EIGHTH GRADE (2018, written & directed by Bo Burnham, starring Elsie Fisher)

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Don't miss this... I think it's an astonishing movie, easily one of the best coming of age movies to come out this decade. Perhaps not saying much, but Burnham's script & direction are subtler and more deft than I would have ever expected he was capable of judging by his comedy, and Elsie Fisher's performance is just remarkable. Some familiar tropes and notes hit through the first half, but the second half veers off into its own very quiet and intense thing. There's so much dignity and courage in Fisher's character and Burnham doesn't linger on or milk what you'd expect: the absent parent, the awkward sexual encounter, the first crush, the active shooter drill (!). The closing father-daughter speech by the fire at the end is as powerful as the end of Call Me By Your Name. It just wrecked me.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 00:06 (two years ago) link

Thanks for the reminder--want to see this (as a movie, as a teacher).

clemenza, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 00:13 (two years ago) link

flappy otm, except for rating the "I'm so proud of you, I hella wanted to suck dicks when I was your age but was kajagoogoo" speech from CMBYN

16, 35, DCP, Go! (sic), Wednesday, 1 August 2018 00:33 (two years ago) link

flappy otm, except for rating the "I'm so proud of you, I hella wanted to suck dicks when I was your age but was kajagoogoo" speech from CMBYN


guess I don’t need to see this, now

beard papa, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 00:52 (two years ago) link

I liked i].

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 1 August 2018 00:55 (two years ago) link

that’s a pretty harsh reading of the CMBYN speech but I will say the speech in Eighth Grade is probably better because it’s so understated and simple while still being immensely moving - the CMBYN speech was very loaded with “this is serious this is serious this is so serious PAY ATTENTION and cry”

flappy bird, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 01:14 (two years ago) link

also when Kayla stands up to Kennedy >>>>>>>>>>>>

flappy bird, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 01:15 (two years ago) link

I like to think that Leave No Trace is the secret sequel to this.

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 01:26 (two years ago) link

they both have really tight scripts and manage to be really emotional without ever becoming hysterical. they underplay it, like Lady Bird did but with none of the quirkiness. EG and LMT are very realistic and all the better for it.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 01:58 (two years ago) link

directed by Bo Burnham is hard to get by but this sounds good

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 1 August 2018 02:46 (two years ago) link

Burnham's script & direction are subtler and more deft than I would have ever expected he was capable of judging by his comedy

glad to hear that this is good; i really want to see it. i thought his interview on Fresh Air was really good, and then, yeah, i looked up his comedy and i began to have second thoughts. i will try to catch this on the big screen while i still can.

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 03:01 (two years ago) link

directed by Bo Burnham is hard to get by but this sounds good


Believe you me, this was a hard sell knowing his work. But I liked the trailer and three people I know who saw it before me all had different reactions to it, so I had to see it. Glad I did.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 04:12 (two years ago) link

i didn't know his work, but alamo had a pre-show with clips of his live act as well as him talking to the camera about the movie. it all made me worry i had made a terrible mistake buying a ticket (and also did too much this-is-what-the-movie-is-about framing) but then the movie was great. lotta realness. the dad stuff felt a little more forced or "movie-like" to me but all the stuff with the kids struck me as dead on.

one small thing i really liked - not my favorite thing in the movie but just something you don't see enough - was the rick and morty references/impressions. kids talk about and quote their favorite shows all the time and most movies about kids fail to get this, i assume either for rights reasons or because the script is too focused on the plot or the emotional arc. i totally believe that these two kids would have that exact conversation about rick and morty.

This is a total Jeff Porcaro. (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 1 August 2018 04:37 (two years ago) link

otm!

I really liked how they handled the absence of the mother, there was literally one reference to it in the whole movie, I was hoping it would go by unmentioned but "since your mother left" is so much better & more vague than "since your mother died" or any more time spent on the subject.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 04:43 (two years ago) link

tt and I started watching a Burnham stand-up routine on Netflix and were enjoying its gay misanthropy, but then we got suspicious and looked him up only to discover that he wasn't gay, which completely ruined it

imago, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 08:34 (two years ago) link

I have a crush on Josh Hamilton and his dad body.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 1 August 2018 11:15 (two years ago) link

directed by Bo Burnham is hard to get by but this sounds good

My exact first thought, but then I read the New Yorker profile and he seemed uncommonly thoughtful. And then I heard him on NPR and he was really smart there, too. There was a great exchange where Terry Gross plays his dumb breakthrough "I'm Gay" song (or whatever it was), and after she asks him if he's worried it might come off homophobic. And his response was an honest "I don't know that it isn't," and then he explained how important it was for him to leave his formative adolescent work online and not try to brush it aside, to show that people can change and get better and try to be better themselves. I'm paraphrasing, of course, but he was very earnest and had given a lot of thought to a lot of things.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 11:56 (two years ago) link

sorry elmo! one speech isn't most of the film though

16, 35, DCP, Go! (sic), Wednesday, 1 August 2018 20:28 (two years ago) link

This was excellent. And let me just say, as the father of a 13-year old girl that just finished middle school and is about to enter high school, a lot of this shit was downright uncanny. Off the top of my head I honestly can't think of any remotely similar movie that gets so much right (at least from my perspective).

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 3 August 2018 02:42 (two years ago) link

otm

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 3 August 2018 03:25 (two years ago) link

Didn't like this as much as what's above, but it is ambitious--it wants to be the definitive film on the subject, and to get a film like that into theatres, into wide release even, is admirable. Three things I did like: the wording of the forced invitation to the pool party, "Orinoco Flow" (a song I have not heard nor thought about even once, literally, since it was out in the world; thought of it as an interesting curiosity at the time, like "Royals" or something), and Elsie getting her future self as her high-school shadow.

clemenza, Friday, 3 August 2018 21:28 (two years ago) link

Kayla, not Elsie--got the character and the actress mixed up.

clemenza, Friday, 3 August 2018 21:42 (two years ago) link

Did you know that Enya, despite selling millions of records, has never toured?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 3 August 2018 21:48 (two years ago) link

No--I guess that explains in part why she vanished from my radar. I did like how the film used that song (recognized it immediately but took a few seconds--till the vocal--to put a name to it).

One question (which has nothing to do with my overall feelings--just curious): do schools in the States ever run simulations of school shootings that graphic? I can't imagine anything like that up here, but then the problem isn't as prevalent up here (we've had them, obviously). I would think a readiness drill like the one in the film would be traumatic in and of itself.

clemenza, Friday, 3 August 2018 21:55 (two years ago) link

My instinct is to say no, but I wouldn't be surprised if the answer is yes. Certainly my kids (one about to start high school, one about to start middle school) know the drill, so to speak.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 3 August 2018 22:19 (two years ago) link

man the high school kids were SO good, almost more believably written and naturally acted than the eighth-graders.

This is a total Jeff Porcaro. (Doctor Casino), Friday, 3 August 2018 22:20 (two years ago) link

The shadowing reminded me of Dazed and Confused, although in Linklater's film, the high school students weren't one-on-one shadows, and most of them wanted to make your life miserable. But a couple of them did take the younger kids under their wing, invited them to tag along, etc.

clemenza, Friday, 3 August 2018 22:24 (two years ago) link

and Elsie getting her future self as her high-school shadow.


Whoa, didn’t make that connection but otm

flappy bird, Friday, 3 August 2018 23:54 (two years ago) link

man the high school kids were SO good, almost more believably written and naturally acted than the eighth-graders.

― This is a total Jeff Porcaro. (Doctor Casino), Friday, August 3, 2018 5:20 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

otm, would watch a movie about them finishing senior year. but then again, that movie has been made many times before.

ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Saturday, 4 August 2018 04:07 (two years ago) link

I tried to resist this (critical nature, slight aversion to Bo Burnham) but eventually fell completely under its spell. What a treat. Amazing that this was showing at the megaplez just down the road and not at the art houses exclusively.

I though the first 15 minutes were weak and was tempted to walk out (after the lady in the film said "lit" and then the teacher dabbed upon entering the classroom) but then immediately followed the most extraordinary stretch of film in recent memory with the dinner scene and the enya scene.

I am too far removed from 8th grade to even trust my sense that some things were overwrought but it did feel that way.

No one got up when the credits started rolling, good sign.

rip van wanko, Saturday, 4 August 2018 23:06 (two years ago) link

My oldest kid is literally starting 8th grade on Wednesday, so I couldn't resist the synchronicity of taking him to this today. He was sort of intrigued -- by the R rating and because he knew Burnham had started as a YouTuber -- and sort of resistant, because of the potential cringe factor. But we both ended up really liking it. Elsie Fisher is great, and it all felt grounded and, even to an actual 13-year-old, totally convincing.

And yes, his school has active shooter drills. Not with a guy actually dressed as a shooter, but it wouldn't surprise me if some places are doing that.

loved it overall. certainly surpassed this to become bo burnham's greatest film.

ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Sunday, 5 August 2018 05:31 (two years ago) link

I’ve long hated Burnham’s musical comedy steeze and I’m not sure I can ever watch this and appreciate it as its own thing.

circa1916, Sunday, 5 August 2018 05:41 (two years ago) link

I'll see it, but not in the theater. He seems to have matured/grown up vs. whatever he was doing a few years back, though. Good for him.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 5 August 2018 05:46 (two years ago) link

I’ve long hated Burnham’s musical comedy steeze and I’m not sure I can ever watch this and appreciate it as its own thing.

― circa1916, Sunday, August 5, 2018 1:41 AM (fifty-one minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

missing out! this isn't like his comedy at all

flappy bird, Sunday, 5 August 2018 06:34 (two years ago) link

Will def check it out when it’s streaming somewhere. Heard an interview with him recently that kinda punctured my image of what he was about. Just hard to shake vivid memories of a real corny roommate of a friend who would put on one of BB’s DVDs repeatedly and how it made me want to throw the TV out of a window.

circa1916, Sunday, 5 August 2018 06:53 (two years ago) link

Haven't seen it yet but really enjoyed this interview with Burnham where he talks about growing up with social media: https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/566579/?__twitter_impression=true

Roz, Sunday, 5 August 2018 07:25 (two years ago) link

xpost This has nothing to do with this dude's comedy. It's earnest, it's empathetic, it's lovely and loving. And it's almost documentary like in its restraint and approach, so much so that I would not come close to branding it a comedy. It's got some awkward laughs in it (like life), but there's almost nothing in it that does not ring true or seem like it does not come from the honest perspective of an eighth grade girl (which is something, coming from a 28 year old first time director with a background in dumb comedy). While I can see waiting for it to come to TV, I do recommend seeing it in a theatre with other people, likely of other generations, just to see how they react and what gets reactions. The giggles of recognition from the high school girls behind us were different from the solo 60 year old dude in front of us. My older daughter is at summer camp right now, but when she comes back I think my wife is going to take her, to hear her side. I'll report back.

Interesting Bo Burnham stuff: he plays a well meaning but crap comedian in "The Big Sick," and (as I learned from the New Yorker profile), he directed Chris Rock's most recent special, at Rock's request.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 5 August 2018 13:48 (two years ago) link

I hate being the guy who's less than enthusiastic about something everybody else on the thread loves, but, while I did like some things about this film (see above), some of it didn't ring true to me--from unimportant nit-picky stuff (I can't imagine any middle school giving recognition at a school assembly for something based on physical appearance--informally in a yearbook, yes, not an officially sanctioned award/certificate) to maybe the most central fact of the film, the father-daughter relationship. I'm not a father--if anyone wants to bat away this objection with "If you were a father, you'd understand," feel free. But when the father gives his big speech about how much of a joy his daughter is, I wish the director had actually given us some reason to believe this. I mean, I know these characters have entire lifetimes behind that assertion that we don't see, and of course any father would feel that way, but all we've seen is 90 minutes of his daughter pretty much treating him like dirt, and him smiling and bumbling and making self-deprecating jokes in response. In Six Feet Under, by way of contrast, we see the daughter treat the mom the same way (or in Roseanne, when Darlene goes through her season-in-black phase), but before they have a similarly emotional rapprochement, we get the expected exasperation/anger/silence/confrontation from the mom (and also from dad on Roseanne). So when they finally do come out the other side, the bond there feels very real to me. Here, when the father speaks of the wonder of his daughter, I just thought "Really?" I found the father a real cipher in Eighteen.

clemenza, Sunday, 5 August 2018 15:12 (two years ago) link

As a dad I kind of agree with some of that and mentioned it to my wife on the way home, that he was a little too idealized (because kids are fucking hard). It did capture the vibe of unconditional love, though, the way you can look at your kid and see nothing wrong, even when they are internally tormented by all sorts of drama. But as my wife pointed out, the girl in this is *not* some mere wallflower or shut-in. She, begrudgingly or not, actually follows her dad's advice. She goes to parties she does not want to go to, she follows his phone restrictions (clearly more limited during the week), she stands up for herself and confronts people when she feels she is wronged, she builds up her courage and does karaoke in front of people that don't like her. And she's not afraid to contact dad for help or rides and stuff, and he is very accommodating. This is an instance of something being a little between the lines but totally clear: she listens to him because she loves and trusts him. They have a great relationship, and that is something else I loved about this movie. They did not mine their relationship for conflict. Her problems have nothing to do with her supportive dad, and she knows that, which is a lovely twist on these things (and yet something else that sets it apart from Ladybird, which is specifically about mother/daughter conflict and a reason I thought it felt a little more TV-y to me.)

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 5 August 2018 15:40 (two years ago) link

You're right that conflict is the default setting in these films. There's a third way, too, but you don't see it very often: the Ridgemont High thing where the parents are virtually absent. (The most extreme example I can think of--pretty sure you don't see or hear a single parent in Heckerling's film). The kids work out everything themselves.

clemenza, Sunday, 5 August 2018 15:58 (two years ago) link

I really hate to keep harping on this but everything about this sounds absolutely unappealing to me

• It's the auteur statement from a stand-up
• That stand-up is ironic rap YouTube funnyman Bo Burnham
• It's called 'Eighth Grade'
• It's about social media
• People in this very thread are saying thinks like "It just wrecked me"

This could very well be an excellent, smart, awesome movie, but that is ... a lot of hurdles for me to jump

5th Ward Weeaboo (Whiney G. Weingarten), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:08 (two years ago) link

yeah

though honestly I really was not a fan of Donald Glover's comedy or music and Atlanta is fast becoming one of my favorite shows of all time

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:17 (two years ago) link

xpost people in this very thread are also telling you they were suspicious of burnham, didn't like his comedy etc., and yet found the movie very good. maybe instead of telling us that our being moved by it makes you not want to see it (because, i guess, we are all dummies whose opinions are always wrong), you should just see it, and post to the thread afterwards.

mortal kombats fill your eyes (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:17 (two years ago) link

well it's also like, OK, even if this movie is NOTHING LIKE his shitty, quasi-racist chive-y videos, he wouldn't have even had the chance to make this auteur indie-cinema without years of building his brand from -- and these quotes are straight from Wikipedia --

Burnham wrote and released songs about white supremacy, Helen Keller's disabilities, homosexuality, and more.[1]

When speaking with The Detroit News about his rapping, he expressed his intent to honor and respect the perspective and culture of hip-hop music.[3]

Comedy Central Records released Burnham's first EP, the six-song Bo Fo Sho, as an online release-only album on June 17, 2008.[13]

It feels when people are wowed by Vice News doing some interesting reporting when their entire infrastructure was built on ironic racism and rape jokes. Again, if this guy turned over a smart/funny leaf somewhere, it's news to me.

5th Ward Weeaboo (Whiney G. Weingarten), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:22 (two years ago) link

maybe instead of telling us that our being moved by it makes you not want to see it (because, i guess, we are all dummies whose opinions are always wrong), you should just see it, and post to the thread afterwards.

It's meant less to call people dummies and more like "I don't like going to see movies that make me sad"

5th Ward Weeaboo (Whiney G. Weingarten), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:23 (two years ago) link

Again, the movie could be totally fine, we'll see how bored I get. I'd rather go see Blindspotting and Blackkklansman if given the choice tho

5th Ward Weeaboo (Whiney G. Weingarten), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:25 (two years ago) link

ah okay. well that's more understandable, sorry.

mortal kombats fill your eyes (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:26 (two years ago) link

I've been avoiding the acclaimed Mr. Rogers doc too because the innocence of kids sometimes depresses me on a deep level

5th Ward Weeaboo (Whiney G. Weingarten), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:28 (two years ago) link

Inside was one of the worst things i’ve ever seen in my life

flopson, Thursday, 10 June 2021 05:42 (one week ago) link

you need to see more bad things

akm, Thursday, 10 June 2021 16:12 (one week ago) link

idk it was pretty bad

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Thursday, 10 June 2021 16:14 (one week ago) link

I started watching his 2016 special and it was very bad in a way that Inside wasn't

He's also cuter and in his underwear a lot this time

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 10 June 2021 18:48 (one week ago) link

'inside' is p good! it's like darker weird al. dark al. it's too long, though.

class project pat (m bison), Thursday, 10 June 2021 22:16 (one week ago) link

major Tonetta vibes on that turning 30 song

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Friday, 11 June 2021 01:24 (one week ago) link

Idk about this.

treeship., Saturday, 12 June 2021 01:58 (one week ago) link

Not eighth grade, which I love; the new thing.

treeship., Saturday, 12 June 2021 01:59 (one week ago) link

He talks about killing himself a lot, which I can relate to, but I am resistant to the kind of implicit idea that this is a common generational experience. Idk. Something is off with his treatment of this topic. I don’t know his work and am still in the middle of the special so we’ll see.

treeship., Saturday, 12 June 2021 02:06 (one week ago) link

yeah I think it's common to all generations not something special to his

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 12 June 2021 02:18 (one week ago) link

I agree with the idea that the Internet has turned our lives into a nightmare. More art about that is welcome I guess.

treeship., Saturday, 12 June 2021 02:20 (one week ago) link

^^^ one for the box art, as we used to say. before the internet

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Saturday, 12 June 2021 03:16 (one week ago) link

Wow. Inside was... something. Some good stuff, some clever stuff, some too much for sure. I did like at least half the songs. I think there's definitely enough sincerity in there to make it substantial.

Nhex, Saturday, 12 June 2021 06:38 (one week ago) link

Dark "Weird Al" definitely a good ref point for this

Unfair to compare this to Eighth Grade obviously but I guess this is the thread to talk about Bo so...

Nhex, Saturday, 12 June 2021 06:39 (one week ago) link

There’s a Harry Nilsson vibe - not just the songs but more in the presentation.

Not sure the special was for me but I definitely salute the effort. I mean getting ready to execute something big and being kneecapped by Covid and still getting something like that isn’t nothing.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Saturday, 12 June 2021 13:59 (one week ago) link

weird al would never subject us to this

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Saturday, 12 June 2021 14:07 (one week ago) link

no he wouldnt, thats why hes "weird al", bo is "dark al" do you see

class project pat (m bison), Saturday, 12 June 2021 14:09 (one week ago) link

inside every one of us is an "al"

class project pat (m bison), Saturday, 12 June 2021 14:10 (one week ago) link

Inside was one of the worst things i’ve ever seen in my life

― flopson, Thursday, June 10, 2021 1:42 AM (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

you need to see more bad things

― akm, Thursday, June 10, 2021 12:12 PM (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

no thanks

flopson, Saturday, 12 June 2021 16:55 (one week ago) link

all eyes on me is a really good closer.

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 02:42 (one week ago) link

maybe i like this.

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 02:42 (one week ago) link

i don't think weird al is a good point of comparison. these aren't parodies, this is a singer-songwriter project. the topical comedy stuff gives way really quickly to concerns that are wholly personal. the former is almost always just a premise.

the best part of the special might be the sequence following "unpaid intern," where he does that meta-trick, overlaying his commentary on the song, then his commentary on the commentary etc, each new layer disavowing what he had just said before, apologizing for it. that sense of paralysis -- or shame, really -- at the fact that everything he says is really just a projection of his own insecurities and need for attention.

i feel like there is a central fear at the heart of this project, which is that he is only able to care about the larger world insofar as doing so allows him to receive praise from others. (performative politics):

You say the ocean's rising like I give a shit
You say the whole world's ending, honey, it already did
You're not gonna slow it, Heaven knows you tried
Got it? Good, now get inside

i think the kind of isolation he is exploring in this special is a lot bigger than just, like, covid/quarantine.

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 03:17 (one week ago) link

there is another part of the special where he talks about the real world only existing because it, like, provides an opportunity to document things for instagram, and that instagram feels "more real" than reality. this is a movie about drifting away from something and not knowing even what that thing is you need to get back to. all that's left is the feeling of being diminished and ashamed.

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 03:21 (one week ago) link

why do we keep posting st vincent lyrics

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Sunday, 13 June 2021 03:22 (one week ago) link

some of it seems a little cringe or on the nose

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 03:33 (one week ago) link

for sure

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 03:33 (one week ago) link

the funniest part was when he turned 30

flopson, Sunday, 13 June 2021 03:36 (one week ago) link

forget Weird Al, these lyrics being posted are like a pretentious Mark Russell

i honestly didn't think any of it was especially funny.

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 03:45 (one week ago) link

the social commentary joke songs, like "how the world works" and "white woman's instagram" are kind of unbearable on their own. but the juxtaposition of this material with the more searching, psychological stuff is interesting. like the "white guilt" he says he feels early on isn't really that at all. he isn't just worried that he has no role to play in furthering the cause of justice -- i think the ending of the movie shows that sentiment is bullshit. it's at best a sublimation, or socially acceptable version, of his real fear, which is that he is a narcissist and everyone else is too.

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 03:48 (one week ago) link

I can think of at least one way he could have taken a principled stand against narcissism

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Sunday, 13 June 2021 04:00 (one week ago) link

good posts treesh

...his takes on early 21st century internet ennui are all just cliches tho?

i know this is kinda ‘the online miserablism knower has logged on’ of me to say but i feel like his depiction of why social media in 2020 is a hell of our own making was so generic, it felt like it was cribbed from old tweets rather than anything personal

maybe that experience is just really universal, so regurgitating tired memes *is* his genuine personal experience. if so, that makes me sad

i personally don’t relate to a lot of the cw about how twitter is a “hell site” and how instagram is so awful and commodified our lives. i see why ppl say that, and there are aspects of it that annoy me, but it also seems ahistorical and short-sighted (every era has people freaking out about new forms of media, and it seems quaint in hindsight to read people freaking out about like, how the radio has poisoned our minds) and also ignores a lot of the good parts of online

it feels like tired “trenchant social commentary” at this point, and didn’t bear the stamp of an authentic relationship to the internet imho. eighth grade seemed smarter in getting at that kind of relationship. i guess comparing his A24 movie with his ‘what if Nanette but Tenacious D?’ Netflix special isn’t fair, but i’m surprised the same person made both

flopson, Sunday, 13 June 2021 04:01 (one week ago) link

https://imgur.com/Fxj8Myj

flopson, Sunday, 13 June 2021 04:17 (one week ago) link

https://i.imgur.com/Fxj8Myj.png

flopson, Sunday, 13 June 2021 04:17 (one week ago) link

Bo has begun his ditch trilogy

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Sunday, 13 June 2021 06:10 (one week ago) link

i don't think weird al is a good point of comparison. these aren't parodies, this is a singer-songwriter project.

― treeship., Saturday, June 12, 2021 10:17 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

weird al wrote originals too and they fuckin owned
bo uses a nasal voice that sounds like al to go into "funny songman mode"

class project pat (m bison), Sunday, 13 June 2021 11:23 (one week ago) link

i'm not trying to say that this is better than weird al, just that it's really different.

i personally don’t relate to a lot of the cw about how twitter is a “hell site” and how instagram is so awful and commodified our lives. i see why ppl say that, and there are aspects of it that annoy me, but it also seems ahistorical and short-sighted (every era has people freaking out about new forms of media, and it seems quaint in hindsight to read people freaking out about like, how the radio has poisoned our minds) and also ignores a lot of the good parts of online

i think this is valid. i am more of a cassandra about social media and i think the immersive parasocial nature of it can warp people's sense of reality and perspective. however, i don't think the value of this special lies in it saying anything new about these phenomena. what it does is describe the mood of online, feeling hyperconnected but increasingly alone, this grand and paranoid solipsism that *does*, to me, feel like the texture of our times. like how chekhov* described the particular loneliness of country doctors and schoolteachers in late imperial russia, burnham is trying to show our particular misery, not because it's new, necessarily, but because it's ours.

*i am in no way saying he is as successful as chekhov. the comparison is more about marking a distinction between what a sociologist or cultural critic does and what an artist does when it comes to describing and evaluating the times.

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 12:09 (one week ago) link

it's not at all a new theme either, not even in popular music. radiohead didn't think computers were "OK" either.

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 12:10 (one week ago) link

social media is not merely a "new form of media" despite the shared presence of the word "media"

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Sunday, 13 June 2021 12:44 (one week ago) link

what it does is describe the mood of online, feeling hyperconnected but increasingly alone, this grand and paranoid solipsism that *does*, to me, feel like the texture of our times

ya i agree w this. a lot of the shots of him just lying in bed half nude staring blankly at his phone were uncomfortably relatable lol

flopson, Sunday, 13 June 2021 22:18 (one week ago) link

it is hard to get past how cringe some of the social commentary songs are. i tried to explain this special to my wife earlier today and put the soundtrack on when we were driving. by the time we got to the song about facetiming his mom, she just said, very gently, "this is really bad, sorry."

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 23:45 (one week ago) link

and she's right. that song sucks. and a bunch of others just seem like buzzy talking points. if there is any value in this, it only comes later in the special where the original schtick kind of gives way to something stranger, darker, more personal. i feel like this latter material shows up the former as a facade -- like it's actively working against it -- but some viewers haven't seen it that way.

treeship., Sunday, 13 June 2021 23:50 (one week ago) link

i feel like the biggest influence on bo's sense of humour is seth mcfarlane

flopson, Monday, 14 June 2021 00:25 (one week ago) link

Lol

treeship., Monday, 14 June 2021 00:58 (one week ago) link

major Tonetta vibes on that turning 30 song

― Western® with Bacon Flavor, Thursday, June 10, 2021 9:24 PM (three days ago) bookmarkflaglink

ty this prompted me to check out the special, which is v good

johnny crunch, Monday, 14 June 2021 01:42 (one week ago) link

xxp i believe he even admits it the special!

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Monday, 14 June 2021 04:25 (one week ago) link

This was one of the most exhausting things I've ever seen

maf you one two (maffew12), Monday, 14 June 2021 13:22 (one week ago) link

Simon otm about all the material working very hard to strike exactly the right tone. I was preoccupied with why he was presenting himself as a complete shut in. I doubt he spent the year quite so alone, or if he did the whole thing would've been much more interesting as an exploration of that. Odd to shout out unpaid interns and not the people bringing food to you. Or maybe the sock puppet was supposed to cover that off.

maf you one two (maffew12), Monday, 14 June 2021 15:42 (one week ago) link

I doubt he spent the year quite so alone

learning (as I did via letterboxd) that BB apparently lived with his partner of several years through all this really did add an extra layer of "fuck off buddy" to my reaction

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Monday, 14 June 2021 15:52 (one week ago) link

lol fuck this special

Eigth Grade did rule tho

maf you one two (maffew12), Monday, 14 June 2021 16:04 (one week ago) link


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