Stupid Tuesday questions, Mindy Kaling edition

At some point or another, I know that I have discussed my intense, visceral dislike of horror movies.  I find being scared deeply unpleasant, and am sadly susceptible to being manipulated by filmmakers in this way.  If I can sit through a scary movie without creating a mesh of interwoven fingers in front of my eyes and whimpering, then the movie by definition is not very scary.  (To express his rank disdain for “The Blair Witch Project,” my brother [who is made of much sterner stuff than me] told me “It’s a horror movie even you could watch.”)

I remember seeing “The Sixth Sense” in the theater, and as I was burrowing my way into the seat and averting my eyes during various bits, I noticed children no older than 11 or 12 sitting and watching the screen with aplomb.  I am not 100% proud of what this says about my fortitude.

Anyhow, my intolerance of being scared during movies or television shows isn’t really the main thrust of this post.  No, I’m writing about my other emotional response that renders certain entertainments repellant.  I’m referring to vicarious embarrassment.

I absolutely cannot watch scenes that involve people humiliating themselves.  I stick my fingers in my ears and go “lalalalalala!!!” until they’re over.  Even though I am told it is a work of comic genius, I cannot watch “Curb Your Enthusiasm” because every episode seems to involve nothing but an endless stream of these situations.  And I find them literally unwatchable.

The most recent episode was watching the premier of “The Mindy Project,” a show I found otherwise quite enjoyable.  (It made several errors in how it depicted medical care, but I tend to be more forgiving of such things if they happen in comedies.)  I enjoy the intelligence and charm of Mindy Kaling’s character, and am glad such a talented, smart woman is getting her own show.  I hope it does well.

But, oh no!  There’s a scene where she goes to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding to the woman he dumped her for, and she gets drunk and stands up to make a speech at the reception, and then I don’t know what happened next because I had to put a throw pillow over my head and plug my ears and ask the Better Half to tell me when it was over.  Literally unwatchable.

So that’s this week’s Question — is there something about you that makes you deeply, unwaveringly averse to certain entertainments?  Some response or trigger that constellates your complexes?  What has you diving for the remote control or leaving the room for more beer?  Or am I totally alone in all this?

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. I cannot watch reality television shows, especially where tryouts are a part of the process. I can’t stand to see a person with dreams and aspirations dismissed, especially given that the dismissal is designed for my entertainment. I am not entertained. My skin crawls.

    • I don’t ever like to see anyone embarrassed or made a fool of. My idea of a personal hell is to go to one of those shows where a guy hypnotizes people and then makes them do goofy things on stage.

      I’m with Sam on the reality shows. I used to watch American Idol with my wife but I wouldn’t start watching until they got to the live portion of the show because those people (usually) had some degree of talent and therefore they all had a shot at hitting a home run.

      • I literally have to leave the room when these things are on. I cannot stand being so near to somebody’s possible embarrassment.

      • Maybe I’m an a-hole, but I sort of like watching people who are hopelessly deluded about themselves getting a reality check. The folks who are close but not quite I do feel bad for, but the person who couldn’t carry a tune if it was duct-taped to their chest yet still thinks they’re the next gold-selling artist…I like watching them get the kick they deserve.

        Maybe I’m an a-hole.

        • I must admit, I have the same kind of reaction to that certain subset of people who are both 100% sure that they are entitled to be famous and utterly untalented getting their comeuppance. Perhaps it’s my reaction to the increasing narcissim and fame-obsession of our culture, but I don’t feel the need to flee when I see people who are utterly deluded about the superstar qualities being returned to reality.

          But I agree about the ones who aren’t quite as good as they wished, and I have a real, real problem with the shows that allow young children to compete in this way.

          • Perhaps it’s my reaction to the increasing narcissim and fame-obsession of our culture

            That’s it exactly; thank you. I want to flatter myself that if I’d had more sleep last night I would have found those words, but perhaps I’m just being narcissistic myself.

            Absent the narcissism, I, too, find it painful. The ones I hate to see on American Idol are the ones who are clueless about how bad they are, but also don’t have much self-confidence–to see them shot down is not enjoyable at all.

      • people do that goofy shit to themselves, mostly.
        if you want to act like a git, you do.

        now there are other forms of hypnotism,
        that involve preying on old instincts….
        and those are pretty bad, as they involve
        loss of will.

  2. is there something about you that makes you deeply, unwaveringly averse to certain entertainments?

    I absolutely cannot watch people embarrass themselves either. I’m okay with scary movies, but if there is anything embarrassing going on I go to the fridge for a drink of milk or something.

    • I sort of used to have this problem, but I think that the first seasons of the UK ‘Office’ and ‘Curb’ broke me of it. Not that I never get uncomfortable anymore, but if the comedy’s funny enough I can get past the cringe.

      • I used to change the channel when something embarrassing was about to happen, but the Office and Curb Your Enthusiasm broke me of it, too. I still get really uncomfortable, but sometimes it’s just too funny for me to worry about it.

  3. Actually, mine would be somewhat similar to yours. I have a thing about watching characters publicly making fools of themselves. I FFW through.

    There may be other things I hadn’t thought of without your good example, and I’ll let you know if they come to mind.

  4. A guy trying, and failing, to hit on a girl that he obviously really likes.

    The Fox and the Hound is the earliest movie that I can remember something like this taking place and it upsetting me mightily. I mean, I was even pre-pubescent and it wrecked me.

  5. Well, since I know you have tons of time, I can force you to read my dissertation chapter on this very subject!

  6. I can’t stand to watch people being chased or trapped. So that rules out a lot of horror movies, but not all of them. (Ghost stories are usually okay, The Shining is traumatic.)

    I have a lot of trouble with entertainments where people shame each other. Embarrassment and self-embarrassment are fine, especially if I feel like the person is also being brave, but shame pushes all my buttons. I might not stop watching it but I will hate it. So, I stopped watching So You Think You Can Dance when they were being cruel to contestants/auditioners, and started again when they knocked that shit off. And _Chasing Amy_ makes me want to throw rocks at the screen. Pure, gut-wrenching aversion.

  7. I have major trouble with shame, and harm coming to children.

  8. I can’t do torture porn movies. I can watch some pretty twisted stuff (usually imports) wherein the darkness is there and shown to you in ugly splendor, but this trend of sadism-which-is-supposed-to-be-compelling-because-anti-hero stuff just makes me want to club people who make these movies.

    There’s nothing wrong with making art that pulls off the manhole cover on the deep ugly part of your brain and goes down in there and hauls some of it out into the light to make you recoil at the stuff that’s down there. Wallowing in it is twisted, though.

    • I couldn’t finish “irreversible” by gaspar noe for similar reasons

  9. Mindy makes my teeth ache; at least she did back when I watched The Office, which stopped a couple of seasons ago, so that’s maybe unfair of me.

  10. I also can’t stand to watch people making fools of themselves. Between me, Will, Russell, and Murali, I’m thinking this is a lot more common of a thing that I’d previously assumed.

    • Totally unscientific speculation on my part, but I bet the strong aversion to this would correlate strongly with the self-reported Myers-Briggs in some way.

      • My bet is tha introversion plays a big role. Introverts are going to tend to be socially awkward. Lacking social experience, they are more likely to make social faux pas (or be tricked into such). S and F also seem like good secondary predictors of social competence. Therefore N and T types are also going to be more prone to social awkwardness.

        • For the record, I am ENFP. My most consistent, unambiguous trait from test to test is that I am always waaaaaay out on the “E.”

        • Murali, I’ve read books that mention something called “empathy”. I’ve put together a theory that hardcore F types are responsible for it.

          • oh, man.
            you should meet a sociopath who has decent ranks in empathy.
            They know they’re driving you into a frothing rage–
            and find it amusing.

  11. A couple:

    1. Most things with clowns, especially when the clowns are the centerpiece of the show, etc. (I.e., that Seinfeld episode where George meets a clown who’s never heard of Bozo the Clown is okay, but in general I can’t do clowns.)

    2. Drag shows. I don’t think they’re bad or even cringe-worthy. I just don’t get the appeal.

  12. I cannot watch horror where it amounts to mostly gratuitous blood and gore, I can watch horror where there is lots of suspense. It still scares the heck out of me but I don’t dwell on the imagery. As a mother of three daughters, I used to be apathetic to porn, now I absolutely find it loathsome. I also don’t do well with children and animal misery or harm and movies about the Holocaust. I don’t mind some cases where people make fools of themselves if it is done in a way that garners humor and authenticity in a way that I can relate to it. Maybe I have made a fool of myself a bit too often that I am comforted in the knowledge that it happens to the best of us.

  13. 1. I cannot watch blood and gore, and if it’s treated “humorously”, that’s even worse.

    2. I hate movies where foreigners are the butt of jokes simply because they’re foreign, have accents and mispronounce English words, etc. (This is not the same thing as movies where the villain is a foreigner and it sets him apart from the good guys; it is well known, for instance, that movie Nazis speak with British accents.)

    3. Ditto for movies where blacks speak and act in stereotypical minstrel-negro fashion. As I love movies from the 1930s and 1940s, this is tough. I usually watch the movie but keep a hand on the fast-forward button.

    • This is not the same thing as numbers 2 or 3, but I think it’s a similar ballpark: I tend to dislike movies or TV shows that make fun of service workers for doing something that their job requires them to do. I won’t say this is a categorical dislike, but I’m often bothered by it.

    • I am reminded that I dislike making fun of or violence on folks with developmental, or emotional disabilities. I especially find people purposely acting stupid “Dumb and Dumber” not at all entertaining.

      • While I will confess to enjoying “Dumb and Dumber”… I agree that movies that are deliberately offensive are… well, offensive.

      • “Dumb and Dumber” and anything that Sacha Baron Cohen has made ever.

        • I”m with you on Cohen, but I (somewhat guiltily) like Dumb and Dumber. The distinction I draw is that Cohen makes fun of others, while Carey’s and Daniels’s characters make fun of themselves.

          • Cohen can be brilliant, IMO (not that he always is). His best bits are often not making fun of others; the best bits actually show how good and patient and helpful people can be, when they are attempting to help his obviously completely-benighted characters (they are not the fool, they are the straight man – and the straight man is usually the competent, honorable character). Da Ali G show had quite a bit of this.

            Plus as a chameleon & physical comedian, I rank him up near Sellers. It takes a lot of brains, to appear so stupid.

      • I wouldn’t even try to watch anything like that now. I would have a problem with There’s Something About Mary, too. Since my kiddo, I actually have an aversion to even serious fiction about developmental disability now. I’ve never seen it, but you couldn’t pay me to watch I Am Sam, say.

        • My viewing habits since having children has changed considerably. I really can’t watch movies outside of my role as a parent, particularly to daughters. I wouldn’t say my tastes have changed as much as my realization that I have become über critical.

        • Rose-

          Having seen “I Am Sam” and some other movies featuring characters with special needs, they are almost always portrayed as plucky underdogs. And they drop far too many witty one-liners. I think some of the effort is sincere, but there is simply a serious lack of understanding on the part of most writers.

        • Sincere question – have you watched ‘Tropic Thunder’, which pokes fun at the way Hollywood so often uses the stories of people with disabilities/special needs as drama grist/Oscar-bait; or would even something like that be hard to watch too?

          I can’t even quote the line that sums it all up, it’s really offensive sans context – but the way it manages to skewer both studio cynicism, and actors’ oblivious, outsized egos is pretty choice.

          • Didn’t see it. It’s worth poking fun at, I think, but I’m guessing I would still find it upsetting. It’s weird – it’s not the kind of offense taken where I necessarily think the person did something wrong. Like when I see something that I think is racist. It’s different. It just hits me very viscerally. I guess the depiction always hits me as insincere in one way or another – either mean-spirited, or manipulative, or simply lacking understanding.

            I’ve been meaning to read Kenzaburo Oe forever. His kid and my kid are at a relatively similar level cognitively, and I’ve heard he’s brilliant.

          • Rose: Tropic Thunder goes after the way Hollywood “stars” re-invent their careers by doing movies involving mental or physical development issues and getting nominated for Academy Awards because it’s oh-so-serious. Tugg Speedman (think Sylvester Stallone) used to be a major action star but his career is stalled. He made a movie called Simple Jack about a mentally retarded youth who lives on a farm and has a rapport with animals. There are “clips” from this movie throughout TT, and it shows Speedman “acting” the role like an 8-year-old might – jerky motions, head on an angle, inarticulate speech. Finally he gets the lead role on TT, which is his last chance career-wise. His rival, major acting sensation Kirk Lazarus explains patronizingly why Simple Jack was a bad idea:

            Kirk Lazarus: Everybody knows you never go full retard.

            Tugg Speedman: What do you mean?

            Kirk Lazarus: Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man, look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Counted toothpicks, cheated cards. Autistic, sho’. Not retarded. You know Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump. Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain’t retarded. Peter Sellers, Being There. Infantile, yes. Retarded, no. You went full retard, man. Never go full retard. You don’t buy that? Ask Sean Penn, 2001, I Am Sam. Remember? Went full retard, went home empty handed…

            The movie mocks Hollywood, not disabled people.

  14. Mine is weird, because it’s very specific kinds of bodily harm. I can’t even describe it properly, because I’m not sure how wide the scope is, but removal of things that are supposed to be there. Fingers, skin, etc. I don’t mind big gory things, like beheading or chopping people in half or stabbings or whatever, but that little stuff just SETS ME OFF.

    Also, for double weirdness, my wife starting watching the new midwife show on PBS this week, and I am TERRIFIED that there’s going to be an episiotomy.

    • Mine is also specific, but not really unique or uncommon (the reason they do it in movies, is because many ppl don’t like it in real life either) – needles. All other kinds of big and small gore don’t really bother me too much.

      I can give blood, I can have shots, but I do not like to watch the actual moment the needle penetrates the skin (before and after are fine, but the moment itself – ugh). It’s obviously intimate, in the way that say sex is, but so so so wrong, what with the inorganic and organic interaction (so invasive). For some reason the fact that the needle generally slides in easily, rather than in a violent stab, makes it worse – it seems ‘sneaky’ somehow.

      Maybe at root just a variation on the basic ‘contamination’ taboo, I don’t know. But I pretty much avert my eyes for the actual part where the needle goes in, in movies and real-life.

    • Fingernails and fingertips. I can watch almost anything with no concern (I’m a very low empathy person) but scenes like 7 Days where the video shows a persons fingernail getting popped up by a nail? Eeeyetch!

      • i’ve sat in on surgeries (babysitting tv crews, nothing medical thank goodness), including a gastric bypass which, were i a fan of organ meats, would make me far less of a fan of organ meats. i did that stupid thing where they tell you not to look behind the blue curtain when your wife is getting a c-section, too. we are all meat before we are dust and all that.

        but to this day i cannot watch people put in contact lenses. my brain starts going GAAAAAAHHHAAAAAHHHAAAAHHHHAA or whatever sound one makes when they run around in a circle waving their arms due to gross overload.

        • They probably wouldn’t let a patient do this now, but when I was in high school I injured a finger pretty badly playing basketball and it required surgery. I requested to watch the whole thing (they did local anesthetic) and the surgeon declined (fear that I would freak out and/or contaminate the open wound) but did agree to let me see it for a minute before he closed it back up – they had had to rotate a bone 180 degrees, put a steel pin in the joint, and reattach a tendon.

          It didn’t freak me out, it was actually really cool in the ‘mechanical’ aspect of it (I actually thought of a different quote, ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’).

          But this is probably pretty minor compared to witnessing actual abdominal surgery what with the organs/fat/etc.

          • For the record, I can tolerate everything but hand trauma or eye trauma. (That one of the hospitals where I did my residency was a major hand trauma center was cause for much gritting of teeth.) Blood n’ guts n’ organs n’ fat? Not even a blip in my heart rate.

            And I am totally unable to get contact lenses in.

          • You want to know the worst part Russell? (You probably don’t but I will tell you anyway!)

            I didn’t go get X-rays for two weeks after the injury occurred. I thought the finger was ‘jammed’, and I kept trying to ‘pop it back in’. These attempts to fix it myself were likely the cause of the 180 degree bone rotation & joint separation. They could not *believe* I had been living with this for two weeks (I have a fairly high pain tolerance).

            They told me that had I come right in, they would have just splinted it, but now with the rotation/separation they needed to operate. Once they had it open and saw the tendon was also screwy they realized they would have needed to open it up anyway.

            It never really healed right, I have very little motion/flexibility in it, but it’s a pinky and the curve looks fairly natural when the hand is at rest, it’s only when I try to lay the hand flat/straighten extend the fingers all the way that it looks weird, so no real loss (but how will I play the piano, doc?!).

        • I wear contacts and it took me a long time to get comfortable doing so.

          Once, as an adult, I was moving up a flight of stairs with a pencil in my hand, point up. I caught my toe on a step and took a small tumble. I didn’t come close to stabbing the pencil into my eye… but had things broken slightly differently, I could have. Once I gathered myself and realized this, it took me about an hour to compose myself again.

  15. As for the new Mindy show itself, I was pretty entertained. The guy throwing a fit over the fact that it’s a “Springsteen show”, not a “Bruce Springsteen concert” was really good.

  16. I do think this subject has been discussed before around here as I remember relating that I have the exact same aversion to characters embarrassing themselves. Whenever I sense such a moment coming on, I get up and leave the room to do something else. I’ve always had this as long as I can remember – there’s a ton of entertainment I just won’t watch at all as a result – lots of comedies and reality show contests especially.

    The other one is, like Rose’s, harm to children. I can’t stand to watch anything where children are even mildly threatened (much less actually harmed or suffering), it completely freaks me out and I have to stop watching/reading. This one’s showed up since baby girl was born.

    • It probably has been. I’m a mite too preoccupied to be totally clear about such things, so I could well be recycling past Stupidity.

      • Oh, I didn’t necessarily mean it was a STQ, it easily could have been any LoOG/sub-blog comment thread – my memory is definitely not that great for that level of specificity.

        • This is my recollection.

          Painful to watch comes up in a lot of different contexts, and they overlap. Always a fun conversation, though.

  17. Thank you, Russell. I thought I was the only one who did the fingers-in-the-ears thing. Now I know I’m not alone.

    (I am, BTW, being serious. I can’t watch Curb either.)

  18. I have a hard time watching embarrassment too, even if it’s extremely funny. I originally had a hard time with Fawlty Towers, and that’s the funniest sitcom in the history of the universe. [1]

    1. I was in Germany on business once, and we were strategizing on how to deal with a particularly troublesome customer. One of the marketing guys said “Whatever you do, don’t mention the war.” I could not stop laughing for literally five minutes.

    • Whenever we used to deal with people in our German offices, a co-worker and me would always use as our baseline philosophy, ‘whatever you do, don’t make the Germans angry’, and many variations on this joke.

  19. My wife is very similar to you in this regard. She struggles with anxiety and fears every being caught in awkward or embarrassing situations. As such, watching anyone else struggle with them is unbearable for her. She struggles with many of the shows you mentioned, particularly “Curb”.

    I don’t know if I have every widespread afflictions, but I can say that I really struggle with “New Girl” and not just because of my already stated disdain for Zookeeper Dashawhatever. Zazzy loves the show… laughs out loud at every joke. And I will concede that there is a certain humor and wit to it. My problem? It seems they go for the cheap laugh every time. Almost every joke they make, I can call out the punch line before they deliver it. There seems to be nothing original about the show. I could write it; that’s not saying much. So I suppose I struggle with utterly obvious comedies that don’t make good comedic use of the obviousness of their humor. The show is trite, for lack of a better word. Not bad. I understand the appeal and won’t fault those who watch it. I just don’t think there is anything particular intelligent about it. Which isn’t itself a deathwish. They just seem to do it in a way that makes it cookie cutter.

    I’m making no sense.

    • I haven’t seen the show, but many many many TV comedies have a ‘rhythm’ that never seems to vary, from joke to joke, or episode to episode, or show to show, and I wonder if this is part of it for you.

      That is, it’s not the jokes themselves that are the problem, it is the predictability of the *timing* between setup/punchline/callback – the rhythm doesn’t vary, ever. Our brains are novelty-seeking machines, always looking for ‘suprise!’, and never more so than in comedy. (I’d love to get Mike Schilling’s take on all this, since in my time here, it’s become clear the man’s a dang comedy connoisseur/historian).

      So just like when every song on the radio starts to use a certain rhythm or ‘sound the same’ you lunge for the dial, so it is for me with TV comedy. I hate a huge huge chunk of it, because it doesn’t surprise me or catch me off-guard.

      • Perhaps. But I think there are a number of shows with a certain rhythm that I don’t mind. For example, I find Modern Family exceedingly funny. And there is definitely a rhythm to that show. But part of what makes me love it is that I’ll anticipate that a joke is coming and I think, “Oh, I bet they go in THIS direction,” but then they go in THAT direction, which is not only surprising but even funnier than what I had initially though and *BOOM*… it’s gold.

        With “New Girl”, I almost always guess the direction they’re going, sometimes even muttering verbatim what they are about to say. And while I think I’m a funny guy, I don’t think I’m “highly rated primetime comedy” funny. If their best jokes are my best jokes… meh.

        I’m sure other shoes fall into this category. I’ve never gotten into many of the CBS comedies, which seem to skew to an older audience and what bits I have seen also have a similar predictability. I just see a lot of “New Girl” because Zazzy loves it. And I actually think some of the characters are humorous… just too flat and predictable.

        • I haven’t seen either show so I can’t comment, but you’re absolutely right, a zig when you expected a zag is always great.

          I was just pointing out something that bugs me…like, I can actually tune out the words themselves, and I can hear the rhythm, percussively if you will…and it is all exactly the same one, from show to show, show after show after show.

      • I remember seeing an interview with John Cleese talking about some of the design principles behind Fawlty Towers. He said something along these lines: sitcom jokes are necessarily going to require setup, but the more the viewer is aware of the setup, the less funny the joke is going to seem. So whenever the FT writers had to insert a plot point in order to set up a later payoff, they worked hard to make the plot point be funny in and of itself. The funnier it was on its own, the less aware the viewer would be that it was, and the more surprising (and thus more funny) the ultimate joke would be.

    • “New Girl” is only funny because of the actors. The writing is pretty bad. The chemistry is good, though.

      • That seems accurate, though I think the original actor for Winston (I think that’s his name) from the pilot was funnier than the current guy.

        Schmidt is quality and would be even better if written a bit less like a stereotype of what girls think that kind of guy is like.

        • If I am correct, the original actor was Damon Wayans, Jr. He dropped “New Girl” for “Happy Endings,” on which he is hilarious (as is the rest of the excellent ensemble), and which is a stronger show.

          • Haven’t caught that one yet but, yes, that is him. I thought it was one of the Wayans brothers… or sons… someone in the family.

            HE is on ABC, right? I don’t watch much ABC. Truth be told, a lot of my major network television watching is driven by commercials I see during sporting events. Since losing MNF, I watch a lot less ABC than I used to, meaning I watch a lot less of their other stuff, too. That is why I was late to Modern Family. How does HE rate in comparison to that? I realize they’re different shows but is it of the same general quality?

          • Casey Rose Wilson and Eliza Coupe are both hysterical. (Elisha Cuthbert is the weakest of the three female leads, but is by no means bad.) The three male leads are all very good, (I think Wayans is the best) and I really appreciate that Max is a very non-stereotypical gay character.

  20. I’ve thought of an exception!

    I’ll write a post.

  21. Anything harming children. I am coldly blithe to damage done to competent adults, but show bad things happening to children and I can’t take it. Law and Order SVU, man, just too many child molestings. I don’t know how the actors can stand to keep doing that show.

    • Chris Meloni is my secret best friend and one of the coolest guys on Earth. He seems incredibly well-adjusted considering that role and his role on Oz. Next time we hang out, I’ll ask him.

    • I used to like the original Law and Order before, say, 2000, but I agree about SVU. I’m not even sure if I’ve made it through an entire episode.

    • Interesting. Maybe I will think the same soon. My main problem with the show is that it feeds into paranoid freakouts about the sexman going to get your children! Once I started seeing the show in that light, I had a hard time enjoying it.

      • Darnit Will, why did you have to write the word ‘sexman’?

        Any similar two-syllable word just brings this to mind again, only with the new words replacing the original lyric.

  22. It’s rare, I know, but mine is this: Adults talking in baby talk.

    This includes 80’s movies where East Coast preppy women refer to their parents as Mommy or Daddy.

    • How are mommy and daddy forms of baby talk?

      I think of baby talk being absolutely non-sensical gibberish.

  23. Where you know what the actor is doing is just going to backfire horribly (via previous scene), but he’s trying to be a good person and do the right thing.
    And where this is supposed to be funny.

  24. I can’t watch any Reality TV where the “stars” purposefully show what kind of horrible people they are or proudly strut their dysfunction. This includes shows like Kardashians, Real Housewives of Fabulous Zipcodes, Jersey Shore, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, etc

    I suppose this is a subset of being embarrassed for people. I simply can’t understand why people would put their dignity on the line and behave so poorly often on TV for fleeting fame and cash.

      • Having seen more “Honey Boo Boo” than I care to admit, I think that show actually turns this genre on its head a bit. While the producers no doubt thought, “Oh man, let’s clown these hicks,” that doesn’t really happen. For all their faults, the family appears genuine and loving. You don’t really want to laugh at them; if anything, you laugh with them. TLC looks much more the fool than the family does. They’re just sort of doing their thing, albeit very differently than the rest of us, but they seem happy, seem to love and support each other, and don’t seem to give a shit what anyone things at the end of the day.

  25. Mine would be “assholes who you’re supposed to like”. The canonical example would be Daniel Tosh–his show isn’t funny, it’s just him being a dick interspersed with occasional Youtube videos. Han Solo is about as far as I can go on the “lovable rogue” spectrum without getting annoyed.

    • I’m pretty sure Daniel Tosh likes to think he veers so far into asshole territory that it somehow becomes brazenly charming.

      He is wrong in that belief.

        • Is Dane Cook such a jerk? I’ve never seen his act. I thought his schtick was fratty and maybe a little obnoxious, but not full-on dickhead.

          • Since somebody mentioned Tropic Thunder… “You never go full-on dickhead.”

          • I dunno… what I’ve seen of him is mostly yelling. And terrible promos for playoff baseball in which he revealed himself to know nothing about baseball.

  26. live theater. i get all weird about it because there’s always that moment where the performer looks at you and the urge to nod your head in a “sup?” kinda motion is completely irresistible.

    • As a former theatre major and theatre director, this makes me a bit sad.

    • Plus I spent about ten years of my life trying for a career including grad school.

      • such are the perils of being raised with low culture, i suppose. or maybe i’m just weird. i spent a bunch of years being dragged to stuff either as part of the wife’s phd coursework (some real back alley yeats adaptations, i tells ya) or because she has no compunction about taking someone like me to “musical theatre” events (an adaptation of the dead by joyce) or plays because we’d get tickets from one of our neighbors worked for wnyc and i’d fix their computer whenever it got wacky, which just meant more theatre tickets. it was a vicious cycle.

  27. I used to love horror movies…until I had children of my own.

    Now, I can’t watch them. I can’t sit through a movie where the actors (who are around my daughter’s age) get mutilated in various ways. It’s because I don’t ever want to see that happen to my child, and I just can’t watch it happen to someone else’s (even if it’s make-believe).

    As far as reality TV. I’ve never seen an episode of Survivor (any of them) – and to be honest, with the exception of WipeOut, I don’t think I can even name another reality show. I hate them. They have some out here in DK; like I really want to see a bunch of 20somethings in a hotel in the tropics somewhere lie, cheat and screw their way to money – ON TV?

    Uh, I’ll pass, thanks.

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