Archives For Television

I love television.  I’m not ashamed to admit it.  From my earliest childhood, with  Sesame Street, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Captain KangarooThe Electric Company (the original, not that bullshit remake), Zoom (the original, not that bullshit remake), and a zillion cartoons, that big box has been a huge part of my life.

A lot of buzzkills argue that too much television is unhealthy.  My reply to them is, “Suck it.”  I learned to count to 20 in Spanish thanks to Sesame StreetSchoolhouse Rock taught me about the parts of speech, and I can still sing the preamble to the Constitution.  And raise your hand if, like me, you learned to twirl your arms from watching Bernadette on Zoom.  Now tell me that trick hasn’t held you in good stead all these years.

I have learned much from TV shows over the years.  I’ve also drawn very important conclusions from my recent TV watching habits.  I’d like to share a few of them with you.

  • Life insurance companies should automatically report to the police anyone who takes out extra policies on their spouses.   Per 48 Hours Mystery, Dateline, and everything else that runs on the ID Channel, this should be a no-brainer.  If you take out an expensive policy, you may as well be wearing a sandwich board that says, “I’m about to commit murder!!”  So just go ahead and report these folks to the police and save them some legwork.  (Note to Mr. Weebles:  That million-dollar policy I just took out on you is in NO WAY related to this.)
  • Similarly, people with Crazy Eyes should be summarily reported to the police. Check out the perps featured on the ID Channel.  They ALL have Crazy Eyes.  I don’t care what profilers and psychologists say—ocular creepiness is the most reliable indicator of criminal intent.
These are Crazy Eyes.

These are Crazy Eyes.

These are NOT Crazy Eyes.

These are not Crazy Eyes.

  • No matter what day or time it is, some version of Law & Order is always on.  ALWAYS.  I find this oddly comforting.
  • Any man who tried to call me “Baby girl” would get the asskicking of a lifetime.  Except for Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds.
  • There are a LOT of aliens, chupacabras, sasquatches, and other mysterious creatures around us.  Be careful out there.
  • Most ghost hunters are obnoxious dickwads.  They walk around allegedly haunted places trying to taunt the spirits by yelling, “Show yourself!!”  If I were a ghost, I’d scare these idiots so badly that they’d need diapers for the rest of their lives.  Just because you’re talking to dead people doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have good manners.

Surely, my friends, you have also gleaned crucial learnings from your TV viewing.  Please share.

I’ve just seen a commercial for a new TLC show called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.  This Honey Boo Boo creature, who is 6 years old, is one of the stars of another TLC train wreck, Toddlers & Tiaras, and is a regular on the children’s beauty pageant circuit.

Now this little monstrosity has her own fucking show.  Because when TLC deliberately scraped the bottom of the barrel last season, they apparently still weren’t satisfied.  I haven’t checked the weather forecast for the week yet but I’m expecting locusts and frogs.

Here’s a video clip to give you an idea of what we’re dealing with here.

That “special juice” she’s talking about, by the way, is a mixture of Mountain Dew and Red Bull that her mother concocted for her.  She calls it “Go-Go Juice.”  No wonder the kid has the crazy eyes.

This is going to be one hell of a show.  A children’s beauty pageant contestant, her nightmare pageant mother, and the rest of her trailer trash family (although they don’t actually live in a trailer).  The daughter is an obnoxious, mumble-mouthed brat who’s cruising for a bruising if the parents continue to encourage that attitude of hers.  Mom is a brash, ignorant fame whore and a diabetes disaster waiting to happen.  And one of her other daughters proudly proclaims that they’re not rednecks because “we have all our teeth.”  With all that Red Bull and Mountain Dew?  I doubt that, honey.

And if that weren’t enough, the mother is a self-confessed “coupon queen” and one of the teenage daughters is pregnant.  TLC won the Extreme Reality Jackpot with this crew.  They must have wet themselves when they realized they hit the dysfunctional mother lode.

And before anyone starts yelling that I’m unfairly going after Southerners, rest assured that I also have plenty of venom for Snooki and her vacuous, sun-fried friends on Jersey Shore, the shrieking harpies on Real Housewives (all of them), the snarling shrews of Bridezillas, and most other reality-show “celebrities.”  They’re the worst of every possible stereotype.  I’m sure the producers edit the footage so that they seem as appalling as possible, but surely that doesn’t require much effort in most cases.

Networks will continue to put this dreck on the air as long as we keep watching it for our guilty pleasure.  Reality shows about well-adjusted people sitting around reading on their Kindles just doesn’t make for riveting television.  The problem is that these programs end up spawning legions of increasingly self-absorbed, brain-dead lemmings who want their 15+ minutes of fame.  They celebrate and encourage ugly behavior.  And they make us look bad as a country.  It’s embarrassing.

Sure, the world hates Americans because we’re big bullies and we know think we’re better than everyone else.  But big deal—that’s been the case for decades.

No, it’s these literacy-free cretins who really ruin it for us.  They’re why people in other countries think we’re fat, lazy, arrogant assholes with the intelligence of a speed bump.  For better or worse—mainly worse—in today’s world, these reality shows, like Hillbilly Handfishing, My Teen Is Pregnant and So Am I, Bad Girls Club, etc., end up serving as our nation’s ambassadors.

So forget about our ham-handed approach to world affairs, our penchant for going to war, and the fact that McDonald’s can now be found in even the most far-flung locations on earth.  Our reality shows are why everyone hates us.  Can you blame them??