Nope. Never liked’m.
Watching the Thanksgiving episode of the rebooted Murphy Brown on CBS, where Murphy decides to cook dinner with easily anticipated and well-worn results, it struck me exactly why I don’t find the show very funny. And why I really don’t find any of the CBS comedies since the 1990s very funny: Idiot Clowns.
In general, it’s why I don’t find a lot of comedy very funny. Idiot Clown comedy requires an idiot clown — someone so stupid they are unaware of basic reality, a blindness forced on them to enable a (typically) lame joke. I find it cheap and easy and without much value.
More to the point, I just don’t like idiots or clowns in my entertainment.
Movies, for a variety of reasons, are hard to make. They’re even harder to get right. Science fiction and fantasy are also hard to get right — in addition to all the other challenges of storytelling, they require much more imagination and invention than fiction based on reality or history. This, in large part, accounts for the truth of Sturgeon’s Law.
So it’s not often that a science fiction movie gets all the notes exactly right. Many are lucky if they have just a few good ones that make the film worth seeing. A very rare few get enough right to make an SF film notable. (For my money, Elysium and Oblivion are recent good examples, and Ender’s Game and Edge of Tomorrow weren’t bad.)
And once in a blue moon a film gets it so right that the horse sings.
Earlier this week I read an NBC News blog post that cited a Telegraph (UK) post concerning the funniest movies ever. The British article involved a study by a movie subscription service. The study attempted to rank the funniest films ever based on laughs per minute. The NBC article added their own informal staff picks to the mix.
What tickled me is that the Brits named Airplane! as the funniest movie ever. I’m not sure I have a definite all-time #1 pick, but Airplane! is unquestionably in the top three. A while back, I wrote about my funniest films, and Airplane! was my first pick (of four—third place had a tie).
So the Brits and I share a funniest movie pick, but we diverge from there.
I was on a supply run to the grocery store this morning and was stuck behind a Toyota Camry for most of the way. My trip takes place on two-lane roads that are hilly and curved enough to prohibit passing, so I was trapped. It was a mellow Sunday morning, and there’s no use (ever) letting other drivers get to you. I’m not one to play the tailgating game, but the four vehicles stuck behind me were stacked up tightly.
In fact, once I realized it was a Camry, I started laughing. For a long time now, I’ve had a perception that when you’re stuck behind a particularly bad driver — one that stands out from the usual bad drivers — there is a good chance the car is a Camry. I’ve discovered that I’m not the only one with that perception; I’ve heard others make the same rant.
But it is a fact that there are a huge number of them on the road, and they age well, so odds are high on any car in front of you being a Camry.