Friday, February 5, 2010


Marx was right. Television is the opiate of the people. What? No, John Marx. I used to work with him at the shop. I don’t know the other guy you’re talking about. Where was I? Oh yeah, John used to always say that TV was a series of flickering, pulsing lights and commercial propaganda that brainwashes and rots people’s minds. He also wore patchouli and didn’t eat meat, but I agree with him about the TV. That doesn’t mean I don’t watch my fair share of it. I mean, how can I resist a gripping episode of the Steve Wilkos Show (a Jerry Springer spin-off?? Is there anything TV can’t do?!?), Jerky Shore, or the granddaddy of them all, People’s Court? “Da-dunh-duh. Tss-ts-ts-tsk. Da-dunh-duh, What you are witnessing is real. The participants are not actors. They are actual litigants with a court case pending in a California municipal court. Da-dunh-duh. Tss-ts. Both parties have agreed to dismiss their cases and have their dispute settled here. Tss-ts. In our forum. Tss-ts. The People’s Court!” No I didn’t look that up, I’ve had it committed to memory since my friend Bucky and I would recite it to each other on the way to the cafeteria in college after watching a rousing episode. And yes, I’m talking about the original version with Judge Wapner, Rusty the Balliff, and Doug Lewellyn. Not that I have anything against Judge Marilyn Milian. There something so grating but irresistible about her….
One of my latest guilty pleasures is Modern Family. Not cutting edge, but the fat gay guy is hilarious, and I’ve always been a fan of Al Bundy. A fat gay guy! What will those wacky TV writers invent next? I tuned in to ABC a little early last Wednesday, and caught the end of the show that is on before Modern Family. It was also a family comedy, with a blue collar mother who rants and raves at her husband and kids to keep them in line. The mother is played by a veteran comic actress. The husband works at a mid level job, and struggles to make ends meet while keeping the peace at home. At times, he acts like one of the kids. Speaking of kids, this TV family has three. The oldest is not that bright, the middle child is socially awkward but smart, and the youngest is a goofy kid with odd looks and big ears who gets erasers stuck up his nose, etc. The episode I saw was about the kids being sick so the parents couldn’t get away together or some frightfully original plotline similar to that. Did you think I was watching a rerun of Malcolm in the Middle? I wasn’t, because if I was, I would have been laughing. Instead, I was watching ABC’s new comedy called The Middle. That’s right, the rip-off artists at ABC are so fucking lazy that they not only steal the concept of Malcolm in the Middle, but they can’t even be bothered to come up with a new title. They just removed the first two words. ______ __ the Middle. Amazing. The studio must have saved a lot of money by simply reworking old Malcolm scripts, and they could probably re-use promotional material simply by putting some duct tape over “Malcolm in.” If Cloris Leachman shows up as the Grandmother, the circle will be complete. I can’t wait for the new ABC shows …Met Your Mother, the classic …Dyke Show, and the retro …Of Hazard. Really, can they get any more apathetically lackadaisical?
I shouldn’t be watching that crap anyway, I could be spending that time finding out who the baby daddy is (or isn’t) on Maury. Wouldn’t it be funny if one episode it turned out “In the case of baby Cusinart, you are…….. not…. the MOTHER!” Now that would be worth tuning in for…..

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