Connect with us


Attack Of The Hollywood Cliches!

Attack of the Hollywood Cliches! Charlie Brooker and Rob Lowe churn out a shoddy tropefest

have long made peace with the fact that I will never figure Netflix out. Maybe that is the point: Netflix, like the shining face of God, is not ever meant to be fully understood, just watched in awe from afar. But where once Netflix made sense – the first series of Orange is the New Black! The first three series of House of Cards! The mega-success of the Queer Eye reboot! – now some of the commissioning decisions seem to be made by a pulsing cluster of AI servers. This is why we have Nailed It!, for instance. Why He’s All That with Addison Rae exists. Season 5 of Arrested Development and that nine-movie Adam Sandler deal. These were designed by a robot in a lab to make me wistful for an era when the company sent out DVDs in little square envelopes in the post.

Anyway, Attack of the Hollywood Clichés! is up this week, and I do not know who it is for, why it got made (by Charlie Brooker no less), and who – beyond everyone who picked up a day-rate in its production – is benefiting. In short: it’s one of those talking-head hours Channel 4 always seemed to do so well, only with that added layer (and layer … and yet another layer) of Netflix/Hollywood gloss. Rob Lowe hosts, doing an absolutely incredible performance of Rob Lowe, spraying out high-sheen writer’s-room-polished comic lines with all the élan of a man giving his third best man’s speech of the weekend. There is a sparkling cast of talking heads – Florence Pugh is there! Andrew Garfield! Richard E Grant! – plus a stacked bench of imposingly intellectual film critics who have actually seen more than one Hitchcock film and have a lot to say about tropes. Whoever did the casting on this special did their job. Whoever did the interviews nailed it. Whoever cut this thing together ruined everything.

Here’s the problem with Attack of the Hollywood Clichés: it doesn’t say anything, at all. Here’s a trope, notice it next time you watch a film, right: on to the next one. Did you know about romcom “meet-cutes”? Of course you did, obviously, but … OK well what about the “one-man army” trope? Oh, you knew about that too. Let’s see: here’s one. Have you ever noticed that thing in films – in the biz we call this the “white saviour complex”, where – ah.

I really don’t see who, in the year 2021, is being newly introduced to the concept of the Wilhelm Scream, but … Hollywood Clichés seems to think that millions of them exist. This feels like a real opportunity missed: an interview with critic Nathan Rabin, credited with coining the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl in 2007, consists of him broadly outlining the concept intercut with clips from Elizabethtown. The entire bit lasts fewer than 30 seconds. Is that it?

It feels like there are hours of more interesting tape lying on the cutting room floor: I am convinced Rabin said something more interesting about the MPDG (and her persistence in Hollywood over the last 14 years!) than, “It’s a very very potent fantasy, for men, that there is one woman out there – one magical woman! – who will save you.” Cut to Lowe for a quick gag he doesn’t care about, eyes perceptibly flicking to the clock behind the camera to make sure he can get all these interstitials filmed in one day.

In fact – bar one or two moments that actually delve into the history of film; there is a section on Hollywood’s attitude to showing sex on screen that almost threatens to be interesting – practically every trope exposed here is left completely uninterrogated. Why is a baguette poking out of a brown paper bag shorthand for someone having been grocery shopping, for instance: is it because it’s such a universal aesthetic indicator that it can play across multiple territories? We’ll never know. The maverick cop has been a mainstay of storytelling since Hollywood began: how might current perceptions of the real-life police force affect that story? Great question, but let’s not answer it. This hour had the potential to make fascinating enquiries about how and why films get made that will change the way you watch them for the rest of your life. Instead there’s an extended bit where Rob Lowe pretends he’s too Hollywood health-conscious to actually eat an apple. Oh well. Hey: while you’ve got the app open, fancy watching The Kissing Booth 3?

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eight − 1 =


I Will Soon Start Signing Death Warrants- Bala Mohammed

Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed has disclosed that he will soon start to sign death warrants.

Mohammed made this known on Friday in Bauchi while signing the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill and a bill for the establishment of the Bauchi state penal code, into law.

In Nigeria, state governors are legally backed to sign the death warrants.

Since 2012, no governor has been reported to have signed death warrants.

“We will soon be signing some death sentences because there are many and because of justice which has to be taken to a logical conclusion

“I know some governors are running away from signing the death sentences because they exercise restraints on the basis that there may be some element of error.

“But to me, I will leave it to my lord (the chief judge) who will prosecute. It’s not my fault. If it is brought to my attention, I will do it.”

“As for the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act, we know that we are the first in the northern part of the country to enact the law, which is a member’s bill incidentally from the honourable speaker, and it has earned us a lot of respect in the country.

“But because of some noticed gaps, it was taken back and it was corrected. We thank the house for making the corrections.”

Continue Reading


Court Sacks 13 Ebonyi LG Bosses, 171 Councilors

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki has again nullified the Ebonyi Local Government Elections and sacked all the 13 Council chairmen in the state.

The court also sacked all the councilors and 171 ward chairmen of the state.

The court had on Aug. 25, nullified the council polls of May 31.

Ruling on the matter with suit NO: FHC/AI/CS/224/2022 on Friday, Justice Fatun Riman ordered the seizure of the monthly federal allocation of the chairmen pending when rightful Chief Executives were elected into office.

Fatun restated that the councils election by the State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) on May 31 was illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr Mudi Erenede, Counsel to the plaintiff said he was happy over the judgment and commended the court.

“In the judgement today, the court has agreed that the Ebonyi State High court has no powers to override or set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court because it is not an Appeal Court.

“Those people, who are parading themselves as chairmen are not there legally.

“They were appointed by whoever that appointed them. CBN, Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance are all defendants in this suits,” he stated.

The counsel to Ebonyi State Government, Mr Roy Nweze, said there was no need responding to a judgment that had already been delivered by the court.

Nweze said that the matter would be appealed without delay.


Continue Reading


Naval College Graduates 245 Officers, Personnel

The newly graduated personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 of the Nigerian Naval Engineering College (NNEC), Sapele in Delta, have been urged to remain committed to the service of the nation.

Rear Adm. Monday Unurhiere, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command, made the plea at the graduation ceremony of the 245 Under Training Personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 in Sapele.

Unurhiere, represented by Rear Adm. Baratuaipri Iyalla, said that the call became necessary in view of the security, economic and social challenges currently facing the country.

The naval chief urged the graduands to make deliberate efforts to improve themselves on the job by way of taking advantage of modern technology and also tapping into the wealth of experience of their superiors.

“Let me remind you that as officers of the Nigerian Navy, you are charged with enormous responsibility and your unswerving allegiance is to the Nation.

“The confidence reposed in you must not be taking for granted, especially at this time that our national aspirations are being threatened by numerous security, economic and social challenges.

“As such, you may find yourself being called upon to serve beyond your technical capability due to the prevailing situation in the country,” he said.

Unurhiere acknowledged the efforts of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, for creating the enabling environment for training and continued financial support to NNEC.

According to him, this has helped the College to contribute more to the technological advancement of Nigerian Navy and the nation at large.

He urged the graduands, especially the under training personnel, to maintain the current tempo in sustaining training and other naval activities.

Continue Reading