Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Idiocracy" — Satire or Prescient Documentary?

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of working on Mike Judge's film, "Idiocracy." It's easy to have missed this film, because like "Office Space," it was unceremoniously dumped by the studio. So here's the basic premise: totally average guy is put in suspended animation, wakes up hundreds of years in the future, where the stupid people people have out-bred the smart ones, and society is so dumbed down that the number one TV show is something called, "Oww! My Balls!"

The hit film is "Ass."

I won't say that "Idiocracy" is without flaws, but it's pretty damn funny (I am particularly fond of the Extreme Court and the Fox News take-off).

Here's the thing: I'm having trouble distinguishing "Idiocracy" from America 2008.

Case in point: three new TV reality shows.

"Hole in the Wall" is a show where contestants try to, um, leap through a hole in the wall (IMDB's description if you are curious, is: "Contestants are required to try and fit through holes in a polystyrene wall, which is moving towards them").

"Wipe Out" seems to be about people crawling on top of giant rubber balls and falling into mud.

Then there's "Hurl." Yes, it's exactly what you think it is.

Well, okay. There's a lot of smart stuff on TV too. "Mad Men" and "Dexter" to name two, and there are plenty more.

Besides, it's not like we've plunged to the depths of "Idiocracy," where the future Starbucks features "Gentlemen's Lattes — with extra Foam."

And then I heard this NPR piece.

Brondo! It has electrolytes!

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