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Posts tagged as unpopular opinions

'The Middle' Is Actually Really Good. Really.

The Middle debuted in 2009 in a timeslot right after what ABC thought was going to be a huge hit: Hank, a cynical mess about a laid off rich guy that used the words “bailout” and “recovery” a lot. It went after a middle American, working class audience while also making fun of that same audience. The Middle seemed like it might have been that kind of thing, too: a modern-day take on Roseanne, centered on a family of slobs from a state nobody in the writers’ room had ever met who can’t make ends meet and are gross and lazy but God love ‘em because they love each [...]

Jay Leno Is Not Evil

Unpopular Opinions is a weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

Jay Leno is not the Antichrist. There are no devil's horns underneath his thick gray hair. He does not exist in this world to bring harm and misfortune to those more deserving of the spotlight. He is a man that has amassed a plethora of enemies because he gained employment on two separate occasions on account of poor television network decision making. He is a man that has lost friends for the same reason. And he [...]

Legendary Comedian Bill Hicks Was Definitely a Legend, but Was He a Comedian?

Unpopular Opinions is a new weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

Bill Hicks was undoubtedly a massive influence on contemporary standup comedy. The impact of his confrontational style can be seen in countless comedians today, from David Cross to Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron to Denis Leary. Because of this inarguable influence and the high regard in which others hold him, I’ve attempted on several occasions to appreciate Hicks’s material. Each time I listen to it, I have the same reaction: Yes, I agree with most [...]

Defending the Cavemen

Unpopular Opinions is a new weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

In Mike Sacks’ tremendous book of interviews with comedy luminaries And Here’s the Kicker… the legendary Simpsons scribe George Meyer says that, given the choice between getting rid of ads and getting rid of nuclear weapons, he’d choose the ads. I am right there with him. Naturally, a show inspired by a commercial would presumably be terrible, right?

You may have seen one of those ads for Geico featuring cavemen. When I heard that [...]

Why Bridesmaids Deserved Its Best Picture Snub

Unpopular Opinions is a new weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

The inescapable hum of buzz that has surrounded Bridesmaids since the film's release peaked at the end of January, just in time for its exclusion from the Best Picture race to generate outrage in critical circles. The Atlantic decried the snub as evidence that the Academy hates broad, raunchy comedies, while director Paul Feig was quoted in the Huffington Post saying that the film was too “relatable,” a dig at the kind [...]

Why 'How I Met Your Mother's' "Ducky Tie" Was the Best Sitcom Episode of the Season

Unpopular Opinions is a bi-weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

Earlier this year, after a hard-fought tournament, you decided that Community's "Remedial Chaos Theory" was the best sitcom episode ever. There is no way to say for sure with these things but maybe it's true; maybe when you zoom out completely, the dynamism and ambition of "Chaos" wins. However, in the context of this one season, I'd argue, and will argue for a bunch of words below, that "Chaos" loses out to another very ambitious [...]

Don't Re-Boo an Office Reboot

Unpopular Opinions is a weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

Last week, when it was reported that Executive Producer Greg Daniels was talking with NBC to reboot The Office, the response was a nearly audible groan. One commenter on this very site summarized the collective feeling best with his first three words, “Let. It. Die.” The people have spoken, the show isn’t just on its last legs — it’s basically a legless mass being dragged around like a sack of beets. So why don’t we [...]

Defending Adam Sandler

Unpopular Opinions is a new weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

Going into a conversation where you’re defending Adam Sandler is normally not going to work in your favor. I learned this six years ago when I was doing my shift hanging out with Holocaust survivors, and one of the old guys actually turned to me and said, 'This is the worst thing I've ever seen,” and this was coming from a man who was in Auschwitz. There was no way I was going to try to [...]

In Defense of 1941

Unpopular Opinions is a new weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

By now we know that Steven Spielberg is not an untouchable director. In 40 years of filmmaking, of course there are going to be some flops. But the World War II comedy 1941 (1979) remains one of his more famous disasters. Briefly, 1941 follows a large group of characters through one hysterical day in and around Los Angeles just after Pearl Harbor as everyone prepares for a possible Japanese attack. To say that [...]

Laugh with, Not at, the Laugh Track

Unpopular Opinions is a bi-weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

Cheers is filmed before a live studio audience.” Those are welcoming words to people of a certain age. They make you think about a home cooked meal after soccer practice. Or a sack of McDonald’s you happily shoved down your throat while waiting for your mom and dad to come home from their weekly night out. Or the can of still beer you guzzled by yourself after stealing it from the front yard of a frat [...]

Cats Are Funnier than Dogs

Unpopular Opinions is a new weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

Unpopular Opinions as a series has focused on some serious stuff, but no issue is more dire than this. Cats and dogs have literally been in battle for centuries and that battle has rubbed off on their respective owners — there is no argument like one between a dog-person and a cat-person (except a fictional one in which the people are actually part dog/cat, part person). These epic debates oft revolve around cuteness, which [...]

Who Cares About Joke Stealing?

Unpopular Opinions is a new weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

Joke “stealing” is not a new phenomenon. Hell, Milton Berle basically made a career out of it, earning himself the nickname, “The Thief of a Bad Gag.” With the rise of the Internet and cellphone cameras, however, it seems like fans have started to care more. But how did something that used to only be a comedy community matter give birth to a legion of joke vigilantes?

Let’s start with a couple examples.

Example [...]

Why Whitney is the Best New Network Sitcom of 2011-2012

Unpopular Opinions is a new weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

In September, when Whitney was being promoted on every public, large, flat surface from Augusta to Tucson, it was a punchline. Its ad campaign was so viscerally terrible that before the show even debuted it evoked over thirty negative comments on a post we did on it. Then the pilot aired and it didn’t do much to disprove everyone’s hunch. Whitney was wildly and mostly accurately considered to be unfunny, offensive to women, [...]