Geek Log, Earthdate 210918:
My week’s been a bit mad, between wrapping up the final weeks of my old job and preparing for a new one, it’s been hard to make time for R&R. However, I was lucky enough to find some time for myself.
I’m a long time fan of Bojack Horseman, Netflix’s favourite depressed horsey (played by Will Arnett). The show engages with subjects ranging from gun control to depression in a way that never loses its inherent silliness and wit. This season in particular touches on the weighty phenomenon of #MeToo and the entertainment industry. As the protagonist, we sympathise with Bojack even when he acts awfully. We want to see him redeem himself and grow. But we also have to reckon with the fact he’s a celebrity who doesn’t get held to account: a worrying problem at the best of times but one which is now more relevant than ever.
The show deals with the subject without offering any fullproof answers but without entirely copping out. I’d normally be a big advocate of ‘Call Out Culture’ and the power of grassroots social media movements to hold people to account. This personal opinion aside, I was intrigued by the counter-point the show proposes. By writing hit-pieces on these people, are we giving these people their much-deserved punishment or fuelling the fires of controversy for its own sake. Normally my answer would be a resounding ‘well-deserved punishment,’ but the answer isn’t so simple in entertainment.
The ugly truth is people often get away with all sorts of heinous actions. In fact, the nature of celebrity means they can often turn it into positive press. Indeed, the show even questions the motives of celebrities who ‘redeem’ themselves in this context. If a tarnished celebrity makes the perfect apology, seemingly showing true growth, is this really evidence of change and the need for forgiveness? Bojack suggests a darker alternative. Perhaps these performative apologies are evidence of the entertainment industry’s desire to save face at cost, even using private tragedies as fuel for PR.
In lighter news, I managed to take in a few shows at the Dublin Fringe! I saw Dreamgun’s final show on Sunday and I can’t recommend it enough. The Dublin-based alternative comedy troupe has hit a goldmine with its film reads. Rewriting the scripts of hit-movies such as Back to the Future, the group really brings the funny side of cinema to life. I was lucky enough to see their reading of Batman Begins. Despite loving Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the team brings plot holes and dumb moments to life remarkably. If you can’t catch their regular shows in Dublin, fear not! They have a podcast, recording their best film reads for your entertainment.
I also managed to catch Trial of the Centurys, a new hit-musical by Bobby Aherne and Giles Brody. The play follows Trevor and Elliot aka Trelliot, Irish born pop-stars known for their childish antics. Based on no specific existing people, Trelliot present a hilarious duo. Living in different Air BnBs every night, the childish brothers can’t accept their fading stardom. An unexpected lawsuit over merchandise rapidly turns into a dramatic affair with global implications.
Seeing the shows Dublin Fringe had to offer was a pretty important reminder. I love live comedy and theatre but I really treat myself to it enough. And the Fringe is just the tip of the iceberg! This city is a hotbed of theatre, comedy and music available to me at any moment. Especially when I can’t afford my Neflix subscription any more!