Vulgar Fathers

I’m going to tell you a secret, a pretty big one so please let’s try and make this a safe place… I like the show Dads.
* dodges projectile weapons* Alright let me Explain! *dodges acid thrown in face*

Not cool guys! Look just let me explain, then if you still want to kill me by the end then have at it. Okay? * crowd lowers weapons* Okay!

Alright let’s tackle the big dog, the elephant in the room as it were: the show’s vulgar humour. Well I’ll answer that with this: Two and a Half Men, South Park and Family Guy.

We love these shows *at least in the case of the later two* because they’re shocking and crude. Because they just don’t seem to care.

It’s not like I don’t get why people would be offended, sometimes it does go too far. Things that people can over look in a cartoon become uncomfortable or down right offensive when taken to live action.

What I don’t get is why everyone’s talking about it like it’s the Antichrist of Shows. * I even heard one blogger actually call it evil*

There is nothing here that’s not in a million different other shows. How I Met Your Mother , The Big Bang Theory, heck even Friendsare all guilty of it one time or another. So what’s so different about this show?

If I was being sensible I would say it was because Seth Macfarlane is involved. His kind of Family Guy-esc humour doesn’t always translate well out of animated form. But so far I’ve heard no one site those particular jokes as the reason it’s so awful.

*If you don’t count the complaints against Brenda Song’s Japanese school girl outfit in the pilot. But I personally found that to be something much more similar to something that would happen in the Big Bang Theory then one of Macfarlane’s shows*

But the thing people are showing as proof of this racism the most are the “dads” themselves. Or rather the things they’re saying and I… completely agree with them.

The things the fathers come out with our completely racist, narcissistic and just plain horrible. But here’s the big but in that statement: that was the whole point.

These characters aren’t the heroes or heroines, they are in fact the villains. They’re not meant to be likeable, they’re not meant to be relatable; we’re not meant to agree with them, we are in fact meant to laugh at them.

What about the heroes themselves? Are they the pinnacle of political correctness? Oh dear god no, but the thing I like here is the narrative doesn’t ignore their flaws to make them look better. A trap many a sitcom main protagonist has falling into.

They’re both products of their upbringing. Making this at it’s very core, not a show about shocking people *although it’s certainly done that* but of Toxic parenting and it’s outcomes.

So there’s my bit, I enjoy this show and I can’t help that, but I can understand why other people don’t. *Looks at crowd* We good? *crowdlooks at each other then throws an axe right into head. Crumples to floor, lifeless body still twitching*

R.I.P Brian Griffin

Brian Griffin is dead… Brian Griffin is dead. I… I don’t know what to say. Sure I’d heard they were going to kill off one of the Griffin Family members but if I’d have to guess any one I would have guessed Chris. Though I love Seth Green, his character hasn’t really been giving much to do as of late. I would have been upset but I wouldn’t have been surprised.

I also might have said Meg *who’s one of the most hated characters on the show I might just add* but her abuse seems to be becoming *or already is* a running gag, giving her a lot more screen time. Even if they’d killed off Lois, which I would not have been unhappy about, it would have made at least a little more sense then killing off Brian.

I can;’t even explain it away with creative differences and the actor left the show, because Seth McFarland is still very much on the show! I’ve read what they gave as their reasons for killing him were; that it would be a lot more realistic for the dog to be killed off rather then one of the kids. Okay you raise me more realistic and I raise you Fucking Family Guy.

This a show where a dog walks on his hind legs, drinks alcohol and no body bats an eye! We don’t need realism! We did not tune in to watch realism, we wanted tasteless humor and characters defying death.

All  through the episode I was in denial, I just couldn’t believe they’d kill of Brian. Meg or Chris perhaps, but Brian?  I was convinced it was just going to be for one episode, not even that maybe half an episode. Stewie was going to rebuild his destroyed time machine and it would just be something to laugh about later.

But no he can’t get the parts, and they end up replacing Brian with a dog called Vinny. Don’t get me wrong, I like Vinny I think he’s nice, I didn’t trust him until Stewie did but I think that was the whole point… it’s just I’m still in shock. I can’t believe they actually did it.

This isn’t like On South Park with Kenny, Brian is staying dead and you know why I think the writers did it? Because they could. They could and they were bored.

Oh look at me I’m a Family Guy writer, I’ve run out of tasteless jokes so how can I upset people anymore? I know I’ll kill one of their most beloved characters, and oh no I won’nt just stop there! Not only will I kill him but I’ll do it in the most realistic way possible, he won’t die by gun fire or being flattened by one of Peter’s shenanigans, no he’ll be run over by a car. I can’t stop now I’m on a roll!

They’ll take him to the vets, ooh but wait it’s too late his injures are too extensive and they can’t do anything! So the family go in to pay their last respects and what our his last words on the face of this hellhole we call a show?

You’ve given me a wonderful life, I love you all


Magpie Christmas List 2013

11. The Discworld Graphic Novels: I started reading one of these books at a friend’s house years ago, always kinda regretted putting them down  and wandering away.

10. Top Hat: I’ve deiced to start a collection of these.. hats that is. So let’s see I’ve got a Russian hat *although it started out as a faux raccoon hat and I lost/ crushed the tail. Yeah don’t use detachable hat tails as book marks, never ends well.* … Where was I again? Oh yeah want lots of Hats think Top Hat would be really cool. *Though where I’d wear it is anyone’s guess.*

9. Cowboy Hat : Dito except replace top hat with well Cowboy Hat. Also I think I could wear it out and about with a shred of dignity in tacked. Not much I grant you but more then a top hat. Which leads us to the next item on our list…

8. A Hat Rack: I intend to acluminate a collection of odd and interesting headgear, so I’m going to need somewhere to hang them all.

7. Thicker Curtains: Don’t get me wrong when we first moved into our house I loved my thin Purple curtains but after about five or six years the novelty of having purple curtains wears off a bit and then your just left with… well thin curtains.

6. Tyrion Lannister poster: Oh my god! This guy is so cool! I must have him on my wall!… Did that sound as creepy to you as it did to me?

5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide by Brian Sibley: I’ve already got the visual guide and the actual film it’s self… but I want more.

4. Captain America Shield: And I’m not talking about the little toy one they sell to kids, don’t waist both our times, no I’m talking about a life size one you can hang on the wall. They do exist, I’ve seen them on the internet!

3. Elven/Dwarven/Orc…en? War manuals: Soon very soon I will have all the acquirements  I need to destroy all those who would stand in the way of my dominion over all earth and universe alike! *Mad Cackle*… What?

2. Reefer Madness: The Musical: It’s weird but it would appear that the parody of the drug propaganda of the 40′s or possibly thirties is in fact better at well… scaring us. Really the only thing that makes this a farce instead of actual propaganda is the fact they’re talking about Reefer instead of Heroine.

1. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete 3 Book Collection: I know in the past I’ve tried to be kind about the film… but My God! When you see even an episode of the original, the film’s all around general badness changes from merely disappointing to down right perverse.



Why Xander is so Annoying

*Looks up and then back* Yes I’m aware it’s not my most creative title, but to be fair it get’s it’s point across fairly well. Xander is very annoying, and I’ve only recently figured out exactly why he is so spectacularly annoying… he isn’t a real character.

Confused? Well I’ll try to explain… hmm where to start? Well I suppose the very beginning, all the other characters had a real point. They had a role to play, Buffy was the plucky Heroine, Giles was the wise mentor, Willow was the foil and Xander… well he evened up the genders.

Think about it, if Buffy only had girl friends then the show would have been too… girly. I know it’s not very feminist to say that but it’s true, if the only male main character is your surrogate father figure you’ve got a show directed at girls. So I can understand they didn’t want to ostracize half their demographic.

But then again that’s also the problem, Xander wasn’t put in to fill a role in the narrative like the others, he was put in to fill a role in the marketing. Of course this is a theory of my own design and I’ve never read any thing confirming it, but it really makes sense.

He’s not giving as much character development as the others because he really doesn’t have a proper place in the story, he didn’t really have a place to start from. All the others as the seasons progressed struggled, questioned and even attempted to rebel against the roles they were assigned at the start of the series.

Buffy struggles with her role as the hero and paragon that the others force upon her  while coping with her *would be down right depressing if this wasn’t a show about vampires* personal life. *Ooh sorry your mother’s just dropped dead of a brain tumor and you now have custody of your  traumatized and annoying teenage sister Buffy, but your boyfriend’s been kinda cheating on you because  he felt neglected. And if you don’t instantly forgive him you’re a horrible person.*

Willow’s Foil aspects of her personality  seemed to fall by the road side as she grows more comfortable with her self, her magic, her new sexual identity, and relationship with Girlfriend Tara.

Giles struggles with inadequacy with his role as mentor as Buffy and Willow both start to surpass him in both wisdom and knowledge. Season 4 especially delves into his feelings of uselessness as he is seemly replaced by Maggie Walsh. In fact it’s only Buffy herself who is able to reassure him.

Xander’s original role was well… to have a penis. That’s not something you really struggle against, well unless you’re a transsexual. That would have made the show so much better, but ah lass for the sake of this post we must remain in the land of reality.

Perhaps that is why the character seems so embittered to the rest, deep with in his very core he knows that his entire worth as an entity rides on control groups. He’s not a character, he’s a demographic.



The venomous snarl of Scotland

I’ve been told that I should just enjoy things and not care about what other people say about them, and while that’s sound advice sometimes it’s just impossible to hold my tongue. With that said let us talk about Brave .

Now while I have been known to snarl venomously at anyone who doesn’t agree with me whole heatedly, I can still appreciate that there are other points of view. Not every film, piece of fiction, work of art will jell with everyone, as hard as it is sometimes I have come to grip with that. However saying that, what I really take unbridged to is when people complain about a certain element in something that wasn’t even there in the first place.

For instance I’ve herd people moan about how everything in Brave’s been seen before. That is simply not true. In some instances I can see why someone might think that,the princess trope and the arranged marriage troupe has been done rather a lot in Disney’s past.  But what you have to focus  on here is the how not the what.

Think about it, rarely has the political ramifications of being a princess or why an arranged marriage would be happening in the first place been highlighted so well. Sure we’ve had many different kinds of princess before; Jasmin, Ariel, Aurora…Rapunzel…Pocahontas…*actually it’s rather hard to remember how many Disney princesses were actually born into their title* but  really the title it’s self plays little to nothing within the story.

And the arranged marriage, while playing a greater role in the narrative then the princess title usually is nothing more then an obstacle for two star crossed lovers to over come. That’s the main difference, Brave is not a love story, or at least not one of a romantic sort.

Parental bond in Disney if their mentioned at all are usually father daughter relationships. In fact I dare you to name one other Disney princess where the mother is actually alive… okay tangled kind of had two but one was an abusive adopted mother who I think died at the end *my memory is not very good there* and the other  had absolutely no lines so I’m not counting them.

Speaking of villains, this film didn’t really have one. Sure there’s Mordu but he’s not so much a villain in himself as a threat of the future. A consequence of what could happen if the spell isn’t broken. Even the witch isn’t really evil, she didn’t even want to sell Merida the spell and only changed her mind when the young princess offered to by her entire stock.

Because  it didn’t need either of those things , the villain was the situation it’s self and a love interest would simply be pointless in the arc of the story.


Magpie’s Top Races of Middle Earth

Have just finished watching all three extended version Lord of the rings films, so as you would expect I desperately wanted to write a blog post on them. But you see I work better with a central focus to nit pick, even something as this is disgustingly stupid.

I have nothing to nit pick with these films, there just that good. Beautifully acted, magnificently written, gloriously directed.. my knowledge of good adverbs had failed me at this point but my main point still stands. If you can name it The Lord of the Rings did it well.

And then it dawned on me, the movies might be unpick-able but the world they’re situated is far from. *Well it wouldn’t be having a war if it was* I’ve spoken before of my preference for certain middle earth races over others, so I thought why not go all out and do them all. Oh Side note: This isn’t going to be like my other lists, this will start with my favorites and then work it’s way down to the ones I loath.

1. Hobbits. Yes I think this a surprise to no one who’s read my blog before. Or even glanced at the tags. Too much sense to do something daft like start a war, these hairy toed fellows instead spend their time more productively.

Their list of accomplishments is: buttons, stoves, pocket watches, clocks in general and indoor plumbing! Hobbits might never have invent the canon but I’d bet my life they’d have been the first to invent the computer.

2. Dwarves. Lets face it the dwarves have had it ruff, from the line of Durin getting kicked out of their home by a fire breathing dragon to the gentle Petty dwarves who were slaughtered for game by the elves. Despite that they still end up being one of the most bad-ass races in Arda! Come on people we need some more dwarf love all round.

3. Ents:

I am on no one’s side, because no one is on my side little Orc

Do I really need to say anymore?

4. Goblins: Here’s another species I feel have gotten a bum rap. They’re allergic to sunlight so they have to live underground which makes ‘em stunted and deformed. Plus to top all that off everyone seems out to kill them! Poor things no wonder they were angry at the dwarves dropping in.

5.Easterlings: Yeah…em give me some proof that they’re actually evil and I’ll show you an elf that’s actually immortal.

6. Rohiriins: Oh my god, these guys are awesome! Not pretentious or thinking their better then others just flat out bad-asses! This is what the race of men should be!

7. Wargs: Aww…come on they’re cute…you know when they’re not trying to eat you.

8. Orcs: If we’re going to talk about creatures who’ve had it ruff orcs came into being because they were tortured. They’re as much victims as anyone else here.

9. Gondorians: What’s all this about being the last free kingdom of men? And their king ruling over everyone Else’s? God no wonder Rohan hates them.

10. Elves: Rather like hobbits I’ve said all I really have to say about these people in other posts. So  to put it bluntly  I don’t like them, or rather I don’t like how they’re often portrayed. Like they can do no wrong, people… who made the rings of power in the first place?

11. Eagles: Because they could have easily fixed everything.

The distressing Box

Oh god, Oh god, Oh god ! *rocks self in corner* the downton Writers have a sadistic streak. First they kill off two of their prominent characters in the same bloody season , and you know what I could have forgiven that but now they’ve gone and done it… they’ve had someone raped.

Look it’s not like it’s not a well written episode or even that the acting in it isn’t superb… it’s just my god it’s so horrible! Which being a depiction of rape you really would have expected it to be.

You can start to see a pattern merge among these Downton Abbey
writers can you not? Every time the show starts to hit a gentle curve, or far more alarming in season 3 when stuff was actually happening get’s boring, they put one of their characters through hell. Be it they generally kill them but this is no less devastating.

Maybe even more so, when you’re dead it’s awful for everyone around you but you’re gone, your pain is over if you’re raped on the other hand…oh god. I mustn’t let my mind dwell on such thoughts less I become even more depressed.

In fact I should probably finish this post soon so I can wonder off and cry in the corner. So I’ll just say this, Downton writers find away to make your story interesting without wrenching the hearts from your viewers chests. Think out side the horribly distressing box!

Magpie’s top ten WORST

I love films, who doesn’t, but every now and then we come across a film that sets our teeth on edge. You know you’ve found such a monstrosities when you realize, dear god I’d rather be reading.

10. The Rum Diary This was so boring I actually had to get up and leave. Of course as soon as I did Mum and Dad decided to turn on Will & Grace Thank you oh gracious givers of life, I bear no ill will to you at all. *glass breaks in hand* None what so ever.

9. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie This is one of those films that, while not technically falling into the category of bad leaves you saying “oh, my life would have been a hundred times better without seeing that.”

8. The Last Airbender Like I said in my stand alone review of it I don’t think this is a bad film because it betrayed and din’t do justice to the source material. I think this is a bad film because it didn’t do justice to it’s self, the thing is it didn’t start badly in fact it was quite good *not the original good true but it was holding it’s own*

It’s just the endless expatiation undid it, which if they’d had a good editor really would not have been needed!

7. Iron Man 2  You maybe wandering why I didn’t say Iron Man 3 instead, seeing in how I gave it such a scaling review before? Well, even though the third one was profoundly stupid and insulting to the very character it was supposed to be developing *take it to account that this is a character who I hate so if i say it’s insulting you know it really is* it did at least have a point.

Marvel wasn’t just trying to make a bunch of superhero movies willy nilly, no they were making them in same universe. Which is a far greater task, each film has to leave a mark or really it was just a waist of space. As daft as the third iron man was it did at least do that, it was a stupid impact but it was at least an impact.

6. Mr. St. Nick Oh Kelsey why?! Why!? You can act, and generally you choose things that let you. The prime word here being generally!

5. Fast & Furious 6 Let’s something strait here the rest of these films were not good, heck they were barley even combatant… they were not as bad as this convoluted sexist and plot-less piece of trash.

4. Step Up Ever wonder what could be worst then having an actor who can’t  act in your film? Try having a dancer who can’t dance, clearly writers who can not write as well as many actors who can not act!

3. Cocktail This film is the biggest load of sexist, money grabbing, poorly written, horribly paced bullshit I’ve ever seen and is under the misconception that Tom Cruise is likable.

2. Seven Pounds Made at the height as what I shall affectionately call Will Smith’s martyrdom , this film made people want to kill themselves… and it was called the feel good film of the year.

1. Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings Abomination of all things right and good in the world. I have discovered a new level of hell and it’s creator’s name is Bakshi!

A Formula one Masterpiece

It was once said by a wise person *I can’t quite remember who* every story has the same plot, someone wants something, if it’s commercial fiction they get it if it’s Literary they don’t. But just imagination for a seconded that you combined the two, can’t be done you say Magpie has finally gone off her rocket. Au contrair mon ami, for you see just days ago I witnessed such a phenomena in a little film by the name of Rush. *It’s still out in the cinema so you’ll forgive me if there isn’t a link for it yet*

Set around the world of 1970′s formula one racing *which believe you me if you’ve been raised in the noughties really is a different world* the film tells the story of the legendary *well I say legendary but this is the first time I’ve herd of it* rivalry between James Hunt  and Niki Lauda.

Seeing as how the Grand Prix is at it’s very essence a race their can be only one winner. If the film had chosen  to just follow one of them, IE giving only one point of view and one story line to be invested in, it wouldn’t have been an  awful film by any means. Mainly because the writing was fantastic and Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl *I know that’s spelled wrong but I’m not sure how to put dots over the u so this will have to suffice at least for now.* were sensational as Hunt and Lauda respectively.

However upon saying that nor would it have been one of the best films I’ve ever seen. * and yes I will go to my grave saying that* Alone they are good stories but twisted together in a hot mess of anger and sweat *and yes I know what that sounds like I can assure you it was quite deliberate* they transcendent into a true greatness upheld by very few…God I’m so good sometimes I scare myself!

I’d tell you a blow by blow account on what happened in this masterpiece of a film, but I believe even my unbelievably awesome prose *does that sound too self satisfied?…Ah, who cares it’s completely true* would be unable to truly capture the true magistracy of this wondrous piece of cinema. * Am I being a tad over dramatic? Well kind of but my point still stands*


The Supposed Comedy

What defines a film as a comedy? If I was being cliche I might say that the dictionary defines it as, but this is 2013 and no one does that anymore so… Wikipedia defines a comedic film as

 a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humor.

Well that certainly clears up something for me , the film I watched last night, The Joneses claiming to be a dark comedy  was in fact lying. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad film by any means, in fact it was a very good film; full of good acting, writing and an intriguing plot, it’s just it was clearly not a comedy!

Sure there were bits that made me laugh, there should be in every film, but the fact was that it wasn’t the emphasis. This isn’t the first time I’ve been lied to in this fashion, a while a go two other films did something similar if not exactly the same thing.

Rather like the Joneses The Kids Are All Right and Spanglish are very clever films with great actors, strong characters and again intriguing ideas for their plots. However like before for something that claims to be a comedy *not even a dark comedy, which can get away with slightly edgier stuff then just plain comedies can*  the balance of both films *one of which actually has Adam Sander* in general really isn’t on the comedic side.

Was this the filmmakers intention the whole time? If so why call them comedies in the first place?  Well honestly *if it was deliberate at all* I think  it  had a lot to do with marketing. Of course this theory is based on what made me more keen to see these films in the first place, which is my love of humor and my believe that it’s a vital  if unappreciated academically part of any good piece of fiction. * I’d have still have watched them if they’d been  honest, just with a lot more kicking and screaming.*

Perhaps the reasoning was that people *meaning the general public* are more likely to watch these films if their hidden behind a lair of comedy. But on saying that, that raises the question on why they didn’t just make it into a comedy in the first place?

Not every comedic possibility has to be Adam Sander esc slapstick there are other types of humor. A lot of comedies mange to do the exact same thing with out sacrificing the actual comedy!

For what they are these films are all fantastic and if * emphasis on the if ’cause if  I promise to do a blog post on something I usually end up not doing it.* I was to do another Magpie’s top films list they’d most likely be on it. So yeah I don’t hate these films and I can even understand the route they took them in, because it worked for the stories they were trying to tell…It’s just that I really *eye twitches” really HATE being lied to.