It’s been almost two years to the date since my last On TV post. As I’ve mentioned, watching TV is kinda lame and then talking about TV is really lame, but here I go again.
The Price Is Right
Obvious gripe first: No Bob Barker. I knew that Drew Carey was taking over, but I hadn’t seen the show since that happened. I wanted to see Bob Barker, hobbling around with his skinny microphone, making back-handed lewd comments to his “Beauties.” When you’re a kid, the best thing ever is being at home sick watching The Price Is Right at 10am while all your sucker friends are in school. Bob Barker plays an integral role in keeping that dream alive, even though I am now an unemployed adult.
Anyway, I caught the end of the show. Everyone spun the big wheel and then it was time for a showcase showdown. The hick in first position passed her showcase to the old dude in second position. Despite her acting all unsure and junk, she ended up being less than $500 away from the actual retail price. Damn! That’s rare. I’ve been watching the show for 23 years, and as a Price-Is-Right expert, I was pretty sure she had gone over. Well, good on her. Let’s check on the old man.
When Drew got to him, I was pretty sure he was hosed no matter what he’d bid. That lady was close! But no. He guessed the actual retail price exactly.
I jumped up and yelled, “This shit is rigged!”
From the next room, my mom yelled, “Stop yelling!”
I flip on The Price Is Right for the first time in years and I see this. What is going on?
Also it appears that one of the show’s new gimmicks is letting studio audience members “model” some of the showcase items. What the hell is this about? I want to see Barker’s Beauties. Even the ancient, bag-of-antlers, botox-beaten, lovely Diane.
This was the first time I’d seen this. Why do people like this show? Is this what people were rushing home on Sunday nights to watch back when I lived in Austin? Really? I mean, it’s kinda cute and all, but it’s not especially clever. The characters are rather transparent and while I understand they’re supposed to be to a degree, couldn’t there have been some underlying joke or theme that could make this bearable for the savvy consumer? About halfway through the episode, I got a lunch invite from a friend, so I went and did that.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
I read his book, Kitchen Confidential, earlier this year and enjoyed it, but I wasn’t so enthralled that I went out of my way to watch the show. It was my good fortune to come across the episode where he visits Indonesia (most importantly, Bali). This got me really excited about my trip. Everywhere he went was gorgeous, and he was taken enough with the island to consider staying there, which will probably happen to me too. History says a lot: Every now and then I still contemplate moving to Puerto Rico someday (my Christmas 2002 destination).
Holy hell, how much are these people being paid? This episode featured a devoutly religious vegetarian family with a mother who pulled the giant stick out of her ass only to beat the crap out of her kids when they were bad. On the other side was a laissez-faire fat-ass whose daughters each resembled Jabba the Hut. The women switch families and hijinx ensue. Watching them each get heated over random insignifigant things made me wonder why women wish to become mothers at all. Apparently, when a woman expels a child from her womb, her entire ability to act rationally goes with it.
I wanted to choose a favorite, but I couldn’t. Both were crazy for different reasons, so I was torn. I guess that’s what I was supposed to feel. Good job, producers. In the end, I liked the one with the stick up her ass more. She seemed like the meanest person ever, but she obviously chose her words carefully so a productive dialog could take place despite the chaos. However, people should use their superior intelligence for good, not evil.
Fuck yeah, Judge Judy! There will never be a better court show on television, period. No other TV judge can deliver a point and make an idiot squirm nearly as well as she does. I love this show. Even when there’s no TV around, if I happen to notice that it’s 4pm, I automatically think, “Judge Judy’s on.”
Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper
This show hails from an era when some sitcoms were actually funny, and the laugh track laughed with you, not for you. It was a time when characters ran wild in bright yellow Cross Colours jeans and tight fuschia dresses, no one had cell phones, and people still hung out with their neighbors.
The Love Match Valentine’s Day episode put me in a good mood for the rest of the night. It was the one where Vanessa goes on a date with a crazy shrink, Mark gets robbed, and Robin goes on the worst date evar. The bit I have always remembered to this very day:
Robin: Well, do you mind if I touch the stereo? Lately every time I turn on the radio, they’re playing a bad song.
Robin’s Date: It’s a tape.
Oh yeah! Back then, there were tapes!
So that’s TV to me. And once again, I’ll let this area of my life remain dormant for another two years…
Fun Facts: I didn’t watch much TV in or right after college, and I’ve never purchased cable. The last TV I owned broke in 2005 when I left a candle burning too long and everything in my room filled with smoke. I’m not “anti-TV” or anything. I just don’t care enough about it to go out and buy one, and I’d rather spend the cable money on something I can go out and do instead of watch. As a result, the long breaks interrupted by brief periods of heavy viewing make TV seem more interesting to me than it actually is.