Editor’s Note 12.30.10: The Top 10 Pet Peeves of 2010
THE TOP 10 PET PEEVES OF 2010
For the sixth year in a row, I am presenting my Top 10 Pet Peeves. It is a blast for me because I enjoy bitching about certain aspects of pop-culture, and since 411mania is a pop-culture website, I have the opportunity to do that. I am sure you will waste no time in telling me how stupid some of my choices are. Oh well. These things annoy the hell out of me, but they might not strike the same chord for you.
It is important to note that many people or things will not show up because they have made so many appearances in the past, and I hate to reiterate myself too many times. To view my lists from previous years, and to see how odd some of my selections look now, click on any of the links below:
10. Glee – Well, before I start this, let me say I’m not one of those people that hates Glee just because it exists. No, in fact, I highly enjoyed the first season of the show, and have watched every episode to date, so my rant at least comes from knowledge. What annoys me is the second season, which is borderline terrible. I’m sorry, I wish it could have continued to be a lot of fun, but once the popularity of the series truly skyrocketed, it became increasingly self-aware. It is evident in the bizarre storylines, character changes that make no sense, and sudden obsession with top 40 songs. They have even managed to take one of the best characters in recent memory, and end part one of this season by handing her two idiotic sub-plots. Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester is great, but in this season she marries herself and dresses up as the Grinch? Meanwhile, Jim Carrey is thrilled because now he is not the worst portrayal of the classic Christmas character. Moving on, Chris Colfer has received numerous award nominations as Kurt, fine, but how many episodes does the show really need to focus entirely on him? It became overkill, real quick. In doing that other characters took a backseat. I could go on for paragraphs about the story and character developments I hated, but this is only one column.
I know what you’re thinking: “Chad, you’re reading too much into this.” I don’t care. Trust me, every time I criticize Glee, I get that response, which is followed by “Well, this season hasn’t been as good as the first I guess.” As for the songs they perform, not all have been bad, but pandering to audiences with current hits is the wrong idea. Does Ryan Murphy realize that Steve Perry wanted to return to Journey basically based solely on the resurgence of popularity for the band from Glee!? That’s power, and instead they bludgeon us with songs we hear all the time anyway. Some have argued that they need to do this to keep viewers and ratings up. I disagree. If that’s true, explain how the show got popular in the first place with older hits? Suffice to say the show has become a real disappointment, and it’s frustrating because I know how good it can be. On a side note, Ryan Murphy stated after volume 1 of their CD releases that he would not oversaturate the market with too many CDs. After what feels like 50 albums/EP’s, I have had enough.
9. Jesse James – 2010 has seen a lot of celebrity sex scandals. Tiger Woods was a big one (he crossed over from 2009-2010), but Jesse James and Sandra Bullock was the one that bothered me the most. Cheating of any kind cannot be condoned, but Tiger’s wife wasn’t really in the public eye. Sandra Bullock was. She was having her best year, winning an Oscar and a Razzie around the same time. She even played the Razzie win as cool as can be. I doubt anyone would see interviews or speeches of her and say she was anything but a nice, classy lady. And what happened whenever she received an award? She poured her heart out to Jesse James, and how much he meant to her. Shortly after her big Blind Side Oscar victory, it turns out James had been cheating on her all over the place. Seriously, what a douche. After everything that happened, it was tough not to feel really sorry for her. I vote that Jesse James should take the place of John Edward in the South Park episode “The Biggest Douche in the Universe.”
8. Silly Bandz – Can someone please explain to me why these things are so popular? I’m not being sarcastic or snide. I truly don’t understand it. They are ugly bracelets that when taken off your wrist, form designs and shapes of various things. O…k… Most of the time, one has to look closely at the stupid thing to see what it is. “Hey, that’s a horse. Fantastic!” And I’m a person that lived through slap bracelets, pogs, and Dr. Seuss hats, but this fad puzzles me. They look like kinked pieces of wire when you wear them. Now, when the Lance Armstrong cancer bracelet trend took off, I got that (before everything required a color-coded bracelet). People see it and immediately understand. But I ask you, how is wearing crooked bracelets cool? When you see someone with a particular animal or shape on their arm, do you sincerely give a shit? If so, you need to get out more. Plus, they just look hideous. Most of you will say, “Chad, just shut up and let people do what they want.” Fine, but it still annoys me that some dude is getting rich beyond belief because he discovered that making designs out of lame rubber bracelets would be the next big thing. What a crazy world. They are also distracting kids in school and are bad for the environment, or so I’ve read. Those reasons aside, they just suck.
7. Real Housewives of…Who Gives a Damn? – Every time I turn around, Bravo has awarded a new city with a Real Housewives show. Honestly, how does crap like this get high ratings? What level of self-loathing would a person have to be at to watch these women live boring staged lives? It is maddening that people tune into crap like this. And of course we see pictures of the cast members posing anytime they go outside across the internet. These women love the spotlight I tell ya. Is there a fan club that really finds some of the “Real Housewives” that attractive? Certain reality shows are fine, but these shows seem like just a waste of space on the TV. Do we have so little to occupy our time? What about these women is so interesting? I’m just amazed that the folks who watch these shows regularly don’t look at themselves in the mirror and wonder “Why the fu** am I watching this?!” Please make it stop.
6. Lebron James – This one is fairly obvious. Here is a guy that was worshipped by the city of Cleveland, and many basketball fans for that matter. A banner the size of a building with his image was boasted proudly when you visited there. And when it’s time to decide if he’ll stay and try to continue to build the team to a championship, he chooses to gather other all-star free agents to form a stacked Miami Heat. With this one Decision, Lebron James became the biggest villain in sports today. It is moves like that which represent everything I hate about sports. Let’s not make my current team stronger, but let’s get my buddies together and form our own all-star team while the millions roll in. He could have been a leader everyone looked up to. He had the opportunity to prove how great a player he was, and now if his team eventually wins a championship, we’ll know what lengths he had to go to in order to achieve it. Now, most of the world wants to see him fail. And it didn’t help that legends like Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson all spoke out against him. To make his situation worse, he releases a Nike commercial in an attempt to stand up for himself. What did it accomplish? Nothing, it only made him look like a larger prick. And then a mysterious commercial response from Michael Jordan hit the net, which made Lebron’s look incredibly weak by comparison. MJ said he nothing to do with it, but that’s ok. The point was made. I’m not trying to say Lebron is the only person to act like this, but this year, sorry, he warrants a spot on my list.
5. DVD/CD/Blu-Ray Selections in Stores – It’s sad that now every time I go into a Best Buy, Target, or a similar store, the selection of titles has steadily decreased and adhered to whatever is mainstream or popular at the moment. Now, if we want anything that is not a current or popular release, Amazon is the answer. I don’t mind buying something online if I really want it, but I love to browse in stores. It’s fun, and sometimes you catch titles you never would have thought about had you not been looking around. Plus, sometimes we just get in the mood for a certain flick or CD and want it right then. Damnit, I feel like watching The Crying Game, but oh shit, no one has it in stock. Sometimes I don’t feel like waiting for a package in the mail. And there is something to be said about the personal service one receives in stores. Many employees are a pain in the ass, but there are rare cases when it’s pleasant to engage in a conversation with someone. Of course, we don’t always want to pay for shipping & handling either. When you buy a title in a store, you have it right away, and for a price that doesn’t include S&H. And of course, the independently owned stores are a thing of the past. Cherish them if you have one near you. If one of the big store chains doesn’t have it, you’re stuck with Amazon. It’s annoying, but something we’ll have to deal with.
4. Chelsea Handler – I really REALLY don’t find this woman funny. And to be frank, I don’t know why anyone else does either. Here’s what confuses me: How is being blatantly mean and cruel humorous? For instance, one of my favorite comedians is Lewis Black, and he’s as angry as they come, especially about politicians, yet it never seems like he’s attacking anyone personally. It’s a rant, it’s comedy. Chelsea Handler gets on stage and says “Why doesn’t Angelina Jolie have any friends? Cause she’s a fu**ing bitch!” And everyone cracks up. How is that comedy? And who picks on Jolie out of nowhere just because they’re friends with Jennifer Aniston? Talk about old news. Has the world still not gotten over the Brad/Jen/Angelina triangle? Are we that pathetic? She doesn’t even know half the people she bashes, yet for some reason people think she’s creative in tossing insults and calling people names.
If that wasn’t enough, every time I accidentally stumble upon her show, she says things that are not true and plays them off as facts, or exaggerates to the nth degree. Or she throws out a remark that causes her to look like a fool. For example, she once decided to pick on Scarlett Johansson and complain that “she’s a terrible fu**ing actress.” Really? Only a person that knew nothing about the resume of Scarlett Johansson could make such a comment (Match Point, Lost in Translation, Ghost World). Yeah she has no talent. And the moronic lackeys on her show make it ten times worse. They make fun of Kate Hudson, who is dating the lead singer of Muse. When asked what her favorite Muse song was, Hudson said she didn’t know because there were so many good ones. The response of a Chelsea Lately stooge was “How can she not pick one? How many albums do they really have, like 1?” Umm, 6 if you include the live album idiot. Now, Jennifer Aniston wants nothing to do with her because Handler can never keep her big trap shut. The sooner her time in the sun is over, the better off the world will be.
3. Jersey Shore – Do I even need to elaborate on this? It sickens me that these people are famous and making oodles of cash solely because they are irritating. The people our society turns into celebrities is truly baffling sometimes. I’m not going to write more about this one. Most of us should know why this made the list, and if you don’t, I feel sorry for you. I would rather watch Mae Young give birth to a thousand rubber hands by Mark Henry’s sexual chocolate than tolerate the cast of Jersey Shore another second.
2. The Oksana Grigorieva/Mel Gibson Scandal – It feels like this whole scandal has been in the news for an eternity, and will continue to be for years and years. I’m just simply sick of hearing about it…period. The coverage on these two never stops. Furthermore, it bothers me that people accept and believe every piece of information that the media presents to us. There is no doubt that Mel Gibson has some issues, but we don’t know the whole story. We know what the media’s version of the events is. Yet, everyone with a keyboard and an opinion immediately jumps to conclusions based on leaked tapes. The fact is, right now everyone wants to hate Mel, especially the cast of The Hangover 2, but we also love to forgive and forget. Just ask Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, and Alec Baldwin. In a few years, if Mel delivers another great film, whether it be directing or starring in, everyone will talk about his “comeback.” It’s a vicious circle. I don’t know what all went down in Mel’s marriage, and quite frankly I don’t give a shit. He’s a celebrity, and one of the consequences of that is having your personal problems aired to the public, but it’s still THEIR business. Do me a favor and stop pretending like you know these people and can weigh in on their lives. And if you believe that nothing the media releases is distorted, manipulated, or exaggerated, you need to visit the nut house pronto. And if any members of the media read this, leave these two alone. We do not need to know at what time they enter a courthouse, what they were wearing, or anything else. Thanks.
1. The Tonight Show Debacle – Wanna hear something crazy? What if someone wasn’t loyal to any “one” late night host? What if they watched each of them relatively equally? That would be me. I watch based on guests most of the time, so I can be known to watch Letterman, Conan, Fallon, Kimmel, and :gasp: Leno. I am a WILD MAN folks. The fact is, the whole situation with Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien became extremely aggravating. Yes, it occured in 2010. I made sure to look it up. It seems like a millenia ago. What was supremely childish was that everyone decided they needed to pick sides. That’s right, like elementary school kids on the playground, we all ignored the reality of the problem and picked a corner to cheer for. Conan was made the victim, a role he milked relentlessly, and Leno was the bully who was to blame for all that was wrong with late night. It didn’t help that Leno came off as bizarrely aloof in interviews about it. Meanwhile, NBC, the actual culprit, never seemed to receive much of any backlash, or if they did, it was short lived. No, if we can’t pinpoint the blame on one party specifically, we will find someone that fits the bill and hold them responsible regardless of whether or not it makes sense.
So Leno made every late night fan’s world Hell with one wave of his magic wand. It’s ridiculous. Every time I read a comment or discussed the matter with someone they never seemed to have their facts straight. It was mostly in Conan’s favor, because everyone was to blame for his low ratings except him. Here is what I think. With Conan hosting The Tonight Show and Leno on earlier than that (Did his show have a title? I forget), neither man was comfortable. Conan came off as awkward and stiff, and putting Leno on before him was the definition of dumb. It was better before, and it made sense, for both sets of fans. Now Conan is on TBS and significantly more at ease, while Leno is back as host of The Tonight Show where he belongs. It just got so tiring to listen to people’s whining and complaining. And it was incredibly irritating when Jimmy Kimmel decided he would keep his name in the headlines by trying to make Leno look like a fool. Kimmel is so hilarious. If you don’t believe that, just ask him. I’m glad it’s over, yet whenever the ratings are mentioned from week to week, people sit at their computers ready to toss insults as if they have a clue what they’re talking about. This whole dilemma was a classic situation where no one wanted to accept the blame for anything. When this went down the entire population of the US became network executives. We knew where, why, and how it all went sour, and damnit, we would say so in message boards. Now that the dust has settled, I’ll continue to watch them all when they have a guest I care about. Or maybe I’ll hold up my “Charlie Rose is #1” sign if I ever attend one of the late night hosts’ tapings.
Hall of Shame
Britney Spears/Paris Hilton – Class of 2007
High School Musical – Class of 2008
Kanye West – Class of 2009
The Lohan Family – Class of 2010
The Top 10 Worst Posters of 2010
Anyone who has met me knows that I love everything about the movie experience. The trailers are a part of that, as well as the posters hanging around a city or inside a theater. Strolling through the crowded lobby getting a peek at a future film you have been waiting for is an irreplaceable feeling. Furthermore, I love hanging posters in frames around my house. The thing is, some of my favorite movies have some of the worst posters, and vice versa. Every year, I like to salute the highs and lows of movie artwork. Keep in mind, the rating of the film itself means nothing.
#10 – THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
I hope the books are riveting because from the posters, I can’t see why anyone would be interested in these films. It just screams “LAME” doesn’t it? This one in particular just shows zero inventiveness and I feel the need to back away as they inch closer.
#9 – GROWN UPS
This weakly cropped picture was the first evidence that we needed to stay away. Everything about this poster is just artificial and lazy.
#8 – THE KING’S SPEECH
Ahh period piece posters. They commonly represent a conundrum to artists and marketing departments. I could have given them a dozen or so ideas that would have made this film and it’s cast look great, yet here this is, and from the tacky image, one would guess it’s a romantic comedy. Rush’s expression is also a bit shady.
#7 – KNIGHT AND DAY
I thought this action-comedy was average, but the poster designs are near vomit-worthy. I don’t pretend to tell others how they should do their jobs, but I swear, this looks like it was created by a pre-schooler going nuts with water colors and glue.
#6 – THE TOOTH FAIRY
I wish I could have counseled families that saw this poster, or the trailer for that matter, and decided it would be fitting family entertainment for their children. And the tagline “The Tooth Hurts” ranks among the worst ever conceived.
#5 – HEREAFTER
What a shame. I really enjoyed this Clint Eastwood drama, but how many tickets did they expect to sell with a creepy Matt Damon stare. Do not look directly into his eyes.
#4 – I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
Note to the people who construct posters: clothing up the a$$ will not lure in viewers. This is just a poor retread of the original poster, but just a lifeless. Of course the knife is a reminder that killin’ be involved, as if we didn’t know.
#3 – SEX AND THE CITY 2
Every aspect of this sequel, from the actual film itself to the marketing campaign was cringe-inducing. Take your pick of any one of the posters from this excruciating flick and it deserves to be there. These images are haphazardly thrown together and make me want to tear them to shreds.
#2 – TAKERS
Anyone who has read this article in the past knows I hate sloppy photoshopping, and this takes the cake. You couldn’t get them all in one room? Really? And what is the movie about? Guys sitting around in suits?
#1 – YOGI BEAR
Honestly, I haven’t seen the film yet, and I was curious because of how awful it looks, but this poster is just obnoxious. This is too much Yogi and Boo Boo in my face. It’s like one of those people who insists on talking to you while really close to your body and personal space. The tagline is also annoying (“Great things come in bears”). This whole poster is just a total turn off.
The Top 10 Best Posters of 2010
#10 – DEVIL
Yes, I thought the film was a pile of horse manure, but both posters were slick and stylish, exhibiting cool designs that stand out and fit the premise.
#9 – TOY STORY 3
It’s colorful and it speaks to all ages that viewers will be dazzled by Pixar once again. It’s the best poster of the trilogy. It seems easy to just slap all the characters on a poster, but in this case I can think of nothing better as an idea.
#8 – SAW 3D
I think most would agree that the franchise is better off dead now, but after 7 films and an endless series of brilliant posters (and trailers), I have no qualms saluting this one here.
#7 – SCOT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
It was a toss up between this poster and one featuring the artwork from the comic, but I love the execution here. It would look great in a frame.
#6 – BLACK SWAN
Funny that the worst poster for this film was the one most plastered in theaters, on streets, etc., but the rest of the posters were outstanding. And because I couldn’t choose one, I have displayed all 4.
#5 – FROM PARIS WITH LOVE
The film was mediocre, but this is an awesome poster.
#4 – CARLOS
Retro posters are nothing new, but when handled with sophistication, it can be terrific, and I very much dig this simple image. It matches the story/period of the film and catches your eye.
#3 – INCEPTION
Christopher Nolan’s efforts, while great, also feature some superb poster artwork. Inception was no different, and each one should have urged people to see the film.
#2 – THE EXPENDABLES
The skull and weaponry image is perfect, and combined with the stellar cast above, the message is crystal clear that if you want action with some of the greatest actors of the genre, this movie is the place to be. It is a poster that will always get attention if it’s hanging up in your house.
#1 – BURIED
If there was one poster I’d definitely purchase, it would be this one, a Vertigo/Saul Bass homage approach that is reminiscent of the images from some of Alfred Hitchcock’s best thrillers. Well done indeed.
Thanks for reading. I should add that a couple of people/things came close to landing on my pet peeve list, but narrowly escaped. Kevin Smith’s whining about the horrid reviews for Cop Out bothered me, but the poor sap had a bad enough time with planes, so I’ll let him be. Justin Bieber came to mind, but I can’t say he irritates me. He’s just everywhere, which can get old, but that wasn’t enough for the top 10. As for posters, one of the images for The Crazies was quite cool, while the strange poster of Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser for Extraordinary Measures almost made the worst list. Also, look out for my Best/Worst Films of 2010 article which should be coming to a movie-zone near you soon.
“The plural of Chad is Chad?”
–From the movie Recount