When listening to the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour: Repurposing ‘The Simpsons’ and Busting out of a Rut, it became clear to me that I am indeed in a cultural rut. As a very big consumer of pop culture, it was important to listen to what a cultural rut is and realizing that I’m in one. During the podcast they were talking about how you can get stuck in a cultural rut by watching the same thing over and over again. One of the guys on the podcast referred to having watched ‘Twin Peaks’ and immediately made me realize how I have been re-watching the only two seasons of ‘True Detective’ over and over again, or at least similar shows like ‘The Wire’ that I’ve already seen. This made me realize that I really should try to start something new, but then I’m reminded of why I never do because I’m worried that I might not like it. I started ‘Vinyl’ this summer and got halfway through the first season only to hear that HBO wasn’t renewing the show for a second season, thus making me feel like watching the rest would be a waste of time. I liked the show and glad I had watched it, but knowing that there wasn’t going to be another season, or even a proper ending made me feel embarrassed I had even started it in the first place. However, after listening to the blog, It’s become clear to me that I have to allow myself to become exposed to new media whether it’s in my demographic or not in order to prevent myself from re-watching old episodes of shows I’ve already finished.
To step outside of my comfort zone and in an effort to get myself out of a pop culture rut, I chose to watch the 2015 romantic comedy, ‘Trainwreck’, starring Amy Schumer. I streamed the movie the other night with my girlfriend after I let her pick out the movie for once. The film was directed by Judd Apatow, who has done some stuff that I really enjoyed like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Freaks and Geeks, so I thought i’d give it a try even though the I had no interest when I had initially seen the trailers. I Normally never watch these kinds of movies, I usually am trying to introduce my girlfriend to all the movies i loved growing up as a kid and in high school like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but this time I gave her the remote and she got to show me something she thought i might enjoy, but i never thought it’d be a rom com.
I never thought I would end up actually liking a romantic comedy. I guess I really liked ‘Forgetting Sarah marshall’, which happened to be the same director, so it wasn’t out of the norm for me to end up enjoying this movie. The film was not what I expected and actually was a lot more explicit and raunchy than any other rom com I’ve ever seen or heard of. There was definitely more appeal to guys by the over the top humor. The film costarred Bill Hader in the lead male role which helped to make it stand out as one of the funnier romantic comedies that are out there. I would definitely see another rom com if it was as funny as this one, however those don’t come around that often. But, it definitely seemed like the filmmakers went out of their way to try and attract a male audience by having humor on par with the over the top comedies that Seth Rogen has made extremely popular.
The film played out just like any other romantic comedy. The beginning spent time showing how the two love interests need someone to change their life, they meet each other, and then they fall in love. It very much follows the same rom com format as every single romantic comedy does. However, the film implored and utilized a lot more foul language and hot and touchy topics to make it a comedy on the same level as films like ‘This is the End’ and ‘Superbad’. Its a fun movie for couples in their 20’s-30’s and actually has some great moments that even male viewers can laugh out loud to. When it comes to analyzing the film for what it is, I couldn’t help but turn to chapter 4 in our text where Story talks about hegemony and how he explains the theory applies to the creation of subcultures and combining two ideas to create something new. The idea to have a Seth Rogen like romantic comedy is in itself combining two ideas and a sub genre of over the top raunchy comedies with another sub genre like romantic comedies is very much the theory of hegemony.
Storey, J. (1971). Cultural Theory and Pop Culture. New York, NW: Routledge.
Mike Katzif (Producer/Music Director); Linda (speaker); Glen (speaker); Petra Mayer (Guest Panelist). (2014, September 5). Pop Culture Happy Hour: Repuprosing‘The Simpsons’ and Busting out of a Rut [Radio Broadcast]. NPR.