Pop Culture Cramming – Part 2 (Or, Bad Housewife Porn, Vampire Love Triangles, and Why I Should Probably Cancel My Netflix Subscription)

This is what the inside of my brain looks like right now.

This is what the inside of my brain looks like right now.

I can do high brow.  I like fancy food and good literature and “high art.”  But I am no culture snob.  I am also more than happy to wallow in the low brow.  Which is more or less exactly what I’ve been doing for the last two weeks.  See, my work went insane for a bit there, and my brain was burnt out.  So instead of reading The Satanic Verses, like I’m supposed to be doing for my book club, I’ve been on the intellectual equivalent of a sugar binge, in not just one, but two forms.

Exhibit A –  After listening to the hype for however many months now, I decided to finally read the Fifty Shades of Grey series.  This was prompted by one of my team members giving me the first book as a Christmas present.  Along with a puppy calendar.  Because obviously those two things scream Christmas present for your boss.  It made me laugh though.  (“You seriously got me porn for Christmas?  You know I could probably report you to HR for this, right?”)Fifty Shades of Grey

Now, I don’t know if you’ve read these books.  I had heard a lot of people say they were really great.  And super sexy.  Those people were wrong.  So, so, very wrong.  The first book was kind of entertaining by being laughable.  But it got tiresome by the second book.  I am now part way through the third, and really think I’m ready to give up.  Here are my gripes (stylistic only – I’m not even going to go into the many ways these books are demeaning to pretty much everyone):

  • The main adjective used is “hot.”  It gets used a LOT.  Christian (the main guy) is hot, his hair is hot, his jeans are hot, his smile is hot, his pout is hot, his body is hot, the sex is hot, the music he plays on his iPod is hot, his emails are hot, his car is hot.  But wait!  It’s not just him!  Ana (the main girl) is hot too!  (Although of course she doesn’t know it.  Despite all the guys who throw themselves at her.)  And her roommate is hot too!  And so is Christian’s brother!  And his sister.  And her roommate’s brother.  And the other two guys who have a crush on her.  It’s all very hot.  Except that it isn’t.  Because guess what?  If the only reason I know something is supposed to be sexy is because you’ve told me so a thousand times in the exact same way, it makes me think that maybe it’s not all that sexy.
  • Another term that gets used a lot is “Oh my.”  The term is idiosyncratic in itself, but it’s very strange how the main character uses it so much.  And here’s a tip – when she uses it, that’s how you know she’s turned on.  She’ll look at her man, who’s just there being all hot and everything, and she says (sometimes out loud, sometimes just in her head,) “Oh my.”  She also says this every time he touches her and every time she sees his penis.  I think it’s because she has an English lit degree, and it’s supposed to make her sound old-fashioned or proper or intellectual or something.  It doesn’t work.
  • Also odd is Ana’s understanding of her subconscious.  She is very conscious of it.  It is always doing little dances or reading books or giving her disapproving looks.  Inigo Montoya
  • And finally, the sex.  It is all these people do.  Literally.  They have sex.  They talk about having sex.  They say pretentious things about wine.  Sometimes they eat.  And then they have sex again.  These are not interesting people.  It just gets to be too much.  By the mid-point of the first book, I had taken to skimming past the sex bits, because really, there are only so many times you can read about licking and sucking and nipple pinching.  It just got tedious.  And it’s awfully graphic.  But not sexy graphic.  More, trip-to-the-gyno graphic.  Although apparently Ana has never been to the gyno or taken basis sex ed, because she consistently refers to her private parts as “… There. ” (Always with italics.  Always following an ellipsis.  It’s awesome.)

So yeah.  Summary review:  Don’t bother.

Exhibit B – You know how I said I don’t have a TV and the reason is because I am a crap TV addict?  Yeah, well, like any good addict, I’ve found a work-around and it’s called Netflix, and it is dangerous.  Because you can find a show that’s been going on for years, and watch it all.  No ads.  No waiting a week or a summer for the next episode.  Just one long marathon of turning your brain to mush.  It is sort of wonderful, but if you are me, it is a bad bad thing.

You know how I haven’t written in a bazillion years?  Well, at first that was because of all the overtime at work.  But for the last two weeks, no.  For the last two weeks it has been because I fell down a rabbit hole called The Vampire Diaries.  (You thought I was exaggerating when I said I like crap TV, didn’t you?  I don’t just like it — I love it.  Irrationally and passionately.  The trashier, the better.  Do you remember 90210, back in the day?  I saw every single episode.)

The Vampire Diaries

Have you ever seen this show?  It’s GREAT!  I mean, it’s not.  But it IS.  So addictive.  Everyone on it is good-looking.  And there’s a cliffhanger at every single ad break.  And a surprise in every episode.  And a suspenseful soundtrack that has almost nothing to do with the action.  And a love triangle!  I love love triangles!

So yes, my friends.  In the space of 11 days, I watched three and a half seasons of this show.  While working full-time.  Take a second now.  You think about the level of commitment that would involve.  Impressed?  Yeah.  I thought so.

So, that was intense.  I think it’s time to get my brain working again.  Maybe I’ll go read my book club book.

Don’t judge me.

Or do.  I’m tough.  I can handle it.

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6 thoughts on “Pop Culture Cramming – Part 2 (Or, Bad Housewife Porn, Vampire Love Triangles, and Why I Should Probably Cancel My Netflix Subscription)

    • It actually really fascinates me, the things that become monumentally popular. What about Fifty Shades captured *that* many people? (I read somewhere that it has sold more than Harry Potter.)

      I was also surprised by Vampire Diaries. I was expecting it to be pretty bad and Twilight-y. I just picked it to watch one night at random while my husband was out. The first two episodes were like that, but then it just got a lot better. I’m completely converted, seriously.

  1. I use to really enjoy The Vampire Diaries-the cast is so hot, especially Damon but I’ve lost interest during the third season, maybe I’ll go back to it again. Couldn’t agree more with your points on Fifty Shades, well done for getting to the third book, I haven’t got that far yet.

    • Yeah, they’re all pretty easy on the eyes. 🙂 I think you should go back to it. Season 4 is kind of great so far. (Although a little too much of the witch plot line, which I think is the weak link in the show.)

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