Nobody Knows Anything: Episode Three

24 August, 2008

A little over a year ago, Graham Linehan wrote on Why, That\’s Delightful!, “Satire should be a scalpel and not a sledgehammer.” That line has stuck with me ever since. Here, we have the right getting a shot at satire and what do we get? A zero-dimensional parody of Michael Moore played by Chris Farley’s brother with a nationalistic message as shallow as a puddle.

I am not an apologist for Moore. While I agree with some of his views, ultimately he is a self-serving egomaniac who shamelessly plays his audience like a piano. He ruined Bowling for Columbine when he went into the late Charlton Heston’s home and displayed a complete lack of respect for the man just because he liked guns. Of course, according to the rules of the partisan pissing-contest, I have to choose whether to hate the film and love Moore, or hate Moore and love the film. In-between doesn’t count because Americans don’t know what that is. But at the end of the day, comedy is just supposed to make you laugh. In satire, you shouldn’t notice the themes that are being fed to you. Then it becomes grand-standing (The difference between good and bad episodes of South Park.)

As I write this, I’m imagining what an effective satire of Michael Moore might look like. I started thinking about some of my favorite comedies of recent years — I’m Alan Partridge, The Office (UK and US), Arrested Development, and Curb Your Enthusiasm to name a few — and quickly realized what they all had in common: They all presented us with unlikable and obnoxious characters while allowing us to root for them. And we wanted to root for them. I wanted Alan Partridge to get that second series like hell, no matter how badly he treated everyone around him. I found myself wanting to share the company of the Bluth family, even though I would despise them if I read about them. All the characters in the aforementioned comedies are deeply flawed characters and that’s what makes them work. They are tangible. We laugh when they screw up and we crack a smile when they pick themselves up again.

Imagine the same character in this film played by the same actor exuding all those qualities. Imagine notions of patriotism and partisanship examined seriously in the script — not like some bad rejected joke from an Ann Coulter book — while being *gasp* disguised by good material. I think you could have a pretty funny film there. But no, instead we get a movie that should’ve been made four years ago by the equals of the monkeys who are currently making masterpieces like Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie. Why couldn’t Judd Apatow do a rewrite? At least he and his buddies have a little bit of talent.

Oh my God. I’d rather watch Step Brothers again. Wow. That’s… that’s bad.

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2 Responses to “Nobody Knows Anything: Episode Three”

  1. Shimmy said

    Ann Coulter thinks about dead people when she’s making love.

  2. Rob said

    Moore gets caught up in making gestures. Bowling For Columbine would of been so good if he had stuck to the real question, “Why is American Society so violent?”. If you haven’t watch Fahrenheit 9/11 and the extra with the Arab American comics, those guys had even my conservative friends laughing their ass’ off.

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