So I’ve been looking for the perfect notification alert. The one that encapsulates, you know, me. My essence.
I started with Gunter’s “wenk wenk” from Adventure Time.
I tried the opening from Cowboy Bebop’s Tank!. (No, the exclamation point is really in the song title.)
I gave the Knights Who say “Ni” saying “Ni!” a go.
Anyway, now I’ve got the sound of Pacman dying.
It’s a battle of veritable cartoon giants! Mostly because I wanted to use the word “veritable”!
In one corner, you’ve got restaurateur Bob Belcher. In the other corner, you’ve got superspy Sterling Archer. What could these two gents possibly have in common?
Outside of gorgeous voices, not bloody much.
I mean, one guy runs a restaurant and one guy’s an international man of mystery! They have, almost literally, nothing in common!
Anyway, on to the possibly lopsided battle!
Physicality. Bob Belcher has a glorious, glorious mustache. I like using the word glorious to describe facial hair. Maybe you could tell. He’s a tad overweight and going a bit bald in back, and he seems pretty hairy. Sterling Archer has a strong jawline, jet-black hair and a cartoon physique to kill for. He would be the most attractive cartoon man ever, except Spike Spiegel exists. Winner? Spike Spiegel, because he’s the handsomest cartoon ever, and I will always love him.
Better cook? Bob Belcher runs a burger restaurant. He makes burgers. Not just any burgers. Super gourmet burgers, with puns. Archer has a heroin-addicted houseboy (houseoldman?) to cook for him. Winner? Bob Belcher.
Better spy? Sterling Malory Archer (codename: Duchess) is the world’s most dangerous spy. Mostly due to friendly fire incidents, but still. Bob Belcher runs a burger restaurant. Winner? Sterling Archer.
Runs a burger restaurant? This one time, Sterling Archer got amnesia from the trauma of his mother getting married, and he ran away and changed his name to Bob and ran a burger restaurant. True story! Winner? It’s a tie!
Better dressed? Bob Belcher mostly wears an apron, but he cleans up okay for nights out with the lady. (The lady would be Linda Belcher, his wife, obviously.)
Sterling Archer has, like, 20 black turtlenecks of varying shades of black, and also a bunch of fancy spy clothes. Winner? Sterling Archer.
Better parent? Bob Belcher, unlike his spiritual successor, Homer Simpson, is not a moron. Also, he never strangles his children for comedic effect. Also, his three kids all seem relatively well-adjusted and like they actually love their parents and *sniff* I wish I was a Belcher!!! Sterling Archer recently discovered he’s the birth father of former flame and current coworker Lana Kane’s adorable daughter. He’s doing his best, but the thing is, Sterling Archer is a horrible, terrible, selfish, awful person. Winner? Bob Belcher.
It’s a tie! Thanks to dark horse Spike Spiegel winning a category out of nowhere, yes. Yes, it is. On to the tiebreaker!
Better backup in a fight? Sure, this category seems like a gimme for Sterling Archer, what with his fancy spy training and his underwear gun and his complete and utter disregard for his own life, but he’s an awful, terrible, horrible, selfish person. Bob Belcher is no Krav Maga-trained superman, and he’s even pooped his pants in a fight, but God bless ‘im, that man would have your back. Winner? Nah, sorry, Bob, but this goes to Archer. You pooped your pants in a fight! How could anyone count on you?
Overall winner? Sterling Archer, by a sexy black turtleneck.
Seriously, the longer I continue this blog, the harder it is to write good post titles, I swear.
Anyway, I missed the pilot of Extant, which would have told me that Halle Berry is an astronaut and managed to get pregnant on a solo mission to outer space. Also, I will assume that you’re all bright enough to know that Extant means “to exist.”
Ha, I’m just kidding. Obviously, I didn’t assume that, since I went and defined it, like, immediately.
So, episode 2 of Extant was “Extinct,” because CBS hates when I don’t mix up words all the time. Halle Berry plays an astronaut who got pregnant on a solo mission in outer space (see, I phrased it a bit differently this time, like when a news article says the bullets missed them by only inches and then two paragraphs later says they were missed by the bullets by mere inches, local newspaper). Also, Halle Berry looks AMAZING, like, girlfriend is pushing 50, but looks more like early 30s.
She’s married to Goran Visnjic, whose name I can pronounce but not spell —
— and they have a creepy android son, who I assume was actually built for the part, because that little boy is absolutely terrifyingly android-y.
Also, Camryn Manheim is in it, which is nice, and so is that guy who always plays a corrupt official and also the revenge sensei from Revenge.
Then there’s another astronaut who went into space and didn’t come back pregnant, because he’s a guy, and this show isn’t that science fiction-y, but there’s a truly creepy bit where he’s being followed around on the spaceship or space station or the Good Ship Bebop or whatever by his dead mother. She doesn’t do anything except say “Mother? No,” in this utterly affectless voice, and reach out to try to touch him, and it’s really quite terrifying.
But then he airlocks her like she’s yesterday’s Cylon model, so it’s okay.
Oh, also, he apparently faked his death and is possibly crazy now.
Except the corrupt official and the revenge sensei meet regarding the two astronauts and have a very cryptic meeting wherein the corrupt official says, “They’re coming,” and revenge sensei replies: “They’re already here.”
But seriously, folks, Extant had me intrigued almost the whole time, and was hardly ever ridiculously bad or boringly bad, and honestly, I’m not sure I couldn’t watch a show where Goran Visnjic is just so smiley and cute, dammit.
It’s a battle of fictional puppies!
One travels the country by van, solving crimes with a bunch of hippies.
One traverses the solar system in a spaceship, tracking criminals with a bunch of bounty hunters.
Which dog is more awesome? You’re about to find out.
Physicality. Scooby-Doo is a cartoon Great Dane. Ein is a cartoon Welsh Corgi. Have you ever seen a Welsh Corgi? They’ve got these stubby little legs and these ears that stick up and soooo cute. Winner? Ein.
Smarter? Scooby-Doo can talk a bit, although his enunciation suffers due to his lack of lips. Ein can’t talk, but he knows more about computers than you do. Especially if you’re my mom. Winner? Ein.
Has been to Mars? Ein’s been to Mars. Not Scooby, though. Winner? Ein.
Visits a lot of abandoned theme parks? Only once in Cowboy Bebop does anybody go visit an abandoned theme park, and nobody thinks to bring Ein with them when they do. Probably because of the brutal assassin lying in wait, but still. On the other hand, Scooby-Doo and the gang practically live in abandoned theme parks. Abandoned theme parks are their bread and butter. Winner? Scooby-Doo.
Gets to hang out with Spike Spiegel? I want to hang out with Spike Spiegel. Winner? Ein.
Eats on a regular basis? Once, Ein got to eat a hallucinogenic mushroom. Otherwise, he’s about as hungry as the rest of the Bebop crew. Scooby gets Scooby snacks and also whatever else he and Shaggy can fit in their craws. Winner? Scooby.
Solves more crimes? Scooby-Doo and the gang often solve crimes. It’s, like, their thing. Ein and the crew of the Bebop don’t really solve crimes. They just try to capture criminals for the bounties on their heads, and they’re not really all that good at that. Winner? Scooby-Doo.
Better theme song? The Scooby-Doo theme is very catchy and wonderful, but it’s no Tank!, am I right?
Overall winner? Ein, the second-best character in Cowboy Bebop.
Here’s a battle between two lovely ladies for your reading pleasure. What do Leia Organa and Turanga Leela have in common, you ask?
Leela and Leia kind of sound alike, that’s what.
On to the battle!
Physicality. One is a young Carrie Fisher with either really long hair or a late 20th-century weave. The other is a Cyclops that is also a cartoon. Winner? Hey, who doesn’t find cartoons attractive? … Seriously, though, it’s a tie.
Is an interstellar space princess? Again with the redundancy, but I really enjoy saying “interstellar space.” Anywho, you know who’s an interstellar space princess? Princess Leia! Princess Leia is an interstellar space princess. Winner? Princess Leia!
Is a sewer-dwelling mutant? Hey, Leela doesn’t live in the sewers! But her parents do, and sometimes she visits, so we’ll call it “close enough.” Winner? Turanga Leela!
Has a ray gun? Everybody in the future has ray guns! Also, people living long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. They also have ray guns. Winner? Everybody wins when they’ve got ray guns!
Has a better romantic interest? Princess Leia’s romantic interest is Han Solo. They’ve got a will-they-or-won’t-they thing going on, and it turns out they totally will, and everybody went squeeeeee! Han Solo is an interstellar space pirate who looks like a young Harrison Ford. Turanga Leela’s romantic is Philip J. Fry, a sweet-natured, slightly dim 20th century boy who ended up in the future through a wacky series of misadventures. Well, okay, just the one misadventure, really. Winner? As with Kara Thrace before him, anybody who goes up against a young Harrison Ford is going to come up just a wee bit short. Princess Leia.
Travels through space? In the future and also, apparently, in the past, everybody travels through space.
Winner? It’s a tie.
Looks good in a Slave Leia costume? If you’d think the winner would be obvious, then you haven’t see this image before:
Winner? Another tie!
Fights an epic evil? If by “fights an epic evil,” you mean “delivers packages to other planets,” then, yes, Turanga Leela fights an epic evil. But you don’t mean that, so: Winner? Princess Leia.
Pilots an interstellar delivery ship? Man, if there’s one thing Star Wars fans would love to see, it would be Princess Leia piloting an interstellar delivery ship. Unfortunately, she doesn’t, so they can’t. Winner? Turanga Leela.
Overall winner? Princess Leia coasts in to the finish line with a slight lead by having the good fortune to fall in love with Han Solo. (I’m not sure why I went with the finish line metaphor, because then these would be fictional character races, not fictional character battles, but we’ll just chalk that one up to creative license, eh?)
Dear The Future,
I love you!
You don’t realize how awful it is, living here in the 1990s, and liking things like Japanese cartoons and indie rock bands and Sherlock Holmes and nobody in Britain is making a brilliant series starring my perfect man about him! I mean, every store I go to has (at most) three anime titles and they’re on a shelf marked “Japanamation” because someone once thought that would be a clever portmanteau, little realizing how absolutely wrong they were.
And don’t get me started, The Future, on how hard it is to find decent music in the 1990s. It’s like if I don’t like (insert popular song from the 1990s), then I have to go to the local record store, special order The Wrens newest album and then wait 15 years for them to record another!
It’s hard living in the 1990s, The Future! And that’s why I love you.
Because you’re coming in to save me, with your iTunes and your Amazon and your eBay and your YouTube. Everything I could possibly want or care about is right at my fingertips! Also, that thing I said earlier about Sherlock Holmes!
You have everything, The Future, except for hoverboards and flying cars, and I want you to know that’s OK. It’s not true love without a bit of disappointment here and there. And it’s not like I want you to change, but if you want to change (and get me some hoverboards and flying cars), then that would be OK too.
Thanks for everything, The Future. I mean it.
Dear future boyfriend,
First off, I just want to say that you are such a catch! I mean, here you are: a guy who puts up with me! I am so lucky to have you, future boyfriend, and I just want you to know that. I love your (insert adjective here) and the way you (verb). (Note to self: add descriptors once you actually meet future boyfriend.)
But there’s a few things you need to know, and I have incorporated them here into this handy list. It’s a list of things that I will always love more than you.
1. Elijah Snow. No matter how awesome you are, future boyfriend, unless you were trained in the art of detecting at the knee of the best fictional detective ever (Sherlock Holmes), you cannot compare to Elijah Snow.
Ooooh, and also, you would have to never, ever age, and have the power to freeze stuff and then shatter the hell out of it.
2. Speaking of the best fictional detective ever: Sherlock Holmes. It’s true, future boyfriend, that there are not many things in this world that I love more than Sherlock Holmes, and I would have to include you on the list (of things that I do not).
3. Chuck. That show is so cute and I love it (more than you). I hope, if there is a fifth season, it doesn’t suck as bad as the fifth seasons of other shows I used to love, House, I’m looking at you.
4. Eric Elbogen. Unless future boyfriend and Eric Elbogen are one in the same (pardon me while I laugh at my audacity!), there is just no measuring up to a guy who has written a song about playing Ms. Pac-man.
5. Lone Wolf and Cub. No, future boyfriend, you will never be as awesome as one of the best manga series ever, and I hope you don’t mind if I ask to be alone while I read my copies.
6. Spike Spiegel. I shouldn’t have to explain why Spike Spiegel is more awesome than you, should I? Fine: he’s tall, thin, tragic yet always has a snappy comeback, and practices jeet kune do. Also, he has a spaceship and is a bounty hunter. In space. He’s a bounty hunter in space.
7. Cowboy Bebop. Spike Spiegel is a character in the best anime ever, and I will always, always love that anime more than you.
8. “Roslin and Adama.” Bear McCreary wrote one of the world’s most beautiful pieces of music for the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, and I just can’t imagine that you could possibly make me feel the way it does.
9. Bulkogi. Man, bulkogi is good. I wish we had a decent Korean joint around here.
10. Japan. Japan is crazy and awesome. You, future boyfriend, might be crazy and awesome too, but are you the birthplace of the ninja? No. No, you are not.
When fabulous poet/wit Dorothy Parker feared her husband Alan Campbell was having a homosexual affair, she was quoted as saying: “I can compete with the girls, you know, but not with the boys.”
She had a point.
Thus, for your reading pleasure, here’s a list of 10 things that I can’t compete with:
1. Ziyi Zhang. Put me up against the talented Chinese actress and, for some reason, I always come up lacking.
2. The boys. Again, Ms. Parker had a point here. It’s hard to compete against the boys when the boys have bits that the girls don’t.
3. Your body pillow girlfriend/wife. There are many things body pillows can do that I can’t, and one of those things includes tolerating someone who would marry a body pillow.
4. Cylons. Cylons look like Tricia Helfer and Grace Park. I don’t so much.
5. Your awesome CIA girlfriend. In every category, I come up short when compared to your awesome CIA girlfriend.
6. That anime character you have a crush on. It’s true. I don’t have perky anime boobs, and I’m not charmingly clumsy, so when I fall, I don’t land with my lacy panties slightly exposed, I end up scraping most of the skin off my face and bleeding all over.
7. Dorothy Parker. She was witty, she wrote great poetry and short stories, and she could hold her liquor waaaaaay better than I can. She could also come up with witty retorts on the spot, and I just can’t do that.
8. Your ex, Julia. I just can’t wear a full-body leather suit with that panache. I wish I could, but I can’t.
9. Lady superheroes. I was just going to say “superheroes,” but I specifically mean the ones who keep their superhero costumes up with a bit of spirit gum and luck.
10. Your 1985 Crown Victoria. I can’t compete with a car like that. I won’t even try.
Hi, Mr. Spiegel. I just wanted to let you know that if things don’t work out between myself and Elijah Snow that I am totally and utterly willing to wed you. (It’s not that I don’t think that things will work out between me and my boy Elijah, it’s just that the whole fictional character thing.)
It’s not that I think you’re second best, by the way. I think you’re great. I mean, the way you get shot and stabbed and exploded and don’t die? That’s awesome. The way you fly through outer space (occasionally) nabbing bad guys for bounty money? Also awesome. Your knowledge of Jeet Kune Do, which I can’t actually spell and have to google? So incredibly awesome. Your hair? Holy cow awesome!!
What’s much less awesome, though, is the way you just can’t get over your ex.
That’s just … that’s gonna be tough for us to work around. But I think we can do it, Spike Spiegel! I think we can.
Here’s why: I have incredibly low self-esteem.
You could compare me to Julia, like, constantly, and I would just sit quietly and nod and think to myself, yes, I deserve that, because I’m not as awesome as Julia and we all know it. Like, do I look that good in full body leather? No! Because I sweat! I sweat and I’m disgusting. I’m so lucky that Spike Spiegel even talks to me when Julia is so much better.
See? See how well things would work out?
Not to mention, I’m perfectly willing to sit quietly on Mars or wherever, waiting for you. And if you ask me to quietly assassinate a few interstellar Mafia members while I’m waiting, well, who am I to say no? Who am I? Well, not someone who hasn’t dreamed of quietly assassinating a few interstellar Mafia members for my whole life, that’s who I’m not. Wait, did that make sense? What I’m saying, Spike Spiegel, is that I’m perfectly willing to kill a few low-ranking interstellar Mafia members for you, if that is what you ask of me as your bride. (I’m assuming you want me to leave the high-ranking interstellar Mafia members for you, Spike Spiegel, because that is how you roll.)
(I hope people still say “how you roll” or Spike is going to think I’m so lame.)
Also, Spike Spiegel, and I think this is my winning argument here: I can cook up a great dish on a budget. Instant rice and bell peppers? That’s right, baby, you’ve got bell pepper and beef (without the beef). I have a variety of seasonings on hand, so you’d never be able to tell. This, and I don’t think I have to tell you, Spike Spiegel, would come in really handy as you usually don’t nab the criminals and don’t get a bounty and you’re kind of starving to death in outer space.
I wouldn’t let that happen, Spike Spiegel.
Please consider my proposal.