Not Nelson, no, Judd Apatow. “But why Mr Trivia, I hear you ask?” I also hear, “Aren’t you usually one chess move ahead of the Zeitgeist? And haven’t we, as a society, been through the Loving Judd Apatow Phase and aren’t we now we’re in the Hating Judd Apatow Phase and therefore your hatin’ on Judd Apatow at this time is too band-wagon-y for a tiresome contrarian like yourself.”
Well, you see, if you were an actual person and not just some suspect rhetorical device I was using to make me seem more intelligent and possessed of better timing, I might agree with you. However, you are a device and I’m using you in a very particular way – to introduce what was less of a blog post and more of a rant to friend of mine called Charlie.
So enjoy if you will, my being a ranty smartarse from 23 months ago, February 2008.
And yes, Charlie, I see what you mean about the man who fell asleep. This is the very essence of Zeitgeist – there are very few of us who are as clever as we think we are – we’re actually part of some kind of hive mind.
Which brings me to today’s rant. As you know, the key to being an urban hipster is discerning the patterns of popular culture and going ever so slightly against them. Hence dissing something very popular, but celebrating something whose time has passed is an essential part of the package. Thus hating BARNEY THE DINOSAUR but lamenting the cancelling of Bert’s FAMILY FEUD is an example of this kind of pose.
I recently saw THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN on the television and I have decided that I despise Judd Apatow. And although two movies may not be enough to make a pattern, I believe it is possible to call Judd so-called Apatow on his bulldust writing.
Although his name is on everything lately as a producer, his writer credits and therefore his philosophical “fingerprints” are really on KNOCKED UP and VIRGIN. These two films aspire to have a different take on middle-class relationships, but both have an underlying “bleaahhh” factor. (I don’t think I’ve ever been more eloquent.)
The message seems to be that being ‘one of the boys’ is one of our highest aspirations, even though at some point we all have to grow up and accept emasculation from one of the girls. Fortunately, women need not be offended because there are no recognisable females in either of these movies.
Being one of the boys also means trading of gay putdowns disguised as endearing and ‘knowing wisecracks’. These are meant to show how the guys are really okay with the concept of ‘gayness’ because they always use the term ‘gay’ rather than the homophobic redneck term, “fag”. No actual gay characters, mind, but no matter.
Although, hang about, one of the dudes from VIRGIN was black. And there were an old Indian fella (as in subcontinental) who had some really salty dialogue and gave as good as they got to whitey. So you know, Team Apatow is only sexist and homophobic, not like racist.
My pique is peaking because I really liked his TV series (which he also wrote episodes of) FREAKS AND GEEKS. This earlier incarnation of geek was somewhat sweeter and not so f***ing cocky about his bullshit. And yes, I get that in our twenties/thirties we are more confident than in our teens. But Apatow’s geeks have actually grown older without growing up. They were more mature when they were juveniles.
And yeah, FREAKS AND GEEKS also had a central female character who wasn’t some flippin’ cipher looking for a white picket fence. She had her own agenda and her own successes and failures.
Judd Apatow – get the f**k out of my media.
Here endeth the rant.
I thank you.