Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ten Thousand Shows About People Digging Things Out of The Ground

I've watched a lot of shitty movies in my life. I don't mean to the extent of seeking them out and I'm not talking about charmingly bad movies that were made on a modest budget but with complete and utter Ed-Wood-ian sincerity, I mean big, dumb-shit blockbuster movies that have no plot and seem to only exist so there can be a scene where someone is walking slowly away from an explosion. I watch those movies. I don't necessarily like all of them but in a way I find them comforting.
I like them much better than television.
I have no idea what is happening on television anymore.

Now, I will clarify that I do have shows that I watch regularly and some of them are nothing more than candy, nothing ground-breaking or necessarily artistic, just fun. Mindless fun. And I will also fess to watching marathons of Deadliest Catch.  I will watch episodes, seasons, that I've already seen because I like the ocean and I don't have the balls to do that stuff myself so I will endure hours of grizzled men, most with mullets, regurgitating hyperbole about the dangers of their job as if they are doing something more noble than scraping the sea clean of crustaceans for a substantial profit, all set to Bon Jovi and other nauseating rock 'n' roll cowboy dreck.

I'll watch that. But that's about where the line is drawn for me. I dabbled in some American Pickers this winter with Ms. Falk, however that show is only tolerable when altered, and was in fact the inspiration for an entire drinking game which can be found here* (Bonus Link!)
But that was it for me. I can't watch people work anymore. Every show on every channel that isn't HBO seems to be about some weird, crazy job that some 'character' has and they want to let you know that not just anyone can do it. Loggers, truck drivers, swamp animal wranglers, prison guards, motorcycle builders and let's not forget Dirty Jobs, a show that features a new such occupation every episode. 

This doesn't even count the sub-genre of chef based shows about people preparing everything from raw fish to cupcakes. Everything becomes a "war" battling it out between who makes the best bowl of New England Clam Chowder. But it's not just about how good it tastes, it's about the presentation.

Another sub-genre that we won't even talk about are the house-wife and children-of-fringe celebrities based shows. We're all adults here and we can all agree that the only thing worse than people trying to inflate the worth of what they do for a living is watching people who do nothing for a living while they shop, tan, and talk shit for an hour. We don't even need to talk about that.

And since I'm already going all high-horse I may as well confess I don't know what the hell happened to the History Channel. I used to like some of their shows and not just the endless barrage of World War II documentaries. They used to have shows about, um, history. Finely produced original documentaries on things like Watergate, Benjamin Franklin, the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson, etc. They still parade some of these out every once in a while but they have caught the "job" bug just as bad as any network. Between Ice Road Truckers and unleashing the American Pickers on poor, unsuspecting senior citizens to low-ball them on their classic cars and oil signs I don't even bother anymore.

I'd rather watch shit bombs like Wolverine or Terminator: Salvation (or more preferably any of the oft-mentioned Nicolas Cage films I've cited here over the years). Sure they're schlocky entertainment but you're watching people whose job it is to make schlocky entertainment.

Of course I find other ways to occupy myself, like occasionally poorly animating Blumes' Facebook status. Perfect blog link of the day: is here
It's kind of a double dip self-promotion but I'm kind of happy with it.

I think I'm going to rant about wrestling tomorrow.
Or maybe later.
If you're good.

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