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.
In today’s strip, Marianne is coming off as not simply composed but rehearsed, belying the nerves and words she had just a few days ago. Or maybe Marianne is just that good of an actress and really is worthy of that Oscar… I have to admit, only a great actress could say that Mason and Lisa’s Story deserve Academy Award nominations without breaking out in riotous laughter.
Let’s look at some odds on who this Oscar-worthy “very special person” is:
Uh, points for brevity, I guess, though in this case it is most certainly not the soul of wit… or any other word positively associated with writing. In the absence of anticipation as to whether or not Marianne will win the little golden man statuette, we have the ridiculousness of professional actress Marianne (and no stranger to public speaking and media attention) not having any remarks prepared despite having an apparent one-in-three chance of winning. This is compounded by the ridiculousness of her asking advice on accepting an award from a guy whose work outside of Lisa’s Story and Starbuck Jones consisted of Dino Deer, My Dog Pookie, and being incredibly nervous about simply doing a table read (!!!) for the unfinished masterpiece that was Lust For Lisa.
Today’s strip begs the classic 5 Ws (and an H) of writing. It also begins the Oscars story Variety promised last month. Yeah, I thought that maybe if I buried the lede it would stay in the ground, but alas.
Who is Mason talking to on the left? Wait, he calls her Marianne… that’s supposed to be Marianne Winters? The lady with the pentagon head and the pigtail-bun hairstyle my niece insisted on wearing when she was a toddler is Marianne Winters?
What is with TB’s willingness to use Hulu and HBO’s trademarked names but still insist on sticking to the eyeroll-inducing “Netbusters”?
When does TB think the Academy Awards ceremony takes place? We’re three weeks out from this year’s Oscars broadcast… Does that mean? Oh no, please no. I really hope TB just got the dates wrong.
Where is the “chateau” where this “real party” is happening? Chateau Marmont? Haha, really? I guess if you don’t know… then you don’t know. I’m in no hurry to find out, either.
Why are Cliff Anger and Vera Nash here? Neither one was involved in the Lisa’s Story movie at all… well, other than inexplicably being at the film’s wrap party.
How is this story going to end? Insufferably, no doubt. I don’t think any other outcome is possible.
Nice of Mason to let Les know that their film project has drawn an Oscar nom for its leading lady. And kinda nervy of Cayla to denigrate “Lisa’s Story: The Movie” in front of Les. And speaking of nomineeds, a note to our Comic Book Harriet: we already have our first candidate for Most Punchable Les face in panel 3.
The waiter has fetched the…uh, red champagne, and the discussion turns to the rest of the Best Actress field. Which for some reason consists of only two other actresses, when IRL there are five Best Actress nominees. We should be grateful that Batiuk’s given the pair names which are actually plausible sounding, and not jokey or punny (before I wrote that, I had to say “Cordelia Rama” out loud, ten times fast, to be sure).
Is Mason being coy when he claims to “forget” who the other nominees are? Also, someone please come up with a tag we can use where, in the last panel, one character delivers the punchline, and another character chimes in with a gratuitous rejoinder (never mind, I just came up with a tag!) that adds nothing to the joke. In this case it’s Mason’s “Nope!” Unless he’s grown tired of Marianne’s mesh mask meanderings, and instead is excited about the upcoming horror flick from Jordan Peele.
J.J. O’Malley February 20, 2022 at 10:54 pm
[A]t what point in this week’s proceedings will the paparazzi show up at the restaurant to snaps photos of Ms. Winters and Mr. Jarre canoodling in their private booth, with the resultant publicity throwing Cindy into a violent, shoe-throwing fit of jealousy and sending Marianne on a nighttime visit to the Hollywood sign for a cord-free bungee jump?
This friendly luncheon between the two costars does seem to be taking a decidedly datelike turn: Mason’s arm is now around or at least behind Marianne, and he orders another “calamaro” and some champagne. Wonder what they bring you at Musso and Frank when you order champagne without first perusing the wine list? Especially when you tell your waiter “You can bring us a bottle of champagne” like he’s the butler.
When Mason’s right, folks, he’s right: Unless you consume it by the gallon, choosing Champagne over wine or beer represents the diet option. Sort of. A small flute of brut Champagne…is usually 80 to 100 calories, fewer than in a [6 oz.] glass of wine and far healthier than a pint of beer. –Guy Kelly, “5 reasons Champagne is surprisingly good for you,” New York Post, December 9, 2015
At least the dialogue in today’s strip sounds like it’s coming from two hip Hollywood adult types, and not from a couple of awkward teens on a first date. Mason has somehow managed to gain thirty pounds after five months of keto. And Marianne’s macro-meals are prepared not by her mom, but by a chef. Alas, as befits her waiflike persona, she’s still “always hungry.”
Banana Jr. 6000 February 18, 2022 at 8:06 am [E]veryone in Funky Winkerbean is just a schlub from Westview. Even the people who are supposed to be celebrities. And aren’t from Westview.
As lame as yesterday‘s punchline was (“She was a real hair-devil!”), it did meet the requirements of a joke. Barely. But I can’t tell what’s supposed to be funny about today’s strip. Panel one shows some promise: for a Hollywood movie star, that Mason “Crappy Internet” Jarre is a cheap bastard, all right. When the waiter (the mystery mug in this week’s masthead!) confirms his order, Mason appears stricken, and then proceeds to pointedly “correct” his server: “No…no appetizer!” as Marianne sits, smirks, and simpers. What the hell does Mason think comprises “one calamari”? Cut into rings, battered, and deep fried, with a side of marinara, squid can indeed be tasty. But a whole, cooked squid on a plate would appeal only to the most adventurous foodie, and that ain’t Mason. Calamari (or as we say it in Jersey, galamad) isn’t even on the appetizer menu at Musso and Frank, where this lunch is supposedly taking place. Nor is it on the menu [PDF] at Luigi’s of Akron, which is just as well because their galamad would probably suck.
The part of panel 1 Marianne will be played by a bedraggled young Dustin Hoffman in a black tank top.
That’s right, folks: Marianne Summers— sorry, Winters’ glamorous look doesn’t just happen! She requires a professional to style the dead grackle that sits atop her empty head. In fact, during the height of Covid, Marianne’s hair appointments were the only matter of sufficient urgency to get her to leave her Mom’s bungalow. Of course, this raises questions about where she was going to get her hair done, since the salons were all “shut down” too.
By way of some programming notes: as we head into spring, a few other notable occasions are coming up: least notably, April 11th marks the twelfth anniversary of the blog you are reading. That’s preceded by Tom Batiuk’s 75th birthday on March 14th, and on March 27th, Funky Winkerbean‘s 50th! Your friends here at SoSF will be planning…something, something fun I guess. Stay tuned and stay Funky. –TFH