5 Eerie Predictions By TV Shows (That Came True)
Thousands of years of trying to predict the future has taught us that not even the smartest people can do it for shit. This is why people go bankrupt betting on sports and the stock market -- reality doesn't conform to anybody's vision.
Well, except when it comes to TV writers, apparently. They seem to be very good at accidentally predicting impending events in a way that's both eerie and utterly random. To wit ...
Saturday Night Live Foreshadowed 9/11
The September 11th terrorist attacks had massive repercussions that we still don't fully understand. But if you had to write a Hollywood blockbuster about the day, you'd probably dumb it all down to three planes hitting their targets and one being brought down by resisting passengers, Osama bin Laden taking responsibility, and America invading Afghanistan in an attempt to capture bin Laden. Then America would roll into Iraq, which some critics would argue was nothing but an excuse to seize their oil reserves, and finally bin Laden would be found and killed in Pakistan. Oh, and everyone involved in the manhunt would inexplicably be super-hot but struggling in their love lives because of their demanding careers.
It would be far from a perfect historical retelling, but it would get all the main beats across. Just like SNL did in a 2000 segment of Weekend Update.
Here's the clip:
It begins with a joke about Bush, then the Governor of Texas, going to war to steal oil. The war in question is with Alaska, but to the average American, Alaska and Iraq are equally foreign.
Eight years later, Sarah Palin would ruin this joke.
Next is a joke about a crime in New York City. The Twin Towers feature prominently in the skyline shot.
Not too impressive so far, right? Okay, then we see a picture of "the reclusive bin Laden, who's reportedly hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan." Specifically, it's a story about how he was rumored to be dying of kidney failure, but that would be far from the most absurd rumor to float around the soon-to-be-very-infamous terrorist.
After that came a joke about Pakistan's strict judicial system, in which bin Laden was eventually found and shot to death (which is a pretty strict way of being declared guilty).
If only he had been gaveled to death under a crescent moon.
Finally, there's a report on an attempted takeover of a plane that gets foiled by the passengers, to which Colin Quinn quips, "Fortunately, order was restored and the plane was allowed to crash on its own." Jokes aside, that's what happened to United 93.
Yeah, that's our faces by the end of this clip, too.
It's like a fifth-grader had to give a school report on 9/11, read about it on Wikipedia, then forgot half of it. It's not exactly spot-on, but it's undeniably eerie. So while we're not going to say that Colin Quinn is the new Nostradamus, or that he singlehandedly orchestrated 9/11, we're not not saying it, either.
Chris Pratt Calls For The Return Of Power Rangers, A Role In A New Jurassic Park, Gets His Demands
After what feels like a hundred Transformers movies, two attempts at Spider-Man, a bunch of Terminator sequels that almost no one wanted, and a gritty reboot of Jem And The Holograms that absolutely no one wanted, Hollywood is officially scraping the bottom of the barrel with a new Power Rangers flick. No one saw this level of desperation coming ... except Chris "Star-Lord" Pratt.
Likewise, no one else predicted that Pratt -- once a side character in one of the lowest-rated sitcoms on TV -- would get the lead role in a blockbuster sequel. Except Chris Pratt.
Watch this Parks And Rec clip, because it's always a great idea to watch Parks And Rec clips.
Pratt's character, Andy, asks Leslie's new boss, "Can you bring back Power Rangers? I don't know what it is you do, but you seem important enough to get that done." It was a goofy joke showing off Andy's absent mind and bad priorities, but less than two weeks after the episode aired, the Power Rangers reboot was announced.
Prompting us all to make this face.
Now, you know the old saying: "One is a coincidence, twice is irrefutable proof that Chris Pratt has psychic powers." Check out the start of a goofy bonus feature from season two of Parks:
Pratt checks his phone and says that he'll have to get back to Steven Spielberg about starring in Jurassic Park 4 because he needs to do this feature first. "Well," you say, "Maybe he already heard something!" No, keep in mind this was in 2009 -- two years before anyone even sat down to write the script for Jurassic World, and four years before Pratt started negotiating for the role (after he had become much more famous).
He gets a new ab with every franchise.
That was the joke -- that he was way too obscure to get a hypothetical role like that. Parks wasn't exactly tearing up the ratings, and Pratt's biggest film roles to date had been minor parts in the immediately-forgotten Jennifer's Body and Bride Wars. But as we all know, Jurassic World would eventually be announced, and Pratt would star as a raptor trainer (the new dream job of countless children). Wait, do we need to apologize to all the people reading The Secret a few years back?
The West Wing Predicted The Death Of One Of Its Actors
Back when Aaron Sorkin was a name that promised snappy dialogue instead of long speeches about how smart Aaron Sorkin is, The West Wing was the King of Television (this was also before Netflix). In its final season, the political drama followed the rise of Matt Santos, fictional America's first nonwhite president, in a campaign inspired by a then-obscure Barack Obama.
Played by a now-obscure Bail Organa.
The parallels between Santos and Obama's 2008 election were so eerie that Obama's campaign manager told the writers that he and his colleagues were living out the series. The biggest difference is that Joe Biden didn't die of a heart attack on election night, whereas his fictional counterpart Leo McGarry did. But that plot point only came about because the actor who played McGarry, John Spencer, had a fatal heart attack, possibly because the show cursed him.
McGarry has a heart attack in the penultimate season, but survives and continues his political career. Then, in the season seven premiere "The Ticket," Santos tells a belligerent McGarry, "I'm not going to fire you. You want out, you're going to have to drum up another heart attack or something." Three months later, John Spencer got out of the show by dying of a heart attack, forcing the writers to kill off McGarry after making sure they didn't have some sort of witch doctor power.
"No, he left with Rob Lowe to help him drain victims to prolong his youth."
The episode is almost unspeakably grim in retrospect -- McGarry also assures a reporter that his cardiologist has cleared him to handle the stress of an election campaign -- but President Martin Sheen gave a touching tribute to Spencer in the first episode that aired after his death. An episode that also left in Spencer's character saying, "By an overwhelming percentage, the first symptom of a heart attack is death. I am fortunate to be here," before going on about how lucky he was to have had access to life-saving American healthcare. Jesus, West Wing, we're sure that went over well at the wake.
An Obscure MTV Cartoon Predicted The Ability To Give Women Orgasms With Spinal Implants
We like to think the future finally arrived the day that Dr. Stuart "Sugar" Meloy helped a number of women achieve orgasm by implanting electrodes in their lower backs. No one was more surprised than Meloy -- the device, located near the bottom of the spinal cord, was intended to treat chronic pain. But he didn't quite place it properly, and then, due to a bunch of complicated science stuff, their spines tricked their brains and genitals into thinking they were having a really good time with the pool boy.
Meloy, whom we hope now calls himself the Doctor of Love, wants to commercialize the product to help women with various sexual dysfunctions. The biggest stumbling block to turning everyone into orgasm cyborgs is the cost. Because it's elective surgery, it would run an estimated $12,000, although bad sitcoms have taught us that's worth it, because he's never going to get it together in bed, right, girlfriend? Anyway, considering the product's own inventor never saw this coming (pun not intended), it's not surprising no one else did either ... except a fairly obscure MTV cartoon.
Aeon Flux, a surreal cult classic watched almost exclusively by people who were tripping balls at 2 a.m., was about the eponymous cyborg spy doing cool, violent, and sexy cyborg stuff while alluding to pretentious philosophical concepts. (It would get turned into a Charlize Theron movie in 2005, which even fewer people saw.)
"I literally risk my neck, and you couldn't risk a matinee ticket? Assholes."
In one episode, dictator Trevor Goodchild disguises himself as a doctor so he can perform surgery on some random woman who got shot in the spine trying to escape his country, because that will make Aeon jealous. But the surgery is just an excuse to bring the woman to orgasm by tinkering around in the hole in her back where she's been given a spinal implant. See "surreal cult classic," above.
The woman comments "I haven't ever had it like this," and enjoys it so much that she later calls up Trevor and asks for another literal spine-tingler.
This is actually one of the tamer screen grabs from the series.
Later on, she gets her legs cut off and her life is ruined, but that's unrelated to the fact that they totally predicted spinal therapy inadvertently producing orgasms. If only doctors took more medical advice from avant-garde '90s cyberpunk.
The Thing Writer Predicts Kamikaze Attacks Years Before World War II
When the Japanese began using Kamikaze pilots in 1944, the Allies were stunned. It was unthinkable that someone would be so desperate that they'd throw away their lives in a vain attempt to stop their inevitable defeat. The Allies needed time to adjust their tactics simply because no one had ever conceived of such an attack ... except for a largely unknown science fiction writer.
John W. Campbell's main claim to fame is writing "Who Goes There?" which was famously adapted into John Carpenter's The Thing. But he wrote lots of other stories, including the obscure "Frictional Losses" in 1936.
Which, as far as we know, hasn't inspired any orgasm technology ... yet.
While it sounds like a statistics textbook you bought and then never read, "Losses" is about an alien invasion and mankind's desperate struggle to unite and fight back. It's essentially the literary Independence Day. A variety of strategies are tried, but it's ultimately an idea of the "peculiar" Japanese that helps turn the tide: They fill their planes to the brim with explosives, then ram them straight into the alien ships for maximum damage. Sound familiar?
Humanity eventually wins, but not before the aliens wipe Japan from the face of the Earth with atomic weapons. So Japan fights its technologically superior invaders with suicide attacks, only to be defeated by atom bombs. Except for Japan being the defensive party, that's World War II's Pacific in a nutshell, several years before it started and nearly a decade before kamikaze pilots and atomic bombs arrived on stage. Oh, and in the story, the Japanese are remembered around the world as selfless heroes, which miiiight explain why it didn't become a postwar classic.
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Turns out pop culture is way better at predicting the future than our Magic 8 Ball. Like how the Super Mario movie that predicted 9/11, and how Mark Twain pretty much invented the Internet. See what we mean in 27 Mind-Blowing Things Accurately Predicted By Movies and 21 Eerily Specific Pop Culture Predictions That Came True.
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