Editor’s note: This is from Benjamin Light’s post on “Hidden Indicators of Bad Taste” from last February a year ago. Consider it a bit of a flashback. Below we’re sharing with you the comments from the various members of your friendly neighborhood Counterforce on that post…
Maria Diaz: Kate Hudson is what we like to call….straight guy hot. Or, more accurately, as I’m sure you’ve read the “manic pixie dream girl.”, ie, the girl who doesn’t exist. I dated a guy last year who I’m pretty sure stopped being into me when I admitted to never having seen and having no interest in seeing Almost Famous.
I think bsg is just trashy fun, a nice bit of escapism, and nothing more.
Benjamin Light: Eh. I see the manic pixie dream girl archetype being more Natalie Portman. Not that Kate Hudson isn’t playing that character in Almost Famous, but she still looks like she’s been hit in the face with a shovel. If the guy you dated liked Almost Famous that much then you should be relieved it ended.
I’m trying to struggle though season 4 of BSG right now, cause Marco swears it gets better this year, but goddamn this is awful right now. What started out as a fun show about the remnants of humanity on spaceships being hunted by killer robots turned into really terrible political drama and pseudo-intellectual religious wankery. I mean, there’s 40,000 people, and a good number of them are active military personnel. Are you really gonna have 20 political reporters at every presidential press conference. That’s like one political reporter per 500 people.
It would be nice if the show would get back to the escapism part and less of the self-important melodrama and “God loves us because we are perfect” 3-minute sermons.
Marco Sparks: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, just to get the record straight: I absolutely do not advocate that BSG gets better this year. Nooooo. It’s more akin to, “Hey, remember our friend who got on the drugs a few years ago and we’re all amazed that he’s still alive even though he’s clearly just trying to limp his way through existence and look cool? Yeah, he told a so so funny joke the other day. Then he fell asleep in a pile of his own puke.” But didn’t go the full Hendrix.
But I despise how when you ask someone who claims the show why it’s still good, the first thing they say is, “Uh… Iraq?”
Ridley Scott is an asshole. And Julianne Moore is really tiny. Super short. I know this from personal experience. Jason, if you’re out there, I’m sorry I didn’t get that autograph for you. Blame Ridley Scott.
And yeah, Kate Hudson is no manic pixie dream girl. I liked Kate Hudson so much better when she was called young Goldie Hawn and was actually interesting. I think once you marry someone from the Black Crowes, your career should thus be ended by law.
Oh, and Cameron Crowe can eat a dick. I’m sure he would once he came up with a fairly mediocre soundtrack for it.
Oh, I just remembered another one (funny how a lot of these are related to my list of Those Worthy of Scorn).
Very Bad Things:
Here’s a shitty little “black” comedy full of bad acting from Peter Berg. If someone you know is trying to pump up their indie bonafides and they mention this movie, it means they actually don’t have a sense of humor.
oh shit, and I just remembered another one too, while thinking about the painful scene at the end of Very Bad Things:
This movie was mediocre horror, one of those flicks where you just know the characters are going to do something stupid to increase the danger because it’s in the script. Tom Jane is all, “hey come check out this alien who killed a dude in the back room.” and the elderly black dude is all, “no, you’re being racist.” That’s the kind of “tension” and “claustrophobia” you get. But the movie only gets truly horrendous at the end when Tom Jane kills everyone else in a murder suicide pact and then breaks down crying. It’s rare to see an actor so betrayed by his writers and director. People who lack taste will be all, “ooh, it had a downer ending, which is so fucking ballsy which means it was awesome!” Let’s put it this way: the idiots over at AICN thought it was one of the best film endings ever, so you KNOW it’s bad.
Marco: Fuck AICN.
But here’s the ultimate question for you. What’s the worse show, BSG or Heroes?
Peanut St. Cosmo: if anyone says heroes, august will lock himself in a room and cry for a solid three hours, emerge exhausted, and say “fuck you guys.”
Marco: Get that boy some tissues then. For a lot of reasons. Obviously.
MD: Heroes is a very bad show.
And because I can’t let it go: Kate Hudson is a manic pixie dream girl/AG but a little more grown up. And her mom is goldie hawn, a classic “amazing girl”; manic pixie dream girl by association.
Benjamin: Are we talking about Kate Hudson’s character in Almost Famous, or Kate Hudson the actress?
Marco: Something about Kate Hudson to me has always seemed to leave her as too old to be a manic pixie dream girl. I think, while they can be seriously annoying, definitely, they’re kind of allowed in a goofily romantic way because they’re so young. And sometimes being young is just being silly like that. The other thing about Kate Hudson is just that she’s so boring.
Although, that said, Fool’s Gold is a brilliant film. Criterion Classic in the making, folks.
Benjamin: Maybe it’s just that I don’t like blondes.
Cameron Crowe, it should be noted, it also responsible for a MPDG in Elizabethtown, which no one actually saw, but I’m told featured Kirsten Dunst existing only to make goofy mix tapes for Orlando Bloom to work his shit out with.
We should really be doing a whole separate post on the Love Interest portrayals in Cameron Crowe and Zack Braff’s movies.
Is Zack Braff the new Cameron Crowe?
MD: I think Kate Hudson is what the AG turns into when she gets old.
Elizabethtown suuucks and the Kirsten Dunst character also makes Orlando Bloom scrapbooks and says things like “I’m into whatever you are into”, or “I have no personality of my own and am a projected male fantasy”. Oh, I added that last part.
Marco: Braff is the new guy that should get hit by a car. Then backed over. Then dragged a bit. Punishment fits the crime, you sleazebag.
Elizabethtown is… egghh. That may be too cruel to the general sentiment of “egghh.”
Once upon a time, Commander Light and I were thinking of proposing a series of having each member of Counterforce take a different Cameron Crowe movie, watch it, and then review it. But we started to wonder if that was too cruel of a punishment.
Marco: The thing about Scrubs is that I can watch an episode of it, fine (though I’m fascinated by how demasculated they’ve made the Braff character). I can maybe watch two episodes of it in a row. Maybe. But three… Ick. The rampant cutesiness makes me want to throw up before the end of the first hour of it. But Braff the actor himself, aside from the show, is… well… To be honest, something about him just screams “Date rape” to me.
Benjamin: My projected male fantasy is not into Scrap-booking. And she’s not played by Kristen Dunst.
I think I prefer Zach’s taste in manic pixie dream girls. Natalie and Rachel Bilson have it all over Hudson and Dunst.
I don’t think I could make it through an entire Crowe movie, since they’re all at least a half-hour too long and never know when to end. I believe my next contribution to counterforce will be a guide to the great tertiary characters of television.
Also, it’s probably worth noting that Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character in Stranger Than Fiction is also something of an MPDG.
MD: Yeah, and it just got worse as the show went on. Same with Sarah Chalke’s character, Elliot. She just became this total caricature at the end.
August Bravo: Fuck you guys. Heroes is beyond awesome.
And so was Zack Braff. In his prime. For some reason he’s on the cover of geek magazine this month. WTF?
Benjamin: Much to learn, you still have, my young padawan.
Peanut: haahhahahhaha…..this whole thread has me rolling on the floor….i still want to make out with zack braff someday. i think garden state did that to me. he probably won’t get to second base, but my fantasy will be complete.
p.s. stranger then fiction sucked. spoon only made it better. but benjamin, you hate because it wasn’t spoon’s EARLY STUFF.
MD: Braff cheated on my girl mandy moore. NOT COOL!0
Marco: Peanut, you’re too old for Zack Braff. He likes them young, young, young.
As for Natalie Portman and Rachel Bilson (who has to have taken just the worst possible movie roles she could find)… I refuse to chalk that up to Braff having good taste. To me, that just means that he has eyes, they’re open, and he’s currently breathing. And Kirsten Dunst has to be one of the most boring young actresses out there. She almost makes Kate Hudson interesting.
August: Stranger Than Fiction was decent. It wasn’t great, and in no means did I like Emma Thompson, but overall it was a good movie to watch. I do prefer I heart huckabees any day of the week though.
Peanut: how could zack braff cheat on mandy moore? that’s why the engagement was broken off? i’m stunned. i figured she just woke up one day and realized she was better then him and went off to fuck the likes of DJ AM and ryan adams. ryan, def ok. DJ AM? come on…
Marco: I thought it was because he proposed and tried to pressure her into marrying him and she realized he was creepy and got tired of his emosogyny. And, regardless of the truth, that is the truth.
Benjamin: Wait, you mean Mandy Moore’s not a virgin anymore?
August, I don’t mean to be overly harsh… but you like Heroes and Stranger Than Fiction… I think you see where I’m going with this…
August: Damn it, just because I like two things that may meet your criteria for bad taste doesn’t mean I have it!