Five Statements Sure to Spark Discussion and Debate This Summer
For me, the best contributions I can make to a chill conversation while PorchDrinking have to do with sports and pop culture. And since not everyone follows the same sports teams as me, there are some topics in pop culture that we can all contribute to and it can be really illuminating to bring some of those conversations to the surface. Try it yourself. Here are five easy conversation-starters:
1. “I don’t even think The Avengers is gonna wind up being the best superhero movie this summer.”
Just kidding. That would be a ridiculous statement. On to the next thing.
2. “Thank goodness Community is still a thing.”
Maybe this is old news to you, maybe you haven’t heard about it yet, or maybe you just don’t have a soul so you don’t care, but NBC’s show Community is returning to the lineup this fall, albeit without its creator and showrunner, Dan Harmon. Also worth mentioning is that Community is one of television’s most inventive, daring and hilarious shows.
Long story short for those on your porch who haven’t heard: the network (NBC) and studio (Sony) haven’t been thrilled with the show’s unremarkable ratings or Harmon’s behind-the-scenes drama (he started a feud with cast member Chevy Chase by leaking voicemails from Chase complaining about the quality of the show). Couple that with the recent fan uprising to get the show back this spring, and the network/studio realized they couldn’t kill Community, but they could at least hobble it. So Harmon is gone, some fans are bitter and some of the cast are likely just putting on brave faces to make it through production.
But whatever. Whether you’re Team Chevy, Team Harmon, or Team Starburns, you should be glad that Community continues to exist. Pop Pop!
3. “The trailer for The Great Gatsby looks (insert: awesome or horrible).”
Whichever adjective you land on, you have a pretty good case.
OPTION A: The Great Gatsby looks awesome: It has Leonardo DiCaprio in a role he was born to play as Jay Gatsby. Everything on screen shimmers, in some really amazing cinematography. It’s a fascinating time period, and it looks like the costumes and sets capture that, even to an extreme.
OPTION B: The Great Gatsby looks horrible: Wait, why is the Jay-Z and Kanye song being used in a film that takes place in the 1920s? Wait, is that a Jack White cover of a Beatles song? Wait, this movie is in 3D? Wait, is that Tobey Maguire? Seriously, I still haven’t forgiven him for the whole emo Spiderman thing.
Okay, so you can’t really tell one way or the other for sure. It’s mostly just a lot of slow motion shots of people doing ordinary things (can’t wait to have Wolfsheim blow cigar smoke in me in slow-motion 3D). Odds are, it’ll be a wonderful movie. At least wonderful enough that a bunch of 9th grade English students will go to see it instead of actually reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book for class.
4. “Anyone else wanna pull a Breaking Bad and just start making meth?”
Disclaimer: Don’t cook or use meth. Seriously. Ever. Okay … but how cool is Breaking Bad? Who would’ve thought the dad from Malcolm in the Middle would turn out to be one of TV’s darkest, most ruthless anti-heroes?
Breaking Bad is back this July. If you’re a fan of the show, you understand the excitement. If you’re new to the show—or anyone else on your porch hasn’t seen it—the whole thing is on Netflix. I got so hooked on the show that I pulled all-nighters just to get through four seasons in less than a week.
Any mention of the show while PorchDrinking will inevitably spark discussion, so be sure to toss your friends a spoiler alert before giving away the crazy twists of the show’s plot. Is it realistic? Probably not (though I’ve never dealt meth or hung out with addicts). But there are so many exhilarating out-of-left-field crazy occurrences. And the montages of making meth somehow seem sexy and cool—it’s like the scenes on CSI where they use high-tech lab equipment, but with drugs instead.
5. “I think I’m gonna miss The Jersey Shore when it’s over.”
You’ll probably get booed if you say this. Everyone loves to hate The Jersey Shore. But that’s exactly the point.
In the last two and a half years (by the way, how have they crammed five seasons into that short a time?), Snooki, The Situation, Pauly D, Ronnie, Sammi, JWoww, Vinny and Deena have grown into household names only because they’re just the worst. They’re childish, vain, stupid, slutty, argumentative and totally out of touch with reality. But we talk about them for those very reasons.
They’re America’s pop culture punching bag. None of us actually want to be them, but who hasn’t fist-pumped semi-ironically? There’s such delight in making fun of them, because it’s so easy. And after this season, they’re done for good (unless there are spin-offs, God forbid). Who are we as a country going to make fun of as a so-bad-it’s-fun target? Carly Rae Jepsen?
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