no love

today i was thinking about why i like the exorcist so much. there are obviously a ton of good reasons — strong cast, excellent character development, amazing special effects, religious themes that resonate with me in a big way — but today i realized something else about it i hadn’t thought of before: no romantic subplot!

captain_howdy

except between me and captain howdy, of course.

i couldn’t believe i never noticed this before. i mean, romantic subplots are ubiquitous, and one of the things i hate most in film, TV, and books. nothing ruins a story for me quicker than a predictable, paint-by-numbers story arc: boy meets girl, they seem perfect together, a misunderstanding makes one doubt the other, the misunderstood one vindicates themselves, happily ever after. barf.

what’s even worse is that so many movies and TV shows actually focus largely on this kind of romantic subplot formula but use different story backgrounds so that they can market the show at a different audience. walking dead and true blood for horror fans, mad men for hipsters, breaking bad for skids, game of thrones and big bang theory for nerds…the list goes on. all these shows employ the same old “i thought i could trust you, tim..i thought you were different from the others. i guess i was wrong…” bullshit romantic melodrama, and it’s not just a small side story. that’s actually the focus of the show. the zombies, sword battles, and meth labs are actually the minor details in those shows. they just provide a seemingly unlikely stage where the romance can take place.

yup, everyone just wants to watch the same shitty love story over and over.

i’m veering way off topic onto one of my usual rants so let me rein it back in here. my point is that while most shows employ hackneyed romantic techniques not only for subplots but for primary plots, the exorcist doesn’t even contemplate romance at all. there is zero romance in it. it’s about other things: good, evil, faith, loss of faith. what a breath of fresh air.

but then i started thinking about some of my other favourite films, like the deer hunter, blade runner, the last temptation of christ, akira, the shining, princess mononoke, and apocalypse now, and i realized that there is very little romance in those too. and what romance there is, is far more complex and understated.

i’m not surprised that i prefer subtle, more interesting approaches to typical themes like romance but what i am surprised by is that i didn’t even notice until now that the greatest films of all time (in my opinion, anyway) would place so little emphasis on romance, if any at all.

that just reinforces my belief that romance for the sake of romance in art is just a cheap technique to sell shoddy products to disinterested audiences. i’m sure the same applies to every other medium, too.

people are so disappointing.

all that being said, i still really like love story from 1970. that was a touching flick.

love-story

it’s a guilty pleasure.

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mindless fucking shit tv

there are a lot of terrible fucking tv shows on these days, and everyone seems to be eating them up. game of thrones, breaking bad, true blood, orange is the new black, the walking dead, sons of anarchy, shameless, etc. they’re all crap. i don’t care how many people like them or how many ass-sucking critics rave about them, they’re trash. want to know why? because they’re all the exact same — predictable soap operas with a ‘gritty’ veneer.

that about sums it up.

i’ve watched more than i care to admit of each of those series (my wife loves trashy tv so i end up seeing or listening to a lot of it) and they all fall into the same typical trappings. love triangles, love betrayals, unrequited love, blah blah blah. throw some zombies or white trash living in with it and you’ve got a hit new series. i think it’s because college fuckheads these days like to think their tastes are really different from their parents, like they need grittier tv shows that they can relate to. i guess they don’t realize that they’re actually watching dallas or beverly hills 90210, just with vampires instead of rich texans or rich kids.

let me give an example. i heard a lot about breaking bad in particular and how i was really going to go nuts for it. it was fine…for a little bit. then they got to the standard heartfelt moment bullshit that i saw coming from a mile away: jesse starting dating some girl but it wasn’t going very well and he was really upset. then one day him and walter were working away making meth when walter asked jesse how things were with the girl. jesse responded with both hostility and vulnerability, “what do you care, old man?” the scenes illustrated that despite being a super bad, stupid kid who makes meth, jesse actually has real feelings. WHOAH. we also see that walt is actually starting to care about jesse. DOUBLE WHOAH. and guess what, we also see that jesse sees walt as some sort of father figure. WOW!!! this show really has it all. i mean, it’s so gritty and harsh but at the same time, we have these really real characters, people that i can totally relate to. now i know that even people who make meth are real people, just like me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this scene did a fantastic job of illustrating how MULTI-LAYERED and REAL jesse is. pfffffft fuck you

that’s fucking bullshit. it’s stupid and i predicted it all happening, and if i can predict where a show is going, there’s no need for me to watch it. these shows are all the same fucking turd, all polished up, and totally redundant.

similarly, i hate all the predictable double crosses that occur at the end of each and every goddamned scene. i get so sick of some queen or lord saying saying to some young scamp, “yes, i think we can help you…for a price. but we’ll discuss that later.” and then the scene ends showing either the queen or lord with a devious smile on their face, or the scamp with a look of terror on theirs because you just know that now they’re eventually going to have to betray their lover or sibling or best friend or fucking WHATEVER. snore.

oh, it’s so TENSE! who is he fucking over NOW? oh right, everyone. same as everyone else in every other scene, in every other show.

what else do i hate about these shows? their version of ‘gritty’. motherfuckers will say to me, “dude you’re gonna love true blood because it’s basically a porno/horror show, there’s so much gore and wicked sex!” yeah right. it only seems like porn/horror to people who have never actually seen either of those things. i’ve never gotten a single boner or been grossed out by any of these shows. they’re pathetic. if i want truly sadistic, fucked up shit, i’ll stick to antichrist, inland empire, and serbian film. if i want porn, i’ll watch the real thing, forgo all the insipid romance bullshit, and get to the point. i don’t want to waste my time watching a bunch of caressing and passionate kissing, I WANT PENETRATION.

i didn’t let my wife touch my dick for at least 30 minutes after watching antichrist.

but hey, let me go off about another breed of stupid, shitty tv shows: the office and parks and rec. how much longer are loser college kids going to find ‘awkward’ humour funny? i can basically sum up these entire shows in just a few lines.

normal guy: hey dean, have you got that report i asked you to type?
weird guy: i’d tell you but then i’d have to kill you.
[shaky camera zooms in on normal guy, normal guy stares at camera with an “okaaaaayyy, that’s random…” look on his face.]

ta-da! that’s it. another variation is that rather than be the aggressive weird type, the weird guy is overweight and hapless and does something that’s supposed to be cute, like dump a bag of skittles into his mouth and spill them all over the place in response to the question. hahahahaha! that’s so funny!

no, it’s not. it’s not funny at all. it’s goddamned stupid, and all the goddamned stupid college kids LOVE it.

what’s even worse is how the critics rave about all of the shows i just bitched about. they have convinced themselves that these shows really are good, and they’re convincing everyone else to watch them too. either the critics are the same fucking boneheads that actually watch that trash on a daily basis, or they live in fear of losing their jobs if they say a bad word about anything. professional critics are spineless mutant dickheads.

and that’s why i just keep watching twin peaks over and over. wait, that’s not true. i think 30 rock, arrested development, and family guy are really good. i’m also 6 episodes into hannibal and it’s ok so far too.