For a change I feel creatively bankrupt. I don’t have any pressing social issues to talk about (like my ill fitting shoes or Pokémon Go adventures), so I’m gonna go on a guided tour of a TV Tropes rabbit hole. I’ll go page by page and follow whatever piques my interest, bringing you along for the ride. My only hope is that the 30 minute time limit will help me jump out of said rabbit hole instead of going deeper for the rest of the night. First up…
I figure you all know what a chain letter is. The only reason I started here is that (spoiler) my other idea was do fill out one of those dumb chain letter things for today’s entry. I quote: “Chain letters in real life have nowhere near the credibility that they do in media, and are annoyingly common in e-mail spam and on comment pages and message boards.” Too true, TV Tropes. Anyway let’s see what Glurge means:
A word derived from the sound of someone throwing up, “Glurge is a catch-all term for any “inspirational” tale which conceals a much darker meaning than the uplifting moral lessons it purports to offer.” It also notes that consequences are often simplified in a manner that leaves the only option as accepting the positive message. No shades of grey, kind of thing. Which leads us to our next hole, Tastes Like Diabetes:
Tastes Like Diabetes
An audience reaction best simply defined as “saccharine”. When things are revoltingly cutesy, idealistic and have no dimensions or nuance. Primarily because the focus is so much on making things sweet to the point of the body’s physical limits. So basically the entire Air Bud Cinematic Universe. Okay, there is no reason I wouldn’t click American Kirby is Hardcore:
American Kirby is Hardcore
Oh, this one is interesting. Apparently with video game ports from Japan to the United States, there’s a habit of altering box art from cutesy to determined. Kirby being the example. The article implies that there’s a concern from the largely male, testosterone fuelled American audience that overly cutesy things imply childishness and immaturity and will actively be harmful to their cultivated masculine identity. In Japan, alternatively, pink is a neutral colour and historians have linked the Japanese tendency to move towards softer, cuter imagery as a 180° turn from their warrior culture after World War 2. Now let’s see what Heart of Blackened Steel leads to:
Heart of Blackened Steel redirects to Suprise Difficulty. This video game trope revolves around an assumed correlation between cuteness and ease of play. There are references to licensed games based on children’s series, which sends my mind reeling back to all those fast food themed video games of the early 90s like Cool Spot or M.C. Kids. Okay, what’s the Animation Age Ghetto got in store for us?
Animation Age Ghetto
Oh, it’s a page about how animation is still widely believed to be a childish medium. It credits the proliferation of profitable merchandising within child targeting animation as one of the big pushes towards animation’s assumed demographic. It does mention Futurama, Rick and Morty, South Park and so on as shifting away from this notion, though it’s not like they don’t all lend themselves to merchandising of their own. Running out of time here, let’s look at 30-Minute Commercials.
There’s a picture of Optimus Prime on the page, so I’m rolling with their pun, intentional or not. Big mentions for Transformers and Pokémon (I mean, it’s imperative to catch them all) An interesting quote goes: “the key difference between this and normal licensed merchandising is that here, it is the toy manufacturer who dictates the show’s canon. They may be able to demand addition or removal of characters from the series based on the actual toys in their production line, or that new characters must be something that they can design a toy version for on demand.” Transformers: The Movie was a total joy to watch as a kid (and kind of still is), but I always loved this quote from Orson Wells on his final film role: “I play a big toy who attacks a bunch of smaller toys.”
So if you were wondering what half an hour on TV Tropes looks like, that’s it. I’ve intentionally not included the links because I value your spare time. Then again, I’m not saying there’s anything stopping you for taking a look yourself. Do you really need to go to that party?