After months of addressing stage fright through karaoke, I put my mettle to the test by participating in a live “Geeks vs. Nerds” debate at Yuk-Yuk’s Comedy Club tonight. “Geeks vs. Nerds” is a comedy debate show where two teams of three argue over which fictional character is better. My roommate hosts it, so that’s sort of how I got involved. Tonight’s show featured the match-ups “Tintin vs. Indiana Jones” and “Superman vs. Goku”. I wound up on Team Superman.
I seriously had no idea that Superman costume of mine would get so much mileage this year.
The first debate between Indy and Tintin went hilariously wrong as Team Tintin berated Indy’s “let’s use child labor and get Hitler’s autograph” policy, while Team Indy printed out some portrait-sized images of Tintin punching black people in the Congo. In the end, Tintin won the “Best Globe-Trotter” award on the grounds that by calling dibs on the moon, he’d effectively trotted more globes than Indy.
Our following debate was a bit more dramatic. The audience was clearly pro-Goku when we started, but as time went on, we think we pulled a “Rocky IV” with the crowd. By the end, it was a close call, but Team Superman pulled through.
My friend Zach had the best one-liner of the night with his “Goku is the #1 cause of world hunger” jab. As the debate was in regards to who was better suited for protecting Earth, it was in our favor that Goku was a walking natural disaster who allowed three planets to be destroyed under his watch. The other team pulled out some great jabs too, and even produced a skit depicting the climactic battle. Our version of the battle ended in Superman using rainbow-colored kryptonite to turn gay just so he could memory-erase Goku with a kiss.
All in all, it was a great night. Plus we followed it up with drinks at the EXP Bar (this fancy new video game bar in the city where I’m now apparently known as ‘Commander Shepard’ just because the waiter encourages nicknames at the table to make separating bills easier.)
Not sure what else to write. That’s what I did today.
Here’s an inspirational picture I’d been looking at to pump myself up for the debate.
The topic of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” been coming up a lot lately (more than usual, anyway). Earlier this month, I attended a “Geek vs. Nerds” show where Buffy took on Blade (and through some unforeseen happenstance, there were somehow more shirtless Ryan Reynolds fans in the audience.) And the month before, a Joss Whedon night was held at a local club where I cosplayed as Seth Green’s Oz character from the season 3 Halloween episode (because this was the quickest costume I could put together on short notice.) And before that, we had “Avengers” and “Cabin in the Woods” – it’s been a good year for Buffy fans.
Personally, I’ve seen the whole series a half dozen times over already. It really is one of my favorite shows because of how often it tries something out-of-left-field or break its own rules (i.e. Buffy switches from stakes to rocket launchers in one episode.) But in recent years, whenever I re-watch it, I tend to get more selective with the episodes, and I find a lot of my favorites are always the stand-alone shows. Stand-alone episodes are usually the short stories that have little to do with the season’s story arc. They’re entertaining enough without requiring a “Previously on Buffy” refresher course. So for the purposes of this list, I won’t be mentioning any season finales, two-parters, or any episode where a key character dies. I’m just going to highlight the fun episodes.
And why twelve? Because it came up to twelve when I was finished.
1. The Pack (Season 1)
When the show first started, it was straight-up high school horror corniness. This episode was no exception, but to a different extreme. Before, the key villains were vampires and witches. This one decided to go off on a tangent by having a group of students get possessed by wild hyena gods, which the writers had too much fun with. They were cruel, sadistic, creepy, and otherwise completely indistinguishable from any other gang of hooligan teenagers.
2. The Puppet Show (Season 1)
Hey, creepy ventriloquist dummy episode! We can all guess where this is going! Or can we? I think this was the first episode to introduce a mind-blowing twist which forced the audience to start second-guessing every episode from there on in. It also features a very awkward post-credit scene where Buffy and her friends massacre a scene from “Oedipus Rex”.
3. School Hard (Season 2)
Prophecies and rituals come to an end in this episode where the character of Spike is introduced. Back in this season, Spike was pretty much The Joker – chaotic and reckless. So the premise here is that he wages a vampire siege against the school on Parent/Teacher night, resulting in Buffy needing to go all “Die Hard” on their asses and doing very little to hide her secret identity. It’s a pretty sweet episode.
4. Ted (Season 2)
Personally, this is one of my top favorites. It’s the Buffy version of “One Froggy Evening”. John Ritter guest stars as Buffy’s new potential step-dad. He bakes cookies, takes everyone out for mini-golf, dispenses fatherly advice, and is overall the nicest guy you’d ever meet. But when he’s alone with Buffy? COMPLETE PSYCHOPATH. None of Buffy’s friends believe her, so the stakes are raised as she gets pushed to the point of murder trying to prove that this guy is evil. It gets quite serious and over-the-top at times, but I love it. A later episode in season four “Living Conditions” mimics the same situation where Buffy is convinced her new roommate is evil and everybody is trying to stop her from killing her roommate.
5. The Zeppo (Season 3)
How about an episode where Buffy and her friends battle the greatest, most horrible evil they will EVER meet on this show? And then how about make it so they exclude one friend (Xander) from joining in the battle because he’s the most likely to get killed? And how about the whole episode follows all the madness that befalls Xander on that fateful night? It’s a wonderfully crazy episode with many jabs at the show’s own formula. I’d almost compare this episode to “South Park” where you can tell the writers are being given free reign to vent their frustrations over the usual cliches.
6. Earshot (Season 3)
I might be biased here, because I love any episode of anything where the main character can suddenly read minds. It’s a great tool for comedy as you suddenly get an insight in everybody’s thought processes (and discover that some characters have no thought processes at all). This one quickly takes some dark turns, though, as Buffy finds herself trying to track down a student whom she “overheard” planning a mass murder. From there, it actually touches down on some real life issues on events that hadn’t yet become a reality on the news, but it’s all handled very well. And the ultimate pay-off for solving the mystery is one of the most fantastically stupid moments in the show.
7. Pangs (Season 4)
Buffy and the gang battling Indian vengeance spirits on Thanksgiving while trying to be politically correct about it. Political correctness fails many times in this episode.
Special Video Highlight:
8. Hush (Season 4)
A spell falls over the town depriving everyone of their voices. What follows is a scary-as-hell episode where freaky monsters attack the town and no one can scream or call for help. This is one of those “top of every list” episodes because of how damn good it is. Even better is watching all the truths and misunderstandings that come out when people can no longer use their words to lie or defend themselves. A perfect horror-comedy.
9. Restless (Season 4)
Here’s an episode that’s confusing no matter whether you’re a fan or new to the show. Four of the characters experience four separate dreams and what follows is a very nonsensical, “Twins Peaks” style episode with no coherent narrative. They just wander from one pointless scenario to another, acting very out-of-character and doing random stuff. There is a story hidden in the subtext, but it’s otherwise a very accurate depiction of a dream-like state. Plus it has the cheese man. Who doesn’t love the cheese man?
10. Once More, With Feeling (Season 6)
I’m reaching by calling this a stand-alone episode since it relies on past episodes for its main story to work. But the real charm is the whole musical angle where the town becomes cursed and people randomly break out into song. Fans of “Dr. Horrible” can see Joss Whedon’s songwriting roots here as nearly every song is both catchy and clever as hell. Even the lyrics drift from beautifully poetic to absurd non-sequiters (most notably one lyric: “I think this line’s mostly filler” when a random character has nothing to add to the song.) After seeing this one for the first time, I found myself humming a lot of the tunes throughout the next several weeks.
11. Normal Again (Season 6)
This is one of those episodes that asks a very simple question: what if Buffy is a nutcase in an asylum, and this whole show is her delusional fantasy? As the episode cuts between worlds, Buffy is pushed into almost doing unspeakable things as she chooses between realities. Also, without giving too much away, it’s pretty rare to see Buffy as the villain.
12. Conversations with Dead People (Season 7)
I’m also stretching with this as a stand-alone episode because it relies VERY heavily on past episodes for the story to work. But the reason I put it on this list is because it’s the first episode I ever saw – and it hooked me instantly. So it must be doing something right if I can enjoy it without understanding it. Four characters all have different supernatural encounters on one night. In one situation, Buffy’s making small talk with an old friend-turned-vampire whom she has to kill later, meanwhile, her sister is battling a genuinely dangerous poltergeist in the house. And meanwhile from there, two other characters are having very serious conversations with long-dead friends. None of these stories ever intersect. There’s a lot of strong comedy and drama in here, but the overall flow of the episode is tied together very well, along with the accompanying music. I’d almost call this Tarantino-esque if it were a little more off-kilter. While I can’t recommend it to all new-comers, it’s a very experimental episode and a very personal favorite of mine.
The Frankenstein films have always been an overlooked part of my childhood. I’d remember catching glimpses of them on television or snippets in other media, but until recently, it hadn’t occurred to me to actually watch any of them. For its time, Universal pictures put out monster movies at the same alarming rate we see superhero movies now. And much like today, they even got into the trend of performing cross-overs in their “monster rally” films (just the like “The Avengers”, but with more strangling). So for October, I’ve chosen to review ye olde Frankenstein movies. There have been dozens of them, so I’ll only cover the more well-known ones from Universal Pictures.
This is the one we’re familiar with to some extent. Black and white, Igor, lightning, castle, villagers with torches + Boris Karloff = “It’s alive!” Almost every part of this movie is scattered throughout pop culture, and if you’ve ever seen Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein”, it’s really not too different (just replace all the comedy with strangling.) As far as the films go, it’s really the most “essential” of the bunch and you can easily ignore its sequels if you’re refreshing yourself on classic movies. Although the sequel did hold some surprises.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
At this point, I was ready to accept that the rest of the films were going to be bad knock-offs from this point on, but “Bride of Frankenstein” is one of those rare “better than the original” sequels. Naturally, the monster survives the first movie, so the second one sees him going on a soul-searching journey as he tries to figure out where he belongs in this world. I rather like this one because it reveals the monster as human, and that we ourselves create the monster by treating him like one. You can only push a nice guy so far before he starts strangling again. This movie also shares a lot of common elements with the original novel, so it’s a good supplement to the first film.
Son of Frankenstein (1939)
This is a good time to bring up the monster’s name since this is the first film that acknowledges it: the monster’s name IS Frankenstein. We’ve all heard ourselves correct each other that Frankenstein is the doctor’s name, but guess what? The doctor’s name is also VICTOR. Frankenstein is a surname he got from his father, and the villagers in this third movie make the same association with the monster. So as of the third movie, the monster is technically Frankenstein. As far as the movie goes, somehow Victor’s son shows up and decided to carry on his father’s work and bring it back to life. Meanwhile, Igor starts being an evil mastermind. We don’t even see the monster until the end – and then it falls into molten sulfur. But he’ll be back.
The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
This one was kind of amusing. The villagers get fed up with this crap and actually blow up the castle. But then Frankenstein crawls out of the dried-up sulfur pit, joins Igor and they go pester another town instead. Once again, Franky’s treated like crap and starts strangling again. Meanwhile, Igor finds Victor’s relative Ludwig and convinces him to swap out the monster’s brain with someone else’s (there’s a lot of brain surgeons in this family.) Long story short: torches and pitchforks.
Frankenstein meets the Wolf Man (1943)
That last one ended all continuity with the films. Here, the monster rallies began, and what a disappointment they were. If I were a kid in the forties, I’d be psyched to see Frankenstein battle the Wolf Man. And yet these two titans never meet until the very last minute of the movie – and then they both die. The rest was all villagers with pitchforks complaining about how mad scientists (or men with werewolf curses) shouldn’t bring back the dead.
House of Frankenstein (1944)
“So here’s my pitch: Frankenstein, Dracula, AND the Wolf Man – all in the same movie! People are going to love it! But then we throw in a twist: none of these monsters ever meet or fight each other! We kill off Dracula halfway through the film, kill off the Wolf Man before Frankenstein wakes up, and then kill off Frankenstein! And none of it happens in Frankenstein’s house! Frankenstein doesn’t even have a house!”
Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein (1948)
Not gonna lie: turns out this is the best movie of the bunch. This continues the trend of the monster rallies where Frankenstein, Dracula, and Wolf Man come together, but unlike the last two films, people actually got their money’s worth with this one. Abbott and Costello play two baggage-clerks who find out that Dracula is smuggling a monster into the country and the Wolf Man is trying to stop him. The rest is pretty much the precursor to “Scooby Doo”. Monsters come, we scream, Abbott and Costello run, we laugh. And I repeat that: they run. In all these Frankenstein movies, nobody has ever run from the monster. He just slowly shambles up to people and starts strangling them. So in a franchise about brain surgery, the most intelligent people thus far have been these two guys. I’d even say this movie inspired “Van Helsing” since this is the first instance of Frankenstein working for Dracula and the Wolf Man being Dracula’s enemy. The monsters actually get into some decent fights this time around. Overall, I think it’s a great monster-comedy with a lot of good laughs.
Let’s end this off with the trailer for the film which stars “a couple of luscious females” (1940′s sexism never fails to amuse me.)
So my friend Amy writes me up and not only tells me she has the best idea for a music video ever, but that I’m the only person who can make it happen. And then it turns out she does have the best idea ever. Half an hour later, this exists.
Looks like we’re on the air! Nerdcorps’ new show “Slugterra” is hitting the network tomorrow. It’s been three months since I started on the show and it’s been a blast. While none of my work will start appearing until episode 13 (or sooner, considering we’re using episode 9 as the pilot), the show is still fun to watch. It’s basically Pokemon, except they ride mecha-beasts and use the cute little critters as ammunition. WHICH IS AWESOME. AND TOTALLY INCONVENIENT. BUT STILL AWESOME. I can’t wait for the toy line to start coming out. It’s going to be a Slugterra Christmas for my family and friends. Nerf guns and slug plushies all around!
Here’s the trailer for the pilot episode:
And here’s the show’s opening sequence. The words to the theme song are very easy to memorize.
Look at those little dudes fly! I wish I had a gun that punched people.
Snow White and the Huntsman What is it?: A modernized re-telling of the Snow White story for girls aged 14-15. Actually, it wouldn’t be half-bad if Snow White had been re-cast. A lot of things were very well done, but the skinny shadow of Kristin Stewart’s presence seems to loom over everything. It’s like she’s trapped in an episode of “Quantum Leap” where she’s an outsider trapped in a fairy tale and the only way to leap back home is to stand around until the end credits. Maybe she’s confusing staging for acting? Guess how this movie ends?: With Kristin Stewart failing to smile. I kid you not, the second-to-last shot in the movie is a close-up of her face as she slowly raises the corners of her mouth, quivers a little, and then gives up. I wish I was making this up. Actually, wait – no. I don’t. It hammers home the point so perfectly. Quantum Leap Movie?: Want!!!
Ted What is it?: It’s “Family Guy” as a live-action movie, cut-away gags and all. Pretty damn good too. I had reservations about Seth MacFarlane doing anything else ever after the fourth season of Family Guy (along with his innumerable spin-off shows), but I’ve somehow wound up seeing this movie in theaters twice already and enjoyed it just as much the second time. The scenes with the hooker poop never cease to make me laugh. Should Seth MacFarlane continue making movies?: Ha ha ha! Absolutely not! I saw what happens when you give this guy too much power. Bring him back for “Hellboy 3″, but otherwise, this is one of those “make him quit while he’s ahead” things. (Seriously! Do not let him sign any more contracts!)
The Dark Knight Rises Auuugggghhhhh…: I was not looking forward to reviewing this one. Over-Hyped?: A little. But it’s really the film’s vibe that didn’t hook me. It doesn’t feel like a Batman movie. Batman is very out-of-character and wastes way too much time in self-doubt. In all fairness, I was more invested in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character Blake throughout the film. Here he is, a renegade cop running around trying to bring order to chaos in a city under siege. It’s like a “Die Hard” movie with a side-plot about Batman being sad. Blake on his own could have carried the whole movie without it needing the Batman brand. Where it loses me: It’s too much of an adult movie. There’s no fist-pump “Go Batman!” moments. No cinematic magic that really brings out the inner child. It’s more about politics, society and symbolism – you know, the kind of stuff children love being taken to the movies for. This is a rare instance where instead of raping my childhood, Hollywood is instead kicking my childhood out of the house and telling it to grow up and get a job.
Prometheus What is it?: Another movie that should have been GREAT. Visually, it looks amazing, and I was hooked on learning what all the universe’s big mysteries were from the way the film sets itself up. And then at the end… it’s like they switched over to the alternate ending. In regards to the ending: I’d like to see a sci-fi movie like this where they talk to the alien, and then the alien talks back. The last twenty minutes of the film suddenly turn into “Cowboys and Aliens” where the stakes unnecessarily sky-rocket for the sake of having an explosive climax. This is sad, because everything before that point was engaging enough without resorting to a “save the world” scenario. It’s like “I Am Legend” all over again where the better ending is probably going to turn up on the Blu-Ray release.
The Amazing Spider-Man What is it?: It’s the same movie as the first. Only with a different cast, non-organic web-slingers, and a different villain. Totally worth rebooting the franchise for. Although I’m sure anyone unfamiliar with the comics will be left scratching their heads as to why Peter is now dating the blonde from the third movie instead of the redhead. Is it a dark, realistic reboot?: No. It isn’t. In fact, if anything, this movie shows us how right Sam Raimi’s version was to begin with. When they try to remove the cartoony moments, they only end up coming up with new cartoony moments. The hammy dialogue has been replaced with more hammy dialogue. They even remembered to bring back Emo Spider-Man from the third movie. The only thing they really force down our throats is the family drama, and you can imagine how well that goes. So if it’s the same, you like it then?: Nope. I don’t think anybody in the production did. Just looking at the actors perform, you can tell the kid playing Spidey keeps trying to push Tobey Maguire out of his mind. The whole cast looks to be carrying that same burden. They know it’s too soon for a reboot, yet here they are pretending the corpse isn’t still warm. And ultimately, this reboot adds nothing to the franchise. We’re back to square one until the next reboot.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel What is it?: Old British people in India! Hijinks ahoy! Independent dramatic comedy! Professor McGonagall as an old racist lady! Hurray! This isn’t your normal kind of movie…: It is when I’m trying to impress a girl. With big boobies. Who only watches independent movies. And spends more time tweeting than looking me in the eye when we’re chatting over dinner. Needless to say, I was unimpressed. With the movie?: What? – No! The movie was great. A feel-good film and so on. But yeah, I think I’m going to make it a point not to date anyone who refuses to see “The Avengers”.
So I gave the rental system on my PS3 a test-run and this was my first film digitally rented. It took about four hours to download, meaning I couldn’t even stream it as I watched, so I’ll have to plan ahead next time I want to rent anything. But it’s actually a decent action-adventure. I recommend it as a some good pulp sci-fi. They’re definitely trying to bank on Avatar with it, so take that with a grain of salt.
The Hunger Games
My second digital rental! Pretty much “Battle Royale” meets “The Running Man” with a light dash of “Twilight”. It’s actually really good. “Twilight” is so much better when it’s about televising young children slaughtering each other.
I’ve had this kicking around on the back-burner for a while. See, in the last couple months of developing SQInc, I felt oddly compelled to put on really bad movies as background noise – and this led to me watching every single one of Disney’s straight-to-video sequels out of morbid curiosity. I mean, after “Return of Jafar”, how much worse could they get?
As it turns out, the Nostalgia Chick from TGWTG.com had the same idea and ended up releasing two videos detailing the best and worst out of the movies at the same time I was writing this. Basically, her lists and my lists were almost 100% identical, so I kicked this article aside until I could retool it. So now instead of a best/worst list, I decided to just pick apart the five movies that defied the most logic.
The Fox and the Hound 2 What is it?: Okay, so I might rip off this one from NChick’s “worst” list, but the strangeness of it is bewildering. Apparently, the story of Todd and Copper (a fox and a hound who grew up best friends and raised to be mortal enemies) actually had a deleted scene where Copper runs away from home to become a famous country singer. Todd’s his manager, Copper gets high on fame – becomes a jerk, of course – and then there’s that whole “friendship” theme that comes back to bite him in the ass. Baffling Because…?: Are you kidding? Clearly, someone thought “The Fox and the Hound” wasn’t “Hannah Montana” enough. And if that’s the case, I don’t think “Hannah Montana” is “Fox and the Hound” enough yet. Not until they make a sequel where Hannah chases her best friends around with a shotgun.
Atlantis 2: Milo’s Return What is it?: This is one of those sequels where instead of writing one plot, they just staple three episodes of a failed TV series together (they did the same thing for “Cinderella 2″ and “Tarzan and Jane”.) In three completely separate stories, Milo and his friends go defeat a Kraken, travel to the desert and fight dust coyotes, and then, in the last twenty minutes, travel to Asgard and battle the Nordic gods in the epic battle of Ragnarok. Baffling Because…?: Let me repeat that last one: Disney takes on Ragnarok. The fabled Death of the Gods, End of the World scenario. Now hear me out, because that not only ties into the mythology set by the first Atlantis movie, but it already sounds like a plot for the most epic, bad-ass sequel Disney could have ever made for anything. This begs me to ask: why wasn’t the whole movie about THAT? Why was the best story idea mashed into the last twenty minutes of a bargain bin movie? I don’t know about anyone else, but I want a remake. I would watch the crap out of a theatrical “Atlantis 2: Ragnarok Boogaloo”.
Mulan II What is it?: Mulan is hired to escort three princesses to a neighboring country so they be wed to three princes and prevent a war. Along the way, the princesses fall in love with Mulan’s sidekicks, and Mulan teaches everybody a lesson about the evils of arranged marriage. Baffling Because…?: …I don’t think Disney is qualified to preach about arranged political marriages in times of war. That makes about as much sense as “Twilight” preaching about abortion. In fact, this is one movie where “follow your heart” can literally get people killed. And it almost does. People are constantly yelling at Mulan to just let the “arranged marriage” thing slide because thousands of lives are at stake. But here’s what gets me: the moral of the story is that Mulan is wrong. When she finally convinces the princesses to give up the arranged marriage, guess what happens? WAR BREAKS OUT. And how do they resolve it?: Mushu impersonates the Great Dragon and scares the crap out of China’s leaders until they agree to peace. That’s right: they had to pull a “Watchmen” just to fix Mulan’s mistake.
The Lion King 1 1/2 What is it?: It’s “The Lion King” from Timon and Pumbaa’s point-of-view, revealing to us how they were actually present in every scene of the first movie. Baffling Because…?: It’s very surreal watching Disney doing a parody of its own movie. This is not like “Enchanted” where they’re spoofing a formula. Here’s a movie where Elton John’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” gets remixed with the Blue Brothers theme song, and every sincere moment from the original “Lion King” is caused by Pumbaa farting. Not to mention the chronology is all over the place. It shows us Simba being born, and then the Wildebeest Stampede happens the next day. Then Simba spends months in the desert before Timon and Pumbaa find him.
“Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True” AND “Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time” Why two at once?: It’s just the Cinderella thing, you know? The movie’s over 60 years old and it defined “Happily Ever After” – was anybody EVER asking for a sequel, let alone two? Not to mention one of them involves time travel. Before watching these, I made damn sure to watch at least 2 minutes of “Finding Nemo” to put myself in a good mood because I knew I was going to need it. In the end, I couldn’t summarize the logic behind either of these movies. They’re just so completely random. So I’m just going to post my notes and let you guess what thing I found most baffling about them:
So “Cinderella 2″ is one of those “three episodes of a failed TV series stapled together” movies…
The first 20 minutes of the movie is a vignette about how hard it is for Cinderella to be a princess. Riveting. Also, the talking mice should not pronounce “horse.” Especially when they want to ride one.
The next 20 minutes are about the time one of the mice gets turned into a human, hits on Cinderella, and then drives an elephant into a ferris wheel. I rather liked this story.
And the last twenty minutes involve Cinderella giving her stepsister a make-over. The mice try to pronounce “horse” some more.
“Cinderella 3″ opens on the Evil Stepmother tearing open a hole in the space-time continuum with the fairy godmother’s wand and erasing “Cinderella 2″ from existence.
So now Cinderella is a time-traveler stuck in 1955 (1855?) and the only way she can get back to the future is if she can get the Prince to kiss her at the ball.
It contains Cinderella clones, the Pumpkin Coach ride from Hell, and tons of self-referential humor. This movie actually has a lot more in common with a Doctor Who episode. It’s surprisingly watchable.
But the thing that baffles me most…: They were making a Cinderella TV series?!
Honorable Mention: The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning Baffling Because: Ariel’s mom looks just like Ariel. This means that if you’re watching this movie with the sound off (or not paying attention) and don’t know who this woman is… then King Triton is going around dating his own daughter. I know he’s a pimp and all, but DUDE – the first couple minutes of this movie were freaking me out before I put one and one together.
I’ve been going to karaoke a lot since March. And no, it’s not just because it’s a good opportunity to network with people and have drinks with many beautiful women every week. Those parts are perks. No, I’m actually a singer at heart.
I’ve been attending about six different karaoke bars since I moved to Vancouver. At first, it was myself and my friend Tegan as we cruised the city scoping out locales. Once we met more people, our karaoke crew grew and grew until it actually performed mitosis and separated into two different crews (well, three, but one of them turned into a D&D crew instead). Eventually I had to cut back on places just to keep track of everyone. But the funny thing is, in my travels, I’ve discovered that essentially each karaoke bar is host to the exact same crowds (some rowdier than others, of course). There are ongoing patterns with the people who come and their song choices. It’s almost predictable in an eerily welcome kind of way.
I’ve managed to break these personality-types down to a list of twelve. This isn’t a straight-up list of the ONLY kinds of karaoke people, but rather a list of the most frequent types I’ve seen perform thus far. See if you can spot yourself in here.
The New Guys
The first thing new guys will do is look for the book and then read the WHOLE THING. This takes them about twenty minutes. Then they find one of their favorite songs, go up on stage and discover first-hand that just because you know the chorus to a song doesn’t mean you know the rest. We’re cheer them on anyway because the new guys are entitled to some slack. That is, providing they don’t attempt singing both the guy and girl parts of “Love Shack” by themselves.
The Happy Camper
He is a regular. He is the worst singer you’ve ever heard. He will somehow be up on stage at least five times a night. He will always sing the same songs. He’s completely unaware of how terrible he sounds. Yet his passion for getting up there and raping our eardrums is infectious. Do not allow this guy anywhere near Pink Floyd. Especially “Comfortably Numb”; he is not aware that this is a seven minute song. He might also attempt to sing both the guy and girl parts to “Love Shack” as well. I cannot stress enough that this is never a good idea.
Not always necessarily married, but they might as well be. They insist on singing duets. The girl is usually the talented one. The guy’s just really, really drunk and laughing his ass off though most of the song. They will always pick songs from “Grease” or they’ll jump right on “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and apologize in advance for the next eight minutes. “Love Shack” is not recommended in this case either, but they WILL sing it.
They sing Madonna. They sing Lady Gaga. They sing ABBA. They might be good. They might be awful. They always travel in packs. The crowd can easily sing along with them, or just as easily tune them out. They are always the first ones to start dancing, even if there’s no room for it. The party-girls are the background noise at every karaoke night. For guys, they are also the eye candy, and we will cheer on their singing regardless of talent. Except for “Love Shack”.
Some guys are usually mediocre singers at best, so they only sing songs with novelty value where the crazier they perform, the better the song becomes. They always put on memorable performances as they insist on jumping around on-stage, over-doing lyrics, and singing Spice Girls songs with their bros for laughs. They can sometimes do “Love Shack”, but more often than not, they can’t.
These girls can SING. Much like the attention-deprived males, they’re also entertainers at heart, but they tend to replace comedy with sheer talent and heart-stopping sexiness. They dominate at Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Christina Aquilera, Mariah Cariey, and even nail “Lady Marmalade” every time. Any time one of these girls is on stage singing Adele’s “Someone Like You”, most guys will forget they hate that song long enough to throw out some whistles and cat calls. They never sing “Love Shack” because they know better.
The Guy Who’s Stealing All The Girls!
Seriously! This guy is up on stage every twenty minutes doing a duet with another girl. And when he’s not up on stage, he’s on the dance floor teaching them to salsa. I’d hate this guy if I wasn’t so desperately trying to be him. Or if he sang “Love Shack”!
Do you remember the 90′s? Because the hipsters do. Alanis Morrisette, Garbage, Nirvana, Marcy Playground, No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Weezer, and Stone Temple Pilots are just the beginning for their song selection. They’re also Amy Winehouse fans and like to dress the part. They’re normally very good singers and have never heard of “Love Shack”.
I love how the bartender, chefs and waitresses always have a few songs ready to go. And they’re always awesome at it. And none of those songs are ever “Love Shack”.
Not just Sinatra, but these guys sing anything slow and old school that’ll get the ladies swooning. Elton John, Billy Joel, Bing Crosby, Marvin Gaye, Elvis Presley – and it always sounds authentic. They even look the part. Always wearing fancy suits with just the right amount of musk. I’d hate these guys if I didn’t want to be them so much. Also, blah blah blah “Love Shack”.
The Stealth Bomber
Nobody knows where she came from, but she blows us all away. She out-performs the original song. She hits notes we’ve never heard. She makes the room go quiet. She is always a she. Why doesn’t she have a record contract yet? Nobody knows. And then she’s gone. She could probably nail “Love Shack” too if she tried.
Me & Bobby
So one time, me and my cousin Bobby went up and sang “Love Shack” at my bro’s wedding. We kicked ass.
These has been out for the last couple weeks: the final episodes showcasing the showdown between Goku and Freeza. Last season, I created a “DBZ Abridged Abridged” movie for DVD, and I’m doing the same thing for this season, but it’s not as easy since all of season 2 is nearly four hours in length. With careful editing and nickel-and-diming the more excessive dialogue, I’ve brought it down to about a two and a half hour long movie (which I’ll see about making available at some point), but most of the gold is still found in TeamFourStar’s complete episodes. Enjoy the finale!