Infants on Thrones

The Philosophies of Men, Mingled with Humor

rainbow

The Singles Ward

In this episode the entire quorum, Matt, Glenn, Bob, Randy, Tom, and Jesse take on the movie, The Singles Ward. They review the film and discuss what, if anything, it says about Mormonism and Mormon culture. Could all of life’s questions be answered by this 2002 film? Listen to the podcast to find out.

  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0306069/
  • http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the-singles-ward/
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7zrs1si7UM

  • sd

    Another fun podcast! That settles it, you guys are the best out there. Though, I’m not sure a female voice would be a horrible addition… All joking aside, I was afraid that the Guilt podcast set the bar too high, but you are coming through with flying colors! LOVE the format. Fantastic!
    For the record, I don’t think you guys sound too “Mormon-Y” either. I’m not a fan of the movie, but I am of this episode! And now I am a die-hard IOT fan! Great to hear from Tom and Glenn again. Keep it up!

    • Matt

      Thanks sd! We’d love to have a female voice, but don’t want to throw someone on just because they are female. Maybe soon.

  • brandt

    Great episode, guys. I love how you guys have really tried to think outside the box and present a different format to the regular panel discussion, with clips from the movie and everything.

    I have this really interesting connection with The Singles Ward, and I think it’s because I grew up outside of Utah. While we did our fair share of mocking, at the same time, we also kind of looked at everything in Utah with this strange sense of awe, like ‘Wow, they really do stuff like that out there?”

    Once The Singles Ward came out, we were riveted. Look, from an actual movie perspective, you guys are spot on – it sucked. The comedy was lame and strained, the conflict was vacuous, and the characters shallow and emotion-less. However, the effect was huge. I mean, I think if you put up God’s Army vs. The Singles Ward, more know the latter simply because it actually was successful in that it hadn’t really been done before. I’d love to hear a podcast discussion Sons of Provo, because as of the last time I watched it, it actually had some (DECENT) commentary on the overzealousness of Utah.

    Like I said, the Halestorm movies aren’t going to be winning any awards, but their effect was huge.

    • Matt

      I agree with you Brandt that Singles Ward was big in mormondom when it came out. I also had a similar experience as you did watching it since I grew up outside of Utah as well. Had Halestorm stopped with this film, or at least tried to do something different, rather than putting out films that were caricatures of the singles ward, their impact would even be greater.

      Look for movie reviews of God’s Army, Sons of Provo, and other mormon cinema in the future.

  • shenpa warrior

    Glenn saved the day when SW was compared to Napoleon Dynamite. The latter was a huge success outside of the Jello belt, because it’s so freakin’ awesome. I agree, I didn’t love it the first time, but over time I actually liked it a lot more. Contrast that with the Singles Ward – I didn’t love it the first time either, but rather than liking it more as time went on, I just enjoyed making fun of it more. So thank you Glenn, for saving this podcast with your defense of Napoleon Dynamite. ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/dgostlund Glenn Ostlund

      Kip rules.

      (now I want some Nachos…)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jsethanderson J Seth Anderson

    Holy cow this brought back memories, especially about the soundtrack. I was on my mission when this movie came out but the soundtrack made it to Russia and was secretly passed around the mission. I was desperate for any rock music and the soundtrack was sorta rock (not really) and it was churchy so we didn’t feel too much guilt.
    You guys are doing great with the new podcast. I like the cut away audio and the children laugh track :)

  • Polly Anna

    It’s been great to revisit these crazy movies. I love hearing your takes on them. It actually made me visit the Desert Book website for the first time in a long time.

  • Naomi

    I too, own the soundtrack. And I am not ashamed. Great job!

  • TheNewCitizen

    Every now and then when I flip through all the TV channels, I see that Napoleon Dynamite is on. I just sit and wait for all those lines that are stuck in my head. It definitely got better after seeing it the first time. Not the case with The Singles Ward.
    Does anyone remember the Mormon version of Pride and Prejudice?

    • http://bobcaswell.com Bob Caswell

      Yeah, I remember the Mormon P&P being pretty funny in the theaters. But then they tried to make it more accessible to outside audiences (I guess), and the DVD version kinda sucked because it had much of the Mormonness removed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269062610 Kris Fielding

    I’m glad the other Halestorm turds were mentioned here. I was a fan of SW – owned it and the soundtrack (and christmas album). It has some redeeming value for a TBM, at least. They got progressively worse, though, and I swore them off after Home Teachers. Then when Church Ball came out I also thought there was SOOO much material there that there’d be no way they screw it up. It was easily the worst of their movies. Nothing even remotely funny. The “actors” could neither act nor play basketball. Absolutely fucking horrible. Not that there was a script to work with, per se, but Jesus, you can find a dozen or so decent players in any given ward who couldn’t possibly act worse than the group they cast.

  • Jamie

    I have to agree with the first assessment of Napoleon Dynamite because I did NOT think it was funny the first time I saw it. I had to see it a second time before the humor registered with me. (I now LOVE that film) I thought Singles Ward was hilarious but most of the other Hailstorm movies were kinda lame. Now, you all are bad mouthing this flick but honestly it’s no more less funny than the “twilight zone, space cadet” sound effect antics you have in the couple of podcasts I’ve listened to. The one on apostasy was great and had a lot of wonderful dialog but all the little corny sound effects took away from the otherwise fantastic subject matter. I get that its to add an element of humor to your show but it was poorly delivered.

    • http://bobcaswell.com Bob Caswell

      Thanks for the feedback, Jamie. We aren’t necessarily using the sound effects to be funny. It’s more a stylistic choice. But your perspective is good to know.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dgostlund Glenn Ostlund

      Twilight Zone Space Cadet.  Aka Infants on Thrones.   Sounds like it got the point across to me.

      Joseph Smith — with his Kolob, and lost tribes on an asteroid, and people of Enoch on a chunk of Earth floating out in space, and Quaker-looking men on the moon — was probably the Rod Serling of the religious world — a brilliant charismatic space cadet  way before his time.  Genious.  Sounds like the kernel of a future episode.

  • Jamie

    I have to agree with the first assessment of Napoleon Dynamite because I did NOT think it was funny the first time I saw it. I had to see it a second time before the humor registered with me. (I now LOVE that film) I thought Singles Ward was hilarious but most of the other Hailstorm movies were kinda lame. Now, you all are bad mouthing this flick but honestly it’s no more less funny than the “twilight zone, space cadet” sound effect antics you have in the couple of podcasts I’ve listened to. The one on apostasy was great and had a lot of wonderful dialog but all the little corny sound effects took away from the otherwise fantastic subject matter. I get that its to add an element of humor to your show but it was poorly delivered.

  • Jamie

    Sorry about the double post. That was not intentional.

  • Hillary

    Sorry for coming late to the party here, but if you can do three Mormon Psychic podcasts you can do a follow up review of The Singles 2nd Ward. It had a totally difference vibe, almost snarky at times, while remaining just as abhorrent as the original. I would love to hear the quorum’s take on it.

    You guys do an awesome job! I love this podcast and always look forward to new episodes.

    • Glenn

      I didn’t even know they made a sequel. We’ll have to check it out. Thanks, Hillary.

    • http://bobcaswell.com Bob Caswell

      I’m with Glenn… didn’t know they made a sequel! I’m not sure whether to be excited or scared.

      • Hillary

        I’d come down on the side of scared. I’m pretty sure knowing about it reflects more poorly on me than your ignorance does on you.

        One of the characters questions the church over temple marriage which is one of the reasons I thin it would be interesting to get your take on it. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  • Josh Segundo

    Wow, i never heard of these podcasts til a day ago. I’ve been missing out – but i’m loving having a couple years worth of material to listen to now.

    With regards to the Singles Ward, I remember really enjoying it as a TBM. In retrospect it had some pretty crappy undertones – including how uptight and upset Cami was about Jonathon’s comedy routine in the club. She should lighten up. Those were the best jokes in the movie.