Initial Thoughts: Community Season 4; One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

dmncap00015Community is one of those shows that aired right around the time I was starting to give up on modern sitcoms. In an era where the laugh-track has overstayed its welcome, it felt as if sitcoms were settling for a safe middleground, treading on jokes and character archetypes that have been repeated time after time without giving any kind of unique spin, or at the least any sign of aiming for more than what the genre has become known for. Enter Community—a show that has essentially reached popularity by capitalizing on and mainstreaming the whole concept of “meta.” From the get-go, Community’s ragtag cast of characters were not only sitcom-status quirky, but were created with a certain amount of talent and grace that not only set them into an archetype (be it “jock,” “over-achiever,” etc.) but simultaneously broke said archetype, showing that their characters (and sitcom characters in general, really) can and should be developed to the point that they cannot be described with mere trope terminology.

And for the first three seasons of the series, that’s how things were.

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Internet Explorer Stoops to a New Level of Low: Getting on the 90s Nostalgia Bandwagon

This is probably the one time on this site I’ve analyzed something I truly hate. And it’s less than two minutes long.

While I’m sure it will inevitably bite me in the ass saying it, I just have to say that there is nothing wrong with nostalgia. It’s the direction that my generation has taken the term to, however, which really brings my piss to a boil. Unlike children of the ‘80s, it seems as if children of the ‘90s are not only nostalgic about certain aspects that made their childhood, but feel the need to assert themselves as the “dominant childhood,” going as far as appropriating aspects from earlier and later eras into their own (the earlier seasons of the first Ninja Turtles; the latter half of Hillary Duff’s acting/singing career)—“claiming” what technically isn’t theirs to “claim” in the first place.

Perhaps it has something to do with our common upbringing under said era—something about becoming an adult in a time where a crappy job market makes seeking out solace from your childhood toys and such that much more desirable. Enter: Internet Explorer’s latest ploy to get people to use their browser for more than just downloading Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

Never have I seen a commercial so blatantly pander to such a specific demographic before, and I have to say: How dare they. How dare Microsoft take advantage of people’s rose-tinted memories for the sake of advertising a product that many people have decided time and time before was just not for them. Yes, advertisements are notorious and essentially meant for pandering to certain demographics through use of pop music, celebrity endorsements and the like, but to have this commercial relate to people on such a specific level of their childhood is just despicable. It’s like if McDonalds paid off your kindly old grandma so she would personally remind you about the McRib.

But what really puzzles me about this commercial is how it ends with the voice-over saying, “You grew up; so did we.” It spent the first minute and twenty-ish seconds speaking fondly of all these old things and how they will remain the same no matter how old you get, so suddenly speaking about improvements when you just talked about stagnancy seemed… flip-floppy.

Everyone coming out of the woodwork about their secret obsession over the ‘90s was nice at first, but to have said group continue to clamor on about their love for the culture to the point that everyone’s noses have become so stuck up that they were failing to see past simple advertising tactics like this is annoying… and obnoxious.

Also, the commercial’s depiction of pogs is vastly wrong from what I remember. Anyone with a slammer could tell you that.

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