Thought that I heard you laughing/Thought that I heard you sing…

So I’m browsing the threads over at the Comics Curmudgeon the other day, and ran across a poster with the handle ‘Wally Ballou’. This provoked a mild little ripple of mirth from a few others…along with comments on how unexpected it was that people were getting the reference, as they’d’ve thought it ‘too old’ for the audience.

Erm. Given what I’ve been able to gather about the average age of the ‘Mudgeons, also further observations elsewhere…this gave me reason for a rather lengthy pause. Apparently I’m not just the only dedicated Bob & Ray fan online, I may be the only Bob & Ray fan anywhere under 45.

Realising you’re this unique on the World Wide Web is, as you can imagine, a deeply bemusing experience. Still, it’s rather a pleasantly knowing one, as compared to…perhaps that one person on TVTropes who keeps adding Jem & the Holograms examples. I’m sorry, love, but there it is. On this side, brilliant, groundbreaking comedy; on the other, the ’80’s version of Hannah Montana.

…About that. Not Hannah, so much as High School Musical. Owing to media saturation around the third edition I have finally figured out what all the hype is about, and I gotta tell you, gang, no offense, but as far as I can tell the reason I hadn’t picked up on it before was because there’s nothing there to pick up. Something like cotton candy on a hot day at the Ex – one swipe, a shrug, and it’s on to the next bright shiny distraction.

Well, maybe not that cheap. I mean, the part where friend[info]shing_ posts hot pictures of shiny wet topless Zac, that I get OK. Not my taste, but I can sincerely appreciate the effort. It’s just that…hell, Jem had the computer gimmick, y’know? And Hannah M. has at least the occasional amusingly surreal Dolly Parton cameo. Maybe the ep I watched was the anomaly, but for one glorious moment Dolly was there. Vicki Lawrence, too. And the ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ guy.

HSM, on the other hand, is…just…there’s no there there at all, except inasmuch as its leads are pretty. Yes, historically this has been justification for quite a lot of pop-culture, but this…this is like a running compilation of all the moments that the teen dream media machine itself considers cliche. Realising that the current craze sweeping the post-millennial nation is based around an episode plot used by every single 80’s sitcom I ever watched (and a healthy few of the 70’s ones, too) is the second most deeply bemusing thing I have encountered this week.

(Especially the ‘Sharpay’ business. I’ve been trying to figure out what seems so wrong about it for awhile now, and it just hit me: A Shar-pei is a dog breed, people. A notoriously goofy-looking dog breed. Yeah, i know that’s the gag, it’s just that…vide Dave Barry…it’s a really stupid gag. I can just about see proud [if slightly dense] new parents gazing down at their little red wrinkly bundle of joy and saying “Awww, doesn’t widdle snookums wook just wike a widdle shar-pei doggers!” But a screenwriter naming their blond bombshell rich-bitch nemesis? Not so much.)

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