“Medal of Honor”: A $100 Million Missed Opportunity?

“Medal of Honor”: A $100 Million Missed Opportunity?  (photo)

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Despite the well-documented Taliban controversy and middling reviews, EA’s new “Medal of Honor” title seems to be performing well at retail. A fresh press release delivers news that the modern-day war game is beating expectations and reports elsewhere [http://www.industrygamers.com/news/ea-confirms-medal-of-honor-has-generated-100-million/] state that “MOH” probably earned more than $100 million in its first week on the strength of about 1.5 million units sold.

The term “critic-proof” gets bandied about in media circles, often describing deplorable entertainment that still pulls in dollar bills. I’d offer “Medal of Honor” as an example of critique-proof content, since it wasn’t just reviewers and journalists who spoke on the Taliban controversy. Politicians, soldiers and servicemen’s family members all weighed in with how they felt. Then, when actual reviews came out and the game’s lukewarm reception became apparent, EA’s stock price actually dropped in response. [http://venturebeat.com/2010/10/13/critics-skewer-medal-of-honor-and-investors-take-down-eas-stock-price/]

Still, more than the financial repercussions, it seems that any object lessons EA and other big-name game companies might have learned via the controversy around “Medal of Honor” may be washed away by its retail achievements. Gamers apparently didn’t object to either the Taliban kerfuffle nor critcs’ warnings about the game’s mediocrity and their purchases were perhaps spurred on by the chance to peer into a war that’s curently happening and the chance to be “Hurt Locker“-style badasses. Developers and execs get the chance to look at “MOH” as a dodged bullet and no thought needs to be given about what might have been done differently. Gamemakers shouldn’t shy away from the idea of a politically-charged video game that speaks to modern-day political realities, but the sales success of “Medal Of Honor” might just have shot that initiative in the foot. Sophistication may just have to wait for another day.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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