Tag Archives: 1990s

BQB’s Classic Movie Rewind – Fight Club (1999)

The first rule of this review is don’t talk about this review.

The second rule of this review is don’t talk about this review.

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Fight Club.  It’s been on cable lately.  I’ve caught it a couple times and I’ve become addicted to it.  I saw it when it came out and I realized even then that it was awesome and revolutionary, but I feel like I have a greater appreciation of it now that I’ve gotten older.

The general plot:  Edward Norton plays a corporate office drone.  We never get his real name. He’s a mopey sad sack, depressed with his life.  Feeling no sense of purpose, he goes to work, comes home, and spends his money buying useless crap for his home.  Stuff that he doesn’t need.  He hopes it will make him happy but nothing makes him happy.

One day, the highly opinionated, ultra violent, doesn’t give a shit about anything Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) walks into Norton’s life.  Tyler browbeats Norton into starting “Fight Club” and the first rule of Fight Club is to never talk about Fight Club.

The club consists of grown men meeting in a basement and beating the crap out of each other.  I suppose that film critics could argue about what exactly that means but the gist seems to be that the more physical pain these dudes endure, the less shits they give.

“Stop giving a shit” is essentially Tyler’s message to Norton.  Tyler informs Norton that he needs to give up on the idea that he’ll live forever, that he must accept that he’ll die one day, that everything is in a sense of decay and people just waste their lives doing pointless shit and coming up with excuses as to why they can’t do what they want.

Millennials, you guys think you’re depressed?  Please.  You don’t hold a candle to Generation X and in many ways, this film captures the ennui my generation suffered in our younger days.

Take Tyler’s “Great Depression” Speech, for example:

“Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who have ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. Goddammit, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man; no purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our Great War is a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised by television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won’t; and we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

Shit.  I was just a youngster when I first heard Tyler say that.  I didn’t think much of it.  Many years later, I realize the meaning.  He’s right.  Generation X didn’t have World War II, or Vietnam.  Things were actually pretty good in the world and you’d think that’s a good thing but the problem that arises is when the people of a generation don’t have to worry about a great cause, or a big war or what have you, then they have time to focus on doing what they actually want…and sadly, it’s just human nature to come up with excuses to explain away why we aren’t doing what we want to do.  Even worse, try as we might, there just aren’t enough resources for everyone to do what they want to do.

Oddly, I’m in a weird place where I’m on the tail end of Generation X.  A few years later, I could have been a millennial.  Tyler may have been off a little bit.  Little did he know that two years after this movie, 9/11 would happen and that would change the world, especially people like me who were just becoming adults around that time.

In a way, the movie makes a lot of points about life and how its too easy to feel hopeless.  It captures the mood of Generation X well, but then again, after 9/11, it seems kind of sad that we felt bad that there wasn’t a great conflict.  Hell, I’d do anything to go back to the pre-9/11 days and be like Ed Norton with nothing to worry about but what useless crap to buy from the catalog.

Anyway, enough of the philosophy.  From a writing standpoint, the film is brilliant.  There are many twists and turns that are unexpected yet they blow you away.  The film also builds a formula and that it feeds on and uses to build itself.  Fight Club grows, the number of Fight Club members grow, they all become pawns for Tyler to move around in  the giant mental game of chess he’s playing.

Helena Bonham Carter stars as Marla Singer, a crazy lady loved by Norton but banged by Tyler, much to Norton’s dismay.

Meanwhile, a young Jared Leto appears in a supporting role as the platinum blonde Angel Face.  Even 1970s music legend Meat Loaf joins Fight Club as the large breasted Robert Paulson.

I dunno, 3.5 readers.  Check out the film.  There’s a lot of different meanings.  You can sort of get a sense of the purpose-less-ness (if that’s a word) that young people felt at the time, and then again, there’s the message of stop pursuing materialism, stop making excuses for why you aren’t doing what you want to do, stop living a boring life.  No, you don’t (and should not) start an illegal Fight Club turned widespread criminal organization, but you could realize that life is short and it is a shame if you don’t at least try to do what you want to do.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review – Sandy Wexler (2017)

The 1990s are alive again!

BQB here with a review of Adam Sandler’s latest Netflix comedy.

 

It’s the last decade of the second millennium and Sandy Wexler (Adam Sandler) is the worst agent in all of Hollywood.  He’s a bumbling, incompetent boob with a wacky voice, big window pane glasses and all sorts of disgusting quirks.  He lies constantly, makes weird outbursts and can’t eat anything without getting it all over anyone in his vicinity.

His clients stink too, ranging from a stunt man who can’t stop destroying himself (Nick Swardson) to one of the creepiest ventriloquists of all time (Kevin James).

All that changes when Sandy discovers singer Courtney Clarke (Jennifer Hudson).  She quickly becomes Sandy’s first client with talent ever.  As her career blasts off, Sandy ends up going through the ringer of a town known for chewing people up and spitting them out.

This movie is a celebration of all things 90s.  The funky neon shirts, the cars, the popular products of the day, the styles, the pop culture, it’s all on full display, coming across as Adam Sandler’s love song to the decade that made him big.  Believe it or not but there was a scene that made me miss Fruitopia.  Mmm.  Fruitopia.  Do you remember Fruitopia?  It was actually pretty good.  I want one right now.

The whole story is narrated by a plethora of 1990s era celebrities.  Pauly Shore, Jewel, Lisa Loeb, Downtown Julie Brown, Arsenio Hall are just some of the big names of yesteryear that pop in, making me depressed that the decade I came of age in is so far gone now.

Oh well.  That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Jennifer Hudson’s beauty and singing skills are the best parts of the film, leaving me to wonder why she is so underutilized in Hollywood.  She makes the film great but there was a part of me that thought, “This poor, classy woman.  She’s so much better than this.  She should be headlining major films.”

Oh well.  Maybe Hollywood will get the message on J-Hud sooner or later.

There’s a divided verdict out there on Adam Sandler.  If you were born in the 80s or before, you probably love him.  If you were born in the 90s or after, you hate him.  All of his movies usually involve him embracing a zany character and then following through on the character’s quirks to an eventual conclusion.

Personally, I love Adam Sandler, but if I’m channeling my movie critic side, I’d have to say that his two best films were Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison.  He had one great comeback with Don’t Mess with the Zohan and then it has been choppy waters ever since.

Thus, I think Adam has found a good home on Netflix.  Streaming allows his fans like me to find him without drawing the ire of millennials who take a look at the Sandman without being completely baffled about what he’s up to.

Then again, sometimes I’m baffled about what Adam is up to.  Hell, I bet even Adam is baffled.

Why is this man funny?  The world may never know…but he is….sometimes.  He’s kind of like your home team.  He wins some.  He loses some.  You root for him because you have fond memories of when he won some and you’re waiting for him to win some again.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain.  He briefly stepped onto the music scene in the early 1990s, gave us grunge aka alternative rock, the most depressing yet beloved sound of the 90s and then, sadly killed himself.  I mean, I don’t want to say it’s not surprising that the King of Depressing Music killed himself but, yeah, I guess that’s what happened.

Kurt would have been fifty today and no, millennials, he would not have been a baby boomer.  He’d of been on the older side of Generation X.

Sigh.  Generation X.  The forgotten generation.

Put on your flannel shirt and rock out, 3.5 readers.

 

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Top Ten Most Embarrassing Entries in BQB’s Private Journal

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Hey 3.5 readers.  Video Game Rack Fighter here, still angry with BQB for his douche-tastic behavior.

In fact, after being awarded BQB HQ, Bookshelf Battle Dog, 99.99% of BQB’s Beige Corp. paychecks and BQB’s action figure collection in the divorce, it dawns on me that BQB got out of this pretty easy if you ask me.

Therefore, from BQB HQ (technically, VGRF HQ now) in Fabulous East Randomtown, it’s the Top Ten Most Embarrassing Entries in BQB’s Private Journal.

Sidenote: if you get kicked out of your headquarters, be sure to take your private journal with you.

#10 –  I Can’t Get Enough of the Ketchup Girls

“Goddamn it.  I can’t get enough of the Ketchup Girls.  There were like the latina Spice Girls of my generation and they should really come out with more songs.  I have no idea what they are saying but they sure know how to make me shake my wonderful, apple shaped heinie.”

#9 – Buffy Fan Fiction is Way Better than Firefly Fan Fiction

“Got into a ten hour long debate on the nerd boards with some loser who thought that writing Firefly fan fiction is better than writing Buffy fan fiction.  What an idiot.  Everyone knows that my story about how Buffy and Faith get into a fight over me while I convert Willow from lesbianism with my machismo is the best piece of fan fiction ever written.”

#8 – Jaleel White Needs a Comeback

“I’ll never understand why Jaleel White isn’t raking in the Oscars left and right.  Sure, he played Urkel on Family Matters but he was so much more talented and versatile than that.  I wish Jaleel White would make a thousand movies so I could just watch them all day long.”

#7 – I Don’t Think My 3.5 Readers Really Love Me

“My 3.5 readers seem like they’re just phoning it in these days.  I wonder if they are cheating on me and reading other blogs behind my back.  Is it me?  Am I not pretty enough?  Should I try harder?  Maybe if I wore skinny jeans.  Sigh.  I love my 3.5 readers but sometimes I wish I had never started a blog in the first place.  It isn’t easy keeping the attention of 3.5 readers.”

#6 – The 2000s Suck

“I miss the 1990s.  I really do.  I feel like pop culture peaked in 1999 and it’s all been a downward spiral of crap ever since.  I wish I could live in an alternative universe where the Spice Girls, Nirvana and Gwen Stefani play on a continuous loop, dressing like a lumberjack is considered fashionable and the news stories are constantly about the latest broad that Bill Clinton boned.  This is the last time period I can remember where I felt like the world was a safe place.  It was all a downhill shit storm after that.”

#5 – Face/Off is the Best Movie Ever Made

“Face/Off was the best movie ever made about two men who trade faces using highly experimental face trading surgery.  John Travolta becomes Nicolas Cage and Cage becomes Travolta.  Awesome.  The only thing I didn’t understand was why did Travolta have the weight put back on when he traded Cage’s face for his own at the end.”

#4 – My Farts Frighten Me

“It was very quiet in BQB HQ.  So quiet you could have heard a proverbial pin drop.  Suddenly, I farted and the unexpected noise made me leap out of my chair.  I thought BQB HQ was under attack by an entire battalion of renegade troops until I finally realized the noise was coming from my butt.”

#3 – Bookshelf Q. Battle Dog is the Best Dog Ever

“Oh Bookshelf Q. Battle Dog, you are the best dog ever.  You are my furry friend for life.  I wish I could sit with you forever and braid your fur and just let all of the problems of the outside world just float away.”

#2 – The Yeti Isn’t So Bad

“Once in a blue moon, I admit to myself that the Yeti isn’t so bad.  He’s an epic butt face and wrong about everything, but he believes he is right and people and/or hairy beings who believe in something, anything at all, are a rarity these days.  I just hope he doesn’t find out I said this or else he will think we are friends or something.  I don’t want that to happen as I continue to despise yetis and all that yetis stand for.”

#1 – I Want to Create an Army of Super Strong Warrior Women to Protect Me

“Lucy Lawless aka Xena: Warrior Princess. Ronda Rousey.  Gina Carano.  I want to create an army of super hot MMA/Wrestling/Action Movie babes who will defend BQB HQ by day and then beat me senseless with their incredibly muscular vaginas at night.  I think Video Game Rack Fighter would be cool with it.  I would put her in charge of this army as I don’t know anyone else who has a more muscular vagina.  I mean, she can crack walnuts with that thing.  She’s really been going to town on the old kegel exercises lately.”

VGRF’S EDITORIAL NOTE:  OK, that last one was sweet, BQB.  But it doesn’t matter.  You will never get your blog back.  It is mine forever.

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The Real McCoy – Spooning with Bookshelf Q. Battler

By: Leo McCoy, the Man Who Once Delivered a Sandwich to James Van Der Beek

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Howdy doo, 3.5 readers.

Leo McCoy here with my first column for the Bookshelf Battle Blog.  When Video Game Rack Fighter called and asked me to write for her, I immediately responded that I would check my schedule to see if I was busy.  Then I admitted I was lying because I haven’t been busy since 1998, on that glorious day when I delivered a sandwich to James Van Der Beek.

Oh how I remember it like it was yesterday.  Dawson’s Creek or “The Creek” as we 1990s people called, was the hottest show on the WB, next to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Oh, the WB was once a hot network filled with shows for 1990s era young people.

Although it was owned by Warner Brothers and thus they could have chosen any of the Looney Tunes characters to headline the channel (Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck, for example), they chose that damn racist frog.  You know the one.  “Hello my baby, hello my mammy, hello my rag time gal.”  Sorry, I can’t steal that joke.  That joke belongs to Dave Chapelle.

Anyway, I was a duly designated employee of a local delicatessen.  Got a call that a fella was looking for a Reuben sandwich, a bag of barbecue potato chips and a Dr. Pepper.  Diligent worker that I was, I ran it right over to the Random Motel, the number one spot for tourists to stay while they’re visiting East Randomtown and who should appear at the door but none other than James Van Der Beek himself.

Oh how handsome he was.  I’m not saying that in a gay way.  Any heterosexual man can surely appreciate the aesthetic features of a good looking man without wanting to touch his bits and pieces although, I can’t lie, the man was famous as all get out so had he asked, I’m not sure I would have been able to deny him.  Again, that’s not a gay statement.  It’s just a recognition of the power of celebrity.

What a golden haired Adonis he was, standing there with his flowing locks and flannel shirt.  Open with a white shirt underneath, as was the style of the day.  You weren’t anyone in the 1990s if you didn’t dress like Paul Bunyan.

“I’m sorry sir,” I said.  “But are you James Van Der Beek?”

“Maybe,” the man replied.  “What’s it to you?”

I then lifted up my shirt and handed the man a pen.

“Mr. Beek, sir,” I said.  “I’d be honored if you’d autograph my nipple.”

“Get lost, weirdo,” the man replied, before tossing the money he owed, taking the food, and slamming the door in my face.

Sigh.  My nipple remained unsigned, but I knew it was him.  I don’t blame Mr. Van Der Beek for wanting to lay low.  Had word gotten out that the world’s sexiest Dutchman was in town, he would have been swamped with fans and no one wants to sign the nipples of fans when they are hungry for deli food, let me tell you.

Ahh, on that day I knew life would never get any better.  I peaked so early that I quit my job at the deli and started waxing the stool of the Random Bar with my ass.  Same stool, same ass for nearly twenty years and I don’t regret a single day.  I accomplished what I was meant to do early in life and I’ve been waiting for the good Lord to take me ever since.

Now, as all 3.5 of you readers know, I have a rivalry with BQB.  People say Battler is the most famous man in East Randomtown because he started a WordPress blog with 3.5 readers.

Oh, whoopee.  Anyone can start a blog on WordPress.  Sure, even less people get 3.5 people to read their blogs but still, it can be done.  Have any of you ever a man that you were ninety-nine percent sure was the infamous James Van Der Beek, star of the most popular show about a teenager just trying to make it in the 1990s as an aspiring filmmaker whilst trying to win the love of the precocious Joey Potter all the while maintaining his friendships with bad Pacy Whitter and town slut Jen Lindley?  I think not.

Anyway, I’d like to thank Video Game Rack Fighter for inviting me to be a columnist on this blog.  I gotta admit, I’m getting a kick out of the fact that I get to blog on BQB’s blog while BQB is no longer allowed to.

Oh, you may have noticed in the past my last name was spelled, “McKoy.”  Yeah, that’s because I always wanted to be a rebel but now that VGRF has promoted me from bit player to featured cast member, I figured I’d switch to the traditional spelling.

Also, I’d like all 3.5 of you to know that even though BQB has been my longtime enemy and I despise him from taking away my position as East Randomtown’s most famous citizen by starting his stupid blog, I am still a Christian and thus I have gladly opened my room at the Random Motel to him for his use.

BQB needs a place to stay as Video Game Rack Fighter has been awarded 99.99% of BQB’s paycheck from Beige Corp.  That’s gotta hurt.  Luckily, I never married.  Marriage never interested me after I got a close look at Mr. Van Der Beek’s angelic face.  No, that’s not a gay statement.  Can’t a man just appreciate the statuesque features of a living god without being accused of gayness?

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” as Jerry Seinfeld once said.  You know, I was ten percent sure that I once delivered a pastrami on rye to Jerry Seinfeld but then it just turned out to be a guy who just said, “What’s the deal” a lot.  Oh well.  I suppose no one could ever be blessed with meeting James Van Der Beek AND Jerry Seinfeld in one lifetime.

Let me end this column with some questions you no doubt have:

Q:  Are you and BQB staying at the same room James Van Der Beek once rented?

A:  Yes.  On the same day Mr. Der Beek checked out, I sold my house for pennies on the dollar and moved into the same room and have never left since.  Also, I have been snaking the bath tub drain for twenty years in search of errant golden locks, the DNA of which might prove to all haters and naysayers that I did, most assuredly, meet James Van Der Beek.

Q:  Is BQB a good roommate?

A:  No.  He cries into his pillow all night over losing his beloved blog to VGRF.  Also, he misses VGRF.  I offered to dress up like her and dance around to make him feel better.  He said that would be gay but frankly, I don’t see how.  Ungrateful homophobic bastard if you ask me.

Q.  Why do you and BQB spoon?

A.  Partially due to the fact that there’s only one bed and it is very small.  Partially because the furnace in the Random Motel has been broken for twenty years.  Rumor has it that when Mr. Der Beek left, the Random Motel’s owner smashed the furnace to pieces whilst shouting, “This place will never get any hotter now that James Van Der Beek has left!”

Q.  Are you sure the owner did that?  Kind of sounds like something you would do.

A.  No comment.

Q.  Where does the yeti sleep?

A.  On the floor.  He makes for a fine throw rug.  Occasionally I put a blonde wig on him and recreate my glory days, or rather, the glorious day when I delivered a sandwich to James Van Der Beek.

Q.  Do you have anything else to say?

A.  Yes.  “I don’t want to wait…for my life to be over…until you realize that I’m more famous in East Randomtown than BQB…”  Oh James Van Der Beek, you are a national treasure.

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The Old People Are Getting Younger

I have a new habit, 3.5 readers and it is a terrible one that I need to break immediately.

Whenever I meet, see and/or think about an older person I subtract sixteen in order to figure out how old they were in 2000, realize they were young during then and since 2000 seems like it was just yesterday to me, it feels like that older person should not be old, like they were just young two seconds ago so why are they old now?

Did they catch an oldifying disease?

No, they’re just old.  Time, you dirty, dirty bitch, you.

I feel the same way about myself. I literally feel like my life was like:

  • 2000 – Oh boy, the world is my oyster!
  • Time passes – Huh, I sure am having a hard time making my dreams come true.
  • 2016 – Holy shit I blinked and now I have gray pubes.  2000, where did you go?

I blame the pop culture.

For the most part, give or take a few style trends, people in 2000 didn’t look much different than they do now.

The music isn’t that much different.  The movies have better effects now but 2000 movies were no slouches.

So that’s my complaint.  We’re in the second decade since 2000 but neither decade has had any real defining style.

Think about…

…the 1960s – Tie dye and hippies, bell bottom jeans and people saying “far out” and groovy.”

...the 1970s – Disco, leisure suits and eight tracks.

…the 1980s – Hair bands, Michael Jackson, Madonna.  “Greed is good” according to Gordon Gecko.

…the 1990s – Everyone dresses up like a lumber jack and listens to depressing alt rock.  Gangsta rap takes over the rap game.

…the 2000s till now – Eh, I mean, I could be wrong. Maybe you’ll see it differently, but it just seems like time time since 2000 has just been all about computers and the Internet getting better, social media taking over, music seems to fall into either pop or rap.  There are no new styles coming along and guitar based rock or other types of songs seems like a a lost art form.

My overall point – I used to be able to look at a black and white movie or a photo of a man in a fedora and know it was from the 1950s.  But now, its getting harder to tell what post-2000s time period a piece of pop culture is from.

At least my parents got a cue in the 1990s.  “What? Everyone is dressing like a lumberjack and listening to songs sung by super depressing marble mouthed mumblers from Seattle? Guess we’re old now!”

It just seems like pop culture is losing its decade dividing lines.

What say you, 3.5?

 

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The Funky Hunks – Greatest Hits Album

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Read N’ Plenty (Known Today as Bookshelf Q. Battler, Proprietor of a Website With 3.5 Readers)

The Funky Hunks.  Bookshelf Q. Battler and Bernie Plotznick, or as you knew them back in the day, Read N’ Plenty and MC Plotz.

They were the most wholesome, least controversial rap duo ever assembled, and that’s why your moms listened to them more than you did.

Relive the late 1990’s again with these non-threatening songs:

  • “Get Yo Milk On, Sucka”
  • “Look Both Ways Before You Cross Da Street, Playa”
  • “Straight Up Recyclin'”
  • “Girl…We Should Get to Know Each Other in an Extended Courtship First”
  • “Damn Baby, I’mma Have Yo Ass Home By 10:30 P.M.”
  • “Hygiene, What’s It Mean?”
  • “Carrots B. Tas-tay”
  • “Word to Yo Toothbrush”
  • “Call Yo Damn Grandma, Fool”
  • “Tell That Stranger to Step Off”
  • “Fight 4 Da Right to Bedazzle”
  • “Homework Betta Recognize”
  • “Can’t a Dawg Get a Decent Pair of Slacks at a Reasonable Price Up in This Bitch?”
  • “Fs Go Away, I’m A Plussin Everday”
  • “Straight Outta Bean Dip”
  • “Me So Studious”
  • “Etiquette Yourself Before You Wrecketiquette Yourself”
  • “Cuz I Got High…On Life”
  • “Break Me Off a Piece of Dat Bran Muffin”
  • “Girl, I’mma Need Your Unequivocal, Verbalized Permission Before I Kiss You”
  • “I Wanna Be a Decent, Stand-Up Taxpaying Citizen So Friggin’ Bad”
  • “Put Yo Clothes On Girl, I Barely Know You”
  • “Mad Hella Fiber in My Diet, Son”
  • “If You Aint Floss, Yo Teeth Aint Clean, Sucka”
  • “Increasing Auto Insurance Rates Be Everyone’s Problem, Ya Heard?”
  • “Girl, I’mma Come Inside and Say Hello to Yo Pops Before I Take You to Da Movies and Keep My Hands to My Mutha Truckin’ Self Da Entire Time”
  • “Wheat Grass Aint No Joke”
  • “Straight Up Tippin Dat Hard Workin’ Waitress”
  • “Wash a Dish…Wipe a Dish”
  • “Bake a Cake for a Homeless Veteran, Cuz”
  • “I’mma Dream It, I’mma Do It”
  • “I Got 99 Problems But Bad Manners Aint One”
  • “Bustin Caps…on the Soda Bottle B4 It Go Flat”
  • “Damn It Feels Good to Turn Off a Light and Save My Parents Some Money on the Electric Bill”

All these hits and more, wherever wholesome late 90s rap songs are sold!

What were your favorite Funky Hunk jams? Post them in the comments!

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MC Plotz

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TV Review – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Hey 3.5 Readers.

I talk about TV a lot on this site but I’ve never reviewed a show before.

But over the past week I have discovered Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and I have been binge watching the crap out of it.

It’s original. It’s hilarious. Great writing plus a great cast = lightning trapped in a bottle.

The setup?  Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper formerly of The Office) was kidnapped as a teenager in the late 1990’s by an evil reverend/cult leader (Jon Hamm) and held with three other women in an underground bunker.

When the police free the “Indiana Mole Women” in 2015, Kimmy and fellow victims travel to New York City for an interview and against all odds, Kimmy decides to stay and make a go of it in the big city.

Not the wisest move because Kimmy is naive, gullible, childlike and, to hilarious effect, still mentally living in the 1990’s.

So many wonderful 1990’s references.  As a Generation X’er I appreciate them so much.  Jokes that only people born in the 1970’s or early 1980’s would get. (Sam Goody music stores, Hanson, scrunchies, walk-men, Hulk Hogan, Friends, Babysitter’s Club books, Jansport backpacks, Choose Your Own Adventure Novels, Dawson’s Creek, Titanic, Columbia House tapes…the list goes on but those are the ones I can remember in one sitting.)

My hat goes off to Netflix for allowing that. So many Hollywood suits probably would have just been all like, “if it didn’t happen after 2010 then the show can’t talk about it.

Admittedly, that all of these 1990’s references are so old now makes me feel a little sad and old myself, but at the same time, it has been fun to watch them get dusted off and made fun of again.

Kimmy finds a roommate/fellow dreamer Titus Andromedon (Titus Burgess), flamboyantly gay performer who came to New York in the late 1990’s to audition for the Lion King musical on broadway and after being rejected multiple times is having a hard time keeping his hopes of becoming famous alive.

Together Kimmy and Titus are a dynamic duo who help each other out. Titus educates Kimmy on the cold, cruel world she’s stepped into while Kimmy reminds Titus that laziness and wallowing in self pity won’t get his acting/musical career anywhere.

The duo also finds a mother figure in their landlady, Lillian Kaushtupper (Carol Kane) an old lady who holds herself out as a real New Yorker’s New Yorker, lamenting that the city has gone too soft and taking it upon herself to chase hipsters and yuppies out of the neighborhood.

I have to say, Carol Kane really put this show over the top for me.  The way she delivers all of these lines suggesting that Lillian has an awful past (shot her ex-husband, dated Robert Durst) in a deadpan style is uproariously funny.

Kimmy gets a job as a nanny/housekeeper/gopher for Jacqueline White (Jane Krakowski), a vapid trophy wife to a billionaire.  She doesn’t really care about much of anything other than money and her social standing, thus giving the show’s producers the ability to lampoon New York’s upper crust elite.  (Her husband takes business calls with Walt Disney’s head.)

Throughout it all, Kimmy has to deal with a world that is strange and new to her (the comedic effect being sometimes we’re forced to laugh when things that are commonplace are explained to a newcomer, i.e. on Kim Kardashian’s fame, Kimmy notes that she’s a butt celebrity married to a man that hates college.)

Kimmy goes back to school for her GED, goes to work, helps her friends, and though she has a past that would have broken most people down, her positive, polly anna-ish demeanor leaves her “unbreakable.”

And though we, the viewers, don’t know what it is like to be “Mole women” many of us do have problems from our past that have kept us down, made us feel less than, unworthy, like life is unfair and the overall lesson is if Kimmy can get up every day and stay unbreakable, then we can do.

Although it would be a lot easier if we all had Kimmy/Ellie Kemper’s permanent smile on our faces.

Love the show.  Go watch it on Netflix.  Tell me what you thought about it in the comments.

On a personal note, I have often lamented on this site that Generation X’ers have gotten the short end of the stick.  Sometimes it feels like the Baby Boomers are just going to hold onto that torch forever (thanks improved health care j/k) and sometimes it feels like the millennials are dancing around us to grab that torch early before we get our grubby mitts on it.

It’s just good to see a show that is breathing a little bit of life into our long forgotten Gen X ways.

Sam Goody forever!

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POLITICAL AD – Why Bookshelf Q. Battler Sucks Ass and You Should Vote Leo McKoy for East Randomtown Mayor

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Mr. Leo McKoy – Former Delivery Driver, Noted Barfly, the Man Who Delivered a Sandwich to James Van Der Beek and East Randomtown Mayoral Candidate.

Bookshelf Q. Battler.

Sure, he has secured his spot as one of East Randomtown’s most famous citizens, having developed a WordPress blog that attracts the eyes of 3.5 readers.  An amazing accomplishment to be certain, as most East Randomtownsfolk don’t even know how to turn a damn computer on.

But has BQB ever met James Van Der Beek?

We think not.

The year was 1999.  Bill Clinton was president.  Holy shit.  That president got more college intern booty than a toilet stall at Cal Tech.

The hottest prom song was the Macarena and everyone lived in fear that the Y2K glitch was going to bring about the birth of Skynet.

The hottest show on television? Dawson’s Creek.  Teens tuned in every week to watch the adventures of Dawson Leary, his incorrigible best friend Pacey, Dawson’s love interest, Joey and Jen, the town slut with a super nice grandma.

Enter Leo McKoy.  He was a simple delivery driver for Schultz Delicatessen.  Or was it that simple a coincidence that he held this position?  Perhaps the stars aligned and the fates put McKoy into this minimum wage job in order for him to meet one James Van Der Beek, the actor who played Dawson.

It was a hot summer day.  An order came in.  McKoy was charged with delivering a reuben sandwich with extra cole slaw, a bag of barbecue potato chips and a Sprite to room 31 of the East Randomtown Motel 9.

Never one to fail an employer, Mr. McKoy found the location, knocked on the door and who should pop his head out but none other than the angel who walks the earth in the form of a man himself, Mr. James Van Der Beek.

Seventeen-years later, Mr. McKoy still remembers the exchange:

MCKOY: Did you order a reuben sandwich with extra cole slaw, a bag of potato chips and a Sprite?

VAN DER BEEK: Yes.  Here you go.  Keep the change.

Keep the change, indeed.  For so mesmerized was Mr. McKoy that he framed the fiver Van Der Beek handed to him.  It hangs on McKoy’s wall to this very day and scientists claim the fiver contains trace amounts of Van Der Beek’s hand sweat.

There are average men and then there is Mr. McKoy.

The average man would have taken one look at the man god that was Van Der Beek in his prime, dropped the food on the floor, and run away with his arms flailing, because let’s face it, no one could ever possibly feel worthy enough to be in James Van Der Beek’s presence.  You certainly couldn’t, you loser.

But McKoy did not falter.  He did not cave under the pressure.  He delivered a famous man dinner, returned the payment to his employer, and lived to tell the tale nearly two damn decades later.

Could Bookshelf Q. Battler have stood up to that kind of pressure?

WE THINK NOT.

Citizens of East Randomtown, you “don’t want to wait for your lives to be over” to elect Leo McKoy – the Man Who Delivered a Sandwich to James Van Der Beek.

And you don’t have to.  You can vote for him this fall.

Jesus Christ.  Jen Lindley was such a slut.

THIS MESSAGE WAS PAID FOR BY THE CITIZENS DEDICATED TO CONVINCING YOU THAT BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER IS A BAG OF ASSHOLES AND THAT YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR LEO MCKOY FOR EAST RANDOMTOWN MAYOR INSTEAD.

 

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RIP Scott Weiland

Sad news, 3.5 readers.

Scott Weiland, legendary grunge music icon of the 1990’s and Stone Temple Pilots frontman has died at 48, passing away in his sleep according to news reports.

Bookshelf Q. Battler was saddened by the news.  Mr. Battler spent most of the 90’s dressed head to toe in flannel like he was a Canadian lumberjack or something (as was the style at the time) and listened to STP’s catalog extensively, Big Bang Baby being his favorite of all the STP releases.

You will be missed, Mr. Weiland.  You will be missed.

What was your favorite STP song, 3.5 readers?

(PS – 3.5 millennial readers, there was a decade called the 1990’s.  Bill Clinton was president, the WB was churning out some fabulous shows (i.e. Buffy and the most popular music at the time involved men in flannel singing about how depressed they were, which may or may not explain a lot about the world as we know it today, come to think of it, but that’s a debate for another time.)

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