Monthly Archives: December 2010

Open Thread: What Should Frank Be Told About in 2011?

Most of the things Liz has told Frank about this year have been organically generated — that is to say, Frank has actually asked Liz to tell him about them. But there’s already been at least one occasion upon which the media was suggested by a loyal reader, and that’s exactly the sort of behavior we want to encourage going forward.

So, while Liz and Frank cope with their holiday hangovers this week, comment here — or on Tumblr! — to tell them what book, TV show or movie you think Frank (as well as the other gorgeous people who read here) need to know about?

Ridiculous, obscure, classic, retro, beloved, despised: Whatever it is, don’t hold back. Because it can’t possibly be more traumatic than Flowers in the Attic was.

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas”

Dear Frank,

So I have been trying like crazy to get in the Christmas spirit, and that’s meant watching a lot of holiday specials and so forth. Thus, I attempt to retreat to a pure state of childhood, by watching a Muppets Christmas adventure that neither you or I have seen before — in fact, I had never heard of it until a week ago. Turns out, though, that the 1977 TV special Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is beloved by many, so that is what you are getting told about today.

First off: I borrowed my friend Mike‘s tape of this to watch, and VHS is weird, man. It’s been so long since I used the remote for the VCR that the batteries had exploded, and I had to use it because the alternative is watching commercials for Columbia children’s classics from the 1990s. We’re talking direct-to-video sequels to The Swan Princess here.

But then, Emmet Otter finally begins and OHMIGOD I LOVE KERMIT THE FROG SO MUCH! SO FREAKING MUCH. He’s just riding around on his bike and saying “Hi ho!” to us and I’m grinning so big…

Oh no! Some assholes called the Riverbottom Gang just drove by and stole Kermit’s scarf! ASSHOLES. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Fringe” (Sorta.)

Dear Frank,

So this isn’t the first time I’ve tried to tell you about Fringe — when the show first premiered in 2008, I watched the first couple of episodes with an eye towards filling you in on a regular basis. I even came up with nicknames for the characters, like Agent Cate (because star Anna Torv looks like a poor man’s Cate Blanchett) and Pacey (because Joshua Jackson was on Dawson’s Creek, a show I never watched as a teenager because of its lack of space battles).

But while the show wasn’t awful, the first few episodes also failed to hook me (you’ve seen one misfit FBI team investigate strange phenomena, you’ve seen ‘em all) and so not only did I not tell you what happened in it, I stopped watching altogether — an experience, I’ve heard, many other potential fans also shared. (Especially fans unwilling to put their faith in a J.J. Abrams production after Alias and Lost failed to follow through on their narrative promise.)

Here’s the trouble with Fringe, though — once you get past those first six or so first season episodes, Fringe is awesome. I mean, it’s not immediately awesome, but about halfway through the first season it starts getting good, and then it gets better, and then it’s onto full-on awesome, and then its awesomeness quotient increases exponentially until the awesome meter breaks and gets awesome juice everywhere. But you DON’T CARE about the mess. Because of how awesome it is.

I wouldn’t have discovered this, though, if my dad — who pushed through those first few episodes and became a fan — hadn’t (with my permission) spoiled me on a detail from the season one finale. So today, Frank, I’m not going to tell you everything that’s happened in Fringe — I’m just going to tell you enough to make you (hopefully) want to watch it. Read the rest of this entry

What You Need to Know About “Tron” To See “Tron Legacy” (Because the Original “Tron” Kinda Sucks)

When I told my friend Frank about the 1982 cult classic Tron, it took me over 1200 words to explain the story. 1200 words is a lot of words! Some might argue that is too many words!

But many people, I know, are currently sharing Frank’s predicament of wanting to know what happened in the original Tron, with the oh-so-shiny sequel coming out soon. Yes, sure, they could go watch the movie themselves, but a) it’s out of print, unavailable online and not airing on TV anytime soon. It is almost — GASP! — like Disney doesn’t want to you to see it! (Because it kinda sucks.)

So, for people who just want to know the bare minimum of plot necessary to enjoy Disney’s gorgeous-looking, Daft Punk-scored, 3-D IMAX extravaganza, here is a condensed version of What Happens In Tron! Read the rest of this entry

Reader Comment: “It’s all about who can blow up the most vehicles.”

From John on Facebook, regarding today’s G.I. Joe post:

Liz, Duke’s near death is important because it’s the first time in GI Joe cartoon history where someone almost dies. No one ever gets killed, they just get their gun shot out of their hand or their vehicle blown up right after they eject. It’s all about who can blow up the most vehicles.

Thank you, John! Also, GO JOE!

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In the 1987 “G.I. Joe” Movie

Dear Frank,

About two years ago, just as casting was heating up for Stephen Sommers’ take on the 1980s boyhood favorite G.I. Joe, I had the sudden realization that I knew absolutely nothing about it. I mean, I got that they were some sort of military group and they fought against a non-geographically-specific enemy called Cobra, but um, WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT NO ONE’S NAME IS JOE? (I had other questions, but that was a big one.)

This gap in my pop culture knowledge has always disturbed me, especially since, when I tried to watch the Sommers movie, I was too embarrassed for everyone involved to last more than fifteen minutes. So when faithful reader Sarah asked if you needed to be told about the original G.I. Joe movie, dating from 1987, I leapt at the chance to improve the education of both of us. Read the rest of this entry

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