I once read a piece about what it was that made “Malcolm in the Middle” a unique comedy (beyond the timing and editing and scriptwriting – and I think one of the first without a laugh track) – and it was its portrayal of the working class. There it was definitely at an adult level while featuring kids, Gummo from a few years earlier seemed to lack adult supervision altogether and there had to be lead in the water in that small town they all drank or mercury poisoning. River’s Edge nailed the hollow teenage nihilism of the 80s – one of the few films that made me feel empty afterwards – it was middle class West Coast I think – but Gummo’s lawlessness was a distinctive lower class middle America, but sat in the uncanny valley between nearly recognizable American and feverdream-nightmare, not in the realm of horror but certainly in the zone of undiagnosed mental illness.

 I once read a piece about what it was that made “Malcolm in the Middle” a unique comedy (beyond the timing and editing and scriptwriting – and I think one of the first without a laugh track) – and it was its portrayal of the working class. There it was definitely at an adult level while featuring kids, Gummo from a few years earlier seemed to lack adult supervision altogether and there had to be lead in the water in that small town they all drank or mercury poisoning.
River’s Edge nailed the hollow teenage nihilism of the 80s – one of the few films that made me feel empty afterwards – it was middle class West Coast I think – but Gummo’s lawlessness was a distinctive lower class middle America, but sat in the uncanny valley between nearly recognizable American and feverdream-nightmare, not in the realm of horror but certainly in the zone of undiagnosed mental illness.
Gummo-as-TheLittleRascals but no one wants to start a lemonade stand or work together but oh look there’s a cat. Yeah, it was disturbing; haven’t seen it in 20 years but now I’m remembering – yikes; i forgot about the cat
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