Knight of the Living Death Threats: TDKR Reviews

TDKR reviews

Nerds are always arguing over the quality of comic book films. The Amazing Spider-man earlier this month elicited just such a debate. On the podcast we have taken part in many of these debates. However, rarely do you see them resort to death threats. This was not the case with the rating of The Dark Knight Rises on Rotten Tomatoes. Nerds, such as myself, are not use to anything less than an A. Well, The Dark Rises rating was a punch to the gut of oh so many over-achievers. Rotten Tomatoes reported a rating of 87 percent fresh for The Dark Knight Rises. Apparently a B+ is unacceptable in the eyes of Nolanites.

The film's fervent followers began bombarding the site with comments. The extent to which this escalated would lead one to believe that several reviewers had lambasted the film. However, at the time that this took place there were only two reviewers that had made given less than stellar reviews, Marshall Fine and Christy Lemire. Beyond the death threats, that were pointed at both Fine and Lemire, there were other nasty remarks. We discussed the misogyny that often rears its ugly head on the Internet on the podcast Episode 41. These comments on the site were of course directed towards Ms. Lemire. Look Internets stop being DICKS! Just because you have one doesn't mean you have to act like one!

Beyond the legitimate reviews were those posted by trollers in order to stir the pot. Good job troll-y, pour gasoline on the fire. The comments became so bad that the comment section for Rotten Tomatoes had to close. All in all this is just dumb! Stop being whiney ass bitches and relying on external validation. Wait until you see the movie on Friday and decide for yourself. Or are you just too afraid to rely on your own judgement?

Misfits: George Michael gets away with this s**t but he used to be in Wham!

Do we self sensor to the point of creating art that is not true to the conditions of reality? So often in America we use the term political correctness to describe the necessity of not offending a particular group. The question that I have is, what does this political correctness do to our art and to our understanding of one another. To speak the unspeakable allows for a dialogue. Yet instead of saying what is on our minds, we hold back for fear of being judged. True understanding does not come from saying the "right" thing, it comes from saying that which rings most true and being open to a conversation about it. That is the key, openness to conversation.

Michel Foucault would argue that it is the technologies of power which keep us in line. He takes the idea of the Panopticon from Jeremy Bentham. The Panopticon was a structure that allowed for inmates to be in open cells overlooked by a large tower. The inmates never knew if they were being watched or not. It formulated a system in which inmates self-regulated. This becomes a very different scenario when the systems of power shift. This brings us to the show in question, Misfits.

Over the course of the last week, I have been watching Misfits on Hulu Plus. Ok, I have been devouring the show to the point that I am almost finished with all three seasons. It is as a show about a group of young offenders that have been assigned to community service. During a freak storm, they are each endowed with a superpower. What is especially interesting about these super powers is that each of them reflects a personality trait of their owner. For instance, Simon, one the members of the group, can make himself invisible. His power has to do with the fact that many times people ignore him or do not even know that he is there.

The fact that Simon can watch others without them knowing he is there is a definite exertion of power. People around him have no idea that he is watching. The powers that these "Misfits" have allow them to move beyond some of the technologies of power which keep many of us in line.

Kohlberg developed a system for defining stages of moral development that illustrated a hierarchy of that development. These stages illustrate an individuals ability to determine "right" and "wrong". The first of these stages deals with the fear of punishment and goes all the way to sheer principle. People who do the right thing out of sheer principle would be those individual such as Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. These are the true heroes.

In Misfits, we have no clearly defined hero's except for the Man in the Mask. Having only finished Series 1 and 2, I am even skeptical about that. What we are given is a group of individuals who are outside of societal norms. Each of their superpowers relates to the ways in which they are outside of those norms. The show is constructed in such a thoughtful way that none of the characters ever comes off contrived.

The "reality" of the show is what gives it the power to hold its viewers and to spark conversation. If they had each been given powers and immediately become superhero's or villains, the show would suck. Instead the show presents its viewers with a raw dark comedy that gets at the "reality" of life. American television could learn a lot from the Brits. Its not always about being politically correct. Being politically correct is always expected. Sometimes, it is the short circuit of expectations that makes for good art and good television. Yes, it is ok to have the serene pretty picture, but sometimes you just need a good shag, an inappropriate joke, or down right horrible act to make you recalibrate your own moral compass.

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