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Great moments in MTV Movie Awards?

Great moments in MTV Movie Awards? (photo)

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The nominations for this year’s MTV Movie Awards were announced yesterday, to the evident excitement of no one in particular. New categories include “Global Superstar,” “Best Scared-as-SH*T Performance” and “Biggest Badass Star”; “Twilight,” “Avatar” and “The Hangover” slaughtered everything in the nominations department, in keeping with the ceremonies’ populist bent and reputation for rewarding precisely those movies that triumph over critics’ sneers.

For all the show’s looseness (or appearance of; up through 2006, it was stitched together for broadcast from separately filmed parts), there’s something kind of joyless and cynical about the awards’ predictable genuflection to teens, whose loyalties are easily bought. It’s pretty clear the Awards used to skew at least a little older; either that, or teens in the ’90s were slightly more open to the idea of watching non-comedies about people older than themselves. (“A Few Good Men” won Best Picture in 1993, which seems pretty improbable in retrospect.) At the very least, the Awards can claim credit for their now-defunct Best New Filmmaker category, which correctly identified Wes Anderson, Steve James, and Sofia Coppola early — as well as, more impressively, “Hoop Dreams”‘ Steve James. (In deference, it’d seem, to greater tact/concern about the language of sexual harassment, the “Most Desirable” thespian categories were retired long before that.)

And while it’s surely a question of forgetting details, for a show that lets America’s youngest and most pursued demographic get what they want entertainment-wise, the Awards have produced surprisingly few memorable moments just for pure fun. Last year’s big highlight was Sacha Baron Cohen’s staged conflict with Eminem; I also remember the White Stripes blowing the roof off in 2002 (the staged crowd filling the dance floor looked surprisingly raucous). That’s about it, though; no matter the host, the show doesn’t seem noticeably more relaxed or spontaneous than any other. It’s not really surprising the official synopses tend to mock the broadcast in MTV’s own mid-90s language of snark and self-dismissal, even for shows too recent to look back on with some degree of self-aware affection.

05132010_dumb.jpgOf course, Viacom companies are some of the most vigilant about monitoring YouTube for clips of any of their property, which makes it difficult to jog old memories. Nonetheless, in the interest of staying positive, here’s a clip from 1995 that seems relevant since “Iron Man 2” will be dominating theaters for a bit. This is Robert Downey Jr. presenting Best Comedic Performance to Jim Carrey for “Dumb and Dumber.” At this moment, Carrey is pretty much the biggest star in the world and Downey’s just a cult actor — a state of affairs that’s almost completely inverted now. Just before his public difficulties would start, Downey seems relaxed and — while not yet known as a straight comic actor, just a few years after “Chaplin” was his big bid for Serious Thespian status — he’s able to keep up with Carrey, especially in the backstage moment after. It really is a bit of flashback magic. So there’s something to this show after all, I guess, just like every piece of pop cultural garbage left alone for 15 years:

[Photos: “A Few Good Men,” Columbia, 1992; “Dumb & Dumber,” New Line Cinema, 1994.]


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.