Episode 634: Article 1: Be Excellent to Each Other

On the Overthinking It Podcast, we tackle the most bodacious film “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” in advance of the duo’s return next week.

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Pete “Peter” Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather, Esq. squeeze into the phone booth to overthink Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, a film with a surprisingly subtle theory of history and its effect on self-actualizing, and to consider the implications of the political philosophy, “Be excellent to each other; party, on dudes!”

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2 Comments on “Episode 634: Article 1: Be Excellent to Each Other”

  1. John C Member #

    I mostly want to point out that, as a New Yorker, for many years, I thought that Circle K (where strange things are sometimes afoot) was a fictional chain created for the movie, since this area is 7-Eleven country. Less important, but I also had no idea what Waterloo referred to (as a water park, not the name) until very recently, when Crazy Ex-Girlfriend started referencing Raging Waters and the pictures spurred the memory. It’s definitely a movie that wants you to have been to California, at some point…

    The interesting thing about the discussion about the stakes is that there’s a story that’s part of the universe with such enormous stakes that almost any means are justified to accomplish the ends, but it’s happening off-screen. What I mean is that the movie we see is the result of Rufus’s work. It’s entirely possible that there were massive changes to the “original” timeline (that we don’t see) from removing the princesses.

    For example, did the events in the movie convince Joan of Arc to take action? Did they plant ideas in Napoleon’s head that pushed him to expand and then over-extend himself to Waterloo? Like, Napoleon is diverted on the way to Austria, and so was already Emperor, but does the movie coerce him into pressing harder so that he’s defeated significantly enough that his empire falls and France becomes a republic again? Does Genghis Khan still change the face of Asia (figuratively and literally, given DNA evidence), if he doesn’t get an afternoon in of destroying a mall sporting goods retailer?

    Random theory: Are the Bill & Ted movies part of the same broader universe as The Good Place? They both mess around with history, have dumb/lazy people working towards some utopia, are subversive in making very different points than the on-screen action pretends to make, and regularly obscured the line between low-brow and high-brow jokes, up to including the names of Greek philosophers (his name doesn’t rhyme with Chipotle).


  2. Will Twiner #

    How is Duke Ellington not in the band?


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