Monday, November 8, 2010

SHOOTING DOWN A ZONK

I got a message from my blog buddy Medium Rob of "The Medium Is Not Enough" (link to the left):

Have you seen this week's Cougar Town? If not, watch the final scene and see if you can work out what the last line is. It seems like a Toobworld op to me!

I had seen it and that last line by Travis as he slipped to the floor, "dead" from the slo-mo truth gun battle, was unintelligible. Of course, once Rob verified for me what he said, I could hear it.

Here's the scene:




What Travis is saying is "I love 'Spaced'," because the writers probably wanted to acknowledge that the inspiration for this scene came from the 'Spaced' episode "Gone" in which two fake gun fights were played out.

The scenes are available at YouTube, but all of them have had the "embedding disabled by request". So instead, here's the link to the one video that combines both scenes of
the fake gunfights in 'Spaced'.

Therefore, Travis' final line should be considered a Zonk. 'Cougar Town' and 'Spaced' should exist in the same world.

But.... What if Travis "died" before he was able to finish what he was saying? What if it wasn't a reference to the TV series 'Spaced', but instead to a movie? Even though there are many movies which have been absorbed into the Earth Prime-Time, most of the "Cineverse" is fair game; the Toobfolk watch those movies just like we do in the Truenivese.

There are several options then if we go this route. A couple of movies are entitled "Spaced Out", and then there's "Spaced Invaders" - which sounds like a movie that Travis might have enjoyed. (It was about a handful of dim-bulb aliens who crash-landed in Illinois on the night of Orson Welles' broadcast of "The War Of The Worlds".) Travis' dad, Bobby, may have taken him to see it.

It might seem like a strange remark to serve as your final words, but mystery author Abigail Mitchell ('Columbo' - "Try And Catch Me") could have put a spin on it - just as she did with the final clue left behind by her niece's husband... whom she had murdered.

So even though we - the audience viewing at home - are meant to see Travis' "dying" words as a tip of the hat to the Britcom (most likely to avoid claims that 'Cougar Town' stole the idea), within the "reality" of Toobworld it meant something else completely.

Works for me.

Getting back to the fact that I couldn't understand what Travis said at first, I've found this problem happening every so often. No matter how often I play a scene back in whatever show it may be, I just can't figure out what the character is saying.

Sometimes I think everybody involved in the production is too familiar with the script, so that they never notice - even in post-production - that a line is not spoken clearly enough to be understood by somebody hearing it for the first time.

They really should run them by somebody who's unfamiliar with the finished product, just to see if there are such problems.

Just sayin', is all......

[Thanks, Rob!]

BCnU!

1 comment:

MediumRob said...

We had to watch it a few times: even though she's seen most of Spaced, lovely wife thought Travis was saying "I love space," not "I loved Spaced."

Here's a theory: maybe they wanted it to be almost inaudible so that they could pretend it was original for everyone who couldn't hear it yet still have their backs covered. Huh? Huh?