Burn It All Down

Oh, so maybe this is going somewhere. Perhaps Les and all of Westview will be flown to Hollywood at the studio’s expense for the premiere of Lisa’s Story, only to be engulfed in a golf-club-sparked inferno. (For more information on where Batiuk most likely got the idea for this, click here).
Unfortunately for anyone who likes drama and entertainment, that is far far too much excitement for Act III. What will probably happen is Les will cough during the premier because of too much smoke and the movie will fail. Or there will be a Sunday single panel strip of the Hollywood Hills in flames while Les complains over the phone to Cayla about how the air quality in Ohio is so much better.

27 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

27 responses to “Burn It All Down

  1. Again, honestly, this seems more like a cry for help than an episode from a comic strip. Seriously, I mentioned Frank Bolle yesterday and this seems a lot like the last days of Apartment 3G.

    • comicbookharriet

      If we start to go from indoors to outdoors back to indoors again without explanation in a single conversation, I am prepared to call someone on Batiuk’s behalf.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    I really have no idea what’s going on here, but apparently “someone” played some golf the last time he visited ol’ Hollywood and like with the walls and signs, he just couldn’t resist including it in his increasingly nebulous “story”. Why anyone else would care is anyone’s guess.

  3. Count of Tower Grove

    Welcome to the Crazy World of Arthur Brown!

    • J.J. O'Malley

      “I am the god of bad comic strips, and I bring you…”

      • ian'sdrunkenbeard

        Excellent! When I read your posts, the song started playing in my head.
        Countless performers have worn bizarre makeup, but I can’t think of another who had flames shooting out of their hat.

  4. billytheskink

    Odds on what ultimately catches fire:

    1-2 – So many palm trees
    3-2 – Mason and Cindy’s beach house
    3-1 – Just some infrastructure that delays movie production
    5-1 – Mason and Cindy’s new house
    6-1 – Hollywoodland Studios
    8-1 – These golfers
    10-1 – Martin Johns
    15-1 – Marianne
    20-1 – Mason’s nose
    25-1 – The rest of Mason
    30-1 – Cliff Anger and Vera Nash
    35-1 – Durwood, for some reason
    50-1 – Cindy
    75-1 – Marinanne’s Lisa wig
    100-1 – The Brown Derby
    Infinity-1 – Les

  5. William Thompson

    I only see two possible courses here. In one, the fire spreads and destroys the power transmission lines to Hollywood. The studio is blacked out. Without power, the air conditioning goes out and all the film melts in the record summer heat. Because the film is over-budget and there’s no such thing as insurance, the production is cancelled.

    The other possibility is that the fire spreads and threatens to engulf North America. The only way to stop the conflagration is to sacrifice a virgin, so they grab Les and toss him into the flames. (Come on, you can’t even imagine him getting laid, can you? Me neither. And it would explain his lack of paternal feelings about Summer.) The fire ends (See? I told you Les was a virgin!) and Funky gets his strip back.

  6. Epicus Doomus

    Hmmm, I didn’t really consider the fire angle, at first I thought it was a straight up “worm burner” golf gag. But then after reading the comments I looked at the strip again and noticed the sparks, so yeah, maybe there was a point to this one after all, sort of.

    I mean I can totally see a scenario where a golf club-sparked wildfire somehow threatens The Gang in some uneventful way, but on the other hand it seems awfully ambitious and complicated for FW, so I dunno.

    Or maybe we’re all underestimating BatHate and this is the arc where he finally gets his revenge on Hollywood by burning it all to the ground. He’d do it, too. But again, just because he would it doesn’t mean he will, as that’d take a lot of effort by FW standards and be way out of character too.

    • billytheskink

      Just when you think something involving burning and Hollywood couldn’t be worse than Burn Hollywood Burn, TB decides to take on the subject…

      • Jimmy

        I never heard of the film before today, but what really stuck out to me was that it had a budget of $10 million and only grossed less than $60,000. That seems nearly impossible to do.

      • Epicus Doomus

        He’s such a bad writer that even I, someone who reads FW literally every day, had no clue as to what he was going for here. I guess this also means they might not be “studio executives” at all but merely just a few annoying puds playing golf and igniting conflagrations. I sort of assumed they’d be studio executives based on that “budget” punchline from last week, which did kind of read like a segue that was followed by an immediate POV change. But once again his terrible writing failed to compute in my brain and I totally misunderstood and/or overestimated him, again.

        • Y. Knott

          I think that’s one of the reasons why we return to the strip over and over. You can see so many places where a story or idea COULD go. Not all of them are amazing, or even particularly good — but at least they’re potentially mildly interesting. And so you think, “well, surely he’ll go with ONE of these scenarios”.

          But the actual strip is ALWAYS more pointless — and almost always less interesting — than you can possibly have considered. And you think, “Damn! Next time I’ll get it. Next time I will think of something so pointless and stupid that it MUST be what he does.”

          But it won’t be. It can’t be. Because — out of pure instinct as someone who has actual communications skills — you will still be trying to impose at least trace vestiges of narrative and logic and respect for the audience into your scenarios….

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Burn Hollywood Burn is a lot like Funky Winkerbean. It’s self-indulgent and indifferent at the same time. It talks endlessly about things that aren’t important or interesting, yet never bothers to have a plot. You wonder who it was made for, who approved it, and why it exists at all.

    • spacemanspiff85

      I stared at this strip for a long, long, time, wracking my brain trying to come up with something to say about it, before I finally noticed the little wisp of smoke in the second panel. Which means that probably 99.99% of the people who read the strip won’t notice it at all.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Me too. Whatever he’s trying to do here, it couldn’t possibly be less clear. I assumed that the golfers had something to do with the story, but I guess it was just aimless banter for the sake of it.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    Is it possible that TomBa is plotting a way to get past the budget overrun? Maison and Cindy’s Malibu house burns, but the insurance payment covers the overrun and they decide to live in the LA house rather than rebuild their second house in Malibu. (Probably too forgiving of Hollywood for TomBa though.)

    • William Thompson

      But if the movie gets made, that means an end to stories about making the movie. Then Ratiuk will have to find some other way to blather about the Dead Lisa epic.

  8. J.J. O'Malley

    “Well, here goes nothing again!”

    It may have taken nearly half a century, but at least Battyuk now has a motto for his comic strip universe.

  9. Barnaby Scones

    Well, add “golf-induced fire” to the never-ending list of things that are out to destroy Les.

  10. Paul Jones

    This reminds me of when he tried to blame the big blackout of 1993 on Crankshaft backing into something. It wasn’t funny then and it isn’t funny now.

  11. Hitorque

    Did we really have to waste four days on random golfers? Wildfires happen in Cali all the time for an infinite number of dumb reasons so it easily could have happened off-panel with nothing lost…

    So how does this affect the storyline? No wildfire is getting all the way into Studio City, and neither of Masone’s lavish homes are in any danger… Does Cindye go out to cover it and get trapped waiting for heroic rescue from Masone or Les? (and for the record, Mark Trail already did the “lost and injured girl surrounded by a raging forest fire” plot like 3 years ago)… Will the smoke postpone filming? Will Masone+Cindye open up their lavish homes for people who lost everything in the fire? Will Marianne do something really stupid and die slowly from smoke inhalation? Will something else possibly interesting happen?

    Hell naw, this will just be the “official excuse” to move the movie shoot to Westview, since we all knew it was headed there sooner or later. Watch it be Les’ idea too, so Masone/Marianne/Marty can waste another week complimenting his brilliance…

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I can see that happening. Unfortunately.

    • Jimmy

      Hell naw, this will just be the “official excuse” to move the movie shoot to Westview, since we all knew it was headed there sooner or later. Watch it be Les’ idea too, so Masone/Marianne/Marty can waste another week complimenting his brilliance…

      Please no. This makes sense in the Batiukaverse, complete with the premiere at the Valentine. I can’t wait to see them move the Oscars to the Westview gazebo for Les’ crowning.

    • comicbookharriet

      I guess the bigger question is, why wasn’t this being shot on location in Westview to begin with? Rather than shooting exterior shots inside a sound stage just so you don’t have to photoshop out palm trees.

      • Hitorque

        Because Hollywood or something…

        The bigger question is why Les, who has the ear of Hollywood execs for the only time in his life didn’t gently suggest if not outright insist that the bulk of the movie be shot in his old hometown… It’s just funny because all those months he droned on about “protecting” the saintly image of his wife and being pinpoint accurate to the original story turned out to be 100% bullshit…

        But knowing Les, the only reason why he didn’t suggest it was because he knows all the other legacy characters will want cameo roles or cushy do-nothing jobs on the set and want to give Masone their two cents about Lisa’s life and we can’t have that BECAUSE LISA’S STORY BELONGS TO *LES* AND LES ONLY, DAMNIT!!

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    If this is really about a fire, it could have been one panel. One drawing of a fire starting, and the text box “meanwhile, in Malibu.” That’s all the story needs. We don’t to know who started it or why, and we certainly don’t need a week of golf dialog among them.