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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...


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Film/TV characters who suck at their job
Posted on Sunday, July 20 2008 @ 13:43:24 Eastern

Philip J. Fry from Futurama

This is obvious, I mean, Fry's (for that is what everyone calls him aside from 'idiot' and 'meat bag') whole... thing is that he sucks at his job. He is a lousy delivery boy when he worked at Panucci's Pizza. He'd spend most of his time on the archaic arcade machine losing at the end and getting heckled by the little squirt who was watching him, fall for phoney orders such as I. C. Weiner and Seymour Butz (that last one brought to you courtesy of The Simpsons, I figure it's allowed since it all comes from the same genius) and eats the pizza himself when he fails to deliver it. Hell, he even befriends a tick infested stray dog and lets him swim in the pizza sauce. In other words he wasn't content with sucking as a delivery boy, he had to translate his high degree of suck into the kitchen. If he had stopped there he probably wouldn't have made the list due to the aforementioned comedy factor included in his character design but he didn't stop there. He paused his sucking (that sounds dirty but don't take it that way) for a thousand years so he could continue in the year 3000 with updated technology. He's not even restricted to the planet Earth any more! Nope, he visits many places in the universe. He becomes emperor of one, ironically being sucked as that is the favoured method of assassination on the planet of the water people. There's very little this dude gets right and that's what's endearing about him, I guess he did save the planet from the brain people but only because he's so stupid he's one brainwave down from the rest of us.

Mark and Jeremy from Peep Show

Anyone who knows anything about me knows I love Peep Show. Mark and Jeremy are the misfit protagonists bumbling their way through lives on very different tangents which meet at their flat... Mark's flat. Jeremy is the 'free spirit' coasting through life on his mother's and Mark's coat tails grabbing various freebies off both while Mark is the downtrodden cynic, distrusting any fortunate turn of fate that comes his way because it almost always means a greater unfortunate turn is around the corner. Why do these guys suck at their jobs? Well Jeremy doesn't have a job: he was fired from the record studio for pissing off a big band and we never found out what happened to his cleaning gig at the gym though whatever did happen may have something to do with pretending that one of the best personal trainers there "pooed in the pool and... touched [Mark]". So Jeremy spreads his suck across multiple jobs by instructing experts in their field how to do their job and lying to suit his motives. Mark is slightly different in that he doesn't suck, not really. It's just his job is so boring he's become disillusioned with everything. He was chuffed about his promotion ("goodbye Mark Corrigan 'credit manager', hello Mark Corrigan 'senior credit manager'!) but you kind of get the impression that his upgrade from cubicle to "little office" isn't as exciting to him as he pretends it is. The impression you get is more that he wishes he did suck at his job so they would just fire him and make his life more interesting but he'd never do that because fear and paranoia grip him so tightly. Mark doesn't suck at his job so much as he sucks at everything else that constitutes his life.

Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon

Riggs is Mel Gibson at his very best but he sure sucks at his job of 'detective'. In the course of four films the guy has blown up at least one building (but saved the cat), leapt off another building with a suicidal young man handcuffed to him, driven through an office building and killed countless suspects, hell, he even brings down an entire building with his 4x4! All in the course of a great action flick but not so much for a great detective. I don't think we'd have him any other way but non-sucky detectives don't generally cost the city millions of dollars to put right the damage they cause. I know this paragraph isn't very long, I guess Riggs doesn't suck that much at all.

Mary Jane from the Spiderman films

Kirsten Dunst is fit and no one will forget the upside down kiss in Spiderman 1 (or more specifically the bit right before that when her top was wet) /sleazy. But she has one job in those films and it's not waitress or actress, it's evading  the clutches of whatever supervillain is harrassing our superhero. Sure the film studios love a damsel in distress, it's what films have been based on going back to the dawn of cinema, but I say can't a story for once begin not because of a useless female or child but because of something else? It's been managed in some films so why not others? Mary Jane sucks because she just can't stay away from the Green Goblin/Dr Octopus/Venom/Sandman/Green Goblin 2. Back to the actress thing, she evidently sucks there too since she was thrown from the show after one performance. She was thrown so hard she didn't even notice she'd been replaced. Must be hard for the girlfriend of Spiderman... but we know that thanks to the plot of Spiderman 3.
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