I was in high school when The Fast and the Furious came out. I wasn’t a fan. Frankly, I thought it was pretty stupid. It was poorly acted, poorly written, cheesy, and cars were on the bottom of my list of interests, let alone fluorescent colored rice rockets driven by a league of magnificent douchebags. What upset me the most was that the movie brought out the inner Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in kids everywhere. Teenagers all around were buying chincy aftermarket parts for their Hondas and Mitsubishis making the cars faster, louder, and much dumber.
In hindsight, the probable reason for the perceived rice rocket boom when I was in high school was the fact that I was a teenager hanging out with teenagers, and that is what teenagers like to do with cars. For me though, it was all happening at the same time, and I blamed the movie. It wasn’t hard to make that leap because regardless of the reasons for tricking out their rides, they all loved the movie still.
The spirit of Earl is not based around stating what movies are good or bad or worthy or unworthy. The reason I mention my dislike for The Fast and the Furious is that I usually love cheesy, poorly written, poorly acted action flicks. Point Break and Roadhouse are must haves for every movie library in my opinion. I saw both Expendables in the theater and will be there for the third.
I like a lot of bad things, actually. I’m the guy that requested my friends and I eat at the Asian Buffet for my bachelor party, not because it’s a good place to eat, but because it is a pretty bad one. Every time I’ve been to the Asian Buffet I’ve left with great memories. My bachelor party was no different—I mean, somebody puked from the food. The sweet-and-sour vomit and the winning of a bunch of random crap from one of those claw games provided memories that fine dining just can’t compete with.
My love of cheap thrills (although I prefer the term “simple pleasures”), silly movies, and the discussions they generate means that The Fast and the Furious should be right up my alley, but I still have only seen the first one. As the franchise gets better and more self-aware (from what I hear, obviously) its influence on pop-culture is becoming significant, and jokes are being made that I don’t get.
I like to show my wife (who’s not into movies as much as I am) certain clips of popular lines, scenes, or concepts, so that when she is out in the world and they come up in conversation, or on a podcast or something, she won’t be lost. (At least that is what I tell her, it’s actually just ‘cause I like watching clips.) She knows what a Royale with Cheese is, the importance of Han Solo shooting first, and why the rug really ties the room together. With this “service” in mind not watching these movies would be like a chief of medicine not keeping up with the latest medical journals, and therefore being unable to impart the most up-to-date info, right? Yeah, it’s just like that.
And so begins my Fast and Furious series. I just got the first one from Netflix today, and am pretty excited to get started. May we all grow and learn together.