Friday, July 16, 2010

Super-Happy-Fun-Time-Chuckle-Podblast 2

As I mentioned in my last post, Sunny and I have spent the past two months trying to come up with topics to talk about so we can record a new Podcast.

We quickly discovered that the things I could talk for an hour about, Sunny had no knowledge of or interest in…and vice versa. The things we could both talk about, we tended to completely agree on, which makes for a bit of a boring 'discussion'. Finally, the few things we could debate over tended to be a bit too serious and heavy, and our idea for this podcast is for it to be light with a bit of humor thrown in. No-one wants to listen to two nobodies talking about the Mexican Gulf oil spill…two nobodies discussing something lighter with a few laughs has a bit more entertainment value.

Then, last night, Sunny and I were watching TV when a McDonald's add for the whole 'Team Edward, Team Jake' Twilight thing came on.

"Ugh." I said. "I really can't wait for all this Twilight bullshit to just die." I said.

Sunny rolled her eyes at me before saying: "Why do you hate it so much?"

What followed was an hour long conversation which started off with me calling Twilight a blatantly obvious Mary-Sue tale. An exercise in wish-fulfillment with a protagonist that is nothing but a two dimensional vehicle to allow the reader to indulge themselves in a teenage girl's wet dream.

In fact, I think at one point I referred to Twilight as a 'PG version of 'Letters to Penthouse' for teen girls', and asked Sunny if she'd like the books as much if Bella was 'Barry' and instead of Vampires and Werewolves fighting over him, it was unicorn riding cheerleaders and hot demon teachers.

Sunny's basic answer was, yes, Twilight was all those things, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

We quickly discovered our main difference. When it comes to books and movies, I care about the artform as a whole. Sunny, on the other hand, likes what she likes and couldn't give a damn about what other people like.

Then the conversation switched gears. Sunny's point was that no-one was forcing me to watch or read Twilight, so why did I care what other people were doing? My answer was that, as a Literature Major, it really bugs me to see something so flimsy get such massive success while other good properties fall by the wayside. On a much more practical level it's these people, 'the masses' who essentially get to choose what gets made next. Those people are the reason that there are reality shows on every channel, but new and interesting shows like Firefly or MST3K get taken off the air.

In short, why make something new and good, when derivative and mediocre sells better? Why sign up a talented band that writes and plays their own music when you can make another disposable Britney or Hannah Montana? Why make a new TV show when a cheap clone of an existing show will sell?

My other big thing was that, for me, the whole thing was like the kids who refuse to read and only watch movies. I'm not looking down on them out of a sense of superiority, it just makes me genuinely sad because they're missing out on so much. For example, except for the first one, the Harry Potter movies have been cut down, spoon-fed versions of the book that flat-out patronize the audience. Goblet of Fire in particular. The book was essentially a big 'whodunnit' mystery, and the movie took the entire mystery out in case the audience didn't get it.

That's how I feel about Twilight. It's an incredibly mediocre story based around a non-descript girl and the two hot guys who love her for no apparent reason…and while everyone is going batshit crazy over it, other good books are falling by the wayside. It's like a movie about a basketball playing dog getting an Oscar while The Godfather doesn't even get a nomination.

In the end, we talked for just over an hour. Then, Sunny got up to get something to drink, and as I started up my laptop, I thought "Shit, we should have recorded that." As if reading my mind, Sunny walked back into the room and said "Well, I think we've got the makings of our first podcast."

Then, we realized the little snag. The actual conversation would have made an awesome podcast, but the two of us trying to recreate the conversation when we both know exactly what the other is going to say, would suck.

I'm considering just fitting the two of us with mics permanently.


Michelle said...

Ha! We do that, too!

Mike has made me promise to do a podcast, but I have no idea what we'll talk about.

Paulius said...

Maybe if either of us ever gets a podcast off the ground, Sunny and I should get you guys on Skype and record a four person podcast that way.

Sunny said...

(Give it two weeks....paul will be revisiting that "Twilight Debate" again...we've been having the same debate for over a year now and each time I get a bit better at making my points with him. He's a TOUGHIE when it comes to debating... and it's hard when I KNOW I'm on mike. I need a forum where I don't know I'm actually debating with him online!!! I'm SHY!!!!)Stop laughing, Paulius....

Evan 08 said...

I think you're missing a critical element right out of the gate... just because you two see each other every day and probably no longer think about it... but dude... your accents!! Just think about your accents! Ponder, for a moment, the stereotypes associated with a British accent, and those associated with a southern accent. Now pick a topic based on those stereotypes, and let the hilarity ensue.

Outside of that global recommendation, I have another couple of topic suggestions.

What's up with professional athletes and actors making tens of millions of dollars per year, when scientists and engineers make low six figures?

Why can't computers "just work?" (I picture Sunny asking this question and you responding...)

And by the way... why an hour long podcast? Why not start out by just doing a couple of them, see how long they HAPPEN to be, and tailor future podcasts accordingly?

Paulius said...

I like the accents idea, especially with us moving soon and putting Sunny in my position.

I also thought of the 'six figure athlete' thing in the wake of the Lebron thing...but more on why celebrities seems to be so effed in the head.

Also, I figured an hour would probably be about right, but I figure at least the first few will be in the half hour range.

MC Etcher said...

Fun! Sunny sounds just as I imagined (Southern, sweet and funny) but I forgot how deep and manly your voice is; I sound like a girl compared to you.

Paulius said...

Deep and manly? I'll take that...whenever I hear my own recorded voice, it sounds like a low, monotonous drone.

I'm ordering a decent mic tomorrow, so hopefully that'll help a bit.