Jul 7, 2010


My work colleague, the erstwhile Disco Stu, turns an interesting shade of bottled purple every time I mention that I still haven't seen The Shawshank Redemption yet. That's despite the fact he lent me the DVD sometime in late 2008. That's right - the DVD is sitting at my house. I could watch it at any time. It's incredibly rude of me that I haven't. I guess I just ...forget. I don't know, I not pretending I have an excuse.

If Stu's reading this, he's probably intensified to a sort-of bulging green colour now.

Anyhoo, my shameful lack of pop culture knowledge cropped up again this morning, due to this week's Back to the Future Twitter scam. A whole bunch of people excitedly tweeted about July 5, 2010 being the day Doc set his Delorean hoverboard machine to jump time into the future. "OMG, it's today!" was the general nature of the tweets.

Now you may be sensing the direction that this is going (I imagine Stu is some sort of dayglo orange by now).

I didn't jump onboard the meme - because I've never seen the Back to the Future movies.

(Fire engine red?)

And it turns out the meme was false - someone had just done some creative photoshopping. I triumphantly told Disco Stu and another colleague, Aaron, that finally my not having seen those movies paid off, as I didn't fall for the scam. That joke fell flat, as they merely looked at me with a combination of pity and resentment. Aaron even declared he didn't think we could be friends anymore.

A few months ago I was roundly admonished by my entire Tasmanian Babes Fiasco cast when they discovered I hadn't seen Back to the Future (there'd been talk of inserting a reference to it at some point, although I forget the details). Several of them told me that essentially I had no business being alive, let alone a director of fine comedy.

Although his hair
was different, wasn't it?
I don't know why I've never seen Back to the Future. In my defence, I did go on the Back to the Future ride at the Disney Epcot Centre in 1993. So I know there's a magic car, and Uncle Fester's in it, and there's some running gag about Michael J. Fox sleeping with his mum.

It's not like I'm completely against discovering new things. I've gotten into True Blood, for example. But it's time, you know? For example, I haven't seen a movie at the cinemas since Kick Ass about four months ago. I haven't even seen Sex and the City 2. Even though I'm a reasonably busy lass, you'd think I could make some time to squeeze in a couple of hours with Carrie and the girls, racist overtones and all. Apparently not.

Maybe I need to put down the history documentaries. The thing is, DVDs seem to be for me what music is for others. I often just put one on while I cook, clean or work at my computer. TV series are my favourite, as I can just whack on an episode of Father Ted, or Yes, Minister or Blackadder or The Micallef Program or Futurama and have some fun background noise keep me company while I beaver away on other chores.

To actually focus on something requires setting aside other tasks (except perhaps the ironing). I mentioned that I watch True Blood - Ashes to Ashes, Battlestar Galactica, Deadwood and Doctor Who are other recent examples of shows I got keen on. But there's so much more I seem to miss - and that's before you get to reality TV. I've never watched Masterchef Australia, which means 80% of all Tweets go completely over my head.

Here's a list of some more classic movies/TV shows that I'm going to confess I've either never seen or, in the case of some of the TV shows, just seen an odd episode here or there but haven't immediately rushed to JB Hi-Fi to buy the box set and watch it from start to finish over the course of a weekend.

The Blues Brothers
Toy Story (1, 2 or 3)
The Godfather, parts I, II or III
The West Wing
The Wire
How I Met Your Mother
Six Feet Under
Arrested Development
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Mad Men
The Sopranos
Breaking Bad

The thing is, I'm "bad" because of this. I know that people reading this - many of whom tend to be on the geekier end of the spectrum - will honestly have a reaction that can best be described as "OMG WTF?!??!?!" to at least one of those movies or TV series. Some of you may even feel compelled to leave a comment telling me exactly how bad I am that I haven't seen them. And look, you're probably right. The fact that I pay my bills on time and am nice to old people really doesn't compensate for the fact I haven't seen The Goonies or Taxi Driver.

Should I be mocked and pilloried? Are there more films/TV shows out there I should know about? Does anyone else want to confess to not seeing something they're reliably told they should have? And does anyone have an oxygen pump I can use to revive Disco Stu, who seems to be twitching on the floor?


  1. OMG WTF??!!!1!!

    I haven't gotten around to/been bothered with 95% of that list either. Very short attention span and better things to spend my limited time on than watching entire series of American TV shows on DVD on the spare days I don't have. I'm sure they're all fab-o, but I'm equally sure the world will cope minus one more frothing fanboi recruited to the cause.

  2. So how many times have you watched "Gone with the Wind"?

  3. I will ease your suffering, and join you on that rickety limb for some confessions:

    I haven't seen any of the Godfathers. Or Taxi Driver. Or Stand By Me. Or The Goonies. Or Reservoir Dogs. I hate Curb Your Enthusiasm with a passion, and thus refuse to watch any more than I have already seen. I haven't seen an episode of Arrested Development in its entirety yet (although I do want to). And I only saw The Silence of the Lambs for the first time last year.

    I have, however, watched Footrot Flats: A Dog's Tale at least once a year since 1988. So I feel I am still winning at life.

  4. Actually Dan, not recently.

    Last time I watched it would be some years ago. In my peak of GWTW fandom, I would probably watch it once every couple of months. Skipping through some of the bits, naturally (that scene with Ashley in the shed for example).

    Robin Hood I watched over and over and over as a kid/teen.

    My real habit now are those history docs - just love the soothing sounds of Simon Schama...

  5. Hey Jasper - yeah, I haven't seen Resevoir Dogs either, or Stand By Me.

    I haven't seen Footrot Flats either, which is surprising, because it sounds like the kind of movie I WOULD have seen.

    And I watch "Not Another Teen Movie" at least once a year, often more. Love that movie, it's awesome. (And people, it's NOT by the same people who did those shitty Epic Movie and Date Movie films - those ones ARE actually crap).

  6. I tend to start to watch shows, but then get distracted by something shiny after a few episodes. From your list, that's the case with Breaking Bad, Lost, Mad Men, West Wing and The Sopranos.

    Apart from Lost - which I despised - I've made several attempts to get into each of them, but I never seem to make it past 2 or 3 episodes.

    But Back To The Future? Really? OMG WTF??!?

  7. Pfft. Judging people based on their pop-cultural awareness is so 1999.

  8. Don't feel too bad.. I hadn't seen Star Wars until the cinemas ran it again to celebrate 25 years since release.

    I can't join in any conversation that involves
    references to anything remotely horror orientated; The exorcist, the shining and psycho have all eluded me. I can recite the West Wing almost verbatim though!

  9. I don't get all the fuss about Dexter or The Wire, The Wire because the fricken cop was using a typewriter to write reports in the 2000's. Yeah right, realism that ain't.
    But as a comedy director, not having seen Arrested Development is criminal, hugely so, i think you'd get more hints as a writer from that show than any other comedy written.

  10. OMG WTF?!??!

    I'm not quite that emphatic so I removed one exclamation point and one question mark.

    I'm most astonished by the whole Godfather thing.


  11. The west wing?

    Really, how did you miss that one.

    I honestly can't think of a popular geeky movie or series I haven't seen.

    You have so much to look forward to when you do get around to seeing these shows. I am a little envious as I have watched them and so never have the chance to dicover them again. To you list I would aslo add Deadwood.

    But don't stop watching the Schama, have to love the Schama.

  12. I am an incandescent shade of Puce right now.

  13. i witnessed someone, just recently being told off, having friends turn their back on them, for never having seen the princess bride. i remember the same happening to friends at uni who had never seen rocky horror.

    i feel that it comes across as very borg like. in order to be part of the collective, you must share the knowledge/experience that "we" all partake in, and if you don't, then you can't be "one of us, one of us! we accept her! one of us! gooble gobble, gooble gobble!."

    i don't play that game, any more. if someone i know has not seen something that people consider "required viewing" if they wish to remain friends with them, i have a different response.

    i tell them that they might enjoy it and that i hope they do enjoy it, if they see it. but no one should be told that "ohmaigawd! you totally have to see this movie."

    the fiend
    especially with people born after it came out on video...

  14. So funny, the hubby and I just got out "The Shawshank Redemption" to watch it again last night.

    Wow, Nat - I too am pretty shocked. On the one hand (notably with the TV series) I think 'oh gosh, therein lies some of the most incredible writing ever'; on the other I think 'well, she's got hours of her life remaining that I long since parted with'. I've had to impose a tv series ban on myself for a while, such was their grip on me (I'm thinking in particular, Buffy, Six Feet Under, Lost and Arrested Development).

    And Back to the Future rocks! All three of them.

    And I'm proud to say I didn't fall for it either; I was geeky enough to know the scripts by heart during my teen years so 2015 was echoing through my head...


  15. No television show, however meritorius, is worth excommunicating friends over. Unless, of course, you happen to be a total fuckwit.

  16. Nat, you have to give Arrested Development a go. It's very fast and clever, so every time you go back and rewatch you find all sorts of jokes you didn't get the first time because you were still laughing at the previous joke.
    I also love Curb Your Enthusiasm, but it can get a bit...oh for God's sake get over it. Larry David is a very acquired taste!

  17. 1.21 Gigawats!

    ah hem... I think you might enjoy 'Pushing Daisies'
    The romantic comedy series about a pie maker who can bring people back to life with a touch but a second touch kills and for anyone brought back to life for more then one min requires someone else to die.
    He is in love with his childhood sweetheart, who he brought back to life so now they can never touch... oh and he was responsible for her fathers death when he brought his mother back to life, before accidently touching and killing her anyway.
    In the mean time he solves murders with his private detective friend by bringing the victim back to life for less then 60 seconds and asking who killed them.

    Its fantastic, and filmed in hypercolour.

  18. Of that list, I've only seen the Godfather and the Toy Story trilogies. I only saw Back to the Future about a month ago after years of urgings from the friends. A lot of them are on my one rainy day list.

  19. I've never seen Gone With The Wind, does that count?

  20. I recently watched Saturday Night Fever for the first time. Afterwards, I wished truly from the bottom of my heart that I had not. It was possibly the worst movie I have ever seen. Dreadful! And this is from someone who has watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and Lobster Man From Mars. (Repeatedly).

    But having watched the Shawshank Redemption at least a dozen times, I can only say, you're missing out. Watch it, GC. Soon.

  21. I love the Back To The Future trilogy, it's in my DVD cupboard. The original is the best though. I haven't seen any of the shows/movies in your list except Toy Story (indirectly while my kids watched it), Dexter and The Godfather parts 1 and 2. I only recently watched The Godfather movies and can I say Al Pacino was gorgeous as Michael Corleone, mafia don or not. It was nice to discover that it was this film that introduced the phrases "sleeping with the fishes" and "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse" I also recently watched The Princess Bride for the first time and while enjoyable I still do not understand how it came to reach cult status. Must be me.