What movie do you absolutely refuse to watch and why? The Emoji Movie, because I am neither drunk, stupid, or five years old.
Who’s one celebrity you don’t understand the hype for? Most of them, but lately, Ariana Grande. I like some of her songs (“Problem,” “God is a Woman,” and “Thank U, Next”), but it seems like everyone is touting her as the next Mariah Carey. Which could be part of it, because I never really cared for Mariah Carey’s music, either. Plus, I don’t think she’s actually that good of a singer.
What episode of a television show was so bad that it nearly ruined the entire series for you? I think there’s really only one answer to this: Game of Thrones, “The Iron Throne.” HEAR YE, HEAR YE, SPOILERS AHEAD!
Now, I can forgive a show not going out on a high note -it’s hard to do, and many can’t- but I cannot, and will not, forgive a show that spits on its viewers, insults their intelligence, and kicks them on its way out. All of the character development, which is what drew viewers in in the first place, basically got thrown out. Examples: Jaime Lannister’s character arc is building toward him having to choose between his role as a Kingsguard or saving Westeros from Cersei’s increasingly terrible leadership (basically, we’re supposed to have seen him struggle with this, the way he struggled with killing the Mad King). Last episode: “lol just kidding, rocks fall and he dies.” Daenerys has to reconcile her desire to be a leader with her desire to be the “Breaker of Chains”? “lol just kidding, dragon lady is crazy-go-cukoo-nuts and genocides people now.” Oh, and Benioff and Weiss tried to say they’d hinted at Dany’s supposed craziness in season 1, when she had such a cold reaction to her brother being killed by Khal Drogo. You mean, her cold reaction to her brother, who had been physically and sexually abusive toward her for her entire life, and had just held a sword to her pregnant belly and threatened to kill her, the baby, her husband, and all of the Dothraki if they tried to stop him, because HE wanted to be the king, being killed? Benioff. Weiss. Dudes. You really need to understand the difference between a cold, heartless monster and a woman who’s been abused her whole life finally seeing her abuser get punished. And, funny, but they never accused the fans who cheered and shared happy memes when Joffrey died (which was, as far as I can tell, almost all of us) of being cold or heartless, so they clearly do understand that distinction, but they’re not smart enough to apply it to Dany, or to understand why, in 2019, the message that “women are too emotional to be world leaders” was so poorly received. //ahem// //smooths feathers//
The character arcs in general got thrown out, and I still don’t know what they did to my beloved Tyrion, but… Just… UGH. I’ve seen some bad series finales -and been so burned by a few of them that now, if I find a show I like, I put off watching the last season for as long as I possibly can- but the ONLY reason this episode didn’t ruin the entire series for me is that seasons one through five are as close to perfection as any TV show gets, possibly ever. Breaking Bad is also as close to perfect as a show gets, but the difference there is, Vince Gilligan knew when to end the story, and “Ozymandias” is absolutely the perfect ending to that show.
What did a fictional character say that stuck with you? I’m gonna have to make this a top six.
“Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.” Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.” Gandalf, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
“When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.” Wanda Pierce, Bojack Horseman
“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.” Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: TNG
“Anger is just anger. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It’s like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice.” Harry Dresden, The Dresden Files: White Night
“Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group, they’re rather stupid.” Winnifred Banks, Mary Poppins
What super power would you choose if you had the option? Teleportation. Then I could live anywhere I wanted and never have to worry about driving to work, or taking a job in another state. Especially if that job paid way better than anything locally.
What fan theory do you 100% accept as true? Primarily: James Bond is a code name and gets reused for new MI6 agents.
Which celebrity got cancelled and you genuinely felt bad for them? There have been a few. At the top is August Ames, who committed suicide after being cancelled (and no, that wasn’t why she did it, but it was almost certainly what pushed her over the edge). Al Franken is another, and considering that the GOP is literally following a semi-sentient slime mold who brags about raping and sexually assaulting women on the regular, I think every GOP lickspittle who forced Franken out of his job should have to, on a daily basis, confess how many adults, kids, and animals they’ve raped or groped. Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, too; I think Feldman is a little nuts, but on balance, it’s not like Hollywood’s pedophilia problem has ever been a secret. And Winona Ryder. And, now having seen the documentary, Britney Spears. I suspected even at the time that she was having some sort of nervous breakdown, but I was also 19 and… well, a 19-year-old about it. Trust me, I look back on that time in my life and cringe, hard, at literally everything I said, did, and wrote.
What is the hardest level in video game history? In my own, personal history: Dire, Dire Docks and Rainbow Ride in Super Mario 64. The latter, because it’s insanely hard by design; the former, because I hate how Mario controls underwater. The music slaps, though. Also, the Extreme routines in Just Dance. They are not fucking kidding when they call them Extreme; they are hhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrd. Put it this way: I usually get five stars/Superstar or Megastar on every song I play, even the hard ones. The highest I’ve ever scored on an Extreme routine is three stars, on “Circus,” and each one was hard-won.
What’s the scariest moment in a video game you’ve ever had? Take all of the following with a grain of salt, because, as I’ve said before, I’m a big ol’ wussypants when it comes to scary media.
I mentioned the coach’s facial glitch in “Tightrope” from JD3 entry before last, and after that, there’s Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” The simplest way to put it is: Effie Trinket, dancing in a disturbingly spastic way (the opening move of which, for the player, involves swiveling your hips while bowing up and down like a bad Chuck E. Cheese animatronic), in front of a bunch of people reaching for her through nylon-covered windows, and at the chorus, shadowy male figures with Moe Howard haircuts alternately crawl around on a lighted floor behind her, and one who dances completely against the beat. It’s unsettling, to say the least. Keeping with Gaga’s “the horror of glamour and fame” theme that she’s had basically her entire career, but unsettling all the same.
Big Boo’s Haunt in Super Mario 64. Just, the entire level. Everything about it gives me the creeps, but especially the carousel. I think it’s the music. It creeped me out when I was twelve, and it creeps me out at 32.
What single player game have you replayed the most, and why? …Is what little gamer cred I might have had completely destroyed if I say The Oregon Trail? Specifically, the third and fifth editions?
What’s a song you know every word to? Hundreds, I’m sure. Every Garbage song, all the songs on American Idiot, the original Broadway cast recordings of The Producers, Hamilton, Sweeney Todd, and Phantom of the Opera, “WAP”, “Heart of Glass”, all of Britney Spears’s earliest hits… Honestly, if I’ve heard the song more than once, I probably memorized the lyrics.
What are some really good but very underrated movies? Meet the Robinsons comes to mind. I think it got way overshadowed by The Incredibles (which is a great movie, don’t get me wrong), but I’d like it if more people knew about it. It’s got a message about failure that most kids’ movies don’t.
I also feel like Galaxy Quest never really gets its due, either. This is easily in my top five favorite movies of all time.
What is the best opening lyric? “If you see a faded sign at the side of the road/That says ‘fifteen miles to the’/LOOOOOOOVVVVE SHAAAAAACK!” (Okay, it’s not the best, but I like it well enough. Depending on my mood, I can have a hundred answers to this.)
Okay, I do have a serious answer for this: “The world might end, the night might fall/Rain on down and cover us all/And drown us with the burdens of our sins/Maybe I’ll look you in the eye/And tell you “you don’t wanna die”/Maybe I’ll hold my breath and jump right in.” -Garbage, “Control”
What book needs to become a movie? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy needs to be a better movie, or, ideally, a TV/streaming series. Supposedly Hulu is turning all six books into a series, which… Could definitely work, but I don’t know anything about the project. It was supposed to start filming last year, and then COVID shut it down, and I haven’t heard any updates on it, so it’s probably in development hell as we speak.
What is the greatest band that like 95% of the people around you have never even heard of? Creature Feature. They do goth-comedy rock with a classic monster movie theme, and they are fucking fantastic. Here’s the first song of theirs I ever heard (in Nostalgia Critic’s “Top 11 Nostalgic Mindfucks” video, which still holds up, even if Doug and Channel Awesome are now disgraced):
The opening monologue is one of those “best opening lyrics,” imo. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and ghouls/Step right up!/Behind this curtain lies a ghastly concoction of delight, horror, fantasy, and terror/Your every wish is our command/Your every whimisical desire brought to life/But I’m warning you, there’s always a price/Welcome to the Greatest Show Unearthed!”
Has there been an album where you’ve liked every song? There’s been a fair few: Version 2.0 and Strange Little Birds by Garbage; Masseduction by St. Vincent; American Idiot by Green Day; Juju and Kaleidescope by Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Who is your celebrity crush? I’ve answered this before, but I seem to have picked up some new readers, so here’s the short list.
Malcolm Gladwell Shirley Manson Salma Hayek Trevor Noah Michael B. Jordan Henry Cavill, but only as Geralt, and only with the attendant layer of grime
What’s a character that you hate that every one else loves? Draco fucking Malfoy. And I probably wouldn’t hate him, except that so many Draco stans insist that the little shit “redeemed” himself and passionately hate Snape (who actually did redeem himself; whether it was enough to absolve all of his sins is up for debate). HOW?! WHEN?! WHERE?! I’ve read all seven books multiple times, and I’ve seen all eight movies at least twice each, and I still can’t figure out where this simpering, cowardly little blood purist (read: white supremacist) redeemed himself. And a lot of these same stans will swear up-and-down that Alan Rickman is the only reason anyone likes Snape, which is definitely true in some cases, but I guarantee that if Tom Felton wasn’t such a sweet-hearted and kind person in real life, very few of these Draco stans would exist. (Before you ask: Yes, I like Tom Felton. Seriously, how could you not? He seems like a genuinely good person, and he’s always had a good relationship with the fans.)
What’s something you didn’t think would last, but is really popular now? Taylor Swift. And no, I still don’t like her music.
What film is a complete 10 out of 10? Young Frankenstein. I’m trying to think if there’s a joke in there that didn’t age well, or doesn’t land, and I’m drawing a blank. It’s just perfect.
What was the worst movie you’ve seen in theaters? It’s a tie between For Richer or Poorer (in hindsight, the fact that it starred Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley was a sign) and some movie that I can’t even remember the name of, but I remember clearly that it starred Walter Matthau and that, at one point, he says, “That’s an awful lot of cops, to give one ticket.” There was some running joke about him and his partner trying to get somewhere, but being pulled over and arrested by the same trooper over and over again. But I can’t remember anything else about it.