It was cool in Los Angeles.
We were working the day watch out of Internal Affairs Division, Personal Hygiene Department.
LIKE you, I’m a huge fan of the Netflix original series, “Orange Is The New Black.”
Oh my goodness, huge fan. Huge fan.
From the theme song that goes on and on and on and on and on for, I believe – and correct me if I’m wrong – the first twenty-three minutes of each episode’s fifty-five-minute run time, to the marvelously uneven writing that ricochets back and forth willy-nilly between intense drama to absurd comedy, to the cast of 1,200 characters we’re supposed to keep track of and care about, to – now understand I haven’t spent any considerable time in women’s prison – what I would guess are some rather unrealistic story lines, to a self-absorbed main character that, heaven help us all, the average female viewer is supposed to identify with, my God, I can’t get enough of this show!
Another reason I keep tuning in is that I like cartoons, and due to that wildly erratic writing, a good portion of the cast are required to play their roles as cartoon characters, at least half of the time.
Besides, I’m thrilled to see renowned Twitter wag Jason Biggs (Jim from “American Pie”) back here playing a new character, “Jim-from-American-Pie.”
[Side note: Deborah Rush, who played Jim’s future mother-in-law in “American Wedding” is back , too, playing a new character: “Jim’s-Future-Mother-In-Law-in-American-Wedding!” Hooray!]
Wait, OITNB fans argue, Bigg’s character’s name is Larry – and he’s playing a completely different character here.
Oh, my, yes. Yes, of course he is.
…And yet then there’s this, which directly references two iconic scenes from the first and third “American Pie” movies:
Sadly, I’m not Jason Biggs – though like you, I aspire to be him someday. But if I was Jason Biggs, why, I’d have taken one look at those lines in the script and say, “Nuh-uh. Nope. Change it.”
I’d probably even take the series creator, Jenji Kohan, aside and say something helpful like, “Okay, you’re trying to do a progressive, groundbreaking show about women in prison…and you’re going to squander it on references to my old movies…Really? Reeeally?”
But I’m guessing Jason Biggs was probably too busy crafting one of those delightfully mean-spirited Tweets of his to notice the details of the script.
Anyway – where was I?
Ah yes – cartoons. For a show whose writers evidently are cartoons fans as well, I find it shocking when they get details of actual cartoons wrong. Shocking!
Case in point:
Lead character Pooper Chapstick, returning from a little vacation to another prison, finds that in her absence, all of her stuff has been co-opted by the other inmates. While reclaiming a tiny radio, she’s called “Inspector Gadget” by Cindy, the girl who took it.
To which Pooper expresses over-the-top indignation, and replies with…
As many of you know, oh my goodness, I’m a huge fan of “Inspector Gadget.”
(No seriously, I am.)
So I find that last line inexcusable.
There is no “the” before the dog’s name in “Inspector Gadget.” It was never Penny and the Brain. It’s Penny and Brain.
There’s “Pinky and the Brain,” sure, but those are different characters from a different cartoon from a different decade.
If you’re going to make a point to derail a scene so the main character can spout some cute dialogue purely for a cheap laugh, you might want to get the details right.
It’s almost as bad as me somehow getting main character Piper Chapman’s name wrong up there.
Anyway, Cindy obviously agrees with me. She has no interest in being schooled on the minutia of 1980s cartoons and casually replies with a much more believable line that almost redeems the inanity of Piper’s dialogue:
Or maybe she was just more of a “Jem” fan.
…so, speaking of which, I think it’s time we have a discussion about offensive stereotypes so we can all move forward, eh, as a society. Sure.
And what better way to move forward than to turn the clock back fifty-four years and check out this 1960 ad from a chain of long-defunct Florida appliance stores:
Oh my. That’s something else, isn’t it?
The ad features “Chief Wag” creating a smoke signal to call his “Council of Braves” to “declare war on high prices.”
It’s unclear whether Chief Wag was specific to this ad or Tyree’s always ran Indian-themed ads, or, my guess – “Wag” was Tyree’s regular cartoon mascot, dressed in Indian garb for this ad. Although judging by his crow’s feet, maybe he was a caricature of the owner of the chain. Or maybe all that smoke just irritated his eyes.
They really, eh, heaped it on with the mock Indian talk. By my count, there are 19 instances of the ol’ favorite: adding the suffix “um” to a verb. Among them: “No messum up tepee,” “gottum two doors,” “savum wampum,” “fillum tepee with music,” “no needum two stick to startum [an oven],” “washum-dryum all in one.”
I think I speak for all of us when I say, “I didn’t realize they had washer/dryer combos in 1960.”
They didn’t skimp on the exceedingly tasteless visuals, either:
Left to right: arrowhead, tom-tom drum, deerskin pouch, tepee, tomahawk, and an Indian head that looks remarkably like it’s straight out of a Walter Lantz or UPA cartoon of the 1950s.
Regardless, the entire ad – from the tepee that reads “No payum for 3 moons” at the top to “Deliver um free” at the bottom – is highly inappropriate. With insensitive ads like this, no wonder Tyree’s is long gone! And, brother, if they weren’t already, this would drive ’em out of business much like the European colonization of North American drove Nativ– eh, nevermind.
But the question is, cherished reader, will you see at it through the eyes of a 1960 newspaper reader and chuckle at its-over-the-top goofiness, declare it somehow “harmless” and excuse it as “a product of its time”?
Or will you be brave (oh dear) and as an informed citizen of the 21st century world, glance at it only briefly – just enough to get the gist! – before becoming suitably outraged?
Oh, I hope for your sake you pickum the latter!
Next time: We’ll explore our feelings after binge-watching all 65 episodes of F-Troop.
That Rumbling You’re Hearing Is Walt Disney and Jim Henson Both Rolling Over In Their Graves Simultaneously
Now available at – guess! – you got it, Walmart!
Featuring some of your favorite characters as you’ve never seen them before!
How many times have we seen this at the gym, fellas? You get obsessed with all that upper-body work but you forget about the legs. You gotta work out those quads and hamstrings, too, son. Not just the glamour muscles!
Hoo boy. First, those killjoy nannies at Children’s Television Workshop started showing Cookie Monster enjoying healthy foods and having him tell anyone who asked that “cookies are a sometimes food.” Now this.
And that cookie barbell, while undoubtedly delicious, will only confuse kids more.
Then there’s this one, which is even more disturbing:
According to the PBS website, “Elmo is a 3 ½-year-old red monster with a high-pitched voice and a contagious giggle.” Hmm…looks like someone’s been stacking and cycling a few too many anabolic gummy multivitamins. Now Elmo’s got a high-pitched voice and a hair-trigger temper. And probably a lot of bacne under all that fur.
Maybe it’s time someone call Monster Protective Services.
…but judging by this photo in the slideshow I was clicking through earlier, they evidently took some liberties with the source material.
Yesterday, I noticed this billboard at a major intersection right near my house, featuring Aaron Paul looking intensely at something:
Follow his gaze directly across the street, and you’ll see this billboard:
Coincidence? Well, yes. The Roku / Netflix ad has been there for a few months now, long before “The Need for Speed” billboard went up.
However! Today Netflix puts the final eight episodes of “Breaking Bad” up for streaming.
Still a coincidence? Of course.
But I’d like to think I’m the only one in my neighborhood who noticed this. Seems like a good bet because I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in my neighborhood who can read.
[There was originally one more word at the end of that sentence but, eh, it was probably wise to get rid of it.]
Ah, good ol’ Reed & Malloy from “Adam-12!” Together in the same squad car for five years, er, seasons at this point. You put together a coupla guys for this long…
…they’re bound to occasionally bicker like an old married couple.
But Jim’s happily married to the perky and rarely-seen Jean – plus he’s got a couple of kids at home.
And Pete, he’s still playing the field.
Good friends – best friends, really – and partners that work well together. Not domestic partners, a term that didn’t even exist in 1973. Work partners.
Really, it’s not what you think.
Lucky, I brushed it off the hood before it started multiplying and got into the intake manifold.
Yep! Good ol’ Member Appreciation Day at my gym – this coming Thursday!
Now, I’m not sure exactly what they mean by “open house workouts,” but I’m fairly certain it’s a lot different from my pre-gym membership days in the glorious 1990s when “open house workouts” involved a copy of the Sunday paper and a Los Angeles Thomas Guide with Post-Its in the Beverly Hills, Brentwood and the Palisades sections.
I could usually get in about twenty minutes of good core exercises before the realtor started asking questions. Longer if there were a lot of other lookie-loos keeping her occupied. But once discovered, it was off to the next place on my list, with God-knows-what-equipment available – so cross-training became paramount to my regimen.
Some workout tips? Of course.
• Your time is valuable. But a half-hour the night before circling ads for estates listing “fitness room” among the amenities will save you wasted stops the next day.
• You’ll want to start at a home that has some decent cardio machines. The sellers have been advised to unclutter the place as much as possible, so be prepared to drag that treadmill out of the garage and into the middle of the living room before you can even start.
• Sign a famous person’s name – never your own! – on the sign-in sheet, being mindful of the part of town you’re in. “Channing Tatum” at a West Hollywood property all but ensures no one’s going to look twice at your fat ass on the rowing machine, as agents and buyers alike fan out to catch a glimpse of the star. Similarly, “Alec Baldwin” at a North-of-Wilshire address in Santa Monica is going to give you all the time you need on that Bowflex Revolution. Silverlake? Try “Shag” or “Zooey Deschanel” and suddenly you’re pretty much invisible to do as you please.
• It’s common courtesy to wipe down the equipment when you’re done. Ask where the linen closet is if you didn’t bring your own towel.
• I can’t stress enough the importance of a post-workout cool-down. Always finish up at a place that has a pool and a hot tub to relax the muscles. Most open houses end by four, so you might want to make sure your last property isn’t one of Broderick Tseng’s listings, or he’s going to join you in the jacuzzi with those two goddamn poodles of his.
FOR SOME REASON, Dr. Oz ends his shows reminding viewers “Remember, if you see an ad with my name or likeness, it’s not me – it’s a scam!”
Clearly, he’s just being modest, because look what he did for Ellen!
Naw, I’m just kidding, of course.
Even more delightful than this hilariously absurd affiliate marketing scam ad (which brings you to a completely phony Good Housekeeping Magazine site – Hearst Corporation, call your lawyers!) is that it ran alongside a story on the website of an ABC affiliate – though not one of those that broadcasts “The Dr. Oz Show.”
This is kind of interesting because I used the word “affiliate” twice in slightly different contexts.
Dr. Mehmet Oz has declared he’s “taking his name back” from all these scumbag scammers, though it doesn’t look like he’s winning, especially when the parent corporation of the company that airs your show in some markets – and owns the studio where you tape it – can’t even manage to keep the ads off their sites.
But who knows? Maybe Ellen signed off on this one. Baby, you never looked better!