Things I Hate About TV
It's a time-honored tradition in the world of TV: a celebrity goes on a game show or reality contest, playing for his or her favorite charity. Then, instead of buckling down and trying his or her hardest to get as much money as possible for that charity, they laugh and joke as they either go down in flames on the show, or -- even worse -- don't look like they're even trying.
The latest case of this happened on last week's 'Celebrity Apprentice.' And, with the next episode set to air tonight, I wanted to talk about why the results from last week got me so annoyed.
I don't watch them half as much as I used to, but I still like them. They're shows that actually show us how we can redo our rooms and homes easily and without spending a ton of money. I find shows like that useful. I might not do exactly what the hosts say, but they always give me ideas for something I might want to do in my own place.
I can't say that same about Designers' Challenge though. I think this might be the worst show on HGTV, and here's why.
But when you're watching a television show and have to ignore the bug in the corner, then be subjected to a variety of pop-up promotions and reminders for shows you may or may not be interested in watching it's enough to make you turn off the set. I'd say it's enough to make you switch channels, but where can you go to avoid the intrusion? PBS?
1. The Fidelity-sponsored Fox Trak. The pitching tracker, which shows if a pitch actually hit the strike zone or not, has been around for years. But, the flight of the ball has been to this point represented by a red streak and a dot. Now that Fidelity Investments is sponsoring the tracker, the red streak/dot combo has been replaced by a green streak/green arrow combo that mimics Fidelity's "stay on the line" series of ads. What financial guidance has to do with balls and strikes, I'll never know.
I was watching a commercial today for a bank and the woman in the commercial said that the bank was "the number one online banking web site." Which got me wondering: what's the number one banking web site that's not online?
Some of you reading this may have friends or family among the 228 people on the flight, which makes this a personal tragedy for a lot of people. But if you listen to the news media, it seems like most of the people who have been potentially lost on the flight aren't such a big deal. After all, "there were two Americans" on that flight, you see, and, as far as the U.S. media is concerned, their loss is more of a tragedy than the loss of any of the others.
Whoever creates the promos for Lost needs to start coordinating things with the show's writers, or at least start watching the show. The last few Lost previews have made so many empty promises that I am considering hitting the Mute button on my remote when the ads come on. It should not be possible to over-dramatize the events on a show about plane crash survivors on a bizarre island, but ABC has achieved that feat.
Consider the commercials for last week's episode, "Stranger in a Strange Land." Viewers were told (in all caps and bold lettering, no less) that three big mysteries would be revealed during the episode. Did the show deliver on ABC's promise? Sure, if the meaning behind Jack's tattoos is a big mystery. If kinda, sorta finding out what happened the Cindy and the kids is a big mystery. I am not even sure if there was a third mystery; that's how inaccurate the promo was.
I was an English major in college. If you ever get the chance to be an English major, do it! It opens so many doors to your future: with your English degree you can teach English! Or, also, starve!
Being an English major, though, brought along with it one major annoyance: wannabe intellectual types who felt that since they read Keats or whatever, they were somehow better than the civilians who enjoyed Melrose Place or The X-Files.
Here's the plot: lower middle class guy writes a book that becomes a best seller. As he climbs the economic ladder, he becomes a workaholic and is thus estranged from his family. A mysterious stranger then appears and helps him to realize that true happiness doesn't come from work and success, but rather from spending time with his wife and his improbably named daughter, Carson.
I watched the whole thing for the same reason I play with hangnails and follow Philadelphia sports teams – I secretly hate myself.
Don't get me wrong; it's a sad story. I feel for the families of the men trapped on the mountain. But this doesn't feel like news to me.
Since climbing during any time of the year, much less winter, isn't exactly a risk-free activity, I'd imagine that one or two climbers get trapped on the mountain every year. So why has this incident been the top story on all the local and network news broadcasts for the last five days?
I've never been much a joiner. I wasn't on any sports teams in high school and I don't belong to many clubs or organizations. But I would join The Nancy Grace Fan Club and proudly wear their pin on my lapel before I ever "woo-hooed." (I think I've done it a couple of times in print, but only in a comical way.)
The woo-hoo. It's everywhere. It's not enough that Al Roker is standing in front of a crowd outside of The Today Show, the crowd actually has to do that long "wooooooooo-hoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" every time the camera is even remotely pointed in their direction. The same with the daytime and late night shows. Whether it's The Tonight Show or The View or (especially) Oprah, the crowd goes crazy when the star comes out or a guest comes on. I mean, they even do it on Emeril Live, whenever he throws in garlic or hot stuff. And they applaud on Emeril's show and he has a band, which I think is bizarre too, but that's a whole other rant.
I can't even understand how people do it physically. I can't imagine any situation where I would be puckering my mouth and making this loud "woo-hoo" noise with a bunch of other people, or alone. I would think that a real, deserved "woo-hoo" is a rare thing, and should be used in very few circumstances.
Like Jesse Palmer, and (inexplicably popular) Bob Guiney before him, last night's "Prince" Lorenzo (a man who has less claim to actually being a prince than the musician Prince does) decided to opt out of going through with proposing to his choice. He did give her a ring, but called it a "family ring" instead of an engagement ring. This takes even more guts than the other Bachelors who went with the more promising "promise" ring nomenclature.
I can tell right away that TDS is a rerun; if the intro to the show doesn't show the date, it's a repeat. From there, there's a 95% chance that Colbert is also a rerun, so the entire 11 PM - 12 AM block is now available to me.
It's a weird feeling; without TDS/Colbert, I feel kind of adrift.
I don't know if it's the same in other local markets, but here in the Twin Cities promos for the upcoming local news broadcasts always include some teaser about the weather forecast that goes something like this:
Anchor: Just how cold is it going to get? And will we see any snow over the weekend? Tune in at ten and find out.
I can understand doing such a teaser if the station has an exclusive story or just scooped some recent event that none of the other stations have, but it's not like they're the only place where you can get weather information. There's the Weather Channel, there's the newspaper, and there's the freakin' internet, for crying out loud.
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