Posts Tagged ‘Arrested Development’

Lately a lot of people have been saying “rape jokes are never funny,” and since that’s an awfully broad statement, I wonder how exactly those people define “rape jokes.”

If they mean, “Jokes which exist primarily to trivialize the gravity of rape, and/or to ridicule victims of rape, are never funny,” then OK.  That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to say.

Or if they mean “Daniel Tosh’s rape jokes are never funny,” that’s also OK, because it’s true that Daniel Tosh is never funny.

But if any of those people mean to say that “Any joke which involves rape as a subject is never funny,” then something’s wrong.  There are so many hilarious jokes which involve rape.

Jokes which ridicule rapists- again, without trivializing rape or also ridiculing the victim- can be very funny.  They’re also necessary.  Rapists need to be ridiculed, at least until they’ve finished serving an appropriate prison sentence.  This sketch from Mr. Show shall elaborate:

Of course, rape is a powerful subject, so there’s a lot of humor we can milk from the different ways people use, discuss, or react to the topic.  The Daily Show found a lot of great “rape jokes” during that Duke Lacrosse scandal.  Arrested Development made some funny “rape jokes” while poking fun at Lucille Bluth’s manipulative narcissism and Buster’s childish ignorance.

On the UK version of The Office, Ricky Gervais delivers one of his best-ever line readings with a “rape joke”:

Louis CK has a few great “rape jokes” in his routine about a woman who makes some peculiar assumptions:

I often wonder if the kind of people who say things like “rape jokes are never funny” and mean exactly that, with no room for nuance or further elaboration, have ever laughed at, say, a “death joke,” or a “violence joke,” or a “disease joke.”  If they have, then they’re being awfully hypocritical.  And if they haven’t laughed at any jokes about any sort of horrible topic whatsoever, then they have no sense of humor anyway, and must be far more miserable than most of us, and thus we should make numerous jokes at their expense.

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The Sopranos is Francis Ford Coppola, duh.  Martin Scorsese‘s a little too flashy for The Sopranos so he gets to be Breaking Bad, with all the shovel-POV shots and such.

Steven Spielberg has to be LOST: heaps of gee-whiz! with a dollop of schmaltz.

I’ve never seen Battlestar Galactica, but I want to say that one’s George Lucas.  Of the shows I have seen, the closest George Lucas might be Heroes– though in fairness to Lucas, Heroes started sucking in way less time.

Friday Night Lights is Robert Altman, particularly Nashville, where country music is high school football and the acting is unbelievably natural.

Louie is obviously Woody Allen, only I think I could actually hang out with Louie’s alter ego without wanting to slap the neuroses out of him.

Mad Men is Stanley Kubrick, I think.  Clinically sterile on the surface, but still very human at its core.  Also because they both feel like Americans who love America but wish they were British so they could see America from a British perspective.

If all those Discovery & History Channel reality shows about dangerous, nature-battling jobs (Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers) procreated with all those A&E and TLC reality shows about mentally-disturbed weirdos (Hoarders, My Strange Addiction), the offspring would be Werner Herzog.

If all those tacky, tasteless MTV & VH1 reality shows (Jersey Shore, Flavor Of Love) fucked each other, the offspring would be John Waters.  (This is meant as a compliment to John Waters, and as an insult to the reality shows.  I’m not sure how that works, but that’s how it is.)

If Wes Craven and John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper and Brian DePalma and Dario Argento had an orgy and the offspring got mostly recessive genes, that offspring would be American Horror Story

Carnivale is David Lynch, because of the genuinely eerie Americana and all the unanswered questions.

The Walking Dead is George Romero if he took his sweet, sweet time a la Terrence Malick.  Though of course Terrence Malick is more Planet Earth. 

30 Rock might have to be Mike Nichols, though of course it has plenty of Mel Brooks too.  But with all the genre-spoofing, Mel Brooks should probably be Community.  And I guess that would mean Arrested Development is John LandisThe Office (US Version) is Hal Ashby (unless Parks And Recreation is Hal Ashby).  The Office (UK Version) is more realistic and uncomfortable to watch, so that’s John CassavetesHow I Met Your Mother is meta-Arthur Hiller (the guy who directed Love Story as well as a couple of Neil Simon scripts).  I can’t think of who It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia would be.  Who’s the most mean-spirited and irredeemably obnoxious 1970s filmmaker?

I have yet to see Homeland or Rubicon, but they’re Alan Pakula, right?  Because conspiracies and shit?

The Wire would have to be Sidney Lumet, with the criminals and the scathing social commentary of modern urban…OK, I’m just guessing on this one too, since I’ve only seen like 4 episodes of The Wire, and I’m ashamed to admit this.

Deadwood is either Walter Hill or Sam Peckinpah, since it takes the brutality inherent in early-20th Century Westerns and reconfigures it through modern…

…all right, I’ve seen zero episodes of Deadwood.

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