Five For Friday: Pop Culture Phenomena We Wish We Could Forget

Obsessing over what one dislikes is roughly as wise as, say, bingeing on social networking after forsaking a day of meals. Nonetheless, FR prevail, sayin’ shit you can’t say.  It’s jokes, it’s fun.


Travis: Broken Flowers

This movie wasn’t even bad, but upon seeing the trailer and hearing about it I imagined something I’d enjoy a lot more in my head. The resulting mildly-depressing quirkfest could not live up.

Tyler: Now I Can Die In Peace, by Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons’s How We Won The Schnah Finally was an entertaining breeze-through during an afternoon or two at Borders, but Boston Billy’s henpecking footnoting style had not yet slimmed down to the tasty new arrangement currently on display at Grantland.com.

Nathan: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

It’s not so much that I want to forget the turtles as I’d like to retain an image of them as I thought they were when I was 10. When I decided to revisit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze last year, I found all my pleasant childhood memories shattered. For this reason, I will never ever watch an episode of the cartoon show, which I still fondly remember on TV and in my Burger King collectors VHS tapes.


Travis: U-Turn

To date, this is the only movie I’ve ever considered walking out of. The only thing that kept my father and me in the theater till the end of this incompetently complicated, humorless neo-noir was to see if it could get any worse. It did, and I still have trouble forgiving anyone involved, even though it featured a naked Jennifer Lopez when that seemed like a novel thing.

Tyler: “Ordinary People,” John Legend.

I like John Legend.  Seems like a cool dude–handsome, too, and hangs with what appear to be the right people.  Great voice.  Big talent.

Dear John Legend.  I’ll forget “Ordinary People,” and you forget William’s phone number.  Deal?

Nathan: The Dave Matthews Band

For reasons I can’t understand or explain now, I owned the first two Dave Matthews Band albums. I don’t want to talk about it, really. Also, while we’re at it, I might as well confess that I owned the first two Collective Soul albums, too.


Travis: Sublime

Like any teenager, I listened to a lot of putrid music, but the enduring nature of Sublime—mostly due to the untimely death of their singer—reminds me how much I did. And how I didn’t know “Scarlet Begonias” was a Dead song first.

Tyler: Nine Months

Nine Months is a well-cast, lousy fable about accidental pregnancy.  I was thrilled when it came out, as it looked funny or something.  Or maybe my mom wanted to see it.  Everybody was all atwitter about Hugh Grant’s mug shot scene, but, of course, they cut it out of the movie.  I think I thought it was funny at the time, maybe.

Nathan: Twilight, both book and movie formats

When my wife and I were on a Western road trip in 2008, I bought her the first Twilight book because they were recommended by someone and she (my wife) loves vampires. Though my wife admitted at the time that the book was awful, she couldn’t stop herself from reading all three of the subsequent sequels. As a way of poking fun at her, I got her to watch the first movie…and then the second…and then the third. Now the fourth book is being made into a two-part film (another cultural phenomenon that is starting to drive me nuts) that I will likely suffer through. It’s hard not to feel that Stephanie Meyer has sucked us in (lame pun intended) and has taken something from both our souls.

I never thought that buying a thoughtful gift for my wife could bring so much harm.


Travis: Rescue Me

When I get hooked on a TV show, I get hooked, no matter how much the show takes a downward turn. Early on, the post-9/11 fireman dramedy Rescue Me was a darkly funny show with some really great moments. Eventually, it became the Denis Leary bangs hot MILFy chicks while other dudes make dumb jokes show. I have thus far resisted any of the episodes of the final season, but I know the temptation (like the irresistible temptation said hot MILFy chicks must feel around Denis Leary’s Tommy Gavin) will overwhelm.

Tyler: Competition

Anybody with the last name “Weaver” should be a bit abashed that this kid is starting to get famous.

Nathan: My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Nia Vardalos in general

I saw MBFGW because, you know, everyone else was seeing it, and it seemed pretty neat that a movie could be such a hit without a massive Hollywood ad campaign shoving it down everyone’s throat. You know, it’s not exactly a bad movie, but neither is it very good, and the true fallout of Vardalos’s success is in films like Connie and Carla (a movie I sat through thinking that maybe Vardalos would do something more interesting this time around) and the recent Hanks-Roberts nostalgia-fest, Larry Crowne.

Her writing is pedestrian at best and her directing isn’t much better. And she’s getting paid lots of money to do those very things.


Travis: I Heart Huckabees

After seeing this, I would not stop referring to it as “I Fart Suckabees.” Mature? No. My honest feeling? Yes.

Tyler: Frank, Amy Winehouse

The late Amy Winehouse’s debut record Frank is not an album I know well, one I’ve only heard in bits in pieces here and there.  The production and an overload of studio songwriters–thanks, label–hammer down what, in the end, serves at least as a testament to Winehouse’s skills as a lyricist.  I mean, even so simple a lead as this?  “When you walk in the bar, and ya dressed like a star, rockin’ your F-me pumps?”

Awesome fucking line.

Nathan: Woody Allen in the new millennium 

Never has a great director released such a string of truly putrid movies as Woody Allen has in the last decade. I haven’t been able to see Midnight in Paris yet, so maybe this is a little premature, but at this point his best career move would be retirement. I want to imagine his legacy without such titles as Anything ElseScoop, and Vicky Christina Barcelona. Quit while you’re not too far behind, Woody.

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