Remember that old curse about living in “interesting times?” Well, we’re there, but I had no idea that interesting times would be so damn boring, though. While history-defining events are unfolding daily, I’m over here getting into making homemade pickles and bingeing entire seasons of 60 Days In. If I wasn’t eight months into a lockdown — if it wasn’t boring times — I wouldn’t bother with a weird reality show, but we’re all doing things we wouldn’t lately. The kids have the cabin fever too, and you can tell by the things they’re into this week.
TikTok goes stir crazy
You can practically smell the isolation over on TikTok; how else can you explain the trendlet of butter dogs? Butter dogs, in case you ain’t hep, are dogs with butter on their heads. That’s it. That’s the whole thing: People posting videos of dogs with butter on their heads. Here’s a ten-hour edit of “Butter dog. The dog with the butter on him” so you can see what I mean. Watch it all; you don’t have shit else to do.
Another example of “inside too long” internet: Number seven TikTok. Videographer @rawrits.alex posted a fairly generic video of some football players lip-syncing to a Justin Bieber song the other day, with no idea that TikTok would lose its collective mind over the attractive dude wearing number seven. Tribute videos, marriage proposals, and who-knows-what-else followed, and a high schooler from Michigan is currently enjoying his 15 minutes of internet-fame (hopefully by staying inside and not infecting anyone.)
Viral video of the week: Kahoot Star
I love this week’s viral video because it is so specific to the experience of kids in distance learning situations. YouTuber Kyle Exum’s “Kahoot Star” is a banger of a rap track boasting about his skill at… Kahoot? Kahoot is an online group quiz app that teachers are using to make distance learning a little more fun, and it’s just so like a spirited, creative kid to take his mastery at a multiple choice educational app and make it into a rap. The lyrics are hilarious, with lines like, “I’m a quick card clicking buzzer beater with the top spot. Green I see, if you ain’t me, you just a knock-off,” and the intro skits that introduce it are fun too. No wonder it’s been viewed nearly a million times in its first day online. Check out Kahoot Star here.
This week in television: Cartoons are back!
Regular movie and television production is tough when you have to remain socially distanced, so production companies and networks are increasingly turning to animation, and we get to reap the rewards. Disney+ is premiering The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special this week, an animated tribute to the worst Star Wars product of all time, The Star Wars Holiday Special. Unlike the terrible 1978 TV special, The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is meant to be funny. In it, Lego Rey finds a key that sends her back in time, allowing her to celebrate Life Day with snarky, in-joke heavy encounters with character from all the different permutations of the series. I’m hoping for an appearance by Lego Jefferson Starship, just like in the original series.
Meanwhile, over at Hulu, beloved 1990s cartoon Animaniacs is being rebooted, and kids today don’t even understand how much they’re gonna like it. Warner brothers Yakko, Wakko, and Warner sister Dot are re-appearing in the present with their sly, snarky meta-commentary in tow, and 2020 doesn’t stand a chance against the manic energy and peppy songs of the Animaniacs. Er… I mean, at least within the context of the cartoon. Actual 2020 is unlikely to be affected in any way, and will almost definitely remain the hell-slog we’ve become accustomed to. But at least there’s a new cartoon.
This week in gaming: How are the new consoles working out?
The new console generation started about a week ago with the release of the PlayStation 5 and the new Xbox, and all the gamer kids have nothing to do all day but play games while they wait for a vaccine. Pretty much optimal for them. So how’s it going so far? Really well, judging by the memes.
There doesn’t seem to be the kind of widespread technical problems that plagued console launches in the past (Remember the red ring of death?). The worst anyone seems to be saying is that the PlayStation is pretty big. People are posing with their new systems or comparing them to every system they’ve had since 1978. There are deep, important internet discussions about which launch titles are the best, and people are putting faces on ‘em. I don’t want to jinx anything, but it almost seems normal.