Category Archives: Media Studies

Lucas and Ted’s Excellent Trip to See Dude, Where’s My Car?


On the evening of December 28, 2000, two Chicago residents got a little more than they bargained for when they caught the new film Dude, Where’s My Car? at the local cineplex: they got laughs.

The local mega-cineplex: the newly built Regal Hollywood 20.
Hackett poses in front of the movie poster in eager anticipation. [Photo by Ted Whalen]
Hackett plunks down eight bucks and change for the honor of seeing this cinematic masterpiece. [Photo by Ted Whalen]
The movie begins!

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Ted Whalen, 26, who works as a freelance internet millionaire in the Windy City. “It was actually funny at times.”

Lucas Hackett, a 29-year-old professional dancer and motorcycle enthusiast, agreed. “Some of the bits were hilarious. At one point I laughed my head off.”

Added Hackett, “Not literally.”

Dude, starring “Kelso” from That 70’s Show and “Stifler” from American Pie, has received wide critical praise for its broad but cutting social satire. Also appearing, in a career defining role, is Hal Sparks, recently of E!’s Talk Soup. Fans of Showtime’s new series Queer as Folk know that Sparks can act, but there has already been Oscar talk for his poignant supporting role as one of the many eccentric characters standing between Kelso and his car. Other stars include the annoying young girl from ABC’s The Practice, Kristy “Buffy Before Sarah Michelle Gellar” Swanson, and a bevy of assorted sexy ladies and their breasts.

Despite their enjoyment of the movie, Whalen and Hackett voiced some reservations about the plot.

“It was convoluted,” Whalen said. “It was unrelenting in its complexity. They really made you work hard to fit all the pieces together.”

“It certainly deserves to be viewed more than once,” stated Hackett. “The filmmakers put so much into this movie that it’s really impossible to get it all the first time out.”

This is the first movie for both.


Bored here in Beavercreek, Ohio – home of the Battling Beavers – I went to go see a movie tonight at the new cineplex over by the not-quite-as-new-but-still-somewhat-new-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things mall. As I approached the door to the theater, it was fully my intention to see “Dude, Where’s My Car?” However, I chickened out, because I didn’t think I would be able to deadpan “Yes, one for ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’ please,” with the precise comic delivery that line requires. So I said “maybe later” to Kelso and Stiffler, and I bought a ticket for “Cast Away.” Everyone’s amazed at how much weight Tom Hanks lost in the making of the movie. I was amazed at what a tub of lard he was at the beginning of the film. I bet he packed on the pounds before shooting the early scenes just to make the later loss more dramatic-like. Helen Hunt was annoying. Why was she cast? There are dozens of actresses who could have done more with that role. I liked her on “Mad About You” as much as anyone, but she seems to be stuck in character from that show. Well, I suppose it won her an Oscar.

Suddenly I’m reimagining “Cast Away” as a “Mad About You” TV-movie reunion, aired during sweeps, featuring Paul Reiser getting washed up on the island, instead of Tom Hanks. Now, THAT’s a funny picture. Dramatic, not so much.

I promise I will not mention Kelso in my next entry. Unless I have a really good reason.

Go out and buy and listen to “When the Pawn” by Fiona Apple. It is among the best albums ever. It is perfect in every way. Except that someone spilled soda on the booklet that came with my copy. It was me.

I am the obstruction that stands between Fiona Apple and perfection.

I just saw a lip balm commercial featuring Colleen Haskell of “Survivor” fame. She’s no Nancy Pender, looks-wise, but I wouldn’t mind she and I being the last two humans alive on the planet. Also, were I to die in such a way that several of my major organs were still operational, I would happily have them donated to Colleen. Even if she did not need them, I would have them placed on retainer in the event she ever would. Even now, still alive, I would at a moment’s notice trade my legs, which are hairless and shapely, with hers, which are infected and scarred and shapely.

“If I could, I would, but I don’t know how” – Phish

Two things.

First. Last night, while watching the Nine O’Clock News on WFLD-TV, the local Fox affiliatethe object of my desire, I realized I was in love with weekend co-anchor Nancy Pender. I wonder if she is married. I bet she is. (They always are.) But if she’s not, and if one of you kids out in cyberspace knows how to contact her, give me a lead. I want to ask her out on a date. Maybe dinner and a movie or something, followed by a walk in the park. (The walk would take place in some other city besides Chicago, which is very cold currently. Perhaps it would take place in Paris. I don’t know if Paris is cold right now, but even when Paris is cold, Paris is still Paris.) I am willing to overlook the difference in our ages, Nancy, if it means I can gaze into your starry eyes.

Second. Someone left a grayish-green woolen hat over at my place Friday night. If you would like to claim it, please stop by the box office from 6 PM to 9 PM Tuesday through Thursday. Be prepared to describe it in detail to prove it is yours. If it is not claimed by Thursday, it will be fed to the cat.

So, uh… what else is happening in the world? That Middle East strife still going on? These elections are taking up valuable space in the media, and other things deserving coverage are getting ignored. For example, the Middle East. Have they all died over there yet? Also, commentaries on the new fall TV shows are not getting fair representation. We lost Deadline, and nobody noticed. Deadline! I loved that show. Oh, I didn’t watch it, no. But I loved it. And it’s not just the new shows that are losing out. Returning shows, such as Two Guys and a Girl – which has evolved into a bawdy, hilarious farce – aren’t getting the attention and/or respect from critics that they deserve.

There is no more justice in this old world.