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Published On: Tue, Sep 26th, 2017

This Week In Pop Culture (9/22/17)

9/22/2017: The Family Matters House Is Being Destroyed

By Daniel Dockery

The house from Family Matters is being demolished. Not by the backfiring of one of Steve Urkel’s experiments, but by the city of Chicago. And I would feel very bad about this if I remembered what the house from Family Matters actually looked like.

OK, now that we’ve all watched the opening credits and been reminded of the place that the Winslows called home, let’s be real: How bad do we actually feel about this? How bad do we actually feel about the destruction of a house that was barely in the actual show? Because until I read a headline that says “Family Matters house is destroyed … with a screaming Urkel still inside,” I’m not gonna feel too torn up about it. Or at least, not torn up enough that I need to “make a pilgrimage to Chicago,” as this article puts it.

To be fair, maybe the problem is me. Maybe my priorities were mixed up during my viewings of Family Matters, and I was paying attention to the wrong shit. Maybe I should’ve been hyper-focused on the intricate detailing of the exterior window trim, and not on the human drama going on in a soundstage far, far away from this place.

If so, my bad. For a long time, the Death Star was about the only fictional house that I could perfectly remember. If you showed me that, I’d say, “Oh. That’s Darth Vader’s apartment from the Star Wars thing.” If you showed me this house, though, maybe it was from … The Drew Carey Show? So I’m sorry for being so callous as to not remember what the Family Matters house looked like, and for not wanting to drive to Chicago to pay tribute to the place that gave me ten whole seconds of wonderful memories.

So rip apart your regular schedule, fill up your tank, take your kids out of school, pull your spouse away from their job, and head to Chicago. Take them to bask in the glory of the Family Matters house one last time. “Why are we here?” your family will ask you, presumably for the hundredth time, as you are the kind of person who makes “pilgrimages” to stare at houses from the opening credits of early ’90s sitcoms. “GET OUT THE TENT!” you scream at them, as you hope to be there when the demolition actually occurs, so that you can scurry in and grab a piece of pop culture memorabilia — NAY, of HISTORY.

And then, years from now, as you lie on your deathbed, your kids will remind you of the time that you suddenly separated them from everything they knew and loved to see the Family Matters house.

“Did I do that?” you’ll whisper. There will be a moment of silence before your son bursts into tears, begging God to let you keep your mind.

But you’ll know. You’ll know.

The Original Sabrina Series Was Already Pretty Horrifying By Lydia Bugg

Imagine for a moment the most powerful being the world. Now imagine that this being is a 16-year-old girl, and kind of a dick. This is the world explored in the classic 1996-2000 television program Sabrina The Teenage Witch. That first time around, Sabrina was played for laughs, but the upcoming CW reboot based off of the Archie Horror comic The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina will be as horrific as the original truly was, if you think about it.

Remember Sabrina’s cute little talking black cat, Salem? Yeah, he’s a witch dictator who was trapped in cat’s body for trying to enslave humanity. He purposely feeds all of Sabrina’s darkest impulses, causing her to manipulate her friend’s lives on a daily basis. Like the time she wanted her life to be more dramatic, so she opened a literal can of worms, which gave her boyfriend amnesia. Or the time she didn’t have a date to her school dance, so she created a human life from man dough, and the man slowly fell apart throughout the dance. His limbs were strewn across the dance floor. IT WAS HILARIOUS.

If they want to make the new Sabrina truly terrifying, all they need to do is remake episodes of the old show without the laugh track. There was an episode in which Sabrina had to do community service at the Other Realm Rumor Mill, and all the rumors she wrote came true in the mortal world. This causes her boyfriend Harvey to become pregnant and her aunts to be abducted by aliens. All she has to write on that thing is “All of Sabrina enemies are dead now,” and it’s a horror show.

In fact, some of the first show’s plotlines were literally pulled from old Twilight Zone episodes. There’s one in which Sabrina gets an evil doll that terrorizes her friends. There’s one where she gets trapped in a dollhouse by her cousin. There’s one where her chemistry project decapitates all of her neighbors. OK, not really, but it wouldn’t be that out of place if it happened. She would just put all of their heads back on with magic and then sprinkle them with magic glitter and say, “Ignore those neck scars, human babies.” And we would never hear about it again.

I’m not saying I didn’t love the old Sabrina. I’ve literally seen every episode, and I think the new one will be amazing. Sabrina starts a zombie apocalypse in the Archie Horror universe by trying to resurrect Jughead’s dog. It feels like we’re finally getting the Sabrina we deserve: The most realistic portrayal of what a 16-year-old with magic would really be like. Terrifying!

9/20/2017:

Damon Lindelof And HBO Are Perfect For The ‘Watchmen’ Reboot By Luis Prada

With a single Instagram picture of a replica statue that manages to be appropriately cryptic and on the nose at the same time, former Lost and The Leftovers showrunner Damon Lindelof confirmed that he’s begun work on an HBO adaptation of Watchmen, Alan Moore and David Gibbon’s legendary 1980s superhero epic in which severe depression seems to be everyone’s superpower.

People who remember Lost as not delivering on the hype it built up will probably groan at the news, while I cheer and pop champagne as silently as I can in a far-off corner so that hardcore comic geeks won’t crucify me for thinking Lindelof is the perfect choice. To understand why, you have to look beyond the overarching mysteries in the backgrounds of his work, and pay attention to what’s happening in the foreground: the character drama.

Watchmen is human drama. It’s so emotionally raw that it borders on uncomfortable voyeurism. These people are so authentically damaged in that American Beauty kind of way that their superpowers, costumes, and gadgets feel like window dressing. It’s all incidental. These broken people happen to be former members of a Justice-League-type group. Now they’re living a David Mamet play dressed like they showed up way too early for a costume party. Human drama set against crazy sci-fi bullshit is Lindelof’s wheelhouse.

The 2009 Watchmen movie suffered from Zach Snyder’s bro-ier action instincts. Moore and Gibbons’ comic is about superheroes, yes, but it’s not an action story. It’s a drama wherein people debate ideologies with a god who has his electric blue dick out for all to see. Debating ideologies for an hour a week? That’s Damon Lindelof. Gratuitous nudity set among a sci-fi backdrop? That’s HBO. This is a match made in nerd heaven.

9/19/2017: We Can Bring Back Pet Sematary, But Will It Come Back Wrong?

By Ian Fortey

With the massive success of the movie IT, about a down-on-his-luck clown who lives in the sewers until a group of children try to murder him, Stephen King has rocketed back into the cinematic limelight again. It’s not hard to see why there’s an invigorated interest in some of King’s other several thousand stories. IT director Andy Muschietti has already expressed interest in following up his IT sequel with a remake of 1989’s Pet Sematary.

You may recall that Pet Sematary is about a group of illiterate children who foolishly bury their goldfish and bunnies just around the corner from a doorway to What-The-Fucksville which can bring any dead thing back to life — only it comes back wrong. Naturally, hilarity ensues, as people rush to bury every dead thing they can find there, while Fred Gwynne looks exceedingly unhappy about it, despite being the guy who set everything in motion.

Now, depending on who you ask, Pet Sematary is either an awesome movie or a tepid turd in an already empty punch bowl. The film has 48 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but horror movie critics generally really enjoyed it, and if I may say, the creepy meningitis sister character was a goddamn nightmare when I was a kid. The fact that Pet Sematary is simmering around mediocrity as a film means it’s prime real estate to become the guinea pig we take out back and bury to see if it can come back right this time. If Muschietti can make lighting strike twice with a second blockbuster King adaptation from an earlier, less-acclaimed property, maybe there’s hope for the literal dozens of other King adaptations that have fallen flat over the years.

Were you aware there’s a King movie called The Mangler, about an evil laundry press? Did you ever see Emilio Estevez and the voice of Lisa Simpson bravely fight sinister lawnmowers and Coke machines in Maximum Overdrive? Did you sit through his incest-kitty opus Sleepwalkers? Did you shit your pants in abject fear when Gary Busey fought a werewolf that looked like it had severe gas? These and other treats fill out the list over over 50 Stephen King film adaptations in existence. The man never stops writing, and people never stop shitting on his work when they try to adapt it. To this day, no one dares even try to explain what the fuck The Lawnmower Man was about; they just silently genuflect and hope Pierce Brosnan is nowhere nearby.

So if Pet Sematary works and is as awesome as IT, I will be first in line to watch a recast Drew Barrymore and her cat fight a tiny, jester-hat-wearing goblin to the death in a Cat’s Eye remake. But if it comes back wrong, then we all know what must be done.

9/18/2017: JAMIE LEE CURTIS IS RETURNING TO THE HALLOWEEN FRANCHISE

By Daniel Dockery

Jamie Lee Curtis is returning to Halloween. I will now pause this article to allow you to punch a hole in your wall, or chug an entire Miller High Life, or rip your shirt off, or belt out all the words to “That’s All” by Genesis, or whatever it is you do whenever you hear the greatest news in the world and need to express your overwhelming enthusiasm.

Now, if you’ve already heard this news, I’m sure you’ve also read commentary on it that went something like “JAMIE LEE CURTIS? ACTIVIA FOR POOPING! HALLOWEEN? MORE LIKE OLD-OWEEN! HAHAHAHA. I AM ALIVE, BUT MY SENSE OF JOY DIED YEARS AGO.” And yeah, Curtis isn’t the age of your usual lead actress in a horror film. Generally, slasher flicks are jam-packed with models turned actors turned DJs, and only cast older people when they need someone to play a concerned dad or the kooky, inconsequential sheriff. So to put Curtis at the forefront of the Halloween series in 2017 is not only incredible — it’s downright unheard of.

And it does guarantee a few things. First of all, it guarantees that this movie will have an actual story. Now, this is Halloween we’re talking about. Technically, Curtis’ character, Laurie Strode, has already died in the series. She kicked the bucket in Resurrection, a sequel which this film is supposedly ignoring, and I don’t blame them for it. Trying to make a sequel to the plots of Halloween 3 through 8 is like trying to make a statue out of wet spaghetti; both end with you crying into a plate of spaghetti.

But with Jamie Lee Curtis involved, you know that they’re not gonna try to fill it with conceited horror gimmicks. They’re not going to make this the found footage Halloween, or a Halloween that’s trying to capitalize on other recent horror successes by being about killer dolls or whatever. They’re not going to rocket Curtis into space so that she can fight Astro Myers in an intergalactic arena. They’re going to give her a story that’s worthy of Jamie Lee Curtis. And then maybe they’ll rocket her into space if she’s open to it in the sequels. Sorry. I kind of talked myself into liking that one.

Also, this guarantees that Curtis kicks ass. I know that we were probably all aware of this, but any time that I can say “All praise be to the Curtis,” I will take it. She didn’t balk at returning to play a character who was previously murdered in a movie that is now being totally ignored. She didn’t say, “Excuse me, but I am an actor, and will no longer be associated with holiday-related knife movies.” She said yes to starring in a Halloween movie in 2017. So again, all praise be to the Curtis.

I’m glad we’re all on the same page here. Our second order of business will be to get Busta Rhymes to come back to the series in 2025. We can do it, guys. We can make our own dreams.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/this-week-in-pop-culture-92217/

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This Week In Pop Culture (9/22/17)