Well, You Know Something, Mean Gene…

Backstage at Wrestlemania 48, Hulk’s eyes are popping out of his face as he spasmodically lurches into the camera.

Reeling back, Gene Okerlund opens his mouth ready to speak, Hogan grabs the mic.

“WELL, YOU KNOW SOMETHING, MEAN GENE…”, flicking into a dead eyed flex, whipping his arms around, cupping his ear to an empty room, cocaine head vibrating.

“All my little Hulkamaniacs been training, saying their prayers, eating their vitamins, being true to themselves and true to their country. They’re real Americans, brother. And the first thing I want to do for my Hulkamaniacs is to look them in the eye and—”

Plastic scowl snaps into thousand-yard stare.…   [continue reading]

Bird-of-the-Week

Hear Lee and Ben B. discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

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James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise for a long tenure of live-action, animated and film series, is often remembered for a somewhat perverted propensity towards womanising.  While he remains beloved for his particular brand of cowboy diplomacy, and the thrilling adventures they would take you on, it’s something that’s always undermined him and left him stuck in the sixties with other anachronisms.  Where does this perspective even come from?  Is it really something that undercuts his character throughout all of his appearances?  If so, how has he held onto such a wide appeal despite the undeniable sexism of his approach to women?…   [continue reading]

And What a Maneuver, Right Here on Monday Night Raw!

Grainy video quality as Bam Bam Pigelow walks down the aisle. Chucking his arms up in the air and roaring for some reason. Horrendous ‘heavy’ ‘rock’ ‘music’ thunders through the crowd at the Manhattan Centre. It’s 1993, and tone-deaf Bam Bam’s grunting his name on his own intro music.

What’s this? Forgettable Jobber’s being given a half-arsed introduction moments before Bam Bam punches him in the head and knocks him down for far too long.

Camera angle changes just as BAM BAM’S COMING OFF THE ROPES WITH A CLOTHESLINE AND OH WHAT A MANEUVER RIGHT HERE ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW.

Headbutt, and WHAT A MANEUVER.…   [continue reading]

Shawn Michaels

Controversial backstage antics aside, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t consider Shawn Michaels one of the best ring technicians to ever enter the squared circle.  The King of the Oversell (until dethroned by The Rock) and one of the most entertaining athletes to hit our screens, Michaels completely voids the crimes of his personality with every inspired flourish and line of mic work.  A magnet for five-star matches, you could always be assured that he would bring you fluid execution and developed psychology.

A holder of a variety of championship belts, his success is officially well documented.  Generally well received by the audience too, finding anyone who will straight up deny his talents is a rarity I greet for its comic value.  …   [continue reading]

The Prisoner (1967)

I have to state straight away that The Prisoner, in its original form, is one of my absolute favourite television shows – so forgive me if a little bias seeps into this spotlight.  Initially resistant to its polarising charms, it took me an entire episode of hating it to reach an ending that instantly made me love it.  I almost gave up watching it in favour of the drastically inferior Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which would have been a monumental mistake indeed.  Birthing an instant obsession, it didn’t take long for me soak in its entire seventeen episode run and all of the spiralling mythos around it.…   [continue reading]

The Unbearable One-Dimensionality of Sitcoms

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

An American family home in the suburbs in the ’90s.

Enter Funny Guy who’s about to make the same joke at the start of the scene as he does at the end of the scene, both times resulting in Studio Crowd Laughter #4.

Small Child enters to a resounding Studio Crowd Aww, transitioning into Laughter #4 again because she’s managed to get a line out in broken English. The first guy’s saying something about how he’s so sick of the Nerdy Neighbor ringing the doorbell all the time… and as if the exact opposite of what he wants is happening, the doorbell goes off!…   [continue reading]

The Montreal Screwjob

Much has been written about the Montreal Screwjob, easily the most controversial moment in wrestling history and the catalyst for what would be known as the Attitude Era.  It’s become an infamous milestone – almost a rite of passage for those learning about sports entertainment and its many treasures.  An incident that at first seems hazed in confusion and contradiction, when lucidly explained its simplicity in fact compliments its impact.  As such, i’m going to try my hardest to be as salient as I can in an article that won’t exceed six-hundred words.

To understand the notion of a screwjob, as it’s known, requires at least basic knowledge of kayfabe.  …   [continue reading]

Red Dwarf

For any Englishman (or indeed, woman) born in the early nineties, Red Dwarf was a rite of passage difficult to avoid.  It’s not really something you’d want to avoid either since, as soon as you get comfortable in the deserted corridors and well acquainted with the cast, it’s so casually entertaining.  Red Dwarf is one of those British comedies that’s very rarely laugh-out-loud funny, but endearingly witty, observant and referential.  An episode may only contain a handful of laughs, but the series as a whole is a remarkably minimalist perspective on the potential silliness of space travel.

Inspired by Blade Runner and kept afloat by the cliches that science fiction thrives off, Red Dwarf is an amazingly familiar affair in its setting until you realise that it has as much in common with The Royle Family as it does Star Trek.  …   [continue reading]

Jim Ross

While i’m only three articles into writing about wrestling and this is the second spotlighting someone called Jim, it’s simply a subject I had to discuss today.  It’s odd how things happen.  Thinking about Jim Cornette and his incredible live appearances after my write-up on him two weeks ago, I sent him a cursory tweet asking him if he’d ever show his face in England again.  Hearing back from him almost instantly that he’ll in fact be making some appearances in just less than a month, I bought VIP tickets instantly to his upcoming Inside the Ropes show with Jim Ross himself (how could I pass up a chance to get a picture with two of my absolute heroes?).…   [continue reading]

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [1981 Series]

In case readers didn’t notice this being posted in the TV section for a SundaySeries hashtag, I just want to make this absolutely clear: I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THE AWFUL 2005 MOVIE.  Instead, this week’s television spotlight comes in the form of 1981’s pitch-perfect version of the tale – itself the second adaptation following the initial BBC radio series and the eventual book.  This alone shows how many different interlocking takes there are on the essential story, but what’s unique about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is how each of them (save the film I’ll make no further mention of) were brought into existence under the core leadership of its creator, Douglas Adams.…   [continue reading]