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Weeds Sucks; (500) Days of Summer Does Not

Weeds Sucks; (500) Days of Summer Does Not


Weeds was once a pretty interesting, if far-fetched, Showtime dramedy about a suburban widow keeping her family afloat by dealing marijuana.  The cast and performances were strong – Mary-Louise Parker, Elizabeth Perkins, Romany Malco, Kevin Nealon, Justin Kirk each brought something unique to the table, be it comedic perspective, empathetic longing or whatnot.  The storylines were interesting and there were some pretty staggering plot twists to keep things lively in the first two seasons.  The third and fourth seasons starting veering out of control to unrestrained silliness.

Now it’s the fifth season, and essentially none of the above plaudits still hold true.  Call it The Curse of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Ghost – Weeds is now as fucking stupid as Grey’s Anatomy, maybe (shudder) even worse.  Parker’s “eyes wandering to the far left or right of the screen as she silently slurps the last of her Diet Coke/iced coffee” scenes were heralded as a nuanced take on a widow’s disociation in the first couple of seasons.  Now it just seems like she’s got undiagnosed Asperger’s.  Kevin Nealon’s character is beyond cartoonish and 100% unfunny – you are better off fastforwarding once you see his face, only pressing play when there is no trace off him left.  Perkins’ Celia, initially the meddling bitch that made dicey situation dicier, is now a zero dimensional character that is just a hair beyond Nealon’s in prompting suicidal/homicidal urges.  All that He Said, She Said potential sadly wasted…wait, what?  Wasted potential?  Elizabeth, perhaps you’ve found a home.  Call us.

The writers seem far more interested in having an interesting opening credit sequence.  Hey, Jenji Kohan, we fucking get it – you created Weeds!  Ha – you carved that in a bar of soap!  You are clever, great.  Now make the show stop sucking.  Bring back Conrad, Heylia, and Sanjay.  Kill off Doug, Celia and all Mexican gangsters (except maybe Ignacio).  Thanks, much appreciated.


(500) Days of Summer


Hey, what do you know, two good movies in a row!  What a streak, particularly in this barren summer.  Most of you probably assume I will love any movie with parentheses in the title, but that isn’t true.  (Although parentheses are awesome, allowing you to “break the fourth wall” even though you are already speaking directly to your audience)  Is (500) Days as good as The Hurt Locker?  No, too precious in spots and also featuring a couple of (unneccessary) standard romantic comedy staples – the bumbling friends with no advice to offer and the wise (and profane) beyond-their-years sibling with way too much (good) advice to offer.  Other than those quibbles, though, (500) Days was pretty fresh – I loved the fact that they tell you up front (and in the trailers) that it isn’t a love story and doesn’t really work out for the couple.

It’s a pretty typical story: straight-laced boy Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) meets quirky, not-that-conventionally-beautiful-yet-uniformly-desired girl Summer (Zooey Deschanel).  The story is not told in chronological order, so you don’t get the straightforward “does she like me? she likes me!  she doesn’t like me…” routine.  I think every guy has probably encountered some loopy chick like Summer (and does Zooey Deschanel play any other type role?  And is she the same exact person as Maggie Gyllenhaal or what?) at some point, leading to much consternation.  Gordon-Levitt is a great actor, although this is the first time I’ve seen him in something this light since his seminal work in Third Rock From the Sun.  He works just fine here, maybe a tad too earnest at times, but he was able to bridge the gap from breezy to (literally) cartoonish well.  As a bonus, there’s a big dose of Hall & Oates in here, too.  If you are going to go to a romantic comedy, I highly recommend this over that garbage with Katherine Heigl and that 300 dude.  (Side note: Doesn’t that Gerard Butler look a bit too Quagmirey to be starring in romantic comedies?)

giggety
Giggety?


One other thing, Geoffrey Arend, who I saw in the liquor store the other day, is one of the goofy friends in this movie.  As you may recall, he is engaged to Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame.  Geoffrey may be a great guy, but we still couldn’t figure out how this all adds up.

Arendricks
Maybe they just hope "Arendricks" will catch on?


About to go on safari, yall,

Chilly17

Check Out My Diablo Cody Slang Generator, Homeskillet

Check Out My Diablo Cody Slang Generator, Homeskillet


Have you ever been watching Juno, heard the rapid-fire witty banter between the characters, and wondered why you’ve never heard any of those slang terms before?  You likely attributed it to being out of the loop, not being in touch with today’s youth and whatnot….Hopefully you didn’t beat yourself up too much for your lack of hipness – I’ve got some news for you, she just made that shit up.  Nobody, anywhere, fucking talks like that.  I was fucking embarassed  just listening to that stuff.  Maybe she was just trying to lay claim to a younger demographic?  Nope, her  Showtime effort, the horrendous United States of Tara, was targeted at a somewhat mature audience and was nonetheless infused with the exact same type of jibberish (along with a phenomenally stupid concept).

How did she come up with such silliness?  Her retarded slang generation algorithm is a more closely guarded secret than Google’s search engine calculations.  But, given the extreme amount of free time the crypto team here at wastedpotentialz.com has, we were able to crack the code.

Against my better judgment, here is a snippet of the cringe-inducing dialogue between Rainn Wilson, a drugstore cashier, and Ellen Page, a potentially pregnant teenager in the fucking Academy Award-Winning motion picture, Juno:

Rainn Wilson:  What’s the prognosis, fertile Myrtle, minus or plus?

Ellen Page:  Who knows?  Not seasoned yet…Nope, there it is, little pink plus sign is so unholy.

Rainn Wilson:  That ain’t no Etch-A-Sketch. This is one doodle that can’t be undid, Homeskillet.

Fucking A that is horrific.  That singed my eyebrows a little bit just reading it – I am still wincing.  She won a fucking Oscar for that shit???  Rainn Wilson, I hope you got paid a LOT of money to spout those idiotic words.  Jesus.


"Spank poodle bark, banjo niblets"
"Spank poodle bark, banjo niblets"


So how does she do it?  To clarify, I’m talking about the slang generator again, not how she manages to sustain a Hollywood writing career.  (Full disclosure: I enjoy Ms. Cody’s column in Entertainment Weekly and she comes across as likeable and subtly witty when she appears on Chelsea Lately.  Even the underlying premise for Juno was fine (not so with Tara).  But that dialogue causes me actual physical pain.)  Allow me to explain.

The structure of her slang generator is fairly familiar to anyone who enjoys fun with words.  Yes, I’m talking about Madlibs.  First, a tangent: I fucking ruled the Madlib roost back in elementary school.  (Full disclosure: I grew up in Oklahoma and Arkansas, so it was really high school)  My go-to move was using one of the three M’s when a noun was called for: mucus, mayonaisse, menopause.  That bit always killed.  Anyway, so if you want to create some Juno-esque dialog, here are a couple of the secret templates.


Two Characters Meet to Discuss Their Plans for the Evening

“[Salutation], [Ironic Nickname], when are [grammatically incorrect pronoun substitute + insulting description of collective + mythical creature] gonna [nonsensical action] to the [nonsensical place].”

Fill in the blanks:

Suggested Salutations: Hola, Holla!, H-town, Yayoyyooyayyao, Giddy, Spork, Chowdy, Babow!, Chowdydo!, Good cleavening, Buenos Nacho Bellgrande (hold the sour cream), Jinkers

Steps to Build an Ironic Nickname: 1). Choose a nostalgiac food item; then add 2). A third tier occupation.  Example:  Twinkiejanitor.

Example sentence:  “Holla, Starburstgardener!  When are us whore-werewolves gonna slander to the zeppelin?”

You are well on your way to an Academy Award!


A Main Character Describes a Life-altering Event to His/Her Best Friend

“[Insulting word + endearing word], it’s been a [endangered species] [synonym for murder gerund] day.  My [synonym for mother], that [alcohol] snorting, [non-domesticated animal+sex act gerund] saint, has come down with the [physical adjective + mysterious abbreviation].”

Example sentence: “Slutbunny, it’s been a golden lion tamarin exterminating day.  My Moms, that Laird’s Apple Brandy snorting, rhino-blowing saint, has come down with the Massive M.K.”

Seriously, it’s that easy!

I’m not gonna spoil any more of Diablo Cody’s secrets.  Although even her fucking screen name is formulaic.  Popular PC game + last name of gunslinger.  Tetris James.  Zork Hickock.  This is so easy.  I should’ve been a screenwriter.



Editor’s Note: Apologies for the posting delay, there was an, uh, SNAFU on Wednesday involving staying up til 5:00 AM.  Makes it hard to stay on (imaginary, self-imposed) deadline.  I did see Joan from Mad Men at my local liquor store that night though – she didn’t look the same as on the show (where she appears to be 6′ 3″ with dimensions 44/28/46), I actually recognized her fiance first.  I’d seen a picture of them recently, and like everyone else I had to ask, um, why that dude?  A little out of his league.  Girls and their self esteem issues, sheesh.  See for yourself.


Wait, he was in Super Troopers?  That explains everything
Wait, he was in Super Troopers? That explains everything


Maybe not everything
Maybe not everything




Mailbag coming soon though.  Good weekend to all.


Chilly17