23rd Oct: It's time for the Second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest! Details here
"Say no to brains, it's a no-brainer
Lowest common denominator
It pays the bills to be this sterile
Fuck me now, rip me off later"
—Mindless Self Indulgence, Bullshit
"All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio blah blah"
—Queen, "Radio Gaga"
"Like to tie up those programming planners
Make 'em watch all of that junk 'til their heads explode just like Scanners
Leech-covered grub-eatin' fools on Survivor
Look there's James Lipton discussing the oeuvre of Mr. Rob Schneider"
—"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Couch Potato"
"Our purpose is to amuse, simply to amuse. Nothing serious, nothing political."
"As some illustrious person once said, popularity is the hallmark of mediocrity."
"Never underestimate your audience. They're generally sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment."
—Cameron Mitchell, Stargate SG-1, episode 200
"...vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections."
— Kathy Torrance describing Slitscan's audience, Idoru.
Quotes on works
"In the old dramas it was love that had to be sacrificed to painful duty. In the modern instance the sacrifice is at the shrine of what William James called 'the Bitch Goddess, Success.' Love is to be abandoned for the stern pursuit of newspaper notoriety and dollars."
—Aldous Huxley "Silence is Golden"
"Bill couldn't get a whole helluva lotta momentum in the American McWorld (though he had a frequent spot on the Letterman show and did an HBO special sponsored by Rodney Dangerfield)...This stagnation is caused by producers and corporate sponsors who want to keep people as stupid and unthinking as possible. This is best exemplified in their censoring of Hicks' final performance on the Letterman show. It was never shown because of what the producers decided was unfit to air. It's the twisted cycle of maintaining public stupidity which continues, in a bulldozing fashion, to this very day. This whole situation shows how it's all right to tell brainless conventional jokes but it's not all right to step over the edge and poke fun at major sponsoring groups... The more substance and talking points you have in a show, the less attention you'll pay to the commercial break. Your mind would be too busy digesting and pondering the new information that was just received. U.S. media just can't have that. That would be a bullet in the heart of consumerism, capitalism, and the American Dream."
"The 'wealth gap' we often hear about is equaled by the 'intelligence gap' that is kept secret. Those who really understand how the modern world works continue to improve their mastery over the ignorant, in the same way that the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. The ignorant scoff at the idea of social engineering and deliberate campaigns to change consumer habits, and yet itís obvious that manipulating and managing the population is the optimal long-term strategy for every major corporation. It yields the best dividends. Instead of creating better ads, you destroy the type of thinking that resists ads. Instead of creating superior products, you emotionally cripple people to the point where they feel secretly desperate to buy your product simply in order to feel normal and accepted by society. You donít need a grand conspiracy to make this happen, itís just the natural end-game of capitalism. Everybody who understands how the world works can see this, and those who got the ball rolling around the time of the Industrial Revolution have been sure to pass down their trade secrets. Culture is a tool for managing consumers."
"It is the present, and I find myself sitting in an office. At first, I think that somebody is making a shopping list. But then, I realize that I am in the production office of That's Life! The liver and kidneys referred to are this week's star organ transplant. And as for the vegetables... they are this week's audience."
"The more your musical experience, the easier it is to define for yourself what you like and what you don't like. American radio listeners, raised on a diet of _____ (fill in the blank), have experienced a musical universe so small they cannot begin to know what they like."
—Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book
"Am I not smart enough for this? Is this some kind of experimental avante-garde thing that's just going way over my head? Because unless someone makes an argument, I'm just going to assume that I'm not dumb enough for this; that I've just got too much going on in my head; that I can't absorb something this awful."
— Todd in the Shadows on Mario's "Break Up" ft. Sean Garrett, Gucci Mane
"Britney released I am Britney Jean, a
"I know I pooh-poohed Miley Cyrus when she claimed that her Bangerz Tour was going to be a high-art educational experience, but I'll say it: I was wrong. These pictures from the first stop on her tour prove that it's clearly the kind of thing that will draw great minds like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Honestly, this should be enough to convince any number of Ivy League Universities to grant Miley an honorary PhD for her work on this tour, but if they need something in writing, she could easily provide them with dissertations on the following:"
Contemporary Amateur Hillbilly Stripping
Understanding Severe Histrionic Personality Disorder
Lack of Awareness, Accountability in a Post-Feminist Age
Fucking on a Hot Dog
"Social Entropy, for those unaware, is a term used to describe the predilection of all social systems and structures towards inevitable natural decay. One of the telltale signs of Social Entropy is a noticeable trend towards everything becoming predictable and homogeneous to the point all of society and its artifacts are reduced to their lowest common denominators...This is the end point of civilization, where everything is worn down, run down, boiled down and burned out. Sound familiar yet? If not, maybe go re-listen to Flo Rida or The Black Eyed Peas. Pop music is possibly the most entropic of our cultural signifiers, and Miley Cyrus' concerns about this are simply all over Bangerz, and in particular 'We Can't Stop'."
—John Marsfeder, "Dancing in the Ruins of the Western World"
"Y'see, the average human IQ is 100, so if you want your film to make money, you've gotta aim for 'average.' Just look at the top box office films of all time, and then consider suicide. It's the reason a high-quality film like Hugo earned nearly ten times less than a movie like Shrek 2.''
"This movie was buried before it was even released. A director that only goes by a one name moniker spends nearly 30 million of his own money and films in 28 countries for his own vanity project. Reviewers and the studio saw it as pretentious overindulgence. The studio shelved it for two years and limped it out in theaters. When it was released, reviewers took its production and shelving to rip it apart before even watching it... That explains the one a**hole in my audience who was more than vocal about his dislike of the movie and camped outside the exit to tell people who liked it otherwise. I wanted to bitch him out in front of his friends, but there's no point. He will always be the Michael Bay wanking, Michael Bolton loving jack off and there is nothing I can do to convince him this was a great movie."
"So the first thing we do when we set out to slop together a drab, tick-the-boxes, committee-designed, work-the-name-recognition-'til-its-organs-of-generation-dry-up-and-blow-away-like-dandelion-seeds reboot is to isolate everything that gave the original its unique appeal, edge, and soul, put on our big boots and stamp and stamp and stamp, until it can be posted through the letterbox of an ungrateful majority audience who'd be afraid of their own farts if they sounded one demitone higher than usual. "
"This is exactly the type of comic that Fredric Wertham would have cited in Seduction of the Innocent as an example of how comics were destroying the minds of America's children. If there's anything I know about Wertham, he was a guy who hated sex, drugs and stabbing, and this is a comic that has all three in spades.
Today, no one is terribly worried that this comic might have a negative influence on our kids. In fact, there were no labels anywhere on these comics that suggested they might even be for mature readers. And there certainly should be, because this is essentially just a Saw movie crossbred with that old HBO special where a young Ben Affleck got addicted to steroids. Any negative response to The Rise of Arsenal had to do with the quality of the book itself as opposed to the nature of its content. I suppose this suggests that some of us (including me) are less concerned about exposing youngsters to sex and violence than we are to having them read bad comics."
"Those who do not like Family Guy — and I confess that I include myself among their number — criticize it for replacing actual jokes and humor with contentless pop culture references. Although I find this critique stingingly accurate, I understand how a show could get to be like that. I'd like nothing more than to just shout 'OMG COOL WORLD' and call it a blog entry. But then I'd risk disappointing you, my imagined interlocutor, and I should hate to do that. And anyway, dipping into the Cool World level of obscure cultural reference is a bit much."
"It appears that given the choice between going to series with Doctor Who and producing another season of Sliders Fox opted for the latter. To be fair to the TV Movie, for all of its innumerable flaws it is not, in fact, worse than Sliders. The reason Sliders was picked ahead of it was purely that Sliders was made in-house by Fox. In fact the TV Movie is about as good as Sliders, which is in some ways more damning. There's a slightly irritating current of thought about the TV Movie that suggests that its problem is that it's 'American' ...The problem isn't that it's American, but that the specific type of American television it's emulating is mediocre, and it has no ambitions whatsoever towards surpassing that mediocrity. The TV Movie is trying to be bland and pointless American sci-fi, it succeeds admirably, and for that, at least, it is rightly hated."
"One of the great things about people is that if you put them on TV, they'll do anything to win. Sometimes they're not even sure if they're on a show with prizes, or what the prize is—they will debase themselves and taunt their own god to win. For proof, three different groups of women have competed to let Flavor Flav inside them, and he looks like something that crawls out of bogs...Then there's the dull anticlimax of eliminating the leftover girls after you run out of flowers. 'I'll keep you, you, you, oh, I'm out of roses. Looks like all that's left in this flower basket is fuck you and get the fuck out.' This antiquated system takes so long that during one Flavor of Love elimination, a girl had to relieve herself on the floor. It was like this epiphany hit her—when you lose all dignity, you can just shit where you stand! Or maybe her sphincter saw its one opportunity to express its opinion of the show and took it."
"Facing stiff competition from the ever-cunty Two and a Half Men and Jersey Shore, the UK edition of Deal or No Deal fully deserves the opening award for being the most insufferable puddle of rhinoceros piss to ever contaminate television screens. Firstly, there's the concept: someone chooses a box to open from a selection of boxesÖÖand that's it. Each box has randomly assigned amounts of money inside, of which the contestant loses the chance to win when opened. It's completely random. And viewers lap this shit up like it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. People watch other people opening boxes, glued to the fucking screen. Every. Fucking. Day. CUNTS!"
The Flying Guillotone, "2011 Cunt Awards"
"It's hard to imagine now, but twenty years ago, Jay's monologues were... not 'funny', exactly, but certainly tolerable by late night standards. His jokes were definitely sharper and more topical than those of Johnny Carson, who had been phoning it in for years as a man with no real competition left... Somewhere in the intervening years, Leno had started phoning it in just as badly as Carson, doing embarrassingly awful, hacky material. And yet somehow, he became the highest rated late night host and stayed that way until the bitter end. And I know a lot of people reading this think that Jay was only popular with senior citizens who don't understand how to work the remote control well enough to change the channel, but the fact is, Jay not only had the most total viewers, he was also consistently beating other talk shows in the coveted younger demographics. It's a bitter pill for some to swallow, but there really is a whole other America out there that they know nothing about, made up of people who watch Duck Dynasty and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Teen Mom, who think of Fox News as a legitimate source of news, and who love Jay Leno."