Oh my wacky job

Sit Down Shut Up: “H.S. Confidential”

Hilariously labeled at Hulu as Season 2, Episode 1.  Don’t be fooled, Fox is just burning off the remaining 9 episodes that didn’t air from the initial 13-episode order.  It’s still cancelled.  And since these episodes will only be up at Hulu for 17 days after their inital air date, enjoy while you can.  If you’re prone to enjoying Sit Down Shut Up, that is.

(Edited 9/30/09 to remove dead Hulu link.)

Sit Down Shut Up Episode 3: “World’s Greatest Teacher”

The third episode of Sit Down Shut Up for those who may have missed it due to Fox switching the airtime to 7pm on Sundays, which means I wouldn’t bet the rent on renewal at this point. Still, the show begins to gain its footing despite the network’s lack of faith–next Sunday’s episode is particularly good, of the remaining three to air during this sweeps cycle.

[Edited 6/1/09 to remove dead Hulu link.]

The Last Vaudevillians

Last month I went to a seminar on animation acting, where it hit me that in the peculiar fraternity I belong to (which includes women–pardon the language), we’re the last inheritors of an aesthetic that has long vanished everywhere else.

This seminar proposed that John Barrymore–along with Charlie Chaplin–was something of an acting standard to strive for.  I’d never really thought about animation acting in that way before, that it’s an artform that relies on techniques established in the first third of the twentieth century.  Techniques that, if a live-action actor were to use them, would seem extremely stylized and somewhat hammy by audiences today (even in comedy).  It’s as if method acting never existed!

(This is not a knock on my industry, or of anybody in it, just my take on things.  After all, when the early animators were developing the art, Charlie Chaplin and John Barrymore were contemporaries.)

I mean, I get why animation acting is rooted–you could even say stuck–in the past.  On the surface, it’s kind of silly to think of a cartoon character using the Stanislavsky method.  Cartoons are exaggerations, simplifications of the “real”.  To do “realistic” cartoons fails to utilize the full potential of the medium.  But, regardless of the facts, do I feel like a walking anachronism now?  You betcha.