Beloved author, screenwriter and New Yorker Nora Ephron passed away suddenly nearly two weeks ago, and we wouldn’t be doing our job here at Jumped the Snark if we didn’t report on it nearly two weeks later. Like with a lot of celebrities and significant figures who left us this year – Richard Dawson excluded – we didn’t have the same deep personal relation to or affection for Nora Ephron that many others did (and still do). Did we respect and appreciate her work? Surely. But did we harbor a rapturous devotion to her romantic comedies? Not quite. When we think of Nora Ephron, we think of You’ve Got Mail. And when we think of You’ve Got Mail, we inevitably think of this scene from Undeclared, when a warm-keg-beer-filled Seth Rogen declares his love for the film.
And this soliloquy can perhaps be applied to Nora Ephron’s body of work, at the least to her film career. Later in life she became synonymous with “romantic comedies” which became synonymous with “rom-coms” which itself became synonymous with “melodramatic, insulting, mindless treacle,” which is not quite an appropriate usage of the transitive property. Yes, some – maybe even most – rom-coms are uninspired and vapid forms of low art designed to appeal to a specific demographic and not necessarily to be good, but not all rectangles are squares, and not all rom-coms are “typical American tripe.” Like with You’ve Got Mail, you may think you’re better than Nora Ephron, but you’re not.
Coincidentally, we just this afternoon read New York magazine’s tribute of sorts to Ephron, a reprinting of her inaugural “Women” column, and we found her writing witty, confident, fun, and, much like Greg Kinnear in You’ve Got Mail, very likable.
We joke a lot on this blog about people ripping us off – Stephen Colbert, Entertainment Weekly, Paul F. Tompkins (which resulted in a bitter Twitter feud) – but when were never as wounded as we were when we saw a new Vulture post presenting their “Map of the Comedy Zeitgeist.” Why did we find this so alarming, so soul crushing? Well, because it’s essentially an updated (and much, much prettier) version of our Judd Apatow Chart, which we used to launch this blog those three years ago. Sure, the idea that there are these overlapping connections in the comedy world, most of which are tethered to the likes of Apatow, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, and Paul Rudd, has been oft-explored for several years now. But never before has there been a graphic representation that feels so close to ours, so similar (and yet so much more visually appealing). Thus, we will not rest until we receive the credit we are due. In protest we will continue to read, appreciate and occasionally steal from Vulture.
Are we being paranoid? Hyperbolizing? Take a look and you decide.
Tonight brings us the long-awaited return our beloved Community, the show that is, if you ask us, far and away the funniest, most innovative show on television (or off television, as the last couple months would have it). While we still had Parks and Recreation, and welcomed back 30 Rock with open arms, Thursday nights just weren’t the same without the Greendale study group, just not as magical.
However, even though we dearly missed the show, and do worry about its chronically low-ratings and tenuous chances of renewal, we were not in panic-mode like some others were over its benching. First off, the show was not canceled, and even though there was no definitive return date when the hiatus was announced, there was never a doubt that it would return this season. Even if the show pulls in dismal ratings (which it unfortunately does), it wouldn’t make much financial sense for NBC to produce a full season and then never air the back half. It’s not like Community will fare much worse than any of their other comedies, save for The Office. So the hiatus was not a punishment, or a really even a threat. Just a business decision, one that NBC scheduling has now applied to Parks and Rec, as that equally wonderful show takes a break til late April.
Keep reading: Why the hiatus was good for Community and good for us
It feels like it was just twenty-four short months ago that we launched this blog, but it’s actually been two full years. Can you believe it? When we started this thing, selling our comic book collection, maxing out our credit cards, and practically begging for help from all our friends at the convenience store, we were just hoping to break even. Post a few Office commentaries, make our buddies laugh, maybe get a few dozen page views and call it a day. Little did we know that years later we’d still be here, attracting 3,000 readers a day*. We’ve come a long way, baby.
So, in honor of our 2nd birthday, we thought we’d look back at some of our favorite Jumped the Snark banners, a little walk down JtS memory lane.
Our 100th post:
Our first Christmas:
See more from the Jumped the Snark photo album…
The bulk of our daily search terms continue to be Survivor: Redemption Island related – Phillip, Survivor Phillip, Former Federal Agent Phillip, Kristina boobs – so we’re going to work with the odd man out in the group, “jumped the snark.” And we’ve previously established that when our search term is “jumped the snark” it’s a wild-card day, we can post anything our little R2D2 Mr. Potato Head heart desires. And our little R2D2 Mr. Potato Head once again desires to honor the work of Judd Apatow.
This past weekend brought us the long-awaited Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared reunions at Los Angeles’ Paley Center (which you can read much more about here). It’s truly amazing to see these kids grown up, truly amazing that they’ve almost all gone on to successful careers as adults, and perhaps most truly amazing of all is that none of them have developed a serious drug problem (excluding an apparent affinity for the wacky tobaccky). We frequently mention Freaks and Geeks on this blog, so we’re going to shine the spotlight on Undeclared this time around.
Here’s a clip from the series’ third episode, “Eric Visits,” which contains probably our favorite Undeclared exchange. At about the 30 second mark please enjoy Seth Rogen’s thoughts on a certain Tom Hanks romantic comedy.
We feel the same way.
Pleased and a little puzzled by today’s search term “”jenna fischer.”” Pleased because we think she’s just terrific, the modern-day Kelly Kapowski. And puzzled because the term appears with the quotation marks (hence the extra set above). We guess those out there in web-land just wanted to make sure they didn’t wind up with Jenna Elfman or Carrie Fischer. Fortunately, on this blog that’s very unlikely (well, much more likely now).
We’ve sung Fischer’s praises for years for her portrayal of the loveable, dorky Pam Beesley on The Office. And we’re thrilled that she’s gotten her first big movie role , as Owen Wilson’s understanding spouse in Hall Pass (unless you count her part in Walk Hard. Which we’re not). But tonight we’re going to highlight one of her lesser known early performances, one that significantly enhanced her position on the Judd Apatow Chart. We’re talking about her somewhat scandalous turn on Apatow’s Undeclared, a saucier side of Fischer we’re not used to seeing:
And while that was her most memorable appearance on the show it wasn’t her first, as she actually appears briefly in the pilot episode. Talk about starting off on the right foot.
One time about five years ago our friend texted us “Jenna Fischer on Undeclared. Ha.” To this day it’s still one of our most cherished texts.
(in keeping with our mini-Judd Apatow theme to end the week)
“Meeting on the mound. Very cool.”