Smugglivus: Airing of Grievances

The year is over, Smugglivus is upon us, and we must also undergo another very important ritual…

The Airing of Grievances
(in which we air out any dirty laundry from 2008)

In ascending order, these are the things that really pissed us off this year.

3. Bad TV Shows and Crappy Adaptations of Books

We’re looking at YOU True Blood. We’re looking at you too, Fringe. Now we know lots of folks love True Blood, and are perfectly happy with the adaptation–heck, a second season has already been greenlit, and Anna Paquin has somehow landed a Best Actress Golden Globe nod for her take on Sookie. BUT…we are not happy campers. The show is cheesy, the writing pretty weak, the acting and directing is hokey, spotty at best. It’s surprising, especially coming from Allan Ball, whose previous series Six Feet Under was pretty damn well done.

Worst of all, Anna Paquin is NOT our dear Sookie Stackhouse. Not cool.

Then there’s the hybrid of every JJ Abrams show/movie ever made–Fringe. A bit of LOST in the music and conspiracy, a bit of Alias in the whole government agency/conspiracy storyline…oh right, and a total knockoff of The X-Files. Except Fringe isn’t nearly as cool as ANY of these shows. No thank you.


A typical Jate interaction.

Speaking of shitty TV, how about that ridiculously contrived ship: JATE???? (For those not into LOST, this is the ship name for fans of Jack and Kate).

First off, Jaters are batshit insane (really. They have a “Jible” they want Jack and Kate to have “Jabies” they speak in “Jabble”–i.e. they put a “J” before every word in honor of their ship. The extent of their delusion is truly the stuff of nightmares). Secondly, the relationship is idiotic to begin with, and the level of fan-pandering this year to squeeeing Jater fangirls was disgusting. After having Kate choose Sawyer in season 3, the ensuing Jater shitstorm (in which they undertook a massive campaign sending scary photoshopped images of Jack and Kate, sewing kits, and guava seeds–really, don’t ask–to the powers that be at ABC) resulted in a Jack and Kate engagement and baby storyline in season 4. *vomits*

Don’t even get us started on the debacle that was 4×04 Eggtown (“DO YOU LOVE THE DEFENDANT?!” Worst. Writing. Ever.)

And really, what woman on the planet wouldn’t want this:

over this:


1. Books That Do Not Live Up To The Hype

The most egregious offense this year?

Books that are so pushed and hyped, and unfortunately just cannot deliver. Sorry Ms. Meyer (actually, we take that back–Stephenie Meyer certainly doesn’t need any of our sympathy considering the millions and millions of dollars she made this year), but Breaking Dawn sucked huge donkey balls. Not only was the message to young teenage girl readers atrocious and irresponsible, but the story was so incredibly idiotic that we are all now stupider for having read it. Of course, it isn’t Ms. Meyer’s fault that there was so much hype around her final novel in the Twilight Saga…but that does not excuse the flaming idiocy of Breaking Dawn.

Other Notable Grievances:

Handheld Camera Techniques in Big Budget Films/Horror Movies That Suck – First there was the overhyped and nausea inducing Cloverfield (which wasn’t a bad movie, and in all honesty would have been a million times better had it been filmed conventionally!). Then there was George Romero’s depressingly terrible Diary of the Dead. Then there was Quarantine. I saw all three of these films in the theater–because I love horror movies and will give all of them a try, no matter how skeptical the previews might leave me–and each film blew chunks. Literally. The handheld camera technique was cool and novel and WORKED in The Blair Witch Project–but it only worked because it was marketed perfectly, and the whole handheld filming scenario made sense. These were supposedly film students, making a movie, and the continued use of the camera after the shit goes down is written beautifully into the crumbling psyche of the main character.

Now, in Cloverfield, Diary, and Quarantine, the excuse for the vomit-inducing camera is “Someone needs to know the truth!!!!”. If we weren’t already nauseated from the intentionally shitty camera techniques, we certainly are once we hear imbeciles onscreen spewing forth this idiotic reasoning.

There is nothing wrong with regular, stable camera. So please get over this asinine trend. NOW.

Disinterested Losers That Happen to be Secret Geniuses – Most recently seen in Eagle Eye and the television show Fringe. Both have hero protagonists that on the surface seem to be wisecracking losers. But oh ho! Of course they are only losers by choice–in fact they have IQs of 185, scored perfectly on every standardized test, and have dropped out of Ivy League level schools.

Why can’t the reluctant hero character, if he is a shlumpy kind of dude, just be a shlumpy dude? Why must everyone be a secret genius who has spurned MIT or Stanford?

Heroes – Ana will tell you all about it…

And that’s it! Our 2008 grievances are aired, and our 2009 slates are clean. Are there any gripes y’all have had for the past year that you want to get off your chest?

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  • Ana
    January 2, 2009 at 2:04 am

    I feel so much better now.


  • Wendy
    January 2, 2009 at 3:58 am

    You’re totally right, who would choose HIM over Sawyer? A nutso, that’s who.

    And I didn’t even bother reading Breaking Dawn because I knew it was going to suck horribly. Especially since the one before – New Moon? Twilight? can’t even remember the name! – sucked too.

    I kinda liked Fringe, it was entertaining. What the heck happened to it? Was it canceled?
    This is why working nights SUCK.

  • Jill Myles
    January 2, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Can I agree with everything on this post?

    BIG RED X.

    (I thought I was the only one in the world that despised True Blood. The books are so much better.)

  • Carolyn Jean
    January 2, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Okay, I stopped watching LOST in the first season, but, WHAT?? She went for Jack over Sawyer? And millions of teenage girls are into that? Huh?


  • SciFiGuy
    January 2, 2009 at 8:24 am

    It is so nice to see someone seeing through the smoke and mirrors and other crap surrounding these shows. Nice skewering and well-deserved. True Blood and Breaking Dawn were heinous crimes.

  • Li
    January 2, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Like CJ, I stopped watching Lost after Season 1, but Sawyer wins hands down! LOL @ Jabble.

    And I want to watch True Blood. Is that bad?

  • Tiah
    January 2, 2009 at 9:05 am

    I don’t watch much TV unless its on my TIVO so I will take your word on the shows.
    The whole Breaking Dawn thing, total disaster. There really needed to be two books instead of the one.
    Meyer’s wrote that book to try to make all her fans happy and that is just not a good way to end what was a really good series. It turned it into a joke.

  • Katiebabs a.k.a KB
    January 2, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Word on Breaking Dawn. I still have nightmares of alien babies. And Jacob as the imprinted mate of the Loch Ness Monster. WTF?!!!?

    And if Sawyer and that annoying Juliet get it on together I will… well, I don’t know what I will do!

    Hopefully Jack will drown in the ocean going back to the island and Sawyer and Kate will find a new cage to have hot monkey sex.

    I have to admit I did enjoy Cloverfield. Even though the TSTL characters such as, “let’s go into the subway!” and “Let’s save the girl who is probably dead as the monster is going to step on us” made for much rolling of the eyes on my end.

  • Laurie
    January 2, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I actually don’t ship Kate with anyone, and if she disappeared from the show forever I wouldn’t miss her for one second. But I am a reasonably sane, reasonably intelligent adult female and I absolutely would pick Jack over Sawyer. For the first three years, the sight of Sawyer turned my stomach. Geeky Sawyer has won me over slightly, for which I am grateful. Jack’s, eh, okay. Whatever. Crazy Jack is hilarious. Can’t get enough of him.

    Juliet/Sawyer, though, I maybe could get behind. Fingers crossed.

    Give me Sayid any day of the week. Please!

  • Heather
    January 2, 2009 at 10:31 am

    With so many good shows done right, it’s amazing that anyone still turns out art that bites.

  • Dannie
    January 2, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Miley Cyrus. ’nuff said.

  • M.
    January 2, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I haven’t read or seen most of these, so I’ll restrict myself to saying:

    I really like Michelle Monaghan. I hope she becomes the next big thing in acting.

  • daydream
    January 2, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Man, when you start raining shit on bad TV and movies, my heart is jumpring through with joy. I knew I didn’t make a mistake adding you to my Blog Roll.

    I seriously would like to pint out I like “True Blood” for the seriously hot vampire leads and haven’t read teh series yet. And yeah horror movies suck these days, but I did scare the shit out of me with the Diary. Zombies always get to me.

    PS: I was wondering whether you could add my review blog to your Blog Roll:

  • Marg
    January 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Totally with you on Breaking Dawn, including “the message to young teenage girl readers atrocious and irresponsible,”. My problem is that Meyer also wrote one of my most favouritest books of the year in The Host, so I am going to have to keep on reading it!

  • Karin
    January 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    What a great post! I loved the way you totally called out the crap that was this year on TV and in the movies.

  • Kris
    January 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Totally with you on ‘Breaking Dawn’ and with the crazy camera POV in horror films. I think I would have quite liked ‘Cloverfield’ if it hadn’t induced a migrane as a result of the schizophrenic filming.

    My prediction for the next season of ‘Lost’ is that Kate is killed off and Sawyer and Jack turn to each other in their grief.

  • AnimeJune
    January 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Most of these I agree with you – although I really enjoyed Cloverfield. It was like being on a thrill-ride – yes, half the audience got sick, but the other half were waving their arms going “WOOOAAHAOAAHA AWESOME!” I was the latter (I still love that spinning-helicopter scene). I dunno, I liked the subjective point of view of the camera – what’s seen and not seen by the camera amps up the horror rather than just showing all the blood and gore. Then it just would have been “Godzilla”.

  • Thea
    January 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Ana–me too!

    Wendy–Agreed 😉 Sawyer is where it’s at.

    Breaking Dawn was incredibly bad. Gaah. I’ve already given my books to a friend, I have no desire to read them again.

    As for Fringe–I have no clue what happened to it? There was some long hiatus and then it came back for an episode, and then another break? I don’t know. Very strange…

    Jill–Word. Ana and I both love the Sookie books. And the show is so…cheesy! And I really have bad feelings towards Anna Paquin. First Rogue, now Sookie. GRRRRR. All I need is for her to somehow star in a remake of Rosemary’s Baby or something, and her job to destroy all the characters I hold dear will be complete.

    CJ–You have no idea. In season 3 she sleeps with Sawyer, it is abundantly clear that he loves her (and still does), that was supposed to be it. End of triangle. But NOOOO!!!! One season later, and countless idiot storylines later, the zombie love triangle (actually a ‘quadrangle’ now) from hell is still going strong. *headdesk*

    And the little Jaters…you have no idea. o_O

    SciFiGuy–Thanks! And I’m glad to see that some others felt the same way about some of these shows and books, even if it is a minority!

    Li–You and CJ should catch up 🙂 Even though S1 is arguably the best season, S2 onward are awesome too, moving the show into a mythology-heavy direction. You should see all the wonderful theories we’ve concocted! *is a superdork*

    And you should definitely watch True Blood without guilt or feeling bad! There are many out there that like the show (for a different perspective, check out KMont’s blog), and it is coming back for another season…so you never know!

    Tiah–I couldn't agree more. Breaking Dawn was just so…PRETTY and CONVENIENT. All the interesting questions she raised about relationships and responsibility in the first three books were magically absolved in the fourth. So frustrating, and I think you're spot on–it did turn into a big fat Joke.

    Katie–Oh no girlfriend, step back from my Juliet! Hee. I love Juliet, she's so strong and cold and…well, she's not weeping willow Kate. Although I don't want Juliet and Sawyer to hook up (that's just weird).

    And LOL yes with the idiot characters in Cloverfield (in Quarantine it was more of the same–i.e. the characters have just survived a zombie attack from this old woman who had vomited up a lot of blood and was nonresponsive–and then they see a little girl with the same blood vomit, a bite, and who is non responsive. You would think they'd back away from the little girl, but NO! It's all "Oh little girl are you ok? Look she's bleeding! AAAAAaaaa–" *gets eaten by little girl*). The thing is, I actually did like what I could stomach of Cloverfield–I completely agree. If it weren't for the terrible camera, I would have really liked the movie. "Someone needs to know the truth!" <–this whole shitforbrains reasoning would not have been there had this just been a story about pretty twentysomethings in the middle of a monster attack.

    Laurie–to each their own! 🙂 Although I can understand why folks aren't crazy about Sawyer, as he was a huge prick for most of season 1 and 2. Still, there's something about Jack that rubs me completely the wrong way. I'm not one for the shining hero characters I suppose!

    With you 100% on Kate. Good God, just kill her off already. She's worthless, all she does is cry cry cry! Blech.

    And hell yes–give me some Sayid, and I am a happy woman! (And Desmond too, please)

    Heather–it's bizarre, isn't it? Well…then I think about the overwhelming presence of really bad reality tv that's on the air, and it makes sense… 🙁

    Dannie–LOL! Oh yes. Miley, how could I forget! My baby sister is in love with her and her terrible ear-bleed-inducing music.

    M.–I'm with you, Michelle Monaghan is actually a very good actress, and I do like her a lot. (I liked her in Maid of Honor as well–saw it on the airplane!)

    daydream–Hehe, thanks! I do think that the leads for True Blood are all very good looking–I think Bill is cast wonderfully. He has the brooding pale vampire thing down perfectly!

    Horror movies…sigh. They are my favorite genre of film, so I get a little dramatic about it (hah, if you couldn't tell!). DIARY confused me–it is Romero after all, so I don't know if some of the cheese was intentional (was he making fun of how youtube/self-obsessed we are?)? Regardless, zombies rule. No matter how bad a movie looks, if there are zombies in it, I will watch it. I'm easy like that :p

    And you are now on the blogroll 🙂

    Marg–I'm with you, I actually did like The Host 🙂 (although I feel like it should have ended two chapters earlier) I'll definitely read the sequel and hope for the best!

    Karin–Thanks! Grievances, though annoying by definition, are fun to air out 🙂

    Kris–I think I would have quite liked ‘Cloverfield’ if it hadn’t induced a migrane as a result of the schizophrenic filming.

    Word! After watching the film, I felt sick for a few hours. I don’t even get motion sickness, but that terrible camera did me in. Ugh. It’s a shame too, since I do agree with you on probably liking the film otherwise.

    My prediction for the next season of ‘Lost’ is that Kate is killed off and Sawyer and Jack turn to each other in their grief.

    Jawyer for the win! If Kate was eaten by the smoke monster, I would be so very very happy.

  • orannia
    January 2, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    I’ve only ever watched the first episode of Lost (and Heroes) so I’m on the fence about Kate/Jake vs Kate/Sawyer. Although, Jaters…LOL.

    I bet that was carthartic 🙂

  • The Discriminating Fangirl
    January 2, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Ahahahahahaha! The Jate stuff? SPOT ON. Even my mother took to making vomiting noises every time Jack and Kate would make googly eyes or (god forbid) kiss. Worst. Ship. Ever.

    I consider myself a Sawyer/Kate shipper (I refuse to call myself a Skater!), mainly because Kate is actually tolerable when she’s with him. Otherwise, I want to slap the everloving crap out of her. 😀

  • KMont
    January 2, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Wait- Jaters? Is that boat stuff for real? Or part of the show? I’m so lost. I don’t watch the show. Snoozeville.

    Yall crack me up. When you air the laundry, in slaps one and all wetly across the face with yalls mighty wind! I mean that in the best way possible. LMAO here in 70-degree, humid Alabama, land of the Ha! What Winter?

    Ever loved something becasue it was hoaky (how do you spell that. Ah fugettaboutit)? Yeah, that’s my True Blood. Pax, fair Smugglers. We shall meet in Switzerland to discuss that one one day.

  • daydream
    January 2, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Oh, thanks for adding me.

    And I forgot to mention my opinion on the Jaters: What the? I think the most obvious choice is Sowyer, but this series has gone far too Kafka for me. Seriously, I am totally LOST to what si going on in there and season three simply put it plain and simple: “Do not try and get any sense of this”.

    Romero might have done so with the youtube aspect. I remember clearly how they searched for vids in there, which came with handy advices. How did they know, no idea, but YouTube was a victim.

  • Jessica
    January 3, 2009 at 6:50 am

    This airing of grievances thing is very familiar to me. Are you sure you guys are not Jewish?

    Also, don’t you think you guys stacked the deck a bit with those unfortunate pictures of Jack, hmmmm??? And Jate? really? Or are you making fun.

    I agree about Paquin, ugh. and she’s no Rogue either. But I thought Bill was perfectly cast.

  • wonderings
    January 3, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Awww, I don’t fhate Jate, but I’m not in love with ’em either. Poor Jack is getting continuously more pitiful while they seem to be setting up for a full-on Sawyer redemption arc (or am I projecting?). At least Kate was smart enough to have some hawt cage lovin’.

    I need to remind myself of all the details – can’t wait for January 21st!

  • Silvia Redlabel
    January 3, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Seriously, I don’t know about the books, b ut TB and Fringe, LOL!

    But I liked Braking Dawn, though it seemed that she was speeding to have a final book, closure for the story.

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