Marianne does NOT look like someone who is willing to give away her Oscar in the first today’s strip. No, she’s looking at that Oscar the way most characters in this strip look at comic books.
The rest of this is as rote and pat as an Oscar acceptance speech can be, so let’s have some fun with another crowd shot of “famous” faces. Help me fill in the blanks and fix the mistakes where my corrective lenses deceived me.
- A replicant
- NO NECK JOE!
- Alana Haim deserves better seats than this
- Stanley Tucci on a ski trip
- David Duchovny’s face
- HAL 9000 putting on its best gold
- Debra Jo Rupp
- General U.S. Grant again
- A cumulonimbus cloud
- I don’t know, but her body language is appropriate
- David Duchovny’s hair
- Cousin It
- Beldar Conehead
- Hogarth Hughes
- Maria, from Sesame Street
- Cassidy’s sister, Alexus Kerr (see, I can do it too, TB)
- Yoko Ono
- Harold Lloyd (I mean, if Phil Holt is alive…)
- The Chinless Contessa
- Given her glare I’m guessing this is either Gretchen Gold or Cordelia Rama
- Burt Reynolds (again… Phil Holt)
- Jennifer Anniston’s hair
- Sid, from accounting
- We have General Grant, so why not Robert E. Lee too?
24 responses to “Clap on! Clap off!”
Don’t forget the first panel of Marianne Winner herself:
0: Clara Bow’s lips. Or maybe it’s Betty Boop.
1. Who gives a shit about audiences over in Red China?
2. So she went from “Screw the academy for not giving us more nominations!” to “Screw the distributors, the backers, you mouth breathers who didn’t buy a ticket and anyone else who can’t recognize true art!!” Classy…
3. Yeah Marianne, this is why you have to write a proper acceptance speech in advance even if you don’t think you’ll win… Because this is a disaster.
3a. And yes, this is totally a “music starts playing, thank you please shut the fuck up and take your seat” smattering of courtesy applause…
“Bank in China” crucial to the story for one very important reason: it happened to Les.
Just a few minutes ago, Marianne was unprepared, stunned and awe-stricken, but now she’s thanking producers and throwing around “insider” showbiz lingo like a weathered old pro. She’s not just an inconsistent character, she’s an impossible character, as no human being could possibly possess this mix of character traits. And the crowd, which should be confused, uncomfortable and silent, LOVES it. Go figure.
“Lisa’s Story may not have banked in China”… why does Marianne even know about that? Why does even matter? Mason and Les went to that meeting. And it was one of several failed pitch meetings before connecting with Pink Entertainment. Rejection is a pretty common thing in Hollywood; it’s not even worth bringing up here.
But Tom Batiuk assumes everyone else in the world is as thin-skinned and endlessly bitter as he is, so here we are.
As recently as a few weeks ago Marianne was home with her mom, doing needlepoint or something equally wholesome, blissfully unaware that “Lisa’s Story” had become a minor streaming hit. Now today, she’s cracking jokes about the foreign box office numbers, like a grizzled cynical showbiz veteran. How can it be both?
Don’t read too much into that. “Banked” is something Batty heard somewhere and so he threw it in as he thinks it makes her sound authentic.
But she didn’t just say “banked.” She said “banked in China”, an echo of something very specific from earlier in the story. When writers do that, readers expect it to mean something. Batiuk is always giving impressions he doesn’t mean to, because of his complete ignorance of basic writing tropes.
Not good at reading the room? I guess not, since she still has no clue that her hero Les hated her guts and wanted nothing to do with her. And told this to everyone in earshot. And visibly pouted at her every time she was around.
Marianne is greeted by shark eyes when she trots out the “banked in China” line. But the crowd erupts in applause when she admits that she can’t read a room. Whatever, this marks the end of this rotten thing, right?
So what’s next: More Harry Dinkhole or the Kwazy Komix guys?
As for the Faces Challenge:
#18 Woody Allen
#2 Ann Coulter
#9 Farrah Fawcett-Majors
I must have drunk too much wine while making dinner. I don’t understand the last four panels either.
Does anybody speak Batiukese? Help us, please?
Is the crowd applauding because they agree she doesn’t know ‘how to read a room’?
Why is no one pelting Marianne with vegetables yet?
No, it’s not you. The last four panels make no sense whatsoever.
Perhaps if you drink more wine…..
This would have been my comment as well. I don’t know how I’m supposed to parse this strip. Are they applauding in agreement? Are they applauding to get her to shut up? This is prime CIDU material.
Does anybody speak Batiukese?
I don’t think anyone anywhere does.
I’m not really sure what he was going for here either. I assume she’s supposed to have won over the crowd of elite Hollywood scumbags with her homespun charm and blinding humility, as it’s something they rarely get to experience out there in Beelzebubville, what with all the scumbags and all. I mean, it’s not a joke, so they can’t be applauding that and really, what else is there?
Her “homespun charm and blinding humility” after she just insulted the whole room, bashed the Academy, and made tasteless jokes.
This comic strip has no theory of mind. It can’t imagine anything except how appease Les and Dinkle. The “bank in China” comment makes no sense for Marianne to say, or for anyone in the room to understand. But they all just clap like trained seals as if they were all in that pitch meeting, and are all just thin-skinned and bitter as Tom Batiuk is, over an irrelevant story point.
Yes, but since she didn’t get any “ points on the backend”, soon she will be eating from vendos while on board a tramp steamer bound for Liverpool laden with sportos traveling to see a soccer game.
Lisa would have liked that.
ANN COULTER WAS THERE?
Ah, Marianne, you poor, sweet, unworldly waif! You still aren’t good at reading a room. “Lisa’s Story: The Movie” has indeed banked in China. In fact, it’s currently number one in PRC theatres thanks to some judicious editing, a lot of new subtitles, and its rebranding as the comic romp “High-Strung American Lawyer Lady Comes Down with Fatal Case of COVID-19 from U.S. Lab–Where Virus Was Created to Attack Glorious Workers’ Paradise of China–and Whiny Teacher Boyfriend Helps Pick Out Park Bench Where Her Ashes Will Be Scattered.” It’s the feel-good hit of the post-pandemic box office and the Beijing Bugle gave it a top rating of Five Chairman Maos!
Still dreading finding out where in the coming week(s) the Smug Cayla face in the banner will rise up.
It’s also used as part of the welcoming ceremony at top universities.
This strip ignores Jimmy Dugan’s advice.
He was so close.
Panels three through five would have actually worked as a standalone strip, and would have been better for it. She says something weird and irrelevant, people respond as actual humans would to that statement (i.e., confused silence), and she apologizes for her faux pas. End. Done. It would have not been particularly humorous and a bit too self-effacing, but it would have worked well enough to actually be among the best strips that he’s written in the past year, by virtue of it not being so incomprehensibly bad.
But, no. Instead we get this, which implies that she was expecting some kind of response from the crowd after taking what could be the apex of her career and life to passive aggressively complain about something else. Then she apologizes, then a response comes. It has been answered elsewhere here, but I think it bears repeating to ask again – what is the applause in response to? That it didn’t bank in China? That she can’t read a room? That her speech should be over? What, exactly, within the context of the strip and the rest of the week, does that last panel even mean?
“But it banked in here…”
CauCayla says “The Playground is open!!💓”