2013: Hopefully Not “The Year of Meh”

(This is an early preview of the PopRox column in Sunday’s paper.)

Did you ever feel that a “Like” button on Facebook just isn’t good enough?

Me too. We need more choices.

How about “Like,” “Meh” and “Dislike”? That just about covers it, right?

It works for my latest column gimmick, at least, going over pop culture of 2013:

the return of the hulk in a normal capacity is enough to get avengers fans excited

LIKE
The Avengers
There wasn’t a movie that scared or excited me over the last decade as much as Avengers did. I was sure — I was positive — they were going to screw it up and ruin one of my favorite comic books. Which in turn would ruin one of my favorite writer/directors, Joss Whedon. Which in turn would ruin one of my favorite movie franchises. With too much on the line for it to possibly live up to my expectations, I waited about a month to see it I was so scared. Then? It surpassed my expectations, was everything I always wanted an “Avengers” movie to be and left a smile on my face for a week. It’s also worth noting that Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will be in my top 10 TV shows of the year.

Michelle Williams
I think I’m starting to get worried about her. As much as I love how she takes chances and signs on for roles from which other actresses would run screaming … can’t she just do one bland rom-com to keep her sanity? She’s up for my female performance of the year in Take This Waltz, just like she was two years ago in Blue Valentine and last year in My Week with Marilyn, but can’t the poor girl just take one movie off and do a screwball comedy or something, one where she doesn’t end up crying, divorced and alone? Somehow she’s never mentioned as one of the best actresses in Hollywood, and I have no idea why.

who's funnier, dalia ...

... or lisa? i flip-flop every week.

Suburgatory
TV’s most under-appreciated comedy hasn’t put out a bad episode yet this season and has found its stride with a really good formula and a slew of hysterical secondary characters. After feeling its way through its first season with questionable guest stars (Alicia Silverstone immediately goes back into cryogenic freezing when I take over the world) and meandering plots, the show is now set up for at least the rest of this season with juicy, interesting, character-driven stories that might seem like hacky stunts (reuniting with a long-lost mom, adoption lies, etc.) but actually are heartfelt and, most importantly, funny. ABC’s Tuesday night comedies Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23 can be filed in this category, too.

yes yes you're very smart. now shut up.

MEH
Disney buying Lucasfilm
Shocking at first, massively annoying on examination, here’s where I’m at now: “How much can Disney really screw up Star Wars worse than George Lucas already did?” We’ve all seen the Mickey-Mouse-as-Darth-Vader gifs and they’re oh so funny, but didn’t Lucas already screw this thing up the second Jake Lloyd and Jar Jar appeared on screen together? Disney can’t possibly make it worse.

The Hunger Games
I get it. I know why people like it, and you are more than welcome to go crazy over it. But for a guy in his 30s who never read the books … that movie stunk out loud. I’m not going to go crazy and start judging people based on their level of fandom for the series — as I most certainly do for Twilight people — but the whole Katniss thing just isn’t for me.

at least she's hot. probably too hot to be tossing away her digits for a future one-night stand.

DISLIKE
Internet singing sensations
I’m all for people finding new ways to break into the business and make themselves famous. But do we really have to glorify them as the hot new thing before we’ve ever heard a second song from them? Carly Rae Jepsen had only a Canadian following until Justin Bieber tweeted about Call Me Maybe, and Psy pulled off the greatest joke of unintentional YouTube comedy in a decade to make Gangnam Style one of the biggest hits of the year. I’m not impressed yet. When you can’t even get excited about a Star Wars version of any song, then how are you going to get excited about anything?

Chevy Chase
Talk about wearing out your Hollywood welcome. Despite not getting noticeable work for years and being rescued by the NBC sitcom “Community,” he publicly bashed the genre, the show and the creative minds behind it. Then he took “avoidable annoyance” up a notch to “cranky old guy” by helping get the showrunner fired. Then after nearly blowing up the entire show from the inside, NBC took him back — only to write him off the show when it became clear he no longer wanted to be there. Who’s his agent, Charlie Sheen?

The Amazing Spider-Man
It was a hot mess of bad ideas from the get-go crammed together to reinvent something that didn’t need to be reinvented. The third subpar comic book movie reboot in the last five years, with Superman and X-Men being the others. The Dark Knight trilogy is the lone exception to reboots that have lived up to their earlier predecessors. Let’s hope that changes with the third go-round for Man of Steel in 2013.

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