Delocated Deconstructed

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Alrighty folks, it’s time to get back to my Patreon-inspired posts. This time, at the behest of a lovely patron, I watched episode 1 of season 1 of the Adult Swim show Delocated. Nothing like a real challenge to ease me into spring. And let me say, this one was challenging.

I’ll be honest. It’s been hard getting my thoughts together here. You see, this show is simply not aimed at me. As you might have guessed from the involvement of Adult Swim, Delocated is ridiculous. And as you might have guessed from reading my blog, my tolerance for ridiculous is rather low.* I just don’t like silly comedies,** so it’s always difficult to tell if something is missing the mark or simply missing my mark.

This series is a mock reality show that chronicles the life and adventures of a suburban family in witness protection  (“Jon”, “Susan”, and son “David”***) as they’re swept away from their sedate life in middle America and whisked off to New York City and what’s supposed to be “a sweet loft”. Of course the sweet loft turns out to be not-so-sweet, and “Susan” leaves “Jon”, taking “David” with her.

After the breakup we see “Jon” start a new job and then decide it’s time to start dating again–possibly all in the same day? It’s not really clear. He is, of course, a giant ass, which is what the show hangs its hat on in terms of comic focus. If you’re a fan of main characters who are utter heels, this is absolutely for you. If you can’t get past that sort of thing (even when it’s played up to mock shows with assy main characters), then you probably want to steer clear.

Oh, and did I mention the whole family wears ski masks? Because the whole family wears ski masks.

I admit I didn’t quite spend the entire time glaring daggers. I did manage to find some elements to engage me cerebrally, so I don’t consider those 11 minutes a total loss. Delocated is clearly lampooning reality shows, and I can get behind that. All the expected tropes are in evidence. We get plenty of quick establishing shots of the city, jump cuts (as “Jon” writhes on the couch and moans about his lost family), diary-cam scenes (“Jon” explains his new job to the viewers), and manufactured drama (the sweet loft being less-than-sweet, or Mike, the friendly law-enforcement officer assigned to “Jon”, not-so-subtly encouraging him to start dating). Even the quality of the “film stock” feels very classic-reality show. There’s more than a little Real Worldesqueness° on display.

As far as I’m concerned, Delocated does what it sets out to do moderately well. The performances are spot on. The camerawork is excellent in its shaky-cam shoddiness. The obnoxious characters, “Jon” especially, are larger-than-life and adequately poke fun at reality tv.

But for me, the bottom line is this: I find unrealistically inflated characters and tawdry reality shows so distasteful that even a fairly on-point send-up is enough to make me want to crawl out of my skin–or at least change the channel.°° That said, if silliness, wackiness, and over-the-top humour are your thing, do give Delocated a shot. It might be right up your street.

My street, however, is across town in a very different neighborhood.

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About the Patron:

Tim Budziszewski°°° is a musician and accomplished songwriter. His band, Government Zero, has been rocking the socks off the Midwest US for the last decade or so, and personally, I think the Midwest is all the better for it. His influences include Ramones, Weezer, Beatles, Misfits, Screeching Weasel, Green Day, Teen Idols, folk, pop, 80′s cartoon themes, punk, and 50′s rock and roll. How can you go wrong with that? Answer: You can’t.

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*Unless it involves Muppets or spaceships

**Unless they’re British, and even then it’s not a guarantee

***Not their real names

°Yes, I really just said that. Shush.

°°Or the Netflix, as the case may be. Funny to think that actual “changing the channel” may go the way of the dodo.

°°°Yep, I’m certain I spelled that right. For those curious, it’s pronounced BOO – duh – SHESS – kee. Yes, really.

The Sad and the Dutiful?

Note: This post isn’t actually about The Bad and the Beautiful. It was going to be, but then it turned into something else entirely.

The Bad and the Beautiful

A few weeks back, for the first time in a long time, I watched a movie for no particular reason. I just sat down to watch it and enjoy. I like classic films, so I checked out The Bad and the Beautiful, starring Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas. While I like classic films, this one didn’t do much for me.

While there were many reasons this flick didn’t turn my crank, what really stuck out was how pointless it felt–not that the film was plotless, but that the act of watching itself felt pointless. Nearly every scrap of media I’ve consumed lately has been for a purpose. Whether writing or podcasting, almost everything I’ve watched, listened to, or read has had an ulterior motive stitched to the underside. I’ve filled an entire notebook in just the past few months. Continue reading

Nerdsplaining (Or Think Before You Tweet)

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I love nerds. And geeks. And yes, as I include myself in both those categories, I did sorta just pat myself on the back. So be it.

Sadly, we’re not always the most tactful of folks. The Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons exists (and is popular, especially among nerds) for a reason–we’re like that sometimes: know-it-alls who feel entitled to have things just the way we want them, and why can’t everyone else just see how WRONG they are?

Continue reading

Doctor Who Shelf Wars (or How LEGO Trebuchets Bring out the Best in Fandom)

LEGO Trebuchet

I posted this picture on Twitter a couple days ago. It was a perfectly innocent post. I thought  living in a house with a nigh-ridiculously awesome collection of LEGO meant I owed it to the world to share the LEGOodness.* The super-fun hashtag #ISupportTrebuchets had been making the rounds among my geeky friends. I took this pic specifically to amuse those folks. It did work, but whoo-boy, did it touch off a firestorm I wasn’t prepared for!

Take a look at what followed.**

Pretty crazy, right? Continue reading

The LEGO Movie – Mixed Feelings About a Block-Buster

Okay! Let’s get down to business! By business, I mean following through on my Patreon rewards. The requests have started to trickle in, and it’s time to get rolling. My very own spouse Steven Schapansky requested this one, which will come as a surprise to absolutely no one who knows him.

The-Lego-Movie-Trailer

Before we go any farther, I want to give a big old SPOILER WARNING. If you haven’t yet seen The LEGO Movie, you may want to stop reading here. For one thing, I don’t really do any plot-recapping, so you might get a little lost. For another thing, I don’t hold back on talking about the film, so there’s a real possibility you’ll get spoiled. You have been warned. Continue reading

Cross-Country Audio Geek-a-thon

Me in Van--Edmonton Move

As many of you probably already know, I am moving to Canada. As of right now, I really am moving to Canada. Like, *right now.* I’m currently in a hotel in Billings, Montana. All my worldly goods (well, most of them, anyway) are across the street in the parking ramp in my parents’ van. It’s pretty exciting, actually.

But you wanna know the best part? It’s just my mom and I. We’re taking a Fangirl Roadtrip. It. Is. Awesome.

Rarely do I have so much uninterrupted time for listening to audio entertainment, but when you’re headed from Big Bend, Wisconsin to Great Falls, Montana,* there’s not much else to do. So we’ve taken advantage of this and indulged our geekiness. It’s been one Doctor Who audio after another for us! Continue reading

What I Brought Home from Gally

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I should not be writing a blog post right now. There are multiple reasons for this, but I’ll focus on the main one: Post-Con Brain Fog. Oh sure it sounds cute, but when you’re struggling to keep your eyes open for a full (okay, almost-full) work day, it’s a lot less cute.

On the other hand, I should be writing a blog post right now. I’ve been remiss of late, in part because I’ll be uprooting myself and leaving my entire (non-online) life behind,* and I’ve gotten a wee bit busy preparing for this. I need to get on the stick and get writing!

I suppose whether I should or shouldn’t write a blog post right now is moot. I am writing a blog post right now. Whoa, this has gotten entirely too meta. Moving on to some actual content… Continue reading