 gem, Santa with Muscles, which rates a robust #61 on the bottom 100 movies on imdb.com (only 6 spots ahead of yesterday's QOTD inspiration Bucky Larson. Hulk had to be at his movie-killing best to overpower appearances by the likes of Mila Kunis (2 years before That 70's Show, and only one year before her star turn on Walker, Texas Ranger!), Clint Howard, and Ed Begley, Jr. (aka Stan Sitwell).

Quick plot synopsis from IMDB: "An evil millionaire (Hulk Hogan) gets amnesia and then belives that he is Santa Claus." Unfortunately, as a millionaire, Hulk's character had at least 5 times more money than Santa with Muscles grossed in the theatres. I'm sure it was big on VHS, though.

It's hard to imagine that things went off the rails with quotes like the following:

"Santa, you sleigh me!"
--Dr. Blight (Steve Valentine) to Santa (Hulk Hogan).

QOTD note for aspiring screenwriters: the use of homophones, like "slay" and "sleigh" for a pun-related joke tends not to work when said aloud, as the joke generally relies on the viewer/listener to understand that you're using the homophone. Similarly, please don't create characters who do nothing but make puns on their name. For examples, please see every line spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Batman & Robin:

Anyway, feel free to add Santa with Muscles to your Netflix (er, Qwikster) queue. You'll want to get it in there now so it will arrive by Christmas. Or Kwanzaa. Or at least by Wrestlemania.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Schadenfreude Week!

Long-time readers of QOTD (is there another kind?) know that we often enjoy a nice wallow in the misery of others. Specifically the makers of really bad entertainment. This song from the Broadway show Avenue Q pretty much sums up our feelings on the subject. (note: you may want to take Dramamine if you're planning on watching this - the camerawork is pretty Cloverfield)

Since we're always excited to spend some time reviewing crap in pop culture, we thought we'd go ahead and dedicate this second week of our return to focusing on some junk - present and past.

Behold, the Citizen Kane for a new generation!

Recently, a historic film ("an historic film" to our British friends) was foisted upon the unsuspecting movie-going public. This quality pic came from the esteemed Happy Madison production company, whose previous efforts Zookeeper and Just Go With It scored 14% and 20% positive reviews according to Rotten Tomatoes. This movie, Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star has a record-tying Rotten Tomatoes score of 0%. That means that they couldn't find one blogger/reviewer willing to provide a positive review in return for an autographed Mr. Deeds poster. Not only were the overall ratings universally negative, but the average reviewer rating was 1.6 out of 10. Truly an amazing display of putridity, and one that makes us wish we were strong enough to sit through it. Apparently the story of an imbecilic, buck-toothed Iowan who dreams of being a porn star, though a very common tale, is not the Oscar fare you'd think. It's directed by Tom Brady, by the way (not making this up). Though it's probably not the Patriots quarterback with the flowing locks and the supermodel wife, we're going to go ahead and pretend it is anyway. Because we hate the cheating Patriots.

Bieber lookalike AND Bucky Larson director? Way more impressive than those 900 yards of passing this season...

So, for your reading pleasure, some reviews of this quality entertainment:

First, from Grantland.com, Dan Kois' Razzie Award watch column, dedicated to predicting the winners of the Razzie awards, claims that Bucky Larson is a runaway favorite for Worst Movie. From his article:

"Here are 10 scenes that tell us Bucky Larson has the right mix of no-good awfulness and mortifying stupidity and B-list actors doing far from their best work to become a Razzie champ.

1. The scene in which a guy smears peanut butter on his genitals and has his pet goat lick it off. (Note: This is the first scene of the movie.)"

Andrew Barker, from Variety writes: "Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production shingle often alternates between the star's own, bigger-budgeted vehicles and decidedly downmarket pics featuring his buddies. The latter category reaches an almost impossibly low nadir with the Nick Swardson-starring porn-industry comedy "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star," one of the most astonishingly unfunny films of this or any other year."

"This may be the worst movie Pauly Shore has ever been in. Think about that. If you dare, go on Netflix and test the hypothesis."
--A.O. Scott from the New York Times

"This movie is taking poorly written stabs at all kinds of different communities without showing any affection for any of them. The best kind of comedy comes from even the smallest amount of endearment, and this movie has none, leaving it a black smoking crater of bad, unfunny juju."
--Grae Drake from Movies.com

Summing things up is Matt Singer from Time Out New York:

"Every paid admission should include a T-shirt that reads, i saw bucky larson and all i got was this dead feeling inside."

QOTD would wear that t-shirt.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Send lawyers, guns and money...

Lawyers take a lot of grief. Everyone's heard the jokes (Q: If you see a lawyer on a bicycle, why don't you swerve to hit him? A: It might be your bicycle. Q: Why do they bury lawyers under 20 feet of dirt? A: Because deep down, they're really good people. etc, etc). We here at the QOTD Bureau are here to stand up for our attorney friends, by going through a list of our favorite members of the legal profession.

Because our research interns are taking time off for Fall Hat Month, we're sure we're missing a few people here. Some lawyers we did NOT miss: Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon makes our head hurt), Denny Crane (we watched zero episodes of The Practice), Ally McBeal (we preferred the guy from Ghostbusters 2 in that show), and Matlock (it's after Labor Day, friend).

So that opening out of the way, on to our list of our favorite 15 lawyers of all time:

15. Adam Schiff

Though Jack McCoy and Benjamin Stone got more of the attention, the eternally cranky DA makes all those TNT Law & Order marathons worthwhile.

14. Johnnie Cochran (the South Park version)

The real-life Johnnie Cochran might have helped OJ get away with murder with his "if the gloves don't fit, you must acquit" line. But that defense pales in comparison to the Chewbacca defense, which is so powerful that it has its own wikipedia page and is required study in first year law schools all across the land.

13. Atticus Finch

A stand-up dude.

12. That girl from J.A.G.

Okay, so we actually never saw J.A.G.. Nor do we know anyone else who's seen it. But we're pretty sure she was a pretty awesome lawyer. Or something.

11. Tom Hagen

As Don Corleone's right-hand man , he served as the voice of reason but wielded great power. Just like the role Andy Richter plays for Conan O'Brien.

10. Clair Huxtable

Who doesn't love Mrs. Huxtable? And she put up with those sweaters (and presumably lots of Jello pudding pops).

9. Vincent Gambini (Jerry Gallo/Callow)

Vinny's opening statement: "Uh... everything that guy just said is bullshit... Thank you."

8. All attorneys and the judge involved in the court case featured in The Rural Juror, the famous Kevin Grisham novel.

(not pictured)

7. Lt. Sam Weinberg

Another well-known second banana (potentially third, depending on your opinion of Lt. Commander Jo Gallo and her strenuous objections), he stands up for Pvt. Santiago, he gives Lt. Kaffee the "every day of the week and twice on Sunday" pep talk, and he's actually shorter than Tom Cruise, which probably played a huge role in his casting. Not to mention the fact that his role was played on the stage by Official Brother of QOTD, Kevin Doll. Plenty to make it onto this list.

6. Harvey Birdman

Just a great show. And his character is voiced by Bill Lumbergh. Yeaahhhhhh.

5. Punitive Damages

Punitive Damages, Javad Khazaeli's attorney/rapper alter-ego. Best known for his platinum album "Kickin' It in My Legal Briefs". Currently touring Dubai with Gröûp X: Arabian Rap Sensations.

4. Lionel Hutz

The Simpson family lawyer, who sometimes practices out of the "I Can't Believe It's a Law Firm" mall storefront. He also won a case against an all-you-can-eat buffet on Homer's behalf, calling it "the most blatant case of false advertising since The Never Ending Story". That rhetoric is almost as powerful as the Chewbacca defense.

3. Barry Zuckercorn / Wayne Jarvis / Bob Loblaw

The Arrested Development lawyers were, in order, very good, professional, and no hablo espanol. Zuckercorn had the most screen time, having anonymous rest stop sex, not reading pleas, extolling the virtues of Burger King, and even jumping a shark. Jarvis even hid professionally. And Bob Loblaw? Not only did he write the Bob Loblaw Law Blog, but he had one of the best legal commericals of all time:

2. Ed Stevens

The world's preeminent bowling alley attorney and founder of the Festival of Ducks, Ed Stevens was the linchpin (along with Dr. Jerome) of the heavily underrated early 2000s show Ed.

1. Katie Doll

Official Sister of QOTD just passed the bar this week, providing the inspiration for this post. Huge congratulations to her!

Now to the quote:

"I strenuously object?" Is that how it works? Hm? "Objection." "Overruled." "Oh, no, no, no. No, I STRENUOUSLY object." "Oh. Well, if you strenuously object then I should take some time to reconsider."

--Lt. Sam Weinberg, finding fault with Lt. Cmdr. Jo Galloway's objection style in A Few Good Men

Monday, September 12, 2011

With so much drama in the C-L-T...

Vague Snoop Dogg references in our post title aside (Snoop Dogg. You know. The tall black guy from that one Katy Perry song), we've recently been inspired to actually post something new on our long-ignored blog.

One of the fun things about starting this again is revisiting some of our old favorite sources of inspiration. (she's blind! but she can sculpt a head that looks almost nothing like Lionel Richie! wait, that's probably what we would've expected.) Oh yeah, inspiration. Checked out the Comics Curmudgeon for the first time in a couple of years, and found this delicious post, including a winner from Mark Trail, QOTD's favorite ass-kicking naturalist.

He's so bad-ass he exclaims everything he says - even when being attacked by a goose in the strip below (unlike Fabio, who probably just wept gently, when hit by a bird).

Periods are for weaker men.

As much as we love Mark Trail, that's how much we grew to hate Entourage after about the second season. Since the show mercifully wrapped up its run on HBO this past weekend, we figured we'd pay our respects. What will we do now that it's not on the air? Where will we get our fill of over-privileged, unlikable douche-helmets where there are no consequences for any of their actions? It's like Jersey Shore with less fighting. If only a gaggle of geese would go all Mark Trail on their asses. With an exclamation point, no doubt.

This CollegeHumor video so aptly satirizes Entourage's pitiful "dramatic situations" that I might as well just let it speak for itself. If only they'd had someone 2 feet shorter playing tough guy E, who was always the most excruciating of the bunch.

Now for today's quote, from our friend Sterling Archer, who could teach Bank of America management how to motivate an employee:

Archer: "Stop. Shut up. I have to go, and If I find one single dog hair when I get back, I'll... rub sand in your dead little eyes."
Woodhouse: "Very good, Sir."
Archer: "I also need you to go buy sand."
Woodhouse: "Yes, Sir."
Archer: "I don't know if they grade it, but... coarse."