Untertainment Weakly (5-11-12)

By Jake

Tom Cruise has signed on to a Van Helsing reboot.

Sofia Vergara has joined “Machete Kills.”

Jessica Chastain has dropped out of “Iron Man 3.”  Rebecca Hall has taken the role.

NBC has ordered “New Normal” and “Save Me” to series.

Rob Lowe will star in a Casey Anthony movie.

Fox picked up the Mindy Kaling sitcom “It’s Messy,” “Ben & Kate,” and “The Goodwin Games.”

Brittney Spears has signed a $15 million deal to judge “The X Factor.”

Paul F. Tompkins has a new web series called “Speak Easy.”

NBC has ordered new (13 episode) seasons of “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock” and “Community.”  This will be the last season for “30 Rock.”  And there is an option to pick up the other nine episodes for any of these shows.  “Parenthood” has also been renewed.

Fox has ordered new seasons for “Bob’s Burgers,” “American Dad” and “Family Guy.”

“Cougar Town” has been renewed by TBS.

Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd as set to star in “We Came Together,” a romantic comedy parody written by Michael Showalter and David Wain.  Fantastic!

Fox has cancelled “I Hate my Teenage Daughter” and “Breaking In.”  

Kurt Russell and Sacha Baron Cohen have left Quentin Tarrantino’s “Django Unchained.”

Jean-Luc Goddard is planning on making a 3D movie about a talking dog, I think.

Matthew Perry Watch
Check out this "Go On" promotional picture that Matty P. tweeted:

Movies Out This Weekend
Dark Shadows - I know people are going to see this.  I have come to terms with it.  Personally, I think Tim Burton is sort of shitty.  He is "artistic," which means he dresses like a moron and makes films that cutters enjoy.  The film that I really enjoy by him is "Ed Wood," and the rest of his films are shitty, in my opinion.  "Dark Shadows" is the movie version of a popular campy soap opera.  Yeah, sounds really fucking interesting, right?  Pure bullshit.  Fuck Tim Burton.

Movies I Watched This Week
Avengers 10/10
The Sitter 6/10

Song of the Week

Obama Personally Endorses Same Sex Marriage

By Glenn

Unless you were away at a special one day training camp to reprogram you away from homosexuality, you probably saw the big news: President Obama announced he was personally comfortable with the idea of same sex marriage.  What that support means legislatively or legally is to be determined, much like my own sexuality.  Supporters of same sex marriage hope that he might rally support for a repeal of 1996's Defense of Marriage Act while the other side hopes that this was simply a statement of personal belief.  Whichever side you stand on, one thing is clear: you are wrong.

I didn't know what to feel when Obama made this announcement so I went online to gauge the "internet reaction."  Compiled below are a few of the most insightful comments I read about the political, moral, emotional and intellectual implications of Obama's somewhat surprising announcement yesterday.  Please read and then cast YOUR vote in our OYIT poll below on same sex marriage.  The winners will be announced on the second anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death.


Debate: Is "Weird" Al Yankovic Really Weird?

By Jake and Glenn

"Weird" Al Yankovic is a popular parody artist from the United States of America.  He is often called "America's Greatest Treasure (Parody Category)."  This question has always loomed over Mr. Yankovic: Is "Weird" Al really Weird?  This debate will attempt to answer the question definitely and end the debate once and for all, but like all of our debates, we are likely to fall very short of this goal.  Still, there are jokes in it and you could do worse with the ten minutes it takes to read this such as suicide, writing your own parody song, or watching the first ten minutes of "Juwanna Mann."

Jake: “Weird” Al is not all that weird. His songs are parodies of popular songs and generally feature lyrics about food. Food is one of the least weird subjects for a song. The only less weird things are water and oxygen. We need food to survive. If you change “Beat It” to “Eat It” that is just dropping the ‘b,’ much like James Van Der Beek would like to do to the one living in apartment 23. If anybody deserves the moniker of “weird” it would be a truly bizarre artist like Merzbow or Spike Jones. These make truly bizarre, unapproachable and unlistenable music. “Weird” Al turns popular music into broad comedy that anybody can enjoy. Maybe a better name for “Weird” Al would be “Hilarious” Al.

Glenn: Thank you for referencing ABC’s new breakout situational comedy hit about someone who lives in apartment 23 - a sitcom so popular that I could see Weird Al writing a song called “Don’t Trust the Bee in Apartment 63” which involved a bee flying into someone’s meatus and stinging them to death from the inside. That’s the kind of shit Al writes about it and yes, it’s weird. Imagine the musical landscape when Weird Al first dropped “I love Rocky Road” in 1982. The two biggest singles (besides the inspirational track “I Love Rock and Roll”) were “Survivor” by Eye of the Tiger and “Down Under” by Men at Work. Compared to that drecht, releasing a parody song was indeed weird and completely groundbreaking. It was weirder than whatever Kraftwerk released that year!

Jake: “Weird” Al is not weird enough to write a song about a bee flying into somebody’s meatus and stinging them to death. It would more likely be something along the lines of “Don’t Crust the B(read) in Apartment 43” and would be about a person who prefers their sandwiches to be crustless. Is that weird? Hardly. Everybody has got to eat and many people prefer their sandwiches to be crustless. It is certainly relatable. What is weird is my work-in-progress song about how 50 Cent is like Paula Poundstone. It is at least weirder than “Weird” Al’s work in progress parody song about “Don’t Trust the B-- in Apartment 23.” Mozart parodied lesser works by composers in “A Musical Joke.” Is Mozart “weird?” No, unless being a genius is weird. The same applies to Al Yankovic. Sure, he is a genius and great at playing the accordion, but he is about as weird as Kevin Sorbo is ugly.

Glenn: Yes of course being a genius is weird! And of course Kevin Sorbo is jaw-droppingly handsome. Not even Oscar Wilde or Charles Dickens would deny that - they who said “I have nothing to declare but my genius” and “Eccentricities of genius” respectively. If I were to hear these quotes today, I would assume they were in reference to “Weird” Al, who many have called our generation’s Wilde. I will not weigh in on that debate; the video for “Born This Way” parody “Perform This Way” speaks for itself. If you think there is something “normal” about that video, I would hate to drill into your head while you are sleeping and let your nightmares escape. It is horrifying, challenging and so bizarre that it made me consider leaving my wife of 13 years, whom I love very much.

Jake: Being a genius and being weird are two separate things. Kevin Sorbo is about as normal as a man can get, but his performances on “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” has often been described by critics as the work of a genius. People who want to live in a free country but oppose gay marriage are weird. People under 45 who still buy CDs are weird. The movie “Tree of Life” is weird. Al Yankovic is hilarious, a genius and a vegan, but he is not weird. He is a visionary, a hero, a foodie and handsome, but he is not weird. The movie “People Under the Stairs” is weird. The works of RL Stine are weird, save for “Monster Blood 2.” Growing up, I was a huge fan of “Weird” Al and MAD Magazine. Both of these things are rife with parody--parodies that I did not get, because of never hearing or seeing the source material--but neither are weird. They are very hilarious and will certainly stand the test of time.

Glenn: I guess this debate comes down to how the reader interprets genius and to a lesser extent song parodies. Thanks to the ubiquity of self-started e-zines, blogs (not this one) and Pinterest, the masses can now create more content than the masses could ever consume. This has led to a plague of mediocrity inflicted upon us, the masses. Weird Al is certainly weird when you think about the lack of parodies during his heyday and especially the lack of good parodies today as he claws his way towards death’s door. The modern media landscape is littered with recaps, snarky criticisms and extremely tedious analysis but few parodies. That is where Al comes in. He creates content that is unsettling, content that holds a mirror up to society and makes us want to rip our eyeballs out. I choose to blind myself instead of watching this deeply disturbing, Aphex Twin-style video ever again:

A Joyous Day in Mudlick (A Hillbilly Jim Fan Fiction)

By Jake

Jim had spent the day wandering through the countryside looking for squirrels to shoot when he returned home to his Uncle Elmer waiting on the garbage-clad porch with a letter in his hand.  Jim looked at him with wonder.  Elmer spend most of his days inside trying to keep cool from the fierce Kentucky heat.

“Boy, you will never believe what this letter says.  It’s from Connecticut!” Elmer says, as if Connecticut was a far off land full of mystery.

“Uncle, tell me what the letter says,” Jim demanded.

“It is from Vince McMahon.  He wants you to come train with Hulk Hogan and become a wrestler!”

“Well, I’ll be!  I’m happier than a hog in mud.  The Hulkster...”  Jim had been a fan of professional wrestling since he was a child.  He had attended numerous exhibition matches at the local arena, but never thought of himself in the ring delivering clotheslines to the likes of King Kong Bundy or Big John Studd.

“You leave in a week, boy.  You better go tell your cousins Luke and Junior what’s going on.  They’re going to be excited and want to throw a going away hoe down.”

“A hoe down!  That sounds mighty pleasant.  I’ll go tell them right now, Uncle Elmer.”  Jim’s body was filled with electricity, his spirits were higher than that time he found the cracked toilet down by the creek a mile away from his house.  Elmer had put it in the middle of the yard for all to see, and it impressed many of their neighbors.

Upon hearing the news, Luke and Junior delivered many words of congratulations and hard slaps on the back to their cousin Jim.  They always expected Jim to do great things.  He could throw bales of hay faster and farther than anybody in all of Mudlick, and a person like that doesn’t waste their time around those parts.

Luke demanded Jim give a pop to the nose of Nikolai Volkoff because he hates communists.  “That red jerk has it coming to him,” Luke explained.

“Well, I will sure do my best.  If I get in the ring with that boy he won’t know what hit him.” Jim was already getting the talk down.

Throughout the week many of the residents of Mudlick approached Jim with well wishes and slaps on the back.  Jim felt like a real star already.  He knew that he was going to dominate the WWF with his brand of fighting and fun.  With Hulk Hogan as his trainer, he knew that he was going to be a big deal.

His last night in Mudlick was joyous, but bittersweet.  The hoedown that cousin Luke and cousin Junior through him was “rootin’ tootin’” to borrow a phrase from Yosemite Sam.  Jim promenaded and dosey doed with every female in Mudlick, including the lovely Virginia.  Jim had eyes for Virginia, as did nearly every man in Mudlick.

When the hoedown ended, Jim went home and packed his bags.  He couldn’t sleep.  All he could think about was punching King Kong Bundy in his face and dancing up a storm in the WWF ring.

The cock a doodle dooed to announce the rising of the sun and Jim jumped out of bed.  He did his chores and took a last walk by his favorite fishing hole.  When he arrived back at Uncle Elmer’s home, Elmer already had his jalopy read and packed.  Elmer drove Jim to the bus station in silence.  When they reached the station he wished Jim good luck and gave him a hug.

“Never forget where you came from, boy,” Elmer warned Jim.

Jim boarded the bus and looked out the window.  As Mudlick passed out of his sights, he turned his head inside the bus and set his sights on something bigger, the stiff competition of the WWF.