Yes. Yes. Of course it was a joke. A big, dumb, fun elaborate April Fool's joke that probably went on a bit too long and gave many of us a huge headache (what? We had to cover all time zones). For the one percent of you who actually fell for it: That makes me a little sad. Really? You thought we'd sell out hard? Come on? The site faces economic realities every single month, but we'd sooner go under than sell out like that. It'd practically be the same thing. It certainly wouldn't be Pajiba.
If, on the other hand, you did like that new direction: There's plenty of movie websites out there that will appeal to you.
Of course, that was the point. After three fairly successful April Fool's gags, and the rise of Twitter and Facebook, no one expected to pull the cotton over anyone's eyelids this year. It's impractical. But we did want to highlight (or, force down your gagging throats) the difference between Pajiba a lot of other sites. Yes, we exaggerated the nature of selling out, but the real danger lies in sites that aren't so obvious about selling out. Access grants you privileges, and privileges do not come free. If you're given airfare, accommodations, and an opportunity to hang out with celebrities, then the review is probably going to be tainted in some small degree. Why the hell else would a studio do it? They're in the business of selling their products, not in the business of altruistically treating movie critics to dinner and free merchandise. Personally, I'd rather read a site where I knew they were cozying up for that access instead of a site where's it's considerably more subtle. That's where it's really insidious. (But yes: There are several critics who can capably toe that line).
I'll step off the self-righteous rant pedestal now cause it's making my nose bleed, except to note that, come Monday, we will be changing the tagline ever so slightly.
We're also going to leave the site as is for the rest of the day, so you can all bathe in the atrociousness of it (I may rip my skin off tomorrow). I do want to thank the writers for playing along, and especially replica, who provided a lot of today's ideas and is responsible for the site theme and perfectly cheesy, ghastly images ('cept for Stacey's cool slash creepy PL image).
Also, a huge thanks to the majority of readers who just played along (and those of you who called us out on it immediately, you can go back and verify that your comments are now in place). Some of you played along a little too well, quite frankly. Our comments section looks like a Perez HIlton discussion board. Moderating comments all day nearly bled my fucking brain dry. And if you all continue to post "Firsts!" come tomorrow, I will not only delete them immediately, but TK will beat your ass with a segment of the Human Centipede. And then Seth will sue you for emotional distress. If you need to get it out of your system, do it on this post (see: I'm preempting the smart-asses), and then we can move along and go back to the old, cynical suspicious nature of this place (sorry Millennials).
Finally, for those of you who loathed today, then rest assured that we got our comeuppance. Thanks to hh's fantastic Greatest Arnold Schwarzeneggar Quotes video -- which has been trending on Twitter and is in the Top 10 YouTube Videos of the Day -- we're expecting record-breaking traffic. And all those new visitors will see the site and run for their fucking lives (and the ones that embrace the fake site we might not want around). So, you know: Never doubt our commitment to a gag (or Sparkle Motion!), even when it's not in our best interests.
I think we all need a shower now.
Next year: We kill the Godtopus in the town circle.