The single most valuable commodity in the entertainment industry is positive hype. You could film 23 minutes of an old man sleeping in a recliner and still make a smash hit TV series if your commercials are good and you get some critics to rave about it. The secret of this is that positive hype is actually reciprocal. A critic who raves about NBC's new sleeper comedy hit "Immobile Box Full of Crayons" will actually receive publicity just by getting quoted in TV and print promos. Do it enough and he'll find himself getting asked to make guest appearances on morning news shows, drooling incoherently over the latest incoherent drool to come out of Burbank. Before he knows it this will lead to having a job writing script treatments for one of the network sweatshops.
It isn't just TV either; the music, movie and especially gaming industry all survive and prosper in part thanks to the efforts and adoration of the press. For decades, possibly even centuries, Something Awful has remained aloof from this rat race. We have chosen instead to tear down all of the things that we aren't talented - or whatever the opposite of lazy is - enough to accomplish ourselves. That era is coming to an end. We are hitching our wagon for that wild ride to super stardom and I intend to spend the entirety of this update heaping praise on everything from Carrot Top to Meat Loaf.
Since we've been neglecting our important duties as media prostate masseuses we are going to have to do things a little differently. I hereby authorize any media outlet to apply the quotes in this article to their movie, music, book, game, or TV show. I will leave them intentionally vague so they should suit your purposes well. The only distinction I will make is to separate them by the type of media they should apply to. Don't worry! If you find a quote in the TV section that you would like to use on the jacket of an Oprah book club novel about a transvestite surviving breast cancer, feel free. We aim to please.
"[Film Title] is a tour de force unparalleled in our time. Even eight thousand years from now the hyper-evolved future humans will look back on [Film Title] and wonder how their primitive forebears created such a masterwork."
"It's a good thing tickets to this movie are only nine bucks where I live, because I would be willing to kill children indiscriminately just to see the first ten minutes again."
"Emotionally wrenching, haunting, and hilarious. Watching this movie is like living the entirety of your life, only with more stunning CGI effects and the incomparable Ben Affleck."
"The ultimate date movie! This film doesn't just get you laid; it actually makes tender love to you on the sticky floor of the theater."
"A triumph of the human spirit over our robotic oppressors."
"Carrot Top is the greatest comedian alive today. His intricately crafted humor takes a keen mind to unravel, and you will be laughing the whole way!"
"[Director's Name] has done it again with [Film Title]. I haven't loved the medium this much since I mistook a pile of film reels in a dark projection room for a coiled prostitute."
"[Film Title] helped me realize why America is so great and the terrorists will never win. They just hate us for our freedom."
"Many simpletons would mistake [Film Title] for more elitist art house crap that makes about as much sense as installing break lights on a bowling ball, but the truth is it's a journey of the imagination through a surreal dreamscape that speaks directly to the existential soul that unites us all in our collective triumphs and tribulations."
"Who knew that Ed Asner had the voice of a songbird?! Newsflash: he does, and it's a falsetto that will make you weak in the joints."
"Forget oxygen, forget water, [Book Title] is all you'll need to survive this year."
"[Book Title] is the best historical fiction about Abraham Lincoln killing Julius Caesar that I have ever read. It's even better than 'Ides of the South: How Lincoln Burned Rome'."
"A clone made from the recombinant DNA of William Shakespeare and James Joyce could not write a more thought provoking book on maintenance of the Toyota Camry 95-99 than [Author's Name]."
"[Author's Name]'s witty observations serve the more serious tone of the rest of the material quite well and help to keep the reader riveted to the page-turning studies of blood diseases in livestock."
"I never knew just how much [Loose Political Alliance] hated America until [Author's Name] managed to clear things up with several anecdotes, a few facts taken out of context, and thousands of baseless accusations. The most amazing part was all of the exhaustive research that the author selectively quoted to emphasize the correctness of his viewpoint."
"If you have one ounce of love for the smash hit series 'Fish Police' in your marrow, then you'll share my adoration for [Show Title]."
"Get ready to ice up your funny bone, because [Show Title] is going to give it a serious workout! Who could have guessed that real life crime scene photos could be so hilarious?"
"[Network Name] has a hit on their hands with [Show Title]. This original and biting commentary on the social interactions of three male and three female friends is sure to leave America in the best kind of stitches. My favorite character is [ditzy blond], will her antics ever cease?!"
"[Show Title] proves that reality TV still has some life left in it. I was amazed with the attention to detail during the Revolutionary War segment where they were forced to drink vintage British tea out of a boiled hog uterus."
"[Show Title] is an engrossing drama of a genius and complexity not seen since Fox's powerhouse programming duo 'Farts Across America' and 'Ass Helicopter'."
"[Lead Actress] makes a stunning debut as the titular character in [Show Title]. It's heartwarming to know that a sassy and incredibly attractive single mom with a mysteriously huge apartment and vague parental duties can still get by in this crazy workaday world we live in."
"I enjoy listening to songs about things that happen to people that wear cowboy hats and [Yokel's Album Title] is an example of the best the genre has to offer. Packed to the ten-gallon brim with twangy homespun tales told in halting song form, this compilation of greatest hits is just what the only doctor in town ordered."
"In the overcrowded genre of barely-legal gyrating female pop stars who sing childishly about their shallow relationships, [Artist's Name] really distinguishes herself by wearing the shortest and tightest hot pants in the industry."
"Hip-hop has a new hero, and his name is [Artist's Name]! With unassailable street cred and more ice on his body than a Cro-Magnon man frozen in a glacier [Artist's Name]'s new album [Album Title] is sure to please."
"Whoever claims rock is dead hasn't listened to [Album Title], the latest release from numetal thrashers [Artist's Name]. This blazing mix of techno, rap, and rock fuses Baltimora with Biz Markie and proves that their styles should have been married long ago."
"I have not ejaculated this much playing a game since an Operation Wolf stand up overturned onto my groin."
"The [latest graphical buzz feature] in this game is so intense that it not only rendered me sterile, it rendered my unborn grandchildren sterile."
"[Game Title] combines the best elements of 'Pool of Radiance' and 'Ken's Labyrinth' to create a game that's much more than the sum of its parts. Think 'Lara Croft's Populous II'."
"This series continues to deliver and the intense action will leave you out of breath. This ain't your grand pappy's Kasparov Teaches Chess."
"[Developer] can do no wrong in my book, but [Game Title] exceeds even my great expectations. The CD smells like delicious donuts and just viewing the autorun caused shivers of ecstasy to race up and down my spine. The installation was pure bliss and my first five minutes of actually playing [Game Title] forced me to lie down lest I be overcome by a case of the vapors."
Our obligations to the entertainment industry fulfilled for the year, we will once again be returning to our normal cynical content. Look forward to a special year in review on Friday which will feature the best films released in 2003 along with flip explanations as to why they all fucking sucked.
The Doctor Is In!
This week, Doctor David Thorpe, fat and addled from Christmas goose, has decided to piss everyone off a little bit more than normal by taking on bands that we're all supposed to love. Join him on a rollercoaster of grumpiness covering more than 20 years of crap!
"If you walk into the cool-guy vinyl store in your town and start bad-mouthing Joy Division, it’s likely that the ninety-pound guy behind the counter who looks like he cuts his hair with a lighter will be forced to muster the last of his anemic strength in order to forcefully eject you from the establishment."
Join in on the holiday fun! You just might learn the names of some bands that you can use to trick people into thinking you're cool.
This is your typical consumer model throne. If you just want a cheap prop, it's fine. If you want to actually sit like a king, pony up the cash and get yourself a prosumer model. This entry level stuff is more for a duke or baron at best.
Do you wish to know what computers will be doing in the year to come? With a sigh I shall exert the minimal effort it takes to reveal all. Feel free to print out these predictions and share them with your friends via fax.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.