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Vivre Le Creep

Vivre Le Creep (photo)

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Ralph Meeker, Dan Duryea, Vince Edwards, Steve Cochran. There’s just something about the asshole.

Scratch that. That’s too strong and vulgar and dismissive of a word. More like… the shit bird, the hinky hombre, the gashouse palooka, whichever old-timey slang you choose to apply. These fellas are smarmy, slimy, ready with the pimp hand, and they sport that proverbial cat-that-ate-the-canary grin whenever a comely broad crosses their path. If you’re upset, you’re just, as Duryea spits in “The Little Foxes,” “showing off your grief” (though he dares utters this to a man, which, in the rare case of the actor’s screen career, causes Mr. Duryea to become the recipient of the bitch slap, rather than his usual backhand). And should you ever flag down a car in hysterical distress; the good looking stinker might not give you the comfort you require. He might just ask, à la Ralph Meeker as Mike Hammer, the most glorious a-hole of them all: “What’s this all about? I’ll make a quick guess. You were out with some guy who thought ‘no’ was a three-letter word. I should have thrown you off that cliff back there. I might still do it. Where are ya headed?”

Hey, at least he picked her up. As Meeker proved, a jerk can be a softie sometimes, though a clever, conniving one. Unlike the sensitive bad boy, he doesn’t buy all that romantic, raging on the heath hokum. In fact, he’s not one to get dizzy with a dame. He can be quite indifferent — you know, so many women, such little time, another babe will swing my way. I mean this as a true compliment, because how can you resist the Meeker? These jerk-faces are confident, charming meanies, who can dress a girl down with two hard-bitten lines, loosed with a breezy SOB savoir faire.

01062010_youthinrevolt13.jpgAnd oh, yes, that can work some dangerously seductive mojo on a gal. Forget Sylvia Plath and her fascist fetish, boot in the face business; every woman loves a heel in the face, as in the shitheel. When Jean-Paul Belmondo, though a tragic romantic, still manages to petulantly stare down the beautiful waif Jean Seberg, the girl every supposedly “decent” man wants to save from ruin, she can’t resist. After all, as he says himself, “I’m an asshole.”

This is the type of creature Michael Cera must create in Miguel Arteta’s “Youth in Revolt” (adapted by Gustin Nash from the cult novel by C.D. Payne), and, not surprisingly, his object of amour is obsessed with… Oh, la, la! Belmondo! She’s a full-on ’60s Franco-phile, in love with an era when the men were allowed to be weird-looking, the women almost obnoxiously beautiful, and Serge Gainsbourg, a sly brilliant fox, reigned supreme. Wily Serge charmed sweet little France Gall into turning a seemingly innocent lollipop song into an act of fellatio. He also got away with proclaiming his wish to “fuck” Whitney Houston, to her face, on French television and… oh, the French! How can you not love Serge? I certainly do.

But back to Michal Cera, an actor who is about as similar to Meeker, Belmondo and Gainsbourg as Rupert Graves is to Robert Mitchum. In a dual play on his own persona, that of the doe-eyed, insecure nerd whose wit, intelligence and Frank Sinatra records (of course, Sinatra) aren’t going to find him in any young woman’s bedroom anytime soon, and the cool ladykiller of legend, he creates an insidious alter ego named Francois Dillinger to aid in seducing the girl of his dreams, Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday). Does it work? Damn straight it does. Sporting a pencil thin mustache, tight white trousers, an ever-present cigarette and a flat-voiced sociopathic insouciance, Cera moves his shy, virginal outsider teen Nick Twisp into the suave, sexually confident transgressor Francois, amping up Sinatra’s “Pal Joey” credo of treating a lady like a dame, and a dame like a lady. Dames as in, tramps. They’re all tramps.

01062010_youthinrevolt18.jpgSince sensitive Twisp’s life seems awash with tramps — tacky, tactless life forms all engaging in wild sex acts instead of him, sometimes within earshot (including his own mother), jaundiced Francois doesn’t seem like much of a stretch. Sprung from now divorced, low-rent parents (Jean Smart and Steve Buscemi), he endures his mother’s stream of new boyfriends/sex toys (including a sleazy Zach Galifianakis and a scary Ray Liotta), and his father’s perpetual parade of absurdly hot jailbait partners. The world is one big squeaky mattress and hormonally hyperactive Nick is the guy kept awake by its ceaseless creaking.


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:


The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.


They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!


Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.


Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.



Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”


IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?

Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!

Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.

Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 


IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.