Episode 202: Putting on the Meat Dress

The Overthinkers tackle listener feedback for the first time in six months and preview the summer movies of 2012.

Overthinking It PodcastMatthew Wrather hosts with Mark Lee and John Perich to overthink listener feedback for the first time in six months and preview the summer movies of 2012.


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Further Reading

Mount Erciyes

27 Comments on “Episode 202: Putting on the Meat Dress”

  1. Amanda #

    Listener feedback? You guys really are putting on that meat dress…

    Also, I like the idea of having a feature on the site with basic OTI canon stuff (Schopenhauer, the Bechdel test, the snackability theory, Fow Cowt as we say it on TFT…). I gotta admit I don’t know enough about all the things that would go in there, so that’d be useful.

    And I laughed out loud at the story of the dude possibly walking around the volcano, all the while thinking he was headed somewhere… :)


    • AlexBref #

      ^this, this right here. An OTI canon must be drawn!…cast? molded? MADE!


  2. Monzenn #

    I have yet to listen to the podcast, but if this has been addressed already, pardon the repeat question.

    Has there been talk of an Overthinking It wiki already? With all the content that goes through each podcast, I’m pretty sure that some wide-eyed researcher on popular culture would find such a site useful.


  3. cat #

    Oh, I got the Dangerous Minds reference. Not even a question.

    I feel like in the spirit of this episode, you should do a listener feedback episode of the TFT podcast.


  4. Chris #

    You decide to have a LA movie meetup, and you have to choose Battleship?

    It is Outliers, not Blink, that discusses the 10,000 hour thing. Coincidentally, I just finished reading Outliers, which is not without its charms.

    As to Murder by Death, I don’t think you are putting Sellers’ character in the proper context. The movie is a parody of mystery movies, and features parodies of several famous detectives. There’s Nick and Nora Charles, Hercule Poirot, and, of course, Charlie Chan, who Sellers is parodying. The actual Charlie Chan character was played by a white guy, and I presume the movie is satirizing this with Sellers’ performance. Not that Sellers did not portray other races in wildly inappropriate ways. If I am remember correctly, he played an Asian character in his last role.

    I’m a really big Wes Anderson fan, but I’m just not all that enthused for Moonrise Kingdom. His particular brand of movie making takes a deft touch, and I think he may have overdone it based on the trailer I watched. I will still probably see it eventually, but it is not a priority to be sure.


    • Rambler #

      I have to agree with you on Murder by Death…
      Not being personally stereotyped in it I find it extremely fun, and pretty good satire.
      It doesn’t shy away from being offensive, but part of the joke IS that it’s offensive and for no good reason… ok that sounds bad… what’s important is the treatment of the stereotype itself as if it’s absurd, where in the original stories the racism was pretty close to Breakfast at Tiffany’s style.

      Here a white guy plays a Chinese detective with a completely overdone accent, and an Asian actor plays his son without any accent at all.

      We find out that he wasn’t actually raised in China… in fact his stepfather didn’t realize he was Chinese until his 21st birthday.

      The “prepositions and pronouns” moment pretty much sums up Asian portrayals in Hollywood, and was predominantly an offspring of the Charlie Chan and Fu Manchu series.

      Obviously anyone is welcome to react to it as they feel, but I see plenty of satire and no genuine racism.


  5. Dan C #

    After specifically being called out for under-alerting of spoiling, I felt the need to respond. I should have used “spoiler alert”. Sorry. Then again, you spoiled it worse than I by reading my comment! (Ironic, doncha think?)

    Well, back atcha. Some more spoilers for Murder By Death:
    The screaming sound is just the doorbell.
    The dining room rotates.
    The movie has a quasi-Scooby Doo ending with a mask and an evil laugh.

    And, “spoiler alert”, the concept, clearly needs its own entry in the hypothetical OTI Wiki. Is it better to over- or under-use spoiler alerts? Can a 35-year old movie still be spoiled? At some level of fame or age might we declare a movie or book to be fair game? Surely this topic needs to be picked apart, or dare I say it, overthought.


    • Deidzoeb #

      Seems like there’s some number of years after which spoiler alerts would be unnecessary. If you haven’t seen a movie that’s been out for twenty or thirty years, you’re probably not worried about seeing it. Then again, OTI listeners or readers are not necessarily all old enough or rich enough to have consumed every movie or book or tv show soon after it came out, even if they wanted to. Or if you’re talking about an obscure movie, most people haven’t decided whether or not to watch it because they never heard of it. (For example, in Robert Altman’s 3 Women ***Spoiler Alert*** : the women form a sort of family with each other at the end. I guess.)


  6. Dan From Canada #

    With regards to Riker’s womanzing. “To Riker” is a commonly used verb among trekkies that means “To have or attempt to have a sexual relationship with an alien you just met”


    • Skab #

      “To Riker” is why I’m not allowed on the Mexican/U.S border any more.


    • fenzel #

      It is pretty amusing how Kirk would sometimes get into these charged, heating situations where passion overcame good sense and he made out with an alien, whereas Riker seems far less impassioned in these situations, but instead goes on away teams looking to sarge for its own sake.


        • Skab #

          Buy Sarge mugs and shirts!


  7. Steven #

    What’s the caller saying at the end of the podcast? “Terminate” what or who?


      • Lee OTI Staff #

        Rambler, thanks so much for sharing this. I assume you were able to evade the 200 pound Austrian man stalking the cubicles and were able to carry out your orders.


  8. UsernameTed #

    Steven, I believe he said “Terminate John Connor”. It cut off pretty quick.

    Good Podcast Guys! How about Directors, and behind the scenes people putting on the Meat Dress? Even Actors. They are all known for the product they release, IE: A movie. When Jim Carrey did The Number 23 and those other serious movies (I assume there was more than one), he reinvented himself, but then went back to doing Yes Man.

    There are a couple questions I have here. Does Jim Carrey need to reinvent himself? He is a comedic, uh… “Master”, so was The Number 23 just a slower role he took just to “save face” or a full blown re-invention. Second, can you just re-invent back? Take off the Meat Dress? What is that? It’s like if The Beatles’ last album “Let It Be” sounded like their first album, “Please Please Me”.

    Then, has Lady Gaga ever re-invented herself musically? Has she donned her meat headphones yet? That’s going to the next thing she’ll have to do before people get tired of her Ms. Manic Dressup routine.


    • cat #

      I’m not sure if it’s a reinvention because I don’t know if these songs were released at the same time but released separately as singles or what have you but I think the Gaga of “Just Dance” and “Bad Romance” is reasonably different from the Gaga of “Speechless” and “You and I”.


      • Gonzo #

        “Speechless” came out on the same album as “Bad Romance” (The Fame Monster, 2011). Considering the variety of song styles just within each album (that one also had “Telephone” and “Teeth,” among others), I also see her music as just showing diversity, not any kind of reinvention or change over time. Perhaps another way of preserving/prolonging her fame?


  9. Gonzo #

    Gosh, I wish I had known about the three-year cycle theory when I wrote my senior thesis on the David Bowie’s many different personae over time. Though “putting on the meat dress” would be an especially anachronistic term, considering Bowie was “putting on the meat dress” decades before Gaga. ;)

    To address UsernameTed’s last question, I don’t think Gaga has changed musically yet, but I think she lacks the urgent motivation to do that (read: no noticeable decline in record sales over time). Honestly, I think Gaga isn’t the perfect example of this theory (or we can’t know for another few years at least), because she’s been huge for just over three years now, and hasn’t really so much reinvented herself, but rather just built up the persona of a crazy, unpredictable fashionista. Did the meat dress or the Alexander McQueen lobster heels really drastically change the way the public saw her or reboot her career? I don’t think so. This might be hindsight, but to me they were more like “Oh, Gaga,” moments, pretty much fitting into the persona she had already established. And if you did see them as game-changing moments, then you kind of have to see every big thing she does as a game-changing moment, in which case she could be a genius for basically subverting the three-year system by reinventing herself every few months so she can’t fade away. I kind of like that possibility, since it seems like going at that pace could provide for an even more outrageous celebrity meltdown. (And another big reinvention/comeback?)

    On a different note, I agree with the idea of creating a wiki section of the site, with both theoretical works that you guys commonly refer to, and original terms and tropes that you’ve come up with (this, the Female Character Flowchart, etc).


    • cat #

      I think the reinvention she’s been attempting is moving away from crazy runway fashion (the kind no one usually sees so it seems like a creative, innovative artistic choice) into straight up couture high fashion labels. I don’t think she’s had a game change moment but one moment that strikes me is her showing up to an event inside of an egg to which I think the world collectively went “meh”.


  10. cat #

    Can someone please make a fake movie poster for Dark Shadows featuring Michelle Pfeiffer and the quote:

    “I think this is Michelle Pfeiffer’s finest work ever.” -Overthinkingit.com


  11. Matthew Belinkie #

    When you guys brought up “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” and the odd trend of narrative movies based on self-help books, you forgot a big one that just came out in late April: “Think Like a Man.” It’s based on Steve Harvey’s book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” The plot is about a group of friends who read the book and follow its advice. When their boyfriends learn about the book, they try and “turn the tables on their mates,” according to Wikipedia. Apparently Steve Harvey actually appears as himself. Very strange, meta stuff.


    • Gab #

      He’s Just Not That Into You is another example of a non-fiction advice book turned into a fictional movie.


    • Rob Northrup #

      Those fictional movies inspired by non-fiction books reminded me of the somewhat recent trend of novels with non-fiction titles:

      The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
      A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
      An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England
      The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?


  12. Joe Jones #

    What’s up with the sound editing. I like what you guys are doing, but the gaps between the things you say are unnecessary. Do you need someone to do sound editing for you?


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