Humour, Opinion

Til Death Do Us Blart

It’s amazing to me how many podcasts are born out of necessity. One of my favourite casts, My Brother, My Brother and Me began as a way for three brothers to keep in touch more. Their thought process was pretty sound; do a weekly hour long skype call in which we try to make some jokes in the form of advice then post it to the ‘net. They didn’t think anyone would listen, but they were totally wrong. The three McElroy brothers have been doing MBMBAM for over seven years now and have spawned more podcasts than I want to talk about here.

Along the way the McElroy’s made friends with the New Zealand comedy duo Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery who host the show the Worst Idea of All Time. This idea was to watch and review a bad movie every week for a whole year. They’ve done Grown Ups 2 and Sex and the City 2 and have movied on to We Are Your Friends.

In order to keep in touch with these new friends, a new podcast was born, Til Death Do Us Blart. The core conceit is that on American Thanksgiving annually until their death the 5 hosts will watch and review Paul Blart Mall Cop 2. Upon the death of a host a replacement will be sworn in, so that the show will continue infinitely.

This is sentence in which I tell you to go and read the plot summary for PBMC2 if you aren’t familiar with the plot. Which you shouldn’t be unless you’re already a TDDUB fan because it’s a bad movie. American Thanksgiving this year came with the third episode of TDDUB and it was a really good one. I started listening to the podcast last year, and decided to watch PBMC2 before I got into the cast and watched it again a few days before episode 3 launched, in order to get the full experience.

This episode was really, really, good. It was a turning point in the series where the reviewers actually enjoyed the movie for the first time. This opinion is likely based on how they felt after their second episode, where they still reviled the movie. Some interesting things popped out. They thought that the jokes in the movie that land well really do stand up, and also knew where the weak points were. Some of the plot’s failings were also addressed in on this third watch, such as how Maya Blart ends up in the heist’s headquarters and the enormous amount of Chekov’s guns throughout the first act.

In previous episodes of TDDUB there have been many “fan” theories thrown around. These include that there is a mysterious figure, dubbed the Shadow Man, who is trying to dismantle Paul Blart’s life one piece at a time, and also that not a single frame of the Blart-centric comedy was cut from the movie while a ton of the heist plot was cut. There has also been a lot of commentary on the CGI in the film, which includes an extended shot of a laptop folding out into a ridiculous 5 screened monstrosity.

This episode brings some of these gags back with some more laughs. Trivia on the film’s IMDB page now includes reference to both the Shadow Man and to another film which shows the heist in detail and features Blart only as a supporting character. My favourite part of this though was an email that the hosts’ received about the CGI from an anonymous member of the CGI team. Apparently the original heist intro scene had called for a small laptop folding out into a larger multi-screened machine. The CGI team told executives that this seemed a little ridiculous, and the executives responded by making the CGI order even more ridiculous. Gotta love management eh?

The highlight of this year’s episode though was definitely the discovery of Blart Side of the Moon, which is when PBMC2 is synced to Pink Floyd’s iconic Dark Side of the Moon. Griffin McElroy, the host who decided to try this, described it as a religious experience. Running with PBMC2 at 15% volume with subtitles on and just blasting Dark Side of the Moon in a dark room, almost an isolation chamber, Griffin enjoyed the movie for the first time. Apparently the movies two acts are each exactly as long as one play through of the Dark Side of the Moon. Amazingly there are two scenes, one in each act, where Paul Blart visits a showroom of security equipment, and each of these scenes overlaps with Pink Floyd’s Money.

I know that you get new podcast recommendations every issue of the Iron Warrior from my main man Ratan, but I think you should be checking out TDDUB. I mean there’s only one episode a year so don’t tell me that you don’t have time.

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