SurlyGurls Give Thanks For Our Favourite Pop Culture Contributors
As the Americans celebrate another successful harvest with football and food, we SurlyGurls would like to give thanks for these entertainment icons and their outstanding collection of contributions to the Pop Culture landscape.
The following purveyors of Pop have inspired us from a very young age and have had a huge impact on our love and appreciation of creative media. And for this; we give thanks!
Dinner and a Movie was the big birthday treat when I was growing up and my first trip to the movie theatre was for my 4th birthday – the movie was E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. I was all dressed up and dragging along my beloved E.T. doll. I love this movie. I could watch over and over. The friendship between Eliot and E.T. is beautiful, the film is touching and genuine and skilfully crafted. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want an adorable alien botanist as a friend! This one theatre trip ignited my passion for movies and the movie-going experience as a whole, despite the fact there may or may not have been a mini (major) emotional breakdown when E.T. gets sick.
Jaws was also hugely popular in my house growing up. Between my brother’s consequential obsession with sharks and me and my sister’s secret crush on Matt Hooper, that movie was in the VCR non-stop. It was responsible for three kids running around the house singing sea shanties and proclaiming we were going to need a bigger (insert just about anything and everything here).
Jurassic Park was another big movie-going experience for the family. We all piled into the car and drove over to the local movie theatre. We were there SUPER early in order to get tickets. We waited in line for over an hour, and then crammed into that packed and humid theatre. I mean, I remember the first time I saw the TRAILER for this movie!? A commercial!! It was during the Oscars and I thought I would die of anticipation long before the June 11th release date. I will never get sick of this movie. Ever! In fact, the scene when everyone first gets a glimpse of the Brachiosaurus eating from the treetops is so incredible; I still get goose bumps!
Ironically, I put off writing this article for a couple hours because Jurassic Park was on television… also on another side note; this movie still holds my record for most theatrical viewings.
My biggest thanks to Mr. Spielberg is probably for writing The Goonies. That movie is one of those classics from childhood that just kind of stays with you throughout your life. The people I met in college, and who became my best friends, and I were brought together by our love of that movie – it’s how we refer to ourselves. We really were a bunch of misfits and outcasts brought together to fight the evils of Journalism school. Having said that, the man has given us so many memorable, thought-provoking, emotionally-charged movies it’s incredible! E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was the first movie I ever saw in the theatre and the first character I ever fell in love with – this extraterrestrial creature was so sweet and kind and friendly. I had to sneak out of my house and defy my mother (which was a ballsy move back in the day) to see Jurassic Park – and it was worth it. Who else could make a ripple of water so terrifying? His work has to be some of the most iconic, quoted and referenced in the world.
Goonies never say die!
I didn’t know what watching television should be like until I saw my first ever episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It was hilarious, frightening and so depressing I thought I was the one with the breaking heart. The dialogue was witty; the characters were so real and 3-dimensional that it was like watching your friends take on the “Big Bad” every week. And that is why I will forever be a Whedonite. The man not only tells fantastic sci-fi stories, but he creates characters that you can’t help but get attached to. They aren’t stereotypes thrown together for the sake of the story; they are living entities with real motivations and emotions that ARE the story. Not to mention, the man loves a strong female lead, which I can get behind! Now, if only I could get him to stop killing off random characters that always turn out to be my favourites (Anya, Wash!!)
While Buffy will always be the first Whedonverse show I watched, Firefly will forever be my favourite ‘Verse to escape into. I never saw the show when it was on t.v. – I will admit that. I didn’t think that a western set in space in the future sounded even remotely interesting. Then I saw Serenity, and I realized the colossal mistake I had made. The sense of family that came across in the movie was enough for me to go out purchase the DVD boxset immediately. And since that day, I have watched the series countless times. The characters in that show are some of the most well-developed, intricate people I have ever seen on television. I am a Browncoat through and through!
I will admit to seeing the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie in the theatres, I will also admit that I didn’t think it was all that great or that I was too thrilled when I heard it was being developed as a television show. But, I stumbled upon the pilot episode by accident one night and was forever hooked.
I think what I appreciate most about Joss Whedon is that he is unpredictable in both his storytelling and character development. He takes his stories in unexpected directions and includes lots of oddball little features in all of his characters. Sadly, he will also kill off a main (and often beloved) character without remorse. It seems like if you’re a fan-favourite in a Joss Whedon production – you’re doomed. But, this makes the shows exciting, because you just never know. Whedon fleshes out all his characters with an incredible attention to detail. He creates wonderfully real and deep characters that you become so emotionally involved with and love to see every week. So when one of them is surprisingly killed off it hurts. A LOT! The episode of Buffy after Buffy’s Mom dies is one of the saddest, most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever seen on TV. But as painful as the episode was to watch, there are episodes that are the exact opposite. Episodes that are fun, comical and wildly-entertaining; like the puppet episode of Angel or the musical episode of Buffy, which is screened annually at San Diego Comic-Con; the ground zero of Pop Culture.
Joss Whedon just seems to love to create memorable and cherished characters and stories. Most people couldn’t produce something as hilarious and entertaining as Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog if they tried, he did it during the Writer’s Strike because he was bored!
As a child, Muppets taught me how to read, count, the importance of sharing and that strangers are just friends I haven’t met. Not only did they teach but also they were so fun to watch! It was the original edu-tainment! Every Jim Henson program consisted of charmingly catchy theme songs, adorable, fuzzy little characters with unique and defined personalities. Who can’t sing the theme song to Sesame Street, The Muppet Show or Fraggle Rock?! Henson also contributed to the 80s fantasy films with the standout classics The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.
The fantastical world of the Goblin King in Labyrinth or the majesty of the landscape in The Dark Crystal was absolutely remarkable. Months afterwards were spent quoting Hoggle, avoiding imaginary Bogs of Eternal Stench in the basement and wishing I had a Fizgig of my very own.
I feel privileged to have grown up during in a time with Jim Henson at the helm of children’s programming.
Were it not for the creative genius of Jim Henson two of my most favourite movies of all time would never have been created. The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth are probably the most influential movies of my life – as they were my quick education in the world of fantasy stories. I was hooked on the weird and wonderful and sometimes scary worlds of his imagination from the first time I saw them. And I have never looked back. I may have graduated from fantasy to sci-fi, but even now, as an adult I get the same sense of wonderment and excitement at the idea of a fantastical world so different from my own.
And that doesn’t even begin to explain the amazing fact that he was the creative force behind those loveable Muppets and Fraggle Rock. Who didn’t watch those shows as a child of the 80’s? I remember Alice Cooper being on The Muppet Show, sitting with my dad who was just as enthralled as I was.
Every Sunday night my family would walk up the street to my grandparent’s house and have dinner and watch the Wonderful World of Disney. It was our family tradition, and if you didn’t like the movie that was on that week, well, you shut up and watched anyway because it was time spent with your family. It is probably the single clearest memory of my grandmother (who passed when I was 10) I have. That is the true magic of Walt Disney; he created something the entire family could enjoy!
Walt Disney is probably the most influential children’s storyteller of all time. His stories have taught me many a moral lesson and entertained me for hours. His theme parks have been the source of a lot of a family fights over why we could never visit (I still haven’t been, how atrocious is that?!).
Like most kids, my childhood was saturated with just about every Disney animated movie and television show going. My Mom introduced us to all the classics, Bambi, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella … even the fantastically enjoyable shorts like The Skeleton Dance and Donald’s Snowball Fight were on constant repeat in my house. I still remember playing my Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Mickey Mouse records as a child. Yes, they were records. I’m old. I get it.
Sunday nights in our household were reserved for the Wonderful World of Disney, unless of course they were showing Fuzzbucket again!!! Blah! Even in spite of Fuzzbucket, the magic of Disney has created “the happiest place on Earth” through their timeless animated features, treasured characters and dedication to delightful family-friendly entertainment.
I am somewhat old. I remember writing reports for school and having to go to the library and get the encyclopedias out and look up the information I needed that way. It was the dark ages people. If you wanted to be on the cutting edge of anything, you had to live where it was happening.
I remember the first email I ever sent, when I was 17 years old. It was to a Canadian band that I loved called Zuckerbaby. It was so weird to me to use the computer for anything other than typing up assignments, let alone type something up and send it to someone on the other side of the country instantly. Imagine my shock and excitement when I received an email back a day later from the band! THE BAND!! It was amazing! I instantly realized that I had access to some of the coolest people I had ever seen.
And it didn’t stop there, I could talk to other people in things called “chat rooms” about all the music and movies and television shows we both loved. And they could tell me about cool bands in their part of the world and I could tell them about the cool bands here. It was a connection with it and hip all around the world.
And then I discovered Ebay. Oh Ebay, how much of my money have you taken from me?! No one will ever know. But this was the moment that the collector in me blossomed and took over. I could now find programs from Oasis concerts in Japan for sale – which meant I could now own them! And I haven’t stopped collecting since then.
Finally, we have the Internet. Honestly, where would Pop Culture be without it? These days the web even spawns its own Pop Culture memes. Everyone with an Internet connection is familiar with the LoLCats, the Double-Rainbow Guy and the genius of the RickRoll.
This complex network of servers and cables allows individuals of all walks of life to anonymously argue all day and night about the various intricacies of any number of television programs, films or comic books. Here ideas, theories and opinions are shared and ridiculed equally. Any and all information regarding everything is available at the end of a simple search. It’s like following the rainbow to a pot of gold, if gold was the answer to whether or not a Lightsaber could injure Superman.
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Posted on November 27, 2011, in ENTERTAINMENT, LISTS, MOVIES & FILMS, OPINION, TELEVISION and tagged angel, Bambi, Big Bad, Bog of Eternal Stench, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cinderella, Donald’s Snowball Fight, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog, E.T., E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, entertainment, film, Firefly, Fizgig, Fraggle Rock, Fuzzbucket, Goblin King, Goonies, Hoggle, hollywood, humor, internet, Jaws, Jim Henson, Joss Whedon, Jurassic Park, Labyrinth, Lightsaber, Lists, Lolcats, Matt Hooper, Memes, Mickey Mouse, movies, Muppets, Oasis, opinion, Pop Culture, Popular culture, Serenity, Sesame Street, Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, steven spielberg, Superman, television, The Dark Crystal, The Goonies, The Muppet Show, The Skeleton Dance, tv, WALT DISNEY, Wonderful World of Disney, Zuckerbaby. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.