Chris Neary is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks Volume 25
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 12:57 PM
OTM's weekly round up of our favorite things. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens not included.
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David Shrigley’s WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? It’s huge, darkly hilarious, an endless source evil glee when placed alongside the john.
Because it’s been there for so long, I’ve taken it for granted.
But that’s a terrible mistake, because there are many, many pages, so I keep discovering new panels of delightful doom.
I love College Humor’s depiction of “The Wire” as an RPG (role playing video game). Fans of the show will appreciate the video game interpretation of some iconic scenes (like the kitchen scene when the detectives communicate with one another using just one 4-letter word) and the ability to use a “warp whistle” to skip past level 2 (season 2) altogether:
A couple years ago, a co-worker of mine pointed me to a web comic called “Changed Again,” and I’m absolutely in love with it. It’s so hard to describe what makes this comic so compulsively readable. It may be the lack of punchlines, or the fact that it’s always drawn on a legal pad, or the sophomoric “naughty” puns. I think it might just be the spectacular mélange of all of those elements. But seriously, it’s great. It’s like outsider art. Mike, the comic’s author hasn’t updated it in a couple years, but he still regularly updates his Facebook fan page. He has said that “If you make [him] Viral” he do some new comics. Just doing my part, Mike. Just doing my part.
I haven't yet seen the movie All The Real Girls, but when I told OTM producers Chris Neary and Jamie York, they said they were really surprised and that it seemed like the kind of movie that would be my favorite one. So this is a pre-emptive staff pick saying that I expect that I will really enjoying it. Here's the trailer, in case you haven't seen it and want to take this journey with me.
You'll notice it has the guy from the first two seasons of Parks and Rec, plus the guy from Eastbound and Down, plus plangent guitar. That sounded snarky but I'm pretty into this.
Here's a short documentary from Grantland about Royce White, an NBA rookie who is really open about his anxiety disorder. Great stuff.
Also, allow me to be the third OTM producer to recommend 'Pulphead' by John Jeremiah Sullivan. In the spirit of media analysis, here's a nice passage about how the longer reality television goes on, the more 'real' it becomes. (He points out that the current generation of reality TV characters grew-up watching reality television and are more aware of, let's say, the realities of the form)
Here's the surprising thing about the shift toward greater self-consciousness, this increased awareness of complicity in the falseness of it all - it made things more real. Because, of course, people being on a reality show is precisely what these people are. Think of it this way: if you come by my office and film me doing my job (I don't have one, but that only makes this thought experiment more rigorous), you wouldn't really see what it was like to watch me doing my job, because you'd be there watching me (the Heisenberg uncertainty principle certainly applies here, interior auto-mediation and so forth). But now add this: What if my job were to be on a reality show, being filmed, having you watching me, interior auto-mediation, and so forth? What if that were my reality bros*? Are your faces melting yet?
*a reference to the way "Miz" from MTV's the Real World talks. The piece begins as a profile of Miz while he's on tour, getting paid to show up at bars and meet his fans.
My pick this week is a Danish TV show called Borgen that I think has aired there for 2 seasons. It was subtitled into English and, at some point, ran on the BBC; I watched it extralegally on the web. Ostensibly the story about one woman’s attempt to become the Danish Prime Minister and the way that office changes her - it’s a fantastic look at the nexus between politics and the media. There’s been a West Wing sized hole in my heart for a few years now and though Borgen is a much more modest affair (the dialogue, though snappy, rarely matches the scholarship-per-second standard that Sorkin traffics in) it nonetheless has satisfied my jones for smart TV that x-rays how real power is used and kept.