Hidden Gem: Catherine

Back to Hidden GemsThere is a lot of, dare I say, really stupid shit on YouTube.

Piles and piles of it.

It’s much easier to assume that all of something is horrible then to pick out which little chunks are good, and such is the case with the digital haystack known as YouTube… there is no separation between Joe-Shmoe’s two dollar home movie on cats, and Stacey Carmichael’s in-depth analysis and re-representation of the musical CATS through interpretive dance. While there are other websites dedicated only to uploading media that meets a certain standard *cough* Vimeo *cough*, YouTube’s “monopoly” on the world wide web’s moving pictures is not going anywhere anytime soon.

However, there are those few explorers who dare brave the vlogging abyss! Those who dive into the genitals of the internet in search of something we educated humans dare say can be described as a work of art! We throw our digital life-preservers towards fellow artists in an attempt to save them from becoming the next Fred.

I too have done my fair share of mining, and last night I discovered this little gem.

      Yes, this short series written by and starring Jenny Slate was concocted while she was very high; the original concept being a series in which people are neither boring, or funny, but perfectly neutral at all times. While her intentions for creating the show was purely out of comedy, what I saw was not a common “stoner” comedy show (it’s funny how often most things described originally as “stoner” end up being much deeper and influential to society than the majority of things broadcast on television).

 I would have never guessed it was supposed to be funny.

     No my friends, in fact I had no prior knowledge of this show before watching it. The only other thing I had seen Slate in was the Kroll Show on Comedy Central, and to be honest she annoyed the hell out of me on that (the show’s jokes are very hit and miss). I came across Catherine after rewatching the hilarious Marcel the Shell, as I discovered Slate is the voice of Marcel. As mentioned, I didn’t laugh while watching Catherine.. Okay I did laugh once in Episode 9 when Ian jumps out at her.
But in all honesty, I was patiently watching each episode in depth, looking for clues as to what the hell was going on! Why was everyone acting so weird? What was up with the lunch? Was there a deeper meaning behind Catherine’s bread and butter sandwich? How come everyone reacted so strange to the apple not being taken? The colors of the sets and costumes were all designed so well to further this overall feeling of confusion. I assumed everything would be revealed in the final episode, and was extremely disappointed to discover after the finale that the entire series was meant to be a comedy.

     It was all a ruse. My in-depth analysis was meaningless, I was making mountains out of molehills, finding something in nothing.. but in the end, does it matter that I found meaning in something that was never intended to have any? No, it doesn’t. The exact same applies to every aspect of art.

– One person can get a strong emotional response from looking at a painting, while another person just see’s a bunch of lumpy clocks on trees.
– One person watches a hilarious series on poor acting in boring situations, while another watches the “ideal” image of humanity and our preferred methods of social interaction being displayed to an extreme as a farce against Western culture and idealism… ~

———————–

Sources Used: http://splitsider.com/2013/06/talking-to-jenny-slate/

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Sean McGehee

CEO of the Department of Imagination.

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