The All New Branded Podcast, Episode 2…


By Shawn Robare

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In this week’s episode of the Branded in the 80s podcast I take a minute to talk about finding new  perspectives on the pop culture that we know and love so much that it’s started to lose some of its luster.

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To this effect I reconsider the character of Billy Francis Kopeke from the 1988 Penny Marshall film Big.  After viewing the alternate director’s cut of the film Kopeke becomes a much more nuanced character that not only has an expanded story, but it’s one that changes the tone and overall theme of the film. I talk about his homelife, why his relationship to Josh is so important to him, and how, for all intents and purposes, he’s probably the most capable character in the entire film.

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In this week’s shout out, I point to my bud Will’s newly rebranded site the Casserole of Disaster.  In the shout out I mention that you should check out his older site Veggie Macabre, in particular this piece he wrote that I absolutely love called The Christmas of ’87: Part 1.

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  • TheNavigator

    Hey thanks for the shout-out. I know what you mean about trying to find something new about the old 80s movies but they still never lose there shine to me. I still continue to watch new movies in fact all of the major big movies (only when they hit BluRay/DVD I don’t do cinema anymore) but I never have any incentive to watch any of the Commentaries, behind the scenes or extended cuts as they are just not as individually unique as the classic 80s movies. So watching the DVD extras and finding the extended cuts is what brings a little freshness my favourite movies and I still watch them all the way through around every 4 or 5 years.

    • Yeah, this might be a symptom I’m experiencing because I’m so steeped in this films (and songs, toys, etc) for this site and constantly in conversations on social media. I field e-mails with questions about this stuff on a pretty regular basis, so I start to get…not burnt out, but desensitized to how awesome this stuff is sometimes. It’s made me wonder over the years if I need to take periodic breaks so I can refresh myself. Anyway, thanks for listening and being being a long time reader/lurker. I always like to give credit where it’s due too, so thanks again for pointing to that version of Big!

  • TheNavigator

    Hi, yeah I do recommend the break in between viewings of your favourite movies id say around 5 years. But after that time of just watching new Movies and TV you’ll be ready to watch something that has a bit more substance and personal attachment to it. Id also recommend trying the find really obscure 80s movies too as most of them are better than the average modern movie and I know you do already as I’ve heard some of your cult film club podcasts. There’s Blu Ray/DVD labels like Shout Factory or Olive that have some great obscure 80s movies so I always buy them regularly to mix in with the modern stuff.

    • Totally. I’ve been trying to seek out more and more stuff I missed the first time around for just that reason. There are some total gems in the wake of the more popular films, stuff like Nice Girls Don’t Explode…

  • Steve L.K. Macrocranios

    I find myself getting ‘nostalgia numb’ in a way somewhat related to what you describe. But in my case I find there is a correlation between the general popularity/collector awareness of the franchise and how much of a nostalgia hit I get off scoring some old piece of related merchendise. Like I found a couple of Transformer sticker books the other day for 9 bucks each at a comic shop and I just could not whip up a single bit of nostalgic fascination over them, despite never owning them and not having seen them in person since 1985. Part of it is the way comic shops hold my childhood for ransom with their scalper pricing probably plays into the nostalgia buzzkill. Maybe if I’d have found them in the wild at the flea market or a garage sale it would have been a more exciting excavation, but buying old 80s stuff at a comic shop is like shooting lions at the zoo.

    The internet has a way of informing but also robbing me of that ‘I never knew this thing existed before!’ rush I used to be able to get. I think I only get souped up anymore if the thing I found has a chance of not being documented in a million places online. Even if it’s new to me and a wonderful piece of the 80s in its own right, it also needs to be new to Google before I feel like I’ve uncovered something worth telling anyone about. I might just be burnt out on certain brands, especially the ones everyone already knows everything about.

    I’m not a Big fan as you are so I don’t know if this has been observed before, but hearing you describe the kid’s shirts I noticed that all the characters or movies on them were thematically linked in that they were all outsiders or stories about outsiders. The universal monsters and the old UFO movie had characters that I guess in a way foreshadowed the struggle that the kid who turned into Tom Hanks would be facing. Is that a bit of great story analysis or what?

    • Yeah, I feel the same way about the general fan awareness of a brand (or the number of times it’s been talked about on sites all over the internet.) I get most of my nostalgia gut punches from stuff I had no idea existed (Tom Hanks Big comic book, Goonies Lunchbox), or from stuff that is just really obscure. Also, I really dislike having to buy collectibles from scalpers or people who “know what something is worth”. I don’t even mean this because I’m a cheapskate, it’s more of the idea that I feel most collectibles are ridiculously overpriced. I see this a lot in the vintage sticker community. People who charge like $10 for one single scratch and sniff sticker or $30 for a pack of Lazer Blazers. I feel this stuff is held hostage by these sellers because NO ONE carries vintage stickers in stores. Or it’s pretty damn rare.

      Also, great point about those shirts. That’s making me think…

  • DUSTINDUSTRIES

    I downloaded Episode 1 a few weeks ago but only had a a chance to listen to 1 and 2 yesterday and catching up branded articles. I recently watched the new TMNT 2 movie while on holidays and was entertained from start to finish, I was impressed with the incarnation of Bebop and Rocksteady and Krang was epic even if he did remind ma a bit of the Squid faced captain in Pirates of the Caribbean.

    • As much as I personally don’t like the new TMNT movies, I am sincerely happy that old school fans are digging them. The more successful they are, the more cool stuff that gets made off of them. I know a couple of seriously hardcore fans who adore that sequel, so between that and your recommend maybe I should check it out. As always, thanks for listening and reading, it means a lot coming from 80s buff like you for sure! :)