Archive for the ‘Meta’ Category

America ___ Me

February 13, 2010

I was watching Models of the Runway last week (which, long sidebar: I find it incredibly boring, and yet for some reason I keep watching it: it’s not like I don’t have enough stuff watch– what’s that about? Basically I think they need to just devote five minutes of Project Runway to the model eliminations and any intrigues that might crop up because it’s sad but true– those girls cannot be interesting for a full twenty minutes.)

Anyway, one of the models, Alexis, took on the role of devious conniver this episode, talking shit about other contestants and telling the other models they should fear elimination, while she herself will never be dropped. It’s obnoxious in a way that reminds me of something said about academia– that the politics are so bitter because the stakes are so small. Seriously, what does winning Models of the Runway get you? It’s an even shitter America’s Next Top Model, winners of which are not even working regularly, much less “top” modelling. In a confessional, after behaving like a mean girl, Alexis is all: “Don’t hate me. I’m trying to play a game here!”

Ah. So you’re that contestant. The “Just Playing the Game” contestant. Closely related (indeed sometimes concurrent with), but not identical to “I’m not here to make friends” contestant. I am always surprised by the popularity of “I’m not here to make friends.” Surely they know that this tv appearence will top the google searches any future employers do. Do these manipulators think it reflects well on them for their real life that they’re demonstrably vicious backstabbers who have a proven inability to work in harmony with others? (This, btw, is the biggest reason I was annoyed that Michael Voltaggio won Top Chef. He was a total doucheface to other contestants whenever there was teamwork. Part of being Top Chef entails being a good restauranteur, which involves good management skills which are counterindicated by alienating your staff if they happen to be gasp! women or older.)

One of the other models, Kasey, interviews about Alexis’s attempts to shit-stir during pedicures (Alexis basically tries to get everyone to say they think Sarah, a friend of Kasey’s should be worried and will be sent home). Kasey is indignant: “Even if you think you know who’s going home, you just never say it!”

Time’s tv critic notes that The Real World first came to our tvs in February, 1992, meaning that today’s 18 year olds (for instance, the Jersey Shorians) “have never known a world in which hooking up drunk in a house paid for by a Viacom network was not an option.” That kind of thing makes me feel ancient.

As Kasey’s comments indicate, we also now have rules of ettiquette that everyone is supposed to know about how you behave toward fellow reality tv contestants, even though most of us will never find ourselves on tv. In fact, I feel like most people I know have an idea of which reality show they’d like to be on(for me it’s RuPaul’s Drag Race as the secret lady contestant) and which contestant they’d be (I have no illusions, American would love to hate me, though not because I was taking a nap in the corner Tyra, you ingrate).

Some of these rules are just tweaks of real world ettiquette– be a good loser and a gracious winner, but it’s complicated by the fact that when cameras are trained on you 24/7 there’s nowhere to retreat to to lick your wounds. Even in leisure time (like say, getting pedicures at the salon) you have to behave professionally and refrain from gossip if you want to avoid a shunning.

There are other areas, though, where I feel like reality tv contestants are puzzlingly naive. Why do so many contestants show up to Project Runway with poor construction skills? It it were me, as soon as I learned I’d been cast I would be learning how to use a professional sewing machine and make men’s wear and plus sized patterns. Why doesn’t anyone ever think to do this?

Or: why do people lie to their signicant others when they cheat on camera? On The Real World: Las Vegas Alton and Irulan began a full-on relationship even though Irulan had her boyfriend, Gabe, back home. She was seen making phone calls to him assuring him that everything was fine. Why bother lying? Did you think MTV wasn’t going to use that juicy footage? More recently on Top Chef Hosea and Leah made out despite having significant others and they inexplicably lied to the camera and said they had simply flirted. Why bother? Is everyone just a lot drunker than they seem to be?


Planned or Unplanned

December 16, 2009

So I was talking the other day with a friend about tv series, and how sometimes it annoys me when there are dead end plots that go nowhere. Specifically I was thinking about Melrose and when Laura Leighton was on 90210 for like, six episodes or something, and then her character just disappeared. Or that one weird episode of 7th Heaven in which a crooked contractor feigns injury while renovating the garage apartment to rip off the Camdens and Annie is all “I will fight you on this!” and then nothing was ever mentioned again. Clearly plots they threw at the wall that didn’t stick.

These always annoy me, despite the fact that in real life events happen that don’t necessarily lead anywhere all the time. Then again, if I wanted real life I wouldn’t need a tv at all.

Initially I floated Lost as a show with a plan before I realized it too is littered with lost (heh) plots, like Libby and Ana Lucia or, more gallingly (since AL & L were apparently let go because of bad behavior filing in Hawaii) Shannon and Boone. Why were they even there? It really puts a damper in my faith that Lost has an overarching plan, in spite of its assurances.

I have similar issues with BSG. Don’t tell me “They have a plan” unless they have a plan.

At the end of the day, the only shows I can think of that seem airtight to me are Veronica Mars and some anime series (which are, presumably, planned out in the manga?), though I’m always ready to hear more.

I haven’t finished the Sopranos yet, but it seems to be a pretty tight show thus far (midway through S5) and possibly Big Love, although it’s hard to tell with series that are ongoing.

Tv is back! Tv is back!

September 16, 2009

Summer is no longer the seasonal death of tv like back in my callow youth; some of my favorite shows (Mad Men, True Blood) are summer shows. But there’s still an undeniable excitement about the fall schedule returning. I’m open to suggestions for what new shows I should pick up. So far I’m seized upon Glee and I give it the highest recommendation for those who enjoy music theatre. Like Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch has the magical touch for elevating the written material, not that the Glee scripts need as much help as SLAT’s.

Now, perhaps I’m just afflicted by jet-lag from that trans-atlantic flight I was on an hour ago, but Dan Scott, on the One Tree Hill premiere seems to have traded in his arson and fratricide toolboxes in favor of life as a televangelist. It’s OTH, so it will find a way to alchemize gold into boring, but like Charlie Brown and the football, I can’t help but get excited.

I’m gonna get what I want!

June 9, 2009

That’s what I’m going to do with my life.

I’ve been wallowing in the pity of the dearth of summer television, and mourning how empty my DVR has been (unless you count the old Tyras I’ve seen before and will watch again because Tyra NEVER AGES seriously, just believe her, she’l choke a bitch).

But tonight Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List was back!  I’m not going to lie because I simply am unable on account of my perfect moral upbringing:  it was some funny business.  She spent most of the hour with Bette Midler, who was fantastic because she would say things like (following Kathy bragging about her two Emmys) “I’ve been nominated for two Oscars, I’m way more classy, oh, yes, I was ROOOOOOOOOBBED.”  But then she got all hoity-toity and lame to the brillionth degree when Kathy was all “So some of my immature guy friends want to know [this had to be a shield, she’s definitely not above immaturity, and that’s an asset] is ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ about farting?”  Bette was silent for a deadly moment and then just said “Next question.”  Oh come on, you used to perform in gay men’s bathouses Midler, you’re not above crassness!  Kathy ended the show by taking Bette Midler to a super trashy Vegas casino (and away from her fancy digs she’s got at the Ceaser while she lives there and performs her show and has dinner catered every night by her personal French chef) and fed her fried Twinkies and Oreos.  Then some drunks outside made Bette Midler sing “Happy Birthday” to them and a clearly unstable vagrant woman blocked the camera lens the whole time.  So good.

This oasis in the summer tv desert led me to some digging and here are the highlights of this summer’s offerings in my opinion (Gnatalby edit this post to include any of your own so it can be the official Booze Tube Summer TV Guide…our first list…we’re going places!):

June 10:  Something called Top Chef Masters which I assume involves past Top Chefs competing

June 14:  True Blood (Soooooooooooooooookie I’m a pile of aaaaaaaaaaashes but I looooooooooooooooooooove you.)

June 22:  Official Best TV Bet of the Summer:  Secret Life of the American Teenager.  Seriously dudes, this shit is not to be missed.  So bad that it’s so good and with so much baffling Christian moralizing juxtaposed with even more baffling teen sex!  Worship it like Jesus wants you to!

July 7:  Something ABC Family brings us called 10 Things I Hate About You which I can only assume is a series based on the actually decent (and probably underrated in many circles) teen flick.  This is not necessarily a safe tv bet since I know nothing about it, but trust the Booze Tubers to expose all its flaws and glories.

August 20:  Project Runway, but not totally resembling the reliably entertaining show we’ve grown accustomed to.  It’s gonna be on Lifetime now, so Heidi’s gonna have to either dodge all the rapists who will be competing this year or she’s gonna kidnap their babies or maybe she’ll have to learn the true meaning of Christmas…it’s a little nutty over there on the tv for ladies.  Ladies are kinda crazy.  Also it will be in L.A. because now that ANTM is back in New York a full-blown citywide turf war had be avoided and Hedi and Co. were forced to retreat.

Summer just got a little more brighter yet simulateously darker because new curtains might have to go up to block out that pesky sun.  TV is my man for all seasons.

Keeping up with the Televisional Joneses

May 2, 2009

A couple weeks ago a good friend of The Booze Tube shared the list he had made up to remind himself what shows to watch throughout the week. Like me, this friend tends to watch tv the day after it airs, so, in a semblance of order, for me, that’s….

Monday: Huh, nothing.

Tuesday: One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Greek, and Chuck

Wednesday: Huh, nothing.

Thursday: Lost.

Friday: Holy Cats! The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Ugly Betty.

Saturday: Dollhouse.

Shows that aren’t in season right now, but of which I am a religious follower: Secret Life of the American Teenager, Big Love, Mad Men, True Blood.

And that’s not to mention whole seasons of shows I’m just catching on DVD.  90210 (classic, not the current waste of prime time space), Melrose Place, Smallville, Flight of the Conchords, Arrested Development, and Battlestar Galactica.

Writing all that out makes me feel funny, like when Lynette lined up all of Bree Van de Kamp’s wine bottles on the porch with a note that said: “Still think you don’t have a problem?”*

But hey, when I’m a top tv blogger no one will question me! Or when I get my dream job of pairing foods with tv shows. 90s nighttime soaps go great with cheese, I mean, obviously.

*Though from what I remember, there were only like, 12 wine bottles. I guess I’d need to know the time span, because if that’s per day, then yeah, Bree totally had a problem, but if that’s over like, two weeks and she’s just lazy about recycling, then I think that’s a lot more borderline.  Incidentally, remember how Bree confesses in some later season that she sometimes fantasizes about opening the Chardonnay she knows is chilling in the fridge? What kind of assholes is she living with that keep wine in the fridge of a recovering alcoholic?

We should tooooootally have a blog

April 17, 2009

Doostyn: It’s finally getting warm here

on hopefully a continual basis.
I emerged from my cocoon and went out on the town
and now i feel like an old person
with the tired
and the slight hang over.
me: I am hungover too.
Shocker, I know.
Dustin: What did you do?
me:I had drinks with my favorite person last night!
(aka alone)
Doostyn: Do you think your head shrinker picks up on shit like that?
Like….”looks like you had a rough night?”
I always lie to my doctors about my booze consumption
so I’m afraid of that.
Especially considering the time (when there was no way I could have smelled like booze b/c I was deathly ill)
Doostyn: that some other doctor at the office I had to see b/c my doctor was out
was all “Why do you smell like alcohol?”
and I was all “Maybe it’s one of your nurses?”
me: Ha!
That’s awesome.
Doostyn: It was such bullshit.
He was a total bitchy ‘mo.
me: Then he should have understood–
Doostyn: But he had no idea that two bitchy ‘mos were about to collide.
me: Boozing hard is how your people deal with the pain:
the pain of your little sexual dysfunction.
Doostyn: Hmmmm…
What’s your excuse?
Latent catholicism?
me: Yeah.
My people are hardened boozers.
Also, I had to self medicate
because of the trauma of the veggie burger. (ETA: Found a piece of plastic in my veggie burger. )
me: Oooo Janeane Garofalo on Greek!
Doostyn: Maybe this show should be my new tv
after the o.c.
so months down the road probably.
If only i didn’t work–
me: Yes, yes it should.
Doostyn: and got paid to watch tv
and report my thoughts on it…
I’ve heard good things about the show
not only from you.
If we weren’t so lazy
we could have an awesome tv blog.
me: Seriously.
We should start one
combining our love of drunkenness and tv.
Doostyn: ok
The Booze Tube.
me: Yes, I love it
Doostyn: I mean
no one will really read it
b/c we would talk about like Melrose Place a lot,
but we could write about current tv i guess.
me: Allllll of tv
Doostyn: Hmmmm.
That’s a tall order
of booze
and tv
I have the hangover starvation
I just want to order a pizza and eat the entire thing.
Doostyn: Do it
Get what you want.
I often order pizzas and eat the entire thing or close to it on hang over days

Me: I finished Melrose season four last night, awesome season ender with Richard’s hand bursting up from      his roadside grave

Doostyn: Oh yeah….

I love that Sydney can be talked into anything.  I just finished the episode where Brooke dies and Allison ridiculously gets up at her funeral when Billy storms off way to make things more awkward fug face.  She’s so fucking stupid.

me: So great.  Also when Jake awesomely turned Allison down I was like, “Yes! They’re making Jake gay! After all, that’s the only way on Melrose for a man to not be attracted to Allison…”

But then he succumbed despite being in love with Jane.

And Jo.

The people in that building need to go out of their own courtyard to fuck.