How to Be Goode

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Mike Judge, creator of Buffcoat and Beaver, Office Space, and King of the Hill, is back with a new animated series. This one, the Wall Street Journal reports, mocks a family of suburban environmentalists:

Director Mike Judge's new animated television series "The Goode Family" is a send-up of a clan of environmentalists who live by the words "What would Al Gore do?" Gerald and Helen Goode want nothing more than to minimize their carbon footprint. They feed their dog, Che, only veggies (much to the pet's dismay) and Mr. Goode dutifully separates sheets of toilet paper when his wife accidentally buys two-ply. And, of course, the family drives a hybrid.

The show premieres tomorrow on ABC. A preview clip from the website:

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  1. As funny and truthful as it is to mock hippies… Looks like a piece of crap.

  2. This just doesn’t look that funny to me. I also wonder where the audience is.

  3. Some people are beyond satire. In order for satire to work, you have to exagerae and create a characterature of them. Environmentalists have long since gone past the point of charactature. This show won’t be funny. It will just be sad.

  4. Looks like a piece of crap.

    I know I’m in a minority on this, but that describes just about everything of Mike Judge’s that I’ve ever seen.

  5. Mike Judge’s work is pretty hit-and-miss.

  6. “Mike Judge’s work is pretty hit-and-miss.”

    He is a like Parker and Stone. Their work is either oh my God that is hysterical or unwatchable. But never in between.

  7. Well I don’t know.

    I hated B&B with the hot passion of a thousand suns. A friend of mine love it because “I know guys that are exactly like that”. (To which I thought “You should associate with a better class of people”)

    I liked King of the Hill better, but it was only ‘meh’. But I know people online that love it because “I know guys that are exactly like that”. (To which; “You should move to someplace in the civilized world”)

    I don’t know if I’ll laugh at The Goode Family but I definitely know a lot of people just like that. (And as a matter of fact I did move away from them, but now I’m surrounded by Hicks – not to be confused with Red Necks). But I don’t think I’ll be able to laugh at them until the Nanny State starts to contract. You know, after the apocalypse.

  8. It is doomed.

  9. Mike Judge’s work is pretty hit-and-miss.

    Exactly. And it tends to be more miss.

    Some people are beyond satire.

    O Rly?

    Megan: Hey, you’re really hardcore, aren’t you?

    Mac: Oh, well, you know. I mean, if you really wanna see hardcore… (hands her a piece of paper)

    Megan: What’s this?

    Mac: That’s the list of doctors I’m gonna kill.

    Megan: There’s two already crossed out.

    Mac: Yeah, I know.

  10. “But I don’t think I’ll be able to laugh at them until the Nanny State starts to contract. You know, after the apocalypse.”

    Yeah. Things just are not funny when they are really happening to you.

  11. Trying too hard indeed.

  12. I hated B&B with the hot passion of a thousand suns.

    Warren, the trick to B&B is to get baked, then make some Nyquiladas and take some Oxycontin while watching. Best. Show. Ever.

  13. “Warren, the trick to B&B is to get baked, then make some Nyquiladas and take some Oxycontin while watching. Best. Show. Ever.”

    There was one episode where there crank calling some guy named Hairy Butts or something like that. The guy of course is some huge hairy biker. Somehow after days of driving the guy nuts, they manage to blame it on the household of their dorky friend. OMG it was funny. Bad but funny. It ends with the dorky friends dad going to the hospital with a cell phone shoved up his ass.

  14. I like Judge’s past work a lot, but I have a hard time imagining this gag stretching far enough to carry a full episode, let alone an entire series. Hopefully he’ll prove me wrong.

  15. “I like Judge’s past work a lot, but I have a hard time imagining this gag stretching far enough to carry a full episode, let alone an entire series. Hopefully he’ll prove me wrong.”

    He made Office Space and that was longer than a TV episode.

  16. Mike Judge’s work is pretty hit-and-miss.

    This.

  17. I have a hard time imagining this gag stretching far enough to carry a full episode, let alone an entire series

    Exactly. The commercial looks like it would work as a commercial on Hank Hill’s TV set.

    If every punch line is going to be something like “vegan”, “biodiesel” or “Al Gore”, it’ll get tiresome pretty fast.

  18. Judge also directed the documentary Idiocracy.

    Fags.

  19. Welcome to Costco… I love you.

  20. Idiocracy, while having a few moments, is way overrated. It’s not nearly as intelligent as it thinks it is, unless that was Judge’s meta-point, which I doubt. And just to be clear, I did watch it while fucked up on opiates and beer, so I did give it a proper B&B-style viewing.

  21. “Exactly. The commercial looks like it would work as a commercial on Hank Hill’s TV set.”

    Or as new annoying neighbors for Hank. Ultimately, King of the Hill worked because he was a lot like the rest of us bewildered by the world. That show made fun of the world more than it did Hank. Most of the time, Hank was the only sane one in the episode. He was the straight man to the rest of the world. Who is the straight man here? I don’t see how it is going to work.

  22. Why is it that the guy who made Office Space, one of the greatest work movies of all time still gets credited with “Beavis & Butthead?”

    It’s ridiculous. It’s like saying “French & Indian War Hero, George Washington…”

    I’m hoping this is more Office Space than B&B/KotH: “So remember, with every decision you make, ask yourself, ‘Is this good for the environment.’ Mmmkay.”

  23. If they’re like the father and son from the Positive Acting Teens episode of Beavis and Butthead then this could be good.

  24. Epi, I agree that Idiocracy is a bit overrated, but the fact that I can’t see one of those Mac vs PC commercials without thinking of the doctor (“Well, don’t want to sound like a dick or nothin’, but, ah… it says on your chart that you’re fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit’s all retarded.”) tells me that the movie “worked” for me.

    True, it wasn’t as smart as it could’ve been, but it’s 1000 times funnier than Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans and whatever Adam Sandler movie is currently playing at the Metroplex.

    The same goes for Run Ronnie Run, which didn’t even get a theatrical release. It’s not the funniest movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s much funnier than most mass-distributed comedies released in the past decade or so.

  25. He made Office Space and that was longer than a TV episode.

    Well, yes. It also didn’t rely on a one-gag premise.

    I say this as someone who loves both Office Space and King of the Hill, and who has enjoyed Judge’s other TV and movie work too. My hope is that the preview is misleading, and that there’s much more to the series than a catalog of the ways environmental true-believers can be annoying. We’ll see.

  26. “My hope is that the preview is misleading, and that there’s much more to the series than a catalog of the ways environmental true-believers can be annoying. We’ll see.”

    I agree with you there. Like I said above, this would have worked better as neighbors for Hank Hill or some other small part of a larger whole. It is pretty hard to do a half our 29 times a year on one gag.

  27. My hope is that the preview is misleading, and that there’s much more to the series than a catalog of the ways environmental true-believers can be annoying. We’ll see.

    Honestly, I would say that Judge is too experienced to try such a rookie stunt. I’d bet a lot of money he has other stuff to hang the show around; the question will be whether it’s any good.

    True, it wasn’t as smart as it could’ve been, but it’s 1000 times funnier than Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans and whatever Adam Sandler movie is currently playing at the Metroplex.

    Agreed, but I don’t judge comedy on whether it’s funnier than what else is out there–I judge it on how funny it is. The relativistic method of judging funny would have us saying SNL is good because it’s funnier than Two and a Half Men.

  28. “The relativistic method of judging funny would have us saying SNL is good because it’s funnier than Two and a Half Men.”

    Have you watched SNL in the last 10 years? I would reverse that and say it would have us saying Two and a Half Men is good because it is better than SNL.

  29. I would reverse that and say it would have us saying Two and a Half Men is good because it is better than SNL.

    Either way works, John.

  30. I saw a commercial for this (w/o knowing it was Mike Judge) and immediately said “pass”. It looked horrifically unfunny. Maybe I’ll catch it online, after having prepared myself much in the way epi prescribes.

  31. They should rape an environMental every episode with a tree.

  32. It’s not nearly as intelligent as it thinks it is, unless that was Judge’s meta-point

    It’s more that the idiocrats! aren’t a mockery of the people the movie’s audience generally thinks they’re a mockery of, but basically, that.

    This.

  33. wasnt that in evil dead II?

  34. The show’s one redeeming factor might be a temporary derailing of Andrew Breitbart’s Liberal Hollywood Conspiracy roadshow.

    Of course, the moment it gets cancelled he’ll be back in our faces wailing about how the showbiz libs (and not the .ooo4 Nielsen rating) brought it down.

  35. B&B was funny because I was 13 and the word “breast” is funny.

    KotH was horrid.

    Office Space was good, but I think the actors carried it more than the plot. (I still think Ron Livingston is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. See: Band of Brothers)

    Idiocracy was funny at times, but probably pissed off enough people that the producers probably “suggested” some edits.

    This upcoming show looks like Judge trying to cash in on something before sinking further into irrelevancy. His works may not be a prime example of comedy gold, but I think without Judge, there wouldn’t have been any Trey Stone and Matt Parker, no Seth McFarland…

  36. Thanks for all the reviews of a show that hasn’t yet aired. This is a revolutionary timesaver. Does anyone know who won the Yankees/Rangers game tomorrow night? I predict that Seinfeld will be a colossal failure.

  37. I predict that Seinfeld will be a colossal failure.

    Oh come on, ed. You have the advantage of hindsight.

  38. These look like great walk-on characters for an entirely different show, but I’ll be surprised if he can make them the central characters and keep it funny for longer than 5 minutes.

    The PC hippy teacher in B&B was great, but you wouldn’t want to build an entire series around him.

  39. Damnit this is why they are canceling King of the Hill.

    This is King of the Hill with a hippie cast. Not gonna be funny. But the potential for outrage and bunny hugging pseudo-intellectual internet blogs decrying the evils of mocking hippies has potential. The bunny huggers are always fun to rile up.

  40. I don’t think “Idiocracy” is overrated. How could it be? No one knows about it. It’s hardly a cult hit.

    On a yuk-yuk easy laughs scale, it’s far funnier than most mainstream movie comedies.

    And as a movie with serious ideas underpinning its plot machinations, it’s far smarter than junk like “Benjamin Button.” Uh, what was the point of “Button,” exactly, critics?

    It’s also worth noting that the movie was sabotaged by Fox — perhaps because of the alleged claim that it thought the movie would bomb and wasn’t worth supporting, or perhaps because it got squeamish over the film’s the-idiots-will-rule-the-Earth plot. Fox gave zip for special effects, leading to truly embarrassing moments, and didn’t even pay for a movie poster!

    That “Idiocracy” has won an audience at all is pretty amazing, given this backdrop.

    Check it out! Please!

  41. Either way works, John.

    Well, yeah, multiplying by zero and all.

  42. It may work but Judge’s first problem is that Viz has been doing this for years with its “The Modern Parents” strips, so what else is left to parody? It’s also difficult to walk that fine line between satire and getting so ridiculous it becomes ridiculous – a vegan dog? Really? “King of the Hill” usually plays it just right.

    Yes, “Idiocracy” was ten times better than “Benjamin Button” but that’s not saying much. I was shocked what a piece of crap “Button” turned out to be. And imbued with stupid preachy boomer messages about “tolerance” and “self-discovery”. I’m surprised more right-wing critics didn’t attack that film, but maybe ignoring it was the better option.

  43. Vanya, I don’t think ABC TV is worried that their millions of American viewers will see this and say: “Wait a minute! Doesn’t this cover the same ground as that comic strip in that British magazine?”

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