6 Sep

Have you ever noticed that pop culture is a copycat entity? If there is a popular game show that offers a million dollar prize, then other shows are created that offer million dollar prizes. If there is a show about crime scene investigators, then there are other shows where DNA is the secret to solving crimes. This is something that has happened in pop culture since there has been pop culture.

However, there is another phenomenon out there. On that occasion when the stars are aligned correctly, two people will have the same idea at the exact same time. This doesn’t create copycats. It creates poppelgangers, pop cultural twins, that appear and, at times, disappear simultaneously. Like doppelgangers, there is a good one and an evil one. I will list five and distinguish the good from the evil. If you can think of any let me know.

The Addams Family and The Munsters

The family that preys together stays together.

Description: A family of monsters lives in a mansion and faces daily hijinks that the audience is supposed to laugh at.

Good Twin: The Munsters – Based on classic movie monsters, this show had some truly funny episodes. On top of that, they had a cool car and a cool, guitar-driven theme song. Plus, there was Herman’s forehead and the lovely Yvonne De Carlo, one of the hottest actresses who ever graced the screen.

Evil Twin: The Addams Family – First, it was based on some kind of comic instead of literary characters. Second, the characters were too weird and gave me a headache each time I watched it. I give it props for having a memorable theme song and having Carolyn Jones all tangled up in goth. I have a thing for goth, but it’s not enough.

Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie

In a magical showdown, they used the “turn your enemy into a doll” trick simultaneously.

Description: A hot blonde with magical powers gets her man in trouble on a weekly basis with those magical powers.

Good Twin: This is a difficult one, but I am going with I Dream of Jeannie. Barbara Eden’s outfit was very revealing and her pillow-filled living space looked like a good place to….rest. Larry Hagman played her master, which prepared him for role of power-broker J.R. Ewing in Dallas. The show was also propaganda for the space program. USA! USA!

Evil Twin: It pains me to say it, but it has to be Bewitched. Derwood, Dagwood, Darren. Whatever his name was, he was played by two actors. That’ll mess up a show every time. Elizabeth Montgomery was awesome, but I would have liked to seen more of her. One of those witchy Halloween costumes would have helped. However, what truly made this evil was the inclusion of Agnes Morehead, her mother, and Paul Lynde.

Tombstone and Wyatt Earp

Don’t shoot the messenger, but you have some food stuck in your moustache.

Description: Wyatt Earp gets everyone shot at the OK Corral except for himself. Afterwards, he goes on a vengeful campaign to kill the people who killed his brother.

Good Twin: This is another tough decision because I like both. However, Tombstone is the good twin. Why? Val Kilmer is an awesome Doc Holliday, and he utters cool line after cool line. In addition, I believe this movie shows a more accurate portrayal of the gunfight. The historian in me had to say that.

Evil Twin: While Val Kilmer makes a better Doc Holliday, Kevin Costner makes a better Wyatt Earp. That should put this movie in the “good” category, but there just isn’t enough there. One more thing, it’s too long. The foreshadow scene at the beginning and the flashback scene at the end could have been done away with.

The Matrix and The Thirteenth Floor

Everyone has seen The Matrix poster, so here is The Thirteenth Floor poster. Pretty cool, huh?

Description: A computer expert discovers that his world is actually a computer program.

Good Twin: The Thirteenth Floor. Never heard of it? That’s because The Matrix explosion obliterated it. But, I don’t care about that. The Thirteenth Floor has three levels of “reality”. There is the one that the computer guy lives in. There is the one he travels into. Then, there is future Los Angeles that he ends up in. It also has Gretchen Mol, and you can’t go wrong with that.

Evil Twin: The Matrix. First, Keanu Reeves is the savior of mankind. I don’t feel good about our prospects in that scenario. Sure, Laurence Fishburne makes things cool, but wouldn’t you have rather seen Samuel L. Jackson in that role. “AGENT SMITH! I’M GOING TO FUCK YOU UP!”

The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family

Please, just don’t sing.

Description: A family full of kids that wear primary-colored clothes get into crazy situations and sometimes sing.

Good Twin: This is an easy one because The Brady Bunch was awesome. Marcia was so much of a knockout that she got Joe Namath and Davey Jones to come to the house. The other kids were a little whiny, but the relationship between Alice and Sam the Butcher made up for that. Behind the scenes, the oldest son was making a play for the mom. How can you beat a story like that? Enquiring minds want to know.

Evil Twin: The Partridge Family was another show that gave me a headache. That red-headed kid was a disaster, and Shirley Jones could not hold a candle to Florence Henderson. The manager was kind of creepy. The one daughter was cool, but the entire show would have been a lot better if they didn’t sing so much. Oh yeah, the bus was ok if you were going to Woodstock.

6 Responses to “Poppelgangers”

  1. javaj240 September 6, 2012 at 04:30 #

    Agreed about Wyatt Earp and Tombstone, for the exact reasons you enumerate (particularly the authenticity of the gunfight scene— the historian in me has to say it ,too). The only other argument for Wyatt Earp is the presence of Sam Elliott (still yummy… Even all these years after Lifeguard). Of course, if either of them is on, I WILL watch, but I will pretty much watch any Western, with the exception of Unforgiven, which I just never cottoned to; I love them. I read your post about Sci-Fi movies just being Westerns in space. I have been making this same argument for years! Serenity was a great show because it was an excellent combination of the two genres, plus it starred Nathan Fillion (can’t go wrong there) and the guy from Barney Miller! I lament it’s loss.

    It’s funny that you blogged about Bewitched today also. What are the odds? Bloggerganging? Nah, sounds kind of dirty, LOL!

    I loved the one about The Andy Griffith Show. Other than I Love Lucy, that’s my favorite classic sitcom! I am so jealous of your Mayberry replica!

    I am so enjoying your blog!

    Thanks for writing,
    Aunt Clara

    • surroundedbyimbeciles September 6, 2012 at 12:50 #

      Bloggerganging? Sounds interesting. Ha. Nothing wrong with a dirty word occasionally. When I read your post, I thought, “That’s weird. We both referenced Bewitched.” Great minds run together.

      I don’t like Unforgiven, either. Clint Eastwood has made so many westerns better than that one. Way too slow.

      I don’t understand why more people don’t see the correlation between sci-fi and westerns. Obviously, they just don’t understand.

      I am glad that you are enjoying my blog. Nothing like positive reinforcement. I only hope that I can keep it as entertaining as yours.

      From the Fishing Hole,
      Andrew Jackson Taylor

  2. paintlater September 6, 2012 at 13:20 #

    I think I’m an evil fan except Tombstone – its one of my all time faves. Cheers

    • surroundedbyimbeciles September 6, 2012 at 14:08 #

      Evil fan? You have gone over to the pop cultural dark side.

  3. Smaktakula September 6, 2012 at 16:01 #

    After I read the title and first sentence of your post I immediately thought of “Tombstone/Wyatt Earp.” WE was such a victim of bad timing. I haven’t seen all of it, but from what I have seen, it paints a more historically accurate (that is to say, morally ambiguous) portrait of Wyatt Earp than does Tombstone. Also, you have to hand it to Dennis Quaid, who lost 40 pounds to play the tubercular gunslinger.

    I really enjoyed “Tombstone,” particularly Kilmer’s performance. It doesn’t exactly do history justice in that it manages to make a couple shady characters rather cuddly, but I LOVE the story of friendship.

    “I got lots a friends.”
    “I don’t.”

    • surroundedbyimbeciles September 6, 2012 at 16:33 #

      I had a hard time with that one because I really like Wyatt Earp. Kevin Costner plays a better western character than Kurt Russell. It seemed less cartoonish as well.

      But, I had to go with Tombstone because of Val Kilmer, memorable lines and, one that I forgot to mention, Sam Elliott. His presence makes any western better.

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