April 19, 2004

Lucky Ducky

A few weeks ago on Survivor they convinced the contestants that a luxurious trip to a spa means getting Oil of Olay rubbed on your back and all the Revlon make-up and Crest toothpaste you want. I laughed hard at that one! Those Survivor chumps had been fooled so bad, overflowing with gratitude and delight for average drugstore products. Thinking about it now I realize that the awful truth is I can relate. Nothing soothes me like a stroll through Eckard’s bountiful aisles and at the end of a rough week a brand new tube of Revlon lipstick truly does feel like salvation. Luckily I left dreams of nose-job behind in ninth grade, because this is nothing compared what’s happening in the rest of reality tv-land.

We all know that reality television isn’t about real life on television. Reality television is the overgrown version of our laziest super market fantasies. Dreams of a Magazine rack complexion and immaculate toilet bowl have multiplied like gremlins and now they are invading real life. People are indulging their urges to revert to child-hood and are letting the fantasy world take over. Now forty year-olds think the key to happiness is looking like Christina Agulera.

Yes, tonight I witnessed the monstrosity that is The Swan

In my wildest dreams never would I have suspected that television could reach a point so unethical, distasteful, disgusting, surreal, and utterly fascinating as this. I think a cult of television producer misogynists must be behind this one, it seems to surpass the usual corporate evil. It’s a highly powerful underground cult that worships at a Barbie doll encrusted altar (Scientologists perhaps?). They know how to get you too, the kicker for me was that the host was Amanda Byram of Paradise Hotel, how could I resist?

This secret cult's version of human sacrifice requires a complex ritual where a woman is chosen to be cast in the mold of The Doll. She appears before a group of wise ones, so called “experts and surgeons” to be judged. She assured multiple times that her witch nose will be fixed. She is then put under the knife. After the surgery she is not allowed to see a mirror while her swelled up, bandaged clown face recovers. During this time a “therapist” and a “coach” commence with the brainwashing. This portion of the ritual is shielded from the audience, so we can only imagine what the brainwashing might consist of. During this time the subject is deprived of food and occupied with endless physical activity. When the “healing” period is up she is put before the original panel of wise men and must face The Mirror. If she passes the tests she is entered into The Pageant where her new face under-go another bout of judging. When it’s all over the whole fleet of housewives with frozen smiles and surprised eyes will be sent back to Peoria and Omaha so that L.A. can infiltrate and destroy the rest of the country.

Posted by at 11:46 PM | Comments (6)

March 4, 2004

Survivor Gets Political

Survivor was rather dramatic tonight. I haven't watched it in weeks but it didn’t matter. Tonight Sue left the show so she could sue Richard for rubbing his naked penis against her leg during one of the challenges. She had a big freak-out before she left thanks in part to the surprisingly flippant host.

He waltzed on to the set and said with a huge grin on his face saying, “so, last week at the challenge it seems our friend Richard got sort of…inappropriate.” This was after Sue had been crying and yelling about the situation the whole morning. The way the host tackled the subject made it seem like he thought it was all a big joke.

Was it the network’s strategy to belittle the situation it so Sue would feel stupid saying anything? Or did they want her to throw a big fit for the sake of ratings? At any rate Sue totally lost it and swore a whole bunch and said she was leaving the show.

It came out later that everyone thought she was faking, apparently Sue is a sneaky one, and who isn’t bitter about Richard winning Survivor 1? The whole thing brought out everyone's ugly side as well as the whole ugly issue of sexual harassment. When Sue was gone all the other players celebrated, even if they were certain she was faking or just didn't like her, this somehow seemed really fucked up.

You would never think that the whole sexual harassment issue would make its way to a deserted island. If these people were real survivors it would be like Blue Lagoon with brothers and sisters having sex all the time or everyone worrying about who would get to re-populate the earth, but in fact this is realty TV, not reality, and these people are all Americans.

I’ve decided that the bottom line about sexual harassment law is that, regardless of whether some ladies take advantage of it, it's a good thing—or at the very least it’s something. I like to think that the fear of getting sued keeps most guys under control.

I guess it's sad that it's come down to this. It seems like people should be grown up enough to not rub their penis on lady’s legs and that ladies should not take every opportunity to sue all the time, but it's unrealistic to rely on people's sense of propriety. Hell, even the governor of California is a groper. The bottom line is that suing for sexual harassment is a way of not taking any shit.

Maybe Sue blew the whole thing out of proportion, maybe it didn’t really bother her at all, maybe she just wanted Richard’s money, but then again if she hadn’t said anything it would have been like she was accepting it, all of it.

Richard’s nakedness made everyone on the show and everyone in TV-land uncomfortable. Richard’s whole strategy was to be the alpha male, using his dick to gain power. It’s kind of awesome how Sue has subverted that, and even if she doesn’t win the lawsuit he is going to be really pissed that he has to go to court. You can’t be naked in court. I say Sue wins Modern Society Survivor. And who’d have thought--a trucker from Wisconsin.

Ps. In case anyone was thinking it, it makes no difference that Richard is gay. Everyone knows that gays can be the biggest misogynists of all.

Posted by at 11:36 PM

March 2, 2004

Oscar Observations

All the awards were given to a man who didn’t even bother to comb his hair and button up his shirt for the event. In fact, I have the stinking suspicion that he purposefully mussed his hair more than usual. If I saw Peter Jackson on the street I’m certain that would assume he was a homeless man, while looking homeless may fly in the case of certain nutty Latin professors at expensive liberal arts colleges, it is not a cool way to be at the Oscars. I’m sure Peter Jackson’s homeless look simply thrills his nerd fans, for the rest of us it is just sad. Being a mess does not make more of an individual, it does not mean that you are smarter than the rest of us, all it means is that you are a lazy slob who made three excruciatingly long movies that were really all the same movie over and over and over. I bet you anything this guy was a big fan of The Never Ending Story.

Once again the Oscars were a complete waste of time and I was tired all day as a result of staying up for no good reason. The worst part of it all is that they weren’t even really live. After the Janet Jackson incident the network paid big money to get technology that allows them 7 extra minutes to fix any swear words or stray boobs. I ask you America, what the hell is the point of live television without swear words or stray boobs?

Posted by at 12:18 AM | Comments (3)

February 2, 2004

I Will Survive (I hope)

Last night after the endless Superbowl we had a Survivor All Stars party. I've never watched more than one or two episodes of the show before, but I promised Bennett I'd give it a try. He didn't tell me that this involves a two night commitment this week, but I'm willing to give it a go for Benny.

First of all I'm surprised that they can get away with all that fake primitive tribe stuff. What's with these team names: Mojo, Sufiti, and Sudatu, or whatever they were. Do these words actually mean anything in any language? Is the idea that everything that isn't English or something European sounds like baby talk? When did this become acceptable? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for made up cultures, I just think they could have been a bit more creative about it.

The really major shock occured when Richard started walking around naked. Naked! Yes, they blurred his privates, but still you could see all the "cottage cheese" as Bennett would call it, on the sides of his ass. It was seriously tramatizing. Bennett explained that his nudity was a mind game he was playing with the other players. Apparently his strategy is to disgust them into submission. My co-worker suggested perhaps it is instead a big fuck you to everyone, because he knows they are going to kick him off immediately for being the evil winner the first time around.

I found that I was inexplicably endeared by the gentle sasquatch, Rupert. He reminds me of my dad's friends who were major Greatful Dead fans (Dead-heads as we called them).

My dad's friends were these two science guys who lived out in the country and had beards and big beer bellies. Their entire house was coved in Greatful dead decals and posters. They had a big van that was all tricked out with funky hippie decorations. When I was just a wee lady colossal we would go visit on Saturdays and I would pick blackberries and play darts. Every summer we'd go to a big Cajun/Bluegrass festival in Road Island. I hope Rupert wins, he'll spend the million dollars on hippie concerts and tie-dye.

Posted by at 10:35 PM | Comments (2)

January 14, 2004

I'm addicted to television

I just walked into the other room, on tv there was a man with a shaved head wearing big spikey armor on his sholders, like he was from the dark ages. He was dancing around to cheezy electronic music, juggiling chainsaws while red lights bounced across the stage. I was in awe, what station could this be? Is this what The Spike network has to offer? Then the announcer came back and it turned out it was the Spanish channel. Then they showed an ad for a variety show that included midgets getting married, just like an old time freak show. The wonder never ends.

Posted by at 10:52 PM | Comments (1)

January 13, 2004

Leeza on Acid

I just watched America’s Top Model, I only meant to watch a few minutes, but then I couldn’t stop. I think this season might be better than the last. The girls seem younger and therefore more pathetic and foolish. There were already two crying fits in the first episode. I have to wonder though, how can reality tv shows get away with always using the same stupid formula? Why always the little notes telling them they have to wake up at 5 am? I must say one of the most brilliant things about Paradise Hotel was that these simple formulas somehow became magical, simply because the contestants couldn’t always read aloud very well and were mostly psychopaths.

One of the highlights of tonight's America’s Top Model was when one girl’s morals were put under fire. The girl from Georgia, who is a wife and mother and also the designated plus size model (meaning over a size 6-- the heffer) refused to pose as “eve” wearing only body paint next to an “adam” who was totally naked. She freaked out and cried and said, “look at those girls, they’ve got their crotches right there, next to that guy’s face. That’s for my husband! If I do this then how is it…special?” It doesn’t sound like it, but it was actually sincere and innocent. She got booted off immediately, but not until Tyra Banks got a chance to tell that world the she “loves plus size, just loves it!”. I know what she means, some of my best friends are plus sizes. I just think that’s so great, you know, if you’re one of those.

The Simple Life post-show interview special was the stupidest thing on television. It was hosted by Leeza Gibbens! The lamest possible person in the universe. The whole thing was cheesy and completely pointless and I wouldn’t have been able to watch it if I hadn’t multi-tasked with a game of Trivial Pursuit.

I think I was once a guest on a live taping of the show Leeza, although I might be getting her confused with someone else. Lea was there. It was one of those times when your mom does something so stupid and embarrassing it’s hard to even believe. For one thing she was wearing a big weird scarf tied onto a bun in her hair. The topic of the show was women who are endangered by their ex-husbands or ex-boyfriends. A woman was up on the stage whose ex-boyfriend plotted to throw acid on her face to scar her for life. My mom stood up and said to this woman, “I think he must have really loved you to be driven to do this.” Leeza herself had to tell my mom how wrong she was. Yeah, way to set a positive example mom, I hope someday someone loves me enough to show it with acid.

Posted by at 10:42 PM | Comments (4)

January 11, 2004

Surreal World

Tonight was the first episode of The Surreal World starring Tammy Fay, Ron Jeremy, Vanilla Ice, Eric Estrada from Chips, some drunk girl from The Real World Las Vegas, and a plastic Bay Watch lady. I got to watch it all on my new crystal clear stolen cable reception. It was equally as incredible as the first Surreal World starring Webster, Andrea from 90210, Corey Feldman, MC Hammer and others.

Tammy Fay is the total star of the show. She is a cute southern lady just like my former film teacher. Every time someone swore or started talking about sex she would cover her ears, yet there was nothing prudish about her, she wore skin tight acid wash jeans and pounds of make-up. Her eyelashes are cartoonishly thick. Are they false? Eyelash implants? God’s gift?

Ron Jeremy took an instant liking to her and kept flirting and commenting on her cute figure. It sounds gross, but it was sort of sweet. I expected him to go for the younger ladies, which he did, but he kept coming back to Tammy Fay. Maybe he was intrigued by her chastity.

Vanilla Ice was the most disturbing. He was incredibly angry the whole show. He kept saying how cheesy his Vanilla Ice image was and drew all over the retro picture they put up of him. Unlike The New Kids On The Block it is apparent that he hasn’t reconciled with his plummeted fame. If he was smart he would realize that it was so long ago people are now into him for the irony and nostalgia factors. Tammy Fay kept assuring him that she’d help him work through his pain. I’m hoping she will, his constant bitching could get annoying.

They showed clips from future episodes which will include guest appearances from many other third rate celebrities, lots of crying from Tammy Fay, and creepily enough, nudity.

I love that television has finally reach this point of self mockery. The only problem with The Surreal World is that it cuts into my real favorite show, Arrested Development, which is in fact the funniest show on tv. The surprising thing is that it’s created by Ron Howard. When I found this out I was shocked and astounded. Just goes to show that not all child actors and stars of cheesy sitcoms will end up on the Surreal World.

Posted by at 10:56 PM | Comments (2)

January 10, 2004

I love tv

This evening’s special project has been stealing the basic cable channels. As a result I will be able to watch Spike TV for men (I’ve wanted this for so long), the weather channel, the history channel, and others. I think this is going to do wonders for my blog, I’ll be able to write about tv all the time and it will keep me out of trouble.

Last night I went to a birthday party for The Black Table with an editor from my job. She got the editor of the magazine to tell us exciting stories about meeting Hunter S. Thompson and brining him explosives to get an interview. He also met Ally Sheedy, one of my personal faves. She ate with her hands and kissed him on the forehead a few times. Then some blond chick showed up and he stopped talking to me. It was ok though, he was a nerdy and excessively drunk and it was apparent she was using him to get to Mr. Life as a Loser. What a slut.

Posted by at 9:55 PM | Comments (1)

January 7, 2004

Come on O.C.!

I recognize that I haven’t been writing much, but on friday my boss is going to LA, so for the next week and a half I’ll be writing everyday while I’m at work. I promise.

I realized this evening that The O.C. is starting to bore me. It’s a sad fact, but it was undeniable when I expected it to be over, checked my watch, and as dismayed to find that there was still 15 minutes left of the episode. I am so annoyed by the completely unrealistic turn they’ve taken with the character of Luke.

He started out as the very one dimensional rich asshole character, which I was fine with. He was reminiscent of the rich asshole from many a classic ‘80s film. They’ve now decided to give him “depth” by making him have a gay dad just out of the closet and a new personality that’s all goofy and idiotic and not at all threatening. There sure is no better way to reduce the threat of a once violent bully character than to connect him to gayness. How could anyone’s personality change so drastically? Ryan and Marissa don’t even feel weird about making out in front of him, it’s as if having a gay dad has castrated him. He doesn’t want to start fights, he’s lost interest in Marissa, he can’t even change a tire on his own truck. Total pansy.

The Simple Life, however, was as fabulous as ever. The girls got Arkansas boyfriends and Nicole’s purse got stolen at a bar, in retaliation she destroyed a pool table by throwing bleach all over it. That girl kicks ass.

Ps. Tonight's dinner: brussels sprouts and mock corn dogs.

Posted by at 10:27 PM | Comments (1)

December 11, 2003

Nicole Richie's Foul Mouth

Last night The O.C. was preempted by The Billboard Music awards. I have to admit it was almost worth it to hear Nicole Richie say "fuckin'" on live network televison. It was weird because her whole speech was completely scripted and the joke was that she has a foul mouth, but somehow they only bleeped out her first swear and then missed all the others.

The Billboard Awards is the ultimate in sarchastic awards shows. Apparently this is a new trend in the world of awards shows, because everyone knows they are boring and pointless and that there are too goddamn many of them. It was pretty shocking and somewhat appalling the way the celebrities kept hurling insults at each other. Dave Grohl and Triumph the insult comic dog went on forever about Britney Spears, which was pretty pathetic because she's an easy target and Dave Grohl is so over the hill. Not that he was that cool to begin with.

On the topic of Nicole Richie, it turns out she's way more awesome than I at first realized. In her first appearance on The Simple Life it seemed that she was just Paris' wannabe side kick, trailing after her all day trying to impress her prettier more famous friend. It turns out this is not the case. Nicole is such a badass. She is the one that always starts the mischief on the show and isn't afraid to say shocking and inappropriate things to old ladies and Sonic employees. Paris is more of a stuck up maniquin. She laughs at Nicole's hijinx and then gazes at her own reflection for half an hour. I think Nicole in part acts up to impress Paris, but it's great none the less.

Last week's episode was amazing, the entire show consisted of the manager at Sonic scolding Paris and Nicole like an exasperated babysitter. The show has absolutely no grounding in reality and this makes it all the better. You can see the looks on the girls faces when they know they have to come up with a new and more outlandish way to screw up so that the audience will laugh. It isn't always easy and I truly do appreciate their efforts.

Posted by at 8:46 PM | Comments (3)