Netflix’s ‘History of Oath Words’ is unholy fun. Host Nicholas Cage? Not so much.

Netflix’s new comedy series “History of Swear Words” is cheerful and uncommonly cheerful. Experts and celebrities spent six 20-minute episodes each with glee and aplomb, calling the word “bad”. It is a clever, well-designed show – except for the quirky choice of host. Nicholas Cage reduces the straight, complete edutainment of the show with a fountain of smugness. He is painful to watch. But his sarcastic obnoxiousness also evokes something about the power of profanity that the rest of the show, in its clear-sighted good humor, does not capture much.

Experts and celebrities called each of the six 20-minute episodes a “bad” word of the moment with glee and aplomb.

“History of oath words” is definitely Desirous In reducing the power of impurity. In one of the most enjoyable and striking sections of the series, cognitive scientist Benjamin Bergen explains that bashing can actually reduce pain, which is probably why people curse when they are hurt. Scientists are still trying to figure out why curse words have analgesic properties. But whatever the reason, it is pleasant to see comedians like Zainab Johnson and Nikki Glaeser dip their hands in ice water in a scientific effort to prove that they can better tolerate the cold.

The series also assumes that the words curse retain their force in some more traditional ways. The show is passing that young people tend to see derogatory words as the most insulting words, and while the series mostly avoids those people focusing on relaxation and sex-based filth, it has “b —-” An episode is included.

Many contributors talk about how the term is still maligned and painful, even with some women reclaiming it in certain situations. For example, Johnson explains that he thinks it is okay when his female friends use it, but never men. Rapper Open Mike Eagle talks about the prevalence of pejorative in hip-hop and how “people who wouldn’t normally allow that type of talk in any other media are fine with it in hip-hop.” He adds that he wonders if there isn’t some “inherent racism” that makes people decide that black artists can’t do better or that it’s okay to talk about black women, especially , like this. “This is something I would not like to challenge people,” he concluded.

For the most part, however, the term “history of oaths” tends to swear, rather than reaffirm its power. The mere act of saying any word for only 20 minutes is going to erase any dull taboo.

Tracing the history of each word is also an unavoidable desirable effect; Any demon, no matter how zealous or captivating, is less influential on the dissecting table. Lexiographer Corey Stamper associates each word with historicity and impartiality in the historical origins and development of each word over time. Some words have a more pronounced beginning than others, but all are interesting.

Stamper and other experts and comedians curse with apparent goodwill and there is no hatred in their hearts. Nicholas Cage, however, is another story. He is famous for playing completely unhealthy, explosive, scenery-chewing, conflicted bizarre with hyperbolic facial tics and gapping moves. “I lost my hand! I lost my bride!” “You know … I can eat peaches for hours.” In the mouth of the cage, relatively innocuous lines occur on one side of the Ras Lesicus nutri. He is larger than life, sweaty and more olive.

On “History of Swear Words”, Cage is not playing some iconic screen force; He is supposedly just playing himself. The result is perhaps more odd than his film roles. He awkwardly smogs and falls apart; Unlike everyone else in the series, he is clearly reading lines that he did not write, and he resents it deeply. When he curses, his face is turned and his eyes become spoiled, as if he had eaten something dishonestly. When he says that the two words cover the show that can be used as slurs, he seems particularly disgusting. It is supposed to be a comedy show, and Cage is telling jokes, but he is not funny. He is disturbing.

The series clearly would have done a better job of making the lead more comfortable with portraying itself and / or anthropogenic organisms. By limiting the selection of people in the series, Sarah Silverman, Zainab Johnson, Nick Offerman or Isiah Whitlock Jr. All must have improved a lot.

Nevertheless, Cage’s unconvincing performance underscores an inconvenient aspect of desecration that the series completely kicks off. Saying a forbidden word is a fun way to express anger, frustration, happiness, or excitement. It is a way of playing with the language and making it colloquial. But people also use those words to make others uncomfortable and because they want the words to express aggression, cruelty and hatred. The series is good, clean, filthy fun for the most part. But when he is onscreen, Cage finds the “history of oaths” ugly and inaccurate like a curse.

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