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February 01, 2007

I Wasn't Going To Watch The Sarah Silverman Show, Until This Moron Panned It

Okay, last time I read this moron he was whining that 24 was too gosh-darn anti-terrorist for his tastes.

So now this whiny jagoff rips into the Sarah Silverman show for being too "shallow."

Ah, spoofing a main character's shallowness. Certainly that's never worked in comedy before. Oh, except for, off the top of my head, that nice Jewish boy Jerry Steingold or whatever his name was. He seemed to have some degree of success with it. Wonder what happened to him?

He doesn't seem to realize why this is funny:

Sarah has been slacking on her couch in Valley Village, trying to find some awesome TV to pass the day with when she clicks onto a 36-hour leukemia telethon: Remember, these are children that are DYING. "Dying like a fox," our Sarah scoffs.

I added in the emphasis, because I've heard her tell similar jokes, and I figure that's how she delivers it.

This idiot calls this Silverman showing off her "attitude." He seems to really believe that Silverman has an "attitude" of superiority over children stricken by cancer, and that she really imagines they've got a really good scam going here.

Um... Do I really need to explain this? She's doing a schtick which might be called "ironic sophomoric," where the joke is that she's imitating a cynical know-it-all sort (such as Slate's Troy Patterson) who thinks she sees what's really going on, but in fact is just retarded. See, she's showing how smart she is, but the actual Silverman knows this is a pretty fucking stupid remark. So do most of us.

Most of us are in on the joke. Most of us, except for amateur webzine Slate's TV critic Troy Patterson.

The whole review is like this -- he thinks Silverman is really being pretty darn serious when she says plainly absurd things. And he doesn't seem to get that one of the biggest areas of comedy is lampooning stupidity, shallowness, and selfishness. Even the stupidity, shallowness, and selfishness of a main character closely patterned on the actual star, and actually having the star's real name. Like, what was that guy's name again? Jerry Steinhof, or whatever. Show ran a couple of seasons; I've forgotten what it's called.

Which is all to say that The Sarah Silverman Program isn't about anything but its own supposed daring and the hyperbolic smugness of its star. When Larry David makes himself look like a non-PC jerk on Curb Your Enthusiasm, there's a richness that springs from his sense of wonder at the subtle discomfort and anxieties surrounding social taboos. Silverman is so intent on delivering attitude that she doesn't care whether the jokes have any weight. "I can't even imagine what it would be like to be homeless," the Sarah character says to a neighborhood bum at one point, her delivery whiny and slack. "High school is the closest thing I can imagine to that. Y'know, 'cause it's cliquey." Read that again. What's the target? It only hammers away at Sarah's own famous self-absorption, which is more like self-immersion. You can't accuse Sarah Silverman of being annoying: That's her whole shtick.

The joke doesn't have any weight? I'm sorry, are we judging comedy according to its weightiness now? When did that memo come down?

And as for the "target" of the joke-- well, idiot, the target is Silverman herself, spoofing her (wildly exaggerated) character of being so out of it and priviliged that she imagines the big problem with homelessness is the fact that it's "clique-y."

Good God, I feel like I'm explaining French kissing to an alien with no mouth.

This joke doesn't sound especially funny, and it's just sort of Silverman's standard throw-away schtick, but whether it's funny or not depends on her delivery, and decidely not whether the "target" of the joke has a "weight" (such as, I'm guessing, a joke about Bush, Cheney, Halliburton, Blackwater, etc., would).

Is this guy completely, utterly useless?

Again: I don't expect much from this show. Comics I like too often have shows that suck. Even though I was a huge fan of Steinfarb, I found his show utterly unwatchable the first two seasons (and did not start watching again until everyone kept quoting "The Bet" episode to me). Norm MacDonald bombed on his show; Dennis Miller bombed on his talk show. Time and time again comics I really dig utterly disappoint me, so I'm not really psyched to watch the Sarah Silverman show.

At least-- I wasn't. If this subretard is that offended by it, though, damnit, she might just have a hit on her hands.

Troy-- a sneering, condescending, superior attitude is what you have.

What Silverman has is a schtick. Something quite different.

And also, talent.

(And also, as she says, "hairy Jew-arms." But it takes talent to pull those off.)

Bonus! The only joke this buffoon liked was one that explicitly reinforced his liberal politics. The joke is actually halfway decent (if, um, kind of old and done a thousand times already), but I am amused again that this guy seems to watch entertainment not for its intrinsic worth but simply for the number of times per minute it flatters his liberal sensibilities.

He must be quite the Margarat Cho fan.

Is that really what Slate is looking for in TV critics? Jackasses who can't evaluate anything artistically but simply make the rather basic evaluation if something skews left or right?


"Dumb" Humor Vs. Dumb Critics: It never fails to astonish me that liberal critics are so idiotic that they believe a show is smart and witty if it features (supposedly) smart and witty characters, but dumb if it features dumb characters. According to this submoronic calculation, Murphy Brown was brilliant because the characters had jobs in the elite media and dropped (strained) references to Charlie Rose and, I don't know, Zbigniew Brzezinski, whereas Beavis and Butt-head was stupid.

Um, au contraire. Beavis and Butt-head was briliantly written, and Mike Judge is a genius; Murphy Brown was low-middlebrow reference-pornography.

Critics fell over themselves to call Dumb and Dumber stupid, despite the fact that it was a very clever and very funny movie. (Also written by geniuses.)

Critics only cottoned to Mike Judge when he made Office Space, which featured average to above-average intelligence characters, and the same for the Farelly Brothers, with Something About Mary.

But -- especially in the case of Dumb and Dumber and SAM -- the same basic style of humor and similar jokes were working in both movies. Same guys behind them. But the only thing the moronic critics saw was that Dumb and Dumber featured dumb characters, so it was beneath critics' elevated sensibilities, and Something About Mary had an orthopedic surgeon in the title role, so, gee, that must be something worth praising.

How idiotic.

If TV is a vast wasteland, talk about TV or movie criticism. That's the absolute abyss.


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posted by Ace at 11:10 PM

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