Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Quick Update: Reality TV Ate My Brain

I HAVE been reading, I swear. I have, like, four books I've finished and not blogged about yet because I am a lazy slacker. I promise I will do that soon. I will also watch movies soon for a little variety. Lately I have just been too wrapped up in Tool Academy, Rock of Love Bus, America's Best Dance Crew, America's Next Top Model, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to accomplish anything of value. Have you seen these shows? The first three are productions of VH1/MTV, so you can imagine the quality therein. Let me give you a brief overview:

1. Tool Academy is a competition between "toolish" dudes, who were tricked into the process by their girlfriends (the guys were told they were coming to compete in a "Mr. Awesome" competition. Some never quite gave up the idea that if they would just keep at it they'd be crowned Mr. Awesome.) The idea is to teach these lying, cheating, self-absorbed douchebags to be better boyfriends/people. I'm not quite sure about the therapist they used--she's really not up to the Dr. Drew standard...I somehow doubt Dr. Drew would endorse role-playing with sock puppets or using lie-detectors as solid therapeutic methods. On the whole, they met with varying levels of success. Although they made some progress with some of these guys, they never touched on one of the major issues, which is to try and get them to stop LOOKING like tools. I mean, seriously, you should have seen some of these jerks...particularly one who had a haircut ostensibly modeled on an angry cockatoo. Also one who intentionally called himself "Matsuflex." Ridiculous. On the upside, the nice couple actually won, which was a little shocking.

2. Rock of Love Bus is one of the bastard children spawned by VH1's surprise hit Flavor of Love. Basically it's a dating show for a washed up celeb, in this case Bret Michaels of the hair-band Poison. Now, I happen to be a fan of Poison, but sometimes this show just makes me very...hmm, I was going to say "angry" but I think that "nauseated" is really a better word. First of all, I find it slightly bewildering the way Bret tries to play himself off as a southern good ol' boy. He is from Allentown, PA, which is NOT the south. It's not even really Pennsyltucky. It's closer to Philly than anything, really. And that's clearly not the south. Secondly, where do they find these psychotic sluts? And where do the psychotic sluts buy their clothes? I mean, these are not outfits you can find in your local Macy's. One had a dress that was basically three strips of tinfoil that seemed to be glued together at the crotch...where do you BUY something like that? Even more frightening is the fact that half these women have CHILDREN. And yet they have chosen to put on their giant Lucite stripper heels and 32lbs of makeup and giant fake boobs and hop in a bus to travel across the country waving their hoo-has at a guy with fake hair? (Despite my seeming disgust, The Roommate and I TOTALLY dig this show. We sit on the edge of our seats, waiting for someone to pull someone's weave or throw something or spit on somebody. Last week, we actually were jumping around and hollering when one skanky sexbot threw an entire jar of salsa into another's suitcase. Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket indeed.)

3. America's Best Dance Crew is a straight up competition, and it's actually really interesting and entertaining. The stunts some of these crews pulled off were CRAZY. The Boyfriend enjoys shows like this wherein the contestants actually have to ACCOMPLISH something. Unfortunately, this show infected me with a horrible case of Kanye West earworm, which I can't seem to shake. The Roommate suggests the only cure is tequila, but I'm still hoping it'll go away by itself if I keep inundating it with Poison. Love lockdown, lockdown...Damn You, Kanye!

4. If you are unfamiliar with America's Next Top Model, you have probably been living under a rock for the past several years. That's okay, let me explain: It is supposedly a modeling competition, except half the girls are fundamentally ineligible to be real, successful models, the photo-shoots and challenges are a joke, and it's mostly a vehicle for Tyra Banks's unbelievably ginormous ego. Once again, there's a lot of fighting and crying, and since most of the girls are not terribly bright, they often come out with some verbal gaffes that have me falling off my chair. If you can handle the multiple occasions that are simply opportunities for Tyra to talk about Tyra and Tyra's career and Tyra's mom and Tyra's Sports Illustrated cover and Tyra's experiences as a young model and Tyra's hardships and Tyra's talk show (I usually deal with these via the magic of DVR fast-forward) the show can be totally hilarious. Plus, I'm a mean person and I kind of enjoy seeing pretty girls have their dreams crushed. There. I said it.

5. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is really the only one of these shows that has any redeeming social value whatsoever. Basically, the team of designers (captained by the hyper-active but oddly endearing Ty Pennington) seek out nice people who have very hard-luck stories and then build them a new house. Some examples I've seen include a police officer who was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty receiving a house that was accessible to her, an Army medic who lost his leg in Iraq (but continues to train field medics) getting a home accessible for him, and numerous very lovely people with very sick children getting house that can accommodate them better. It's just kind of a great show to watch when you're starting to feel like the entire world is populated solely with assholes...yes, you'll probably cry (they shovel on the sentiment pretty hot and heavy) but in the end they do some really spectacular stuff for people who really need it. Plus, the houses are craaaaaaaazy awesome usually.

All right, this has all been sort of embarrassing. I really will update soon with something much more intellectual, I SWEAR.

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