The Big Picture: Silly Billy

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I remember only the movie from 1993. I was aware of the show, but I don't think I've ever seen it. Loved the movie though.

As far as reading into things, a friend linked me this today:

http://km-515.livejournal.com/1042.html

It's on Lord of the Rings, and it shows how Tom Bombadill might have actually been a supervillain. I never read more than the first 1/3rd of the first book, so I don't know how accurate it is, but this article was a good read.
 

Darth_Payn

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This was a well thought-out topic. Usually people who overthink TV shows and movies and stuff who read into it their kind of subtext are the kind of tossers who twist and bend logic to make it fit into their political worldview, like that one South Park episode where the boys write the ultracontroversial "Scrottey McBoogerballs" and set up Butters to take the heat.

And about the theme song: where have I heard those lyrics before? Oh right, from this:
 

Muspelheim

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Fascinating! Never heard of that show. It's a very nice idea they had going there.

Now, to follow Proverbial Jon's example and give you a foreign similarity on the same subject for trade... Oh, right!


Mostly back in the 60's, there used to be a (fairly mean) joke on a similar note in Sweden. Basically, a large family from the rural Balkans or some other place like it would move into a modern appartment in a new built housing block. They get themselves installed and everything is fine and well, until a few weeks later when the downstairs neighbour report a leaking ceiling to the landlord. On closer inspection, it's revealed that the new tenants have broken up the floor of one of their rooms, filled it with dirt and begun growing potatoes in it. "Well, where else are we supposed to put them?", they say when asked about it.

It's a rather mean joke, but still... The point is, when you go from this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Albania_pasture.jpg

to this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/Tensta_1971b.jpg

all of a sudden, things might become a tad confusing. It's a massive change of lifestyle, after all. Now, it's a (slightly un-PC) urban myth, but honestly, they might be on to something... Why not? I'd love to have some potatoes going in a spare room or something.
 

Podunk

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Daniel Morton said:
The problem is that too many people go straight for the negative and/or cynical subtexts, construing the work to make it seem racist or saying the the story is just the dream of someone in a coma. Not everything has to be grimdark.
Somebody's bitter about that awesome Pokemon theory that's all over the net. :)
 

bliebblob

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Sep 9, 2009
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bificommander said:
I knew the name, and got the pun, but never saw the show.

In the Netherlands, we had our own version with the movies and TV show Flodder. The titular Flodder family weren't farmers, but, well, white trash would be the closest comparison, who got to live in a generic high-class neighbourhood when the city council found out their old home was on top of a toxic waste dump. There were some differences, mostly in that unlike the Beverly Hillbillies the Flodders, particularly the oldest son and 'protagonist' Jonny, were small-time criminals. And rather than any overly honest or practical mentality, it was often their crooked schemes that got the plot rolling. But what it does have in common is that while the show did portray them as crooks, they tended to more sympathetic than their upper-class neighbours. They tended to be a lot more relatable than the hypocritic and posh people who surrounded them, especially in the movies.

Glad I'm not the only one who noticed how eerily similar they are. Shame noone outside our region will ever enjoy it as much though. It's just not as funny if you're not familiar with our particular variety of white trash.
 

Draconalis

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vxicepickxv said:
There were some points in the world, normally closer to the late 1800s early 1900s where there was enough pressure that the oil was floating on top of the land below it. Some areas in the wild weren't always very well traveled by people who looked for the stuff, so it's not impossible to hit a shallow well in an area where nobody's looked for oil.
Really now? I would think all those millions of years for organic matter to break down into oil would put alot of space between the pockets and the surface, regardless of pressure.

That's interesting.
 

Hitchmeister

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Several people have mentioned only knowing of the show from the 90's movie based on it. Well, I don't think I'll go far wrong by saying that no one who enjoyed the original show thought that movie was any good. Don't judge the show on the basis of that.
 

faefrost

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JJDWilson said:
Well that was damn interesting.

I might have to check out this series... if my grubby English hands can get ahold of it.
Don't expect too much. We are not talking high art and philosophy with this one. While Bob has cobbled together some interesting conjecture, and the writers did have some well defined characters, it's essentially digging for deep meaning in something intellectually on par with the Benny Hill show. (Just less boobies). Very similar themes and almost identical "fish out of water" stories are also seen in similar period shows Petticoat Junction, Green Acres (take this story and reverse it. City Boy in the backwoods country), I Dream of Jeannie, F Troop, Gilligan's Island, etc etc. More fondly remembered from watching the reruns in the afternoon when you were 9 then from actually attempting to sit through any of them now.
 

BehattedWanderer

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Jun 24, 2009
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I always like the idea of finding ancillary subtext to something that may or may not have intended it, and any show that can bring across the idea that simple things can give pleasure, and that happiness isn't necessarily derived from money sounds like a good show to me. Maybe I'll check into more of this sometime.
 

BrownGaijin

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What kills me is that the movie they did with the "Fresh Modern Look" is now almost twenty years old.


Pool table gag anyone?
 

Custard_Angel

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So... you don't like reading too much into things?

Excuse me... What in the fuck are you talking about?

You started out on a show called THE GAME OVERTHINKER...

Have you gone completely retarded?
 

bificommander

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bliebblob said:
Glad I'm not the only one who noticed how eerily similar they are. Shame noone outside our region will ever enjoy it as much though. It's just not as funny if you're not familiar with our particular variety of white trash.
Yeah, and sadly the "Flodders in America" movie, which might have been fun for USiasn just to see Dutch stereotypes interact with American stereotypes as seen by Dutch, was by far the weakest of the bunch. I can't in all honesty recommend that one, certainly not as a first movie to see.
 

Korolev

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Jul 4, 2008
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Never seen a full episode of this show - they show it on one of the cable channels here in Australia, every now and then.

The problem with railing against "conspicuous" consumption is that usually only those living in such societies rail against it. Those living in really poor societies don't rail against consumption - they want in! Poverty is not fun, as my mother would tell you, growing up very poor in Rural Malaysia during the 50s.

You know a lot of that "useless" luxury was made by everyday people - everyday people LIKE useless luxuries for the most part. That's why we invented them! It wasn't a government plot or some corporations sinister plan - people like to buy stuff. We've liked stuff ever since we've been around and our natural instincts are to accumulate stuff.

People who lived in simpler times didn't accumulate stuff or participate in consumerism because they wanted to avoid it - they did so because there WASN'T AN ALTERNATIVE. Native Americans didn't shun super-markets and TV and Consumerism because they thought it wasn't good - they DIDN'T HAVE supermarkets and TV and consumerism.

A lot of people in the first world romanticize the "old" way of living, without ever having lived in. Most of those Hippie Communes founded by college kids who wanted to escape "modernity"? Most of them collapsed because most of them realized after about a year "This sucks!".
 

Briney-

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I grew up watching reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan's Island and MASH. I live in Canada, but I think these shows came to us via TBS or another American Network. In any event, good shows, good times.
 

Uber Waddles

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Interesting reading into the subtext there.

The question I like to ask when delving into something deeper is twofold. First, and foremost, "What does it mean?" And that can yield you tons of answers, depending on the topic. The second, which I find just as important as the first, "Why is it there?", which is what I want to discuss right now.

Asking the intentions of the creators can really help frame a piece logically, and what (for me) brings credit to people analyzing texts. Was the message that you found intended to be there by its creators? Was it supposed to be meaninful in some way? Was it something the audience was supposed to analyze and make their own conclusions for? Or was this a "product of its time" kind of thing - a social relic. And you can go even further - lets say the message was not implied to be there by its creator - does that tell us something about the time period then? Does that say something about OUR time period?

Breaking down texts (in this case, texts refers to media) is a really interesting subject. And you'd be suprised how often the contextual message is deeper than the one the reciever imaginges.

Good job Bob, love shows like these. I'd love to see more!
 

Barfchie

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This show would never work today.

If Jed would find that oil in this day and age, the US military would be over in minutes to liberate them.
 

PhiMed

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Falseprophet said:
Bob, at some point, you should do The Mod Squad, AKA, "Don't worry, parents! One day your hippie kids will sell out and work for the establishment!"

Somewhat related: Moff's Law [http://www.racialicious.com/2009/12/21/and-we-shall-call-this-moffs-law/]: "First of all, when we analyze art, when we look for deeper meaning in it, we are enjoying it for what it is."

And there was a 60s/70s anti-consumerist movement that went beyond the hippies: the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back-to-the-land_movement>Back-to-the-land movement.
I don't think a movement that was one of the primary inspirations for the hippie movement can really be considered being "beyond" the hippies. But I'm just someone who pays attention the meaning of words. What do I know?
 

shteev

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I used to watch this in the 80's in the UK.... it was shown by the newly launched fourth television channel (yes, we had FOUR whole channels of entertainment back then!) and it was shown at 6 o'clock after regular kids TV had finished on the BBC. They broadcast a few different black and white American shows, including The Munsters and The Addams Family.