Hi there Gasmi, how’s it going? What have you been up to? Really? As for me, I’ve been spending plenty of quality time with my family, which has been great. The only problem is that I haven’t been able to spend time with all the junk TV I usually watch. The good news is that I’ve gotten to watch my family’s favorite junk TV, and it’s always fun to see what other people like. Okay, I know we shouldn’t say that watching TV with your family is the best part of the trip, because it’s not, but in my opinion if you reminisce with your family long enough, it will turn into the airing of long held grievances, so yay for TV!
Before we go any further we need to clear up two things. First, my definition of junk TV. I look at TV like food. There’s good food that you feel glad letting people you know you eat it for dinner, and then there is junk food, which you don;t want to eat three meals a day, but is awesome for a snack. For me, TV works the same way. You have Mad Men, Glee, 30 Rock, Sunday Night Fotball, or whatever show you make time to watch, that’s good TV. Then you have junk TV, that you usually have to look for on cable when you just want to watch TV, but aren’t too picky about what you are going to watch.
The second thing I need to point out is that I am not making fun of my families choices, because, well because I am a TV bottom feeder par excellence. Aside from the fact that I will watch Law and Order in any form (including all three versions of Law and Order Criminal Intent, or as I like to call them, Law and Order Criminal Intent: Man Vincent D’Onofrio is chewing on the scenery tonight, Law and Order Criminal Intent: Hey Chris Noth got an acting gig where he doesn’t have to pretend Sarah Jessica Parker’s nose is proportional, and finally,Law and Order Criminal Intent: Jeff Goldblum needs a paycheck), but also thanks to the fact that I am turning into my Dad I will now at least check out any documentary about Hitler, and/or oganized crime. So I am painfully aware I am in no position to be looking down my nose at what other people watch. Okay, so do have everything straightened out? Wonderful, let’s watch TV with my family.
My Brother-in-Law/Deadliest Warrior: We’ll start off our TV safari with my brother-in-law, because this is a guy who makes his TV viewing count. My brother-in-law is a great guy, but when it comes to stopping to smell the roses, he sucks like a Tijuana donkey show. The guy works two jobs, helps out with the coaching for his kids’ sports teams, is always willing to help a relative with any sort of project, and is constantly in the process of pulling off his own home improvement projects around the house. In short, he’s just the sort of a guy you want your sister to marry.
The one thing my brother-in-law doesn’t really excel at is watching tons of TV, and that’s why we have to take a look at a show that can make this guy put down tap roots on a couch when it’s on. For my brother-in-law TV catnip involves Apache warriors, Navy SEALS, Spetsnaz commandos, and a kind of rubber body thing that gets whacked, shot, stabbed, and brained all in the name of science. Yep, my brother-in-law loves Deadliest Warrior.
Science and swords, when is Nova going to figure this out?
Deadliest Warrior is the show that answers the burning question, who is more bad ass, a ninja or a Spartan warrior? Now for some of you out there, this question has never come up, but if you have a functional penis, chances are you put at least some time into solving this little mystery. And now there is a show that will help you do it, thanks to the Spike network.
The Spike network exists to make sure guys are able to get a steady diet of ultimate fighting matches, Star Wars marathons, and to give Axe body spray a place to show their commercials 24 hours a day. I can’t prove it, but I think the programmer for this network is a giant anthropomoric pair of human testicles.
Anyway, the good people at Spike are the ones who let us evaluate bad assedness in a semi-scientific way with Deadliest Warrior. Here is how this show works. You start with a couple of bad asses from any period of history, get a short little intro about each bad ass, and then the people on the show start rating the level of respected bad assedness.
Because we are living in the 21st century, the rating is done in a very scientific way. Sort of. They take the warriors weapons and evaluate them, mainly by using this thing that looks like a half a mannequin, and if the weapon in question stabs or bashes, taking out their frustrations on the target mannequin.
Now what makes this mannequin so special, I mean aside from the fact it looks like that visible man model all my friends had when we were kids, is the fact it’s made out of this rubbery plastic stuff that is supposed to be just like human tissue. Oh, and just to be more nerdy the mannequin is loaded with sensors so they can measure how hard our little victim dummy is getting whacked.
Also, one of the guys on the show is a doctor so he can look at the dummy and tell us that getting chopped in the noggin with a samurai sword would kill you. I hate to judge, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess this guy camped out in the back row of the classroom in medical school.
And these guys don’t stop just with stabbing and bashing. If the bad ass in question shoots at people, they shoot at mannequins that squirt fake blood. Use explosives? They blow things up, and while they are doing it, the people on the shows are using computers, sensors, and high speed cameras to make sure we have a scientific rating of the bad assedness going on.
By the way, if I’m sounding judgmental, then please excuse me, because this show is frigging awesome, and I watch it too. Of course, I am a TV whore who would watch CSPAN if they had ninjas.
What amazes me is that my brother-in-law is usually so together, but if he sees this show on TV, he’s down on the couch until we figure out that a Russian commando could totally kick a Roman centurion’s ass. The difference between him and myself is that he gets up when the show is over and goes out and finishes up his weeding in the back yard. I mean come on, you’re leaving? Jar Jar Binks is going to be on after the commercial! Sigh, he’s a good guy and he treats my sister like gold, but I just don’t understand him.
My Nephews/Nick Teen: Here’s where we watch TV with kids. I know we’re all supposed to not want kids to watch TV, but I watched four hours a day and it didn’t hurt me. Of course thanks to watching the Three Stooges through most of my formative years, now whenever I think of one man attempting to force a crowbar into another man’s ear. I laugh until I pee. [Five minute break for trip to the bathroom] Oh man, he really got that crowbar in there. It never gets old. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, watching TV as a child doesn’t affect you. Thanks, you’re the bestest!
And just for the record, my nephews don’t watch four hours of TV a day. They do get to watch an hour when they first get home from school, and the way I look at it, it’s like a double scotch for ten year olds. It’s not the best thing in the world for you, but everyone needs a little pick me up at the end of the day.
My nephews unwinder of choice is a good hour of TV courtesy of the kind people at Teen Nick. This means sitting down to check out the latest episodes of iCarley and Big Time Rush (oh, oh, oh-oh, oh).
Let’s start with iCarley. This is a show about a girl named Carley, and her friend Sam, and their web show. Carley lives with her older brother, who my sister describes as a non-annoying version of Jim Carey (look, this is just me, but if Jim Carey isn’t annoying, then what’s the point?). Carley and her friends get into wacky adventures, and it’s not the worst way to spend a half hour after a hard day of multiplication tables.
Now we move on to Big Time Rush (oh, oh, oh-oh, oh), and here is where the folks at Nickelodeon burn through my goodwill like a compulsive gambler with a bankroll in Vegas. How can I describe this show? Are you old enough to remember The Monkeys? Now imagine if the Monkeys had sold their souls. Okay, imagine The Monkeys taking out a second on their souls.
To my nephews, this is a choice that will haunt you, love Uncle Waffleboy
Trust me, I’m speaking from personal experience
This show is about four guys from Minnesota who head out to form a boy band in LA. Yeah, with a concept like that how could it be cheezy?
This show annoys me in so many ways. it’s hard to figure out where to start, but just for you, I’ll try. For starters, the four guys in Big Time Rush have the same first names as their characters. I call this little trick the Danza, in honor of Tony Danza, who spent pretty much his entire career only responding to people when they called him by his actual name. The guys have left their family behind to live in this hotel in LA where only teenagers who are trying to make it in Hollywood. Well, except for this one kid who’s mom and hyper-precocious little sister who keep showing up in the episode B story, mainly to keep this thing from being a complete sausage fest.
The way the show works is that the boys get into some predicament, and then they get out of it once they just be themselves. This is a good lesson for kids, especially kids marching into their adolescence, but I’d feel better if it wasn’t being peddled by people who are teenagers that appear to have never had a pimple or wear braces, and whose music is more Pro Tools then actual singing.
Okay, I don’t like this one, but you know what? It doesn’t matter. That’s what my nephews watch, and I respect their decision to watch bad TV. I mean as somebody who has spent an entire season wondering who was going to get to be the next woman to file a domestic abuse complaint against Flava Fave, who am I to judge?
My Sister: We’ll get back to my sister, because her junk TV shows surprisingly dove tail into my folks TV shows. Trust me, it will make sense in a couple of minutes, just keep reading,
My Folks and Mexican Cable: Here is where we move on from my Sister’s family to watching TV with with my folks. Things get interesting right of the bat, because when my folks retired they moved to Mexico. They live in a really great place, and you don’t watch a lot of TV down there, but what they do watch is fun to watch. The interesting thing is that the reason that it is fun has changed over the years.
When my folks first moved down to Mexico they had Mexican cable, and there wasn’t a whole lot of programming in English. Not that it mattered, because I always liked watching American shows that had been dubbed into Spanish. I especially liked an informerical for a Jack LaLane juicer because I was amazed at how when Jack LaLane spoke Spanish his voice was so much deeper then when he spoke English.
Yep, good times, but eventually my folks got a cable set up so they could watch American TV. Sort of. Thanks to the friend of a friend of a guy from the golf course who was later deported by the Federales to the US to face changes on white collar crimes (don’t ask), they got this satellite package from Canada. They get all the American networks, and most of the cable channels, but there are some differences. For starters their Bravo Channel has fat women singing opera, as opposed to our Bravo Channel that has fat women pulling out hair extensions and flipping over tables. Silly Canucks.
Anyway, despite some of these obvious problems, Canadian cable in Mexico has opened up plenty of viewing choices for my folks, and it was fun to see what they watch.
The Golf Channel: Okay, because my parents are retired, they play golf, and because they play golf they watch The Golf Channel. You’re all very bright people, so I’m guessing you’ve already figured out that the Golf Channel is about golf. Shows about golf tips, shows about golf courses, shows were they show old golf tournaments, and new golf tournaments. Makes sense. right? Good.
Can you feel the excitement?
Oh, and for the record, I don’t play golf. I used to, but I wasn’t very good, and eventually I figured out that I could stay at home on Saturdays and swear in my living room for free. That being said, even thought I don’t play golf and go out of my way to watch golf, I don’t mind watching it. Golf on TV is very soothing. I think it has something to do with the announcers whispering.
Of course my favorite part of The Golf Channel isn’t the actual golf, it’s the commercials. You see I have a theory that what commercials get shown on TV tell you who the people at the network think are watching their shows, and the commercials they show on the golf channel; well let’s take a look at the average commercial break on The Golf Channel.
The first commercial they always seem to run is for Touch of Gray Hair Coloring. This is wonderful product that only colors some of gray hair on a guy’s head. The commercial always has a guy applying for a job and once he uses touch of gray he gets the job because his gray hair says experience, but his dark hair says he’s active. If you weren’t sure by what they meant by active, the commercial always ends with some young girl eye humping the poop out of our camouflaged geezer. This commercial is wrong on so many levels I don’t even want to think about it, and luckily I don’t, because we are breaking right into out next commercial.
The second commercial on a Golf Channel commercial break is always for a shipping company. The beauty of shipping company commercials is that it doesn’t matter what company they are for, because they are all exactly the same. The commercial tells us that this shipping company has the easiest, fastest, cheapest, and most dependable of shipping in the world, and as for their competitors? Well, let’s just say they are a big bag of dicks. Wow, that clears things up. Or it would if the shipping companies weren’t all telling me the exact same thing. Luckily I don’t work in the shipping department, so this won’t be keeping me up at night, much.
Finally, it wouldn’t be the Golf Channel if we didn’t get at least on erectile dysfunction commercial. I prefer the Viagra commercials, because I honestly don’t know why I need to take Cialis to sit naked in a bathtub by myself. Although, it doesn’t matter here, because all of these commercials are handy for the guys using Touch of Gray hair coloring, and find they aren’t as active as their hair is fronting.
Okay, so what have we learned watching commercials on the Golf Channel? Well, apparently they feel the average person watching their shows is an impotent man working in the shipping department who wants to pork girls young enough to be his daughter. Hmmm, am I the only one who feels like nut punching a Golf Channel programmer right about now?
Judge Judy: This show is interesting because both my step-dad and my sister are big fans. It’s kind of like me and my brother-in-law with Deadliest Warrior, only more so.
Fun Fact, The Eskimos used to put people her age on ice flows. Hey, just saying
Judge Judy has been on for years, so I probably don’t need to tell you what it’s about, but it I was going to I would advise you to imagine a very angry parrot, and now imagine that parrot with a face pumped full of botox. Basically it’s a show where a tiny angry woman screams at people. Okay, supposedly, it’s people going to small claims court, but really it’s an old person yelling at people, and they aren’t even on her lawn.
Oh, and just for the record, the people getting screamed at are totally asking for it. The people bringing their cases to Judge Judy are one of the biggest collections of slack jawed mouth breathers you are going to see on TV in a non-election year. There is a never ending army of people skipping out on leases, not paying back personal loans, punching each other in bar parking lots, and elevating road rage to a high art.
I asked my sister why she watches this show, and she told me she learns stuff when she watches it. Such as that some people rent truck rims as an anniversary present, and that they can’t ask for restitution when they break up, because it’s a gift. Well at least my sister is taking something away from this show. Whenever I watch it I spend the whole show trying to figure out how Judge Judy can yell at people, and how the only muscles that seem to move in her face are at the corner of her mouth. I guess you can tell who got the brains in my family, huh?
Dateline/48 Hours Mystery: I lumped these shows together even though they are on different networks for one very simple reason. They are the exact same show. Somebody gets killed and you find out who they think did it, and maybe they get sent to jail at the end of the show. My sister watches Dateline and my folks watch 48 Hours Mystery, but not visa-versa. Not that it matters, because if you’ve seen one of these bad boys you’re good to go.
Every episode starts with clips of someone who is super duper nice, and hearing from their family as they start to get the sniffles. These sniffles are well deserved, because we always find out that the super duper nice person has been murdered. The rest of the show is about figuring out who did it.
The only problem I have with this, is that the same person does it in every episode, the husband. If a woman gets killed, the murderer is always her ex-husband, estranged husband, or supposedly loving husband. If a guy gets killed, it’s always that a woman has gotten her new husband, or a guy who goes on to become her husband to do the deed. The important thing to remember is that if somebody goes missing, the guy wearing the gold band is probably responsible for it.
Look, don’t get me wrong, my family seems to enjoy both of these shows, but if I’m going to watch a husband kill somebody, then I’m flipping over to Lifetime and watch Dean Cain try to kill somebody whose sitcom just got cancelled. Hey, leave it to the pros, that’s my motto.
Superman had issues, who knew?
Okay there you have it, a quick trip through TV with my family. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but it beats looking at slides, right? Anyway, thanks for stopping by.