Is every “great” TV show right now such a Leftovers-y bummer…
…because deep down, as a culture, we’re all feeling guilty about something?
THIS WEEK: Jack O’Brien, Michael Swaim, and Daniel O’Brien dig into why every likable Game of Thrones character dies horribly, how True Detective hooked us with the grisliest sadness possible, and the weirdness of Breaking Bad having the happiest ending we’ve seen in a long time.
I’ve been re-watching a lot of Looney Tunes cartoons recently because there are so many amazing comedy/writing lessons that can be learned from those old cartoons (pay close attention to speed, efficiency, and jokes-per-second). Anyone who wants to write comedy should really watch a ton of those old cartoons, just to be blown away. The amount of jokes they cram into an episode is humbling.
But watching these cartoons brought something else up. The Bugs-Fudd relationship has really been sticking out to me lately. To begin with, I always felt alienated by Bugs. Even as a child, as someone who identified more with Daffy (confused, incapable underdog with a completely unearned sense of self-confidence), I always felt Bugs was kind of a jerk even though intellectually I understood that I was SUPPOSED to hold him up as a hero (he is, after all, the closest thing Looney Tunes had to an official mascot). It was always weird. I knew I was supposed to like Bugs because he was the face of this cartoon show I liked and he always won, but I never quite wanted to be/hang out with him.
Rewatching now, as an adult, I have even more problems with Bugs specifically related to his dealings with Elmer Fudd. Fudd isn’t Yosemite Sam, he’s not some violent jerk with a hair-trigger temper; he’s a simple worker. Nothing about Elmer Fudd is high status, he’s not handsome or bright or rich or important. He can’t even remember if it’s Rabbit Season or Duck Season, he’s just trying to work the only job he can do. It’s very telling that he’s not a master hunter, he’s not tracking lions or rhinos. He’s tracking ducks and rabbits, because that’s his level. It was also important to me to note that he paid strict attention to what season it was. He wasn’t a horrible, destructive poacher like George C. Scott’s character in The Rescuers Down Under, he sat around patiently waiting for the time when he could legally hunt rabbits and ducks and then acted accordingly.
And he is the villain, according to Looney Tunes law.
That seems very unfair to me. Bugs was always Elmer’s bully. We were supposed to root for Bugs, but he’s the bully. Tormenting the sweet, kind-of-slow guy who talks funny.
I don’t know. I wrote this thing because Elmer Fudd is the Forest Gump of the LT universe, and it’s weird they made him a villain. I added the Mom stuff to really drive home how sad Fudd’s life must have been.
…why are we all super chill about the one sitting under Yellowstone right now?
THIS WEEK ON THE PODCAST: Do you have what it takes to survive a mega earthquake? Will the zombies just kind of wear themselves out? What good is hiding in a basement during a nuclear blast if the radiation will just kill all of us a week later anyway? Host Adam Tod Brown welcomes Brett Rader and Cracked editor Alex Schmidt to discuss all of this and more!
Hi Mom! Gosh, where do I start? The weather’s been good (perfect for rabbit season), sessions with my speech therapist seem to be going well (I hope to be able to wish you a “MERRY” Christmas this year, not “Mewwy.” That’ll be my gift to you!) and I’m making lots of friends.
But holy cow, all I REALLY want to talk about is this girl I met. Sorry, this woman. I met someone, Mom, someone special.I know I have a habit of rushing into things but, Mom, I think she’s the one. She’s so beautiful, she’s so sweet (but still kind of sassy) and she doesn’t even seem to mind my speech impediment. She accepts me, just when I thought that kind of thing would be impossible. She’s so confident, she’s on another level, I just want to give her everything to see what she can make out of it. What she even sees in a dummy like me is anyone’s guess.
OH, and best of all I met her while hunting, if you can believe it. She’s into hunting! She was just out in the woods and I found her—well, we found each other. We didn’t even speak at first, because we didn’t NEED to, there was just this CONNECTION. Instantly. So much went unspoken, it was like we were waiting for each other. She wasn’t shy about approaching me and, bizarrely, I wasn’t shy either, because we just worked together, immediately. We kissed! Right when we met! I love her. I LOVE HER!
I don’t think I knew what love was, before. I had a dim understanding of it, from movies and songs, and I remember what you and Dad were like together, but until I met Her, I only understood love anecdotally, as a bystander. I finally feel like I’m a participant, and I never thought I would be. Beyond that, I feel lucky. I’m not saying “I’m lucky because I get to be with her,” I’m saying “I’m lucky because I get the privilege of loving her.” Do you understand that, does that make sense? Even if she didn’t love me back, I will forever be grateful just for getting the opportunity to love her. Because I know what my life was like before I loved her, and I don’t even think I would call that a life, now. It feels so good to love her, to have love inside of me, to feel what normal people feel. I get to love her, do you understand? I get to. I’m allowed to. I weep at how lucky that makes me. Mom, I weep.
Listen to me, going on and on about this woman. We’re supposed to meet up in the woods again tomorrow. I’m going to ask her if she wants to go dancing with me. I don’t really dance, but I know most women like doing it so I looked up places that offer Salsa lessons for couples and there are some affordable ones in my area. I figured a dancing class would be a nice date. We can be close and we can talk, and we can move together.
I’ve rambled enough. I gotta get ready for tomorrow. I don’t even know how I’m going to sleep!
Love and Respect Forever,
Your Son Elmer
PS I know things must get lonely around the house since Dad’s passing, but remember that your “Lil’ Elmmy” loves you and is always thinking about you. I wish I could be by your side right now, but of course I have to try to catch and sell enough animals so we can afford to keep the house (I’ve included a check for $25; it’s all I made last week). It’ll get easier, Mom, I swear to God it’ll get easier. It’s going to be a good year. I can feel it.
May 15, 1972
Disregard previous letter. It was a boy rabbit in a dress. I don’t know why he did it. Don’t ask me about it.