Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/UnNews:Scientists reveal chicken came before egg
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PEE REVIEW IN PROGRESS
of giving you his opinion and pretending you care.
|Humour:||2||Hey, Macmania. Well, the bad news is, you're right, I don't think this is very funny. The worse news is, I'm not sure it can be fixed. I'll do my best, but I'm gonna give you the bottom line right up here at top: some ideas for articles just don't work. This might be one.
Paragraph by paragraph:
Paragraph one: Well, this is just one sentence. No complaints here, except, isn't the name of the country the "United Kingdom" or "UK" rather than "Britain"?
Paragraph two: Still no jokes here. You're still establishing the subject of the article, but two paragraphs is a long time to go without saying anything funny. Even when you're re-iterating your subject material, it's a good idea to at least try to make the audience smile.
Paragraph three: You interview two people here who say pretty much exactly the same thing: that kids used to be assigned this question as homework, and kept asking it on Yahoo! Answers, and now there's an answer online. Honestly, this is only a really, really mildly funny idea at best.
Paragraph four: And this is just the flip side of the coin: people who are angry that people who are assigned to write about a philosophical dilemma now have a scientific answer. It's got a couple references to Douglas Adams thrown in for, really, no good reason. References to other works of comedy are rarely good signs in Uncyclopedia articles, because they often simply substitute the reference for actually trying to be funny (see, e.g., Stewie Griffin.)
Paragraph five: I guess this is trying to poke fun at the fact that it's unclear whether it's a criticism of a scientist that he's looking for ultimate answers. It's really just very weak.
Paragraph six: The article finally gets a little silly, and I get a few weak smiles here. Asking animals and inanimate objects for comment is, you know, kinda silly. It's not going to make anyone laugh out loud, but at least it's kind of fun. The namedrop of the '80s PSA about drugs and frying pans also got a weak smile of recognition.
And then it's over.
|Concept:||2||The concept of people answering unanswerable questions isn't really a new one. The Simpsons have done it a few times ("Lisa: What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Bart: *claps with one hand* "Lisa: No, Bart! It's supposed to be an unanswerable question that will bring enlightnement if meditated upon!") Actually, the chicken-and-egg question itself was recently tackled by Flight of the Conchords. ("Well, that's a stupid question. The egg, of course." "But where did the egg come from?" "Well, from the chic... oh.")
But in both of those examples, the concept was character-driven. In the Simpsons, the joke was that Bart was a real smart-ass and not a deep thinker. In Flight of the Conchords, the joke was that Murray was a complete idiot.
Here, though, your concept isn't character-based. The concept is basically that you found an article about science trying to answer an unanswerable question, and you wrote about how some people were happy about it and some people were pissed about it. Honestly, I can't for the life of me find any humor in that concept. Is the joke supposed to be that people were weighing in on something that's apparently trivial? If that's the joke, you could have easily found something sillier and more trivial to write about, like a town in Louisiana postponing its marmalade festival or something.
Is the joke supposed to be, basically, "Look how silly it is that this research exists?" If it is, that joke A) didn't come through; and B) isn't going to get a lot of chuckles.
More likely, the joke is "The information age is ruining our ability to do abstract mind puzzles." But... this is really not a very good way to get that joke across. Plus, if that's the concept, a single example probably isn't enough - you'd want to tackle "tree falls in the forest," "one hand clapping," etc.
Without a solid concept, the article falls back on references to other humor. A lot. It links to nobody cares, has a throwaway line about Bush Administration euphamisms for torture, links to Captain Understatement, references Douglas Adams twice, namedrops the '80s PSA about drugs and frying pans. That's a lot of throwaway references for such a short article. In general, Uncyclopedians are more annoyed by them than encouraged by them: you go to read something funny, and instead you get "Here's a collection of things I find funny."
In general, it's best to stay away from them unless the article almost screams at you that you should use them. If they feel at all forced, they're just going to annoy the reader. Don't get me wrong: I haven't always been innocent of reference humor, myself. Then again, half the time I go to Pee Review, what I get is "Please get rid of the lame reference jokes."
|Prose and formatting:||5||The prose is solid, but the formatting is not. You used [[File:]] instead of [[Image:]] for your images, which is, I believe, what causes a giant chunk of whitespace in the middle of my screen. (I'm not 100% sure - I'd have to experiment - but something's causing it.) The pictures are simply too tall for the article and should be either cropped, resized, or one of them should be omitted. Cadbury is a red link.|
|Images:||6||I guess they're okay - they're, at least, relevant to the article. I don't like the fact that the captions simply reference other jokes that aren't yours.|
|Final Score:||19||I'm sorry this Pee Review is so critical and doesn't have a lot of helpful advice, but to be honest, the most helpful advice I can give you is to go back to the drawing board and try something else. And hope that thinking about why this concept doesn't work might help you down the path of thinking of a hilarious concept that will turn into an FA.
Because, really, I don't think this UnNews can be successful without a complete overhaul of the concept. Maybe it could maybe be character-driven or dialogue-driven, like, for example, staging it as an interview between the researcher and someone who doesn't want to accept the research. Maybe it could be zany - the weirdness of the last paragraph more prevalent throughout the whole article. Maybe it could tackle brain teasers and science without having to fall back on a single recent publication so heavily.
You've got nine features now, including one of my favorite articles of all time, UnBooks:An Authentic Journal of Travelers on the Oregon Trail. You know what separates that from this? Concept. There, the concept was very clear: "What if that video game was a literal representative of reality?" It's a concept that beautifully satirizes its subject matter. That's what makes it great. Here, I can't honestly figure out the concept of the article, and if that's not there, it's just not gonna work.
Good luck!! If you think I've missed the point, and that someone else might be able to help you whip this into shape using its existing concept, I wouldn't be at all offended if you resubmitted this request, but this is my take on it.
|Reviewer:||21:33, July 19, 2010 (UTC)|