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The AV Club was kind enough to let me know that a Scott Pilgrim movie is in pre-production. I know it was supposed to be an awesome and quirky comic with hi-larious geek references, but all I got out of it is that Scott Pilgrim is a pathetic loser who I want to punch. Repeatedly. Also, it's lazy storytelling to just mention video games and expect the readers to say HEY I LIKE TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES TOO, THIS COMIC IS AWESOME. This, of course, just adds to my frustration with the lazy "hey, remember that thing that was funny/awesome that one time?" geek references that seem to be everywhere.

Maybe I can't complain too much since I only read the first volume of the comic, but it was so mediocre and frustrating that I didn't want to bother with the rest of it.

Just go read "Lost at Sea" instead. That had some high school angst in it but was done in a much more interesting and less self-absorbed way.


In more awesome film news: Coraline comes out on the 6th!

I'm spending too much thought on this!

Date: 2009-01-23 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anacoluthon.livejournal.com
Yeah, I've had this conversation with Conni before, where I complain about reference jokes that are only references and she points out that in-jokes are a huge part of geek culture. And I do get excited when something I like is referenced. I just can't stand a reference thrown in for no reason or context - when it's obvious that it's only there because the author/artist/whoever was out of ideas and wanted to count on the reliable standby of using someone else's old idea.

I know that MST3K is itself something that you can reference (and I'm guilty of it), but one of the things that's so great about the show is that their pop-culture references are clever. It's also nice that they go for some more obscure references so the viewer can pat themselves on the back for getting a Rick Wakeman joke, but still. There's a higher level of finesse there, for the most part. The same can be said about Kingdom of Loathing's references, actually. There are a lot of silly references and jokes, but most of them involve hilariously elaborate setups or stunningly bad puns that obviously took a lot of thought. That's so much better than a Scott Pilgrim-level retread of geek culture.

Re: I'm spending too much thought on this!

Date: 2009-01-23 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thegreyghost.livejournal.com
I'd say that the difference is in subtlety and, like you said, how cleverly constructed the joke is. KoL is great for that, mostly because I'd say the real joke is that they satirize referential humor by how obvious most of their puns, etc, can be.

The two examples I think of for clever use of referential humor and gratuitous use are South Park and Family Guy. South Park can be very subtle with their references (like "Nana Skeksis" from the Nanny 911 episode had me rolling), while Family Guy just tosses them in your face. With South Park, it's there but they leave it up to the audience to recognize it. Family Guy steps up and says, "Hey, look! It's Mr. T! Isn't that funny?"

I do give Family Guy a lot of slack, though, since half of their jokes are also quite clever without resorting to pop culture reference.

Re: I'm spending too much thought on this!

Date: 2009-01-23 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] david-f-smith.livejournal.com
Yeah, I've had this conversation with Conni before, where I complain about reference jokes that are only references and she points out that in-jokes are a huge part of geek culture.

Running around in outfits made out of cardboard, duct tape, and tin-foil is a pretty big part of geek culture, I don't see how that necessarily makes it a good thing.

January 2009

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