Grooooooorrn. I am a Barvardian Blromp! And I’m magical, other-worldly and mildly derivative.
“Huh?,” you say in a spoooooky voice, “Moooore informaaaaaation?” Well…
The year is 2014 and I appear on posters and book bags. Twilight has grown staaaaale. “Vampires?,” you say, scoffing and playing your Nintendo “Them” like a Zelfingorger! Forget vampires, give me gorgeous teenage Blromps loving each other’s bodies on a Bliztorte! That would be vokerous!
Oh—I’m sorry. Still confused? Then step into my time machine.
There we go. Let’s try this again. This time, I’ll start at the beginning.
It’s June 30,1997.
J. K. Rowling, unknown author, British woman, poor napkin lady (or so my mother first described her to me), publishes the surprise mega-hit Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
At once, the country is stricken. Hollywood and Corporate America, however, play a bit of a catch up game. First, pencils start to appear. Then bookmarks. And finally, the flood gates come down.
Movies. Toys. Ties. Beans of Every Flavor. $90 dollar stylized brooms. Children and adults alike happily whip out their checkbooks to embrace a universe previously ruled by the trading-card toting, RPG humping few.
Fast forward to October 5, 2005.
Stephanie Meyer drops Twilight and the country drops everything for vampires. But this time, America is ready; the Hollywood crank machine is primed to pump out, not just reasonably shitty adaptations of the Twilight books and all the accompanying accoutrement but also a host of derivative and corollary shows, like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries.
Hollywood has sold the fad wholesale, and we’ve just gobbled it up. Soon, I can’t even turn around without someone playfully biting my neck or dumping a bucket of blood juice on my face.
Now jump to 2009.
Our buddy J. J. Abrams (note: I don’t actually know J. J., so I’m assuming you’re his buddy) releases his Star Trek and our enemy James Cameron (again, assuming you’re his enemy) teases us with his Avatar.
Forget vampires. Space. Has. Arrived.
And this time, Hollywood’s not just primed and ready. It’s done gone wet its panties.
According to Denofgeek.com, a name that strikes me as somewhat redundant, there are no less than 36 movies slated for release within the next two years about space, outer space, space aliens, or the set of elements or points satisfying specified geometric postulates (in other words, space).
Now, I have nothing against space—personally or professionally—but I do have to ask if this is the best we can do. Are we doomed to surf from one supernatural crave wave to the next, collectively losing ourselves in the mythology du jour-ney quest?
If so, we’ve got a problem; there are only so many supernatural beings to exploit. And apart from zombies (which this cultural prophet predicts are next), the majority of these creepers are hard sells as potential supernatural sensations.
Werewolves? Bestiality is just too complicated these days. Mummies? Are covered in shit paper. Bridge trolls? Eh—I guess I’d maybe screw a bridge troll.
But even bridge trolls will only last us through 2012—if we’re lucky. Then, like it or not, justified or no, we’re moving on to Barvardian Blromps and their Thortback Bruners.
Is there any hope? Can we possibly save our children the task of assembling Halloween costumes with all 47 necessary Blromp horns?
It would be easy for us to say “no, there’s no hope”; easy to sit back, blame Hollywood and invest heavily in horn futures. But not only would that be cowardly, it would be wrong. After all, Hollywood doesn’t exist for its own satisfaction. Hollywood exists because we buy what they sell.
So, the change, if it comes, must come from within. We must harness our collective inner nerd and return to an era of fantasy and sci-fi snobification, demanding a more diversified fantastical fare. Brothers of the horde, it can be done!
It has been done! TGIF’s fall lineup circa 1997 featured You Wish, a show about genies, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, a show about teenage witches, and Teen Angel, a show about getting canceled, which is a complication we should probably discuss.
If Hollywood takes risks on strange, fantastic shows from worlds we’ve never seen, we have to accept that they might suck. They might be Rancho the Corn Beast, a failed UPN show about a corn-based alien who’s created after a meteor crashes into some corn (think of it as a starch-based Dawson’s Creek).
But they might be awesome. Heroes, Sabrina, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer—these are shows that created culture rather than merely playing into it.
So, the next time you sit down with vampires, think about the future. Think about the Blromps. And maybe, just maybe, take a chance on something new.