Quotes: So Okay, It's Average

(parodying "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt)
"You're passable
You're passable
You're passable, it's true.
I saw your face.... it's okay.
So I figure that you'll do
'til I find somebody new."
Todd in the Shadows, in "Top Ten Songs About Mediocre Romances"

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He strained to listen for what was missing, and felt that the music was like a flightless bird that didn't even know what capacity it had lost. It walked very well, but it walked where it should soar, it walked where it should swoop, it walked where it should climb and bank and dive, it walked where it should thrill with the giddiness of flight. It never even looked up.

    Live-action TV 

.....................(five minutes pass).....................I have nothing to say about this car. (walks away)
Jeremy Clarkson on the Vauxhall Vectra

That's good. That's like a forty-degree day. Ain't nobody got nothing to say about a forty-degree day. Fifty? Bring a smile to your face. Sixty? Shit, niggas is damn near barbecuing on that motherfucker. Go down to twenty, niggas get they bitch on, get they blood complainin', but forty? Nobody give a FUCK about forty! Nobody remember forty, and y'all niggers is giving me way too many forty-degree days, WHAT THE FUCK?!!!
Stringer Bell, The Wire


Rich: See, I dunno if this is "terrible" as much as it is just a letdown. It's definitely not "good." You could do worse.
Jay: Oh, there's been plenty of worse sequels, but... this is almost worse in the sense that it's so uninspired. When something is that middle-of-the-road, it's almost worse than a disaster sequel.

    Tabletop Games 

When nothing but second best will do.

    Web Animation 

Let me just restate that Uncharted 2 is by no stretch of the word bad; it's all very 'balanced' and 'compelling' and 'cinematic' and all the other words from the GameSpot review generator... But apart from that it doesn't add a single thing, not to its own series or to gaming as a whole. It's even got an unlockable zero-gravity mode. You see, it's so opposed to the concept of newness it feels it has to defy Sir Isaac New-ton.


It's mediocre. I'm not overwhelmed or underwhelmed. I'm just whelmed.
— "Mulberry's 2009 Fall TV Preview"

    Web Original 

A few weeks back, while I was in the depths of despair after ranting about Highlander: Endgame, I set out on a quest with Sarah to watch a good Christopher Lambert movie. Unfortunately, no such thing exists outside of the original Highlander and perhaps Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan. However, there are a lot of mediocre Christopher Lambert movies out there...

David: This movie is a straight line, everybody. There are no good parts. There are no bad parts. Just a neverending din of sub-mediocrity. This movie is like nails on chalkboard, neverending and monotonous. It is completely bereft of any original thought.
Chris: I think there’s actually a point where you can tell they just completely stop giving a damn.
David: When, the “Warner Bros.” logo?
—Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Catwoman

Initial reactions toward Match Point probably were more glowing than they should be but I can certainly understand why. Slogging through (Woody) Allen’s filmography recently has been like eating Ramen noodles for every meal for a month. Your first real meal back will probably seem like Filet Mignon no matter what.
Miles Antwiler on Match Point (2005)

I’d rather have an M. Night Shyamalan on his worst day than, say, a Brett Ratner, who might as well not exist. Who ever watched a movie and said “oh that shot was classic Ratner…” Yeah, Ratner and directors of his ilk get stuff made on time and on budget, but there’s not an ounce of creativity. You might as well just dump a sack of bricks into the director’s chair for all the flair and invention you’ll get. What a choice. M. Night Shyamalan, or a sack of bricks.

Fifty Shades of Grey is expected to bring in anywhere from $60 million to $80 million this weekend. That means every divorce lawyer in the country better open up bright and early on Sunday morning, because husbands will want to immediately file “I Quit This Bitch” papers after their wives dragged them to that mess on Valentine’s Day...So far the reviews are mixed to negative and most agree that it’s about as exciting as a sloth’s yawn, but also said that it’s better than the book and somewhat entertaining. But then again if Sam Taylor-Johnson shot nothing but a snail humping a leaf on a puddle of vomit and called it the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, it would still be better than the book. I also read a review that declared Dakota Johnson the best thing in that shit. Now we know what Melanie Griffith has been up to. She’s been working as a movie critic!

(Malcolm) MacDowell may actually be too low key here and elsewhere: According to the movie, his character is supposed to be deranged by his need to return to the ribbon, unhinging his moral compass enough to allow him to commit genocide, but McDowell just isn’t giving us deranged at all. It’s a good performance, but it’s an unmemorable one, and certainly not the one that’s called for by the plot. In the end, it’s just a technically solid performance by a solid actor, nothing more. As I said before, this movie screws up even the things it does right.

"Twisted" is very much the equivalent of forty-five minutes of Star Trek themed dead air.

Watching "Live Fast and Prosper" is like having really unsatisfying sex: the mechanics are adequate but there is no lust, no energy, no flair and no pleasure. The plotting is so drab you can guess every twist a mile off, even when it is trying to be clever.
Joe Ford on Star Trek: Voyager, "Live Fast and Prosper"

Jay Leno is renowned for providing background noise for elderly on nursing homes. His barely understandable speech and crappy jokes help the geriatrics sleep better.

Craig T. Nelson will reprise his role as Coach in a 13-episode sequel for NBC. Variety reports that it will be the same concept except it’s 18 years later in the Coach universe, and everyone is now in their 90s or dead. They must all be dead, right? Wasn’t everyone already geriatric on that show? ...Coach was on for NINE SEASONS. NINE. Really? I think I saw it once and was like, oh, the theme is guys are funny cuz’ they’re stupid *eye-roll* and wow, Shelly Fabrares has some big,red hair. She was like the proto-Merida.
J. Harvey, "Are There That Many “Coach” Fans Out There Who Needed A Sequel?"

As a show, Primeval is solidly not bad, which is, of course, the exact worst thing a show can possibly be for the purposes of blogging about it. The staggeringly execrable and the absolutely phenomenal are both fairly easy to write about. The almost great but fatally flawed is dead easy. Basically competent schedule filler, on the other hand, is absolutely murderous.

All things considered 'Club Can’t Handle Me' is probably Flo Rida’s best song yet. So using it as a point of comparison here requires me to be harsher to the song than I’d really like, but the thing is, it’s such a perfect storm of problematic music industry trends there’s no better moment to talk about what modern pop music sounds like. Flo Rida is ostensibly a rapper, but he has a rather nasty (and sadly perhaps not entirely undeserved) reputation as the hip-hop artist for people who don’t know anything about hip-hop. And the song itself is wonderfully, gratuitously, almost defiantly generic...Flo Rida rattles off a stream-of-consciousness string of derivative club dance buzzwords, dutifully namechecking the fact that he has a private jet, that 'bottles' and 'models' are present and that he has literally so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it all to the point he doesn’t even sound enthusiastic about it (which is emphasized by the heavy use of autotune everywhere on the track). There are random, pointless samples taken from other, more original songs and a general sense it’s trying to sound vaguely 1980s because the music industry, just like everyone else, is obsessed with nostalgia for a period it thinks was a lost Golden Age that it needs to find a way back to...Then there is, of course, the fact the entire song was written specifically for the second sequel to a not especially successful movie about dancing that was notable largely because it heavily hyped the fact it was shot in 3D. I mean really, you’d be hard pressed to find a song that better encapsulates the desperation and excess of modern pop.

Yes, Telenet's quality control was lacking. For every Exile series, the company churned out twice as many unremarkable titles... It wasn't as though the typical Telenet release was even memorably bad; it was more the game equivalent of unflavored oatmeal.

    Web Video 

As soon as you turn this movie off, you're gonna forget what you did for the last hour and a half. 'Oh, yeah. I watched a movie. What was it called again? I dunno, uh, Fatal? Deadly?
Good Bad Flicks and Allison Pregler on Lethal (2005)

Directors like Cameron and Spielberg are masters of pulling at those all-important heartstrings. With some exceptions, they are the makers of the movie versions of Applebee's, Panera Bread, and T.G.I. Friday's. Exceptionalism is the exception my friends. The brilliant, complex and challenging falls by the wayside, while the safe and the familiar is the norm. So this is why I can't officially say that Titanic's a bad movie; it aimed for the middle — and hit the mark perfectly. Titanic makes you step back and look at the bigger, more depressing picture: that we're mostly creatures of habit, and we're... average. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.

"I think Eraser's guilty of being a knock-off Arnold movie that just happens to star Arnold. It's almost there."
"Oh, I just noticed: This music—this score is by Alan Silvestri. That theme there is basically Captain America. "Doo doo da doo doo da doo doo doo"... Silvestri scored Captain America, too."
"He just dipped into his archives?"
"I think he figured, 'Who's gonna remember Eraser?'"

That's what makes reviewing this episode so difficult: it's not actually bad, it just has so much you have to sit through that's just uncomfortable. It's a sci-fi prostate exam.

It's okay, but that's the problem. It's so 'okay' that it's not even worth existing. So bland and mediocre that it's hard to even come up with legitimate complaints.
The Angry Video Game Nerd on Independence Day for the Playstation

    Western Animation 

He's colossal! Stupendous! One might even go so far as to say he's mediocre.

    Real Life 

I think the highest and lowest points are the important ones. All the points in between are, well, in between.

Ishtar was a B-minus, C-plus comedy.
Dustin Hoffman on his seminal work

If Hollywood produced five times as many films as it does now, it would still not meet the demand. There is space for the mediocre!
Menahem Golan, 1986 interview

Notice the jump that happens at the 5 score. Notice how the whole tone of the guide changes. Suddenly the guide is not talking about the fine points of addressing the prompt; it is talking about the life-choking drabness of it all. You can almost hear the guide's author muttering under his or her breath, 'I wish we could give these essays an even lower score; they are so boring!' The 5 essay is a trap; many 5 essays are written by good students, and most of these students probably think they wrote a pretty good essay. But in actuality they wrote only an adequate essay, a mechanical essay, a commonplace essay—a boring essay. After grading the fifty-fifth essay of the day, a reader writes down a 5 and picks up another essay from the pile, praying: "Please, not another drab, boring 5 essay!
— Richard Atley Hartzell, Cracking the AP English Language & Composition Exam