Iconoclasts (2012) - Seth McFarlane & Norah Jones (X)
Against the backdrop of Norah’s New York recording studio, Family Guy
creator Seth MacFarlane and award-winning musician Norah Jones meet to
record the soundtrack for Seth’s feature film, TED, and discuss the
unexpected paths that brought them to success.
Sometimes the most dissimilar people make the most fruitful partners. Go
behind the scenes with Family Guy mastermind, Seth MacFarlane, and the
honey-voiced jazz singer, Norah Jones - two of entertainment’s most
unlikely yet inspired collaborators.
Honestly, watching the trailer for Ready Player One (RP1) got me thinking a lot about the state of non-networked media (mostly cinema) and the current way in which pop-culture trades on itself.
It’d be easy to draw a line between the scattershot empty gesturing towards other pop-cultural icons in RP1 to the same thing in Family Guy, but the way they’re embedded and the function they serve is different, despite both being similar devoid of anything beyond a surface-level incorporation into the host narrative.
In Family Guy, the cutaway 80s gags and references have a weirdly absurdist disjunction, interrupting the host narrative which is either funny or annoying depending on how you take it, but mostly serves as a foghorn for Seth McFarlane to say “hey, guess what decade I grew up in?”
RP1, on the other hand, is somehow even more cynical. It embeds and absorbs pop-cultural iconography, but as the most reductive form of intertextuality. There is no attempt to engage with any of the thematic ‘meat’ each icon brings to the table, no chewing over how the subtext of The Road Warrior may impact or compliment its own narrative. No gesture towards how Freddy Kruger’s appearance may mean something. Each reference is reduced solely to a symbol emptied entirely of meaning beyond the intention to trigger a memory in the viewer. In peppering the novel/film with so many of these symbols, RP1 seeks to co-opt a nostalgic fondness for what each of these symbols may represent to each reader/viewer as a fondness for its own narrative. Even the narrative’s cyberpunk setting trades on the aesthetics of a radical and critical coolness of a movement long since defanged.
These utterly empty, flattened symbolic references are the wider pop-culture equivalent of the jumpscare in horror films. They trigger an immediate and often involuntary response in the viewer, and claim that as narrative effect. Granted, they can be done well, but in instances like this, it’s insincere and cynical. You can pepper a film with jumpscares, and an audience may have a raised heartrate at the end of it, but certainly not through the virtue of a compelling narrative of good writing. The same can be said of an audience whose hearts have been lifted from seeing a symbolic representation of another text they’re fond of. They’re fond of those, not the narrative that’s covered itself in them.
The Orville Gets New Trailer - Closer Feel To Star Trek
‘The Orville’ panel at ComicCon debuted a new trailer for the show that gives a bit better sense of what we might be in for. It hasn’t been entirely clear if the show will focus more on the comedy aspect or more toward the story telling side of the parody they are attempting. The new trailer would seem to give an indication that while the dialog is certainly more ‘Family Guy’, the show its self falls in the ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ realm. And with Victor Garber playing an Admiral in the show and Lt. Tom Paris himself - Robert Duncan McNeill directing an episode, this show could be something more than just another Seth McFarlane quip-fest.
Oh my GOD seth mcfarlane is the most ARROGANT, ASSHOLE hollywood writer/producer that I have ever seen. He’s SO PROUD of his show that refuses to die and he’s so fucking ignorant that he thinks the LGBT+ community would be on his side after everything he’s done?? what the actual fuck??
Like the writers behind Teen Titans Go and the PPG reboot are pretty fucking bad and are probably in the same league as seth (s/o to the shit transgender representation that the PPG team tried to force into their show) but Seth….whoo boy.
Family Guy makes me sick. So does the PPG reboot and Teen Titans Go but at least they’re censored by their network so the shit their writers probably come up with has to be tamer. All three embody the worst hollywood has to offer and they make me wish I could become a studio executive and fire and ban these writers from all of hollywood. Full offense but people this dumb and awful at writing shouldn’t be allowed within 30 miles of a tv studio
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