At one point in my life, I had an ex-boyfriend sit down with a boyfriend-to-be to discuss the situation, which was, in this case, not an abs obsessed asshole, but me. They were layin’ it down, mano a mano, tellin’ it like it be. I wasn’t there, and they could say anything, anything at all, as part of a man ritual: the passing of a chick baton. “Yeah,” the old said to the new. “She’s cool with the tube.” Words to love by.
I am cool with the tube, though it’s taken me a long time to admit it. First of all, I had to overcome a prejudice, and that was that since tv takes away from reading, and only dumb people don’t read (I told you it was a prejudice), if I admitted how much I watch tv, then everyone will know how little I read, and hence what a dummy I actually am. Second, I have not always been the most discerning of viewers. I have watched some things, with great glee and gusto, that are, as they say in the UK, “pure shite.” Worse still, lots of crappy tv, made for the consumption of the sentimental, sappy, easily manipulated masses, has made me cry and cry, or smile maniacally, wrapping my arms tightly around myself as if I were straight jacketed, rocking back and forth after a long day’s work. I’ve been moved, more than once, by commercials. I do trust that little Geiko lizard. I’m Joe Viewer, and I’m a teleholic.
That being said, I have embraced my inner sappy dum-dum slug. I enjoy the disconnect that comes from sitting – or, who am I kidding, laying down – and saying, point blank, “You, over there! The one who is emanating rays! Entertain me!” I like to judge and feel real emotion about people and situations that have nothing to do with myself. I like stories. I feel more comfortable with some fictional characters than I do with some family members.
I have taken to watching a series on the BBCA that is shamelessly heartwarming reality show, which is almost the worse kind. It’s called The Choir. It’s about this guy, Choirmaster Gareth, who goes into different environments and starts choirs. It’s riveting, I tell you! Gareth shows diverse groups that they have something within them of which they can be proud. As a teacher, I get a vicarious thrill every time some kid, lonely old guy, or drained housewife looks at him/herself and says, “I’m not ‘alf bad, now am I?” As a human, I am reminded again and again that everyone needs to feel valid and valuable, and it doesn’t take much to be kind and create opportunities for others to be proud of themselves. There’s the extra bonus of having this show set in England; I like their accents and expressions, like “snarky” and “well, it’s a crap town, now, innit?” I listen to the BBC radio all night, on account of I have the insom-ni-yay (I’m trying to be positive about it), and I have grown to love and feel comforted by Brit-speak. I am also real sweet on Britney-speak, y’all, but that’s a whole different post. Anyway, The Choir rocks. You should watch it. Don’t hate! Try it!
I also think I like Louis CK’s new show on FX, Louie, which just finished up its first season. I am not sure if I truly like it, because sometimes it’s hard to take. Louis CK is a comic, and he’s funny, but sometimes the shows are more disturbing than they are amusing. Still and all, two of the episodes I thought were terrific. The first was from 8/26, which was all about religion. In the beginning of the ep, Louie is in the bathroom, washing his hands. An average guy, dark suit and nondescript face, walks in, does his business, and heads for the sink. He spies a hole in the wall that has the word ‘heaven’ written above it in shaky caps. You can almost see the light bulb go on over his head as he unzips and moves towards the hole. Glory be! Louie is alarmed.
“Hey! What are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” the man says pleasantly. “Were you going to use it?”
“No!” Louie cries out. “You’re not really going to stick you’re penis in that hole are you?”
“Well, yes I am,” the man replies.
“Have you done that before?” Louie asks incredulously.
“Nope!” says the balding business man, smiling.
“Why would you do it?” asks Louie, still trying to understand.
“You gotta have faith.” That’s the answer. Faith. You just have to believe that despite all evidence and speculation, sticking your dick through an opening in a dirty bathroom because someone who went before you described it as ‘heaven’ is a good idea. That’s just the beginning of this show. I loved it, and thought about it for days. Hang on….I was just thinking about it again. That’s good stuff.
The other ep I really liked was the season finale, when Louie has a really shitty night in which he tries to combat his crushing loneliness. It’s bad, and it never gets better. It’s an entire evening of hope dashed. Who does a season finale about loneliness? That’s not uplifting! Loneliness isn’t zany! It lacks the wacktackular, but it’s real. I’m not sure every episode is so great, but if he doesn’t get cancelled, I’ll be back next season fo’ sho’.
I love The Daily Show. I love Jon Stewart. He’s smart, funny and hot. That’s right; I say GRRRR! I lovelovelove him. He had Jon Hamm of Mad Men on the other day. I love when guys named Jon without the ‘h’ who are on a show I love have other guys named Jon without the ‘h’ who are on a show I love..
Have I mentioned I love Mad Men? I so do.
I like some other popular shows also. Modern Family – funny, and that one lady from Colombia is my new lady crush. She’s smokin’ hot and completely non-threatening. Most of my lady-crushes could crush my head like a walnut; I can’t help it, I like the fierce ladies. This one is way out of my league, but a real nice person, too. Nice.
Parenthood – I am sucked in, and I like that the message at the end is so Sister Sledge. The Bravermans are now part of my tv family, and I’m not ashamed to say it loud, say it proud. Also, Dax Shepard, who is in the movie I’ll talk about later is in this show. How’s that for a coincidink.
I watch Project Runway, though I hardly ever like the clothes, and I watch Weeds, though I hate the main character.
Some shows I just don’t get. I tried to watch Jersey Shore, but I ended up feeling bad for those people and for the state of humanity. Don’t they know how they are? Watching it is like standing on the corner and making fun of the short bus. I tried to watch True Blood, but that Anna Paquin; she’s so, how can I put it, shitty as an actress. Insipid, I tell you. My friend Chi-Toh watches it, but he says he’s only in it for the sex. I like sex, but I don’t think I’d be into vampire sex. I’m Team Mammal. Vampires are all greedy and selfish, on account of they only want you for your blood, and I hear they are cold, freezing cold, including their vampenises and vampginas. Why get involved? Needy vampire, who will kill you but never really let you die, or frozen pudding pop, that will achieve basically the same effect if correctly and creatively applied, but that has the bonus of being delicious and providing the recommended daily allowance of calcium? It’s a no-brainer to me.
I saw one of the most resonant movies I have ever seen on TV, Idiocracy. I saw it late night one insomniac evening, when it came on after Pauly Shore’s classic Son-In-Law, which I watched solely because I am credited at the end of it. No, really. I am. I have had a long and interesting life, and that is just one tiny part of it. Even the thrill of dubious fame doesn’t make it worthwhile to watch Son-In-Law. I do, however, think of Idiocracy, an almost equally shitty movie, at least once a week when I am at school. Though truly bad, it is totally prophetic.
I’m not sure what language the subtitles are in, but so what, right?
Oh! Double embed! Yes! I’m on fire!
I could probably write for hours about tv, and lately I’ve been really glad to have it. I think it’s part of getting back to school. I go to work, deal with all this stuff I never imagined I would have to think about, and come home, as the lovable Brits say, “positively knackered.” All I want is to let go, to relax, and not have to make decisions that are important. I don’t want anyone to depend on me, and I don’t want to have to be tactful or polite. I want to hang out in my boxers, eating fiery hot pickled green beans out of the jar. However, immersing myself in a world that has nothing to do with reality, and in which the relevant human contact is negligible, I am lonely, like Louie. Not season finale lonely, but lonely none the less. The more I watch, the more I realize I have nobody to watch with. Sometimes the only sound in my house is the sound of my fake friends fake laughing. It’s quite the paradox. I crave the solitude, and I when I get it, I’m saddened. Only one thing to do: wait until 10 when Jon Stewart comes on. He loves me and I love him, and we are oh-so-happy when we are together. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
P.S. This post goes out to Em, who invites me over to watch our stories, and who opens a bottle of wine and gives me a blanket and makes me feel like the guest of honor every Friday. We pause the shows and talk about the week , and we laugh, and sometimes we even dye our hair or do a little dance. Good times, Em! This Friday, I’ll bring the cheese and crackers!