DID YOU READ

“I’m An Oil Man”: “There Will Be Blood” Gets Super NES Send-Up

“I’m An Oil Man”: “There Will Be Blood” Gets Super NES Send-Up (photo)

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Certain movies, comics and games see to be natural fits for a transmedia journey. A “Scott Pilgrim” game is a gimme. Ditto for the recent graphic novel that ties in the “Fallout: New Vegas” game.

No one would think that Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-winning period piece was ripe for digitization but the Tomfoolery Pictures creative shop did exactly that. A gameplay clip on Vimeo shows off a Super Nintendo Enetrtainment system demo of a purported adaptation of the 2007 film. “Super There Will Be Blood” is a platformer in the Mario-style, with charismatic prospector Daniel Plainview blowing up rock formations and collecting money. The game versions of the film’s key confrontations are hilarious and the slurping milkshake sound will make you laugh out loud.

Super There Will Be Blood from Tomfoolery Pictures on Vimeo.

The icing on the cake comes in the form of the pitch-perfect pixellated stills used as chapter breaks. Many a game in the 16-bit era use this device and the super-dry dialogue flow makes for great parody in “STWBB.” If only there were a preaching mini-game in the style of “Parappa the Rappa”…

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Xfiles I Want to Believe

Do You Know the Truth?

How Well Do You Know The X-Files? Take the Quiz!

Catch The X-Files movies this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./Courtesy Everett Collection

The X-Files are all about uncovering the truth in the face of vast conspiracies. If you’re a real fan, you’ve binge-watched the original series, the movies airing this month on IFC, and are excited for the new installments on FOX. But how well do you know The X-Files? Take the quiz below to find out if you know truth, and be sure to catch The X-Files: Fight the Future and The X-Files: I Want to Believe on IFC.

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David Cross and Seth Meyers on Late Late Show

Whimsical Chairs

Watch David Cross Engage Seth Meyers In an Epic Stand-Off

Catch the final three episodes of Todd Margaret season three this Thursday, January 14th at 10P ET/PT.

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Photo Credit: tLate Night with Seth Meyers / NBC

Here’s a tip for any budding late night hosts who are trying to break into the business: Never let a guest learn the program’s stringent rules on etiquette, lest they use it to their advantage. Case in point: Last night, Todd Margaret star David Cross stopped by the Late Night set to chat with Seth Meyers about the third season of the IFC series in what was to be, for all intents and purposes, a normal interview setting. But prior to his appearance, Cross learned one crucial rule: The host cannot sit down before the guest. And if the host must be as uncomfortable in their respective stations as the guest, well, then there’s fun to be had.

Watch David Cross guilt Seth Meyers into standing, squatting, and discussing David’s unique body hair grooming regimen in the video below. And be sure to catch the final three episodes of Todd Margaret this Thursday, January 14th starting at 10P ET/PT.

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