Friday, December 28, 2012

IN AND OUT 2013: Entertainment

Admit it, you want to live with these people.
IN: History
Maybe it’s that we tend to cling to the familiar during tough times, or that nobody’s had an original idea since sometime last century. (Original ideas are out.) But there’s very little in the current world of entertainment that doesn’t seem at least vaguely reminiscent of something that came before, in most cases because it’s EXACTLY THE SAME.

Case in point: Of the top 10 movies of 2012, eight were either sequels, based on books and/or comic books, or, in the case of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” a remake of another movie that came out 20 minutes ago. (Ah, 20 minutes ago … those were the days.)

Of the other two, one, “Brave,” is by Pixar – where the last remaining original thinkers have apparently sealed themselves off from the rest of society, like the final survivors of a zombie invasion – and the other, “Ted,” features a foul-mouthed, sex-crazed teddy bear. Sex-crazed teddy bears are in, God help us.

But don’t worry: The most highly anticipated movie event of the coming years is the production of another three “Star Wars” movies by new owners Disney, which are sure to find new and original ways to ruin your most coveted childhood memories. Ruining things is in. (This means you, Disney and George Lucas, not necessarily in that order.)

Judging by the rockers who got trotted out for the high-profile 12/12/12 Hurricane Sandy relief concert, no one born after 1960 has ever blurted out even a note of rock ’n’ roll: Bruce Springsteen, 63, looked like the model of youth in this bunch, which featured The Rolling Stones, The Who and Paul McCartney (combined age: one meeeeeellion). So getting down to music first recorded four to five decades ago is in; hoping you die before you get old is apparently out.

Of the younger artists, a lot of them tend to sound exactly alike – quick, tell us the difference between Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepson! See? But there are some glimmers of hope, such as Mumford & Sons and Phillip Phillips, who sound like each other but not like Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepson, which is a step in the right direction.

Even better, fun., they of the lower-case “f” and unnecessary period, are almost startlingly original, as if they must have escaped from the Pixar compound. Their exact opposite would be One Direction, whom Simon Cowell molded out of clay and animated like an ancient Golem. (Ancient Golems are in.) And Taylor Swift will never, ever, ever find an ex-boyfriend she couldn’t write a hit song about. (Ex-boyfriends are in.)

OUT: Literature

A lot of bookstores (remember them? Bookstores are out) used to separate “Literature” into its own section, primarily to make sure you knew they were the books you had no interest in actually reading. Sorry Nathaniel Hawthorne, but you’re out.

When it comes to books people do read, there are exactly two that are in, neither of which are what you’d call classic literature: “The Hunger Games” and “50 Shades of Grey.” Someday someone will come up with an idea that combines both of those concepts and it will be a huge hit, and also the final sign of the pending apocalypse. Pending apocalypses are in.

A lot of other in entertainment fare isn’t exactly literate either: On TV, the clever and informative shows – such as “30 Rock” and “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” along with any number of other shows with “rock” in the title – tend to be out. Shows featuring “real” people who may or may not have the ability to read, such as the casts of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” “Dance Moms” and “Moonshiners,” are in. Cue pending apocalypse.

But there are some signs that not all entertainment is aiming at the lowest common denominator. Shows like “Modern Family,” “Downton Abbey” and “Homeland” cater to people with brains, while “The Walking Dead” caters to people with brains who like to watch zombies eating brains, but in an intellectual way. And in theaters, the in release of the season is “Les Miserables,” which is almost exactly like classic literature, except with singing. Singing is in.

And not all lowbrow entertainment is in: Adam Sandler is out after a few recent outings tanked, including “That’s My Boy,” which was so bad it may have dragged Andy Samberg out with it. (Although Sandler will always be in on Boston’s North Shore, where he just filmed “Grown Ups 2,” a movie not expected to break his out streak.) And while Tom Cruise is in when he’s driving fast cars and breaking heads, he’s out when he’s singing, at evidenced by “Rock of Ages.” Singing is out.

Speaking of which, Justin Bieber got (temporarily) dumped by his girlfriend, the inexplicably in Selena Gomez, and flopped in the Grammy nomination department – could this mean he’s on his way out? Ha ha! Just kidding, True Beliebers! Remember, coming after people who make Justin Bieber jokes with tiny little pitchforks is out.

Monday: Sports

1 comment:

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