This summer marks the 15th Anniversary of the release of “Mystery Men,” a movie based on Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrot comics, and one which gets less respect than Rodney Dangerfield at Venice Beach.  “At least it’s better than *Mystery Men*”, goes the refrain of certain wags at my comic shop, leaving me to wonder what the problem is.  Admittedly, the film has its flaws (it willfully provides employment for Dane Cook, for one), but “weird” is not the same as bad.  I have a similar problem with a friend’s assessment of “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan”: She denounces it solely on the basis of ‘Mister Rourke’s fake chest’, in defiance of the film’s tense and skillful drama (and documented proof that Ricardo Montalban wasn’t augmented.  My rage fueled-flailing, in turn, begs today’s query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is NOT talking about appreciating a work that is obviously terrible, i.e. Ed Wood movies or Frank Miller post-1990, asking: What bit of pop culture do you least understand people calling “bad”?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. It just boggles my mind that some people seem to be personally offended that someone pays $10 to $15 a month or so on an online game subscription, or similarly spending a little bit on a fluff/vanity micro-transaction. For that same cost, I would only get a fraction of the amount of time of entertainment from renting or going to see a movie. You’d think these people were being forced to play the games at gunpoint by how personally they take it.

  2. The Scott Pilgrim movie. Yeah, the movie had its flaws but I don’t see how people couldn’t like the utter goofy ridiculousness of it all. Comic fans tend to rage against the discrepancies with the books and the non-comic fans tend to just not get it.

  3. I have a friend that says Doctor Who Infuriates him. Which confuses me, I mean I can understand not liking it. But for him to say that it infuriates him confuses me to no end.
    As to why it rubs him so badly, is apparently because he the science in it makes no sense. Yet he watches a plethora of other Sci-fi shows that have just as bad science and worse in them so.. yeah.

    • That has to be the dumbest reason to hate a sci-fi series. It is Science FICTION, after all.

      I honestly don’t mind if someone hates a show because of the writing, the actors, the effects and so on, but to hate a sci-fi show because the science isn’t realistic or such seems ridiculous.

  4. Hannah Jones on

    At one time or another, literally EVERYTHING I like has been called bad by someone. Sometimes they’re not wrong, I’ll gladly admit to liking many terrible movies and tv shows.

    But among the things people have told me are actually terrible but I know are good.:
    Firefly, I’m always surprised about that one and the reasoning is always the same “It’s not Star Trek,” I know that, and I don’t care.
    Doctor Who: Mainly by people who can’t be satisfied with “Wibly wobly timey wimey, you should probably just relax,” which is understandable, but I don’t need you to go on a tirade about something I’m so very fond of.
    Guitar Hero: “Why wouldn’t you just learn guitar?” This is the mainly by guitar players, and I understand why it bothers them, really I do… but you don’t have to rag on it all the time just because you possess a skill that many will never have(and don’t particularly want).

    I could do about a million more, from The Beatles to Comics to Wargaming.

    TL;DR: I hate it when people rag on something just because it’s not “Their Thing,” Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it sucks and I’ll thank you not to bother me about it.

    • Hannah Jones on

      Shoot! I totally forgot about Kickstarter. I’ve gotten in shouting matches with people who don’t understand it’s basically just pre-ordering and not a “No Return Investment.” Gha! Giant squid of anger!

  5. dungeons & dragons. Even Role playing gamers like to heap scorn upon the old girl. D&D is a fantastic gateway drug to the amazing world of imagination. Yes it’s mechanics are simpler than Rifts but it has such a great basic engine that still purrs wonderfully under the hood after 40 years of hard play. It is a classic and vintage doorway to adventure.

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