Prove Us Wrong (the Third)!
In early 1999, the Van Gogh-Goghs reached deep into their collective wisdom and produced a truism for the ages. Silence greeted us, as the inescabable truth of our statement was, well, like, inescapable. C'mon. Keep up with us.
But then, just as we prepared to retire to our well-appointed, palatial, yet not overbearing HQ in triumph, a still, small voice proved us wrong.
Judge for yourselves....
RESOLVED: Good movies are better than good TV, HOWEVER, bad TV is better than bad movies. Example:
Citizen Kane (good movie) is better than ER (good TV).
My Mother the Car (bad TV) is better than Armageddon (bad movie).
Clarification: Okay, you guys are having a harder time with this one. So let me make it more difficult by dismissing the various attempts to muddy the waters we've received:
Date: Tue, Jan 5, 1999, 10:31 PM
You done said:
> Citizen Kane (good movie) is better than ER (good TV).
> My Mother the Car (bad TV) is better than Armageddon (bad movie).
I have two comments:
1) In your second statement, you are comparing an old bad-goofy show
with a newer bad-earnest show. As is well documented by Nickelodeon, et
al. in "You Saps Will Watch Anything In Black And White", bad-goofy
objects tend to lose their bad with time, becoming merely lame-goofy.
Bad-earnest decays quickly into bad-and-I-mean-bad-goddammit, rarely
doing much else.
2) The comparison may also be misleading since "bad for 30 minutes" is
tautologically less bad than "bad for 90 minutes". Compare a bad
made-for-tv movie (is that redundant or what?) with a bad
made-for-theater movie and see what you get. Ninety minutes of USA's
Has-Been Theater can go toe-to-toe with any Pauly Shore vehicle in terms
of sheer suck.
Please note that just because I have Proven You Wrong my respect for
your art has not diminished and I do not consider you all collectively
to be my bitch .
RE: Point 1: So? TV production motives differing from film production motives merely bolsters our point! Maybe that's why bad TV is so inherently superior to bad film - an ironic self awareness that "this is bad," (or as you call it, "goofy-bad") is subtly picked up by the viewer, and feeling him or herself "in on the joke" as it were, is more entertained than a film made with motives you call "bad-earnest." Don't apples and oranges me, pal!
RE: Point 2: Again with the water-muddying. When we say My Mother the Car is better than Armageddon, we mean an equal time amount of each. Thus you have to compare Armageddon to an equal amount of My Mother the Car, which is what, three days? Thanks for catching that, though. NEXT!
Date: Monday, January 11, 1999 12:10:14 PM
well... my example would have to be that:
The X-Files (good TV) is better than the X-Files Movie (good movie)
Hmm. But you are comparing apples to apples. Or rather, an apple to the exact same apple. The TV show came first, and ran concurrently with the movie. Thus, and you may argue with me here, the X-Files movie is still TV. It was an extended psuedopod of the TV show, but still solidly connected. Now, David Lynch's Fire Walk With Me came out well after Twin Peaks was cancelled and was a movie, like the Beverly Hillbillies movie. Capiche?
Date: Monday, January 11, 1999 4:33:13 AM
You have Failed in your proof dudes!
I can refute it in a simple sentence.
Would you rather sit through "Armageddon" or sit through two hours
"It Takes Two" starring The Olsen twins Mary-Kate and Ashley.(shudder)
What were you thinking?
Almost anybody would rather sit through a bad movie than have to
endure the same amount of continuous bad tv. Especially 80's and
90's family hour fare.
You have failed me my sons.
Failed, my Aunt Fanny. People sit through bad movies because they paid upwards of $7.50 for the pleasure, whereas, if anything, the knowledge that bad TV is only a click from being off is a comforting, empowering feeling. And besides, we didn't say what people would rather watch- we said "better than." How many times have you passed over that Hitler documentary to watch Women's Volleyball on ESPN? Does that make the Tropicana Coconut Body Lotion Tournament better than "Judgement at Nuremburg?"
P.S. I saw Armageddon, and I say, bring on the Olsens!
Date: Sunday, January 17, 1999 6:47:58 PM
Can pickles ever go bad? I do not believe they can and the following is
scientific evidence that my beliefs are well founded.
Scientifically speaking, pickles can never go bad. Pickles, actually do
not got bad because the brine they are kept in is a radioactive agent
which drastically increases the half-life of the pickle well beyond a
Referred to in the "Biologists Nuclear Journal" pickles are actually
made using a type of
nuclear fission bonding. The actual bonding takes place between a host
body (i.e. small
rodent, squirrel, mouse etc....) and a dehydrated cucumber. When the
suspended in a weightless chamber above the host body it is in direct
line of sight of the
nuclear fission beam. When the beam hits the cucumber it actually
penetrates through the
cucumber partially and hits the rodent as well. The host body then
begins to take on the
form of a cucumber. The use of the nuclear fission bean enables the
sequencing to be interlaced with that of the host body. The result
being the pickle. Of
course in the process, the life of the host body is also lost due to
such high levels of
radioactivity in the weightless environment. However countless testing
has resulted in the
appropriate beam size to use in order to stop the host from becoming
As mentioned earlier, the pickle never actually goes bad because of the
presence of the
radioactive agent in which it is kept. A sort of suspended animation,
if you will.
Dude, what are you blabbering about? The pickle thing was the last Prove Us Wrong. It's over! We are now on the TV/Movies thing! It's too late to get in on the pickle thing, so give it up. Jiminy Cricket!
Date: Monday, January 25, 1999 3:15:00 PM
But what about bad movies that are on TV? Are they considered TV or
movies or both. If they are considered TV then bad TV can indeed be worse
than bad movies. Are made-for-TV movies movies or TV. And all movies
based on TV shows are bad, but all TV shows based on movies are bad, too.
Also are we to take TV to mean only prime-time network stuff, or anything
that's on TV? The local news is far worse than most movies. And what
exactly do you mean by "bad." Do you mean "bad" in the sense that it's
critically disdained, like "Showgirls" or has no entertainment value "bad,"
like the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour? This is important because your average
religious programming is very bad, but also pretty damn funny at the same
time. So your statement may not be wrong but is vague and therefore an
No, no, no! Movies is movies. TV is TV. Quit trying to confuse us, you water-muddy-ier! Okay, lessee, a movie on TV that was first a theatrical release is still a movie. A made-for-TV movie is TV. And local news and the Home Shopping Network don't count. Let's try to compare, well if not apples and oranges, then at least organic matter to organic matter. Let's go with comparing fiction to fiction, okay? Now, "Bad" and "Good" are giving you problems? These are generally personal value judgements rendered in the form of "opinions." If "Good" and "Bad" give you anymore difficulty, please consult a religious leader of your faith.
That all said and done...
RESOLVED (amended): Good, fictional, made for theatrical release movies are better than an equivalent amount of good, fictional made for TV, TV, HOWEVER, bad fictional made for TV, TV is better than an equivalent amount of bad, fictional, made for theatrical release movie. Example:
Citizen Kane (good, fictional, made for theatrical release movie) is better than an equal amount of ER (good, fictional, made for TV, TV).
My Mother the Car (bad, fictional, made for TV, TV) is better than any 22 minutes of Armageddon (bad, fictional, made for theatrical release movie).
So we're not really convinced still, but we're tired of this question. We'll call it a tie. Give each other five dollars.
Thanks for playing. . . Prove Us Wrong!