The Five: Lies TV expects us to believe
But there are some lies not as obvious as these. There are lies more insidious. Lies that don't look like lies. I don't know if TV has an agenda or is just so zombified by institutional groupthink that they've begun to believe these lies themselves, but there's no doubt that they exist and they are subtle. Being the crusading young reporter I am, I dutifully spent the weekend watching television and identifying the five most insidious lies TV expects us to believe.
The list after the jump.
1. People care about the WNBA. Every once in a while, Sportscenter will slide in a highlight of a few lay-ups from a 68-54 matchup between the Houston Comets and the Connecticut Sun and for a nanosecond the thought will pass through your mind that someone, somewhere, actually gives a damn. Don't be fooled! Sportscenter is just trying to round out the programming to an hour! No one is watching! Even the live games don't draw. Besides, 91% of those attending are the families of girls playing JV basketball. The other 9% are people there on dares.
2. People confess out of guilt. The middle of the third act of every sitcom of the last 70 years has the words, "There's something I need to tell you", somewhere in it. Whether it be the character tried to bring two dates to the same prom or the height-challenged ward secretly wished his legal guardian to have a miscarriage, at some point the person fesses up and all parties have their say. Now, I grant you that sometimes confessions do occur in real life, but if people came clean about their minor trespasses with the frequency of television characters, we would never stop having kitchen heart to hearts. It scares me to think that there's a generation of kids being raised under the belief that if you do, indeed, accidentally handcuff yourself to your worst enemy but still want to go on an important job interview, at some point you should confess your botched magic trick to the interviewer. The real world doesn't work like that, sport. As Chris Rock said about what to do if your wife catches you cheating: deny, deny, deny!
3. All men are fat guys with hot wives who can't do anything without the help of a good woman. Listen, I understand, women have been discriminated against and have had an uphill climb towards equality. But is the only way to level the playing field to have every guy on TV be a fat idiot barely capable of getting food into his mouth without being the brunt of a joke at his level of intelligence? I mean, there's a lot of idiots out there, but guys did make a few contributions to the world (like the polio vaccine and Doritos). Next time you watch the Simpsons, take a good hard look at Homer and then at your own father or husband (or self). I'm sure you'll see some differences! (And if you don't, please rush that person to the hospital immediately. They probably have some sort of liver disorder that's turning them yellow).
4. The only people who eat at fast food restaurants are skinny people. This one really insults my intelligence. I know that McDonald's just can't come out and say, "Hey, fatso, you and I both know it's a lot easier shoveling Big Macs down your throat than it is to admit that mommy's never gonna buy you that pony", but come on! Every single one of their commercials has slender 20-somethings pounding cheeseburgers like they were Kobayashi with not one little roll of belly fat showing. I've been in fast food restaurants. Good looking college kids occasionally make an appearance, but it's mostly filled with people like me -- people who are gambling one more time with their insulin levels. Guts, butts, and droop are what's for dinner. I think from this time forward there should be at least one fat person in every fast food commercial. This should be mandated by law.
5. Every person in America is one "makeover" away from being 30 years younger and 50 pounds lighter. Physics, apparently, doesn't make a distinction about which direction time is moving and one might just as easily move forwards as one moves backwards. Well, that's all well and good for physics, but in the real world it works a little differently. I'm 30 now and I'm more wrinkly, more gray, and more fat than I used to be. I can do some tricks to hide this fact, but in the end, they're only tricks. So, TV, stop telling me how to "turn back the clock" or "shave inches off my waist with the right choice of pants." You know what happens when a 30 year old chunky guy like myself dresses younger? He looks like a really sad 30 year old chunky guy.
As always, let me know what lies TV tells you in the comments...