Two great tastes don’t always go great together.
You wanna know how I got this internet show? My friend, had a camera, and a computer. And one night, he goes off crazier than usual. I write a script to defend myself. He likes it. Just. A little. Bit. So, me watching, he puts together a set, laughing while he does it. He turns to me and says, “Why so misleading?” Turns the camera on. “WHY SO MISLEADING?” He points the camera at my face… “Let’s put a smile on the faces of audiences everywhere.” And…
And the rest, my friends, was HOLLYWOOD MAGIC.
Welcome to the blog for the video for the show for the computer, this one titled “Why So Misleading”. If you didn’t notice, this episode marks the second Christmas episode in Franks and Beans lore, the other being “The Gift” way back at the beginning. And while “The Gift” was fairly slow moving (I like to think of it as “understated”), this episode features a number of interesting tidbits that I would talk about if only I had the online space in which to do so.
Oh, right. Moving on, then.
Our 43rd episode revolves around two separate soundtracks, at least one of which is easily recognizable. Both Larry and I were (and are) fairly taken by the newest Batman movie trilogy, and it’d be a tough sell to claim that “The Dark Knight” weren’t the best of the three. One of the things that stands out about the film is, of course, the ominous music that plays every time something truly awful was about to happen.
This, of course, speaks to a larger convention of music in films, and the almost hypnotic power that music holds over audiences, to the point where it’s almost become a parody of itself every time a hopeful or sinister tune plays. Well, I guess we’re parodying it now, so you’ll just have to find some new tropes, movies.
The joke in this episode, then, revolves around the scene playing out in the exact opposite manner in which the music might indicate. The Dark Knight music that lends an eerie tone to anything it touches? It’s just me wishing Larry a Merry Christmas. That happy “Peter and the Wolf” music near the end? I GET A FRIGGIN’ KNIFE TO THE CHEST!
Perhaps I even die. Perhaps.
Some notes from this episode:
– Larry is reading some pretty interesting material, in a manner that is not at all promotional or obvious, at the beginning of the episode. What could it be? Oh, it’s none other than Teddy and the Yeti #1 from Wagon Wheel Comics, probably still available for sale from fine online retailers! We must have been reading it and enjoying it right before this was filmed. What a fun story.
– If I get one, then Larry gets one: the gift I give to Larry is none other than a Dukes of Hazzard DVD. True story: I actually did get this for Larry for Christmas this year. Also true: Larry hated it.
– The happy music you hear at the end of the episode is from “Weird Al” Yankovic’s collaboration with Wendy Carlos in the semi-obscure album “Peter & the Wolf: Carnival of the Animals part II”:
I got the synthetic orchestra album for my birthday a long time ago. I’ve actually listened to it straight through a couple times. It’s pretty strange and very different from any other album from Weird Al. Anyway, it has some pretty light and airy stuff on it, which I thought would be perfect for the sequence of me getting stabbed in the chest (and let’s not forget…I might actually be dead).
There are some technical issues with this episode that keep it from being as good as it can be: sound being one of them (which is unfortunately not something new), and the fact that we should have made the knife more clear at the end. I think that most people get the point (pun!) when they see me clutching the knife, but a close up or, heaven forbid, a clearer shot wouldn’t have killed us, either (obvious pun!!). Overall, though, I enjoy the way that we incorporated music into the episode and I think that this turned out to be a pretty solid episode, front to back. And Larry makes his bid for a catch phrase at the end with his very convincing “Today has been so misleading!”
Our wonderful “NO!” ending makes its return…for the 43rd time…with a bit of auto-tune. We also used some auto-tune (I figured out how to make it work in Garage Band…which I’m pretty sure that I now forget how to do) for the episode “Perfect”, which featured quite a bit of singing, but it didn’t come across nearly as well as it did here. I guess there’s nothing inherently funny about the auto-tune process, but I’ll take it if I can get it. Obviously, I couldn’t let Larry steal all of the spotlight this time around (because I’m a terrible friend), so I stuck my head in there at the last second. Classy.
If only we had a soundtrack to our lives.
Perhaps it’s because life is so fleeting – What is the point of existence? Where do we go when we die? Are you going to eat that? – but mankind is continually obsessed with the idea of immortality, of leaving a part of oneself behind for future generations to remember them by. Different people go about trying to achieve this in different ways. Some write the Great American Novel. Some sing popular songs. Some assassinate Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Larry, in his own inimitable fashion, would like nothing better than to be remembered for the ages with his very own action figure. To this end, I can only respond in one way: welcome to those hallowed halls, my friend.
One thing that has become increasingly clear over the past years is that the world will not wait for Franks and Beans to become famous; Franks and Beans has to bring that fame to the world. Here at Franks and Beans HQ (judge for yourself what secluded location that must be), we’re always thinking of new ways to impress our brand on the outside world, much like the cattle farmer sears his indelible mark into the resistant flesh of the herd. One solution always springs to mind: marketing. Neither Larry nor I really know what it means beyond the standard dictionary definition, but we both think that marketing is the key to wealth and fame the likes of which we’ve never seen, which is why we now so proudly introduce to you the official Franks and Beans series one action figures.
I can personally take no credit for these other than in my overwhelming presence in Larry’s everyday life. No, it was Larry who created these prototypes and Larry who came up with the many inside references ALL BY HIMSELF. I know what you’re saying – “but Jeff, some of these jokes are actually funny!” Who knew that Larry had this in him? Well, shame on you, distinguished reader, because I knew it all along.
First we have Larry in all his resplendent glory. What may come as a surprise is that Larry’s muscular build is perfectly represented in molded plastic, a rarity for miniature (yet scale) figures. We see him here wearing his trademark boots and with a casual yet confident pose, a really nice detail that fans of the show will surely pick up on.
The extra features in this set (besides the many points of articulation) are surely highlighted by the inclusion of the Action Door, complete with the Batman light switch cover that we’re so familiar with seeing in every episode. Also featured to give Larry that true-to-life feel is a knife to help him interact with other figures and the very camera that brings Franks and Beans to life every so often. Just think about all the things you could do in your lives if you only had two things, a camera and a knife. I’m sure you’re as surprised as I was to find that you can actually live a fairly fulfilling life with just those two objects!
Next up we have Jeff’s figure, and once again we have to marvel at the level of detail shown in my very first molded likeness. I’ll admit, I’ve watched a number of episodes and responded by saying “is my head really that freakishly disproportionate?” as I’m sure you, our many viewers have, too. The answer to that question is a very solemn “yes”, which is why we’re fortunate that you’ll get a total of three Action Hats with my figure – only two of which are copyrighted! As if my face isn’t scruffy enough in this great detailing job that also includes my favorite shirt and hand wrappings, you also get an attachable child molester-esque mustache to add to the mystique. Larry’s iPod also accompanies this figure, which you can actually watch all of our videos on. To create a prism-like infinity effect, pull up a picture of the figure on it and see if spacetime collapses!
No action figure set would be complete without a limited “chase” figure, and we certainly cater to the collector with our exclusive figure of “Hardcore Mark”, our favorite extra/stalker/guy who comments on every episode. You may notice that the robe behind the extremely long-necked figure is extremely well formed – that’s because you get not only one, but TWO exclusive figures stuffed into one package, and each of the figures has just gotten a recent haircut – that’s how dedicated we are to realism and continuity. Now they can both team up and try to kill Jeff and Larry – but watch out! Larry’s figure has a knife.
Don’t forget to check out the other extras that come with this figure – both the Action Radio and Action Notepad will give you literally minutes of enjoyment if viewed from a safe distance.
You might be thinking, “These are great, but how will they all travel around the mythical land of Pennsylvania?” That’s a great question, and it’s one that can only be answered by trying to absorb the incredible expensiveness that is our only series one vehicle, the Action Jeep. As seen is such episodes as “High School” and “Mail Bag/Bloopers”, the Action Jeep has all of the real-world capabilities that regular sized Larry’s regular sized Jeep has. Roll down your passenger side window – but only a little at a time, and never all the way down! Play the same radio station you listened to in middle school and probably should have outgrown by now! Park in the same spot for days, hoping to preserve its working lifespan and squeeze just a few more decades out of this devoted childhood friend!
It’s easy to see why both Larry and I are extremely excited about this new toy line, but here’s the real treat – series one lines always feature the boring, every day figures that everyone knows and expects. It’s in further series that we’ll delve more deeply into our catalogue of characters. Will the character known as “Larry’s Mom” finally get an action figure devoted to her wonderful talent of passing out mail? Will we see what Larry and Jeff might look like in swimwear? Will we have a glow-in-the-dark Hardcore Mark figure? It’s possible – ANYTHING’S possible.