Saturday, November 13, 2010

How to (and how not to) pay tribute to ABBA.

Here's how you do it right:

And here's how you do it wrong:

The Simpsons has maybe like five seconds of ABBA's Waterloo that serves as a joke. Great episode by the way. (Mother Simpson S7E08)

The Community on the other hand shamelessly plays numerous ABBA songs throughout the episode and the songs have no connection to the episode whatsoever.

You might say that "so what, those songs made the episode better".

Yes, I agree. But it's still ├╝ber lame.

The important thing here is that ABBA is perhaps the best band of all time and (coming from an artistic viewpoint) you are not supposed pay tributes to the band unless you have earned it. (by writing superb comedy in this case)

The Simpsons writers thought that they were good enough to play five seconds of ABBA. The Community writers however decided that they had earned to play full ten minutes of the band in one single episode.

I don't know if you can find a better example of Hubris than that.

What we got here is pretty much the difference between talented, humble writers and writers who don't seem to be aware of their unfortunately very limited abilities.

Does it really come as a surprise that The Simpsons is the best sitcom of all times and that Community is a pretty pointless and awful series?

I don't think Community was even paying a tribute here. Instead they were riding someone else's coattails. Which is something they do all the time.

And by the way, this same Community episode also had a random "I love you - I know" reference. Can it get any more lame than that?

Comedy isn't about making empty, pointless references. Comedy is about meaning, purpose and significance. Like that Simpsons clip above.

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