SirMustapha wrote:The problem is: that interpretation doesn't make any sense. It's inconsistent. Think about it: if they were actual porn characters instead of real people, would they suddenly halt their acting, apologising for a "mix up" and start playing a board game? NO! THEY WOULD JUST START HAVING SEX ANYWAY!!
I don't think you or I can speak authoritatively on what the people living in porn-world would do. Maybe the porn-people living in porn-world instinctively know their scripts, but the porn-gods messed up, and the porn-people can see it as a mistake.
SirMustapha wrote:If that was Randall's actual intent, the twist towards "NERDY BOARD GAME!" is not only idiotic fanservice, but it kills the whole joke ...
xkcd is full of such nerdy twists. I don't find it surprising to see another one. Personally, I don't think this one worked, but I think that's more because I found the set-up confusing, plus I didn't recognize the game. My not recognizing the game is not a failing in a series known for obscure references. People who weren't familiar with Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
didn't get "Temper
"; I don't blame Randall for that, either. If xkcd didn't have a history of obscure references it would be another matter, but it does.
However, since it's apparent a number of people found the set-up confusing, I think it's likely the set-up was poorly conceived and/or executed. That, as you say, sometimes happens.
Of course, a problematic set-up combined with an obscure reference just makes the problematic set-up that much harder to figure out. That's going to be a danger in anything that likes obscure references. I don't think it's avoidable.
SirMustapha wrote:It makes a whole lot of sense to think that the three characters are hired strippers, who ended up at the house at the same time either by an error of scheduling (look at the TITLE!), or because the whole family accidentally scheduled strippers at the same time (again, the TITLE!).
That seems like a valid, workable interpretation as well.
SirMustapha wrote:The board game thing is plain fanservice and doesn't aid the joke ...
That depends. xkcd is full of unexpected segues into geekdom. I think it's generally intended and accepted as surrealist humor when that happens. Perhaps that could be made to work with the porn/stripper/whatever schedule mix-up; perhaps not. However, regardless of whether it *could* be made to work, I don't feel that this comic actually *did* make it work (at least for me). I'm not going to get upset over it, though.
SirMustapha wrote:The lack of character expressions, visual mood and details show that minimalism isn't always good ...
I tend to agree here. Further up-thread Platypodes and I got into a short discussion
on this. It does seem like it would work better as a live-action skit.