3/10/09

Opinions and Rants #10: VH1's "I Contemptuously Mock the 70s" Specials


So I finally got around to watching the VH1 special The 40 Most Softsational Soft Rock Songs which has aired possibly 10,000 times in the past year or so. The show should have been called The 40 Most Softsational Soft Rock Songs Ruined by A-Holes because for each 20 seconds of sweet soft rock ambrosia we are required to endure 3 minutes of contemptuous mockery.

If any of you have seen these VH1 specials like I Love the 70s, you know what I'm talking about: Step (1) show a bit of pleasant nostalgia like a Slinky or an ABBA song, then step (2) have a bunch of hack comedians ridicule it. During the soft rock special, one of these bastards actually called Andrew Gold a pussy. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Well played, Michael Ian Black.

Here's another example of the great Michael Ian Black wit: "Young Frankenstein is the funniest black-and-white movie ever, even funnier than Schindler's List." Ha, ha, ha, ha... you're an ass.

I know what you're thinking: Gilligan has his heart all a flutter because he has an unnatural obsession with the 70s - the rest of us normal people are free to enjoy any and all VH1 programming.

Fine. Go ahead. I too laugh at 70s fashion, bad album covers, advertising and so forth here at Retrospace all the time. I have NO PROBLEM with poking fun at the 70s whatsoever. Let's face it, the 70s deserve a lot of teasing. I could just live without the belittling quote and sarcastic smirk between every nostalgic clip. Give me at least a few seconds to enjoy the nostalgia before you ridicule and beat it like a playground nerd.

And I could really live without Hal Sparks saying things like: "My pet rock attacked my little brother, and we had it euthanized." Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.... you're an idiot.

15 comments:

  1. Yes yes yes! You are exactly right and have perfectly articulated why I don' like those shows.

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  2. Hey Gil. I totally know what you mean. I have no problem with some elements of the 70's being poked fun at. I'm sure 30 years from now people will be making fun of this decade. That's just natural. It's just a shame that we get so little airtime of 70's stuff before these unfunny creeps add their two cents.

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  3. I saw that last year and immediately ran out to The Best of Seals & Crofts, so they have some redeeming value :-)

    The only really funny parts of those shows are the bumpers before commercials, like "Guitar Gods of the '70s" or "Shows that would be better with Charro"—my favorite was on the toy show, where they did "Cobra Commander's Day Off."

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  4. Yes, thank you! I like the 70s (and 80s, for that matter) perfectly fine without having to see it through the filter of a bunch of humor-impaired hacks with no real projects to work on.

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  5. You remember that one time, when Michael Ian Black was so funny?

    Me neither.

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  7. Sorry, that was me that screwed up the last comment.

    Anyway, I read your "Too Close for Comfort" post from Feb and commented, but then realized you probably wouldn't see it, since it's from Feb. But, I too remember the male rape episode and am glad to know I'm not crazy.

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  8. Glad to hear I'm not alone in my irritation. Sure, there's a lot bigger things in this world to worry about - but these guys are just so damn annoying I can't resist.

    Also, I guess I'm just tired of the sense of humor that has been more and more pervasive in our culture. It seems like, in order to be funny these days, you have to be (1) dirty and raunchy and/or (2) contemptuous and sarcastic. I'm beginning to wonder if simple good natured humor is becoming a lost art.

    So, I guess I'm just taking my frustrations out on these talking heads on VH1 specials. Sorry Hal Sparks and Michael Ian Black. It's bad enough they're out of work - I should problably ease up.;-)

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  9. Anonymous - The Monroe rape episode sighting is like a Bigfoot sighting.Sure, there's a lot of people who claim to have seen Bigfoot, but no one will REALLY believe it till we catch it.

    One day the Monroe Too Close for Comfort rape episode will be released on DVD, and the doubters out there will finally believe us that we've seen it. Remain strong anonymous. Remain strong.

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  10. Nice rant, I agree completely. The generic snarky sarcastic attitude toward everything has gotten really old. Especially with nostalgia; there's plenty to make fun of about the 70s and 80s, but just because it happened before you were born doesn't make it stupid. Steely Dan?! Let me go home and play that on my 8 track player! (canned laughter)

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  11. If Michael Ian Black was half as funny as he thought he was, he would still suck!

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  12. Everything already said. The first I Love the 80s was pretty cool, but then of course VH1 did the concept to death.

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  13. Ian Michael Black can be funny but his dead pan schtick on "I love the 70s" was never funny and get old real quick.

    I'm waiting for VH1 to release "I love I love the 70s" where they get even more obscure comics to mock the original hosts.

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  14. Oh, I couldn't agree more Gil. Those shows are sub-human. Once upon a time, sarcasm and irony were effective and had their uses. These days, EVERYTHING is subject to sarcasm and ridicule. Everything.

    What's next? I love the 30s? Yeah man, post-depression jazz was sooo depressing. And what's up with Poland in 1939?

    Thank God they won't touch the 60s. Can't offend the baby-boomers that own the parent corp, affiliates and subsidiaries...

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