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*

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.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

The Last Air Sucker

Yesterday we watched The Last Airbender and I got to say I feel kind of dirty. I mean if you put aside the fact that the original cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender was a masterpiece of Storytelling, animation and acting this an awful film.

I’d say there was too much expatiation and not enough of well any other kind of storytelling but that would be a bit of an understatement. Not only does this thing *for a quake at the thought of calling it an actual film* commit the deadly sin of showing rather then telling to what some people might call an excess, but it repeats things it’s already told you.

Yes I already know that Aang ran away when he found out he was the avatar, I don’t need you to tell fifty different times. The Real Avatar was able to show it much better with one simple exchange.

Katara: Why didn’t you tell us you were the Avatar

Anng: Because I didn’t want to be

In that one line you get more understanding and more emotional depth then in the entire of the film

Look I realize that making a film is a completely different thing to making an animated TV show and with the limited running time they would have to squeeze a lot in… There was some kind of other point I was trying to make but I think I just hit the nail on the head. It would be impossible for anyone to fit a world as complex and as big as Avatar’s into a at most two hour film. Could it have been done any better? Yes, but if you really want to experience the true world in all it’s glory stop pointlessly whining and watch the original.

The innocent Demon

I’m on a roll! Yesterday I found the secret behind Jeeves true feelings for one Bertie Wooster and today I find the secret behind The Omen
! Do want to know what it is? Lean closer then… *leans forward and whispers* Damien isn’t actually the Antichrist.

Yes, yes I know the whole story rides on the fact that this innocent little child or rather I should say innocent looking little child is in fact the Antichrist. But come on, where’s the actual proof?

All we have is a bunch of slightly insane people saying he’s the Antichrist, no where in the film do we actually see Damien do anything of an evil nature. Or for that matter anything of a mildly unpleasant nature. For all intense of purposes he’s simpley a well behiaved, quite little boy.

He does have that slightly creepy stare throughout the film but remember in the beginning of it he sees his nanny hang herself. Yeah, everyone goes on and on about how traumatized the mother and the other children at the party were but no one even asks about the closests person  to the dececesed.

That’s the hidden plot, this isn’t about a little boy who turns out to be the Anti Christ it’s about a little boy who is surrounded by insane adults. No I take that back, he’s surrounded by insane selfish adults All the mother can do is think about herself, the father rejects him because he’s not his real son, despite the fact that the great oaf was always aware that Damien was adopted *yeah great advertisement for adoption there movie!*

Oh and who could forget our dear old professor Lupin masquerading as a muggle photographer, who tries to convince a father to kill his only child so he himself *mean Lupin* will not die. Yeah I think we can all agree choosing competent teachers for his school isn’t exactly one of Dumbledore’s strong points.