Thursday, February 16, 2017
Two 2016 Comedies: Son of Zorn and Red Oaks
Son of Zorn
This kind of revived my interest in animation and, more significantly, brought me back to my childhood. As someone who is working on my hard body 5-7 days a week, I can actually identify with this beast of a man. I look at all the people who are the way I used to be, not dedicated to their physical prowess, and I feel some kinship with the Zephyrian exoticism.
Zorn is from an animated land known as Zephyria. Brutality and carnality are rampant and the verbal declarations is just as bold and intimidating. One day he gets a message reminding him that it's his son's birthday, so he flies off to Orange County.
First off, I'm from Orange County, so the setting has a special appeal to me. Secondly, it's hilarious seeing Zorn on the plane, retrieving his checked sword, and in the shuttle. Eventually, his ex convinces him to stay long term so that he may get to know his mostly estranged son. This leads to him getting an office job and exhibiting hardcore sexism, which most of us couldn't get away with a quarter of.
This show has lots of fun giving literal representation to figures of speech, such as: "radioactive ex-girlfriend" and "weekend warrior."
As Zorn gets in touch with his sensitive side we are constantly treated with all manner of comical mishaps and Zorn's deadpan delivery much of the time makes it work.
Incidentally, I never watched this trailer until just today, but it definitely conveys the feeling of the show.
This one may very well receive a featured spot on my television list next year provided another season is produced. That said, season two ended in a manner, which makes future seasons highly questionable.
Like Stranger Things, this is another love note to the 1980's, but this time it's the young adult coming of age fare that epitomized the decade. Usually I judge whether or not I want to watch these shows by the girls. Unfortunately, none of the girls met my superficial and ultra-specific standards, so I passed. That is until so many weeks ago. I had been taking more advantage of dad's Amazon Prime account and the FireTV, which included finally checking out the series, while jump-roping, of course, so I would not be wasting my time it it turned out to be bad.
I found myself getting drawn in and had to start watching it, after a few episodes, without the jump rope. I also got fully caught up with the two seasons within a couple of weeks. Furthermore, the girls' inner qualities came to outshine their outer qualities.
This has Steven Soderbergh's name on it, which is a unique diversion from his typical fare. This is a study of dreams, having fun, striving for independence, and reconciling the self with the expectations of others.
A major theme in this work is the condescension that the business elite and other white collar types have toward the arts and aspiring artists. This hits very close to home. The selfishness of the arts is examined, as is the grace.
A poignant moment is made when a middle class, middle-aged accountant makes an observation that his generation was in a war and were happy to get out alive and have a job where nobody was shooting at them, whereas, the kids, reaching adulthood in "peace time", aren't satisfied with a job-- they need a calling! Once again, hits so close to home!
This show may be set in the 1980s, but it perfectly capture the zeitgeist of the contemporary young adult.
Initially, the trailer didn't persuade me, but I included it nonetheless so that the details of character and setting that I didn't write about may be appreciated.