Monday, August 06, 2007

My latest TV obsessions

Before I get started, I know I've been away for awhile. I've been all over the place and yet totally stationary all at the same time. The one constant, it should come to no one's surprise, has been TV. You'd think polishing off the last Harry Potter book would've deterred or curbed my TV enthusiasm in some way (Yes I read it. Yes I loved it. Yes I want to read all seven books altogether again. And, because I am probably required, by law to say this: Yes Fighting Nun, you were right about that thing in the book. You called it. You are a smart, smart man. Now shut up about it.) and it did in some ways. I didn't really pay attention to Monk this week for instance. And, I haven't watched Psych for awhile. I mean, I missed the historic Lou Diamond Phillips's Abs episode (well I haven't it missed it exactly, it's still on Tivo, but anyhoo). But the crap, er I mean, TV I have been keeping up with? Well it adheres to my strict rules of mindlessness, as you might expect. Below is a run down of some of the stuff I'm still watching or have decided to tune into:

1. Ninja Warrior - You should not be surprised at this one, not in the slightest. The funny thing is that even after months of almost total overexposure, what with G4 playing like a bajillion episodes back to back and me watching said episodes in continued rotation, I'd be sick of it. But it's so to the contrary. My love for this show hasn't diminished but has instead blossomed. And it's specifically because this show is more subtle than you might think. There are so many layers to this show, so many carefully planted mini-dramas planted manipulatively that are at work in this show, you might as well be watching a soap opera. I came for the super hard tasks and the wild, bone-crushing eliminations, I've stayed for the carefully planted backstories and profiles. The beauty of the show is the regulars, the guys who have made repeated attempts to best the Ninja Warrior course. Thier repeated attempts and their profile thingies have had a peculiar side effect on me. They've gotten me to care, to care about these strange contestants a half a world away who I wouldn't give a hoot about otherwise. There's Professor Ninja Warrior (who was not on Wikipedia's entry of Ninja Warrior all stars! For Shame) for example, one of my personal faves, a third grade teacher somewhere in Japan who goes on the show to teach his kids by example, or something. His class would show up to the competitions and if he failed, they'd be all distraught and he'd bow to them all "Sorry I failed you", and then I just become a puddle of goo. Then there's the gas station attendant (recently turned Manager!) Shingo Yamamoto who always loses his cap on every stage, and then the crab fisherman turned massage therapist Kazuhiko Akiyama who has a degenerative eye desease (talk about pulling the heartstrings), the only man (that I can recall) every to best the whole Ninja Warrior course.

And then, of course, we have Yamada. Oh Yamada. Never have I seen a more well documented case of sad sackery in all my life. Well, that's not exactly true, a true sad sack does not have six pack abs and can't crack you like a walnut with his forearms, but the picture they paint on this guy isn't pretty. When I first started watching this show, Yamada was Mr. Ninja Warrior, he started talking at schools and everything. But over successive episodes, that guy's back story has been all over the place. At one point he was a propane distributor, at another, a construction worker, and then sadly, he wound up a Hot Dog vendor for a Japanese baseball team. From there, the show seemed to not only document his rather odd string of jobs but briefly highlighted roller coaster with his family the show seemed to document. First his family supports him and is at all the tournaments, then they are a little shamed by his showing, then there was this dramatic reveal in one of the episodes that they weren't showing up at the competition, and supposedly there was a letter he left in which he stated he wasn't a great husband, father or son, but he was a warrior and it was all very melodramatic, and everything was just crazy. And then, to top all that off, his subsequent perfomances have been heart breaking. Wikipedia lists his long line of Ninja Warrior failures better than I can (getting disqualified for wearing gloves. Yeesh!) He is the epitomy of heartbreak and has become an important reason for my continued support of the show. I am compelled to find out what happens. Yamada, don't forsake me!!! Anyhoo, so my point? It's still Me and Ninja Warrior sitting in a tree.... that's how blissful I am.

2. Rock of Love with Brett Micheals - Dude, I know. No, I seriously know. But dude. I've seen some trainwrecks so therefore I know from trainwrecks, but this is a trainwreck. It's a trainwreck, plus a three car collision and apparantly a collegan and silicon plant explosion and I should know better. And yet....

3. Scott Baio is Forty-Five and Single - Speaking of knowing better. I mean yeesh. And this show has no qualms about showing extremes. One second I feel sorry for him, the next second I think he's the biggest douche who ever douched. I mean, he's gotten reamed by his comedian ex-girlfriend who was on stage, he had a woman drive away from him as fast as she could. But then he would either give historic evidence and even evidence in the present tense why he would deserve such treatment and he's back to being a douche.

The one thing I don't not get at all about this show? That he's good friends with Jason Hervey. Jason 'One of my claims to fame is that I had a bit part in PeeWee's Big Adventure forever and a day ago' Hervey. Jason 'I was the most despicable Arnold on Wonder Years' Hervey. I'm just going to say this. Scott Baio and Jason Hervey are two 80's tastes that DO NOT taste well together because Yeesh.

4. The Two Coreys - Speaking of two 80's taste that no longer go well together.... O.k., I admit it. When this show was first proposed, I was seriously kind of psyched. But now that it's here, I'm actually kind of meh about it. That's not exactly true. My emotions roller coaster during this show. One second it's all cheesy goodness and the next its really heartbreaking. Like they already raped and pillaged all the fun loving nostalgia I had for them with bial like Rock and Roll High School Forever and that one utterly dispicable movie Feldman did regarding a post apocolyptic society and a drug war when it was totally obvious he was on drugs, and then that utterly dispicable movie Haim did with Allen Thicke, and then that other utterly dispicable movie he did with Wallace Shawn (Oh Wallace, why did you forsake me that once?). The point isn't to tear the remaining nostalgic love apart but to try and build it up. But if their brainstorming for a possible Lost Boys sequel that was featured on the show is any indication, they are attempting to drop a bomb on it, hoping to explode it to pieces. I mean, o.k. I'm not saying that there isn't room for a sequel, because my little chirpy ass was all excited a few years ago when I had heard of a possible Goonies sequel, so I have relatively little room to talk about not messing with total classic 80's movies, but still. If it's got to be done, it has to be done right. You can't just get The Coreys all amped up and call it a movie. And if we're being honest, the Corey's didn't make that movie. It was everybody else. Sorry. Just get a few of the principles. I'm sure the guy that stole Julia Roberts out from under Keifer needs some work, and what's-her-bucket, Jamie Gurtz needs some work after Still Standing. I know Keifer was killed off in the first one, but bring him back too. It shouldn't be hard. But if there is another Lost Boys only featuring The Coreys? I will seriously bring the hellfire. I'm not sure yet. But seriously.

Oh, and just to set the record straight, even though we're only tangentially on the subject. Haim is the superior of the two Coreys. Don't get me wrong, I love Goonies and always will, but Haim is the better Corey. Fight me on the fact if you must, but I'm with Team Haim, well you know, if I actually have to choose a team....

5. Confessions of a Matchmaker - Thanks Joe R. That is all.

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