If Aaron Sorkin (Sports Night, The West Wing, The Newsroom) wrote a TV show featuring McDonald’s as a workplace, it might go something like this:
Top notch parody right there…you’ve got the fast dialogue, the walk-and-talks, and the patented Sorkin sermonizing.
Hey, look, it’s a perfect thing.
2006. Christina Gausas class— level 504 at the UCB. We do the thing where Christina plays a song and two people do a non-speaking scene as the song plays. Brandon Gardner does one of those scenes, and it goes really well.
Christina, during her comments on the scene: “Brandon, I don’t think you took your eyes off your scene partner for one second throughout that entire scene”.
Been on a “your scene partner is everything” kick. Been harping on lack of eye contact when I coach— not on its own merits, but because of what it reveals about how you’re doing improv and where you’re looking for answers. Been thinking about Christina’s comment a lot.
Isn’t it weird that there was something called level 504? This whole ancedote sounds like an alternate universe.
Snoop Dogg — Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told
Snoop Dogg — No Limit Top Dogg
Bikini Kill — The C.D. Version Of The First Two Records
Tha Eastsidaz — Snoop Dogg Presents Tha Eastsidaz
J-Zone — Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes
Pulp — Party Clowns: Live In London 1991
Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.
I’m lukewarm on Snoop’s No Limit phase, because I’m not very into No Limit. Too empty and unoriginal and boring, too proud of its own mediocrity, too willing to pander. Snoop’s still passable within that because he’s still him, but it highlights how badly he needs a strong guiding hand; he’s talented, but he’s not a visionary. He was great with Dre because Dre knew what to do with him; Master P is no Dr. Dre. It’s a little sad to hear how lost Snoop became for a while.
It got so bad that Kathleen Hanna had to come in for a perfectly-timed rebuttal— and Bikini Kill’s never had a better context. Despite not being a former gang member who has probably actually killed people, Kathleen Hanna sounds like she can hold her own; Snoop, in need of validation at this point, sounds more like he wants you to think he can. Putting Tha Eastsidaz on after this made it feel like Kathleen Hanna kicked Snoop’s ass and he came back with two of his stupid friends so he could yell more threats through his tears.
And then J-Zone is off to the side laughing at everybody. He’s the perfect rapper, and has a geeky self-assuredness that rings true in a way No Limit-era Snoop’s posturing can’t. Snoop’s all “fuck bitches”, Kathleen Hanna’s all “suck my left one”, and J-Zone’s as amused as I am. Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes should be considered an iconic masterpiece, but we failed.
And then Pulp’s anticlimactic final release is even further off to the side, reliving 1991, completely unaware that I’ve been listening to gangsta rap all week. They work surprisingly well back-to-back with J-Zone; everybody’s clever, horny, and having a good time, while the Snoops and Bikini Kills of the world are off picking fights.