09 November 2016

The Bad Beginning

"Something is happening here,
But you don't know what it is,
Do you, Mr. Jones?"
         -- Bob Dylan



In 2000 the late, great journalist and professional madman Hunter S. Thompson scribbled an election-centric article for ESPN.com using the above Bob Dylan quote as its intro. After last night's Republican candidate, business magnate, and public bully Donald Trump won the title of 45th President of These United States of America, I feel that quote is worthy of being reused as an intro for another election-centric diatribe, albeit one written sixteen years after Hunter's, and not nearly as poignant as the Good Doctor's.

And as Hunter himself put it, nobody really knows what's happening here in America.

Well, that's it, isn't it? Donald Trump is our next president. This isn't a fever dream from which we'll all awaken soon enough - no, this is our reality. And forgive me for being blunt, but to some degree it can safely be said that we brought this onto ourselves.

Earlier this year, at the ass-end of Spring, a Jewish Democratic Socialist had managed to build a momentum unlike any presidential hopeful in recent history. At the humble age of 74, Bernie Sanders quickly became not only a viable and valuable Democratic candidate, but an absolutely plausible machine needed to take down the looming threat of Donald Trump. Sanders proved himself to be one of the most transparent politicians in American history, and an honest one to boot. Imagine that: an honest politician. The beautiful thing about Bernie was that you knew whether or not you agreed with him from the get-go - his no-bullshit campaign wasn't quite as brash as Trump's (thankfully), but he didn't bother glazing his policies with colorful sprinkles as election season approached. This is because he didn't need to. His policies for over three decades had always been relatively unchanging, and so it was never difficult to believe him. Sure, the radical idea of Democratic Socialism struck fear into the bitter hearts of capitalists across the country, but, again, that's why Bernie was Boss: he couldn't be bothered or bought to cater nor pander. He was upfront in the most admirable of ways.

So where did it all go wrong? It's a merciless cliche to answer that question by quoting V for Vendetta and saying "If you're looking for the guilty you need only look into a mirror," and it's not necessarily one-hundred-percent applicable in this instance, so I'll avoid it for now, because I can understand why Democrats opted to support Hillary in lieu of Bernie. Simply put: Hillary's had a stay in the White House. I don't personally agree that that's enough to warrant a throne in the Oval Office, but I can see why such a mentality would take flight. Experience is important, after all. But like I said - I'm not casting the blame on Hillary's supporters. No, make no mistake about it: the person solely responsible for Bernie's loss is former head of the Democratic National Committee, congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Under Schultz, the DNC not only flagrantly ignored the popular Democratic nominee - and arguably the most popular politician in America - but also sparked a lowbrow Trumpesque smear campaign against him, displaying a clear and savage bias against Sanders from the get-go. Schultz wasn't just standing in Hillary's corner with a towel and water, she was rigging the match in her fighter's favor, ensuring that Bernie go down in the third round. The fix was in: Debbie Wasserman Schultz had done everything in her power to take down the popular nominee. At every opportunity she castigated Sanders, desperately trying to shape him into some beast-like threat to the future of Democracy. To add insult to injury, she also made sure to attack those who dared show a modicum of support for Sanders - and by doing so, too many Democratic voters followed suit. They alienated and isolated Sanders supporters, chastising them, mocking them, and belittling them without mercy. Sanders' followers were deemed sexists, racists, bigots, all because they didn't support a Democratic candidate with - to say the least - a questionable past. Even when the obvious bias of Debbie Wasserman Schultz was made clear to the world, the majority of Democratic voters chose to side with her and subsequently with Hillary Clinton. Schultz and the DNC spoke for the entire Democratic party before any of us could get a word in edgewise. They executed no hesitation and no discretion in picking populist over popular.

And that's where it all went sideways.

Take a quick glance at the numbers - hell, make a thorough examination of them while you're at it - and you'll see that Sanders was always ahead of Trump - and Clinton - even while Clinton trailed behind the Republican nominee. So call it favoritism, call it ignorance, call it stupidity, but it can't be denied that whatever was going on in Debbie Wasserman Schultz's twisted little head only helped pave the path to Donald Trump's victory.

And that's precisely where this Bad Beginning began.

But never mind the proof. Never mind the concrete evidence against Schultz and the DNC. Never mind the fact that Bernie had a hell of a fighting chance, and never mind the fact that that chance was stomped on by the very party he sought to help. The Russians will be blamed for this Democratic defeat, as will Julian Assange and all of WikiLeaks. The Whistle Blowers will be held accountable, and the Government will have finally won in constructing a universal hatred against folks like Assange and Snowden who dared to make the people aware of what our politicians do in the dark. Public animosity toward whistle blowers will become a trend, and now that someone as vile and corrupt as Donald Trump has taken office, if the Government's manufactured anti-whistle blower fad fails, the public blame can easily be placed on Trump - who, make no mistake, is but an ugly figurehead in this gruesome game.

Which isn't to say he's any semblance of innocent. Donald Trump has and will continue to play a significant role in, at the very least, the disheartening decline of Hope. He won't prove to be the mess he's promised to be, but there is no remote possibility that he will do a single iota of good for the Free World. A pawn, a player, and a puppet he may be, but he is still at a frightening level of power, and this is only the Beginning of What's to Come. And what's to come is something hideous. That much I can guarantee.

27 September 2016

Debate Hangover: Tuesday's "Morning After" is The Worst Time to Wax Political, but Let's Do It Anyway

     Whew.
     I mean, whew.
     Last night's first debate of the 2016 American presidential election was a hoot, watched by the eyes of millions of folks just getting off work and having nothing better to do because, hell, it's a Monday, after all. It's been speculated that Monday's debate might have been the most watched presidential debate in recorded US history - a feat that would have to beat Carter v Reagan in 1980, a televised debate that garnered over eighty million viewers, or, converted for today's current inflation rate, about 200 million hits on YouTube.


     Frankly, if last night's debate does end up being the most watched debate ever it wouldn't be all that surprising. This past year and some change has been a spectacle in terms of American politics, with a handful of hopefuls dropping out of the race and/or losing the loyalty of the average voter in favor of two baffled liars - one of whom is a global tyrant, xenophobic lunatic, and living incarnation of Lex Luthor.
     That would be fine if Trump - our aforementioned Luthorian candidate - were running against Superman, or even a Lois Lane-type, but unfortunately that is not the case. Instead we have, donned in a red pantsuit like Violet Beauregarde on a poorly-adjusted TV set, Secretary Hillary Clinton, first lady to '90s chill-prez Bill Clinton, who, according to Colin Powell, is still dickin' bimbos. Hillary, like her current political adversary, is a notorious liar. I have spent far too much time on social media reading, reblogging, reposting, and reiterating various videos, articles, and news clippings displaying both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's unabashed Lust for Lies, so I won't bother delving into it here save for the linked URLs and the suggestion that one simply Google "[Trump/Hillary] lies" in order to find a full and free online cataloguing of America's current presidential candidates' laundry list of untruths.
     In fact, I don't even think I'm going to talk much about Trump or Clinton at all right now. After last night's debate - which I'm also going to actively avoid discussing - I'm sure we can all use a bit of sobering up.
     Because that's what happens the day after a raucous debate like last night's - we who sat through the shitshow feel hungover. We're drained; beat; dead; disheveled. We have to wear sunglasses indoors because every light is just a little too harsh. No amount of coffee or water will perk us up, even slightly. And like the boozer who's boozed-out after an evening of heavy drinking that leaked into dawn, a mere mention of the liquor that poisoned us one night prior will cause even the most professional of drinkers and political aficionados to tumble upon the floor in a fetal crouch and dry-heave for a straight hour. So, no; I'll try not to talk about You-Know-Who 1 and 2.
     But I will talk about this mess of an election, and maybe some of the hows and whys. It's not difficult to talk about the election, as you surely must know too well by now, since it's been one of the most heated and hectic and hysterical presidential elections in the history of this country. While memes of 2016 have lived short lives, fulfilling their purpose early on and dying out after a couple weeks' use, Election '16 never seems to stop being devastatingly entertaining. It's like a great big stone wheel hovering above the masses, spinning at unstoppable speeds fueled by its own momentum, pumping out something outrageous and buzz-worthy every two minutes. The election has been a vast quilt on the whole world. It's impossible to avoid being covered by it, and nearly impossible to avoid covering it.

Personally I find the whole mess easier to handle with popcorn.

     There's a lot of psychology behind it all, really. The human mind craves the unknown and the inexplicable. We gape at the amazing and the befuddling with equal parts awe and bewilderment. A massive boulder of immeasurable age miraculously balanced atop two much smaller rocks: How did that get there? we ask. You can look at the current presidential candidates and ask yourself the same question, and you'll get the same answer: nobody knows. It's a mystery. A wonder of the world.
     This election has been half-jokingly compared to a lot of things: a farce, a circus, a puppet-show, a new reality TV program, the Hunger Games... the list goes on. Above all, though, I think Election '16 and everything surrounding it can be condensed to a single metaphor: a roadside tourist attraction. Yes, this long-running political joke is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill Great American Tourist Trap. It's the Biggest Ball of Yarn in Alabama. It's Randy's Roadside Fun House and Fireworks Depot. It's the Oregon Mystery Spot. Here we can find furniture nailed to the ceiling, hallways full of dirty mirrors, and overpriced gift shops, all of which can be enjoyed so long as we leave our brains at the front door. In the basement there is an illegal cock fight - but like I said, I don't really want to talk about the debate.
     There is a certain allure to tourist traps. We know we don't have the time to stop there, we know that it'll be a fucking waste of energy, and we know that it's going to cost too much, but we go anyway. Like cats, our curiosity too often gets the best of us. This is why Election '16 has been so fervently watched. When you take two salivating, red-eyed beasts and toss them into a pit together, people are going to gather and watch the oncoming carnage with unblinking eyes, especially if you market the event with a big neon sign perched at the side of the road every half mile. We can't help but take the bait, especially when the advertised event is as popcorn-worthy as this has been.
     Truth be told, I think we all know that both of Those-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named are relatively repulsive and repugnant and recreant. Neither has an honest reputation and both have had to upgrade to triple-sized walk-in closets for all the skeletons they are harboring. But they are entertaining to watch, no matter how much you may despise them. They provide us with a much needed amusement, and this gives people enough reason to actually pay attention to American politics. Apart from this, one of the candidates is, of course, a woman, and therefore would be the first Madame President - which is, obviously, a big deal. Whether or not she's a bad person no longer matters when somebody reminiscent of Biff Tannen circa Back to the Future Part II is running against her. It's not Hillary (whoops! I mentioned one of their names. Try to keep your lunch down, kids.) who turns herself into a hero but rather the presence of somebody as demented and ruthless as Donald Trump (yikes - here comes this morning's breakfast burrito). The position of savior is thrust upon the one person who's been selected to represent America's only chance at trumping Trump. Nevermind her flaws, her inaccuracies, her lies - no; she is our Superwoman. Why? Because that's just the daft and dimwitted way things work at Ripley's Believe It or Not!, where the laws of physics and common logic go right out the window the exact second you choose to put your summer vacation on pause to stop and gawk at the World's Biggest Oven Mitt for a couple hours. Please leave your noggin with our secretary at the front desk, and enjoy the rest of the tour.

     At the end of it all, there isn't much else to say. There is a reason that giant boulder found itself perfectly balanced on two tiny rocks, only it's a reason one million years in the making. Maybe the reason Hillary and Trump got where they are today can similarly be tracked back to a million years ago, in some long-con form of the Butterfly Effect. Or maybe we put these two maniacs there, because some depraved part of us wants to watch that boulder fall over and crack into a dozen pieces, because nothing gets us off quite like a good show on a slow day.

26 September 2016

I Tried Feeding Popcorn to the Presidential Candidates During Tonight's Debate, and Both Refused

Tonight Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had their first presidential debate, watched by millions. A mere half hour into the heated debate, I noticed that things were getting a little out of control. Both candidates were belligerent, hostile, and increasingly impatient. It was immediately apparent that the 2016 American would-be leaders were absolutely famished; I had heard that both Hillary and Trump tended to get grumpy when they were hungry. The signs were all there. Who knows how long it had been since either of them had eaten?

I'm not a big fan of Trump or Hillary. But when I see a starving human, I try my best to remedy that.

I offered a piece of popcorn to Hillary, who simply stared at me like a deer staring at oncoming headlights, except she also wore a disgusted, dismissive frown.

 Trump, when offered the same piece, gave me almost the same exact look. A huff of smoke erupted from his widening nostrils, but his mouth refused to open. No dice so far. They're both very stubborn.

 Hillary sneezed upon being offered popcorn for a second time. "You have to eat," I told her. "You're going to pass out." She simply rolled her eyes at me.

 Trump was totally unamused after I tried feeding him popcorn for the second time tonight. "Please eat," I begged. Disgruntled, he let out a bored groan.

 Finally, Hillary appeared to take a bite - but she deceived me. She just wouldn't have it. She just wouldn't eat the popcorn.

 For a moment, Trump appeared saddened by this third popcorn peace offering...

 ...but then he began to yell at me. It was an angry, frustrated yell. "But you have to eat something," I tried, to no avail. He just kept screaming a shrill and nasally scream.

 Before long Hillary followed suit, letting out an equally shrill scream that sounded not unlike a slashed tire skidding across wet roadkill. Within moments, her screech matched the exact frequency of Trump's, and the two appeared to be shrieking in unison, completely in sync with one another.

Finally, Trump closed his mouth, hissing through his nostrils. He shot an awful glare my way, telling me that he'd had enough. He was not going to eat any popcorn tonight. That was for certain. Hillary, meanwhile, continued shrieking to the background soundtrack of Donald's hissing nostrils until the debate came to a close.

Somebody please feed these two. This is getting out of hand.

Monster Mash: A look back at Supernatural's love letter to the Universal Monsters

     While September 22nd, the first day of Fall, might have been the start of the Halloween season for most people, the rest of us - those who adore Halloween the way Hallmark adores Christmas, unabashed holiday consumerism and all - kicked off the fiendish festivities in August, at the very latest. That means watching horror movies 24/7, stockpiling candy, and whipping out last year's Halloween decorations (which we didn't take down until roughly six months ago). But I must put emphasis on the former-mentioned activity, because us Halloween fans love ourselves some horror flicks. And when we feel we've binged enough scary movies (this takes a while), there's always some good horror shows to turn to. This includes The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and, of course, Supernatural.
     Say what you will about the current state of the X-Files-inspired Supernatural, which may or may not have overstayed its welcome by two or three seasons, but for a long while the show was pure gold. After X-Files ended in 2002, paranormal-loving viewers pined for their fix of scary television. In 2005 Supernatural filled that void, offering a less conspiracy-rooted show and a more lore-based series. And this was totally fine; in fact, while still being blatantly reminiscent of The X-Files, Supernatural was a breath of fresh air. The show has covered everything, from djinn to rougarou and all the other mythological lore you've never heard of. While X-Files tended to give us admittedly lame crapola like its infamous "missing link" take on the Jersey Devil, Supernatural provided us with hairless werewolves, vampires that could only be killed by removing the head, and other awesome versions of monsters and demons and ghouls that were both original and deeply rooted in traditional folklore. And just like The X-Files, Supernatural knew both how to scare us and how to stop taking itself seriously. One classic example of the latter is 2008's fourth season episode, "Monster Movie."



     "Monster Movie" is, quite literally, one of many monster-of-the-week episodes, as well as one of Supernatural's best comedic eps. It is the perfect Halloween-themed show, from its beautiful black-and-white backdrop to the TranPennsylvanian Oktoberfest setting - and, of course, the fact that all forty minutes of it is one big love letter to the Universal Monsters of old.



     For those new to Supernatural (and X-Files, since this term sort of originated there), "monster-of-the-week" is a phrase used to describe an episode that deviates from the ongoing plotline and features an antagonist who will most likely only show his or her face for one episode. In the ever-so-aptly-named "Monster Movie," the monster appears as a shapeshifter who loves old monster flicks - so much so that the creature mimics the appearance and violent nature of such monsters.


     This is an obvious setup for hilarious scenes and unsubtle references, both of which ensue accordingly. The seriousness of Supernatural's fourth season takes a backseat (in Dean's Impala), paving the way for something more amusing and relatively lighthearted. The entire episode is designed to resemble a circa-1930s monster movie, even going so far as to include a ridiculously over-dramatic orchestral soundtrack reminiscent of the classical stock music soundtracks often heard in old Universal horrors. While "Monster Movie" feels like a parody at times, there's no doubt that it is, at its core, intended to be a heartfelt tribute to Universal's beloved black and white creature features. The nods are abundant, but never overabundant; there are just enough admittedly on-the-nose shout-outs to satisfy any old school horror fan. And the comedy is always top notch, albeit full of corn. But what good is comedy if it can't be a little corny?



     It's difficult to nail a monster-of-the-week, because if the titular monster isn't especially memorable, the episode can feel like nothing more than half-assed filler rubbish. Not only is the villain of "Monster Movie" genuinely interesting, it's also pretty sympathetic and even a bit relatable. A feared monster from birth, the shapeshifting entity in this episode eventually found solace in cinema - easily relating to Lugosi's lonely Dracula and Chaney's afflicted Wolf Man. Like so many of us, the shapeshifter is a geek, a freak, and a big movie buff. Granted, this isn't enough to pardon the creature's homicidal craziness, but it is enough to make us swoon.


     If you ever wanted to get your fellow horror-loving friends to watch Supernatural, this is definitely the episode that will convince them. "Monster Movie" has all the ingredients required for a perfect, unforgettable episode, and it utilizes those ingredients to their full potential. Much like its antagonist, the episode is cheesy, lovable, and sometimes even a little creepy. It is worthy of a late October viewing - and even though I watched it in September, I have no doubt that I will be happily revisiting the episode once Halloween rolls around. And you, dear reader, would be wise to follow suit.

12 September 2016

BrainDead is Anything But

This summer something sinister quietly sneaked its way into the bedrooms and dens and offices of millions of Americans. No, it wasn't Donald Trump's spewed word-salad, nor was it Hillary Clinton's unabashed grandstanding. It also wasn't the Zika virus, although, perhaps it may have been. No, I'm referring to a short CBS television series that started airing in June and did not receive the attention of which it was exceptionally worthy.

Think about this: 2016 has been a feverish political year, in that you really can't avoid our country's latest Big Election and yet its effects seem to only be negative. In a lot of ways, Election 2016 could go down as one of the deadliest virus outbreaks in human history. Lie to yourself all you want, but the fact of the matter is that neither the Red guy nor the Blue gal is a good choice. At least back in '08 we had to decide between a young, bold, charming man of Color and an old White war veteran who wasn't doing that bad until he picked Oblivious Soccer Mom as his running mate. It was obvious America would soon have her first Black president, and this was - and still is - a huge deal. Eight years later we are on the verge of having our first democratically elected Madame President, and yet... well, nobody's really all that excited about it. Could be 'cause we're all still coming down from the high that came with electing a Black man into the oval office twice; not quite ready for another high just yet - one that would come from seeing the first female president. Or maybe it's because Hillary isn't really all that wonderful and it'd be nice if our first Madame President were someone who didn't have quite so many skeletons in her closet. But hey, it's all speculation at this point. Either way you look at it, the general populace has been treating the election like a farce - and can you blame 'em? We've got Let's-Spend-Billions-On-A-Wall versus Whoops-Where'd-Those-Emails-Go. Not one of these two blithering twits belongs in the oval office. This frustrates the average voter, because we only have two choices to choose between, right? (Well, no, there are third par--) And I mean, that's a real head-scratcher, ain't it? How do we pick between the only two candidates? (I mean, there are others, like Johnson or Stei---) Really just a difficult, frustrating process. Especially with allegedly unbiased television programs and news stations and websites displaying flagrant bias in some pathetic attempt to get us to swing a little further to the right or the left. No thank you. Maybe what America needs right now is something that takes this election - this joke of an election - and turns it into the satire it's already become. Something that attacks and mocks both parties. Something that shows us how imperfect every politician is. Something that does it in an honest, believable manner.

source: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-eleven/braindead

Enter BrainDead, wherein alien bugs from the furthest reaches of space crash onto earth and breach the ear canals of Washington DC politicians in order to eat away at half their brains and take them over entirely. Okay, so maybe that aspect isn't very believable, but believe me, the honesty is all there.

And so is the humor. To summarize BrainDead as a genre is a tad difficult. There's the obvious science fiction to it. There are heads exploding and a lot - I mean a lot - of blood and gore and bits of brain spattered on various office walls, so we can pretty much safely call it somewhat horror. And the humor is more than abundant, but efficiently so - it's brilliant really, and it never stops being so fucking dark. So I guess all in all BrainDead is a horror-comedy sci-fi political satire, but that's a bit of a mouthful. Regardless, that's what we're calling it, and we're all just going to have to live with that.

BrainDead is sheer brilliance. It's one of those shows that, as stated earlier, came into this world quietly and relatively unnoticed, and stayed that way, which is quite a shame all things considered. The pacing of every episode is absolutely flawless, succeeding in making the action scenes feel like action scenes, making the suspense as tense as possible, and never rushing a joke or a scene; even its occasional quick (and well-written) dialogue is relatively easy to keep up with. The show never treats its audience like idiots, the way so many sitcoms do today. Instead, it assumes you're hopefully up for the jabs your party is bound to get and it doesn't really care if you're insulted, because A) it's satire, and B) a lot of what they're saying is the unbiased, documented truth. Current political events are often referenced, typically mocking the opinions and perspectives of both sides of the argument; but some of the arguments made - again, from both sides - are legitimately substantial. So that might get a tad frustrating, but when an actress like Mary Elizabeth Winstead is taking the lead, it's difficult not to offer the show your full attention anyway.

source: http://zap2it.com/2016/06/braindead-mary-elizabeth-winstead-super-weird-summer-tv/

While Braindead is very character-driven and Winstead, though obviously great, is our main protagonist, it's mostly the characters around her - all of whom are either Democrats, Republicans, or politically-ambiguous colleagues of the bombshell lead - who steal the show. It doesn't matter with which political party you side, you're sure to love all of these outrageous characters as, while the bugs affect them in a manner that radicalizes the host's personal opinions, most of these people are hysterical caricatures of what the extremist Left and extremist Right look like. And you can't help but laugh. Honestly, if you can't chuckle at your own party's admitted flaws, you should consider taking down that "NO FUN ALLOWED" sign from your front porch and maybe smiling a little more often. Even though this might sound contradictory, if we can't make fun of ourselves nobody will ever be able to take us seriously. Levity breaks all boundaries, so long as all parties are willing not only to partake in the joke-making but the joke-taking as well. Take a look at Celebrity Roasts. Hell, maybe we should have Political Roasts. Except those would probably end in a nuclear civil war, so, on second thought...

source: http://www.vulture.com/tv/braindead/

Tony Shalhoub and Jan Maxwell play our kinda-sorta antagonists - the first significant victims of the alien invasion. They are, respectively, a Republican and a Democratic senator, and they nail their roles accordingly. Shalhoub is heartless, cold, war-mongering, and a raging alcoholic. Ella Pollack (Maxwell), meanwhile, is mostly levelheaded until the bugs take over her brain - at which point she becomes a rambling, easily-offended, irritable buffoon. For Red Wheatus (Shalhoub), the brain bugs escalate his inherently Conservative bigotry and prejudices, while significantly lowering his alcoholism (due solely to the fact that space bugs aren't fans of booze). All in all, though, the bugs have one plan - and that's to spread. Their hosts may have their political differences - now dangerously increased due to the bugs' very presence - but their goal remains the same, and so while they still do well playing enemies in public, their private lives are much more intimate... which, yes, implies weird space bug sex.

Laurel Healy (Winstead) is a young woman whose family has been involved in Liberal politics for as long as she can remember. But Laurel isn't so much into the family business, as she aspires to be a documentary filmmaker - and is tired of never finishing anything she sets out to do. Her brother Luke (Danny Pino), however, took up the family bizz and became a Democratic senator in DC, working under Ella. Needing money to fund her newest documentary venture, Laurel turns to her father who agrees to pay for half the funding so long as she spends half a year helping out her brother in DC. This, of course, is how she comes about being our protagonist - eventually finding out about the "bug problem" in DC. With the help of Rochelle (Nikki M. James) and Gustav (Johnny Ray Gill), Laurel uncovers the mystery behind recent head explosions seemingly involved with the appearance of these weird ant-like creatures. Once she notices an alarming number of people behaving strangely and listening to "You Might Think" by The Cars on repeat, all day, over and over, her initial investigation raises more questions and very little answers. And for the record, you probably won't be able to listen to "You Might Think" ever again without thinking of this quirky show.

source: https://twitter.com/braindeadcbs/status/765016924140900352

One of the best parts about BrainDead, besides its absurd 1980s horror-esque general plot, is the fact that everybody - every character, and there are so many - is portrayed as being flawed in more than one way. They are aggressively human, even those with bugs on the brain. Luke Healy, for example, is a Democratic senator who more than frequently cheats on his pregnant wife, going against nearly every principle for which he claims to stand. Then there's Gareth (Aaron Tveit), a Conservative staffer for Red Wheatus with whom Laurel gets romantically involved. Having been raised in a strict Conservative household, Gareth handles Laurel's sexual past the way a puerile infant might. The point is, nobody's really good. And that's a reality of life. The Conservatives, the Liberals - they're all portrayed exactly how they portray themselves in the reality of this extremely political year: hypocritical, petty, and self-absorbed. But it's not all depressing! A lot of these characters are human in the realistically positive sort of way as well: Laurel and Gareth manage to hit it off despite their vastly different political values. Because love beats the shit out of petty politics.

Yes, aside from having brains, BrainDead's got heart. There are plenty of emotional scenes, those of which I won't spoil as I've already probably given away too much. I promise you, though, this brief little blurb on BrainDead has spoiled nothing major, and I've made sure to edit out all the far-too-spoilery bits so that you may enjoy the show to its fullest extent.

And enjoy it you will. If you're the kind of person who can put your politics at the table for a couple hours and just laugh at both the angles of American politics, you will most definitely like what BrainDead has to offer. It is a completely original, brilliantly-written, bizarrely funny romp that actually takes time to make some good points and bring up a few lessons we could probably benefit from learning. However, I've yet to hear any word of the show on social media. Considering the show is genuinely good, I can only think that either A) it had poor marketing or B) people simply can't handle seeing their own political party mocked in a completely unbiased agenda-less satire. And, jeez man, I sure as hell hope it's not the latter.

Overall, my point is this: while the social media presence of BrainDead was scarce, I'm hoping it'll go the way of every Mike Judge movie - a few years down the line, much like Office Space and Idiocracy, people will rediscover BrainDead (or at least its possible later season(s)) and the show will suddenly become the cult classic it absolutely deserves to be.