The Greatest Game of Football Ever Played, The Greatest Reality Show of the Decade, and Mel Gibson is Bad Guy – Feb 1-7: Thirty Twenty Ten

Mel Gibson gets payback, Dilbert moves to TV, the Super Bowl gives us an insane episode of The Office, RuPaul kicks it into gear, the death of Nick Jr and the Prevue Channel, Steve Martin’s last stand, Tecmo Bowl scores, the biggest ever network miniseries (starring white people), Coraline rules, and Chris Brown and Rihanna, well… break up? All that and more this week on Thirty Twenty Ten, your weekly look back on the week that was 30, 20, and 10 years ago.


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13 thoughts on “The Greatest Game of Football Ever Played, The Greatest Reality Show of the Decade, and Mel Gibson is Bad Guy – Feb 1-7: Thirty Twenty Ten

  1. First of all, happy early birthday gift for me since February 2nd is my birthday. 🙂

    Second, get ready for me to gush about Coraline. I was first introduced to the story back in late 2004 or early 2005, latter most likely. What you forgot to mention with all due respect is that the film is based on the novella by Neil Gaiman. (Why do you guys keep forgetting him? It’s just a matter of me wanting to give the guy, credit you know? I’m a big fan.)

    Anyway, I was just getting into Horror around that time and while I was working at the school library, the librarian Alexandra recommended me to check out the book Coraline. She knew me so well and I remain very grateful she did that for me.

    So I read the book and I definitely got into it to the point when it got to the dismembered hand of the Other Mother, I pictured it moving like the mechanical razor hand from the beginning of New Nightmare, it definitely creeped me out.

    I did read about the film in 2005, it took years to make but I didn’t think it’d get made because I was convinced Hollywood would go all the way CGI.

    But then I saw a clip that was shown at Comic Con in 2008 and it turned out, oh! It is getting made and ready for release.

    And it looked really good! I didn’t see it opening weekend but I did that on purpose this time because I wanted to see it alongside the Friday the 13th reboot (which I’ll discuss next week). I was hyped for both, don’t judge me.

    The movie Coraline is one of the best animated films I’ve ever seen. Probably the best stop motion film, best film Henry Selick ever made and the best kids Horror film ever made. I’ve always called it Nightmare on Elm Street for kids. It helps that Teri Hatcher reminded me of Robert Englund-she had that same menace and uneasy vocal tension.

    The visuals, obviously different from what I pictured but that’s okay, it’s better than how I imagined it. Everything about it was better than how I imagined it. I especially resonated with the title character herself. The scene that convinced me that there are traits of myself in her was the scene with her exploring the house. The moment of her with the rug-trying to flatten it was something I had done as a kid.

    It’s a wonderfully well done film. I’m happy to see it still beloved to this day. It had me be a fan of Laika from here to kingdom come.

    Plus, hell of a film to bounce back from Monkeybone given how much he was screwed over that film by Fox.

    As for Fanboys, that film was a victim of the Weinsteins. Basically, they didn’t like the cancer plot and wanted it out. As well as having a different director doing reshoots. A couple of test screenings and outrage campaigns later, director Kyle Newman was given 36 hours to reassemble his final cut of the film along with putting back the cancer plot.

    And speaking of Drag Race, the Marvel universe recently introduced a superpowered drag queen character for the mutant community named Shade.

  2. Was hoping it would get mentioned in TV of 1999, but I had a feeling my favorite show’s revival would be overlooked. On February 6, 1999, Are You Afraid of the Dark? premiered its 6th season with “The Tale of the Forever Game”. I love AYAOTD and will probably be chiming in every week with what episode was airing then. Season Six is my least favorite season, but Forever Game is a pretty enjoyable episode all things considered. It’s about an asshole teenager riding bikes with his friend and younger sister through the woods when the asshole accidentally falls through a magic tree and is forced to play a board game to earn his freedom. Meanwhile, his friend and sister are searching for him when the game begins to affect reality. A strange concept I know but it was good start to an awful season.

  3. I watched and reviewed that 1944 Captain America serial for another site last year and it’s kind of fascinating how they took a pretty standard “district attorney fights the Axis threat” and slapped a Captain America veneer on it. He’s not Steve Rogers, he’s not a super soldier, he’s just some guy with a suit. (And it’s very possible the stunts in this contributed to the lead actor dying of a heart attack at his golf club a couple of months later.)

  4. Oh my god oh my god oh my god Coraline is incredible! I would personally rank it among my favorite animated movies of all time, like top 5. I’ve always loved animation, but Coraline was probably the movie that really woke me up to appreciating animation from an adult perspective. Since seeing it, I think Laika might be my favorite movie studio?

    And speaking of your invitation to talk about movies like Push, I actually have a minor story about Push, although it has nothing to do with the movie itself. Push is to date the only movie I’ve seen in a theater where the movie completely froze. Welcome to the world of digital movies. I guess the only testament that I can offer to the quality of the movie is that I wasn’t particularly bothered that it got stuck like that

  5. I think Dana Plato getting pregnant in 1984 while she was on Different Strokes was the beginning of the troubles with the stars on the show.

    When I was little, I used to love seeing Leonard Maltin in that little dark theater on Entertainment Tonight. I forgot about that, thanks.

    The How Did This Get Made episode about Simply Irresistible is classic. ( Paul & Co thought that the original title was Velvet FROG due to a misunderstanding.

    The first time I ever saw Prevue Channel/TV Guide Channel was on my Aunt’s GIANT ASS mid 90s tv in Alaska. Prevue channel was a foreign thing for us Cox Cable people in Virginia back then, I guess, ‘Cuz I remember being amazed by it. TV Guide Channel doesn’t exist anymore, it’s called Pop channel with no tv listings. Sorry!

    For months, there was this creepy guy on my YouTube comments begging me for HBO family clips. Thanks for digging that up in my brain along with Leonard Maltin.

  6. On Columbo:

    Two Columbo references in one show! It’s my time to shine.

    Chris asked who your demographic was while you were talking about Columbo? My wife and I are in our mid-thirties and we love that show. I started watching it on Netflix years ago because I liked Peter Falk and Columbo was one of those shows I always heard about growing up but never caught on TV.

    In the beginning my wife was like “You’re watching Columbo? Seriously?” but it played in the background and I could see her watching. A few nights later her line became “Were you going to watch Columbo tonight? It’s okay if you really want to.” About a week into it she was hooked and we were both binge watching the show every night before bed. I even bought her the Complete Series DVD box set as an anniversary present because it had all the episodes, and not the limited selection on Netflix.

    It’s crazy looking back on that show. There are so many stars from our parents’ and grandparents’ time who go through there. Diana mentioned Patrick McGoohan’s passing a few weeks back, and I think he’s the all time Columbo guest star MVP. It’s crazy to think those movies stretched from 1967 to 2003, and they hold up to this day.

    On Carlin:

    I bought all of Carlin’s CDs and listened to them on repeat in the five years between getting my driver’s license and getting my first iPod so I could switch to podcasts. I also had the good fortune to see him live when he came to my college a year before his death. He was very much as Chris described. Apologetic because he was working on new material. It was fascinating to see the man work, and seeing a set that wasn’t all his well practiced A material you’d get in an HBO special, but still uniquely Carlin. I’m glad I got the chance to see him before he died.

    He’s Just Not That Into You:

    The one decent person Sarah is probably Ben Affleck. That movie is full of garbage people, including Jennifer Aniston giving her longtime boyfriend Ben Affleck an ultimatum that they need to get married. He declines, they break up, but he’s still a decent guy who’s there for the woman he loves in a difficult time. Of course they reconcile and he decides to do the marriage thing, because this is a garbage movie that talks the romcom genre-bending talk while having its characters commit every sin in the romcom genre book, but that was the one bright spot in an otherwise terrible movie.

  7. Kinjite “In a realm where nothing is taboo” RECORD SCRATCH! Say what? I lived in Japan for 2 years and they have a ton of taboos! Even in the 1980’s when people thought of Japan I don’t really think they thought, “Man, that is a country full of footloose and fancy free people without a bunch of rules about social etiquette.” Man that’s a dumb line. Oh, and let me drop a knowledge bomb that I picked up in my two years there; That small piece of plastic that looks like fake grass in you sushi? It’s called haran. You’re welcome
    In the clip of Bette Davis talking, it sounded like it was someone from SNL doing an impression of Bette Davis.
    I have been told by people’s opinions I trust that in terms of pre-Sopranos Television, Lonesome Dove is one of TV’s greatest min-series of all time, second only to Roots. And that furthermore in terms of adaptations of novels it does the rare artistic feat of being as good a viewing experience as the novel was a reading experience. So for 20 years now I’ve been meaning to watch it and I just now checked and saw that it’s listed on Hulu! Hurray! BUT when you go there you can’t actually watch it. Does anyone know what’s up with that? (I just got Hulu last month and don’t know everything about using it) Also, the old west wasn’t old. When we see Westerns we often see a ton of old people in them but in the actual Old West old people were pretty rare. The overwhelming majority of people who settled the frontier were young people (it was hard back breaking dangerous work, so of course young people would be the ones doing it). This makes sense when you think about it for a second, but the overwhelming majority of Old West towns we see should have tons little kids running all over the place (something you rarely see) and only one or two person over 50 (probably a preacher) in the whole place.
    Techmo Bowl came out at the right time. 1989 was when the NES was probably at its height but before there were a ton of games for it. As a result of this sacristy a number of games that shouldn’t be well loved became beloved (I’m sure you’re talk more about this when you get to TMNT for NES) and I wonder if Techmo Bowl was one of them? I can recall playing Techmo a number of times, despite the fact that I was monumentally uninterested in football, and I think the fact that I’ve never played a football video game since Techmo heavily implies a large “Because it was there” factor to it’s place in pop culture memory. Is Techmo Bowl anyone else’s only football video game played?
    Dianna – I have to add my voice another recommendation to go see They Shall Not Grow Old. Peter Jackson has done a truly wondrous thing for history by modernizing the WWI footage. Even my wife, who is not a history geek like I am, enjoyed seeing it. If at all possible go see it in the theaters for the full experience.
    ShoahFoundation: I actually just got done digitalizing my wife’s VHS tape of her paternal grandparents survival story (they recorded it on their own and not as part of the Shoah foundation) and I hope other’s with VHS tapes do the same. VHS doesn’t stay good forever and the clock is ticking on them to be transferred.
    You asked, “How many boomers were squares?” MOST OF THEM! And overwhelmingly so. Looking through this list of all the top TV shows in the US in 1969, the summer of alleged love, you can see that the only shows that you can spot that seems to have even an _element_ of counter-culture are the variety shows Laugh-In, which seemed to feature Hippie-attire in every episode and The Ed Sullivan show, who would occasionally have hippie favorites like Hendrix. But other than that? Total squaresville. And both of those variety shows only had elements of hippiedom but weren’t strictly hippie themselves. This also leads to the question of why hippies play such an outsized role in the pop-culture memory of the sixties compared to the actually-existing sixties. See, for example, the pop culture notion that “Hippies Stopped the War, Man!” rather than the more correct understanding that a bunch of middle-aged white guys with Brylcreem made a set of pragmatic decisions. If the modal white boomer graduated high school and went to work at The Plant (and maybe did a two year stint in the Army), why does the culture remember the modal white boomer as the hippy?
    Rianna and Chris Brown – I didn’t get why Chris Brown was allowed to keep doing his thing until I read an article on Cracked. It talked about how Rush Limbaugh got busted for drugs, despite ragging on drugs users for decades, and how Michael Vick ran dog fights and was allowed to keep playing football. The reason they were allowed to keep doing what they do is that they were both pretty good at giving people what they wanted. If you wanted to hear conservative talk radio for three hours, Rush gave you that. If you wanted your football team to score more points than the other team, the dog-fighter dude did that for you. When I was in the car biz we had a salesman who never showed up for group meetings, was always late, and was generally unpleasant to work with. I asked the boss about him one day and he said, “I’ll put up with a lot from someone who produces.” At the end of the day the car dealership needed car sales and that subjectively bad salesman provided objectively good results. I have to assume it’s the same with Chris Brown. At the end of the day, he makes songs that sells. That’s why he was allowed to continue.
    Coraline: I can distinctly remember watching this with my wife pre-kids and going, “Oh man, this is super creepy! When we have kids I don’t want to traumatize them like Return to Oz did to me, so I’m not showing this to them until they are 10!” Flash forward about 6 years and I found out that my then five year old daughter watched it with her Mimi. And… she loved it! No nightmares, no nothing. Just liked the film. Just goes to show you that you can never tell with kids. Also, the book by Nail Gamin is pretty good too.
    The Office CPR – This is a really tough call but I’m going to say it: This is the funniest Office clip off all time. I can barely recover from laughing at one moment before the next just slams me with another hilarious moment. If this isn’t the funniest office clip of all time, then what is?
    Yay! Thanks for mentioning Emperor Norton the First! I would highly recommend the issue of Nail Gamin’s Sandman that features him.

  8. Good Moleman to you,

    Push is exactly as horrible as its marketing made it seem. It’s called push, because the main character has telekinesis, hence, hes a “Pusher”. Can you guess what they call the woman who sees the future? Correct! Shes a “See-er” (I dunno how to write that without it being “seer”)
    Uninspired attempt at getting some money off the X-Men movies, no need to remember it.

  9. Laika is a precious studio as they’re basically the only ones still out there stumping for stop motion animation. They’ve been knocking it out of the park with every movie. Coraline is still their most successful (deservedly so), but it warms my heart to see that they haven’t given up on the medium even as each film makes less and less money to the point where Kubo was one of the biggest bombs in recent memory despite possibly being the most gorgeous stop motion film ever made.

    It also can’t be overstated how Laika presents important themes in easily digestible ways for children and adults like appreciating what you have in Coraline, fear leading to prejudice in Paranorman, and classism/privilege in Box Trolls. The studio does incredible things, and I just hope their next film – Missing Link – isn’t as base and intentionally dumbed down as the trailers would have me believe.

  10. Okay so I assume most of us listen to this show constantly saying to ourselves “Fuck! X movie/TV show/Video game is 30/20/10 years old already! Fuck I’m old!” But this episode for the first time I had the opposite thing happen. I would have sworn that the song Maria by Blondie was from when I was kid (Born 1980) and not from when I was 19 years old. I feel like I heard that song a bunch and I was not listening to the radio stations that would play that kind of song in 1999. It feels so much like a song that I would have heard on the easy listening stations my mom always had on when I was a kid. Not sure how that happened but I was happy to have something be much more recent than I thought it was for a change.

  11. I absolutely know that Joaquin Phoenix quitting acting was a hoax for the Casey Affleck film “I’m Still Here” but at the time, he had presented himself as a moody actor who could plausibly quit acting.

    Allow me to present Exhibit A: In 2007, I wrote a short play for my college capstone where Joaquin quit acting because he was jealous of Reese Witherspoon and Russell Crowe winning Oscars when he clearly gave the best performance in their respective films. So the idea was out in the world.

  12. Hey, so I took a while to make this comment, but I sorta feel like I should. I’m a person who identifies as gender fluid, meaning I identify as both male and female. Being assigned male at birth, I’ve always had an odd relationship with drag, and Ru Paul in particular. I’m so glad that you acknowledged the problems with Ru Paul. It really does mean a lot.
    Sorry if this sounded like it was gonna be negative! I love you guys, and I especially love this podcast! Keep up the great work

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