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Recap / Strong Bad Email E 203 Independent

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Airdate: Monday, August 10, 2009

Sender: -=Evil Gif=-
Phoenix Arizona

The Compé makes its sbemail debut! Once Strong Bad is done gushing over the "actual graphics", he gets a question from "Evil Gif"note  asking if Strong Badia has its own independent film festival (or as Strong Bad calls it, a "hideous growth on my butt festival").

Strong Bad: Independent films are called that for a reason: they are independent of anything good. And these days, they seemed to be locked in a civil war that will hopefully end in the extermination of both sides. I am, of course talking about independent films vs. indie films.
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Strong Bad goes on to use the film stylings of Strong Sad ("the lifer artist-type who went to film school") and Pom Pom ("a tech-savvy hipster whose dad owns his own studio, and relies on using middle names and/or initials to somehow solidify his indie cred") as representatives of independent and "indie" films respectively.

Strong Sad's "independent" film is a "boring, very personal" lower-than-no-budget "filmic thought excursion" starring a washed-up TV actor (or in this case, Homestar Runner) and full of black-and-white shots of dead houseplants, with a soundtrack composed of Strong Sad weeping into the wrong end of a saxophone and a title ("Because, As It Were") cribbed from random words in a random sentence in a random book. Strong Sad's film then enjoys, not an art house opening, but an "Art's House" opening. ("He's got like, three couches!")

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Pom Pom's "indie" film has a 30-million dollar budget, but is designed to look like he only spend a few hundred thousand, including "a hand-drawn title sequence that looks like it was made by some Junior High kid during Pre-Algebra", a soundtrack by an indie band whose music has primarily been used in car commercials, and a title that's either "two of the cleverly named main characters, or the city and state in which it takes place. Ooh, in fact, just call it City (Comma) State." The cast is composed of A-list actors working "for scale", and the plot revolves around life in a small factory town with a quirky, dysfunctional family. "Pom Pom's little movie that could" opens on thousands of screens in the first two weeks, and has "money left over to take out full page ads in all the local trade papers during award season!"

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Strong Bad: There you have it, Evil Jeff. The difference between a hideous growth on my butt, and a profitable hideous growth on my butt. I know you wanted us to have some film festival with all the characters, and you'd get to see little bits of everybody's movies, but I didn't do that. (beat) Because I hate you.

Strong Bad celebrates his sick burn ("Forget evil .gifs, I'm an evil .tif!") by checking out the Compé's The Paper-less "Click Here to Email Strong Bad" pop-up, which Strong Bad customizes to produce an old-fashioned "preeeeow" sound.


Tropes:

  • Animated Credits Opening: City (Comma) State includes "a hand-drawn title sequence that looks like it was made by some junior high kid during pre-algebra".
  • Big "NO!": Strong Bad's response to the idea of a Strong Badian independent film festival:
    Strong Bad: The short answer is "no". The long answer is... NOOOOOOOOOOOO.
  • Bland-Name Product: Quite literally, as Pom Pom's film ends up being called "City (Comma) State".
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Strong Sad's film, like any good independent film, is in black and white.
  • Dissimile: Strong Bad on the plot of "City (Comma) State".
    Strong Bad: An indie film's plot is pretty much the same as any summer blockbuster, but just switch out the word "space" with the words "small factory town", replace "aliens" with "quirky, dysfunctional family", and replace "voyage" with... "journey".
  • I Resemble That Remark!:
    Strong Bad: [Pom Pom's] film will star a washed-up TV actor that hasn't worked in ten years, in a desperate attempt to reinvent himself.
    Homestar: (annoyed) Hey, whadaya lookin' at me for?
  • Leave the Camera Running: Parodied; after Strong Sad brags that he minored in "holding on wide-shots for too long" in film school, the camera briefly lingers on him.
  • Le Film Artistique: Strong Sad's independent film is full of shots of dead and depressing stuff, and features dialogue like "I just don't think I can handle eating all this asparagus..."
  • Metaphorgotten: After dissing the sender in the Flash version, Strong Bad brags "Forget evil .gifs, I'm an evil .tif! Or maybe an evil 24-bit .png with alpha channel. Or maybe an evil... targa... file? Whatever those are.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Strong Bad's response to the wallpaper on the Compé. "These are actual graphics? And I can change it to be whatever I want?"
  • No Budget: Invoked; Strong Sad's independent film is not just no-budget, but "faux-budget". "The entire thing's being financed with Monopoly money."
  • Oscar Bait: Parodied, with Pom Pom's indie movie spending a good chunk of its budget on buying "full page ads in all the local trade papers during award season".
  • Portmantitle: The title of Pom Pom's film goes from "Chester + Meg" to "Megchester, NY".
  • Revised Ending: The Youtube version of the email, instead of Strong Bad's Take That, Audience! moment, ends with Strong Bad talking about raiding Pom Pom's craft services table for snacks.
    Strong Bad: Can't get enough of those artisinal cheeses and that extra healthy water!
  • Running Gag: Strong Bad telling Strong Sad "And best of luck to you."
  • Shout-Out: Strong Bad makes fun of "-=Evil Gif=-"'s name with the remark "Evil Moms choose Evil JIF".
  • Show Within a Show: In this case, Strong Sad and Pom Pom are creating their own films. Not quite Dueling Shows, since the two aren't even attempting to compete with each other.
  • Take That!: This e-mail pokes fun at both pretentious art-house movies and trendy "indie" movies, with Pom Pom's film seemingly aiming at Synecdoche, New York.
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