Rating The Royals

Rating The Royals

Another decade has passed which means another jubilee! Yes, unless you’ve been hiding away at a Pizza Express, you’ll be aware that the Queen is now in her 70th year as the head of state. Quite a remarkable feat. But you now, it’s not all been easy. Indeed, she’s had to witness the general decline of the British Empire in the latter half of the 20th century and put up with a bunch of dodgy characters, both inside and outside the palace walls.

For this occasion, we thought it would be quite fetching to take a look at some of those characters within. And here to help us, is our Belfast correspondent and conspiracy enthusiast, Belle. Together, we’ll run through the main players of the monarchy’s stage and rate them on four important factors:

1. Their Suitability To Their Role
2. Their Associations
3. Their Entertainment Value
4. And… The Rogue Factor

So, without further ado, let’s get to it:

Queen Elizabeth II, 96, Single

Suitability (8.5/10)

Belle: “Begrudgingly impressed she has held on for so long. All hail the lizard queen (shoot me)” 8/10

Andy (Washington Walrus): “Quite dignified in comparison to others. Generally apolitical.” 9/10

Associations (8/10)

Belle: “Who knows? Mystery. Lizard people. Freemasons.” 8/10

Andy: “She doesn’t seem to care for many besides her dogs. Also, Prince Andrew is her fave. But when you have that sh#*^ show to contend with…” 8/10

Entertainment (3/10)

Belle: “Yawn, she could take tips from her (alleged) autistic paedophile son”. 1/10

Andy: “I do enjoy how unimpressed she seems by everything.” 5/10

Rogue Element (5/10)

Belle: “Lobbied so that she wouldn’t have to hire immigrants, married a man who was not only her 3rd cousin but her 4th from the other side of the family. No wonder her children turned out the way they did! I hold this woman in the utmost contempt.” 6/10

Andy: “Very stoic but maybe she has a wicked sense of humour? Who knows? I’ll go by the points above, though compared to the rest of the family, I hold her in higher regard.” 4/10

TOTAL: 24.5 / 40

Prince Charles, picky eater

Belle: The poster boy for why you must never sleep with your cousin.

Suitability (6/10)

Belle: “Appropriately inbred but he just seems kind of weak, like he’d blow away in strong winds.” 6/10

Andy: “He brought Diana into a loveless marriage whilst pining after another woman. That took guts. England needs guts.” 6/10

Associations (3.5/10)

Belle: “My nan met him once but aside from that.” 2/10

Andy: “Stephen Fry likes him. That’s about all I know.” 5/10

Entertainment (2/10)

Andy: “He holds the Prince’s Trust each year.” 2/10

Rogue (5/10)

Belle: “Whacking your ex-wife who was pregnant is pretty rogue by most standards but maybe not by royal standards.” 5/10

TOTAL: 16.5 / 40

Prince Andrew, honoured veteran

Belle: The medical miracle himself. The nonce who could not sweat. The Queen’s favourite, albeit the bar is in hell. A man so inbred he sticks out from even this sorry lot.

Suitability (10/10)

Belle: “Straight back to the Dark Ages. I like it. Very medieval.” 10/10

Associations (9/10)

Belle: “The sex trafficking ring barely scratches the surface of his associations I’m sure.” 10/10

Andy: “Sketchy to say the least.” 10/10

Entertainment (10/10)

Belle: “That interview was ICONIC”. 10/10

Andy: “It took guts to tell so many strange lies. The royal family needs guts.” 10/10

Rogue  (10/10)

Belle: “Prior to the minor indiscretion of being found to be associated with a sex-trafficking ring, Andrew was already well known for his eccentricities, including but not limited to a teddy bear collection of 70, mostly dressed in sailor suits, arranged in a very specific way by his maid or else he would throw a tantrum (bearing in mind he was an adult, this was after he came back from serving in the Falklands.) Anyways, imagine my shock when he turned out to actually be an (alleged) paedophile”. 10/10

Andy: “Rogue or just loyal to old friends? I think we all know the answer here. Rogue.” 10/10

TOTAL: 40/40

Prince William, Douche of Cambridge

Suitability (6/10)

Belle: “Oh, he is so dull. Pass. Despite being the heir to the throne, I keep forgetting he exists.” 6/10

Andy: “In the case of not rocking the boat, I suppose he is suited to the role.” 6/10

Associations (4/10)

Belle: “Not exciting. He should take a leaf out of his Uncle Andrew’s book. Haha just joking.” 4/10

Entertainment (2/10)

Andy: “I am not entertained.” 2/10

Rogue (0/10)

Belle: 0/10

Andy: Agreed.

TOTAL: 12/40

Prince Harry, great at costume parties

Suitability (2/10)

Belle: “Honestly neither weird or inbred enough. Glad he got out of there.” 2/10

Andy: “He’s gone too woke for me. I need my royals regressive.” 2/10

Associations (1/10)

Belle: “He seems to have fallen in with a rough crowd since his Nazi days. James Corden. Yikes.” 2/10

Andy: “He’s gone very Hollywood and the news that he arranges playdates with James Corden is very disturbing. Such associations make Prince Andrew look all that much better.” 0/10

Entertainment (8/10)

Belle: “Nazi garb” 10/10

Andy: “I miss the old Harry, partying in Vegas and just being the wild card in general. Alas, he’s become a total beta in recent years.” 6/10

Rogue (8/5/10)

Belle: “My personal favourite out of the Royals. Notorious for his transgressions even prior to marrying a divorced, annoying American D-list actress. But to be honest, if my Mum was whacked by my Dad’s family, I’d probably act out a bit as well. Besides, who among us hasn’t impersonated a Nazi in a fit of teenage angst.” 10/10

Andy: “Hmm an interesting one. Rogue in recent years, certainly- though one wonders if that’s just the work of Wicked Meghan pulling the strings? Rogue in his party days. But.. he was also in the army, which is not so rogue.” 7/10

TOTAL: 19.5/40

Kate Middleton, presumed neighbourhood watch founder

Suitability

Belle: “Good looking. Maybe she would install a soft dictatorship.” 5/10

Associations

Belle: “Her sister’s bum is famous.” 7/10

Entertainment

Belle: Perhaps the least entertaining of the lot”. 0/10

Rogue

Belle: “If beige wallpaper could smile and wave politely. Has anyone actually heard her speak before?” 0/10

TOTAL: 12/40

Meghan Markle, Margery Tyrell of the Royal Family

Suitability

Andy: “Well, she wasn’t exactly a star before but she’s certainly good at putting on a performance. And that’s a part of being a Royal. On the other hand, as Belle’s pointed out, the inbred factor is important and she’s simply not close enough to the… source, shall we call it?” 4/10

Associates

Andy: I know Harry’s close with James Corden. Not so sure about Meghan. I’ll give her a partial pass but again to be in that radius… Hmmm… Anyways, she’s thatched herself on to the Hollywood elite and keeps the family at far range (or some of them are toxic or something, I don’t know). 4/10

Entertainment

Andy: The only performance I’ve seen of hers was that tabloid interview with Oprah. Oh, and she has a brief role in Horrible Bosses. 5/10

Rogue

Andy: Well, she disturbed the order. So that’s something. On a socio-political level though, she plays by modern morals and standards. And I’m not having that. Not in this family. 5/10

TOTAL: 18/40

Prince George

Belle: “All hail George! Future overlord! May he have a long and tyrannical rule.” 

No categories needed, TOTAL: 100/10

Honourable mention: the late Prince Philip, gone but never forgotten

And now the rankings…

Kate- 12
Will- 12
Charles- 16.5
Meghan- 18
Harry- 19.5
Queen- 24.5
Andrew- 40
George- 100

Well, that quickly went dodgy. Perhaps, these weren’t the proper categories for rating the Royal Family at all but there you have it, the young George has much to live up to but is already surpassing the powerhouse that is the Pizza Express enthusiast, Prince Andrew.

Happy Platinum Jubilee celebrations all!

On Talk Shows

On Talk Shows

At the Washington Walrus, we usually focus on politics and the more immediate issues concerning government. Every now and then however, we like to dip our toes in the murky waters of culture and entertainment; in this particular case, one of the more shallow bodies of such water.

It’s not that I dislike talk shows (or chat shows) or their hosts. It’s not that I even bemoan the format, rather what it’s been reduced to in this day and age. You see, there was a time when these shows didn’t desperately grasp for whatever little nugget of attention was left out there, lost in the cracks of YouTube and Prime and Netflix. There was a time when actual proper conversation was involved, unburdened by pre-rehearsed garbage and bit jokes resulting in a pie in the face. There was a time when it wasn’t all so juvenile and pandering, when Americans tuned in for a bit of humor, yes, but also out of genuine interest.

Johnny Carson was of course, the “King of Late Night”. He hosted the Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992 and became an icon in the American world of entertainment. If you wanted a movie plugged, you wanted his show. If you were looking to get your big break as a comedian and possibly bag a sitcom, you hoped to impress Carson himself. Even politicians like Ronald Reagan found their way onto the couch, though Carson, himself, never declared any political allegiance (a far cry from the suitors of today). By the end of his tenure, he garnered north of 10 million viewers a night on average, which is over three times what Colbert did in 2018. He had the business at his command in many respects and he did it with great timing and affability, that never gave way to piousness or crude frivolity. He had the numbers and the respect of the masses.

So what went wrong? Carson may have dominated the late night sphere for the longest time but he was not the only talk show host out there. Day-time hosts like Oprah, of course, made more than a splash in the 1980s and in the decade before, Dick Cavett interviewed some of the world’s biggest stars and directors, including Orson Welles. But just as the news networks began to multiply, so did the demand for content in the talk show format. You didn’t need 10 million viewers every to become a success. You could be a Leno or Letterman fan or after that, someone who watched Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, or a splash of all. Some unique talents came about in the 1990s and 2000s who just wouldn’t have had a shot before like Bill Maher, Conan O’ Brien, and Craig Ferguson. For awhile, it all worked out quite well… before TV began to matter less and less.

Jimmy Fallon may not have been the first to recognize the value of “viral bits” spreading across social media and YouTube but he was the most diligent host in the late 2000s and early 2010s to capitalize on this trend. His show, today, barely resembles a chat show at all because of this, successful though he may be. And like him, Jimmy Kimmel, James Corden, and others have become increasingly reliant on bits like “Carpool Karaoke”, “Mean Tweets”, etc. for gaining viewership/followers/subscribers.

It’s a different market in many ways and not one without its plaudits. Some of these bits are funny. I enjoy watching the Matt Damon-Jimmy Kimmel feud. I like the odd “Wheel of Musical Impressions”. I may even have chuckled at one or two Corden sketches (the Shape of Water one, though I felt pretty guilty afterwards… cause it’s Corden.) The problem (okay, not a real problem) however is that most these bits are desperate and stupid and bringing what could be an interesting format right down to the bottom of the barrel. When actual conversation is conducted too, it’s painfully rehearsed, concerned with the most trivial schlep (did you actually eat a pizza at the Oscars???) and disingenuous/cringe-worthy ass-kissing to the point that I contort and fold in on myself, much like the Witch King of Angmar’s death in Return of the King. Especially with Fallon and Corden. Especially with Corden to further that bracket.

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Why do I dislike Corden the most of these hosts? To surmise briefly, he’s everywhere. He hosts the Late Late Show four nights a week, does A League of Their Own in the UK, and still manages to dress up as creepy cat for the upcoming movie Cats. His laugh is also annoyingly fake.

I also agree with the mega-chinned Jay Leno who believes too many hosts are “one-sided” nowadays. In 1993, when Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher aired, the host opining their political persuasion was pretty different and bold. Today however, every dumb comedian with a desk goes for the low-hanging fruit that is Donald Trump with the result being sheer weariness among viewers and a decrease in general intellect. Undoubtedly, we inhabit a far more outrageous political climate than any in recent memory but is there anything to be gained in the preaching-to-the-choir mantra of Stephen Colbert or Seth Meyers? It all seems so trite and easy for such clever comedians. If that wasn’t enough too, even the likes of Fallon, Kimmel, and Corden are going after the president despite their complete lack of political “wokeness” five years ago. It’s not challenging and it’s not funny anymore. Part of me even suspects it tilts those on the fence in a rightward direction, just as that “Fight Song” (for Hillary) did in 2016… sigh…

Today, people are looking elsewhere for a decent interview, on the radio with Howard Stern or on podcasts with the likes of Joe Rogan (though everything leads back to MMA with him). The decline of the chat show is hardly a crisis, given all the other actual crises we face today, but it is something which sheds a rather depressing light on our cultural mindset today. Our attentiveness is shorter than ever. We need jokes and we need them now. Celebrities are awesome. You were hoping to hear about Tom Cruise’s filmography? Well, too bad cause his dog did something crazy! I know you’re running for president but what is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Is it strawberry? How did Trump’s latest foreign visit affect the premise of the new Pitch Perfect movie… etc.

We can do better than this. We can plug a movie or album and have an actual conversation with a celebrity without forcing them to play hop-scotch. Call me a crazy optimist but if general broadcasting’s going to die in the face of streaming services like Netflix, at least do it with some dignity and not on all fours in a ball pit with James Corden.

 

 

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