So, that was diff’r’nt, huh? More like this? Fewer like this? I always like an excuse to do something unconventional, but I’ll go with the flow and defer to the players on this one.

As you might guess, in short form humor, sometimes there’s massive disagreement, particularly considering that I’m an awesome SuperJesus and Matt is an ordinary garden gnome. Anyway, we had a lot of fun with these, and you should enjoy them.

The challenge was to distill a pop culture…thing…down to fifteen words.


Brooks Maki, Long Distance Phone Call for Friendship
Kevin Spacey spends too much time planning his murder spree just to annoy Brad Pitt.

Se7en.

K: That is some nice word economy, and a funny way to get out the information. GOLD

MN – Criticisms are funny. This movie really didn’t work for me, so this distillation does.

Will Young, For the Love of Pete

Fargo: The uncircumcised guy gets killed; the fucking liar sells TruCoat. And for what? (Go Bears!)

K: Not as witty and blunt as the first, but a decent stinger at the end.

MN – I think if you’d have gone out on “and for what” this would have worked better for me, since that would have been the truest you could have been to it. Though (Go Bears!) is funny. BRONZE

Brian David, The Hidden Legends of Temple Grandin

The Cosby Show
Raging egomaniac sexual predator casts himself as himself in sitcom about family values. Hilarity ensues.

K: This isn’t exactly what was asked for, but it’s fine as a calculated risk. As for the specific reference, it’s a bit played out to have much impact without a new angle.

MN – I won’t go into my rant here about giving people authority, but I want to. Short version: Dostoyevsky was right, we’re all answerable for everyone. Jeez, this entry is cynical. And that cynicism is justified. I’m gonna go cry now. SILVER

Jordan Graham, Hidden Legends

Jay-Z: Brooklyn drug dealing savvy escapes Reaganomics, pimps labels, and flaunts opulence until dilution sets in.

K: Ha, wow. This is a very clever use of words. SILVER

MN – I’m not sure if I love the way you’ve re-nouned “savvy” or if I hate it. The repurposing of “dilution” too… you certainly had some intent here, and I can respect that. BRONZE

Melissa Diamond, Phone Call

The Ring

the ring. Video virus. Share or, in seven days, the last thing you see is

K: Heh. I think it might actually work better, though, if the narrator actually announces he or she didn’t share.

MN – This is clever. The misplaced comma after “or” instead of “share”is my only problem. That and a couple entries I liked just a little bit more. SILVER

Shawn Ashley, Hidden Legends

Shawshank Redemption

An accused man is sentenced to hard time where no one looks at his shoes.

K: Oh, HELL. I laughed well at this one. It’s probably totally lost on those who haven’t seen it, but hey, who hasn’t seen it at this point? GOLD

MN – It’s true, but this doesn’t feel quite true enough. I want something bigger, like you feel like you get from this movie.

Daniel Caouette, The Devil Wear PRADAZ

Pokemon

Parents throwing their young children onto the streets to fuel an animal-fighting ring of friendship.

K: That sure is…what it is. Not bad, but lacks the bite of some of the early submissions.

MN – Do parents push this on their kids? Don’t kids drive that obsession themselves?

Colin Woolston, Phone Call

Kale
A healthy, Do It Yourself, all natural way to buy that healthy, natural, new you!

K: Is Kale a pop culture phenomenon? Holy crap, I guess it is. This joke is just subtle enough to look ordinary until you recognize the cynicism and bite presented. BRONZE

MN – Oh man, the marketing of superfoods! That’s a great concept. You win. GOLD

erik sunshine, For the Love

Scheming father, through unrelenting lies and trickery, systematically breaks his own son’s grasp on reality.

(Life is Beautiful)

K: I wish I remembered this movie better, because I know the satirical tone is what the writer is selling. I have just enough saved in my memory, I guess. BRONZE

MN – This. This is what I wanted from this challenge. You lied to us about what it’s about, to capture the effect of the film, and remind us of how beautiful that movie was. GOLD

Bret Highum, For the Love

CSI

Boring cops, stilted dialogue, crappy computerized special effects and ridiculous “science”. Catchy intro song, though.

K: Love for The Who? I’ll take it. Taking jabs at CSI is a little fish-in-a-barrely, though.

MN – I laughed, but it might have been too colloquial for this challenge; I wanted stronger descriptors than “crappy.”

Zack Sauvageau, The Devil Wear PRADAZ

Donald Trump
The Angry Orange became a real boy with a toupee and started hating “The Mexicans.”

K: If you’re going to rage on Mr. We Shall Overcomb at this point, it has to be pretty strong, because every comedian out there is doing it. There’s some decent stuff here, but this is tricky subject matter.

MN – So much deserved skewering. Fish in a barrel. Against a strong week though, I needed monkeys in a barrel.

Annette Barron, PRADAZ

Game of Thrones.

A lurid tale of competition for sovereign;
In a time and place familiar yet foreign.

K: Hmm. This is fairly basic, and yet I find the simplicity of the couplet alluring all the same. The fitting language helps, for sure. SILVER

MN – Spoiler alert, jeez! I’ve never seen/read GoT. But even I know this works. And the couplet is fantastic. GOLD

Joseph Rakstad, Hidden Legends

24
Terrorist threaten, CTU scrambles. Mole prolongs whole affair. Dammit Kim, not again! Jack kicks ass.

K: Embarrassing fact: I have seen every episode of 24. When it was on, it was on! And, like, three seasons were “on.” Anyway, it kind of works because of the familiar archetypes presented in every season, but again is just being cast aside for some stronger witty entries.

MN – Boy, that show really did become a procedural, didn’t it? Could we bring the CSI description back?

Pete Bruzek, PRADAZ

Mad Max: Fury Road

Chase scenes, fiery guitars, huffing paint, and HOLY SHIT AWESOMENESS OVERLOAD I CAN’T EVEN BREATHE.

K: I get what you’re doing here, but I’m not sure blowing half of this on how much you like it was the way to go. On the other hand, you’ve reminded me to see it soon.

MN – I still need to see this one. That won’t happen for a long time. And now I have you to thank for reminding me of that sad fact… plus, I don’t think breaking the 4th wall quite worked here.

Joshua Longman, Hidden Legends

Blood curls down the pin – he watches it, both of them oil dark. Finally sated.

There Will Be Blood

K: Aaaahhh. Some pretty language for a film with pretty language (when it chooses to use it). SILVER

MN – “Both of them oil dark” is good. Ending wasn’t quite right though… “I’m finished,” might have done the trick like the “and for what?” from Fargo above.

Brendan Bonham, For the Love

Instagram

Flawlessly facilitating the masturbatory preferences of the quietly perverted and the loudly narcissistic since 2010.

K: Okay, so this is pretty basic slamming, but still, the commitment to the rage over the product is amusing. BRONZE

MN – An effective skewering of social media. BRONZE

Beau, Hidden Legends

Back to the Future

Teenage boy hates his family. Almost makes out with Mom. Now his family is awesome!

K: Damn, yo. I laughed hard at this payoff. After all this years and repeated viewings, it’s still amazing to me that a movie with incestual overtones is so damn charming and sweet. GOLD

MN – I laughed hardest at this one. The exclamation point really sells the idiocy. SILVER

———————————————————————

Good times, good times! We may do something like this again. Hey, it’s your own fault for doing it well.

Long Distance Phone Call for Friendship: 5-3-6 = 14/3 = 4.67
The Hidden Legends of Temple Grandin: 3-4-5-0-3-8 = 23/6 = 3.83
For the Love of Pete: 1-6-0-2 = 9/4 = 2.25
The Devil Wear PRADAZ: 0-0-8-0 = 8/4 = 2.00

A single point separated the tribes, but PRADAZ, you will lose yet another letter from PRADAZ, which is currently PADZ. Vote by tomorrow night at 9pm Central and unless you vote by midday tomorrow, results and the next challenge could be pretty late as a result of my work schedule.

Cheers, Survivors.

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