26th Mar2008

Reality Rundown: Northern Palm Wrestling, High School Reunion, and Real Wedding Crashers

by Will

“My heart’s crippled by the vein that I keep on closing…”

So, lately I’ve noticed a lot of TV shows that just make no sense whatsoever. First up is Northern Palm Wrestling. It debuted on MTV last night, and it’s basically a sketch show by the comedy group Northern Palm Wrestling. According to their “origin story”, they started out as a group of guys who did a lot of backyard wrestling matches back in the day. Over time, that evolved into low-brow, un-P.C. sketch comedy. Now, I’m all about the un-P.C., but I can’t deal with the format of the show. Originally, they were picked up as web segments for MTV.com, but it debuted as an actual show after Human Giant last night. Sure, they were hoping to benefit from the Human Giant lead-in, but these guys are nowhere near that level. I think the main thing going against them is the fact that it really looks like some sort of cable access show. Maybe they’re going for low-quality, a la the “Sensual Seduction” video, but I just couldn’t deal. It was like watching something made by a bunch of high school kids. The uncool high school kids. I turned it off 5 minutes in, which is weird, considering I can usually watch anything.

That’s when I turned to the next show that makes absolutely no sense to me: The Real Wedding Crashers, on Style Network. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I’m a sucker for a good wedding show, so I’m always on board for “I Do Tuesdays”. That said, they’ve recently replaced my fave, I Propose, with The Real Wedding Crashers. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s basically Punk’d: The Wedding Edition. My problem, though, is that it’s always at the request of the bride and groom. So, the basic premise is you’ve got a bride and groom who decide, “we want to make this wedding an event that nobody will forget.” That’s so sad. The fact that their wedded bliss, holy union, and $80-a-plate gathering won’t be memorable enough. Nope, they’ve got to recruit this team of comedians to come and “crash” the wedding by playing elaborate pranks.

First off, it’s clear they just use the name to capitalize on the hit movie, while having nothing to do with that remise. Reality show about guys crashing weddings to get chicks? I’m all about it! This show, however, doesn’t prove to be as exciting. I think it would be funnier if everyone was in on the joke except the bride and groom. I mean, imagine their emotional breakdown as they think their special day is falling down around them. That’d be as hilarious as the episode of Punk’d where Justin Timberlake started crying because he thought his stuff was being repossesed due to tax evasion. If you look at the J.T. timeline, that was the moment he reinvented himself, as he had to do something to come back from looking like a little bitch in front of his primary demographic. Nipplegate at the Super Bowl wasn’t long after that. His little way of saying, “Laugh at my tears now, bitches”. Anyway, I digress…I would also be pissed if it turned out the bride and groom had done this, even though they weren’t paying for the wedding. I mean, what a way to waste someone else’s money! You want a memorable ceremony? Here’s me, sticking you with the bill, ungrateful bitch of a daughter!

The trick of it is that they “crash” the entire timeline, from preparation to ceremony to reception. On last night’s episode, the wedding ceremony was interrupted by skydivers, who land on the golf course site of the wedding, mid-ceremony. Of course, it was the Crasher Team, and they played it off that they thought they were landing for a birthday party gig. It’s a big elaborate thing, though, as much of it is set up days before. One aspect that rubbed me the wrong way was the use of Crasher Cat. Clearly, the “hot chick” of the team, Cat’s mission was to get invited to the wedding so that she would be the “man on the inside”. Well, she arrives at the cake shop, just in time to see the groomsman accidentally destroy all of the cakes (including the one for the ceremony), which was all part of the crash. She starts flirting with him, and gets him to ask her to the wedding. Then, she shows up at the wedding, wearing a wedding dress, which appalls most of the guests, seeing as how she’s taking attention away from the true bride. Once the crash is revealed, everyone’s laughing and applauding, but you can see the disappointment on the groomsman’s face, as he thought he’d really scored a date with a hot chick. Ya got played, bitch! And all she could say to him was, “Did you have fun?” I felt as bad for him as I feel for some of the folks on Hell Date, as you know they were just doing the damn thing, looking for The One. In the meantime, someone thought it would be a good idea to prank ’em with a horrible date. Sure, they’re good sports in the end (usually), but you’ve just got to know that some part of them dies inside, the part that was hoping that the search was finally over, that this could be The One…

I’m totally over Flavor of Love, as my baby, Bunz, was shown the door last week. Making the Band‘s over, resulting in Danity Kane producing a KICK ASS CD, while leaving Day 26 to deliver a disc of 112/Jagged Edge leftovers. Here’s hoping Donnie’s album, when it finally comes out, kicks all their asses. I don’t really care who wins America’s Best Dance Crew now that Kaba Modern’s out. I feel like I jinxed them. Anyway, Status Quo does NOT deserve to still be in that competition. They’ve got a lot of heart, but they’ve been sloppy from day 1. If they were judged by that day’s performance instead of the week before, they’d be out. They always brought it when they were in trouble, but sucked when they were safe. Unless there’s some kind of rigged, cultural bias going on, expect JabbaWockeez to wipe the floor with them tomorrow night.

Another show that I just can’t seem to get into is High School Reunion. I have never seen TVLand hype a show as much as they hyped this thing. However, for a supposed “TVLand Original”, it’s not. You see, High School Reunion actually debuted during the middle of the WB’s existence, and it was controversial because it included a bunch of people who weren’t really in school together. Sure, they played it off as, “watch the shit hit the fan”, but a lof of the people simply went to the same school, but during different years, so there was no pre-existing drama to mine. It lasted about 2 seasons, and faded away, on ly to be reborn on basic cable, just like The Surreal Life (also a WB show). Anyway, the folks this season actually went to high school together, during the same year (class of ’87), and there’s the potential for the fur to fly. Well, not really. The problem is that they’re so…normal. They’re just normal people. Whoop-dee-doo.

Sure, the former “hottest girl in school” has been divorced 4 times. Big deal. The student body president who was destined to be a great success is fat and bitter at his former bully. Big deal. All of the stuff that should’ve been stretched out all season is resolved in one episode. Aforementioned pres confronts bully, bully says the standard, “I’m sorry, man. That was so long ago. I don’t remember you.” Pres is upset because bully clearly hasn’t been harboring as many feelings as he has. He thinks it over for a bit, and goes back to the house for a beer. I don’t know if it’s editing or what, but that resolution shouldn’t have come in a mere 5 minutes. We’re talking 20 yrs of bitterness, quenched by a convenience store trip and a poolside beer. If only international conflicts could be resolved so simply.

There’s also the lesbian who might want to be with a guy. Oooh! That would be hot if she weren’t on the doorstep of 40. Might as well throw in Melissa Ethridge while you’re at it. Plus, her Date Rapist Smile-Wearing potential suitor rubs me the wrong way. The most potential comes from the guy who’s betrayed by the best friend who slept with his ex-wife. And, of course, said former best friend is also in the house. As well as the ex-wife. Now, due to the semantics, I can’t tell if he slept with the chick after the divorce, or if their affair caused the divorce. “Victim” always refers to her as “my ex-wife”, evn when describing things in the past, so I’m at a loss. Sure, there’s a “bro’s before ho’s” deal, but I don’t think he has much to be crying about if they were already divorced. Anyway, bottom line is that the cast is too damn old. Nobody cares. The show would be much better if they went after the Class of ’97. Those 10 years would make a whole Hell of a lot of difference.

Anyway, this point got way longer than I’d planned. Especially considering it’s nothing but a post of dislikes. Come back next time, where I talk about stuff I do like on television right now. Or, maybe I’ll prove that I actually have a life, and tell you a story. We’ll see how I feel…

13th Feb2008

Making The Band 4, Aubrey O’Day, Smackdown, and Paige’s Return to Trading Spaces

by Will

“All I need is the air I breathe, and a place to rest my head.”

Yay, the strike’s over! And I’m sorry to admit that I’ve already forgotten about this TV season. I can’t tell you what’s still on or what got cancelled. All I watch are One Tree Hill and reality shows right now. There were a lot of shitty shows that probably would have been cancelled, had it not been for the strike. So, networks either let them run their course, or snatched them along with everything else. Never did see that Cavemen show. Or Carpoolers. Or Bionic Woman. I’m pretty sure those won’t be coming back. That said, I’ve still got a lot of random stuff on my mind regarding TV. Either try to follow along, or just sit in that dark corner and nod and smile.

– Is it just me, or is Diddy WAY overcompensating this season on Making the Band? Is he trying to respond to the “down low” rumors that have persisted about him over the past few years? It’s like he wants us to think he’s hard and gangsta when we know better. Every other word he says has to be bleeped out; he’s limping in on a can, like he was shot or something. It’s like he’s trying to go back to his “Puff Daddy” persona, back before Biggie died, when he actually had street cred. Back then, he didn’t suffer from “bitchassness”. Plus, people forget, this is the same dude who dated J.Lo and was implicated in a shooting. It’s funny how an MTV show can just make people forget about all that. Who, exactly, is the real Sean Combs?

-Speaking of Making the Band 4, Aubrey O’Day. Mmm….I love her and loathe her at the same time. She’s got those crazy eyes, where you just know she’ll go Fatal Attraction all over you. Poor little solo artist Donnie. He just doesn’t realize how badly she’s going to ruin his life. She has her sites set on him and is going to eat him alive. There’s something about that kind of woman: you know you shouldn’t go near her, but you’d be a fool not to. I swear, though, if she mentions their “platinum album” one more time, I’m going to track her down and punch her in the face. We get it! Y’all had a successful album. It’s a testament, though, that I can’t even name a single Danity Kane song, so clearly they weren’t THAT famous! It’s a common fact that the debut album of any group formed on a reality show usually sells well. It’s that the viewers want to listen to the album that they watched being created. That said, it’s the sophomore album that tanks. That’s why most of O-Town is currently working in car washes scattered across the Orlando region. It would be a crying shame if The Band creates an album that wipes the floor with Danity Kane.

-While I’m on the subject of The Band, Diddy really needs to rename them. Maybe something like 113? Modeci? Thugz to Men? I mean, we know what Diddy’s trying to do, but the problem is that he’s focused too much on image than sound. I look at these boys, and I don’t buy that they’re as hard as Bad Boy would like me to believe. They can have all the neck tattoos and cornrows in the world, and they’re still gonna look like junior deacons at a costume party. These boys look like they just came from prayer meeting! Did y’all see how Q caught the Holy Ghost when they went to church?! First off, that was probably the funniest scenario I’ve ever seen on reality television, but he almost blew his cover when he started testifyin’ in the aisles! Anyway, I’m gonna need a display of their street cred before we go any further. Forget the traditional “I want you to walk to Brooklyn and get me a cheesecake”. This season, Diddy should say something like, “I want one of y’all to get a Danity Kane chick pregnant (bonus points if it’s the married one!), while the rest of y’all go rob Irv Gotti’s house.” You know, something with some flair!

-Anna and I were watching The Salt & Pepa Show last night, and we were trying to figure out how staged it actually is. I mean, it’s too much like a sitcom, in that crazy Pepa comes up with some hairbrained scheme, while “level-headed” Salt talks her down. In the end, however, Salt comes to learn a valuable lesson, as Pepa’s scheme turns out to not be so crazy after all. And they hug. It’s like a black Full House. It’s scary, though, how much Pepa is looking like a drag queen these days. She’ll make these facial expressions that’ll just turn your stomach. You’ve got to feel sorry for Pep, too, as she’s like a kid who never grew up. She just wants shit to be like it was in the old days, back when they were touring with Kid ‘N Play. Meanwhile, Salt has to “mom” everything and she’s just a spoilsport. I will say that it seems like Salt was smarter with her money. She’s got a nice house and investments, and has moved on, while Pep looks like she’s a receptionist at a hair salon. A ghetto hair salon. One of those cash-only places, with a fried fish carryout joint next door.

Flavor of Love 3…what can I say that hasn’t already been said? To be honest, I’ve never watched an entire season of FoL. I just can’t do it. If I want to see that much ghetto, I’ll just go down to Wheaton Plaza. That said, it’s funny to have a season where even Flav isn’t impressed. I’ve got to admit, Shorty did have a Hell of an underbite. He has some busted women in that house this time around, most of whom were chosen on the internet. Way to go America! You can kill a convict, but you can’t be trusted to find a wife for one. Uncle Sam is in Heaven crying with that Indian who’s always crying about litterbugs. And I’ve seen a lot of Flav, from The Surreal Life to present, but I’ve never seen him make as big a deal over touching his face as he’s doing this season. Did he get some work done? Did he have some sort face trauma in jail all those years ago? Anyway, I’m hoping he either chooses Hotlanta or Bunz. Otherwise, he’s just left with those twins. You know, it’s a terrible situation where you see an ugly set of twins, and you’re just left wondering, “What was God thinking? Why 2? I mean, were there parts left over after He made the first one or something?”

-Good money says we won’t even know who Flo-Rida is in 5 years. He’s gonna go to the one-hit wonder old folks home, along with Eamonn and Kevin Lyttle. Sometimes, though, the Phoenix does rise from the ashes. It’s good to see that 12 years after her debut, Robyn is finally getting her due. “Do you know what it takes to love me”? Well, apparently, 12 years. But she’s got a hot club tour right now, plus she’s on the “Sexual Eruption” remix, so that’s a start.

-I just realized the opening piano vamp from Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” would make a pretty decent hip-hop sample. Think of it along the lines of how Destiny’s Child used Stevie Nicks’s “Edge of Seventeen” vamp. I think I might be on to something here…

-I still can’t believe that The CW isn’t renewing Smackdown next season. I mean, no, it doesn’t mesh with their new female-friendly programming initiative, but to just throw out an audience that size is almost unheard of. King Kong once told me that Smackdown is the highest-rated English-speaking show in Spanish households. Before you laugh, just think about that for a minute. That’s a powerful demographic that’s only going to get stronger. Plus, where’s it gonna go? People are saying USA will probably pick it up, which is going to leave basic TV without wrestling once again. It’s gonna be like the “Raw is War” era when there was Raw and Nitro, but nothing Saturday mornings on your local sydicated station. I guess everyone really does have cable now…

-I don’t feel so great about Paige being back on Trading Spaces. Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE her and I’d probably drink her bath water. That said, it’s too little, too late. Discovery/TLC made a BAD move firing her all those years ago, but you just can’t pretend the past few seasons didn’t happen. There are too many gimmicks this season: “we’re going to take a divorced couple and have them trade spaces so that the depressed former husband can finally accept that his wife has moved on”. Ouch! It feels so…uncomfortable. Paige has said that it was neither her idea to leave the show, nor was it her idea to come back. She’s been a good sport, plus she probably needs work, but watching it just affirms that you truly can’t go home again.

-OK, I used to have this thing for Kat Von D of LAInk. I mean, she seemed badass and she was a master tattoo artist. Suddenly, though, I’ve found that her fashion sense is just too far gone for my taste. She used to wear low-rise jeans and a vest or halter top; nothing really flashy, but is was still sey. Now, she’ll wear an old ratty t-shirt and some clown pants. It’s like she just doesn’t care about her appearance anymore since she started dating Roy Orbison’s son, “Orbie”. It’s not like she was ever the belle of the ball, but she had style. Now, she just looks dirty and homeless half the time. I’m starting to feel the same way about her that I feel about the Ace of Cakes/Charm City Cakes crew: I don’t want her touching my skin any more than I want them touching my food. Her assistant, Pixie, is adorable. Anyone who gets a piercing to have permanent dimples is awesome in my book. My fear is how that shit’s gonna look in 25 years. Then again, those people never grow old. They just fade away…in a freak concert stampede/motorcycle accident/dinosaur attack.

Well, that about does it for now. Interesting weekend coming up. If I live through it, it’ll surprise me. No, that’s not a cry for help. It is, however, bait for you to come back next week. If I survive…

26th Jun2007

Chris Benoit and the Fakeness of Exposed!

by Will

“You’re just a pathetic, old war hero who punched Hitler in the face…you don’t even have 50 friends on your Myspace page!”

Well, so much for this being a detox week…

Chris Benoit…what the fuck? I’m shocked and not shocked, all at once. I mean, he always had those eyes. He was never really a “team player”, but he came and did his job. Plus, he was the best technical wrestler in the industry. I’m not sure what happened there, but I really think there’s more to it. I’m not buying the murder-suicide angle, especially since it was apparently drawn out over a 72-hr period. Who kills their wife, chills for 24 hrs, kills their 7 yr-old, chills for another 36 hrs and then kills them self? I’m not buying it…

Anyway, this post is about dating shows. Man, do I love some dating shows. It’s sad, but I think I like to think I’m living vicariously through them. I’ve never sexed up a chick in a hot tub, but I’ve seen enough cases that I think I can relate. It’s weird because I usually table the dating show thing when I’m in a relationship, but afterwards, I’m right back in the cockpit, with Roger Lodge (Or Aisha Tyler, or the 5th Wheel Announcer) as my copilot. My favorite right now is Exposed, but I’m pretty convinced that it jumped the shark recently.

For the uninitiated, Exposed is an MTV show, where a contestant goes on a date with two people at once. While the date is going on, his/her friend is in a nearby surveillance van, listening in on the date. Everything said by the daters is being run through a lie detector, and the truth is relayed to the contestant via a hidden earpiece. At the end of the date, the ploy is revealed and the dates are given a chance to come clean. Based on the evidence, the contestant chooses the date they’d like to stay with.

When the show first started, it was awesome! I mean, people were getting tripped up on their lies, and there was no way out. Once they’re told about the lie detector, they’re given a chance to come clean, but most don’t exercise this option. They maintain they told the truth (even when it’s something lame, like “I used to date Aaron Carter.”). The point is that the lie detector should come as a surprise. Lately, though, it seems like everyone’s now in on the joke.

The show just recently came back with new episodes, but nobody’s playing their part correctly. For example, when the dater reveals the whole lie detector thing, they first say something like, “I’ve got something to tell you. You’ve just been exposed.” In the initial run of the show, the daters would look confused because they had no idea what “exposed” meant. It wasn’t until the contestant explained the lie detector aspect that the daters became shocked and dismayed. In the new episodes, however, when the contestant says, “You’ve just been exposed”, the daters burst out in disbelief. But that’s the thing: about what are the in disbelief? They supposedly have no clue what “exposed” means, so why are they so quick with their reaction? After all, they haven’t even learned about the lie detector at this point. For all they know, she could mean that their flies were open the whole time.

If these episodes were filmed at the same time, but released in a staggered fashion, that’s fine. However, if there have been tapings since the original episodes aired, how are people surprised? If they’ve seen an episode, they know the format: double date, hot seat, big reveal, date chosen. If you find your ass sitting in the Hot Seat, you should know what show you’re on. I’ve heard reality show stories where the contestants claim that they didn’t know what show they were on until the episode made it on the air. I refuse to believe that’s the case here because the show has a pretty static formula.

In addition, if you’re hanging out at a park, and there’s a weird looking exterminator or plumbing van sitting in a nearby parking lot, your ass is about to be Exposed. Why? Well, for starters, you should know better. Real plumbers and exterminators have white, child molester vans. The flashy plumber vans you see on TV are only on TV. Most plumbers and exterminators are too poor for a flashy van, unless they work for Orkin or Roto-Rooter.

My biggest problem with Exposed, though, is that it relies on the adage that “honesty is important in a relationship”. While that’s a true sentiment, that’s not what dating shows are about. You’re on national TV, meeting a total stranger, asking questions like, “Have you ever farted so loud that it surprised you?” This is not the recipe for a soul mate. I remember a few years back, I had a conversation with a teacher of mine (What up, Pearcy!). I used to be close to a few of my teachers, so we were discussing two dating options that I had. There was the sweet girl, who could be a lasting relationship and there was also the “fast girl” who’d teach me about…”stuff.” Since we knew nice girl wasn’t really going anywhere, he told me that the most utilitarian choice would be to choose the fast chick. And that’s how I feel about dating shows. The most utilitarian choice is the slut/gigolo, because it’s an easy lay, and you’ve pretty much maxed out the potential of the experience. You just did her in a hot tub, after a trip to a costume shop, and a rousing game of “Truth or Dare Ultimate Frisbee”. Chances are you’re not marrying that chick, so get in, get out, and move on to the next dating show. Exposed wastes too much time on “honesty”, while something like NeXt gets it right as it’s as shallow as the dating show format itself.

12th Apr2007

Top Design, Style Network, MySpace, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Soulmate iPod

by Will

“Tonight, my heart is smiling. And it is an eternal smile.”

I really just want to post enough to push all of my neurotic posts to the archives. NOT the best impression to give a person when they randomly google you. I’m sort of scattered right now, but I know I haven’t posted in ages, so let’s go the stream-of-consciousness route:

-I’ve really been into Top Design. And I never thought I’d like that show. That’s a lie; I’ve actually wanted to be an interior decorator for a few years now (truths!). Anyway, next thing I knew, I was knee-deep in some Todd Oldham. Speaking of Todd, he’s too touchy-feely. I get that he wants to be supportive and all, and I’d hate to think I’ve become used to the Cowell-Ramsay-Trump model of reality show “coaching”. Todd’s just too…gooey, and he gets under my skin. Plus, has anybody noticed the latest trend in reality shows: The “married” gay guy? I’m talking about the guy who will NOT STOP talking about his wife and daughter, to the point that even the gay judge can’t help but crack a smirk.

-I’m also really into Work Out again. Zen has got to be the cutest personal trainer ever! You guys can have your L-Word. My show has real lesbians! Man, I’ve really got to get over lesbians…

-What the Hell is Taquita & Kaui? Is that a new Kool-Aid flavor?

-I think there should be some sort of study about faith and myspace. Not religion, mind you, but the faith that people place in their interactions. Do you really make $250,000 or higher? Is that really Britney Spears’ profile? I don’t care if it’s got pictures of the baby, how do you know it’s really her? Just because her address is http://www.myspace.com/therealbritneyspears does NOT mean that’s her. Huh? No, YOU go to Hell…

-I’m beginning to wonder if I’m the only person watching Style Network. Every time I turn the thing on, they’re playing my favorite shows. Then again, when my favorite shows are How Do I Look, Clean House, Instant Beauty Pageant, and Whose Wedding, that’s not such an impossible feat. I mean, Clean House is on all the fucking time! Don’t get me wrong; I’ve developed a crush on Niecy Nash that I never thought would be possible. She’s like a Classy Ghetto. A grape soda served in a champagne flute. But I swear, it’s on when I go to sleep, and it’s on when I wake up. A network can’t be doing well with just one show on all the time…

-I am back into wrestling like it’s 2000! It’s the throwback stuff that keeps me there. Why did no one tell me Hacksaw Jim Duggan was still around? When the Hell did Tatanka come back? Shawn Michaels has been back awhile. You call up I.R.S. and Papa Shango, and you will have a new member of the RAW fan nation. Speaking of the RAW fan nation, what do I have to do to cut a promo? At first, I thought it was just for D-list celebrities, like Steve-O, but then I noticed they started letting regular joes do it, too. Marcus, make a call for me.

-I don’t like when Inferno and Duels overlap a RR or RW season with the same cast members! The things are shot separately, so for all I know, something down the road may seriously change the dynamic of the group. RW Denver isn’t even over yet, but somehow the entire cast except for Stephen and “Evanescence” made it to Inferno. That’s got to be a kick in the hot tub. How the hell do you choose 80% of a cast and just leave the other 2 hanging? Was it a contractual thing? Does Ty kill Stephen before the season is over? Does he pee on Stephen and have to go to jail…again?

-I can’t tell if Short Circuitz is trying to be In Living Color or All That.

Scrubs is the greatest show on television. I hate myself for finding it so late in the game. Also, because I would be the dork to notice this, I love how Ted’s a cappella group gets better over the course of the series. They’re pretty shitty in the beginning, but they’re pretty kick ass in more recent episodes. Of course I’d notice the a cappella.

-For 3 days, my iPod was my soul mate. She knew exactly what I felt and what I needed to hear. I feel that I am to blame for the brevity of our connection. You see, I was so impressed with her that first day that I took her to bed with me. My last memory of that night was me closing my eyes to the soothing lilt of Biebl’s “Ave Maria”. It was magical, like on Cinemax. Well, the next day, the ‘Pod and I were sympatico. If I was feeling weak, she’d play the theme to Justice League or Metal Gear Solid 2. If it were rainy and quiet, she’d play some Sade. But I was on to her. She just wanted to return to my bed. But I already knew that had been a mistake. Her place was in my glove compartment and nowhere else! As she began to realize that our relationship was not set on “repeat”, she developed a mind of her own, thus ending our rapport.

-I lost my comic collection database due to my HD getting fuxxored (did I get that right, hackers?) It’s like my view on life has changed. Ever since I started this job, I’ve changed my outlook on the free stuff. I might as well be Opie Taylor, as I roll the books up and stick ’em in my back pocket. Hell, I didn’t pay for them. But the sad thing about the database was that was 4 years of my life just…”poof”. Here’s the lesson, kids: back up your shit, and don’t waste your early twenties cataloging comics.

After these messages, we’ll be riiiiight back! *fire hydrant licks dog*

22nd Sep2006

My Tribute To UPN & The WB

by Will

“The Warrant!”

So, I have to say, watching the final clip of The WB gets me all choked up. C’mon, Michigan J. takes a bow for the last time! I mean, it’s easy to talk trash about that network, but it truly DID define a generation. It may not have been YOUR generation, nor particularly one that you liked, but it’s branding power was unsurpassed. I mean, this is shown by the fact that it officially went off the air. It had a mission to say farewell to its “creations”, for lack of a better word. What did UPN do? Nothing. They shipped “Smackdown” over to the CW affiliates, and quietly shut their doors. Why? Because UPN never formed an identity. There was a time when it wanted to be “The Star Trek Network”, but it found itself, instead, being the “Crappy Trek Spin-Off Network”. I mean, anytime a network has to cancel Star Trek, in THIS day and age, a franchise that can survive in SYNDICATION, there is a problem.

Sure, The WB bounced around to find its place. There were the early days when it was The Wayans Bros Network, and every show was black except for 7th Heaven. Man, I would LOVE to have been a fly on the wall at those initial launch parties. I’ll bet it was like when a White family accidentally wanders into the ghetto. You’ve got a young Beverly Mitchell & a surpringly-simian Jessica Biel being sized up by John Witherspoon and that guy who played Nick Freno.

After awhile, though, UPN said, “Wait, we want some Black people, too!”. And our buddies at The Frog said, “Good riddance, you can have ’em!”. And that’s how we ended up in the situation where UPN’s biggest shows were Girlfriends and Smackdown, while The WB was a STARMAKER. No, don’t laugh. That network simply MADE stars. You might not’ve thought much of them when you first saw them. I remember thinking, “Man, those Wayans’ll never be as famous as Keenan Ivory.” Or “Man, I really wish Jamie Foxx would get as famous as he deserves to be.” Or even “I really think, with some work, that girl who plays ‘Mary Camden’ could be kinda hot.” And it was like the WB read my heart, heard my wishes, and made them a reality. Need further proof? Watch that final clip (it’s all over youtube), and you’ll notice a familiar celebrity right before Michigan bows: Jamie Foxx. Say what you will (especially you, ‘Diz), but this network helped that man get an Oscar. It kept him working and making the connections that got him in Any Given Sunday, which led to Ali, which led to Ray. Sure, he was on “In Living Color”, but he didn’t get movies back then. That changed with The WB.

Sure, it was the Abercrombie & Fitch of networks, but that was its thing! You want an Aaron Sorkin show to succeed, you take it to NBC. You got a show that’s loose on plot, but full of pretty kids, you take it to The WB. For instance, I LOVE One Tree Hill. I mean, I actually bought the season sets. But that show has no real plot whatsoever. I feel like I’m watching “Swans Crossing” all over again. What would’ve made an above-average afterschool special about the effects of teen pregnancy and the pressures of high school baseketball on affluent white kids, is now entering it’s fourth season! That’s syndication level right there, and that’s where the real money comes in. It’s The WB, baby. It could do no wrong.

Sure, there were a lot of misses. A LOT of misses. But you know what’s weird? The WB ONLY knew how to make stars. It didn’t know how to resurrect has-beens, nor did it know what to do with people who had achieved some level of stardom. Remember “Kirk”? I do. There was no way, especially since he started evangelizing, they were gonna revive Kirk Cameron’s career. Robert Townshend’s “The Parent’hood”? That pale attempt at The Cosby Show trudged along for a couple of seasons, but Townshend, surprisingly, had too big of a name. If a show had any cast member that you’d EVER heard of prior to the show, The WB had problems promoting it.

BUT, you get a show, cast a busty chick named Nikki Cox, whose previously acting was “the blind girl” on a couple episodes of California Dreams, you had a hit. Who cared if it was “Married…with Children: the Remix”. That show lasted 11 years, so surely this would last half of that. And it did. Make a show about some REALLY old looking 15 yr old in Cape Cod, who wants to direct films. Hire a bunch of cute kids who talk about big things. You have a hit. Hell, completley rip off the X-Files and cast a bunch of Abercrombie models. You have a hit.

The WB also learned the value of “keeping it in the family”. The Disney Channel does the same thing. Say you have a guest star, who’s really charamatic and the audience seems to love him. Well, cast him in his own show. We already know the people love him. Who cares what the shows’s about. We need a pilot shot, and we need it yesterday!

Plus, I’ve got a secret for you: I always wanted to be a cast member of a WB show. Why The WB? Because of the friggin’ backlot! It was always a party. In every promo, Keri Russell might be leaving the “Felicity” set and grab coffee with Allyson Hannigan from “Buffy”. It seemed like such a communal atmosphere. They let us into their world, but it also gave off the impression that they were people too, who were young, cool, and loved interracting with each other. I mean, who WOULDN’T love the idea of hitting on Soleil Moon Frye after she came off a long shoot on “Sabrina”? When those kids weren’t working, it seemed like there was always a party, and a singing cartoon frog to boot! Oh, man, I’m about to say “Dubba, dubba, dubba, dubba, dubba, dubba, double-yoo-bee, YEAH!”

For these reasons, and many others, I will miss the WB. Aside from what you saw on the screen, there was a lot of magic in the process that so many people take for granted. Whether or not you liked what it did, you still have to admit that it did “it”, whatever that might be, well. Now, looking at its metamorphosis, “The CW”, I don’t feel that much is going to change. In all honesty, it’s still The WB, just with Black Sunday. Kinda like in the old days. So, I hope that it continues to be a starmaker and I hope that we are simply closing a chapter on a story rather than the entire book. Until next time, take care of yourselves, and each other.

14th Nov2005

RIP Eddie Guerrero

by Will

“Viva La Rasa!”

Rest in peace, Eddie Guerrero. Wherever you are, I hope you’re putting the Frog Splash on the best on of them! Tell Andre, Yokozuna, Owen Hart, Crash Holly, Miss Elizabeth, and Ravishing Rick Rude that I said “Hi”.

It makes me wonder, though. When The Undertaker finally dies, are we really gonna believe it? I mean, first of all, a wrestler’s death is just a way to let you know the seasons have changed. Since the advent of Stacker-2, there’ve been about 5 wrestling deaths a yr. But also, ‘Taker has “died” about 4 times already. Are we gonna think it’s just a gimmick? How much time will have to pass before we realize it’s “for real”. His usual “death time” was about 6 months, so if they announce his death, and you don’t hear anything for more than 6 months, I guess it means ‘Taker’s dead. Refer back to this entry when the announcement is made.

24th Jul2005

The Epic Battle Hits The Internet!

by Will

“I’d like to make a caramel-colored baby with you.”

If you’re looking for a fun way to kill time, hop on over to the comments section of http://www.livejournal.com/users/palaedorian . My good friend created the site to destroy me, and now the war is being waged, WWE-style, on the blog.

This is gonna sound so sad, but I’ve gotta admit that this is the most fun I’ve had blogging in a long time. I’m sure it’ll get stale SOON. But for the moment, it’s got me looking over my shoulder at work, scared that I’m gonna get fired for laughing so hard.

So, if you love good kayfabe ‘rasslin’, hop on over and blog a steel chair into the matchup. Hardcore rules apply, e.g. anything goes. Anyone’s welcome. Don’t worry if he’s going on and on about some French dish he prepared the night before. The best time to throw someone through a table is when they’re distracted. He might be rambling about his CFA or his LSAT, but what he really needs is a good kick to the junk.

‘Cause this is about one thing, brother. This is about that title. I worked my way up from the mean streets of Wheaton, with one thing on my mind. And the next thing I know, he’s talking smack about wanting to destroy my blog. Well, I want to teach his ass a lesson. But most of all, I WANT A TITLE SHOT!

04th Jul2005

Patriotic Justice: Beaten With A Flag

by Will

Mini Rant

-So, McDonald’s accepts credit cards now. Yeah, I know this isn’t a new development, per se, but still…Just what Americans need: the golden opportunity to get fatter and deeper into debt.

-Hey, welcome back, Coldplay! How we’ve missed you. A new track, you say? Wow, that certainly IS the “Coldplay sound”. Hey, Chris Martin, how about something NEW next time 🙁

-So, I get home the other day, and what do I find? A flag planted in my yard by Tom Powers, the local realtor. Now, Mr. Powers and I go way back. You see, he’s always leaving trinkets on our porches, such as apple butter, yard sticKs, flags, etc. It’s all bribery, so when we decide to sell the house, we’ll think, “Well, that nice Powers guy was always giving us stuff. Let’s choose him!”

But the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. When I was younger, I didn’t get spanked much, but when I did, my mother made sure that it counted But see, Mommy was older and not as strong as your mothers probably were, so she always needed some sort of…well, weapon, for lack of a better word. And what did she usually grab? A yardstick, or a flag. Yeah, she beat me with a flag. Broke the flag stick on my ass. God Bless America, indeed..Generally, she grabbed whatever was sticking out of the umbrella stand. Hence, my discipline sessions were reminiscent of a WWF Hardcore Match. And who, pray tell, do you think supplied most of the armament found in the umbrella stand? You guessed it, Tom Powers. So, unbeknownst to him, Tom Powers is my worst enemy.

22nd Apr2004

Boobygate’s Effect On Dating Shows

by Will

James is going to hate me for taking this stance, but I’m STILL pissed at Janet Jackson! Yes, there are other parties to be angry at, such as JT and CBS and blah blah blah, but she’s the one who took the heat from the Super Bowl, so she’s the target of my ire. Why am I STILL mad? Because of the effect her little stunt has had on my favorite pastime: Late-nite dating shows.

Since these shows have started new midseason episodes, they SUCK. OK, on Blind Date, which has never been the most conservative of the bunch, they now censor anything involving a tongue. Girl licks a guys chest: censored. Sucks a straw: censored. But the BIGGEST nail in the coffin? AVERAGE PEOPLE.

Blind Date has always been like Fear Factor; they’ve had a knack for finding gorgeous people to perform perfectly mundane, and in some cases extreme, situations. The BD formula was simply: See hot guy. Hot guy goes out with hot girl. Two possibilities: A) they hit it off, end up in hot tub and spend the night together, or B) they hate each other, and proceed to insult each other until the end of the date.

Now, that’s all been thrown to the wind! They’re using average looking, everyday people. The kind of people who are obviously REAL, just like you and me. Now, I don’t know about you, but there are very few people I know whose dates I’d like a peek at. Nothing against my friends, but I simply don’t think anything exciting and “LA” is going on during their dates. The appeal of the dating shows was that you were never sure if the people were “real” or if they were actors trying to have a springboard into a career. This theory was also supported by the fact that several of the daters “did the rounds”, meaning they’ve been on every show from “Extreme Dating”, “Blind Date”, and “Change of Heart” to “5th Wheel” and “elimiDATE”.

Since the Super Bowl, not only is the FCC afraid of breasts, but apparently, hot, fake, shallow people are off the menu as well! It’s only a matter of time before they come after the WWE, and that’s when they I’m gonna take a stand!

18th Apr2004

Great Weekend Involving VA, The Punisher, and Kill Bill Vol 2

by Will

OK, let’s see if I still remember how this goes. As much as I hate to admit it, you all know how I LOVE being the resident Eeyore, but this has actually been a great weekend. Got off work yesterday @ 5, which is simply unheard of. Then, I got my long-awaited reunion with VA. Amazing, we’ve known each other for years, but it was the first time we’ve ever gotten drunk together. Anyway, with Alabama Slammers and Chicken Fried Rice, that girl certainly knows how to have a good time. Plus, I now know the Metro goes right to her house, so it’s not gonna be one of those “only-reachable-by-car”. Didn’t get home til about 4 AM ’cause of friggin’ maintenance on the Red Line. I was actually scared I might get stranded in DC, and I mean the Bad DC.

Today was just as crazy and action-packed as yesterday. Finally got some bills paid, which is good ’cause it means I’m being responsible. It’s bad, though, ’cause I’m out $250. Anyway, I think Verizon and I know where each other stands from this day forward. 😛

Anyway, I had to “observe” Wednesday today, meaning I had to get my comics ’cause I was working when they came out on Wednesday. As a caveat, I got SO MUCH Punisher swag today! Free movie poster @ the shop, and free comic at the movie, but more on that later.

After the shop, I just kinda walked around. It was such a nice day, and I didn’t want to waste it. I ended up walking to Toys “R” Us, which turned out to be really weird. Normally, I can slip in unnoticed, and slip back out. Today, however, everyone I ever worked with seemed to be there, and they were all so friendly. They said they genuinely missed me, and it truly felt like it. To be honest, I miss them too. I don’t think I’d ever go back there, but I still love kids and toys. Neither of these loves are being fulfilled @ H&M.

Anyway, I eventually made my way to Silver Spring to comic shop #2, and found the sweetest poster. The guy didn’t know how much to sell it for, for fear of his manager firing him. So, I put it on hold and have to call back tomorrow. I’ll describe it tomorrow if the deal goes through.

Eventually, I met up with Brett and we went to dinner & The Punisher. So, what did I think of The Punisher? He simply didn’t punish enough. He was way too much of a wise-cracking smart-ass for a guy who watched his entire extended family massacred. That was part of the problem. The whole movie was overkill. It was like a bad WWF match. For example, in the comic, Frank Castle’s wife, son, and daughter are caught in mob crossfire, which drives him crazy and causes him to become The Punisher. In the movie, Castle’s entire family, including parents, aunts, cousins, etc, are massacred during a beachfront family reunion. There was no need for them to kill 50+ people! We get the point. It’s kinda like how Eminem wants us to know how he really, really loves his daughter. Enough already. In the end, I enjoyed the movie, but I thought he’d be more stoic than he actually was.

After the movie, I did something rare: I went out again! Don’t ask me why, ’cause it’s certainly not a normal thing, but I met up with Davis and we went to see Kill Bill Vol. II. I can’t even begin to attempt to give a review to that movie. I’ll just say awesome. And not in that “Matrix/Star Wars-justification of crappy sequel” kind of way. Simply awesome movie. Tarantino turned a cliche into something amusing and enjoyable. On the other hand, I can’t wait to hear all the gripes my “debate partner” is going to have regarding the movie’s political incorrectness; we haven’t even discussed “The Apprentice” finale, so I know he’ll be charged and ready to go. Anyway, I know the Japanese, and some Jewish, organizations are gonna be up in arms Monday morning, so Quentin, prepare for the backlash. Regardless, a job well-done.

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