Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Kicking Television

I love tv. Where else could these two meet?

I should qualify the first statement. I love tv a lot, like, quite a bit. Can't get enough of that sugar crisp. It's an unhealthy and unnatural 2-D love. The remote, the remote is not merely an extension of my attenuated member, but of my unconscious mind's desire to meet interesting people, see interesting places, and become involved with thrilling events without having to a) meet people, who are almost uniformly annoying; b) purchase air tickets for some outlandish price, line up in a vast building filled with harried and annoying people like me, and officious airport/airline people who are annoying, or macho security types who ask me to undo my pants (because they can, and because those cheesy cop-wannabes love weenies!) or take off my shoes (even worse), and then sit in some aluminum tube crushed up against some other space-deprived types breathing canned air, foot odor, ass sweat, turning down the styro-food and the $5 pillow which is the size of a Costanza wallet and about as soft while I sit in my seat fully reclined the 2.5 allowable degrees while the guy in front of me reclines and hey his seat goes back much further than mine! all the while waiting for the plane to crash into something, or fall, or otherwise not work, while we are unable to leave the plane in the manner helpfully demonstrated by the in-flight air waiters and my knuckles whiten, clutching as I am at my armrests, awaiting the next terminal, the next security guard, the next line up; or c) to actually engage in the risk involved in participating in thrilling events.

In any event, watching tv is way easier than actually having a life, and if I am anything, I am lazy. If I could spell lazy with 2 letters, I would. If I could spell "Attempting to avoid reality by the most vapid and puerile means imaginable" with 2 letters, I would. I can, however, spell it with 2 numbers, and they are "24".

If you watch this show, and if you enjoy this show, without an ironic nod to the fact that it is paranoid, facile, and doltishly predictable, I pause to ask: What is wrong with you? Explain yourself fool, or feel my virtual boot on your cottage cheesy ass. (I pause to note the purveyor of this pig's bung of a show, Mr. Sutherland, is the grandson of the man voted to be the Greatest Canadian on some overlong tv show produced by our fearless national broadcaster. It's weird to me that a socialist politician from the flat middle of our dominion, the so-called father of socialized health care, would in some way be related to the owner/star/producer/svengali of this most hateful expression of jingoistic nonsense.) (To be fair, there are more crass expressions of the human endeavour[like that show with the tall blond woman and the little guy with all the clocks][or the news on Fox, CNN, whatever, the news], but they aren't on my cable package. Most, therefore, is entirely relative.) This show would improve considerably if the main character, with his salt of the middle-earth name, would just get killed. Everyone around him dies. Why won't he?

Speaking of my efforts at avoiding reality what is up with the West Wing? I'm not saying I haven't watched the show for, say, years, because I have (even though it has turned the volume knob up to SUCK more often than not for the last few). There have been enough reasons to keep watching to which I have adverted above: poor cable package, laziness, the other shows are way worse. I was able to suspend my disbelief over the overt disparity between the fake president (erudite, capable of reasoned thought, diplomatic) and the real one (stupid, unreasoning, aggressive), the re-election of a democrat (as far-fetched as the election of the actual president), but not the "there is an asteroid coming to hit us let's talk about it for an hour and see if it hits us!" episode. That was too much. I thought the show could sink no lower, but it has.

Now, this whole third election win for the democrats, it's too unlikely, too unreal. It's wishful thinking of the highest order, sort of like the thinking it will work to bomb foreign cultures into accepting our way of life might be considered "wishful thinking". Oh, and the episode where the man who plays the fake president, and is an alcoholic, wrote an open letter, during the presidential campaign, to the press about the poor moral fibre of the man who plays the actual president, apparently an alcoholic... that was episode was almost REAL, but still sucked. (Oh, that was real.)

But back to the sheeew... Mo was watching the program when I started to type this. President Victor Sifuentes offered a really plum job to his opponent in the federal election, Senator Hawkeye Pierce. This series is deader than dead but the limbs are still twitching for all to see. Rob Lowe is back, who's next, Jennilee Harrison? I have a suggestion for the producers of the program: it's time for a spinoff starring the detritus of the cast and some other tv actors. They could hook up with Tony Shalhoub and Donnelly Rhodes for "Wet Wings", or with Merlin Olsen for "Little White House on the Prairie". Maybe Ken Howard in "The White House Shadow". I'd watch that.

It would be improper to suggest these are the worst offenders in the televerse. I just don't watch those other programs. They suck.


Blogger L. said...

I don`t watch much TV, so I don`t get most of your references.

Many, many years ago, I had a job at a TV news bureau in Tokyo, where my responsibilities included watching all the Japanese news shows everyday to see what their top stories were, and what kind of news footage they had. I was actually PAID to watch TV -- and ever since then, I`ve never really enjoyed it.

3:59 p.m.  
Blogger Granny said...

West Wing will be gone in two weeks.

I went from die hard fan to force of habit over the years.

9:10 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I would pay to see Ken Howard in a show called "White House Shadow."

And alas, p-man, I share your lazy TV-watching habits. For a brief time period, I thought "West Wing" was a shining example of what could be done within the medium. Unfortunately, the show ended up disentegrating into a morass of crappiness. Broke my heart. I can barely even watch it anymore. Two more episodes left and I think I'm actually glad the show is being put to death.

As for the dearth of quality television that remains? As a friend of mine likes to say, "nobody ever lost money by overestimating the intelligence of the American public."

8:30 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, don't be so hard on them. They had originally planned for Vinick to win, but when John Spencer died they decided that it would be too much for the few remaining fans to hammer the good guys with a death AND an electoral loss.

That being said, I agree with Metro that it's time to retire the show. It hasn't been the same since Sorkin left (although I'm still desparately in love with C.J.) and although I found the exploration of election year politics fairly riveting the other stuff was just sorta...done.

Thank God for the Sopranos and Battlestar Galactica, otherwise I'd have to learn to read again...

2:59 p.m.  

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