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The Pajiba Pop Culture Disappointments Tournament - Round of 32

By Brian Byrd | Miscellaneous | March 23, 2016 |

By Brian Byrd | Miscellaneous | March 23, 2016 |

One round down, 19.6 more to go. Or something. I sling words because numbers make me curl up in a ball and await deliverance. That’s socially acceptable, right? I don’t know why my co-workers look at me sideways when it happens.

Anyway, the bracket is a school bus fire. Ten double-digit seeds remain after an opening-round bloodbath that saw a No. 1 and a No. 2 exit the dance without notching a victory. A disappointing performance in a disappointment tournament is some corner-of-1st-and-1st type nonsense that we can’t discuss in detail without tearing a hole in the fabric of space-time. Let’s just say two S-titled properties managed to let fans down yet again.

Now is your chance to trim the field even further. Round of 32 voting begins today and continues through Saturday, March 26. Next Monday we’ll kick off the Sour 16, with the Hate 8 on Wednesday and the Frustrating Four following on Friday.

Pajiba Disappointment Bracket - 32.jpg
(click to embiggen)

Round of 64 (Part 1)
Round of 64 (Part 2)

No. 1 The Star Wars Prequels
No. 8 Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four
Did you vote correctly
: Yes
Why the outcome is correct: Because the Star Wars prequels are cinema’s original sin, and Trank’s Fantastic Four didn’t even have the courtesy of being entertainingly bad. It was just bad. Like the first time you sex…with your sister…while your parents watched. Ya burnt.

No. 5 Crash wins Best Picture
No. 4 Actresses Who Say They Aren’t Feminists

Did you vote correctly: No
Why the outcome is incorrect: Because (**guy leans around building ASCII**) Brokeback Mountain wasn’t a much better alternative in retrospect, while Saving Private Ryan’s “Earn this” moment still causes my living room to spontaneously fill with dust. Coincidentally, “earn this” is what the Male Patriarchy™ thinks female actresses haven’t done or else they’d be making the same money as the penis-havers. Don’t help them out, ladies. LOOKIN AT YOU, SUSAN SARANDON! THE DEAD MAN IS WALKING TO THE BANK WHILE YOU PRETEND EVERYTHING IS FINE!

No. 3 True Detective Season 2
No. 11 X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Did you vote correctly
: Yes (barely)
Why the outcome is correct: Only 62 votes out of the 2,280 cast kept 2rue Detective from going down in the first round. Did you all forget the season finale featured kaleidoscope cam and Colin Farrell saluting a big-boned ginger through a playground fence? Those two facts alone make it possible for me to shamelessly say the sophomore season should have handily beat the guy who screamed the N-word in public. To bastardize a magnificent line from Veep’s Ben Cafferty: “X-Men Origins: Wolverine is so full of shit there’s a colon right in the middle.”

No. 7 Movies only existing as setups for the next movie
No. 2 Back-to-back All-White Oscars
Did you vote correctly
: Yes
Why the outcome is correct: Well, I’ll tell you…in next year’s bracket. Check the bottom of this post for a super secret easter egg that will soak your panties, though.

No. 1 NBC’s Disastrous Decline
No. 8 Ang Lee’s Hulk
Did you vote correctly
: Yes
Why the outcome is correct: Ang Lee’s Hulk was so disappointing it’s hard to believe it wasn’t made by NBC Studios. Actually, if NBC made a Hulk show they’d cast Paul Reiser as Bruce Banner, Jenna Elfman as Quirky Scientist Friend, add a laugh track and air it on Friday nights at 3:57 in the morning.

No. 12 Donald Trump hosts SNL
No. 13 Cameron Crowe’s Career Since Almost Famous
Did you vote correctly
: No
Why the outcome is incorrect: Because M. Night Shamaylan made a movie where Marky Mark flees killer trees and IT WAS HIS BEST WORK IN A DECADE! Trump hosting SNL was embarrassing, yes. But how much can you really embarrass a show that willfully employs Colin Jost, Kyle Mooney, and the white guy with the terrible Anderson Cooper impression?

No. 6 NBC Fires Conan O’Brien from The Tonight Show
No. 14 Netflix’s Adam Sandler Deal
Did you vote correctly
: Maybe
Why the outcome might be incorrect: Because while The Ridiculous 6 was a war crime and The Do-Over is an apt title for what someone watching an Adam Sandler movie wishes for when the credits roll, The Hobbit trilogy is cinematic equivalent of eating a NyQuil-brined turkey stuffed with Ambien. More like Bilboring, amirite losers? (Colin Jost, Kyle Mooney and Unfunny White Guy soil themselves laughing). Clearly not enough voters remember what Lindsey Lohan looked like in Mean Girls because if they did O’Brien would been bounced early yet again.

No. 10 Antiquated Ratings Metrics
No. 15 David O. Russell Turns Out to be a Dick
Did you vote correctly
: Hell no
Why the outcome is incorrect: PETER PARKER STRUTTED DOWN THE GODDAMN STREET SNAPPING HIS FINGERS LIKE A 50s CARTOON CHARACTER! ERIC FORMAN PLAYED VENOM! Who expected anything from O. Russell, a guy who looks like he writes “Try working a little harder, sweetie” in the “tips” section of the receipt when he goes out to eat. I know Ratings Metrics beating HIMYM is going to drive the commentariat into a frothing rage, but it actually wasn’t that close (56 percent to 44 percent, or about 250 votes).

No. 1 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
No. 9 Superman Returns
Did you vote correctly
: Yes
Why the outcome is correct: Nuke the fridge. Aliens. Shia LaBeouf monkey army. We may not review movies anymore or cover Michael Jackson like we used to, but at least we didn’t force an old man to listen to Shia’s slam poetry for four months. I don’t have anything interesting to say about Superman Returns, which feels appropriate. Please lose.

No. 4 3D Movies
No. 5 9/11 Truther Celebs
Did you vote correctly
: Yes
Why the outcome is correct: Strong matchup here between those who believe miniature wizards living in a dumpster outside Build-A-Bear headquarters orchestrated 9/11 and the technology the aforementioned wizards used to pull it off.

No. 3 The Lost Finale
No. 6 The Fappening
Did you vote correctly
: Yes
Why the outcome is correct: Surprisingly close victory for the Lost finale, as atrocious screenwriting justifiably edged atrocious songwriting, 54-46. Now it takes on the repugnant nickname for a celeb nude photo leak, which knocked off Chris Gaines, a Garth Brooks alter ego who looks like the type of guy who spent significant man hours pleasuring himself to stolen property.

No. 2 Prometheus
No. 7 Mel Gibson’s Racist Rant
Did you vote correctly
: Maybe
Why the outcome might be correct: Because even though Kanye’s recent trajectory makes it nearly impossible for anyone born after 1996 to believe he was once the most popular hitmaker in hip-hop, it’s hard to say an Oscar-winning director’s anti-Semitic rant is less disappointing. Prometheus survived a spirited challenge from No. 15 Eyes Wide Shut, the late Stanley Kubrick’s ode to passionless orgies.
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No. 8 Jeremy Renner’s Thoughts on Things
No. 16 Endless Happy Endings Return Teases
Did you vote correctly
: NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Why the outcome is incorrect: Hate to tell you all, but no one other than Pajiba commenters and lonely businessmen trapped in sexless marriages care about Happy Endings. “The Finale” was the fifth-highest rated finale ever — more people watched Seinfeld conclude than watched every Happy Endings episode combined — and probably the most anticipated episode of the last two decades. And it forgot to include jokes. Jeremy Renner, of course, sees nothing wrong with this result.

No. 4 Dave Chappelle Walks Away From Chappelle’s Show
No. 12 The TV Writers’ Strike
Did you vote correctly
: Yes
Why the outcome is correct: Not saying I’d have changed the results if Chappelle lost to Deadwood. That would be scandalous. But I literally would have done exactly that. Deadwood is at least getting a movie. Pleasantly surprised to see The Writers’ Strike pull the upset over The Sopranos finale. Scribes need love (copy desk, please insert link to my GoFundMe page before publishing).

No. 3 The Dexter Finale
No. 11 Speed 2
Did you vote correctly
: Yes
Why the outcome is correct: Out-of-control-object that poses no danger to anyone vs. the serial lumberjack. Jurassic World was more anticipated than Speed 2 and arguably more disappointing, but there’s only so much rage to muster.

No. 2 The Matrix Revolutions
No. 10 SportsCenter’s Decline
Did you vote correctly
: Yes
Why the outcome is correct: I watched SportsCenter the other day to catch NCAA tournament highlights. Dick Vitale showed up spouting incoherent drivel and my daughter screamed “MELMO” because she thought Vitale was Elmo. Sick burn, kid. The Matrix finale destroyed its opponent 84-16 — the largest margin of victory in the first round — and established itself as a dark horse title contender in the process.

As promised, here’s that mind-blowing post-post scene: