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Avril Brown Presents:

The Death of Fun: A Eulogy

Ladies and gentlemen, dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the death of Fun. Fun, as we all perceive it, comes in many forms, and while certain aspects of Fun will continue to live on and flourish, these particular elements of Fun have ceased to be far before their time. Let us take a moment to remember Fun in these figures and celebrate our relationship, however brief it was, for it is in this way Fun will forever live on.

The least painful death, yet still a cutting loss nonetheless, is that of ‘Trauma.’ This new series on NBC centers on the lives of several San Francisco paramedics. ‘Trauma’ is not a well-written show and has at least one crappy actor, but by golly this show is FUN. Shit is getting blown up left and right, people are getting shot, stabbed burned and beaten (they don’t hold back on the gory details, either) and there are oodles of beautiful camera shots of a stunning city. Plenty of pulse-pounding, unrealistic action (the series opens with a mid-air helicopter collision for god’s sake) and few redeemable characters (I heart the sarcastic and emotionally scarred Rabbit played by the underused Cliff Curtis, and the gay, Elvis-sideburn-sporting Tyler played by Kevin Rankin is a riot) was enough to draw me in, but apparently not enough for the majority of America, therefore NBC did not order more than sixteen episodes of this Fun show.

Another heartrending death of Fun comes in the form of my beloved ‘Dollhouse.’ My true love/nemesis Joss Whedon’s latest production garnered enough cult support to extend its life span to a second season, but due in part to Fox’s moronic decision to start and keep the show on Friday night this Fun bit of television was recently murdered. ‘Dollhouse’ is a sci fi show bursting with delicious eye candy and Fun fantasies. In a world where the field of neurotechnology has advanced leaps and bounds, the Rossum Corporation has created the Dollhouse. Here several pretty people have their personalities sucked out and stuck in a jar, leaving them an empty shell to be filled with any persona or skill set. Smoking hot Eliza Dushku has been a hostage negotiator, an S&M Barbie, a sexual trauma victim/counselor and a back-up singer, to name a few. Topher the science whiz is the programmer of the dolls and provides lovable comic relief in a nerdy-cute package (the recent episode where he programmed a doll with his own personality while he was visiting another Dollhouse was SO choice). And did I mention the gratuitous amount of beautiful people scampering around in minimal clothing? Despite consistently quality episodes (the episode entitled ‘Belle Chose’ had Echo –Dushku - as a college co-ed who’s hot for her prof and a serial killer was especially awesome, as was ‘Belonging,’ the tale of the doll Sierra and how she came to the Dollhouse. I cried), Fox is once again responsible for the slaughter of stunning Whedon television. At least they’re not being dicks and making fans wait until the DVD release to see the rest of the completed episodes, like they did with the one-season spectacular ‘Firefly.’ The remaining episodes of ‘Dollhouse’ are being aired in two-hour blocks every Friday night; a small solace for us devastated fans.

Another funeral of Fun must be held for the short-lived re-vamp of ‘Exiles,’ a book published by Marvel Comics that followed a team of super heroes from alternate realities who traveled to different dimensions trying to ‘fix’ whatever went wrong in each world. The original ‘Exiles’ ran for seven years from 2001-2008 and pretty much rocked for most of those years. Towards the end of its run the writing fell off the awesome wagon, and then ‘New Exiles,’ the first re-launch of the series, had a few of the same characters but none of the sharp humor and edgy storytelling. ‘Exiles: Volume 2’ was released in April of this year and showed potential for living up to the greatness of the original series, yet was promptly cancelled after only six issues, despite it being a very cleverly written and aesthetically attractive book. Writer Jeff Parker and artist Salvador Espin were a winning combination and it was distressing to see such a stellar creative team get royally screwed. Parker got his licks in, though: when he learned his book was cancelled he had one of his characters do an address to the audience on the first page, breaking the bad news in a humorous manner. “Wow, that was quick, wasn’t it?” he joked. Unfortunately, it was quick; way too quick for such a Fun book with unlimited possibilities and I still mourn its passing from the comic book shelf to the discontinued bin.

These are just a few aspects of Fun which were not given their due this year, and the list of other Fun things which were prematurely ended by short-sighted, penny-pinching bureaucrats is long and depressing. Yet as we lament their early deaths we must remember the good times we had together, and we shall prove they remain in our thoughts by visiting their graves often (i.e. watching the DVDs and reading the books), or continuing their tales through devoted fan fiction. We’ll miss you, Fun; you were far too young to die. However, Fun will continue to solider on in the form of other entertaining mediums, be they fictional television programs or comic books, or real life bar crawls and all-night danceathons. With the beginning of the New Year will come new ways to experience Fun, and I for one cannot wait to see how much Fun 2010 is going to be.

Avril Brown 

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