Trope Shark: Take That, Critics!

It’s one thing to be upset with your critics. That’s as old as Shakespeare. Sometimes they may have a point and still be jerks about it. Sometimes they’re jerks without giving any actual constructive criticism. And in current arguments you have the racists and sexists. My problem starts when you lump all angry criticism from critic and fans alike in with the jerks and racists/sexists, but that’s not necessarily what this installment of Trope Shark is going to be about. I’ll rant about that elsewhere. If you want to go on social media or interviews and complain about that, it’s up to you, but be sure you don’t lump legitimately angry fans in with the jerks. I’ve already discussed how this happens, and I may come back to this one more time before I’m done.

However, I don’t care what happens on social media. While critics and fans should be able to make their case nicely so should the creators. Often they do not. Where this trope comes in, however, is when the creators decide to give the middle finger to their naysayers within their own stories. From TV Tropes:

A specific form of Take That!, in which the producers of a show respond to criticism of the show through the show itself, either through subtle in-jokes that obliquely refer to the criticism, putting lines of dialogue into the mouths of the characters, or presenting parodies of their critics. The program may even break the fourth wall to directly address the critics.

Depending on the producer, this can come in many forms; gentle ribbing or parody of the critics and their position, pointed rejoinders, triumphant gloating, and — in extreme cases — over-the-top bile that leads to the strong assumption that the critics may have struck a delicate nerve (either that, or the producer just plain Can’t Take Criticism).

It’s those last two parts, especially the last one, where the problem starts, because that can just ruin your story for everyone else, even the ones that like you.

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“Yesterday’s” Comic> Robotech II: The Sentinels book 3 #11

Looks like the BBQ got out of hand again.

Robotech II: The Sentinels book 3 #11

Academy Comics, Ltd (November, 1994)

“Where The Wild Things Are”


LETTERING: Alphabet Soup

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BW’s Morning Article Link: How Apu Lost His Voice

Hank Azaria recently gave an interview about why he’s decided to stop voicing Apu, the controversial character from The Simpsons. I understand his reasoning and in the end it’s his decision and it was nice of the producers to honor his desire. Of course since he voices a good chunk of the characters they probably felt it wise not to lose him altogether if he was that insistent on not playing the role anymore. However, as I wrote about before, I think the protest is a bit harsh. As far as Azaria, a white man, playing an Indian man (as in man originally from India), it’s voice acting. A lot of people play alternate races and sometimes alternate genders. I’ve heard men play women, women play boys, black men play Japanese men (nobody complains that Uncle Phil is also the Shredder), and the list goes on. Still, if he’s not comfortable playing the role I’m sure he can give up one. The question is whether or not they can or want to find a replacement.

The Downside Of Binge Watching Culture

I still wish these two could have had their own adventure. Or a review web series.

Growing up networks or even syndicated channels would have a marathon. It would be one show or one franchise airing all day long. It was a good way for people to get caught up on a series they might have come in late on or see some favorite episodes again. This would be the exception rather than the rule.

And then Netflix came along.

At first Netflix simply worked as a main-away video store. It didn’t really allow for impulse video rental but if there was a movie you just had to watch this was the place to get it. As the internet allowed better quality streaming of video they led the way in streaming TV shows and movies, but they did so from the “box set” format, posting an entire series at once. That was fine for older shows being released on home video after they aired on television, but then they started having original series, that they would release an entire season at a time and only the whole season at once. That would keep people locked to their computers and smart devices to see the whole thing so they could get in on the discussion for the latest fan favorite. Said fan favorite didn’t really last nearly as long, and didn’t have the staying power of shows not released that way, like shows on HBO or other streaming services. While marathoning/binge watching isn’t new thanks to home video, it does alter the way we interact with entertainment, and not necessarily for the better.

With some swearing in his video, Geoff Thew of Mother’s Basement explains why binge watching may actually be hurting the way we interact with TV today, since although he doesn’t mention it in the video, it has caused more marathoning even on TV networks like HGTV and Tru TV.

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“Yesterday’s” Comic> Star Trek: The Next Generation #6 (DC miniseries)

“Season 1 Federation. SF Debris warned us about you.”

Star Trek: The Next Generation #6


DC Comics (July, 1988)

“Here today”

WRITER: Mike Carlin

PENCILER: Pablo Marcos

INKERS: Carlos Garzon & Arne Starr

COLORIST: Carl Gafford

LETTERER: Bob Pinaha

EDITOR: Robert Greenberger

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BW’s Morning Article Link: The Mouse’s New House Sitter

Think about all the work put into those old Disney theatrical shorts.

Word is that Bob Iger is no longer CEO of Disney but will take on a different role. The new CEO is Bob Chapek, who was in charge of the Disney Parks. Given the reports I’ve seen from Walt Disney’s own descendants this is not comforting. I wonder what role the fiasco of Star Wars played in this but Disney has done well enough everywhere else except for those lame live-action remakes of classic Disney animated films. (I hope those are going away now.) With Disney now owning so many different studios (20th Century Fox and the Fox channels, Hulu, Disney+, Maker Studios, the various Disney networks, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and all the various studios they already had like Miramax and Capital Cities, home of ABC And ESPN) it should be interesting to see where Chapek takes the House Of Mouse…which hopefully will be a good direction.

Chapter By Chapter> Spider-Man: Carnage In New York chapter 7

Chapter By Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.

So we have scientists trying to separate a serial killer and the symbiote he bonded with AFTER becoming a serial killer (I mean, you can make a better insanity defense for the Joker than you can Cletus Kasady), Aunt May about to lose the house…again, Mary Jane looking for work, and a dinner for the homeless. Meanwhile a scientist trying to keep a mistake he stumbled upon from being turned into a weapon being hunted by the obligatory shadowy government. Simon Furman didn’t have this many plot lines going at the same time and they’re still doing it better. However, based on the image for today’s chapter…

…I’m betting it’s the obligatory “how I became Spider-Man” section of our story. No matter how culturally significant a hero is they seem to think nobody knows his origin story. Am I right?

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