Adventures in Fake Journalism: The Simpsons 717

In the Season 7 episode 'Homer the Smithers', Burns is presented with a Junior Jumble-

Amazingly, it's a fully-constructed far-too-easy jumble. The clue involves a woman calling her husband a 'fat slob', while the riddle is 'What did the man need?' So let's solve it!


Which gives us the letters DETH. Which can't be turned into anything at all - so the Jumble is a failure. Strangely, though - it's simply a case of the circles being misplaced. If they were slightly rearranged, the selected letters would be DTIE.

This, of course, can be rearranged into what the fat man needs. A 'DIET'.


Criminal Minds 605: Safe Haven

A woman is tied up in a room upstairs. Meanwhile, a killer downstairs idly flips television channels on a kitchen television. Based on this look we get of him, he's obviously pretty young. The parents try gamely to make their escape, but the mother's heart really isn't in it since her children have already been murdered, so their deaths are inevitable.

Now it's time for the meeting room, where the team discovers that this is the second family to be murdered in just two days! The only information they're able to glean is that the fathers are somehow the focus of rage - other members of the family are killed relatively bloodlessly, but the fathers are brutally stabbed to death... but why?

We'll have to wait a moment to find out, since there's some extraneous plot to deal with. Remember Eric's daughter?

Yeah, me neither. Anyway, she's in Quantico to visit Derek, since she's being abused by her foster family. Will she be taken in by Derek, since he empathizes with her struggle, being the child of a murdered cop himself? I certainly hope so, since that would be an interesting turn for the character, and it's not like Derek gets many of those.



Haiku! Starring Luster!

Today I'll be utterly misusing a Japanese art to review the film:

Yet More Jekyll/Hyde
Only Misogyny Themed
Don't Watch This Movie


TheAvod New Year!

In this, the last new episode of 2011, DM and myself offer a nearly Asylum-themed show! Not only do they watch a questionably-written movie about the Boogeyman, they crack the code for what makes a decent Asylum picture. Tune in to find out what it is! Also, American Horror Story continues to disappoint.

Sound tantalizing? Well don't worry, because these water and grapes are well within reach! Just right-click here to download the new episode!


The Eighty-Fourth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Is this a thing anyone actually ever said? Or was the writer simply trying to get colourful at an inopportune moment?


Merry Christmas, everyone!

I'm just going to go ahead and assume that everyone's been good this year, and therefore you deserve your gift - the greatest comic book story ever told! That may sound like hyperbole, and it's possible that I'm just biased towards the story, as it features both my favourite Golden-Age Hero (Zero, the Ghost Detective!) and a villain so spectacular that it must be seen to be believed! So, with no further ado, I give you, from the pages of Feature Comics #71, dated September, 1943 :

If necessary, all images can be bigified through clickery.

You know what's super-comforting? That there are a host of other ghost detectives out there equal in skill to Zero. After all, were he 'peerless' among ghost detectives, then if something bad were to happen to him, it could be disastrous for the whole world! Since he's just on par with all the other Ghost Detectives, however, there's plenty of backup available were things to take a left turn.


Something else I've noticed from The Simpsons

When the schoolkids get stranded on the deserted island in 'Das Bus', there's much comedy to be gleaned from their complete inability to handle life in the jungle. Just check out their attempt at a shelter:

Yet somehow when it comes time to imprison Milhouse they get a cage made out of bamboo and vines together quickly enough:

They also seem perfectly adept at constructing a spit and roasting a boar to perfection.

A vicious wild boar they killed with sharpened sticks.

What was the message of this episode again?


Criminal Minds 604: Compromising Positions

A couple are out on Lover's Lane, getting it on in their car. Not consensually, however - they're being forced to have sex by a man sitting in the front seat, aiming a pistol at them!

Naturally, he kills them, and the next day the team is on the case! It seems that two couples have been killed, only a week apart. Emily refers to this as 'not much of a cooling-off period', which is strange, considering that by the standards of this show, one kill a week is positively glacial. And again, I'm not sure how she knows the term 'cooling-off period'.

Before they can head off to Ohio to sort out the crime, Garcia swings by Greg's office, asking if she can come along as the communications liason. There's some blather about her job crossing over the most, and how important it is to have one, but the fact is, last week the team was without a communications liason, and absolutely no one noticed.

Also, isn't it much more important that they have a tech expert ready to go at a mainframe the second they need the information? Since she solves almost every case for them? Let's compare cases solved by Garcia to cases solved by JJ. It's an easy comparison:

Garcia: All of them.
JJ: None of them.

Whose role is more vital for the team again?

Hey, new opening credits team shot!

And how long has this explosion been in the opening credits?

Nothing ever explodes on this show.


Terrible Moments in Taglining: Real Steel

"Courage is stronger than steel"

I'm fairly sure that's not accurate. If it was, then Hugh Jackman would have climbed into the ring and fought the evil robot himself, like the main character in the Twilight Zone episode this was based on.

Of course, the character in the story lost, and that doesn't play on the big screen.


Merry TheAvod Everybody!

That's right, continuing our annual Christmas tradition, DM and myself decided to check out some killer Santa movies - here's the twist: No Silent Night Deadly Night!

Daring, right? So check out the challenge by right-clicking here to download it!


The Eighty-Third-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Wow! Old-fashioned probably-racist turns of phrase! I wonder which kind of Indian he was referring to?


Baffling Decision Theatre Featuring: Ringer!

Perhaps the ultimate guilty-pleasure TV show, Ringer is the absurd tale of a woman who goes on the run from the mob and takes over the life of a twin sister she thinks is dead, but really the sister is a scheming villain who wants to steal all of her husband's money and disappear somehow. I'm not clear on the details, since (at the time of writing this), the season is just eight episodes in.

On top of the amazingly crazy premise, the show's madness is assisted by writers who have apparently never met a person, ever. Nearly everyone on the show makes baffling, impossible decisions when confronted with any problem, to the point where the average viewer's jaw will be on the floor three or four times per episode. These aren't examples of people getting in a bad situation and doing something dumb on the spur of the moment because they can't think straight - these are people going through elaborate, multi-step plans to accomplish nonsensical goals for reasons that are coherent to no one.

I offer, for elucidation, two examples.


The Simpsons actually cares about continuity?

So, in the Simpsons season ender last year, Ned and Edna started dating. This led to a scene in which Ned, while hanging out with Homer at Moe's, runs into some of the men that Edna has slept with over the years, including Joey from Aerosmith. Remember their assignation?

First off, bravo for the callback 19 years later - that's quite the accomplishment. More importantly, though, I've got to say that the years have not treated the animated depiction of Joey very well-

That's what he's looking like these days! Which brings me to the eternal question - how, exactly, does time work in Springfield? Homer has aged five years over the course of the show (from 36 to 41), while his children remain the same age, but apparently this was just a narcissistic move by the writers, who didn't want to be older than Homer, at least for a relatively brief amount of time.

Strangely, the 20-year age jump of Joey's isn't the only reference to the extreme passage of time in the episode. Ned mentions in passing that his 'Leftorium' has been the anchor store of the 'sad mall' for ten years. Which means we're not only getting a reference to the Leftorium being built almost twenty years ago, but also to the fact that the 'Springfield Mall' that it resides in has essentially been made obsolete by the opening of the Heavenly Hills Mall back in season nine.

Of course, Lisa almost got married back in 2010, so what does time even mean any more?


Criminal Minds 603: Remembrance of Things Past

A family gets ready to drive to a football game on a windy night! The whole thing is shot like a slasher film, mysteriously open doors and windows, a woman alone in the house briefly, but it's all a misdirect - it's actually the family's absent daughter who's being murdered! And her killer forced her to call her parents to talk about being murdered!

Then the show cuts over to Joe, who's trying to work on his new book - Greg calls him in because this case resembles something he'd worked on in the past. Although apparently there's no 'signature' this time, not that we're told what the original signature was.

Over at the office Garcia is sad about JJ's absence, and has taken to standing outside her office, looking forlorn.

Okay, prediction time - they gave her that office number because they were planning on bringing her back in episode 620! I know that theory is based on the show demonstrating any pre-planning at all, which is of course unsupportable given the show's history, but I still hope it's true.

Then it's time for the briefing - before we start, though, Derek mentions that he's still in touch with Ellie, Eric Close's orphan daughter. Random character note, or are they building to something? Joe then drops by, and they're able to start the case. A guy tortures and murders young blonde women, and then has them call their families. Joe feels like he almost caught the guy back in the 90s, and he's been out of the game for almost twenty years. Could he really be coming back as a seventy-year-old killer? The hands of the killer, shown in this pre-credits cutaway, suggest not:

But I guess we'll see!

Haiku! Starring Asylum!

Today I'll be utterly misusing a Japanese art to review the film:

The least essential
Nightmare on Elm Street happens.
This pleases no one.


Adventures in Fake Journalism: Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night

Okay, for a film never intended for release in North America (because of the - I assume - serious legal blocks to doing so), PA2:TN has some stunningly detailed fake journalism on display. Let's start with their fake search engine, shall we?

Ah, Go Search - is it any wonder you became the world's number one web search service? You have a button that says 'happy' on it!



The Eighty-Second-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

You know, there's little I can imagine more heroic than shooting people in the back. Of course, this is just the teaser image, I'm sure Tiny doesn't actually-

Oh. That's cold, man.


The Lost Simpsons Characters: The Devolution to Ralph Wiggum

As the Simpsons began, both Bart and Lisa had lives outside of the home. They both had social circles - Bart hung out with kids that weren't Nelson, Martin, or Milhouse, Lisa had all her friends over for slumber parties. In addition to actual friends, there was a wide circle of other children who attended Springfield Elementary. Among them was this guy, part of a two-man chorus who wittily commented on the action in a variety of scenes:

You may think that this character is Ralph Wiggum, but that's not a wholly accurate assumption. First off, there's the obvious intellectual disparity - this kid says things like 'It's recess everywhere but in his heart', while Ralph says things like 'I bent my Wookie'.


Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Steve Buscemi Edition

You make me sad, SNL.

Long story short, there was a sketch 'lampooning' the whole college football child rape scandal. As if there was much to laugh about. Their angle was that this would lead to crazy witch hunts, in which anyone even slightly creepy and pathetic would be suspected of being a child molester.

Harmful messages in this sketch include: All molestation is adult man on male child, investigations into child molestation are over the top and a waste of time, false accusations are a common occurrence, only 'creepy' guys molest children.

I'm not going to say that this isn't a subject that it's possible to make jokes about, I'm just suggesting that the writers at SNL hold off until they actually manage to find one.

You make me sad, SNL.

I'm going to try to sleep now.


Criminal Minds 602: JJ

It seems this season proper is going to open with a 'torn from the headlines' kind of a case - a coed is missing! The cops think they know who might be responsible, but there's no evidence? Sound familiar? Well, not to me, but I'm assured by friends that this all relates to the Natalee Holloway case somehow. I'm not going to talk about it very much, though, largely because my word processor tells me I'm spelling her name wrong.

Before we get started, though, I'd like to quickly point out how weird it seems that this missing woman is getting so much attention given that she disappeared inside America, without any particular narrative that could be used to promote the case. People made a big deal about Natalee Holloway because the racist undertones of a white coed going missing in a foreign country served a xenophobic narrative that certain media outlets enjoy pushing. This character went missing in Maryland. Does this show not realize how many coeds go missing in the world of Criminal Minds without anyone in the media caring?

Spoiler Alert: It's a lot.

Maybe we're not supposed to pay too much attention to the case of the week, however, since the main focus of the opening sequence is that JJ is having a high-level meeting with AD Strauss, the evil woman who hates Greg. Who is also in the meeting.

Why the important pow-wow? The Department of Defence wants JJ to transfer over there, but she's refusing because she loves her job too much. Greg thinks she should consider taking the job of being the PR liason for the Pentagon, but she's not so sure. Here's where I demonstrate my utter ignorance about how the American government works - can people seriously get transferred from the FBI to another, utterly unrelated government agency? Is that a thing that happens?

"Hey, you seem to be doing a great job investigating the mob, agent - how'd you like a job at the department of Agriculture?" That doesn't sound right, does it? Also, I'm not sure exactly why JJ would be such a 'get' for the DoD - her job consists of two things: picking which cases to investigate (which has no use to Defense) and getting the press to report more or less information, depending on the case, buying their co-operation with promises of more comprehensive access to the casefile once the baddie is in jail. Again - not hugely useful over at the Pentagon.

Also, how many Prentiss Awards is she going to win over there?

As opposed to all the other murderers you interview, where you get endless bites at the old interview apple, right?

Anyhoo, case time! A lady is missing! And two evil pals did it! But the cops can't get them to turn on one another, and the clock is running out on charging them. How can the team help out? And can they do it before the rich one of the pair escapes into the aether? Let's find out after the opening credits!

Haiku! Starring Setup!

Today I'll be utterly misusing a Japanese art to review the film:

What's worst: Plot, acting,
Or the repeated shots of
Randy Couture's ears?


Unsolicited advice for Mark Millar

After reading Kick-Ass 2, issue 5, I suspect you're laboring under an unfortunate misunderstanding: the following line from Spaceballs-

Was not intended for use as a plot outline.


TheAvod Takes a Sampling of Wares!

Eclectic is the watchword of today's TheAvod, with the Divemistress and myself covering a wide variety of films, from Lucky McKee's latest to a Korean movie to the story of an alien invasion told from the POV of some British punks!

Yes, you can learn about all that and more by just right-clicking here to download the latest episode of TheAvod!


The Eighty-First-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Wow, sentences were light back in the 40s, huh? Tim McVeigh gets a lethal injection while Zoff picks up a dime. Hardly seems fair.

To the society where Zoff lives, obviously. In case you thought I was on the other side of this.


Tales From the Darkside 311: Seasons of Belief

Oh my god! This is it! This is the episode I've been looking for all this time!

I'm going to just shut up while we watch it together. Will it be as scary and messed-up as I remember? Let's find out!

Okay, done?

Yeah, I'm messed up too. That was everything I wanted it to be. Who would have guessed that an episode of the oft-disappointing Tales From the Dark Side would totally live up to my memories?

I've got to wonder, though - how does it play for people watching it for the first time? Was it a surprise? A shock? It's obviously stated what's going to happen, but still, I didn't really think it would be like that...

Anyhoo, see you back here next week, as I begin watching the last thirty episodes of the show, because why not?


Really? All ten?

There are a large number of things about the movie Episode 50 that don't make any sense. For example, every single thing that happens in the course of the movie. Really, every moment of its running time refuses to make sense. I'd like to focus on one particular sequence from the film, however, more for brevity's sake than anything else.

After a brief introduction suggests that the movie is about a show so boring that it could never have made it past the pilot stage, let alone to episode 50, the gang meets a ne'er-do-well who's dying of cancer. Before he goes, he'd like to know whether or not he's going to hell. Why is he so concerned? Well, in the following clip, he explains why he feels he's earned god's punishment.

Which brings me to my question: really? You've broken each of the ten commandments ten times each? Is that really plausible? Let's look at them one at a time.


Wow do I not understand web advertising.

I think everyone's familiar with pseudo-interactive ads, in which it's suggested that the advertisee can win something by clicking on an ad. There are a wide varieties of these, with simple trivia questions, variations on whack-a-mole and so forth.

Just the other day I encountered a variation so bizarre that I felt it was worth calling out. Check this:


You get to pick a side and help Zeus or a soldier kill the other one. What is the backstory here? Why does a soldier think a sword would work on a god? Why is a god trying to stab someone with a lightning bolt? It almost makes me want to click on the ad so I can find out who is responsible for this madness.



Criminal Minds 601: The Longest Night

After the shockingly bad season ender so disgusted me, I'm going to try to handle this episode as quickly as possible. Because yikes.

The episode opens with more more Leonard Cohen, and a fantasy scene of the young Tim Curry with his mother.

Oh, god, is he going to be mother obsessed as well? Were they not cribbing from the Frank storyline hard enough as it was?

When we come back to the real world, while the rest of the team is stuck in traffic, Tim has somehow escaped, traffic apparently not being an issue when you're driving a giant RV. At first it seems like the daughter has escaped, but it turns out that Tim just let her go so that people would open their doors when they heard a scared little girl banging on their front door. The door opens, and Tim murders some more people.


Mystery Solved: Scream Edition!

Despite having seen the film Scream literally dozens of times, it held one lasting mystery. What, exactly, was opening victim Steve's last name? At the end of the movie he's credited only as "Steve", and the two times it's mentioned in the films weren't of much use.

So is he Steve Orrest, as Rose McGowan suggests?

Or is it Steve Orf, as Courtney Cox seems to say?

Turns out it's neither! Turns out I wasn't the only one still thinking about Steve all these years later. Check this out from the credits of Scream 4-

Doctor "Orth"! Finally! Yes, it seems that Scream 4 featured Steve's never-before-mentioned older brother, who's now a local doctor! It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it performance, here's the half-a-second during which his face is visible.

Also, in a scene that appeared in an earlier version of the script, but may never have been shot - it didn't show up in the deleted scenes - Doctor Orth even had a chance to ruminate on his family's role in the film franchise.

Ah, Steve - you may have died a pointless death, but history will remember you fondly.

Also, weirdly, now that I know what it's supposed to be, when I go back and watch those clips, I can totally hear those actresses attempting to say 'Orth'. Funny how the mind works, isn't it?


TheAvod is opposed to bullying!

Bullying - it's a difficult subject to broach, which is why we gloss over it while talking about a movie that involves a bully getting revenge on his tormentors from beyond the grave! The name of that movie? Tormented. Clever, right?

Anyhoo, check out that review and a couple other by right-clicking here to download the new episode!

Then meet me here next week for more movie madness!

Haiku! Starring Blitz!

Today I'll be utterly misusing a Japanese art to review the film:

There's far too much plot.
This was based on a novel?
I understand now.


The Eightieth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

These stories are only ever 4-5 pages long, consisting of a maximum of sixty panels. Not a lot of space to tell a story. Yet the creators were so fond of then-contemporary rapid fire banter that they waste two panels on a text approximating the effect, even though the dialogue contributes nothing to the story!



Tales From the Darkside 310: Deliver Us From Goodness

Okay, finally - a title where I have no idea what the episode is going to be about! Even the opening image, of a plate being set for a fancy dinner party offers no clues. Come on, Tales, surprise me!

It turns out that the show is taking place in the home of a man running for mayor - they've invited a prospective supporter over for dinner! As they get settled in the manager complains about his allergies - will that be important? Then it's time for dinner - the manager explains that in order to get elected, the whole family has to be presentable and positive. This might be problematic in the case of the odd-looking and gawky daughter-

When the mother starts talking about the value of supporting men who would strive for greatness she's suddenly underlit-

Which turns out not to be just a director's flourish, as the other characters comment on it. She plays off the comment, and doesn't even answer questions about heavenly music that plays whenever she speaks. Things get even stranger when the manager complains about the meal, and states that he'd have preferred fried chicken. The wife's wish makes it so, and a buck of KFC drops onto his plate.

Faced with the supernatural, the manager takes his leave in the fastest way possible. Who can blame him? The next day the family still hasn't received a satisfactory answer about the whole 'magical powers' thing. The daughter talks about the salacious adventures of her friends' parents, but her super-classy mother won't be phased. She will, however, use her magical powers to transform her daughter's clothes into that of Cleopatra after a miscommunication.

This, understandably, freaks everyone out, and the father is finally willing to talk openly about the situation - he points out that the mother promised that this sort of thing 'wouldn't happen any more'. What's that kind of thing? Apparently she doesn't even know!


Huh? Ringer Edition!

From time to time, a line of dialogue appears in a show's script that winds up onscreen, even though enough elements of the scene that contained it have changed that a rewrite should have been necessary.

In the pilot episode of "Ringer", at the end of an NA meeting, Sarah Michelle Gellar's boyfriend/sponsor questions whether it's too late for her to be drinking coffee. Nothing wrong with that if the scene had been filmed as it was doubtlessly written to be, at night.

That, obviously, wasn't the case:

An awful lot of light streaming through the window, isn't there? That's because the window isn't just facing an extremely bright parking lot, but rather it's the middle of the afternoon. Check out this next scene set some time later.

The script isn't carved into stone, you know. You can always change a few words if conditions on the ground change. Unless you're not paying attention. Which is a possibility, this being Ringer and all.


That Happy Cat!

Oh, Snowball - you get disrespected quite a bit by this show, don't you? Lisa's cat has been dead for around four years when the show begins - the official number is given in a Halloween episode, so there's room for a little shakiness. Speaking of that Halloween Episode (Treehouse of Horror III, specifically), something puzzling occurs - while the characters discuss Snowball, the cat featured here:

The picture Lisa holds up is of Snowball II-

Even more puzzling, when we get to the pet cemetery, we find that the cat was buried under the name:

Snowball I? Wouldn't naming a cat that suggest it wasn't going to be long for this world? The same way that calling it the 'First Battle of Bull Run' ensured that there would be a second some years later?


Criminal Minds Season 5 Recap!

It`s a one-month-early Christmas present as we take a look back at Criminal Minds Season 5!

This was a weaker than usual season for the team, with two zero-scoring episodes! Is this a record? That sounds like something I should check!

Anyhoo, the season-ender was a cliffhanger, and therefore not scored, but the rest of the episodes involved a crime being solved, and therefore count. The total score for the season was 45/220, for a 20% profiling rate. Truly, from a psychological standpoint, this was the worst season of Criminal Minds.

The best episode, surprisingly, was the Suspect Behaviour spinoff showcase, in which the team actually used a description of the kind of person they're looking for in an environment small enough that it could help identify the killer - when there were no other clues available! Everything else about that episode was egregiously bad, but at least there were a couple of positives.

The worst episode, naturally, was '100', in which instead of catching the villain, he phoned Greg and invited him over for a fistfight. Yikes.

See you back here next time for the resolution of the Tim Curry cliffhanger! Will he kill that little girl? Almost certainly not! Will he be captured or killed? Um... duh?


Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Jason Segel Edition!

Jason Segel hosted this past week, plugging his upcoming Muppet movie. I have certain misgivings about that particular project, not the least of which being that it appears to feature Rowlf, who had been retired after the death of Jim Henson as a way of honoring him. Rowlf being the first, or 'alpha', Muppet. I've got to say, appearing as a backup singer in an opening monologue song is a rather ignominious reintroduction for an historic character who's been gone for two decades.

But hey, let's move on to the objectionable! No rape jokes this week (thank Odin), and just two sketches including homophobic punchlines! This first was the kissing family, which got its biggest laugh when surprise guest Paul Rudd appeared just in time to make out with the host. The other was in a digital short, which featured a transvestite prostitute for no reason other than the cheap laugh it pried from the dark souls of the audience.

So, the numbers!

Rape - 0
Homophobia - 2

You know, I'm really happy that SNL is cleaning up its act, and hope to see this trend continue off into the future. That doesn't mean I won't continue keeping an eye on it, however. I'm watching you, SNL.

Next week - Nothing! Because it's Thanksgiving! The week after that, Steve Buscemi - which should be interesting, to say the least.


TheAvod PlaceHolder!

After watching three utterly random movies, the DM and myself discovered that while Gacy and Sherlock Holmes underperform, there's way more to say about a movie called Butchered than anyone could possibly guess in a thousand years. Also, it's possible that the only joy that can be gleaned from American Horror Story is in trying to figure out the rules of its world.

For these stories - and many others - simply right-click here to download the latest episode of TheAvod!


The Seventy-Ninth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics!

Now, I'm no spy hunter, but do you think there's a chance it could be the guy who didn't know the right word to say?


Tales From the Darkside 309: Baker's Dozen

Finally, an episode where the title doesn't give away the game! Unless this is actually about a baker who gives someone a cursed 13th muffin. That can't be it, can it?

Well, it does open in a Bakery, where an elderly man serves up a tray of cookies while lamenting his lot in life - still working while old: tragedy! Fun note - this episode was written by George A. Romero!

As the old man takes a break from complaining a man arrives at the door. It's Rick from Magnum PI, making his second appearance on the show! He's there to see the woman who owns the shop, who's extremely confident about the medicinal qualities of her baked goods. Rick agrees about the magical qualities of her goods, and proposes franchising the business, bringing her incredible cookies to the whole world! The old lady isn't very interested, so naturally Rick does the only logical thing and threatens her with stealing the recipe - he imagines that whatever's in the cookies that makes them so special can be measured and quantified by lab technicians, then replicated somewhere else.

It's like he's never seen an episode of one of these things, isn't it? Not that I think they're going to chop him up and turn him into cookies of course, but he's obviously misunderestimated the literally magical properties of the cookies he loves so well.

The old lady saw Rick coming, of course. She's unimpressed with the idea of partnership, but reconsiders a little when Rick explains that he doesn't want a piece of her business - just her advertising account. He even shows her a mockup of an ad-

Which impresses her for some reason that escapes me. Isn't it supposed to be 'Country Sunshine'? People rarely contrasts the City and the County.


A Lingering Question About Tucker and Dale vs. Evil!

Who was the other killer? Over the course of the film, we hear quite a bit about the Memorial Day Massacre, and even learn that one of the perpetrators of it was the villain's father:

One problem, though - what happened to the other killer? We know that there were two killers because, in the villain's flashback, they are clearly visible:

Now, one might say that this is the consequence of his status as an unreliable narrator, but since the story came from his granparents, who presumably heard it from his institutionalized mother, it's pretty trustworthy. Beyond that, consider Tucker's cabin-

It was clearly the property of the Memorial Day Massacrer, and since the cops caught one of them, but never found the cabin and all the evidence inside, it must have been the property of the second killer.

So Tucker bought the cabin from the other killer. Will this, combined with the survival of this film's villain, provide the foundation for a potential sequel's plot? We can only hope!


What's that? More Simpsons Things I Noticed?

In the Simpsons episode 'Sunday Cruddy Sunday', better known as 'The Other Super Bowl Episode', Marge and Lisa have a subplot while the boys are off dealing with all that football mishegoss. They have some trouble with a Vincent Price-approved egg-decorating kit, and call a hotline, where a recording of Price leaves a very confusing message.

What's so odd about this? At the end of the sequence, Lisa asks Marge to clarify whether Price is alive or dead. Which is a good question to ask, based on the convolutions in the message. Except for one thing - Lisa didn't hear the message. The entire time Marge was on the phone she held the handset up to her ear, while Lisa stood nearby. So how did Lisa know what was being said?


Criminal Minds 523: Our Darkest Hour

Scratchy travelogue footage plays as an RV drives across America while Leonard Cohen plays on the soundtrack! It seems that this killer has excellent taste in music. Or at least the music supervisor on the show does. The killer is simply listening to news radio, where he hears that a blackout is planned for that night in LA because of a heat advisory. So the killer (TIM CURRY!) waits outside a large house until the lights go out and heads inside to do some murdering.

It seems no one noticed a crappy, run-down RV parked in the middle of an upper-class neighbourhood and called the police. Which is entirely plausible. Also plausible? That someone would hear a crash downstairs during a blackout and not immediately call the police. Do they not recognize that blackouts are the most popular occasions for thieves to strike? Of course they don't, they're teaser victims on an episode of Criminal Minds, they have no internal lives.

The team is going to head out to LA to deal with this situation, because in addition to the murdered husband and raped wife, two other women were raped and murdered earlier in the week. So it's off to LA to stop Tim Curry before he kills again!

I'm kidding, of course, this is a season-ender, which means it's going to be a cliffhanger. The only one that wasn't was season 2, which was the second part of a two-parter. Since this isn't that, and this season hasn't set up a Reaper who can swoop in right before the credits, it looks like we've got at least one more episode of Tim to look forward to! And the Asian cop who's their LA liason, I assume. Let's check in with him after the opening credits!


Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Emma Stone Edition

So, let's consider tonight's episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by one 'Emma Stone'. The host, unusually willing to go all-in for massively unflattering comedic characters, and thereby embiggening otherwise lacklustre scripts. The millionth appearance of Wiig's moronic game show contestant character would have been a complete disaster had Stone not rescued the sketch by shamelessly making out with her ventriloquist's dummy.

It was an odd week.

But a tasteful one! Perhaps cowed by the news out of Pen State, there were absolutely no rape jokes this week - and Seth Meyers even managed to cover the story tastefully! We are truly living in an age of miracles and wonderment.

The numbers:

Rape Jokes: 0
Homophobia-based jokes: 1

Congratulations, SNL! Another decent week! Hopefully when Jason Segel hosts next week you can keep this streak going!


TheAvod PlaceHolder!

Okay folks, this week we made a valiant attempt to produce an all-star Avod, only covering DTV movies in which slumming celebrities appeared. Things didn't go according to plan when the Jason Statham movie proves far better than anticipated, and our third celebrity: Steven Segal, proves so terrible that nothing he does can be classified as 'slumming'.

Still, we gamely covered it all, and had a good time doing it! You can share in that good time by right-clicking here to download it to your very own computer/science-infused portable device!


The Seventy-Eighth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics!

(click to bigify!)

When it comes to heartwarming sights, it's hard to find many more cheery than a mobster announcing that he may be a crook, but he's an American first, damn it!


Tales From the Darkside 308: Serpent's Tooth


Okay, so based on the title and nothing else, this is going to be an ungrateful child-themed episode? Of course, if it is, it's not like the show would be breaking any new ground. Hell, we had a 'bitterest pill' just a few weeks ago. Alright, so - what's this one about?

We open in an apartment, where a mother prepares a meal while an idle child reads a book and listens to his walkman. Gosh, I miss walkmans. The meal preparation involves an oddly graphic depiction of a plucked chicken being chopped in half. Is that something which could get on television these days? I mean, it's already dead, but PETA's pretty powerful...

My musings are interrupted by the punk-costumed daughter who comes walking down the stairs, looking for her lipstick. The mother has hidden it, hoping that she can convince her daughter to stop tramping about in slutty clothes. They have a generic fight about these issues, and the daughter, being 21, storms out while threatening to leave for good.

The son calls her on her nagging, and she offers the standard 'you're going to miss my nagging when it's gone'. Foreshadowing?


Adventures in Fake Journalism: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

T&DvE is a fascinating example of Fake Journalism, in that it actually features all three types of text. First off, there's the plot-related text written specifically for the prop:

Left Article:

Memorial Day Massacre: One Survivor

Police found one woman
clinging to life after the Memor-
rial Day Massacre. The yet un-
identified victim was taken to
hospital early this morning.