2018-A Look Ahead
Well, folks, I am proud to say that 2017 was undoubtedly the single greatest year in the history of Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place. It was also, perhaps not coincidentally, the only site’s only year. I’d like to thank all of you for making this an oasis of acceptance and validation in an often arctic and unforgiving pop culture media landscape.
I’m excited to build upon the foundation we established in 2017. One of my favorite experiences from 2017 was Corey Feldman Month, so I would like to keep the momentum going with a series of theme months. First up is No Respect January, when I’ll be exploring my obsession with Rodney Dangerfield through a thorough exploration of the man’s life work, focussing monomaniacally on the sad direct-to-video movies he made at the very end of his career. Rodney looks to dominate the month’s Control Nathan Rabin entries, and I am beyond fascinated by an insane curio called Angels With Angles which casts Frank Gorshin as a dead George Burns in heaven, Adam West as “Alfred” and Rodney Dangerfield as God.
February, meanwhile, is Freaky February, where we’ll explore the fascinating subsection of trash cinema devoted to body-switch movies, including that movie where Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman trade bodies and lives after urinating in the same fountain.
I thought seriously about making March “Oscar bait movies where FDR gets a handhjob from his cousin but I’m pretty sure only Hyde Park on the Hudson fits the bill. So I have decided instead to go with an even sillier idea and make the month Monkey March here at Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place. Any Which Way But Loose! Stinker Lets Loose! Going Bananas! Dustin Checks In! That movie where James Franco is roommates with a dude in a monkey mask: I will be writing about al of these movies, potentially, and movie novelizations.
This month will also introduce “Spookthology of Terror!”, a twice-monthly column where I will watch and review every episode of Tales from the Crypt in chronological order. Why? Because I can. And I want to. And it will be fun. Also, Marvel is paying me to do so. They don’t always pay critics to pan D.C movies. They pay people to pay writers to do lots of weird other things as well, like learn to ride a unicycle and review campy horror anthologies beloved by geeks. True, it will take years upon years to finish this project, but I am patient, and if you’re reading this, then you are as well.
Speaking of giant projects, this year I will finally finish the Weird Accordion to Al, the web project, and, god willing, the Weird Accordion to Al, which should feature lots of new exclusive content so it’s not just 200,000 words about every “Weird Al” Yankovic song in existence.
In 2018 Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place will become the new home of The Simpsons Decade I don't want to humblebrag, but the Simpsons Decade idea has failed at the highest levels of multiple industries. I came up with the idea of writing about 1990s comedy as a Golden Age of the kind of post-modern, self-referential comedy perfected by The Simpsons as what would have been my fifth book on a major publisher.
Alas, my publisher wasn’t about to lose money on another book, and books about comedy are invariably a tough sell, so I re-imagined the idea as an online column for Rotten Tomatoes. I’m really proud of The Simpsons Decade creatively but it’s a weird, not terribly commercial and fairly academic conceit that never quite took off or connected on Rotten Tomatoes.
In the two years I wrote the Simpsons Decade for Rotten Tomatoes, for example, I never got around to covering The Simpsons but did write about weird ephemera like This Modern World and Weekly World News so I’m not terribly shocked that the series did not turn out to be a blockbuster.
Thankfully I still have two columns at Rotten Tomatoes in Sub-Cult and a new column called The Zeroes where I write about movies that received the notorious zero rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a lot of fun to write and hopefully to read as well. The next one, on The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, is a whole lot of fun. I’m super grateful to be writing for Rotten Tomatoes, both because I like the work and my bosses and also I need the money.
At this point you might be asking yourself, “Jesus, Nathan, is your website just going to be a graveyard for old columns that got cancelled by popular sites?” First off, I don’t like your tone, Junior, and I’m overjoyed to be able to bring top-notch columns like My World of Flops and The Simpsons Decade to what I very much hope is my permanent online home.
I’m super excited for the first full year of Nathan Rabin’s Happy Cast. I hope to grow as a podcaster and also finally figure out how to talk to other human beings. That may be my greatest challenge yet!
2017 was big and crazy and wonderful. 2018 will be even more so! What would you like to see from Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place, other than writing that does not seem to have been written by a semi-literate lunatic on meth?
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