Research Before You Speak

February 28th, 2011

Last night, I was watching an old South Park episode while trying to fall asleep, and a few particular lines stuck out to me. Richard Dawkins started talking to Mrs. Garrison about flying spaghetti monsters. And I thought to myself, “Hey, wait a minute. Didn’t Futurama have an actual flying spaghetti monster in their episode about the evolution debate? I remember it saying something like, ‘I am a flying spaghetti monster. Do you mean to say that I evolved from some kind of manicotti?'” I thought it was too much of a coincidence that two shows with episodes about the evolution debate would feature something as particular as flying spaghetti monsters, so I started thinking that Futurama (the newer episode) had ripped off South Park.

I love both of those shows, so this was a startling realization for me. I started writing this big comparison between the two episodes in my head, until I then switched to the idea of making a YouTube video out of it. I’ve never uploaded a YouTube video before, so I was getting excited thinking about how I’d make it. I would use low quality screenshots and audio instead of full clips, to make it as fair use as possible, and I’d record some narration for it. Thinking about all of this greatly reduced my tiredness, so I decided I’d at least take some screenshots and make some notes while I was up and it was on my mind.

First I searched around the web to make notes about the two episodes, and to see if anyone else had already pointed this out. And in the process, I discovered that “flying spaghetti monster” wasn’t just a throwaway term from South Park. It was around well before that episode, and is a pretty widespread argument in the evolution debate. In fact, while reading about it, I realized I had heard about all this before, but I guess it slipped my mind at some point.

So, obviously, Futurama didn’t steal the concept from South Park. I would have felt pretty stupid if I’d made a whole big comparison project out of it and (re-)learned all this later. Crisis averted, I guess. But I am kind of disappointed that I no longer have an idea for my first YouTube video, and I won’t get to talk to myself on a microphone. Maybe some other day I’ll have my chance to be on YouTube.

Chuck Season 4, Episodes 11-15

February 21st, 2011

American TV has come back from a winter break, and so have I, apparently. Chuck‘s fourth season has been a little weak compared to the previous ones, but I still enjoy the show, and hope it doesn’t get canceled for real this time. Here I will say some things about the most recent episodes in barely complete sentences. I assume there are spoilers, but I am writing this paragraph after the below stuff and haven’t proofread it yet, and I forget what I said. But just to be safe, you should also assume there are spoilers.

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Dragon Ball Kai Sucks

December 17th, 2010

It’s no secret that I adore the Dragon Ball manga. It’s one of my most prized possessions. I love it so much that I summarized each chapter on my site years ago, as my way of sharing its contents with the world. Curtis Hoffmann’s summaries were what inspired me to buy the manga in the first place, so I was sort of hoping to do the same for others. And I still love it enough that I’m gradually trying to clean up those summaries, along with a few other things that give me an excuse to re-read the series.

Over the years, I’ve also complained many times about the additions and alterations in its anime adaptations. Back in the day, people would get outright offended when I told them something was “filler” during in-universe arguments. But I still enjoy watching the anime, or at least most of it. Even if it isn’t my ideal version of the story, it still has wonderful acting and music, along with lots of pretty colors. And the crappy anime-original material still had its charm, even if it’s just ironic enjoyment in some cases. (Like seeing a lengthy flashback of Piccolo’s life story as Gokuu and Freeza duke it out on an exploding planet. That’s just amazing.)

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Smallville Season 10, Episodes 6 to 11

December 16th, 2010

This show is a prime example of why I shouldn’t and usually don’t talk about every show I watch. I don’t like having to force myself to think about this show in complete sentences. But now we’re halfway through the final season, so it’s almost over. I’d be surprised if I post about it again before the final episode(s). Spoilers, by the way.

And this is the end of my sorry excuse for November sweeps coverage, so everything will go back to normal soon. Not that I know what “normal” actually is in this case.

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90210 Season 3, Episodes 6 to 11

December 14th, 2010

This might be my longest post thus far, which is both a testament to my love for this show, and a reminder that I should put more effort into more coherent, important writing. These six episodes happen to be up on The CW’s site at the moment, so you should go watch them, and then come back and read my thoughts, because I spoiled all the things.

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3, Episodes 7 to 11

December 13th, 2010

Man, this show is so much better than the Star Wars prequel trilogy. And it seems to be getting better all the time. Read on to see me babble about it, if you don’t mind spoilers, and weren’t scared away by the pilot movie.

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Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 2, Episodes 19 to 24

December 13th, 2010

Though I’m an Animated Series elitist who has no interest in ever seeing The Batman, I love this show so much. And we got a particularly awesome crop of episodes recently. I hope you’ve seen them yourself, because there are a ton of spoilers.

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Chuck Season 4, Episodes 6 to 10

December 12th, 2010

This season of Chuck continues to fill me with thoughts, and I continue to throw them at the internet. Everything is a spoiler, but you don’t care, because you’ve been watching it too, right?

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South Park Season 14, Episodes 11 to 14

December 9th, 2010

South Park still exists, for at least another year. Recent episodes have been pretty weak in comparison to the older stuff, so maybe they really should consider ending it after next season. But I still watch it regularly, and don’t regret my continued viewership. So here are some words about the recent superhero trilogy and the season finale. Everything is a spoiler!

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National Word Writing Month

December 8th, 2010

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I was attempting to consistently work on a project throughout the month of November. Not a novel (maybe next year), but some things for the site. And I was pretty consistent about it, but not at the quantity I desired. Anyway, since I intended to focus my free time almost entirely on this project, it wouldn’t leave much room for other activities, like watching television. But I came up with a great idea to counter that: November sweeps. I could justify watching TV by “covering” the November sweeps episodes of all the shows I keep up with by making more of my disjointed rambles about them. So I watched shows while I worked on my project, and made notes that I later turned into complete sentences (though some things are still only in note form, as of this writing).

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