Quotes: Cerebus Syndrome

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    comic books 

You've changed, Parker. You used to have a sense of humor. What happened? Why are you so angry?
Ben Reilly echoing the sentiments of Spidey fans in general

    music 

It's always lightest before the dark.
The Killer Inside Me

    live-action tv 

I was always brave
And kind of righteous
Now I find I’m wavering
Crawl out of your grave,
You find this fight just
Doesn’t mean a thing
Buffy sings "Going Through the Motions" ("Once More With Feeling")

It's stopped being fun, Doctor.

    podcasts 

How do you even begin to separate the horrible from the fanciful in this place anymore?

    web animation 

I know you aspire to write stories with some complexity, Rockstar, and that players trying to have fun in your games must be very frustrating, but you kind of brought this on yourself when you decided that Tw@ would be a funny name for an internet cafe.

    webcomics 

Haley: We were a lot safer when we just made fairly obvious jokes about the rules!
Vaarsuvius: I blame Cerebus.

Seriously, I'd make an effort to get out. The drama tag was pulled, so we're looking at a limited lifespan here. Sure, it's manageable now, but soon you'll have backstories and love triangles and then love pentagons and then super-horrible secrets are revealed that change things forever... this store will end up so miserably emo that no sane being will be able to stand it. Everyone will just leave.
Head Alien, Shortpacked!

Helen: Okay, the truth. I can't date because when I was a girl I saw my father commit suicide.
Dave: That makes no sense. And you don't have a father.
Helen: Okay ... I was sexually assaulted by my college fiance.
Dave: Wouldn't you have told me this before...
Helen: ALZHEIMER'S! I HAVE ALZHEIMER'S!
Dave: It's just not that kind of strip, Helen.

    web original 

Paul Cornell once observed that the reason Sylvester McCoy was his favorite Doctor was that McCoy was the first Doctor Cornell could imagine encountering a concentration camp and still having the story work, whereas earlier Doctors would just not work, morally, in that setting. And it's a fair point — imagining William Hartnell 'hmmming' his way through systematic extermination while insisting on upholding history would be sickening...But sometimes seeing the shocking extremes of what a Doctor Who story can be is necessary. You don't really know the shape of something until you probe its edges.
Dr. Phil Sandifer on "The Man in the Velvet Mask"

The whole exchange with Martha where he essentially asks her for permission to use the Clark Kent identity as a disguise is utterly pointless. He just spent a full year traipsing around in a what-if-Johnny-Cash-were-a-Kryptonian outfit, committing acts of terrorism and crapping all over the civilian life he'd built for himself. All while his friends are being descended upon by a superhuman madman bent on turning the Earth into an exclusive beach resort for him and his closest fifty friends.

I think at this point throwing on a pair of glasses and slouching a bit isn't going to come off as particularly horrifying to Ma Kent.
Julian Finn on Smallville, "Beacon"

"And your work is more important?" "Now you got it." — and therein lies the fundamental difference between Doctor Who and Torchwood. The former celebrates humanity whereas the latter (some episodes excepted) treads on it to get to the sleaze.

"How come we get all the Weevils and bollocks and shit? Is that what alien life is — filth?" — the antithesis of Doctor Who which promotes the universe as a playground to play in, Torchwood seems to suggest it is a cesspool that flings its excrement our way. Nice.

DS9's darker themes are a subject for debate among trekkers even now that the show has been over for many years. Some believe that its willingness to take risks makes it the best show in the franchise, and DS9 is usually the critics' favourite. Others believe that DS9's abandonment of Gene Roddenberry's morality makes it the worst in the franchise...Earth is meant to be a utopia, but in DS9 a Starfleet Admiral stages an attempted coup to take control of the planet for 'its protection'. Earth is even attacked by enemy fleets, and terrorist bombings. Gene's family protested against the Dominion war believing that Gene didn't want war in Star Trek. Perhaps the most controversial part of the series was the introduction of Section 31, a Federation secret police (so secret that nobody ever heard of them before) that carries out assassinations and genocide. Gene certainly wouldn't want that.

In some ways, this reflects Enterprise as Star Trek for the post-9/11 era. Gone was the utopian dream of a universe where everybody might intermingle and exist as friends. Instead, it seemed that the priority was to establish and understand boundaries with the other...Not only are the Vulcans introduced as secretive and untrustworthy allies, but it seems like the Enterprise seems to spend most of its time learning not to stick its nose where it doesn’t belong. For a show about the early years of the Federation, it seems like Enterprise is not particularly interested in building bridges or alliances or understandings.

Toy Story: A couple of toys get lost and then found. The only folks who cry are the animators who make 2D films as they watch their future crumble.

Toy Story 2: We watch as a toy is abandoned by her beloved owner and we get to see her heart shattered during a Sarah McLachlan ballad. Tears flow like rain.

Toy Story 3: All our heroes learn that everything they love will eventually leave them behind. The demand for antidepressants for preschoolers skyrockets.

Toy Story 4: Woody is stabbed by a gang of rogue toys only to discover that his voice box has cancer. His death is very painful, it lasts 90 minutes, and Pixar shows the whole thing. No one ever smiles again.
Cracked chart: The Sadness of Toy Story Measured in Tears

Oh my God, this movie is a black hole of humor. There are a few good chuckles in the first half with the Daily Planet crew and Kitty, but it just gets so damned serious and self-absorbed, and it doesn’t back any of it up with real content beyond the world’s most hilariously transparent Jesus imagery. This side of, like, Neon Genesis Evangelion, at least.
David Uzumeri on Superman Returns

While they’re often overlooked by super-hero fans, newspaper comic strips are a vital part of the world of sequential art that reaches millions of readers and is no less worthy of examination or criticism than their long-form counterparts. Unless, of course, we’re talking about Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean, which started out 30 years ago as a high school comedy and evolved into a form that delivers three panels of pure, crushing despair directly at its readers on a daily basis...Seriously, there’s a level of despair Tom Batiuk’s reaching to here where you just have to respect him for being so utterly relentless about it. The dude has no mercy. He’s the Ivan Drago of depressing comic strips. He will break you.

Let's say, for sake of example, that you're sick of making Companion Cube jokes, and suddenly do a serious storyline about your female character having a miscarriage. Obviously, you'd need to have several blood clots in your brain to think this is a good idea; you're established as a wacky humour comic, so this is going to be an awkward tonal shift at best, and hugely disrespectful of the subject matter at worst.

Kojima emphasized early on that Snake would be sneaking through a warzone that he didn't care about; the whole 'Side A versus Side B' scenario where you are a powerful but neutral factor is a possible reflection Kojima's disinterest... Old Snake's 'To let the world be' phrase is perhaps the most obvious betrayal of his former philosophy, as well as the most obvious hint about how Kojima felt about the way the series was headed. Letting the world be is the opposite of Philanthopy's motto, which was 'Fight for your beliefs'. This kind of drastic contradiction only makes sense in the context of Kojima's stark change in attitude over the years.
Terry Wolfe, "Metal Gear Soldout"

Chrono Cross is a grown-up Chrono Trigger. Maybe [Masao] Kato reckoned that the fans who enjoyed Trigger when they were ten to fifteen years old deserved a sequel whose maturation was commeasurate with their own experiences during the years since Trigger's release. Chrono Trigger is a fairy tale; a boyhood dream. Chrono Cross is a bittersweet dose of reality. There is no THE END in the world. The story always continues after the latest chapter is concluded, and — perhaps as Trigger's fans noticed as they passed into adolescence and adulthood — the next chapter isn't necessarily a happy one or what we expected.

    web video 

What's the word for when something that started out being funny ends up depressing the hell out of you? Insert that word here.
Jenny Lawson, Let's Pretend This Never Happened

Mike: Let's talk about the premise: It takes place six months after Dorothy has gone to Oz, and the movie starts off with her lying in bed in a deep depression, and her parents are talking about how she's mentally deranged because she keeps talking about a place called Oz, so their solution is to take her to a Doctor to have her get electroshock therapy on her brain in a psychiatric hospital.
Jay: I was just picturing Judy Garland getting strapped down to a table and being brought into a room where there about to shock her brain, but giving the same type of performance she gave in the original movie. That would've been wonderful.

Boy, Toy Story got really dark, didn't it? I mean it's like 'You've got a friend in m—BURN ALIVE! BURN UNTIL YOU ROT IN HELL!'

Was it tasteful, maturely-executed and not-gratuitous at all? No. No, it wasn't any of those... knowing that was being doing by a guy named 'Skullface' so he could blow up a giant walking mecha robot that existed because Big Boss previously blew up another giant walking mecha robot that was infused with the resurrected soul of his dead mentor? That stuff is why it's tough to take a rape scene in Metal Gear Solid seriously. What it was was awkward; really fucking awkward.

    real life 

Virus: Never turn a funny comic into a serious epic drama. We have a murder-suicide pact that says if we ever turn into a drama, we're going to end it all rather than inflict that on the world.
Eastwood: No, I said I was going to murder the rest of you, change my name and spend the rest of my days as a painter in Brazil.

These writers and the producer, who's very creative, were writing more and more about how painful it is to be immortal. And there was a little bit of existential crisis linked to, also, an inspirational crisis, and it became a little less 'MTV Rock n' Roll.' By the time they went into Raven, in my opinion, we were full-aheaded into a middle-aged crisis show... It was like a death wish. Nobody wanted to go on living forever. Everyone's saying, 'aaaahh, it's so hard living forever! I can't take it! Everybody dies but me!' It started already on Highlander a little bit; And it always cracked me up because, basically, you'd think it'd be a great, blissful gift to be alive forever. Well, it became darker and darker and more painful.
Dennis Berry on the aborted Highlander: The Raven