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Obvious joke here.
I knew when this show popped up on AradiTracker I'd have to either shield myself from the expectation of making cheap jokes or shield myself from my own desire to excruciatingly detail every single fucking incident of my fucking boring and pointless life. But you know what? Fuck ALL of you. It's my site. I pay for the bandwidth and the domain name and I pay for all the damages when Furioso lumbers in and breaks the server or my sink. I update the site and coordinate updates. [insert joke about sporadic updating here] If I wanna do more self-indulgent bullshit tangentially related to my life, I'M GONNA DO IT. So. Anyway. Sophie is a CANADIAN series about a woman struggling as a single mother and as a single talent agent. Sounds like every other fucking 'single woman struggles' program in television history, doesn't it? Yes, it does.
The next wave of feminism: portraying women as incompetent losers.
The plot, as shown in the pilot (fuck if I'm gonna watch multiple episodes of this shit), is Sophie, a talent agency head, has her life turn to shit in about 5-10 minutes. Cause, you know, women can never find success at anything! They're little more than dithering fusspots made of neuroses and cooties! Well, the character of Sophie Parker DOES back that assumption up, as she suffers personal tragedy after personal tragedy after personal tragedy, most of which are due to her own idiocy. First, her husbands cheats on her with her best friend/star client, and then leaves her to create a new agency alongside said best friend. This of course drains Sophie's agency of almost all of its clients and staff. To make matters worse, her water breaks when visiting her father's grave! Ha ha ha ha. Hilarity. She acts bitchy some more cries, and then has her baby without any complications. Oh, I'm mistaken. There is one complication: to quote the great Michael Richards, "HE'S A NIGGER!". I have to say, I've not often seen the "black baby" twist employed on TV. Not since the John McCain one, at least. In 22 short minutes (thankfully), Sophie ends without providing a very interesting plot, or characters, or dialogue, or anything.
It says a lot when after the entire running time, I was still confused about whether Sophie belonged to the comedy genre, the drama genre or some mushy middle in between bullshit genre (aka 'dramedy'). For you see, the pilot contained no humor, no drama and certainly no ingenious mixture of the two. Sure, I could see where they intended for there to be jokes, but I could not identify them as jokes as such. I could only recognize the opportunities as esoteric strains of comedy in which the writers/creators/monkeys at typewriters ascribed a joke label to certain lines of dialogue, certain physical actions, certain situations. As for the drama, not even close. At least with the humor I understood they attempted it. The drama ostensibly required us to care about the characters for their situations of importance to have importance. Since I hate each and every one of the characters, this fails.
"Oh my stars and garters, I'm in the role of the gay best friend!"
And what characters they are. In addition to Sophie, the worthless, crying bitch, her soon-to-be-ex-husband and her best friend and her best gay friend all play prominent roles in the pilot. I like the character of the gay man the most (take my use of 'like' with a grain of salt). Despite trying to move away from his friend's stereotypes of what gay man are and what they can do, he actually does have a keen sense for knowing how to decorate a baby's room. He claims the specific color of the room will affect the way the child grows up. How does a gay man know this, even if he's a doctor? I didn't want to make a Victor Salva joke, but here goes: does he know the nitty gritty of baby room decoration because he's raped enough kids to know what's what? Fuckin' baby rapist. Other characters include Sophie's old actress friend (as opposed to her young actress friend), who has a bitchy Asian teenage daughter as well as a penchant for annoying the shit out of me. Asian teenage daughter's annoying too, but with her I can imagine scenes of her as a baby, being thrown in the dumpster by her disappointed Chinese parents.
Let it be said, though, that all of them pale in annoyance when Sophie appears onscreen. If I could jump into my monitor and rape a fictional character to shut her up, I would. Sure, it'd be rape, but I think I could philosophically justify it. Presumably we're to find her quirky, hard luck and loveable. Yet I find her none of those things. Humor of the pathetic is big now, what with The Office America being a critical hit with the morons in America and all. However, for humor of the pathetic to work, one of two things is needed: a) the humor to be funny, or b) the characters to be sympathetic and relatable. Or at the very least tolerable. Larry David may not be 'likeable' in the traditional sense of the word, but I don't want to kill him every second he's on camera in Curb Your Enthusiasm. With Sophie you just wonder how the fuck she was able to run an agency in the first place when she seems unable to accomplish simple tasks such as breathing or walking without mangling them somehow in the process. Presumably you're supposed to feel sympathy for her, yet I took joy in seeing her life turn to shit. She deserves it for being such a shallow, oblivious moron!
A very pregnant woman drives out to the sticks and forgets her cell phone...what a fucking idiot. These people shouldn't be allowed to procreate in the first place!
I should expand on my comments about the humor and give you a few examples of what Sophie alleges exists as examples of comedy. In the hospital scene, the nurse (or someone...I don't care) asked Sophie if she's called the father. She responds: "Every name in the book!". Oh, I get it. I get the joke. She called the father every name in the book, subverting the innocent question the nurse asked! If made for an American audience, that line would have elicited raucous laughter from the laugh track. In another situation, bitter old hag friend of Sophie's tells her Chinese daughter "well, I wish I kept the receipt" in response to daughter saying she bought her in the People's Republic of Cheap Babies. See, I think it'd be funnier if bitter old hag fished Chinese daughter out of the People's Republic landfill. And in the final 'comedic' moment I'm going to highlight, in the pre-credits cold opening Sophie visits a crazy black shaman who predicts her life will become a living hell soon. And they say Canadians don't have problems with race! As you can tell, none of these pieces of dialogue or situations are very funny...or at all funny.
Compared to my Sophie, the Sophie of Sophie does not hold up. It doesn't even come close. The Sophie in Sophie is an annoying, screechy, whiny, crying bitch, whereas mine rarely cries (when she does cry, it's usually out of she and I loving each other so sickeningly much) and when she yells she doesn't sound like an ear-piercing sonic boom. Doom-Sophie doesn't require a dead dad to leave her a business or a douchebag boyfriend to give her an income base (I make ZILCH!). She's studying to become something useful! And most importantly, mine ain't pregnant. I love her and all, but if she was 8 months pregnant like TV Sophie was, I wouldn't leave her for her best friend. No, I'd pull a Mark Ames and do what he did to the cooze he knocked up, which was threaten to kill her and the fetus in an intense, multiple hour session of browbeating her into getting an abortion. If the abortion thing didn't take: stairs. Fuck, I'd push my Sophie down the fucking Escher painting. Since she knows better than to get pregnant and refuse to terminate, such a situation would never occur. And she doesn't really kids anyway. TV one, however, is stupid enough to leave the parasite in for months and then actually give birth to it. IDIOT. Oh, and mine looks a lot more attractive too. She's got bigger tits and is the one goth girl I've met who pulls off an exposed midriff without looking slutty. The TV version can't compare (though she's decently attractive).
Eddie Murphy strikes again!
Sophie also shows the incredibly low standards inherent in Canadian television. Although I've liked a number of Canadian shows, the vast majority suck hard. Why? Low production values, a lack of talented actors (all the good Canadian actors usually go to Hollywood in search of paying jobs), and a lack of good writing (same reason as the lack of talented actors). By virtue of Hollywood turning Canada into mini New Yorks, LAs and Seattles, the need for work for rank and file film and TV production people (lighting, makeup, construction, etc.) by Hollywood productions also means Canadian workers don't really need Canadian productions. But because Canadian networks require a majority of Canadian content, each year Canadians are assaulted with shitty programming solely created to fill a quota. The quota-filling nature of Sophie is especially craven because the show is actually adapted from a French-Canadian program, Les Hauts et les bas de Sophie Paquin. So all they did was recast everything, translate the scripts from French to English and refilmed the episodes! And to think, this crass "adaptation" got created through public funding. I suppose Sophie provides a good counter-argument for public television.
No SARS joke? Shame.
Really, I don't know why anyone would ever want to watch Sophie. Mine is so much better it's not even funny (...neither is Sophie, though). The title character is a bumbling moron who makes Lou Costello look adept at what he does. Maybe I just don't get women-centric sitcom dramas or Canadian sitcom dramas, but I hated every single second of the show. Canadians get the last laugh, though. For once, they get to bedevil us with their crappy programming. This Spring, thanks to the Writers strike, Sophie will reach American airwaves on ABC Family. This must be Canada's revenge for all the shit we send them each year. And all our shitty jokes about Canadian inferiority. I'm sorry, Canada. Your healthcare system is superior and I appreciate your steps toward socialism. Please don't send anything like Sophie ever again, especially since it's just lower-budgeted Desperate Housewives-esque crap. PLEASE!
Fuck Sophie. Besmirching the name of my love. The BASTARDS.