Alex and His Pen: When Worlds Collide
On January 25 of this year, tragedy struck. Justin Carmichael A.K.A Jewario died. Even sadder, he hadnâ€™t just passed away. He committed suicide. Although I admit that I didnâ€™t watch his videos religiously, I was still saddened by the loss. He came off like a really nice guy. And in the videos I did watch, he made me laugh. Most of you probably know this so why am I bringing it up? Wellâ€¦ because not everybody knows about it. And unfortunately, that causes problems when someone releases a movie with a cover like the poster for Terminal which featured yours truly holding a gun to his head.
When I saw that, I was pumped. I filmed that back in October, and I was thrilled to finally see it released. I had just come off Julliard and that wound was pretty fresh. Adding insult to injury was the fact that I had to postpone my live Pinheads premiere due to bad weather in my area. So it was refreshing to see my work in action. Unfortunately, while seeing my trailer helped heal a few of my wounds, seeing an internet reviewer with a gun to his head reopened a lot other peopleâ€™s wounds. Although my costar was a little more defensive than I was, but I had to remind people that this movie was made for and by people who donâ€™t know me from Movie Questions Answered. Not only that, but these are people who donâ€™t know who JewWario was and have probably never heard of Channel Awesome or the whole internet reviewing culture.
Sometimes, it can be easy to forget that not everyone understands the whole internet reviewing thing. Admittedly, Iâ€™m a little borderline on it myself. I still watch a lot this stuff on a pretty regular basis, but I donâ€™t watch it as religiously as I used to. I remember a time when I wouldnâ€™t miss an episode ofâ€¦ well, I watched a lot of shows. And to be honest, the number of internet review shows I watch has dwindled a bit. But getting back to my point, I will miss an episode if necessary. I remember having an argument with a few posters on the TGWTG forums over the fact that I had the audacity to not watch an episode of Atop the 4th Wall because it was 45-minutes. First of all, itâ€™s my time, I can spend it however the smeg I please. Secondly, this isnâ€™t Once Upon a Time or Breaking Bad where if I miss an episode, Iâ€™ll miss crucial plot details. Then again, thatâ€™s how important it is to some of these people. Iâ€™ve heard some people say they do watch this stuff like it is their TV so to them, missing an episode of Atop the 4th Wall is like missing an episode of Breaking Bad. Though I shudder to think of the can of worms I would have opened if I told a lot of those fanboys about how (and why) I overtly chose not to watch Nostalgia Criticâ€™s Bridge to Terebithia review. (And if you donâ€™t know why, Iâ€™m not explaining.)
To be honest, I chalk my waning interest in the whole internet reviewing thing to a lot of causes: Internet reviewing has been around for a while â€“ things get old. Using the TV show analogy again â€“ most TV shows get old. Also getting Netflix and having a day job has kind of put a crimp in things. And I think it goes without saying that Pinheads was a priority.
Even participating in it has waned a lot. Iâ€™m sure a lot of you have probably noticed that I donâ€™t crank videos out as often as I used to. To be frank, Iâ€™ve always viewed this as more of a hobby. There was a time when I took it a little more seriously, but for the most part, itâ€™s been a side project until more serious stuff takes off. I donâ€™t mind admitting that there have been a lot of times Iâ€™ve considered hanging up my hat on Movie Questions Answered (especially after DW announced he was calling quits on the Nostalgia Critic), but for one reason or another, I kept it going. Clearly, Iâ€™m not the only one. A-listers such as the Nostalgia Chick are getting big people jobs (we should all be so lucky). I remember Oscurus Lupa writing her own blog a couple of months back about why sheâ€™s not as active as she used to be: Basically, it boils down to the ugly truth that life happens.
Despite that, I do still have some fans (and by some fans, I mean one fan) who wonder where my show is. I do understand their (and by that I mean her) frustration: Even if Iâ€™m not as gonzo about internet reviewing as I used to be, I still watch enough shows that I can be disappointed when there arenâ€™t new episodes. Iâ€™m kind of bummed when Friday rolls around and there isnâ€™t a new episode of Music Movies. (Of course thereâ€™s the heartache seeing new episodes and it not being my title card art, but thatâ€™s a whole â€˜nother sob story.) I remember being bummed when Lordkat cancelled Until We Win (Edit: He’s back, but for how long?) and I think weâ€™ve already established how bummed I was the Nostalgia Critic ended its run. I have a lot lesser known shows by friends who I wish did things more often. Iâ€™m disappointed, but I understand becauseâ€¦ well, I refer you to the previous paragraph.
Iâ€™m also beginning to notice that even among this this group, people are more and more starting to focus themselves among cliques and packs. I remember a time when TGWTG was still THE hub for people to post their stuff. There were people posting on the forums, on the blogs and in the video section. As time passed, people stopped posting in the video section. Iâ€™m sure most of us know what happened to the blog section on that site. And now, fewer people are even posting in the forums. I chalk this mainly up to the fact that most people are on SOME kind of other site. Shows like TV Trash, Movie Dorkness and Stuff You Like are all on other channels (particularly Channel Zero).Â (Another edit! TV Trash has become a welcome addition to the Manic family and Stuff You Like IS on Channel Awesome!) So why should they post somewhere that theyâ€™ll be lost in the shuffle when they can post somewhere that they can be a star?
I bring this up because â€“ first of all I have to get back to the point of this article somehow â€“ it can be hard for people to understand a culture theyâ€™re not part of. If anybody but me has ever seen it, the documentary Best Worst Movie pretty well summarized how this sort of thing goes: In one scene, the film follows a group attending an actual showing of Troll 2. There are people who are so fanatical about the film that they unironically called it the best movie ever. Meanwhile, the filmmakers also attended conventions filled with people who had never even heard of Troll 2. Do these people live under a rock? You may ask. I refer to the internet reviewing culture again.
Most of my in-the-flesh friends and family know two things about internet reviewing: Jack and Shit. And Jack left town. A few of my favorite examples include when I told my brother he looked like Brad Jones because he was wearing a ball cap and thick glasses. My brother described Brad Jones as â€œall nose.â€ Also when I told him I was attracted to Tamara Chambers, heâ€¦ Okay, first I had to explain who that was. I just referred to her as someone on a web series I watch. Second-of-ly, he said I should ask her out. I think he missed the point. Speaking of Brad Jones, I posted pics of me dressed as the Snob around the time I released a certain video of mine. I gave the teaser â€œguess who Iâ€™m dressed as.â€ One of my friends guessed â€œTimothy Hutton.â€ After getting the thrill of finding out one of my coworkers was actually a TGWTG fan, I tried to go to work dressed as the Cinema Snob â€“ obviously, um, wearing shoes â€“ but with no glasses. I knew a lot of people wouldnâ€™t get the reference. So I told them for all intents and purposes, just tell people Iâ€™m Johnny Cash.
To be honest, Iâ€™ve wrestled with people not understanding the things Iâ€™m into for pretty much my entire life. First of all, as Iâ€™m sure a lot of you know, Iâ€™m a big fan of British sitcoms. Suffice to say, I donâ€™t have a lot of friends who share this interest. After all, how many of you actually got the Red Dwarf reference I snuck in earlier? Speaking of which, my brother is still convinced that Red Dwarf is Firefly. Speaking of which, my mom feels exactly the same way about Firefly. Sometimes peopleâ€™s inability to understand things can be funny. I remember telling people out of context that I was friends with Zoe Britton on Facebook. Only one of my friends actually knew who that was. (And if you donâ€™t know who that is, all Iâ€™ll say is donâ€™t look it up at your work computer.)
Sometimes you have to accept that people wonâ€™t always get what youâ€™re into. Iâ€™m slowly coming to terms with the fact that not everyone knows who Arnold Rimmer is. Not everyone understands why I say â€œI donâ€™t believe itâ€ when Iâ€™m upset, and I was curious to see who understood the reference â€œHave you tried turning it off and turning it back on?â€ But there are times when you say things that you think everyone will understand, but it still flies over peopleâ€™s heads. I remember one Christmas, my cousin asked me if I was seeing someone and I told her â€œWith Amy Adams off the market, I donâ€™t really feel like trying.â€ She didnâ€™t know who that was. Nor did she know what I meant when I said I got a volume of Duck Tales as a gift. In a less-than-polite moment, I blurted out â€œdo you live under a rock or something?â€ After a disappointing night of standup, I lamented â€œNobody laughed â€“ not a chuckle, not a teehee. No one went â€˜haâ€™.â€ And someone said that back to me, obviously missing the Seinfeld reference. Also, people repeating stuff I said is a major pet peeve. Think that reference is too obscure? How about the fact that nobody understood what I meant when I said, â€œThere is no Dana, only Zuul.â€ Some people got, some did not. Speaking of which, imagine how disappointed I was when telling people about meeting Ivan Reitman was met with a resounding â€œwho?â€ Also, (draws sigh) Iâ€™ve actually been asked â€œWhoâ€™s Zooey Deschanel?â€ Amazingly that person is still my friend.
And to quote Forrest Gump, thatâ€™s all I got to say about that. Yeah, I should probably give some conclusion statement, but Iâ€™m not in high school anymore and Iâ€™ve made my thesis statement clear. Either way, even if I missed the exact date, Iâ€™m happy for my three years of writing. And Iâ€™m happy for all of you guys making it worth the effort.