avclub.com – Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d like us and the readers to answer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s question comes in honor of Thanksgiving:
What’s your pop-culture comfort food?
There’s nothing easy or obviously comforting about Spelunky. Derek Yu’s influential game has a perilously steep difficulty curve and reassembles itself every time you start another run at its Indiana Jones-inspired adventure, which would seem to automatically disqualify it as “comfort food” material. And yet, it’s the closest thing I have to a constantly revisited piece of stress-relieving pop culture. I’ve wrung just about every achievement out of it that I plausibly can, so now when I play, despite the game never being “easy” or 100-percent familiar, there’s no real pressure to achieve anything. I play it to go through the motions (literally and figuratively), unconsciously putting hundreds of hours of learning to use. Sometimes it just feels good to cast everything else aside, zone out for a little while, and let instinct take over—even if that state usually comes crashing to a halt when some stupid, unforeseeable chain reaction sends me flying to my doom.
I’m probably stealing a few people’s answer with this obvious choice: The Simpsons. Starting in 1995, I recorded new episodes and reruns on VHS tapes, a tradition that lasted roughly five years and close to 30 videotapes. I practically watched them on a loop, because there were a lot fewer options with TV and cable in those days. I have since ditched the tapes and collected every available season on DVD, but those discs haven’t seen as much action as my old VHS tapes. I’m less likely now to throw on a show while I do something else or revisit something because I have a giant list of shows and movies I still need to watch. But The Simpsons, particularly the seasons that spanned the ’90s and early part of the ’00s, will always be my go-to when I’m looking for something familiar and satisfying.
When my DVR fills up with heady films and entire seasons of prestige TV, but my brain is too tired for all those, I turn to something that might not seem like an easy path to brain disengagement: Jeopardy! The age-old game show is the very definition of comforting for me, though: It’s completely predictable, frequently funny, and, on the best days, it can make me feel incredibly smart. And you can down an entire episode in about 16 minutes if you skip the intros, commercials, and awkward Trebek conversations. Just give me the meat: answers and questions. The only thing that doesn’t feel comfortable about it for me at the moment is that I’m literally 100 episodes behind, so I’ll never catch up, and the DVR will get more and more full. Goodbye Big Little Lies, hello another dozen episodes of Trebek and friends.
Great question, I would have to go with anything on Viceland , just turn the channel on and drop the remote… shit is hypnotizing…
So whats yours?