Comedies and Geekhood – Genshiken/The Big Bang Theory? All.

Genshiken animeWell, this is not a post just about the geekier comedies which I love, such as Genshiken (which may not exactly be a comedy, but a slice-of-life series) and The Big Bang Theory, but it’s true for all comedies, and many stand-up shows as well, certainly all those who deal with current events and politics.

I think intertextuality is what geeks thrive upon, and geeks who are into “geeky things” seem to respond and be proud of it, but having watched some comedies that deal with sports, I think it’s true for all geeks – all those who are nearly obsessed with a field respond well to shows that “reward” them for their knowledge, and which separates them from those who do not “get it”. Geeks do tend to take it one step further.

Think of Genshiken, with all of the anime and mangas referenced, and which those of us who watched with subtitles usually had helpful notes explaining what is being referred to. And then you have the self-proclaimed “Big Geeks”, who scoff at those who do not recognize all such references immediately, or TV-Shows such as Stargate where things from the first couple of seasons will show up in season 8 (and then think of conventions where there are minutiae quizes, to prove you’re the biggest fan).
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Sympathetic Viewer Awkwardness; The Office, American Pie 2, etc.

Michael Scott (The Office)

There’s something I dread when I watch comedies, and it’s even more prevalent in certain black comedies where they are played seriously, dead-pan. I like to term it “Sympathetic Viewer Awkwardness”, which happens both when the character feels awkward, but much more commonly, when we feel awkward for the character.

Take for instance the American version of The Office, starring Steve Carell as Michael Scott, the boss at a small office where they sell paper. Michael will not miss an opportunity to be rude, racist, sexist, and offensive. His staff obviously pays him no mind, and don’t take him seriously. I do remember the scene where he asked every person in the office to talk as if they were someone from another “group”, and he drew the “Indian” card (India, not Native American), and then Kelly, the Indian worker, had walked in and had slapped him, since she thought he were mocking her.

The thing is, watching The Office is almost a physically painful experience for me, as I can’t help but go, “Oh gawd, he didn’t just do that, did he? He did!” and of course the show actually plays and gives social commentary, by showing you these ridiculously offensive things, and having a character who truly means well, he just really doesn’t know any better. If you watch the show with people who think Michael’s behaviour is legitimate, BTW, know that you are not in Kansas anymore ;) Continue reading

Month in Review – September 2009. Purchases and Media.

Since September was a slightly weaker month on the purchase department, I’ve joined both sections together for this post: Both the media I had consumed, and the things I had purchased.

For those who are wondering, this week Icon-2009, Israel’s largest convention is taking place. Today I’m only going for one lecture, and tomorrow I’m not going at all. I must tell you, the ability to not spend all day every day at a convention and to return home every night does wonders to one’s ability to enjoy the convention.
You will get a con report later on, and perhaps a post on conventions in Israel, in a week’s time or so.

Anyway, before we continue (after the “More” tag), I want to share with you a hauntingly beautiful song from a movie I’ve watched yesterday at the convention. The movie is called “The Secret of Kells”, and the song is called “Aisling’s Song” (pronounced Ashlynn).

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