Title: Pop Culture Happy Hour: Scott Pilgrim And Our Great Big Blind Spots (August 20, 2010)
A large chunk of the episode is devoted to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a movie directed by cult darling Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) based on another cult darling, the Scott Pilgrim comic book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley. All of the PCHH panelists found Scott Pilgrim highly enjoyable but Stephen asks whether the niche-y nature of the the source material and the people behind it contributed to its disappointing box office take.
They then talk about the trailer that preceded Scott Pilgrim, which elicited a very visceral and unusual response from the audience at the mention of A Certain Director’s Name. This dovetails into a discussion of personalities that have become trailer-poison. Names bandied about include Robin Williams, Jack Black, Michael Cera (again), and Zach Galifianakis.
In a feat of counter-programming, PCHH introduces yet another segment called:
Pop Culture Blind Spots
Glen - He chooses Friday Night Lights, citing personal and familial baggage that comes with TV shows and movies about sports. Trey voices his agreement, citing his reluctance to watch the similarly sports-themed The Blind Side. Linda valiantly defends FNL’s honor by saying that the stories are less about the uplifting quality of high school football and than the students’ struggles.
Trey - Modern Family’s trailer didn’t land with Trey because he found the characters disagreeable. Linda once again leads the defense and says that the characters are not unkind to each other. Glen Weldon backs her up by praising the joke-writing in the show.
Stephen - In his words: “God is dead. People are evil. Have some drugs.” Stephen finds Breaking Bad bleak and nihilistic and he is not inclined to watching it despite the critical acclaim it has earned. In a later podcast, however, Glen Weldon names Breaking Bad as what is making him happy.
Linda - Everything Tolkien. She finds the barrier to entry too steep, saying plaintively, “Life is so short and the books are so long.” Glen Weldon tries to defend the Middle Earth but inadvertently focuses more on the problematic elements of JRR Tolkien’s world. Trey Graham supports his endorsement, however. Glen suggests that Linda read The Hobbit first.
(The panel recorded a Pop Culture Blind Spots update episode one month later)
What Is Making Them Happy
They didn’t have this segment this episode.
Some Episode Highlights
- Box Office Mojo’s comparison of Scott Pilgrim’s earnings ($10.6 million on the opening weekend) against other niche films such as Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Zombieland, and Kick-Ass.
- “If you are not picking up what Michael Cera is laying down, this movie is not for you,” says Glen Weldon on Michael Cera as a polarizing figure.
- August Rush trailer. “As soon as [Robin Williams’ appearance] happens, you could just feel the audience go ‘Whoomph’ and all the doors just slammed shut in everybody’s mind.” - Linda Holmes
- Trey mentions Youth in Revolt, another Michael Cera vehicle.
- Something We Do Not Get But To Which We Are At Least Notionally Open (SWDNGBTWWAALNO)
- Linda Holmes asks Glen Weldon: “If I admit that [Friday Night Lights] about football, does it help if I tell you it’s not about your mom?”
- Linda Holmes’s dogged championing is rewarded more than a year later, as chronicled in a September 2010 episode.
- This episode begins the Saga of Glen Weldon, Linda Holmes, and the Limited Edition The Hobbit, further chronicled here, here, and here.
- Book characters with punctuation in their names vs. Books without maps (Glen hates one and not the other).
- First instance of “Trey with an ‘e’ and Graham like the cracker!”