Quotes / Lowest Common Denominator

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    Film — Live-Action 

I would like to voice my strong concern about this show's spiraling decline in ratings. David, ever since you took us to the Caribbean, it's been Jamaica homeless people sucking soup, and a big wave outside that cost a hundred thousand dollars. That's depressing and it's expensive, two words I hate. You know the words I like? I like the word "peppy" and the word "cheap". Peppy and cheap.
Edmund Edwards, Soapdish


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

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
Leech-covered grub-eatin' fools on
Look there's James Lipton discussing the
oeuvre of Mr. Rob Schneider
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Couch Potato"


...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.

    Live-Action TV 

Human interest story
I won't look at you
I have no time for you
That beard of bees
It has no power over me
I won't not look at you
I have no time for you
Dunkin' Donuts, 2006 ad spot

Our purpose is to amuse, simply to amuse. Nothing serious, nothing political.

As some illustrious person once said, popularity is the hallmark of mediocrity.
Niles, Frasier


Hitchcock said a movie should play the audience like a piano. Death Race played me like a drum. It is an assault on all the senses, including common. Walking out, I had the impression I had just seen the video game and was still waiting for the movie.


Hey, I've said a million times: TNA still being alive today really makes me feel better about my own future. Right? I mean, there's an audience for anything, clearly. This could be the worst show of all time, and there would still be people that subscribe. That makes me feel good.

I try to have the best show I can, but I feel confident that no matter how bad it gets, clearly there will STILL be people listening.

And TNA has, uh... brought me some peace of mind.


Listen, I've spent my whole life defending movies that people tell me are evil, and they're not. I get told horror movies are bad for you and action movies are bad for you and erotic thrillers are bad for you — no. Little Man is bad for the world.

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.

    Web Animation 

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.
Zero Punctuation on Thief (2014)

    Web Original 

Now when I think of writers, I think of people who have something original to say and the gift of verbal communication to pass on their unique points of view to the public (i.e. Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ted Geisel). Novelists, maybe some old time poets, journalists, people who have a burning desire inside to share their thoughts about subjects of which they have personal knowledge - like Ted Geisel, have a great imagination and unique communicative skills. There is a another kind of writer though who has no particular point of view, no knowledge of the subjects he writes about, no imagination and no love for cartoons - and not the least amount of skill or talent for communicating anything fresh or interesting. These are "writers-for-hire" a kind of wimpy mercenary who will write anything for money on demand. This is what we had in the cartoon business in the 80s.

Culture is a tool for managing consumers.

The first question the alleged documentary filmmaker interviewer asks is 'what's your favorite bubble gum.' SHUT IT DOWN, BOB WOODWARD.
Jezebel, "Britney Spears' Delusional 'Documentary' is a Hot, Glittery Mess"

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

Um, hello, were they ever considered “rock”? It was my understanding that the National Registry of Music Classifications (if that’s even a thing that exists) created a new genre specifically for them called Melodic Douche Grunts or Truck Tunes.
DListed, "Nickelback Doesn’t Sound Like Nickelback Anymore And Their Fans Are Pissed"

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'.

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.

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.

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.

I’m at a loss for words, I really am. This really is television for morons.

'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.

This got made! And is going to series!
The Futon Critic, on Work 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 boxes……and 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"

That's the biggest problem with games today; everything that doesn't fit the design document has to be removed. All the rough edges have to be sanded off, all the easter eggs have to be removed for budget restraints, all the fun, secret shit has to be shelved because there's not enough time to include both that and the mandatory amount of cutscenes. In today's climate, it's no longer about adding content that enhances the player experience. It is instead about giving the player the bare minimum amount needed to keep them playing, and then force them onto the next game to buy and then forget about. It's just like television - they don't care about the impact the work has on you, they just want you to keep watching for the next one.

I think it's telling about a company when just a decade ago it was considered one of the coolest sites on the Web, a source of unabashed creativity and community, where memes lived and died like they were nothing - only for the site to offer itself for vivisection and spend the last three years spasming at every opportunity Google takes to cut into it. Nowhere is this more reflective than the most popular videos on YouTube, which I have previously described as the "TMZ" as websites, but is now better described as the "TLC" of the Web: a series of lowest-common-demoninator advertisements, sponsored content, and pop culture pandering that exists only to extract advertising revenue from the most disinterested and barely-alive populace that exists today.
Froghand, from the 2016-10-05 BUAFY.

    Web Video 

Vince Russo is a deer caught in the headlines as long as there's a wrestling match going. As long as he can make it a phony B-movie script, or an outhouse in the ring, or woman having miscarriages—so get the wrestling matches outta there, 'cause nobody wants to see that shit anyway.

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

Mike: Jay! What did you think of Paul Blarb Mall Blarb: Blarp Blarp?
Jay: What is the opposite of art?
Mike: Paul Blart.
Jay: "Art" is in the name, though, which is unfortunate. Paul BlART.
Mike: If those three letters could kill themselves, they would.

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.

    Real Life 

Mike Bongiorno is an ideal that nobody has to strive for, because everyone is already at its level. No religion has ever been so indulgent to its faithful. In him the tension of what is and what should be is annulled. He says to his worshipers, "You are God, Stay exactly as you are."
Umberto Eco, "Phenomenology of Mike Bongiorno" (1961)

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"

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.