Looney Tunes Golden/Platinum Collections

Small Screen Specials, Series and Direct-To-Video
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Post by EricJ » August 8th, 2010, 7:11 pm

Ben wrote:It's all crude at the end of the day, but every now and then you do need to wash the palette from signing frogs and talking toys. While they're great - and superlative in their own ways - there's nothing like a bit of shock value to jumpstart things every once in a while (and to see topical moments so well skewered by people that have a point to make).
"Shock value" can almost be considered the way Hitchcock considered suspense--
If a bomb suddenly goes off in a train car, who cares, if there's no context to why it goes off, or how long we expected it to?

And to apply the same formula to Edgy Comedy, being crass is not "shocking", being candid is:
If someone next to me deliberately belches loudly for a laugh, I don't gasp and reach for my smelling salts at his tweaking of social convention, I subconsciously over-personalize the issue by harboring a desire to sock him in the face, push him out the nearest airlock and get on with my public life as if nothing happened--Similarly, if FG has a character suddenly fall over and have a graphic stroke (oo, Fox won't let us do that! :P ), I don't feel it's actually said anything, just that someone's belched loudly enough to try and get Fox's attention.
What DOES "shock" me, and in a refreshing way, is trying to dig the soapbox-message out of a SP episode, or listening to Jon Stewart on the Daily Show break some political hypocrisy down with a withering one-liner that sums it all up, watching the damage be done, and realize that you now can't unthink that. (For ex., I live in a town with a sizeable college-gay population, and I still love to quote Stewart's one-liner about the Pride parade, which I gather would get more of a reaction in local company than if I'd belched loudly in a restaurant.)

That's the put-up-or-shut-up issue, and the one problem with shock humor: If you're "sophisticated" enough not to be shocked by it, then you've heard it all before.
What you haven't heard before is somebody actually Saying Something, and that unfortunately takes a bit more smarts and larger awareness of the outside world.

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Post by eddievalient » August 8th, 2010, 8:20 pm

I think Seth McFarlane said it best: "It's true that the flashbacks and cutaways have nothing to do with the story. They're just there to be funny. That's a shallow indulgence that South Park is quite above and for that, I salute them."

BTW, what's that Jon Stewart quote?
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Post by EricJ » August 8th, 2010, 11:31 pm

eddievalient wrote:I think Seth McFarlane said it best: "It's true that the flashbacks and cutaways have nothing to do with the story. They're just there to be funny. That's a shallow indulgence that South Park is quite above and for that, I salute them."
In other words, he suddenly got bored with himself and was distracted by a Star Wars joke.
Which is pretty much the prevailing theory.
BTW, what's that Jon Stewart quote?
"Yeah, I have sex too, I just don't hold a parade about it down Main St.every year." :P

(There are a few Daily Show bits that are near Pulitzer, and even no SP gay joke--of which we have a plethora every week--has ever distilled both sides of a heated debate down to a simple absurdity of twenty words or less, and still managed to jump on you with comic timing.)

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Post by eddievalient » August 9th, 2010, 12:16 am

EricJ wrote: "Yeah, I have sex too, I just don't hold a parade about it down Main St.every year." :P
And the reason we still do those is to make up for the decades of opression which, sadly, continues to this day. Only someone who has no idea how it feels to face that every single day of their lives could say something so insensitive. It's a cheap shot. Why is it that we're still considered acceptable targets? If he'd said something like that about blacks or women, his show would've been cancelled but because he's making fun of us, it's somehow okay. Why is that?
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Post by Randall » August 9th, 2010, 12:51 am

Okay, before this gets out of hand, let's not turn this discussion into something else. :) We have said the in the past that we wish to avoid controversial subjects on these boards (religion, politics, and sex), regardless of what anyone's stance is. Having said that, I have a small comment that I hope will place this in perspective.

I don't think Jon (or Eric) wished to be insensitive. In fact, it may just the opposite, in a sense. To some of us (though I can't necessarily speak for Jon or Eric), we find it absurd that anyone would still be uptight about someone else being gay; but we straight liberals don't necessarily understand that there's still a lot of prejudice out there to be fought.

So, you're right Eddie. We can't know what it's like. But being amused at the apparent necessity of the parade isn't necessarily being anti-gay people. I find the parade idea a little bizarre, but only because I don't hate gay people myself. I'm not against the parade, I'm really only against the prejudice that made it necessary, if you get what I mean. Perhaps the parade is less absurd than it is a sad reflection on intolerance that still needs to be called out.

If there are any further comments to this, it might be best to be handled personally between participants. Otherwise, we should stick with the Family Guy discussion.

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Post by EricJ » August 9th, 2010, 3:37 am

...Point is, well, now we're "shocked", aren't "we"? ;)
No censor tweaking, no throwing mud at networks, no little 4th-grade attempts to make the teacher faint, just a straight statement of what's on less conventionally repressed minds (ie., straight's perceptions that a social minority was created out of a hobby, rather than an ethnic or religious heritage), with the restricting social conventions removed.
Most shows like FG, and even the other 90% of SP's episodes tend to get so caught up with the bling-trappings of "shocking", they sometimes lose track of what really grabs attention, namely a bit of guitar-truth with a funny hook to give it flavor.

(And before Repressed Minorities start defending themselves again, I'll see Ben's "Team America"--oo, R-rated Thunderbirds! :roll: --and raise another classic Daily bit, for illustration of how one genuine bit of tactlessness is worth a hundred fake ones:
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-j ... he-jong-il)

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Re: Looney Tunes..the Original Family Guy?

Post by droosan » August 9th, 2010, 6:30 am

EricJ .. the original Family Guy?

:wink:
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Post by Ben » August 9th, 2010, 6:38 am

Ahaa! Now I can't ready any of that without hearing Peter Griffin's voice! :)

Darn it...wouldntcha know: that clip is "not available in my country". :(

I think the two main points here that have distinguished Family Guy and South Park from one another is that FG goes for the random, self-admittedly shallow asides, while when SP goes for the comedy, there's a point behind it ("shock value" there has the context, because it reacts to topical issues, which provide the background to any SP story).

And as for how much you are "shocked"...that's down to personal upbringing and taste. An intelligent, worldly-wise adult would probably find these close to the knuckle but not overly so for the most part, mostly gasping at some of the perceived taboos being broken (as in what one can say or do on TV), but other more closeted (no pun intended) people may be more shocked at what they see and hear.

The differences are in TV cultures, too. In the US, most curse words are bleeped out or cut completely on most channels: here in the UK anything goes after the 9pm "watershed". F-bombs aplenty and even harsher words are shown without complaint, so perhaps we're more used to that here. I know that when I watch FG or SP it's the situations that I am more prone to laughing in shock to, rather than any language or, often, straight targets.

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Post by eddievalient » August 9th, 2010, 11:23 am

South Park doesn't have a monopoly on "comedy with meaning". Family Guy can play that game too, even if they don't do it often. For example, in the episode "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven", Meg becomes a born again christian and intentionally makes Brian a pariah around town because he happens to be an atheist. The point of the episode was to comment on the prejudice that christians often show towards non-christians in general and atheists in particular. This is something that no one wants to discuss and I applaud them for doing so. Because they don't do this often, when they do, it means more whereas South Park has been getting awfully darn preachy and that tends to reduce the funny, at least for me.
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Post by Ben » August 9th, 2010, 5:20 pm

Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, I guess. :)

I still enjoy both shows for their different slants. South Park hammers home a point, cleverly, and Family Guy just astounds (on and off) with the surprisingly pointed humor and those "shallow random" gags which, if nothing else, are more hilarious than not.

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Re:

Post by EricJ » August 10th, 2010, 2:26 am

eddievalient wrote:South Park doesn't have a monopoly on "comedy with meaning". Family Guy can play that game too, even if they don't do it often. For example, in the episode "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven", Meg becomes a born again christian and intentionally makes Brian a pariah around town because he happens to be an atheist. The point of the episode was to comment on the prejudice that christians often show towards non-christians in general and atheists in particular. This is something that no one wants to discuss
(Except for the two other Athie edgy-cartoon animators, of course, at defensive length and ad nauseum every third episode...) :roll:

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Post by Ben » August 10th, 2010, 6:47 am

Who are...?

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Post by EricJ » August 10th, 2010, 3:37 pm

Matt Groening, who back around the middle of the Simpsons did "Homer questions his faith" six times a season, and turned Flanders from a chirpy neighbor into a religious-Right whipping-boy,
And Stone/Parker, who have a tendency to reduce EVERY issue to Christian-right oppression, for even the thinnest of excuses (qv. the Jonas Bros. episode), or just their general phobia of society being mass-hysteria fooled by Non-Reason (as with their frequent "Fear of terrorists has stifled our society" metaphors.)
(And as with most Athies, the thrill of picking on everyone's sacred cows and general public ass-hattery eventually gives way to feelings of unjust social persecution, and we get "Sure, we call everyone idiots, but why does society have to pick on us?-- Can't they be more understanding of someone's cherished belief system? :( ")

Don't know if McFarlane actually had his Athie card, or whether it just came with the genre and he felt peer-pressure to hang out with the Big Boys on the block to compete. ;)
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Post by eddievalient » August 10th, 2010, 6:05 pm

Actually, I thought they handled Flanders rather well in the movie, getting him back to the nice, if slightly nutty, guy he was at the beginning. And I've noticed that these shows don't seem to go after christians in general, only the most vocal among them (who, let's be honest, make idiots of themselves regularly). Living in a whole town full of them, I can attest that these shows aren't really exagerrating that much.
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Re:

Post by Randall » August 10th, 2010, 7:38 pm

eddievalient wrote:Living in a whole town full of them, I can attest that these shows aren't really exagerrating that much.
I guess I won't be moving to "The Middle of Nowhere" then. ;)

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