I know I’ve been repping this hypothetical Air Bud Pawdcast for a while. The byproduct of a caffeine induced fever dream and being bored at the office, it’s something I’ve talked up but haven’t delivered. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that this absurdly unnecessary idea is now coming to fruition. I have a co-host. We have a producer. We’re recording our first episode on Tuesday.
It’s a big thing for me. On one hand there’s the reality of actually getting shit done. You may have noticed a propensity for me to talk about things endlessly (and doesn’t a podcast seem the perfect outlet for this?), but it’s rare for my ceaseless ranting to find substantive form. The other part of the equation is that I’m making something. Me. That guy who’s always too eager to launch into criticizing what others put out into the world is actually putting something of his own out there. I’m creating a cultural product available for critique. Will my ego stand the blow? Or will it be an exercise in self-deprecation and delusion. Since I know I’m making something silly, will that take the sting out of it?
SO MANY QUESTIONS.
The strange admission I need to make now though: I still haven’t seen any of the films. I’m going into this with nothing but faith and love for an idea I cooked up in my head. Have I built it up enough that I’ll love them regardless? Or will the whole endeavor seem a preemptive waste of time? I was talking with a friend about my concept yesterday and to him the most fascinating idea was that I’d built it up so much and hadn’t watched a frame. Even so, I had so many questions for the franchise. He was even more invested in hearing what I was looking for going into the film than what I’d learned after it. He had a point, so with plans to watch and take notes tomorrow, I’ll list some questions I have going into this ambitious project:
- Who is Air Bud? Where does he come from? How does he join the picture? Is he a stray? Or already an established member of this family?
- What kind of character arc does Air Bud embark (heh, bark) on? Is it a rags to riches tale (heh, tail)? Does he go from being an underdog (seriously, I’m not even trying here) into holding a position of power and influence? Is the strength and talent within him from the start or does it emerge under pressure? What of hubris? Does he have enough of a hero’s heart to not be consumed by the power he wields and use it to ill-intent? Is he a believable character? Likeable enough for us to emotionally invest in? Can I see elements of myself in his development?
- How does the unleashing (heh, leash) of his abilities affect those around him? What of those people around him? Are they good at heart or looking to leverage his talents to their own gain?
- How do his team mates deal with the interspecies interaction on the court? His opponents? Obviously people will be incredulous to be playing with/against a dog, but at what point does this turn? Is there a deeper “game recognize game” notion that supersedes the limitations of DNA? Does this have wider parallels to sexuality/gender ideas?
- How does Bud’s physiology fit into the rules of the game? Can you use your feet in basketball or is that illegal? Are Bud’s limbs all considered feet? Or is there a front/back:hands/feet dichotomy in play? Are you allowed to headbutt the ball? Is there any credence given to verisimilitude?
- At any point does Bud rear up on his hind legs in order to dunk the ball?
- Are there any cheeky nods or knowing winks to Buddy’s other famed acting role as Comet in Full House?
- Does Bud show talent in other neighbouring areas? Knowing his greater sporting prowess extends to a five film franchise, is there any foreshadowing? Are any seeds placed that will blossom later?
- Does he talk? I know in later films (spoilers) the Air Buddies are dubbed, but what of Air Bud? I still have no fucking idea if this happens. If so, does he talk to other animals? Humans? Are we privy to his internal thoughts manifested through action?
Fucking hell, I could keep going but I’ve run out of time. Do I really have to wait till tomorrow to see this film? The tension is killing me. I’m sure I’m not the only one with a burning desire to learn more. I guess it’s my duty to do the work and bring this insight to the world.