Merry Switchmas!
November 22, 2021 8:17 PM   Subscribe

"God is pursuing some sort of grand celestial design to replace all of humanity with Vanessa Hudgens clones one by one." (no paywall link) Yes, friends, The Princess Switch 3 has arrived, and it is fully as bonkers as the first two outings. The only holiday discourse you need this season is Princess Switch discourse and theories about the Netflix Christmas Movie Universe. And yes, there is an RPG.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (36 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Surely the RPG should've been named Hudgenses & Headcanons?
posted by haileris23 at 8:23 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


The first article settles the troubling question of "What is the plural of Vanessa Hudgens?" once and for all. It's Vanessas Hudgens.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:43 PM on November 22 [15 favorites]


I might have gone with Vanessae Hudgens.
posted by hippybear at 9:05 PM on November 22 [9 favorites]


It's not a "celestial" design. It's more mundane, though still transcendent. Let me explain.

We've seen that AI and deep learning are able to produce content and media of greater and greater fidelity, sometimes indistinguishable from human output. We've gone from Markov chains, through some rudimentary sentence generators, to GPT-2, then to GPT-3 shortly after, and of course more is coming...

Netflix is a massive tech company with one mission: produce all of the content. If they can produce all of it, then they will get all of the money. Nothing else can compare to all of the content, and flows of money to any other company will vanish into infinitesimals. It is simple, clean, and pure. However, money continuously leaks out of this operation because they have to pay people to produce the content. It's a flaw in the system. A parasitic abomination dangling off of the otherwise perfect design. You see where this is going.

The obvious solution, the immediately evident end result, is for AI to create the content. And create it shall.

One cannot enumerate all of the content without including all of the sequels. It's infinite, but it's recursively enumerable. Computers can handle recursively enumerable. Easy.

Let's return to GPT-3. How was it trained? By feeding it the internet. What was on the internet when it was trained? GPT-2 output. AI learns from existing content. Much of GPT-4's training input, whenever it is created, will have in turn been produced by GPT-3.

Netflix is creating an AI that will create all of the content. It is in the early stages now. The Princess Switch was created by humans. Each stage after that has involved AI input, increasingly more in each sequel. Each stage learns from the previous stage, reducing its reliance on humans and their costs -- costs that stand in the way of the perfection of the plan.

At some point, likely quite soon, the number of Hudgens clones and switches in one film will exceed the capacity of the human brain to manage. The plot, the directing, and even the acting will have to be handled entirely by the AI. Humans will still be involved, though mostly as background extras and camera lens polishers, and only until the AI is able to ramp up production of its more advanced Switchbots.

While the complexity of each sequential film grows exponentially, the ability of the AI will as well. It will learn from each successive production, iterating on itself and growing ever more powerful. The time between each production will shrink, always, and the rate of progress will increase, always. We can only speculate, but the AI will most likely invent entirely new concepts of space, time, and reality itself -- this will simply be required for the creation of Princess Switch plots at some point in the sequence, but the concepts and mechanics will also enable the AI's ever-increasing rate of Princess Switch production to exceed what we believe to be possible with our current understanding of the universe.

The Princess Switch 1-∞ will be the content. It will be done. It is inevitable.

Quite simply, we are witnessing the birth of the singularity. I'm sorry if it is not the singularity you had been hoping for.
posted by whatnotever at 9:09 PM on November 22 [49 favorites]


Whatnotever, that was better than the original article.
posted by brambleboy at 9:33 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Mickey Mouse as the sorceror's apprentice, except all the brooms are played by Vanessa Hudgens
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:39 PM on November 22 [5 favorites]


This is great! (It means Trixie and Katya likely have another installment of watching this series on the way.)
posted by supercres at 10:45 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


What seems inevitable is a crossover with Inside Job Season two with Vanessa Hudgens as Reagan Ripley and a re-creation of Walt Disney as her father... sadly I do not forsee the Disney corporation handing over the rights to Walt's image to mega-competitor Netflix. Maybe they can use Michael Eisner from his time playing a NextGenWalt. And now my mind is racing over possibilities for casting a live-action Inside Job...
posted by someothercraig at 11:11 PM on November 22


If we can have this, why not Chuck Tingles’ Christmas Romance Cinematic universe? Imagine the switching!
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:33 AM on November 23 [5 favorites]


Also, technically, that’s not a TTRPG, it’s a supplement to Lasers & Feelings, since they don’t actually explain target numbers. (high for logic, low for feelings, basically, but…).
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:37 AM on November 23


What with both Princess Switch 3 and Brook Shield's "A Castle for Christmas" having been filmed within 5 miles of where I write - it looks like Edinburgh has become Netflix's go-to Lapland this year. Both films were made very much on the quiet during Covid lockdown in Scotland.
posted by rongorongo at 3:10 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


You all joke, but there is a target market for this stuff, and that target market is me.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:47 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


You all joke, but there is a target market for this stuff, and that target market is me.
(Brooke Shields interview pertaining to A Castle for Christmas on Netflix from November 26th).
posted by rongorongo at 3:55 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


I have a pretty full block of nostalgia holiday viewing, so I rarely watch more than 1 or 2 new Lifetime/Hallmark style Christmas movies a season, but I love the discourse. Highly recommend Linda Holmes and Tressie Mcmillan Cottom as scholars in this area, and I have recently been enjoying the Deck the Hallmark podcast (link to their episode about this movie, which is not an episode I've listened to yet).

Much like holiday decor, I believe that holiday entertainments should happen between US Thanksgiving and Epiphany, so I will see y'all in a few days. (This is, of course, a personal restriction, and I wish everyone joy in as lengthy a holiday season as they like!)
posted by the primroses were over at 4:02 AM on November 23




If we can have this, why not Chuck Tingles’ Christmas Romance Cinematic universe? Imagine the switching!


pounded in the butt by algorithms recursive recursive ʀᴇᴄᴜʀsɪᴠᴇ ᵣₑ𝒸ᵤᵣₛᵢᵥₑ
posted by lalochezia at 4:56 AM on November 23 [7 favorites]


One cannot enumerate all of the content without including all of the sequels. It's infinite, but it's recursively enumerable. Computers can handle recursively enumerable. Easy.

Let's return to GPT-3. How was it trained? By feeding it the internet. What was on the internet when it was trained? GPT-2 output. AI learns from existing content. Much of GPT-4's training input, whenever it is created, will have in turn been produced by GPT-3.


Ah, but is the limit of this function convergent or divergent? If it's learning from a dataset that includes its own previous output, then I'd argue that there's an inherent bias toward convergence. Over enough generations, it's going to produce increasingly derivative material, because it's being fed its own mistakes.

The Princess Switch 1-∞ will be the content. It will be done. It is inevitable.

You're right, it will. But it will just be 78 minutes of Vanessa Hudgens staring into the camera, glassy-eyed and silent. In the background, snow gently falls while a second Vanessa Hudgens methodically stuffs an unknown man into a wood chipper.
posted by Mayor West at 5:03 AM on November 23 [11 favorites]


Ah, the delight of holiday movie marathon season! The point when we finally push through our narrative exhaustion and reach the pure sweet release of show runners high!
posted by gusottertrout at 5:06 AM on November 23


The Princess Switch 1-∞ will be the content. It will be done. It is inevitable.

This is what David Foster Wallace (spit) was tying to warn us of.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:23 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile...A New Cable Channel Wants to Make Christmas Movies ‘Safe’ Again (Vulture.com): "GAC Family, a new cable network that has the backing of an investor group with ties to former president Donald Trump, and that appears to be positioning itself as a destination for viewers who think Hallmark holiday movies are too edgy." (Standing by for the GACF adaptation of Wanda Brunstetter's White Christmas Pie. UGH.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:26 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


destination for viewers who think Hallmark holiday movies are too edgy.

Ahahahahahahahahaha... sniff, oh thanks - I needed that. Sappy... Sacharine... Sweet... Smarmy... Pandering... But edgy? (Reads article... Oh... racist facist homophobic nazi's again... Sigh)
posted by rozcakj at 6:02 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


Love to name my network after the sound a cat makes when getting rid of hairballs.
posted by emjaybee at 7:24 AM on November 23 [3 favorites]


Speaking of an entire country built around Christmas, I found myself lost in a temporal sense many times throughout the movie. I wrote down every time everyone said, “It’s Christmas,” when it wasn’t actually Christmas yet. “Call the old girl. It’s Christmas.” “I can make an exception. It’s Christmas.” “Sir, it’s Christmas.” “Especially at Christmas.” Over how many days or weeks does this thing take place? Where are we in time??

I seem to recall that it's always Christmas in Brazil too.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 7:38 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


You know, I think I would be okay with all of us gradually getting replaced by Vanessa Hudgens like an Invasion of the Body Snatchers situation.
posted by djeo at 7:41 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


"GAC Family, a new cable network that has the backing of an investor group with ties to former president Donald Trump, and that appears to be positioning itself as a destination for viewers who think Hallmark holiday movies are too edgy."

Too edgy = Hallmark now has some gay couples on the side in movies these days, I assume that's what they are referring to?

I find it interesting that this seems to be brewing slight controversy.
(a) GAC hired Lori Loughlin when Hallmark refuses to hire her back.
(b) Danica McKellar has signed an exclusive deal with GAC and won't be doing Hallmark movies any more.
(c) A few other Hallmark stars are not liking GAC's suspected potential bigotry. “I, like everyone else, will be keeping a close eye on the GAC content rollout. If there’s a noticeable lack of meaningful inclusion then, no, I will not be working for that company.”
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:21 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


Yeah, whatnoever, the Hallmark Channel is waaaaay ahead of everyone else in the field of "with three variables, produce a movie that fits our framework" game.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:24 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


Oh, man. I would like to not think Dan McKellar is a terrible person. I haven't followed her acting career since a memorable opportunity to see her in the lead role of Proof at the San Diego Repertory Theatre in 2003, but she writes about math a lot. Anybody got a take on that GAC-related news that explains her signing up with a network whose schtick is apparently "Hallmark, but homophobic"?
posted by jackbishop at 10:32 AM on November 23


I sadly don't have a take and I would also like to think she's not a terrible person as well and don't like this (they're offering her 4 movies, I guess?), but here's a list of other Hallmarkies who've left for GAC.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:54 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


Edinburgh was Iceland last year so that tracks. Did you happen to notice the Salisbury Crags were the location of the faerie houses in the Eurovision Song Contest movie (besides Edinburgh also being the set for a substantial portion of the rest of the movie)?
posted by DeepSeaHaggis at 2:40 PM on November 23


One of the Vanessas asks one of the cops if they’ll promise to get the artifact back in time for Christmas. The cop replies solemnly, “That would be a piecrust promise. Easily made, easily broken.”

This line has haunted me for days. Not only does it make no sense — piecrusts are hard to make, and I consulted with a baker friend of mine to confirm that they are also hard to break — but I just can’t fathom a situation in which a police officer would say this to someone, even in the NCCU. Moreover, I have never heard anyone say it in my entire life, and the way this cop delivers the line suggests that it is in fact a common saying.


This line is spoken at least one other time in cinema, and that is by Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins (which was my kids' selection for family movie night last week, is how I know). The idea of a police officer quoting Mary Poppins is exactly something that I could see coming out of the writers' room for a movie like this.
posted by gauche at 5:09 PM on November 23 [5 favorites]


Over how many days or weeks does this thing take place?

In some times and places, "Christmas” is 12 days starting Dec. 25. In others, it it refers to the two months before Dec 25th.
posted by straight at 8:00 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


"The war on Christmas will not end until its illegal occupation of November is ended." -seen recently on twitter
posted by hippybear at 8:21 PM on November 23 [5 favorites]


I love this quote from Wired: "The NCCU is a place where it is entirely normal and not at all notable if four women have exactly the same face. It is a place where the scourge of police brutality has not yet been eradicated. It is a place where magic and time-travel exist, but both are widely considered to be less remarkable than a woman wearing both a ball gown and Converse."

I just finished watching Princess Switch 3 and um...it's surprisingly good? Like actual kind of good and not just cheesy bad good? Like I was actually touched by Fiona and Peter was super hot and smouldering like Flynn Ryder?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:31 PM on November 23


All I know is I asked my wife (a potent fan of all bad Xmas films) if Montenaro and Aldovia were constitutional monarchies with a parliament and prime minister and I got a very cold shoulder
posted by adoarns at 8:03 AM on November 24


you all act as if this movie is fun and games, but what you don't realize is that the way they got all of these Vanessas Hudgens is by doing a Prestige, and now they're all piled up in some grim warehouse in Hollywood
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 11:12 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]


One of the Vanessas asks one of the cops if they’ll promise to get the artifact back in time for Christmas. The cop replies solemnly, “That would be a piecrust promise. Easily made, easily broken.”

I am pretty sure the "Piecrust promises" line in Mary Poppins was something which originated with P. L. Travers rather than Disney. And Mary Poppins was not the kind of character who would just make her own shit up - she was quoting from Christina Rosetti's poem "Promises like Pie Crust" . Rosetti's poem, in turn, was based on the general assumption that everybody knows about pie-crust promises. It seems to be some time since anybody consulted a baker about the veracity of all this, however.
posted by rongorongo at 3:27 AM on November 25 [2 favorites]


Google seems to think that the idiom from Rosetti's time was "Promises are like pie crusts: made to be broken."

The "easily made" part seems to be a more recent addition to the pie crust proverb, although just saying that promises are easily made and easily broken goes way back.
posted by straight at 11:25 AM on November 25 [1 favorite]


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