Til Death Do Us Blart: 2019
November 28, 2019 6:02 AM - Subscribe

It's American Thanksgiving once more and so the grim task of forcing Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 into their eyeballs and ears. This year features some bold new approaches to consuming the movie and, if we're being honest, some mistakes were made...

Current hosts: Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy, Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery
Music: "Bottom of the River" by Delta Rae
posted by EndsOfInvention (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Merry Blartsmas! Finished up my annual re-listen this morning, perfectly timed for the new content.

Reposting from last year:
2015: This film sucks (Travis: I made a list of the 11 times I laughed).
2016: I remember this film being OK? No, this film SUCKS. Our partners refused to watch it with us. (Travis: I made a list of the 13 times I laughed).
2017: This film is actually pretty funny, also it syncs up with Dark Side Of The Moon (Travis: I made a list of the times Justin laughed).
2018: **Existential despair**  
2019: HOW is this film is SO BA- wait, I think we've talked about this before. (Tim: I can only get through this film using hallucinogens).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:49 AM on November 28 [1 favorite]


My kids enjoyed it. But then, they think Big Momma's House is the pinnacle of comedy.
posted by pipeski at 8:55 AM on November 28 [1 favorite]


They were flippant about it in years past but this time around the brothers were really feeling the weight of their obligation. It was amusing to hear Tim and Guy shoot them down with "yeah wait until year 15 or 20"

Travis trying to bring Blart 1 into the discussion and everyone (mostly Justin) absolutely hating every moment of it was good too.

I'm glad they skipped the recap this time around. Five years in the last thing I want is for them to explain the plot again.

I was surprised to learn the movie came out in April of 2015, only months before the first episode. The way the show is paced it seems incredible that so little time passed between the premier and the first show.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:33 AM on November 28 [1 favorite]


I haven't finished the episode yet but the gravitas of opening with Delta Rae's Bottom of the River had me in stitches immediately
posted by WidgetAlley at 2:00 PM on November 28 [2 favorites]


They were flippant about it in years past but this time around the brothers were really feeling the weight of their obligation.

Yeah they were really sounding tired of the film this year. I'm honestly not sure they'll keep it going for much longer. Maybe in 2024 they'll announce there's no point in going on because they've run out of material but they're going to start watching Paul Blart Mall Cop 3: Always Bet On Blart instead.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:06 PM on November 28


Honestly I have never entertained the notion that they would stop, at least not any time soon. Like they said in the show, 5 years of watching Paul Blart is nothing. Ten episodes? Twenty? Maybe then they can say it's enough, but quitting now is just letting Blart win.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:15 PM on November 28 [2 favorites]


Justin's exasperation in particular this year had me rolling. I was also deeply entertained by newcomer Rachel's surprise that Paul Giamatti wasn't actually in the film, hidden under numerous prosthetics
posted by rather be jorting at 3:18 PM on November 28


I wonder if Justin's exasperation is partially related to how much touring the bros did this year.
posted by drezdn at 6:24 PM on November 28


Probably! They really amped up the touring schedule this year (which was great for me and other people who didn't have the chance to attend a McElroy live show before, but understandably exhausting).

Some other things I liked about this year's ep:

- Justin's later bit about how all their online deathblart-related accounts had predeceased the actual podcast

- Griffin's disappointment re: Rachel's lack of reaction to the banana-eating scene, and the reporting of Rachel's observations in general. If they can expand the panel beyond the original five (and if she'd be ok with rewatching PB2 for the pod), she'd be a great guest for next year.
posted by rather be jorting at 8:01 PM on November 28


I'm listening to this & wishing I had watched it again because I hate listening to podcasts where they're talking about something I don't know about or don't remember (because like when they're all laughing about something that happened I can't laugh too if I don't know what they're talking about) and yet I know I can just pause the podcast and watch the movie again and yet I absolutely am not going to do that. What a dilemma.
posted by bleep at 10:50 PM on November 28 [2 favorites]


I wonder how many people have watched PBMC2 solely because of the podcast.
posted by ardgedee at 12:39 PM on November 29


bleep, I totally get you. Sometimes you just want to Know. (Or refresh your memory, as you mentioned, having already once Known.) Personally, however, I think one watch of PBMC2 should suffice for most eyeballs - you'll be fine not remembering the full context of scenes such as the ice cream dripping, or the Robocop line, or why Widdershins was greeted with universal disdain by the panel, and so forth.

> I wonder how many people have watched PBMC2 solely because of the podcast.

it me
posted by rather be jorting at 12:59 PM on November 29 [1 favorite]


I think I'm in the minority on this apparently some people never watch it at all? I just don't understand being made to laugh just because some people are laughing even if you have no idea what they're laughing about.
posted by bleep at 1:14 PM on November 29


tbh this episode was the first one that felt genuinely dismal, the McElroys finally getting a sense of the scale of their commitment. And I don't think they actually begrudge having to spend three hours a year watching and then discussing a bad movie, I think it's the dread of having to be compulsorily entertaining on a topic they've exhausted and dislike that's wearing them down. I don't think they were really displaying existential despair in 2018 as much as anticipating the eventuality; this is the year they genuinely began putting their coping mechanisms on display.

For the most part it wasn't actually that fun to listen to, but the meta-ness of their awareness of however bad it is this year, they're committed to doing it again next year, and the year after that, an utterly pointless and stupid thing they don't like or want to do, which will not improve the world by either its presence or absence, that's making this perversely fascinating.
posted by ardgedee at 1:17 PM on November 29 [1 favorite]


I kind of hope the McElroys read something like the blog where the guy watch Julie and Julia everyday for a year for inspiration on how to handle it as the years go on.
posted by drezdn at 3:35 PM on November 29


In ten or twenty years, some sociology or media studies grad student is going to write a dissertation in which they dissect how the reactions to PBMC2 in each episode of Death Blart reflects the general zeitgeist related to US politics.

2015? Strange giddy hopefulness.
2016? Confusion, dismay, horror.
2017? Just giving in to the absurdity, letting giddiness take over existential dread.
2018? *Existential despair*, yes.
2019? Exhaustion, just absolute exhaustion.
posted by meese at 3:47 PM on November 29 [6 favorites]


That's interesting about the episode coming across as openly dismal, b/c I think I had the opposite reaction - entertained, also exhausted (especially around this time of year), so probably my entertainment came from a place of recognition. Game recognize game, exhaustion recognize exhaustion...

> I just don't understand being made to laugh just because some people are laughing even if you have no idea what they're laughing about.

I don't really get the "being made to laugh" part of this, but if you need someone to say it's ok if you're not finding this as funny as other people are, it's ok! I haven't liked everything the brothers have done in equal amounts by a long shot, and will gladly say there's no need to feel obliged to find something funny just because other people are talking about finding it funny.

For the PBMC2 pod in particular though, the commentary itself entertains me, but I'm also the kind of person who used to listen to hours of Mark Kermode's film reviews just to hear his perspective on the movies. It's not so much getting the joke or thinking the things he finds funny because I saw the things he's laughing about, but finding the criticism itself entertaining in its own right - the way he phrases things, the specific objections and observations he brings up, etc. It's the kind of entertainment I get from listening to the brothers talk about pretty much anything, and a bright spot in a dark season.

Anyway! I think it's normal for them to openly discuss how such an everlasting podcast cannot, realistically, be everlasting, nor tenable. I like meese's speculation about a future research paper mapping out the correlation between the pod's tenor and the corresponding year in U.S. politics. Wonder what 2020's going to be like...
posted by rather be jorting at 6:06 PM on November 29


In one previous episode Griffin suggested that he'd run PBMC2 as an RPG like the Film ReRoll podcast, with all of the other hosts playing different characters and whoever plays Blart being killed. I'd really like to hear that episode.
posted by fomhar at 6:34 PM on November 29 [1 favorite]


I do genuinely believe any feeling that they're running out of material has more to do with a lack of imagination than anything else. There's no reason the podcast has to just be them complaining about how much PBMC2 sucks after watching it once a year. It can be about them making new, better art after watching it once a year.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:07 PM on November 29


Metafilter: an utterly pointless and stupid thing they don't like or want to do, which will not improve the world by either its presence or absence.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:06 PM on November 29


They've had some twists on watching it previously - "synched with Dark Side Of The Moon" and "in VR on acid" - I'm guessing/hoping they'll bring out more things like this to provide new material to talk about.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:55 AM on November 30


I was hoping for more anecdotes about the acid trip but regardless I'm 100% behind this type of colouring outside the lines.

Definitely a more low key, exasperated episode which, as others have noted, feels appropriate for 2019.

Some years you eat the Blart and some years the Blart eats you.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:16 AM on November 30 [1 favorite]


In a recent episode of Beef and Dairy Network the show was discovered to be in dire financial straits so half of the run time was fake ads, including a podcast called "Jumanj-anics," where the hosts watched and talked about the movie for hours every day for years. So maybe it could be worse?

Also maybe next year they should stand, bring some of that big Standing Energy to the show.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:04 PM on November 30 [2 favorites]


I think I'm in the minority on this apparently some people never watch it at all?

I haven't and won't, although I have watched the banana scene and will likely eventually watch the bird scene.
posted by maxsparber at 7:42 AM on December 1 [2 favorites]


I've watched the banana scene and the Dark Side Of The Moon compilation someone made. There are a couple of other scenes I'd like to see out of curiosity.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:30 PM on December 1


> I wonder how many people have watched PBMC2 solely because of the podcast.

I watched PBMC1 by accident with my spouse, sister, and brother-in-law the other day solely because of this podcast.

It was unsurprisingly very bad, but easy enough to heckle.
posted by sciatrix at 2:16 PM on December 1


>I think I'm in the minority on this apparently some people never watch it at all? I just don't understand being made to laugh just because some people are laughing even if you have no idea what they're laughing about.

I haven't watched it and am unlikely to, but I read a lot of Fanfare threads of movies and shows I'm not interested in watching so it's business as usual to me. Without having seen it, it's all nonsensical enough to make TDDUB a near second to The Empty Bowl on my short list of McElroy Products To Fall Asleep To. I do think it's time for them to look beyond just reviewing the movie though. Deep IMDB dives, Blart RPGs, not being allowed to use some overused words, making movie-inspired recipes, guest hosts, deeper and wider tangents.
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:16 PM on December 1


I definitely, definitely remember Justin saying he'd watched PB1 in a previous episode, but in this one he acted as if he'd never seen it. Did he manage to forget?
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:58 PM on December 4 [1 favorite]


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