"Jake from Two and a Half Men means nothing. He is a non-existent character."
November 26, 2012 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Angus Jones, better known as Jake on the show Two and a Half Men, has joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The young star has released a pair of videos urging people to stop watching the show.
posted by reenum (182 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Winning!
posted by davebush at 6:44 PM on November 26, 2012 [21 favorites]


The quote in the post title made me imagine that the videos offered a Gogolian reading of Two and a Half Men as a phantasmagoria of failure, but alas, 'twas not to be.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:44 PM on November 26, 2012


Should result in an uptick in ratings.
posted by arcticseal at 6:46 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:47 PM on November 26, 2012 [21 favorites]


This is one respect in which I am heeding Pascal's Wager.
posted by eugenen at 6:51 PM on November 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


I already do not watch this show (or much of any television, for that matter). In spite of this, I regard the idea of religious dogma restricting entertainment options as a wholly ridiculous notion.

Dude: I get that you're a teen actor and have, thus, been raised in a weird bubble of ideas, but seriously.
posted by Archelaus at 6:52 PM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Forerunner Christian Church isn't affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist World Church, at least not according to its website. Since they have their services on Sunday, and the SDA have theirs on Saturday, the Mail reporter seems to have gotten misinformation somewhere.

That bit really makes no sense. I see that you got it from the Mail, but it seems to be utter bullshit.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:52 PM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


So on the "Michael Caine-Robert Pattinson" scale of biting the hand that feeds you where does Angus Jones fit in?
posted by m@f at 6:52 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Two and a Half Menonites?
posted by bpm140 at 6:53 PM on November 26, 2012 [43 favorites]


Production is proceeding as usual on CBS' "Two and a Half Men" following the criticsm of costar Angus T. Jones and his YouTube post labeling the comedy as "filth."

A spokesman for CBS said the show was on schedule as usual, noting that Jones' character, Jake Harper, is not in every episode this season. Harper at the end of last season joined the Army.

posted by mediareport at 6:54 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know of Two and a Half Men, but I have no idea who the character Jake is. Because I know that Charlie Sheen/Ashton K. and that actor from all those 80's comedies make up the 'Two' part, am I correct in assuming that this fellow made up the 'and a Half' side of things?

Or I could go look it up, but where's the fun in having that show's info in your browser history?
posted by item at 6:55 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can you really expect someone who had to spend his formative years interacting professionally with Charlie Sheen to, I don't know, not end up renouncing his upbringing and everything associated with it?
posted by griphus at 6:55 PM on November 26, 2012 [63 favorites]


I don't need the bible to not watch that show.
posted by radiosilents at 6:56 PM on November 26, 2012 [78 favorites]


urging people to stop watching the show.

A miracle! A Christmas miracle!
posted by octobersurprise at 6:56 PM on November 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


It would take an actual of act of god to make me watch that sad shit in the first place, tbh.
posted by elizardbits at 6:57 PM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


So on the "Michael Caine-Robert Pattinson" scale of biting the hand that feeds you where does Angus Jones fit in?

I don't know, why don't we ask Charlie Sheen?
posted by Apocryphon at 6:58 PM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, is he giving back all the money he's made on the show?

Otherwise, shut up.
posted by shoesietart at 6:58 PM on November 26, 2012 [41 favorites]


Apocryphon: "So on the "Michael Caine-Robert Pattinson" scale of biting the hand that feeds you where does Angus Jones fit in?

I don't know, why don't we ask Charlie Sheen?
"

I'm not going to talk to him. You talk to him.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:03 PM on November 26, 2012 [34 favorites]


am I correct in assuming that this fellow made up the 'and a Half' side of things?

I think there was another wee fellow and they were only a quarter each.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:04 PM on November 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Pastor's expression changing drastically once the show starts being dissed. It's almost like you can see his thoughts: "What the fuck, dude? The church plate loves Two and a Half Men!"
posted by dobbs at 7:05 PM on November 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


So this Forerunner Christian Church is connected loosely with the International House of Prayer, a group I think of as bad news. (Plug for IHOPrayer on the FCC's wordsalady "About Us" page; on its "training" page, they say they use IHOPrayer training materials.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:05 PM on November 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh, I love IHoP.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:08 PM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


non-story; non-starter; nonsense.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:09 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think his name is Mother Shabubu now.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 7:14 PM on November 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


This is actually really fascainting, w. the emerging culture of Evangelical pop work, for a few reasons:

a) his studio apparently has not seen it, and has not commented on it, so the transition b/w mainstream success to evangelical has become much more immediate.
b) unlike Cameron, he explicitly refuses his previous work. He calls it satanic, and says that he is giving up working for the Enemy.
c) there is some truly bizarre racial politics there.
d) He also talks about a history of seeking, of going to dozens of different churches as a youth.
e) He is also a much smaller star than Cameron, and has outlived his show, (and his show has outlived itself.) Considering that Sheen's narrative has not ended the work, One wonders if Jones will?
posted by PinkMoose at 7:15 PM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


c) there is some truly bizarre racial politics there.

Would you elaborate?
posted by basicchannel at 7:17 PM on November 26, 2012


Winning!

I think you meant "Sinning!"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:18 PM on November 26, 2012 [14 favorites]


I can't help thinking: that poor kid. Sounds like an easy target for cults and grifters. I have often wondered if, given the wrecked lives that so many former kid actors have, it wouldn't be better to just refuse to let children under 16 act in anything. We could probably do CGI kids perfectly well by now.
posted by emjaybee at 7:20 PM on November 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


That's one way to get out of your contract.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:20 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Call me when he donates all his sinful money to the poor.
posted by Space Kitty at 7:20 PM on November 26, 2012 [24 favorites]


This is the first time I have laughed at something related to Two and a Half Men.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:21 PM on November 26, 2012 [53 favorites]


Guys. You're all gettin' Punk'd!
posted by ColdChef at 7:22 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought Two and a Half Men was about the contents of Jeffrey Dahmer's refrigerator .
posted by dr_dank at 7:23 PM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


This is sort of like when Kerry Livgren got religion and left Kansas and started up that AD christian rock band, isn't it?
posted by hippybear at 7:29 PM on November 26, 2012


Dude's 19 -- aren't we out of the fraction zone now?
posted by wallabear at 7:32 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is sort of like when Kerry Livgren got religion and left Kansas and started up that AD christian rock band, isn't it?

More like when Chevy Chase left Community. Woah! Was that an earthquake? Nope. That was the entire world shrugging.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:34 PM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I realize this might be a bit offensive to some, but it honestly is something I wonder about.

Can a sudden conversion to a strictly fundamentalist religion (or ideology) -- versus having been raised with it -- ever be anything but a sign of mental illness, a desperate coping mechanism, or the result psychological/social manipulation? It was definitely some combination of all three when it happened to me in early adolescence, and the results were profoundly destructive.

Again, I'm just talking about batshitinsane end-of-the-world, gay-hating, women-opressing, evolution-denying, etc, fundamentalisms, not all religion or religion conversions.

As much as I roll my eyes at the Kirk Camerons of the world, it's hard to outright make fun of them, because I suspect that there's some serious pain underneath the surface.
posted by treepour at 7:36 PM on November 26, 2012 [31 favorites]


I have a feeling that Jon Cryer is now calling his agent and saying "that's it. The next project you put me on, I don't want to appear with ANYONE ELSE. I don't care what the script is, all I care about is that there are NO OTHER ACTORS INVOLVED so they don't ALL end up QUITTING ON ME."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:41 PM on November 26, 2012 [28 favorites]


Having peeked at 28.7million viewers when Kutcher made his debut,

Kid may be onto something here. Stop watching this show, it watches back!

Honestly, just cancel the fucking thing.
posted by wallabear at 7:44 PM on November 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Dude's 19 -- aren't we out of the fraction zone now?

Nobody on that show should be accorded full human being status.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:44 PM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Call me when he donates all his sinful money to the poor.

Yeah, I'm not impressed by how he considers his work immoral but is okay with getting paid $350k per episode to do it. What's he doing with his (to him) ill-gotten gains? I'm sympathetic to how becoming a child actor wasn't entirely his choice, since he went into it at such a young age, but it seems hypocritical in the extreme to basically say this thing you're working on is evil and harmful, but pocket the money anyway. If he was some guy supporting a family and struggling to get by with the only work available, sure, keep the money. But he's privileged and well-off, and doesn't need to act to live. I'll take him seriously when he gives up the money, quits the show, and lives his values.

Of course, I cynically think all that money is going to get donated to the church, and that the church isn't going to do anything charitable or Christian with it.
posted by yasaman at 7:47 PM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Men men men men, manly men men men!
Men men men men, manly men men men!
Men men men men, manly men, oo hoo hoo, hoo hoo, oo.
Men men men men, manly men men men!
Men men men men, manly men men men!
Men...


Man man man man, manly man man man!
Man man man man, manly man man man!
Man man man man, manly man, oo hoo hoo, hoo hoo, oo.
Man man man man, manly man man man!
Man man man man, manly man man man!
Man...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:48 PM on November 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


Sounds like Angus has a beef with his cash cow.
posted by guiseroom at 7:50 PM on November 26, 2012 [40 favorites]


He's going to have hard time steer-ing clear of all that moo-lah.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:52 PM on November 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


Today I learned that, despite what I thought from reading the AV Club, this kid's name ISN'T ACTUALLY "Angus T. Steakflower".
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 7:54 PM on November 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


c) there is some truly bizarre racial politics there.

"Coming next fall to CBS: Two and Three-Fifths Men!"
posted by stopgap at 7:54 PM on November 26, 2012 [44 favorites]


Wouldn't it be great if they brought in Fez to be the new half-man? It's not like Wilmer Valderrama is up to much.

(And the show has already mined all the sexist and homophobic jokes -- they might as well add a racial component.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:00 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I saw he called the show "filth" and I started liking him...then I saw it was in a "religious testimonial" interview and returned to not giving a shit about this program or anybody affiliated with it.
posted by mediated self at 8:07 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sounds like Angus has a beef with his cash cow.

Man, you totally forgot the sunglasses and Daltry-scream.
posted by jquinby at 8:08 PM on November 26, 2012 [17 favorites]


sidhedevil: So this Forerunner Christian Church is connected loosely with the International House of Prayer, a group I think of as bad news.

You ain't just whistling dixie.

and good thing for the show's producers that the kid loves mammon more than jesus, bad news for the rest of us.
posted by Challahtronix at 8:15 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The racial politics stuff:

a) the presence of an African American young pastor
b) that he wanted to go to "black gospel" churches where they were singing and dancing and the like.
c) the difference he made between "black" and "African American" and how he asked the pastor about this.

There is this idea that his life was not only sinful, but was not authentic, and this new faith was authentic, but american evenglical culture does this thing where it wants to be part of the mainstream discourse, but also wants to isolate itself from it--so it inherits and then isolates some of the problems of the culture at large. International House of Prayer is one of the non denominational churches who is well intergergrated, but part of the problem of this intergraiton as it attempts to rework mainstream culture for its own end, is that it ends up working thru some weird racial politics. Angus is reflecting that problem, most notably in the idea that black culture is authentic culture, but he has to have integreity, but as an actor in the midst of hollywood, he has been profoundly inauthentic, and so he seems to ask this pastor permisison to be authentic, i.e black.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:17 PM on November 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not impressed by how he considers his work immoral but is okay with getting paid $350k per episode to do it.

He's most likely having a sudden change of heart. Jones is definitely still under contract through the rest of this season. Of course, complaining that the show is "filth" probably breaches that contract, so perhaps there will be some backlash from the studio.
posted by zarq at 8:19 PM on November 26, 2012


the International House of Prayer

....do they have boysenberry?
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 PM on November 26, 2012 [15 favorites]


Poisonprayery
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:22 PM on November 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


International House of Prayer

I'll have the Rootie Tootie Fresh-n-Fruity savior.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:25 PM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Does the show drive actors to madness, or are mostly crazy people cast to start with?
posted by Occula at 8:26 PM on November 26, 2012 [10 favorites]


Wait, wait. Let me retract my earlier statements. The error in reporting wasn't the Daily Mail's, but other news organizations'. Jones hasn't joined the Forerunner Christian Church at all--he really has joined the Seventh-Day Adventist Church; the minister he appears with, Christopher Hudson, calls himself "the Forerunner" and "Forerunner777" and his YouTube series is called "The Forerunner Chronicles."

My apologies to The Daily Mail.

The Rev. Mr. Hudson seems to be in good standing with the Seventh-Day Adventist World Church, and appears as guest lecturer and preacher at SDA churches and schools all around the US. I find this a bit surprising, considering "chronicles" like this.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:33 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The only good thing to come out of this show is the "Losing the Sheen" podcast. Two newbies to the show tune in post-Charlie and discuss the episodes. It is hilarious.
posted by graventy at 8:36 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


On demographics of the SDA church in the US: it's majority white, non-Hispanic, but black and Latino populations are represented in higher proportions than in the US population at large, according to this article discussing a 2010 church survey.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:40 PM on November 26, 2012


It's also huge in Burundi.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:43 PM on November 26, 2012


Seventh Day Adventist? The wimp. If he had any xtian balls he would join their radical breakouts, the Pentecostals.
posted by telstar at 8:44 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


....do they have boysenberry?

Always an imporant question. However, I suspect that they're not so much for the fruity flavors at the Int'l House of Prayer.
posted by smirkette at 8:47 PM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I still don't understand why children acting in movies and on TV isn't considered a form of child labor. He should breach his contract, and sue the studio for fucking him up like an 19th century chimney sweep boy (With proximity to Charley Sheen presented as a rough equivalent to lung-fulls of noxious soot). Take it to the supreme court. In 5 years all movie children will be muppets or CGI and voiced by adult women.
posted by dgaicun at 8:51 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Forerunner777 on the Satanic Hiphop Illuminati.

Tiger blood, anyone?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:52 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still don't understand why children acting in movies and on TV isn't considered a form of child labor.

It is. They just have special laws for getting around it (kids can only work x hours a day, must go to school, etc.) I don't really have a problem with the acting part if a kid wants to do it, it's the weirdness of growing up in Hollywood/the industry that probably does most of the damage.

Also: only Metafilter could entice me to make multiple comments about this show. I hate this show. It was always on right after I got off work. It revealed the monster that inhabited Charlie Sheen. It traded on every tired wimp/stud stereotype, with the kid being dull, fat and dumb for most of the run (I guess he's dull, thin and dumb now) and I know all this despite changing the channel when it came on, because the damn promos were on when it wasn't.

Burn it down, Angus. Do us all a favor.
posted by emjaybee at 9:12 PM on November 26, 2012


My apologies to The Daily Mail.

There's a thing you don't see every day here.
posted by smoke at 9:13 PM on November 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


c) there is some truly bizarre racial politics there.

Would you elaborate?


The Halflings are turning on the race of men.
posted by yoink at 9:20 PM on November 26, 2012 [10 favorites]


chomp
posted by bz at 9:27 PM on November 26, 2012


smoke, I am sure it is the first time I have ever typed that sentence! But the DM really had the best coverage in this case, and I'm a little embarrassed I assumed so readily they were the wrong ones.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:40 PM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought the Forerunners were some alien race in Halo. The part where Steve Buscemi does the voice acting is my favorite.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:52 PM on November 26, 2012


I almost feel like I have to watch this show now, merely to spite him. Maybe that's what he's going for?
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:05 PM on November 26, 2012


MetaFilter: It revealed the monster that inhabited Charlie Sheen.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:22 PM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now, if only someone on The Big Bang Theory can similarly self-destruct. Then NBC's Thursday night cult classic comedies will finally be safe.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:18 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]




Now, if only someone on The Big Bang Theory can similarly self-destruct. Then NBC's Thursday night cult classic comedies will finally be safe.


Jim Parsons' stage career is super interesting and he apparently loves superhero shit so this is my official plea for him to e in some Marvel-verse related something.
posted by The Whelk at 11:21 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


yes, he's under contract - but he signed the contract after his conversion began, and he signed the contract as an adult. he also states in the video that he's given a lot of money to charity but that didn't absolve him of his guilt.

i don't really blame him too hard though - it must be tough at 18 to call an end to the thing you've been doing half your life, knowing how many people it will put out of jobs, knowing how your parents and manager and whatever else hanger ons will be disappointed. maybe his sudden conversion/re-dedication is him trying to get out from under all that - burning it all down as it were, because he wasn't strong enough to walk away on his own. i think a lot of people in comment sections around the internet are treating him like he has the reasoning power of someone much older and more experienced just because he was the highest paid child actor.

i don't trust the people he's surrounded himself with now at all though - you have a young, confused kid and the first thing you do is describe hell in all the gory detail to him? load him up on damnation? something about that just troubles me.
posted by nadawi at 11:39 PM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sigh. I grew up Seventh-day Adventist. (I have long since waved it away.) From my current liberal viewpoint, he sounds nuts. But when I think of it from my long-abandoned conservative SDA viewpoint, he makes perfect sense. The "media is too secular for us" viewpoint, the stuff about how you, too, can see that their truth is written in the Bible ... it may sound crazy to most, but this is what they truly believe. Sigh, x2. When people find religion as adults, they tend to REALLY latch on and never let go. (Same for me... I un-found religion, and I'm never letting go!!!!)

As an ex-member of the church, I will say this: I'd rather that he didn't, but I think he may be in good hands. It's a good life. It is also restrictive and brainwashy, and hypocritical in many aspects. They're healthy, too ... vegetarians and Blue Zones and all that. It's just not for some/most of us, and certainly not for me.
posted by Xere at 12:17 AM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Don't do it, man!! Go vegetarian if you want, but don't do it!!!!!
posted by Xere at 12:21 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


shoesietart: "So, is he giving back all the money he's made on the show?

Otherwise, shut up.
"

I got mine, so screw you. Besides, this way I get a chance at tagging all that (presumably) disease-free church girl action.
posted by Samizdata at 12:52 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


So Sheen has gone on an extended bender and Angus joined a cult. We need a loony pool to bet on who cracks first and goes full Koresh: Kutcher or Cryer. Easy money is on the guy with the beard and long hair, but years of working with Sheen mean you can't rule out Cryer's chances. Stay tuned, America.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:55 AM on November 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


And he talks about the moment when he found God, in a smiley, childlike way: "The best way I can describe it is being hugged by your most favorite person ever but ... they're able to hug every single part of your being."

"Show me on the doll where God hugged you"
posted by xqwzts at 12:56 AM on November 27, 2012 [32 favorites]


I watched his testimony and it sounds like his faith has had a positive effect on his life. Not everyone needs fairytale allegory to give them direction, but if it makes you a better person I say have at it.
posted by foobaz at 1:24 AM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just learned this by googling, but he is a cousin to Christopher Masterson who played Francis on "Malcolm in the Middle," and Danny Masterson who played Steven Hyde in "That '70s Show." The Masterson brothers are, apparently, Scientologists.

At any rate, I think his choice is a lot better than going off the rails with drugs and self-destructive behavior. I think most sane people would need some sort of antidote to Hollywood, and this kid's been soaking in that since he was a young child. I'm not going to condemn his efforts to find meaning, purpose, and reassuring structure even if it's not something I could ever see myself choosing.

Plus, "Don't watch Two and a Half Men" is just always good advice.
posted by taz at 1:47 AM on November 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


He can just send me one of his paychecks and that will absolve him of the sin for that episode.
posted by SuzySmith at 3:20 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does the show drive actors to madness, or are mostly crazy people cast to start with?

The article in the FPP desribes how Angus T Jones was raised in a family where both of his parents and his uncle had serious criminal records. He has been appearing in the show since he was 8 - predominantly alongside "uncle Charlie". He became TV's best known - and highest paid - child star. Those are some powerful ingredients for a cocktail of crazy IMHO.
posted by rongorongo at 3:29 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought the Forerunners were some alien race in Halo.

And both 7 and 3 are major Arc Numbers for Halo and even more so its predecessor series, Marathon. So "Forerunner777" with those three sevens at the end, makes me suspect that this is just an elaborate ARG tied with Halo 4's release.
posted by radwolf76 at 4:20 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


These folks usually count giving money to their church as giving to charity (see also, Mitt Romney). To them, that's the same thing, even though it's a huge difference to others.
posted by Legomancer at 5:13 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jon Cryer is probably staring into a mirror right now, sobbing "The CURSE! I'm next! I'm next! I'm next!", while shaving his head and smearing lipstick all over his face.
posted by orme at 5:50 AM on November 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


As an ex-member of the church, I will say this: I'd rather that he didn't, but I think he may be in good hands. It's a good life. It is also restrictive and brainwashy, and hypocritical in many aspects. They're healthy, too ... vegetarians and Blue Zones and all that. It's just not for some/most of us, and certainly not for me.

A friend of mine is a committed Adventist, and she's one of the most earnest, genuinely sweet people that I know. She was instructed from a young age not to hate, and to be sympathetic with people of every type of affliction. While she has all those naive trademarks of someone raised in an insular, thought-controlled environment, she's a treasure and I'm glad that I know her.

So I'm shocked that someone would be throwing this heavy-handed shit around under the pretext of what's at least on paper the same belief system. I guess the lesson for me is: don't judge based on religious affiliation.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:58 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


emjaybee: "I have often wondered if, given the wrecked lives that so many former kid actors have, it wouldn't be better to just refuse to let children under 16 act in anything. We could probably do CGI kids perfectly well by now."

I guess you haven't seen the last Twilight movie yet.
posted by that's how you get ants at 6:03 AM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Jon Cryer is probably staring into a mirror right now, sobbing "The CURSE! I'm next! I'm next! I'm next!", while shaving his head and smearing lipstick all over his face.

I think Cryer is probably taking a bath in all his money and feeling pretty good right about now, whatever the fuck happens to the show next.
posted by OmieWise at 6:08 AM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Jon Cryer is probably staring into a mirror right now, sobbing "The CURSE! I'm next! I'm next! I'm next!", while shaving his head and smearing lipstick all over his face.

No, you heard him wrong, he was shrieking "NOBODY FUCKS WITH THE DUCK, NOBODY FUCKS WITH THE DUCK!!"
posted by prodigalsun at 6:17 AM on November 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm not a religious person but I think he has a point about the degeneracy of his show and sitcoms in general. I'm guilty of watching this mindless stuff and have to say that I have been really shocked at times at the things they get away with. There are still certain words that are banned but I have seen characters talking about and enacting really raunchy things (e.g., references to anal sex, "going down", masturbation, even bestiality). And this is PRIME TIME - the kiddies are still up. In the 70's we had The Love Boat and Three's Company, and there was innuendo, but nothing as blatant as what I've seen recently on sitcoms. I saw an interview with an actress on one of these shows and even she was surprised at what they get away with - her hypothesis was that no one is actually reading the material.
posted by jenh526 at 6:35 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fuck it, I'm not fan of religion but I'm even less of a fan of the cultural desire to see former child stars fall on their face. I say good for this kid, sure he's probably killing his career, maybe forever if he sticks with it, but there are far worse fates than that. Other people have said it but I'll say it again: this story is a non-starter designed to prey on existing sentiments about religion.

Also, on the note of Kirk Cameron: Yes he is a giant joke in the entertainment industry but at least he looks happy and healthy. The same cannot be said for the vast majority of other former child stars.
posted by smackwich at 6:45 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


nadawi: "yes, he's under contract - but he signed the contract after his conversion began, and he signed the contract as an adult. "

His contract was renewed for two years in 2010 and ends this season. He says a conversation in December 2011 led him to start looking at churches and he eventually settled on a Seventh Day Adventist congregation. Presumably that's when his conversion process started.
posted by zarq at 6:58 AM on November 27, 2012


The fact this kid is making $350k (?) per episode is conclusive proof that there is no god.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:01 AM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


If he held to his conviction he would quite the show right now and take whatever lumps and penalties he'd receive for breaking his contract.
posted by ericb at 7:09 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not a fan of the show but I wondered what kind of insane pressure and under-the-microscope life this kid had. Now I guess the answer is revealed.

jenh526: And this is PRIME TIME - the kiddies are still up. In the 70's we had The Love Boat and Three's Company, and there was innuendo, but nothing as blatant as what I've seen recently on sitcoms.

TV has always been called degenerate by someone. I can see that the networks have to up their game, as it were, to try to keep up with the erosion of audience to cable shows and other platforms. But the "kiddies are still up, won't someone think of the children" argument was being tossed around when "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" was on in the 1960s at 8:00 on NBC.

smackwich: Also, on the note of Kirk Cameron: Yes he is a giant joke in the entertainment industry but at least he looks happy and healthy.

Happy and healthy and a big fat public loudmouthed homophobe with strobe lights. Not really that healthy after all. As for happiness, who the hell knows.
posted by blucevalo at 7:12 AM on November 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


nadawi: "i don't really blame him too hard though - it must be tough at 18 to call an end to the thing you've been doing half your life, knowing how many people it will put out of jobs"

Hahaha there's just no way they would cancel the show if T'Halfman quit. They'd throw up a funeral for him and have him get quickly replaced by another long lost son or something.
posted by graventy at 7:16 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Long lost cousin. Who crawled out of a train wreck the way Ashton Kutcher crawled out of the car crash in the woods and miraculously replaced Charlie Sheen. It's sitcom magic!
posted by blucevalo at 7:26 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes he is a giant joke in the entertainment industry but at least he looks happy and healthy.

IDK, he sure seems like a creepy, angry, bitter weirdo to me.
posted by elizardbits at 7:30 AM on November 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


from Grantland link: “Unless you work for a trade publication, or your livelihood is directly affected by the production of Two and a Half Men, or you're a Jon Cryer superfan, you don't really care what this means for the future of the show (which was picked up for a 10th season in May). You wanna grimace/laugh at Jones, and you wanna keep it moving.”

What? No. No, you don't. Kill it. Kill it dead. Kill it dead right now. If this kid has religion and wants to try, good luck to him.
posted by koeselitz at 7:34 AM on November 27, 2012


Yes, but he seems happy being a creepy, angry, bitter weirdo.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:35 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I KNOW IT'S SO FRUSTRATING.
posted by elizardbits at 7:36 AM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Kirk Cameron referred to Growing Pains as "pornography" when he had his religious revelation.

Frankly, I can see why he embraced god; that anybody could masturbate to that show is a bona fide miracle.
posted by dr_dank at 7:53 AM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Being a creepy, angry bitter weirdo who hates the gays is still better than the objectively sad lives lead by the likes of Corey Haim and Lindsay Lohan in my book.

I'm not supporting these beliefs, I'm just sayin' it's better than some of the other potential outcomes.
posted by smackwich at 8:15 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


And this is PRIME TIME - the kiddies are still up. In the 70's we had The Love Boat and Three's Company, and there was innuendo, but nothing as blatant as what I've seen recently on sitcoms.

And in the 70's people thought that the innuendo on Three's Company was too blatant. Hell, even Mork and Mindy had a censor onhand after they figured out that about 30% of the "made-up gibberish" Robin Williams used for Mork was actually cuss words in other languages.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:24 AM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Please tell me that shuzzbut is in that 30%, EmpressCallipygos.
posted by dr_dank at 8:54 AM on November 27, 2012


Heh; I don't think so. I just remember a couple interviews with him where he's said that, but not specified what...I do remember him saying Yiddish was a language he often fell back on, though.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:56 AM on November 27, 2012


Let's not get into why I just was Googling Jon Cryer recent news, because I don't really understand myself.

But apparently Jon Cryer did a recent scene where they used prosthetic makeup and CGI so he could play a double role and basically act opposite himself, and it seemed to go over well enough.

Maybe they could keep the whole thing going with just Jon Cryer and a couple of Pixar animators and that's it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:24 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Let's not get into why I just was Googling Jon Cryer recent news, because I don't really understand myself.

Is it just me, or did everyone else also hear this comment in the voice of Iona (Annie Potts) from Pretty in Pink?
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:48 AM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: some powerful ingredients for a cocktail of crazy
posted by Gelatin at 10:26 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just learned this by googling, but he is a cousin to Christopher Masterson who played Francis on "Malcolm in the Middle," and Danny Masterson who played Steven Hyde in "That '70s Show." The Masterson brothers are, apparently, Scientologists.

As Laura Prepon knows all too well.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:28 AM on November 27, 2012


How so?
posted by OmieWise at 10:50 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


zarq - His contract was renewed for two years in 2010 and ends this season.

he signed a new contract in march for next season, after his conversion process started (and as an adult).
posted by nadawi at 11:08 AM on November 27, 2012


the International House of Prayer

....do they have boysenberry


As the priest said to the bishop...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:20 AM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


The title of this show always makes me hungry for a sequel to Manimal.
posted by steambadger at 12:19 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


blucevalo writes "Long lost cousin. Who crawled out of a train wreck the way Ashton Kutcher crawled out of the car crash in the woods and miraculously replaced Charlie Sheen. It's sitcom magic!"

At least this magic is more honest than the two Darren approach.
posted by Mitheral at 3:00 PM on November 27, 2012


Kirk Cameron referred to Growing Pains as "pornography" when he had his religious revelation.

Isn't growing pains the show where they gave his sitcom sister such a hard time about her fluctuating weight and needed her to look good in the tight sweaters that the actress developed a body image problem and became an anorexic? I'm not saying Kirk Cameron is my cup of tea but tarting the kids up for a sitcom is not exactly ideal, even if it is basically the American way of life and Hollywood 101. Calling that sort of uber-sexualization of tweens and teenagers on television "pornography" is certainly overstating things but maybe it isn't really that far off the mark.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:33 PM on November 27, 2012


whatever other problems there were, kirk went completely overboard, getting people fired, refusing story lines, ostrecizing himself from the cast. he was also one of the biggest bullies to tracy gold as i remember.
posted by nadawi at 3:43 PM on November 27, 2012


Kirk Cameron referred to Growing Pains as "pornography" when he had his religious revelation.

I think that had more to do with his co-star. From Wikipedia: "The biggest consequence of Cameron's conversion to Christianity was the firing of actress Julie McCullough who had landed the role of nanny Julie Costello in 1989. McCullough's character appeared in eight episodes of the show before she was fired at Cameron's insistence. Cameron objected to McCullough's having posed nude in Playboy, and accused the show's producers of promoting pornography.
posted by Gary at 4:17 PM on November 27, 2012


Rainn Wilson wants to tell you not to watch "The Office" Thursday nights at 9pm on NBC.
posted by Gary at 4:19 PM on November 27, 2012


One of the few takeaways left from my brief moment as the plus-one of a Hollywood insider is the somewhat informed opinion that Chuck Lorre is as thoroughly vile as his creations. Man, the industry gossip is not kind, and I can see why.

Watched Cybill back in the day because I was still a youngish teenybopper and it was a half-hearted American AbFab ripoff with (A) Christine Baranski and (B) Alicia Witt, though I was really just hoping for Tom Wopat to take his damn shirt off, already. Watched enough of 2½ to make sure that I could speak with some authority in saying that something had gone horribly, horribly wrong with America, and watched a few excruciating episodes of that fucking awful nerdface geek minstrel show that otherwise intelligent friends goaded me into viewing with constant giggling references to how much it "gets" the nerdsphere.

It does not "get" the nerdsphere, but Lorre has a keen grasp on how dumb smart people can be.

I will only respect Lorre if he replaces this dork kid with Tiffany Brissette and writes her in as a robot in a completely deadpan script. A swan dive into the surreal may be just the thing.
posted by sonascope at 5:07 PM on November 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


I will only respect Lorre if he replaces this dork kid with Tiffany Brissette and writes her in as a robot in a completely deadpan script. A swan dive into the surreal may be just the thing.
posted by sonascope at 7:07 PM on November 27



I second that emotion.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 5:23 PM on November 27, 2012


calling the big bang theory a minstrel show is deeply offensive. i'm sorry you feel like it makes fun of nerds (i don't agree) but nerdface? are you kidding me?
posted by nadawi at 5:28 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll grant that my sample size is limited, largely because I'd be on suicide watch if I had to endure much more than I did in my initial attempt to see what all the hype was about, but honestly, there's not a single moment on that show that I've seen that rings true to anything but a cynical marketing ploy to jam in every possible obscure nerd reference as a way of accessing the IT advertising dollar.

The IT Crowd was nerdface, too, but they actually managed to put some humor into the final product instead of writing a retread of a retread of eighties-sitcom repetitive flatness wrapped around showy drop-in quips that are so baldly there to generate a "Ha!" of recognition in their target audience that the phrase "LAUGH KNOWINGLY NOW" should blink at the bottom of the screen every time they make a Shrödinger's Cat joke.

I don't think BBT makes fun of nerds. I think they make fun of their audience, and what they do reads as pandering to me. Not sure what's "deeply offensive" about calling it a minstrel show, though, as it's as insincere and inauthentic to nerd culture as Will & Grace was to gay culture. There's a freak element for the masses mixed in with the supposed insider humor that's really sort of cold. In the same way that us queers were supposed to identify with W&G, but could only do so at the cost of our immortal souls, I think BBT is an embarrassment. Your mileage may vary, though, and clearly, the show is quite popular, so they're obviously doing something right.

Mind you, I spent my Sunday on a homemade marathon of Cleopatra 2525, so I'm clearly a conflicted observer in matters of horrendous television.
posted by sonascope at 6:11 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


your analogy is what is deeply offensive. show me the history of abuse, enslavement, and racism that compares the nerd "struggle" to that of african americans. gain some fucking perspective. it's a television show about white educated affluent men who are nerds.

as to your critique, i just flat disagree and i'm a nerd. i've watched every episode and i think a lot of things ring true. but, that has nothing to do with how absurd your analogy is.
posted by nadawi at 6:19 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have learnt the concept "nerdface".
posted by telstar at 6:25 PM on November 27, 2012


I'm actually with sonascope on this one. BBT gives me the same feeling of discomfort that W&G gave me, which is related to the feeling of discomfort I had watching Spike Lee's excellent Bamboozled.

There is a way to use metaphor and simile which doesn't necessarily contain all the everything that the more extreme example in the analogy does, but that doesn't make the analogy bad. It means that there are poetic echoes which need to be explored. And under a very broad umbrella, "minstrel show" is exactly what this category of sitcom are -- taking broad brushstrokes about the mainstream societal concepts of the "them" and displaying them in ways so the "us" can laugh at them. It was true for the banjo-and-watermelon stage circuit, and it's true for BBT.

(I think the ONLY way to avoid doing something like this with such a subject matter is to go the All In The Family route and make confronting the stereotypes a directly-engaged part of the structure of the piece. Attempts to walk a middle ground end up as Perfect Strangers or Dharma & Greg, both of which had brilliant first seasons in which the outsider character was the one shown to contain wisdom, and both of which underwent retooling for second seasons in which it was the outsider who was the fool and who had to learn to integrate with mainstream society.)
posted by hippybear at 6:28 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


to me it's almost as bad as comparing something utterly inconsequential to rape or the holocaust. it's lazy, it's gross, and it makes me think the person making the comparison can't see beyond their own nose.
posted by nadawi at 6:32 PM on November 27, 2012


You're welcome to your opinion, but I think you're wrong.
posted by hippybear at 6:35 PM on November 27, 2012


You know, it's actually possible to repurpose words and phrases without encapsulating the entire history of oppression and bigotry every time, even when these things have bad historical roots. I'm not the first person to use "minstrel show" to describe a cynical usage of stereotypes in lieu of, you know, actual writing, I'll hardly be the last, and if you think that I'm racially insensitive because I think language is a flexible thing where metaphors exist, I can only agree to disagree with your take on it.

De gustibus non est disputandum, I've clearly called out that different things appeal to different people, and just to make sure that I didn't just watch BBT during some early period when it wasn't good yet, I'm watching the latest episode right now online and sorry, but so far it's just been one cheap, broad line after another delivered by characters so rigidly faithful to every single stereotype of post-modern nerdery that I have a hard time imagining that people would not be irritated by it. Plus, why does Kunal Nayyar speak with an Apu-grade accent instead of his own natural accent? His real speaking voice is a lot closer to the Indian accents of people I know than whatever that is on the show, so why isn't he just left to be Indian/English without being "funny" Indian/English? Maybe that's how his character is drawn, but it seems a lot more like ha-ha-funny-Indian than just an actual guy. How's that okay?
posted by sonascope at 6:38 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


if you're or anyone else is going to stretch language that far, some people are going to think you're ridiculous.

i think it's a fluff show, but i think the kindness but general cluelessness of sheldon is interesting. i think examining the life of someone who is asexual on primetime tv is also a nice touch. i think the near-romantic relationships that nerds who have problems with women form with each other is shown humorusly, but ultimately feels honest. i think the consumerism for certain niche things is spot on. i like how the girl nerds are maybe even nerdier because they don't buy into the super heros as much. i like how the one non-nerd rarely makes mean-sprited fun of the nerds and tries new things and starts to take on parts of the culture. i like the jokes about how "oh everyone has a masters!" i like the relationship between sheldon, his mom, and jesus.

i don't think it's a documentary, and i think it makes lazy jokes, but i don't think it's subjecting real nerds to mockery and ill treatment. i don't think it's making fun of its audience. i think the fact that nerds like to work on it, and that the crew work to make the white boards make sense, and some of the other great touches make it a better nerd sitcom than it could have been. i think if someone watches any 30 minute sitcom completely out of context because they hate it they'll find problems with the humor.
posted by nadawi at 6:50 PM on November 27, 2012


It is entirely possible for a show to be engaging, popular, and even not directly mocking its characters and still have it be problematic with the stereotyping in ways which the dominant culture is comfortable with an outsider character and which end up reinforcing exactly why it is okay to laugh at "those people".
posted by hippybear at 7:10 PM on November 27, 2012


i'm inside the group of "those people" and i think a lot of the jokes reflect how nerds make fun of each other. of course we're probably just not going to agree - will & grace was super important to me as a completely religiously sheltered queer woman in middle america. even if the stereotypes were lazy, they were still putting gays and the choice to live openly in a positive light. it picked the most popular stereotypes, yes, and it could have pushed harder as it got more popular, but it paved the way for a lot of better programs that came after it.
posted by nadawi at 7:17 PM on November 27, 2012


to me it's almost as bad as comparing something utterly inconsequential to rape or the holocaust. it's lazy, it's gross, and it makes me think the person making the comparison can't see beyond their own nose.
posted by nadawi at 8:32 PM


I think getting offended on someone else's behalf for the sake of making follow up approximations to rape and the holocaust is intellectually lazy, idealistically bankrupt, and puts forth a negative stereotype of anyone interested in anything that can be legitimately referred to as justice. Your selling tickets to a "trollface" show and no one is buying. You're not saving the world by putting on the orange sash and calling yourself the metaphor hall monitor. Your undermining what the suffering you so easily reference actually meant. Keeping concepts within language is what keeps us aware of the true horror of what those events were, both historically and conceptually.

Your indignation isn't the cultural currency it may have once been. Ideas and thoughtfulness should be/are the coin of the realm here. You may need to check the current exchange rates.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 7:17 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


i'm not looking to save the world. i don't know why you think i'm offended on someone else's behalf. i think some nerds have a tendency to borrow language of the systemically oppressed because they were personally bullied and i think it's gross. you don't have to agree with me, but i'm absolutely not trolling. if you found thoughtfulness in the original comment i objected to then we have wildly different reading comprehensions. you're right that i should have been more careful with my comment about rape and the holocaust, but i do think what minstrel shows represent is closer to on par with those things and not like silly jokes about nerds.

but it's clear i'm in the minority, so you guys go back to insulting the big bang theory with whatever language blows your skirt up.
posted by nadawi at 7:26 PM on November 27, 2012


you guys go back to insulting the big bang theory with whatever language blows your skirt up.

*raised eyebrow*
posted by hippybear at 7:29 PM on November 27, 2012


blows your skirt up, see also, floats your boat.
posted by nadawi at 7:32 PM on November 27, 2012


You know, it's actually possible that I watched it just now because I honestly believed that I might have the wrong end of the stick rather than "because I hate it." I wouldn't watch an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond because I actually hate it and would rather experience a day-long burning sensation in my urethra rather than endure the misery of a viewing, but I just sat through an episode BBT because I thought it was possible that I'd missed something and wanted to make sure that I wasn't talking through my hate. Not every motive is cynical.

It's always possible that there are subtleties to BBT that take years to develop, and that the writers have thoughtfully crafted one or two characters with some genuine feeling, but life is short and I just don't think I can endure sitting through sixty hours of bad jokes to get to the gem buried under a mountain of "ha ha, we love comic books and Star Trek" references. Your mileage may vary. I was just grousing about this thread with my friends on facebook, and a few of my Aspie-identified associates pointed out that they enjoy seeing something of themselves in a character on TV, and I can appreciate that, too, having identified with Ernie and/or Bert as a little queer kid. Sesame Street had better writers, though, and aside from Roosevelt Franklin, they were a little less devoted to stereotypes.

There's something to be said for broad writing. Like I said, I just watched my way through a zillion hours of Cleopatra 2525 over the weekend, and it's pretty difficult to argue that it doesn't suck, albeit in what I find to be a pleasurably campy manner. It's probable that some people can enjoy BBT in a pleasantly campy manner, though I'm not one of them, and it's my contention that it's more about mockery than a warm embrace of insider trope. Still, though, to return to just Kunal Nayyar's character—why is that not an insensitive portrayal? Is it okay because we view Indian people as not particularly oppressed in the US, and therefore they're okay as amped-up stereotypes?
posted by sonascope at 7:41 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


but it's clear i'm in the minority, so you guys go back to insulting the big bang theory with whatever language blows your skirt up.

Why, that proposal is simply - streets ahead.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:45 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


P.S. I'm a little curious why "minstrel show" was offensive enough to be noteworthy, whereas "Show me on the doll where God hugged you" was not noteworthy, despite the connection of that phrase to actual unforgivable behavior. Of course, I think "show me on the doll where X touched you" is a perfectly legitimate tool of humor, but I think "minstrel show," in this context, is more about the use of embarrassingly broad stereotypes for a cheap laugh than it is about the crushing oppression of a thousand years of the history of man's inhumanity to man.
posted by sonascope at 7:53 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can understand why someone would be offended by comparing a show about uberprivileged mostly white guys to a blackface show. And I don't like the way nadawi is getting piled on for expressing an opinion that really isn't nutty or anything.
posted by onlyconnect at 7:59 PM on November 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure I understand why going after a critical metaphor used to describe a show that's heavily-dependent on stereotypes that's been in common use for ages is a fair counter-critique, to be honest. Calling racism on a critique that's not remotely related to racism is a pretty steep charge and really a diversion from the actual point.

Don't think BBT is a minstrel show? Challenge the claim, not the claimant, and spare us the sort of debate-dominating tactic of magnifying offense instead of making an actual counter argument. It's much stronger to say "I think Sheldon represents more than just a stereotype and I think your take on him and the program is based on insufficient exposure and here's why" than to say "you're insensitive to the history of abuse, enslavement, racism, rape, and the holocaust." That's an escalation that's neither called for nor constructive.

It's perfectly reasonable to say "hey, you're being way harsh and I think you're wrong about BBT." I'm a blustery sort of guy and that bluster comes with the understanding that bluster can be challenged and impressions are sometimes wrong. It's a lot less reasonable to turn a conversation into a defense of a person's motives and sensitivity. I'm a member of a group that's been abused, killed, and denied our rights for no reason. I spent the eighties watching masses of my group dying off while cute ol' Uncle Ronnie fiddled and his cronies joked about our demise. Chastising me for not living up to your standard of offense because I've employed a common trope to describe what I see as a problem with a TV show isn't a fair criticism.

"Minstrel" in this context has nothing to do with privilege. It has to do with the cynical falsification of identity for the purposes of commerce, and I still contend that these aren't loving tributes to an identity as much as they're played for cheap laughs, punctuated by pandering quips and in-jokes designed to fool the audience. Your mileage may vary, your tastes may differ, and your humble opinion and my humble opinion may diverge, but this doesn't make me insensitive to the horrors of the past—it just means we disagree.
posted by sonascope at 9:00 PM on November 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think nadawi's point was that "minstrel show" is a poor metaphor to use for portrayals of economically secure men with gigs as scientists and college professors. TV writers and actors are not actually oppressing research scientists and college professors, so comparing whatever is wrong with the show to the traditions of minstrelsy, which was part of a system of racial oppression, seems like a callous metaphor.

I haven't seen a whole episode of the show, but what I have seen does seem like broad caricature and stereotyping. I feel similarly about "Castle" and its misrepresentation of my professional field and colleagues (though it's not as bad as "Stark Raving Mad" which went so often to the "writers are crazy" well that I couldn't watch it despite it having three of my favorite actors as leads).

Still wouldn't choose minstrelsy or blackface as metaphors.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:05 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think both sides of the debate over whether 'minstrel show'/'blackface' is an okay term to use have now been pretty well explained, and it's probably more useful to talk about the substance (does the show employ lazy stereotypes, is that okay) rather than that one choice of phrasing.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:17 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


[A few comments deleted; one-on-one discussions of typographic pet peeves/preferences can take place over email.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:41 PM on November 27, 2012


As someone on the autism spectrum, I find that Big Bang Theory's exaggerating and then dismissing neuro-diversity pretty much analogous to Will and Grace exaggeration and then dismissing queerness, but Will and Grace was you know funny. Back to Jones, he has officially recounted, with a statement that sounds really close to something written by his publicist: http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2012/11/27/angus-t-jones-apologizes-for-comments.html
posted by PinkMoose at 10:53 PM on November 27, 2012


Meanwhile, Charlie Sheen claims the show is cursed. I wonder whose fault that is?

Waiting for Jon Cryer to have a long-deserved crack-up in 3...2...1....

On a related note, here's Patton Oswalt's quote on working on the show: "It’s five minutes from my house. Getting to work with Jon Cryer is great. Anything that keeps me out of airplanes is fine with me. I can get up in the morning and take my daughter to breakfast and school. All my friends are working over there, too. So I just go hang out with all these people I like, and then I do a few lines and have a snack and go home. It’s perfect."

Damning with faint praise there, buddy. Good show.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:40 PM on November 27, 2012


Meanwhile, Charlie Sheen claims the show is cursed. I wonder whose fault that is?

Actually, Jon Cryer used to joke that HE was cursed before he was on this show; prior to this, every show he got picked for ran only one season and then cancelled.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:05 AM on November 28, 2012


Okay then, let's blame Jon Cryer for everything. I never liked the dude anyway, always comes off as a weasel...
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:19 AM on November 28, 2012


Dude's 19 -- aren't we out of the fraction zone now?

To my shame, I have seen as many as seven or eight episodes of Two and a Half Men, including one or two since Kutcher has joined.

Kutcher's character is played as something of a man-child...so I prefer to think that with the switch from Sheen to Kutcher, Jones got promoted to "full man" and Kutcher should now be considered the "half man." That's probably giving the show more credit than it deserves.

Also, I think Conchata Ferrell is too good for that show. I might compare her appearing there to Katey Sagal in Married with Children.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:26 AM on November 28, 2012


Looks like the kid realized his outburst had offended the man upstairs -- no, not that one -- the one that signs his paychecks.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:33 AM on November 28, 2012


Charlie Sheen put it best, when he said in his pay-per-view special that one cannot serve God and Mammon both.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:30 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


...every show he got picked for ran only one season and then cancelled.

I recently watched all of The Trouble With Normal (long story) and, uh, at least on that show I guarantee he was one of the primary reasons it wasn't picked up.
posted by griphus at 10:40 AM on November 28, 2012


Can a sudden conversion to a strictly fundamentalist religion (or ideology) -- versus having been raised with it -- ever be anything but a sign of mental illness, a desperate coping mechanism, or the result psychological/social manipulation?

Growing up in the Bible Belt, it's my experience that most people who join fundamentalist Christian groups convert rather than being raised in that environment. I'm not sure it signifies mental illness per se, though having known a lot of people who joined strange churches around this age, it definitely signifies someone who is having a rough time and is grasping for meaning.

Also, becoming a born again Christian is not at all an unusual life path for former child stars. It seems like the alternative to addiction, mental instability, and crime. Or Scientology.
posted by Sara C. at 10:54 AM on November 28, 2012


Yeah I can see how a child star (with all the baggage that comes with) can find themselves on the myopic cusp of adulthood with the only pertinent role models appearing to be River Phoenix on one side and Kirk Cameron on the other and, well, one of those guys is alive.

Jason Bateman needs to start some sort of foundation.
posted by griphus at 10:58 AM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


But he's privileged and well-off, and doesn't need to act to live.

Eh, I don't know about that.

For one thing, the main issue facing child actors as they grow up is that, in a lot of cases, acting is really all they can do. Jodie Foster aside, they tend not to get great educations, and a lot of other normal childhood "preparing you to be a normal grownup" gets put on hold so in favor of making hay while the sun shines. So then you're eighteen and you discover that you don't have the tools to go out and do some other career.

Granted, the Two And A Half Men kid (theoretically) has money beyond most people's wildest dreams and could potentially just retire and live on the syndication residuals. If his parents are sane people who handled his money well. Which is another whole thing with child actors. There's a lot of faith put in the parents to A) not steal the money outright and B) manage it so that the kid can potentially live on that money when they're older.
posted by Sara C. at 11:00 AM on November 28, 2012


They just have special laws for getting around it (kids can only work x hours a day, must go to school, etc.) I don't really have a problem with the acting part if a kid wants to do it, it's the weirdness of growing up in Hollywood/the industry that probably does most of the damage.

Working in the entertainment industry, I actually do think it's the acting part. Yes, there are laws about how many hours a day, school, etc. But I have literally with my own eyes seen parents try to handwave that away. Oh, he's up to date on his homework and will be at school tomorrow anyway... don't worry about the tutor today. Oh, no, it's not a big deal, he doesn't seem tired or anything so we can definitely hang out for another hour or so -- you guys move the scene order around however you need to.

A big part of it is the inherent demands of filming. It's not during normal business hours, things take a long time and can be unpredictable, etc. I have seen child background actors kept till two and three in the morning because the day ran long, we didn't get to the scene, whatever. Sure, the kid didn't have to get there till nine in the evening, so it's not a crazy long day. But WTF, when I was a kid nine was bedtime not "lets go be in a movie" time.

Another aspect is the career of acting, itself. There's a strong impulse that you should take any job you're offered, because it's a job! And you don't know where the next one is coming from. You don't know what this might lead to. You feel lucky just to be hired and ready to do anything that's asked of you. You want to be flexible, a team player, show the producers that you're easy to work with so maybe they'll think of you in the future. Additionally, there's a sense that if you're getting cast now, you need to take those jobs and work while you can. If you're a cute kid or a sexy teen/twenty-something a la Robert Pattinson, you need to make hay while the sun shines. Because next year you might not be cute or sexy anymore.

On top of all that, the main gatekeeper for all this stuff is the parents. On every job I've worked which has had children, the production itself is all about following the rules, respecting the childhood of the juvenile actors, and making sure the parents are comfortable with whatever is going on. If the parents are rational people who want their kid to just be a kid, this is obviously fine. If the parents are all wrapped up in their kid's career (a la the above paragraphs -- blowing off school, bending the laws about hours and times, bending over backwards to "be flexible" and make money while the kid is still cute), it doesn't matter how many child labor laws there are or how diligently the production is trying to respect the fact that this actor is a kid. Because mom and/or dad can always say, "Oh, no, really, she's fine. Don't worry about it..."

I mean, don't get me wrong, Hollywood culture can be toxic. Ask me about my job interview yesterday! And yeah, if you're a teen actor you get thrown into this very adult world very quickly. Also, the money makes things very complicated -- this is probably a HUGE factor if you're a child actor on a hit TV series, or the lead in a successful movie. That adds a whole other level to the garden variety kid actor drama. But seriously, just the being an actor part is also really, really questionable.

Sorry for the novel. Child actors are kind of a pet concern of mine.
posted by Sara C. at 11:20 AM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


If his parents are sane people who handled his money well.

FWIW, in California, the Coogan Act sets aside 15% of child performers' earnings into a trust fund until their 18th birthday, specifically so that their parents can't squander every last penny. 15% is not a whole lot to retire on, however, even for the highest-paid child actor in Hollywood.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:22 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I think Sheldon represents more than just a stereotype and I think your take on him and the program is based on insufficient exposure and here's why"

In defense of BBT, I don't think Sheldon represents more than just a stereotype, and I don't think he's supposed to. He's a popular character because he's easy to write one-liners for, but that's not the point.

I initially despised the show, but I've come to like it, as sitcoms go. It's not the best thing on TV, but it's enjoyable for what it is. There's more going on than you may initially notice. The story focuses on four comic-book-and-physics nerds, but they're not all the same - in fact they're quite different. They each have different aspects of nerd stereotypes, and some more than others. The important part as to what's interesting about the show other than just silly one-liners and gags - which I do like, but whatever - is that they're effectively on a spectrum. Sheldon is an anchor at one end - he steadfastly refuses to develop as a character at all, and they use Amy to constantly lampshade that fact while (ironically) playing "straight man" against it.

The other characters all develop at different rates and in different directions as characters, and overcome their fairly human, though still stereotypical, issues. The cast is a separation of an overarching geek stereotype into multiple characters, in order to allow them to be treated separately. On the other end of the spectrum, Penny is a not-particularly-nerdy girl who can (to some degree) get past that and reasonably interact with the others, and Leonard is a died in the wool nerd, but he's gotten past that to interact maturely with others. He represents an optimism that the stereotypes aren't accurate, and that being smart doesn't mean being inhuman.

Is it perfect? No. Is the starting point of such complete stereotypes unfortunate? Yes. But it does actually do a job of telling what are fairly human stories in a way that can be, if you approach it right, a fun time.

Of course, you've got to like silly gags and one liners. You've got to realize you're watching an actual farce, and be able to enjoy that. It's still a sitcom, and it's certainly flawed in many ways.

But anyway, this giant computer nerd enjoys it.
posted by atbash at 12:30 PM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


his conversion might coincide with his new girlfriend. more on her for the uninitiated. although - his anti-hollywood feelings don't really jibe with her hobbies.
posted by nadawi at 12:44 PM on November 28, 2012


I know nothing about this young woman, but what very little I know about her based on the link for the uninitiated makes me think she's been trying to convert a celebrity for years now and only now has worked her magic,.

But I'm kind of a freak who likes to imagine celebrities as characters in my fucked up screenplay until I think about them as real people and it makes me sad so then I stop.

Despite my jokes, this whole shit storm just makes me sad.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:13 PM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


his conversion might coincide with his new girlfriend.

The MeFi thread on her.
posted by Gary at 4:26 PM on November 28, 2012


I have seen characters talking about and enacting really raunchy things (e.g., references to anal sex, "going down", masturbation, even bestiality).

What show had the bestiality gag?
posted by box at 6:11 PM on November 28, 2012


What show had the bestiality gag?

Everything Seth MacFarlane has ever put his name on?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:36 PM on November 28, 2012


Meet the Homophobic Doomsday Preacher Behind Angus T. Jones’ Religious Rant
posted by homunculus at 11:09 PM on November 28, 2012


I have seen characters talking about and enacting really raunchy things (e.g., references to anal sex, "going down", masturbation, even bestiality).

LOL though. Out of the 4 things on this list, only one is weird. The rest are 100% normal and are probably being done by your next door neighbors right now.
posted by elizardbits at 7:15 AM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


elizardbits: The rest are 100% normal and are probably being done by your next door neighbors right now.
Vivian, you naughty nongenarian you!

You go girl!
posted by IAmBroom at 12:05 PM on November 29, 2012


Out of the 4 things on this list, only one is weird.

Using scare quotes is perfectly normal, and I really wish people would stop criticizing those of us who like a nice scare quote every once in a while. They don't hurt anyone, and my harmless preferences should not be open to your blatant attacks.
posted by OmieWise at 12:12 PM on November 29, 2012


"harmless preferences" indeed!
posted by elizardbits at 1:06 PM on November 29, 2012


I think these are all pretty raunchy things to be on at 8 pm when kids who haven't even hit puberty are ostensibly watching. I do tend toward overprotectiveness, so I understand that my preferences aren't everyone's, but those sorts of jokes weren't in the prime time tv lineup of my youth and I don't really want my daughter growing up too fast.

Omg when did I turn into Tipper Gore?
posted by onlyconnect at 3:31 PM on November 29, 2012


Before the popularization of television, you know what was perfectly commonplace?

Horses.

I mean, yes, kids today might catch an episode of Two and a Half Men and hear some crude sex talk, but in the twenties, they'd see probably half a dozen semi-erect horse cocks close up at eye level every single day right on their own street while walking ankle deep in shit and smoking unfiltered cigarettes and listening to a constant soundtrack of cats in heat.

To be honest, I'm not really sure why I'm bringing this up. It's just a weird thought, is all.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:23 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


onlyconnect writes "I understand that my preferences aren't everyone's, but those sorts of jokes weren't in the prime time tv lineup of my youth and I don't really want my daughter growing up too fast. "

It's not like there is any lack of childrens programming available both first release and archive.
posted by Mitheral at 7:04 PM on November 29, 2012


You know, when I was a kid and some show came on TV my parents didn't want me watching (the main example that comes to mind from my own childhood is The Simpsons), we just watched other stuff instead. Because ultimately my parents were the parents and got to decide what we were allowed to watch.

It's not like I never ever saw The Simpsons, but that night we mostly watched what my parents thought was appropriate for the family, or we did other things that didn't involve the TV.
posted by Sara C. at 7:32 PM on November 29, 2012


Yeah you know I recognize my own duty here as a parent is to forbid my kid from watching stuff that I think goes too far, and I will do that certainly. I'm just saying the stakes seem higher to me now than when I was a kid, but I guess I just sound like I'm shouting get off my lawn at people now and I don't mean to do that.
posted by onlyconnect at 7:59 PM on November 29, 2012


but in the twenties ...

And don't forget child labor and lead paint—also wholesome next to Two And A Half Men!
posted by octobersurprise at 8:11 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm with the evangelical half-man. That show is filth. The characters are so empty and sad, and the writing so cynical, when I say that I feel dumber after watching it, I say it with feeling.
posted by zippy at 9:27 PM on November 29, 2012


Out of the 4 things on this list, only one is weird

The other three are weird when described on-air by either Terry Gross or Ira Glass.

Not that hot Carl Kasell, though.
posted by zippy at 9:33 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


jenh526: “I have seen characters talking about and enacting really raunchy things (e.g., references to anal sex, 'going down', masturbation, even bestiality).”

elizardbits: “LOL though. Out of the 4 things on this list, only one is weird. The rest are 100% normal and are probably being done by your next door neighbors right now.”

Two And A Half Men is absolutely a shit show. It's terrible. What's terrible about it is that it confuses people about what's terrible about it. It's a show that's deeply sexist, but the sexism is so thoroughgoing that it's consistently shrugged off, it's supposed to be a nonissue; while the 'raunchy' stuff, the sex, etc, is given play as being the 'dirty' side of the show. In short, like so many things in our culture, it makes sexism seem like a basic, normal fact of life that everyone accepts, and treats sex as a subversive and dangerously cool thing. Neither of those two points are really helping anybody.
posted by koeselitz at 9:57 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Successful Child Stars: Actors Who Avoided The Curse Of Early Fame.
posted by ericb at 12:14 PM on December 1, 2012


That article ericb just linked is not exactly fair to Mr Jones. Yes, child stars sometimes end up "cursed," but it's a heck of a stretch to call this one of those times.

I mean, Dana Plato's life went a tad further south than 'became a Seventh Day Adventist,' you know?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:46 PM on December 1, 2012


Angus’s Beef: The Trouble With ‘Two and a Half Men’
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:14 AM on December 4, 2012


« Older ...the team captured every nuance of the cat’s mov...  |  GIFFTRAX!... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments