Sunday, December 8, 2013

References

Yesterday was the fourth new episode of My Little Pony.  I think the reviewers went a little overboard with this episode, praising all of the clever references.

I'm not a big fan of reference humor.  The problem is that most joke/references fall flat, if you haven't seen the movie/TV show that is being referenced.  Instead of being hilarious, the joke comes across as confusing.

To use My Little Pony as an example, the character Discord is based on the character Q, in Star Trek. I don't particularly like Discord.  Everyone says I will like him more, after watching Q's Star Trek episodes, but that comes across as ridiculous to me.  Why should watching 1970's Star Trek be a pre-requisite to enjoying a show made for four-year-old girls?

With my videos, I try to have references which are still funny, even if people don't know what I'm referencing.  When I break out into song, I want people to find it amusing, even if they've never heard the song before.  That's why I usually include clips from movies, instead of talking about the movies and alienating everyone who hasn't seen them.  I don't always succeed in having humorous references, but I try.

I had no problem with this week's episode of My Little Pony, but I think the reviewers went overboard, in trying to find references that weren't there.  For example, a character in the episode uses a fake identity.  All the reviewers said this was a great Indiana Jones reference, because in the movies, it's a huge surprise that Indiana Jones is the same person as Professor Jones.

Whoa, hold the phone!  First of all, where was that in the Indiana Jones movies?  I was supposed to be surprised that Professor Jones is Indiana Jones?!  But...I...huh?  I thought it's obvious that they're the same person!  They have the same last name!  And secondly, just because someone uses a fake identity, that doesn't make it an Indiana Jones reference.  Why can't it be a James Bond reference?  Or a Nancy Drew reference?  Indy doesn't have a monopoly on using fake names.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hm. Well, I like Discord just fine and I haven't seen Star Trek (and have no desire to).

But I agree. Sometimes things are just common tropes.

bug2506 said...

I think people do try to think there are references to things that just aren't there. I've never seen my pretty little pony but its hard to imagine there are references in there from the 1970s star trek or Indiana Jones when most small children haven't seen those shows or if they did they probably wouldn't get the reference.

Katie said...

Q is a Star Trek character from the Next Generation (and DS9 and Voyager), so he's not a 70s character. Just FYI.

Samantha Mark said...

Or the fake ID's could be a Bridget reference? Or Chloe? Or Zoe Wolfe? Or Samantha Quick? :)