TV Review

TV Review: “Taking on Tyson”

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You know that mustard and salami sandwich you enjoyed so much for lunch? How about high speed internet? Trail Mix? The carpool lane? Cupcake shops? Digital billboards? Cup o’ Chili? The soft cast? You like all those things? Well, you probably don’t know that you have “Iron” Mike Tyson to thank for all of it.

Mike and a... uhm... air fish, thing...
Mike and a... uhm... air fish, thing...

“Taking on Tyson”, Animal Planet’s new reality series following former man pummeler Mike Tyson, introduces us to the very real, very have been happening before now world of inner city pigeon racing. You see, Mike Tyson loves pigeons, and now that he no longer has the bestial hunger to pound another living human being to within an inch of their life, he has turned his life long love affair with the airborne urban rodent, the pigeon into an interest in “professional” pigeon racing.

Never heard of pigeon racing before, let alone the 6 month long pigeon racing SEASON that Mike will be participating in during the run of this surreal fever dream that is “Taking on Tyson”? Well don’t worry, that’s just because it didn’t exist until Mike Tyson decided he wanted to do it. Sure, the show goes on in great detail to set up this secret underground world of New York roof top pigeon racing, but that’s just because they don’t want Mike Tyson to punch them in the face. Not wanting to be punched in the face by Mike Tyson is the reason why most things in the world today exist. Mike Tyson is one of the biggest drivers of American innovation and invention in the world.

Vulcanized rubber. The second hand. Pizza flavored Combos. Thrift stores. The list of things that science, technology and nature has had to create because at some point Mike Tyson thought it would be sweet is staggering. Fingerless gloves. Space bags. Fish. You heard me, fish. Do you remember fish before Mike Tyson? You think you do, because much like this show, the back story of fish had to be retroactively created and inserted into public consciousness immediately after Mike had the simple fleeting thought of “Wouldn’t it be sweet if like, there were pigeons in the water?” Fish.

“I wanna be world champion. I want my pigeons to be world champion.” 

When not creating the very thing he’s now dedicated his life to, Mike is very philosophical about the roughness of his childhood and how he relates training his pigeons to training as a fighter. Mike Tyson is very all or nothing all the time. There is no middle speed on a Mike Tyson. I plan on tuning in to this show in the future just to see Mike’s birds zipping through the sky in silk shorts, punching the shit out of competing racing birds.

Are there flaws in this show? No Mr. Tyson, there absolutely are not. It’s the pinnacle of the medium. In fact, I’m pretty sure television was invented late Sunday afternoon simply for the purpose of airing this program. Of course a few particularly, great, things do stand out as one struggles through this seemingly endless hour of telling me how incredible pigeons are against the backdrop of more slow motion bird footage than a John Woo porn shoot.

For one, the show clearly realizes that since you’re watching a show about Mike Tyson racing birds, you must also be a lunatic, so it recaps the entire premise of the series after every break.

Okay, I hadn't thought about it like that...
Okay, I hadn't thought about it like that...
Also, the word “pigeon” is used so often in this single hour that it quickly loses any and all meaning that it may have previously had. At one point in the show I decided to start replacing the word “pigeon” in my mind with the word “bread”. This ingenious word trick unfortunately had me soon believing that Mike Tyson got into his first child hood fight when a bully stole and murdered one of his prize pieces of bread right in front of him and that now Mike Tyson and a group of his bread loving friends wanted to competitively race bread. But you know what? If Mike Tyson wanted to race bread, a team of sport and agriculture scientists would be hard at work creating a system for how to do it, and I would be watching that show too, because actually, that sounds awesome.

Science has proven that anything can happen, whether it should or not, all that it needs is a little prompting and a lot of motivation. And just know that more than the needs of the masses or the necessity of the thing, the main driving force for the scientific community at large is the constant fear of being viciously and repeatedly punched in and about the head and neck area by the former five time heavyweight champion of the world: “Iron” Mike Tyson.

Oh, and escalators, that was his too.

TV Review: "Taking on Tyson"

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You know that mustard and salami sandwich you enjoyed so much for lunch? How about high speed internet? Trail Mix? The carpool lane? Cupcake shops? Digital billboards? Cup o’ Chili? The soft cast? You like all those things? Well, you probably don’t know that you have “Iron” Mike Tyson to thank for all of it.

Mike and a... uhm... air fish, thing...
Mike and a... uhm... air fish, thing...

“Taking on Tyson”, Animal Planet’s new reality series following former man pummeler Mike Tyson, introduces us to the very real, very have been happening before now world of inner city pigeon racing. You see, Mike Tyson loves pigeons, and now that he no longer has the bestial hunger to pound another living human being to within an inch of their life, he has turned his life long love affair with the airborne urban rodent, the pigeon into an interest in “professional” pigeon racing.

Never heard of pigeon racing before, let alone the 6 month long pigeon racing SEASON that Mike will be participating in during the run of this surreal fever dream that is “Taking on Tyson”? Well don’t worry, that’s just because it didn’t exist until Mike Tyson decided he wanted to do it. Sure, the show goes on in great detail to set up this secret underground world of New York roof top pigeon racing, but that’s just because they don’t want Mike Tyson to punch them in the face. Not wanting to be punched in the face by Mike Tyson is the reason why most things in the world today exist. Mike Tyson is one of the biggest drivers of American innovation and invention in the world.

Vulcanized rubber. The second hand. Pizza flavored Combos. Thrift stores. The list of things that science, technology and nature has had to create because at some point Mike Tyson thought it would be sweet is staggering. Fingerless gloves. Space bags. Fish. You heard me, fish. Do you remember fish before Mike Tyson? You think you do, because much like this show, the back story of fish had to be retroactively created and inserted into public consciousness immediately after Mike had the simple fleeting thought of “Wouldn’t it be sweet if like, there were pigeons in the water?” Fish.

“I wanna be world champion. I want my pigeons to be world champion.” 

When not creating the very thing he’s now dedicated his life to, Mike is very philosophical about the roughness of his childhood and how he relates training his pigeons to training as a fighter. Mike Tyson is very all or nothing all the time. There is no middle speed on a Mike Tyson. I plan on tuning in to this show in the future just to see Mike’s birds zipping through the sky in silk shorts, punching the shit out of competing racing birds.

Are there flaws in this show? No Mr. Tyson, there absolutely are not. It’s the pinnacle of the medium. In fact, I’m pretty sure television was invented late Sunday afternoon simply for the purpose of airing this program. Of course a few particularly, great, things do stand out as one struggles through this seemingly endless hour of telling me how incredible pigeons are against the backdrop of more slow motion bird footage than a John Woo porn shoot.

For one, the show clearly realizes that since you’re watching a show about Mike Tyson racing birds, you must also be a lunatic, so it recaps the entire premise of the series after every break.

Okay, I hadn't thought about it like that...
Okay, I hadn't thought about it like that...
Also, the word “pigeon” is used so often in this single hour that it quickly loses any and all meaning that it may have previously had. At one point in the show I decided to start replacing the word “pigeon” in my mind with the word “bread”. This ingenious word trick unfortunately had me soon believing that Mike Tyson got into his first child hood fight when a bully stole and murdered one of his prize pieces of bread right in front of him and that now Mike Tyson and a group of his bread loving friends wanted to competitively race bread. But you know what? If Mike Tyson wanted to race bread, a team of sport and agriculture scientists would be hard at work creating a system for how to do it, and I would be watching that show too, because actually, that sounds awesome.

Science has proven that anything can happen, whether it should or not, all that it needs is a little prompting and a lot of motivation. And just know that more than the needs of the masses or the necessity of the thing, the main driving force for the scientific community at large is the constant fear of being viciously and repeatedly punched in and about the head and neck area by the former five time heavyweight champion of the world: “Iron” Mike Tyson.

Oh, and escalators, that was his too.

TV Review: “Mr. Sunshine” / Groupon

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I had intended on reviewing Matthew Perry’s latest cancelled television program this morning and took a surprising left turn. Come with me on a journey through the career wasteland of an actor who got really lucky one time, and freshly shorn vaginas that hate the environment.
The smirk of a son of a bitch who knows exactly how lucky he is.
The smirk of a son of a bitch who knows exactly how lucky he is.

Let us begin with the debut of “Mr. Sunshine”, a show that you’d better hate now while you’ve still got the chance. From the writers who heard about “Becker” and saw almost half an episode of “Parks and Recreations”, we get “Mr. Sunshine”, featuring Matthew Perry playing Matthew Perry as a vaguely defined San Diego sports arena muckity muck. Finally answering the age-old question “Why don’t I care about who orders all of the peanuts in a place like that?”

The main problem with “Mr. Sunshine”, aside from it being shown to anyone not responsible for making sure that those involved never got another job in the entertainment industry ever again, is it’s half-hearted attempt at “edge”. It feels like all of the interns working on “Community” rose up and decided that they could make their own, edgier show if they could just raise enough money to rent a “Friends” star for an afternoon.

There is absolutely nothing special about “Mr. Sunshine”, except for how precisely it has all of the pieces of a successfully failed show: the uppity lead who will spend a half a season learning a lesson and then never changing again, the functionally retarded buffoon man-child who can say all of the writers most pointless non-sequitors, and the Allison Janney as Jane Lynch playing Alec Baldwin.

Halfway through this waste of everyone’s time, I was actually worried about how I would formulate a review of a show as bland and predictable as a beige whoopee cushion, but then I was treated to a pleasant surprise in the form of one of Groupon’s new commercials.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details, but the punchline was “I got a super great deal on a pussy waxing!”

Perhaps I SHOULD elaborate.

It's like a raped tropical rain forrest, in her pants.
It's like a raped tropical rain forrest, in her pants.

I, like most people who own a television, saw the debut of Groupon’s new ad campaign during the Super Foot, Bowl Match Contest last Sunday. Now, the name of the game in Super Bowl advertising is “Zow!”. That is an actual industry term and is in no way me simply belittling the proud men and women whose job it is to try to trick us into purchasing shit we don’t need. The Super Bowl is, for lack of a more exactly fitting term, the Super Bowl of advertising. A thirty-second commercial spot during the game costs anywhere between 14 and 700 quatrillion Dollar Bucks. That’s big time money, and it is so much because for that four-hour block every single person, living or dead, is tuned into the game and just sitting on shit piles of money that they need to be told what to do with. It’s a true science fact. So the way you make your mark on an audience of that size is by doing something either very clever, or very stupid, and since we are in a very real clever drought, stupid usually rules the day.

So it turns out that there was a group of people who told viewers that they should have been offended by Groupon’s new “Suck it, World” ad campaign. And while I thought that openly mocking the plight of a mostly peaceable people, was certainly an interesting choice by the people at a website for coupons to flight simulator classes and restaurants that people don’t go to, I didn’t really think much else about that specific message because I don’t generally put a lot of curry in my mouth. But this ad, oddly enough, did get my attention.

So the basic set up is the same, a sort of mock public service announcement with your standard insincere run down of something that we should all really care about if only we could get 50-90% off of our not caring. Elizabeth Hurley in a bath robe pretends to educate us about the Brazilian rain forest being stripped bare of trees, like so many labia follicles being torn from mother Earth’s tenderest of flesh. But that’s okay, because she got a voucher for a discounted cunt deforestation of her own, so YAY!

Now, it’s really no secret that America doesn’t give a shit about the rest of the world, but is it really necessary to rub the planet’s collective nose in your freshly de-pubed twats of uncaring? And why are so many people pretending to be offended by being reminded that they don’t care. We knew you didn’t care about Tibet or the rain forest before this commercial, so what you’re really upset about is someone pointing out the fact that you don’t care. You see, as long as everyone doesn’t care equally we’re all right, but the second someone reminds you of something horrible and mocks you for not caring about it, it suddenly becomes the only thing in the world that you’ve ever wanted anything done about. For a second, until everyone forgets and we can all go back to comfortably not caring again.

So cut it out commercials. Stop making people feel bad that they don’t feel bad. People don’t watch horrible new Matthew Perry television shows to be told they don’t care enough about once proud, respected institutions that have since become pathetic, pitiable charity cases!

TV Review: "Mr. Sunshine" / Groupon

Posted on

I had intended on reviewing Matthew Perry’s latest cancelled television program this morning and took a surprising left turn. Come with me on a journey through the career wasteland of an actor who got really lucky one time, and freshly shorn vaginas that hate the environment.
The smirk of a son of a bitch who knows exactly how lucky he is.
The smirk of a son of a bitch who knows exactly how lucky he is.

Let us begin with the debut of “Mr. Sunshine”, a show that you’d better hate now while you’ve still got the chance. From the writers who heard about “Becker” and saw almost half an episode of “Parks and Recreations”, we get “Mr. Sunshine”, featuring Matthew Perry playing Matthew Perry as a vaguely defined San Diego sports arena muckity muck. Finally answering the age-old question “Why don’t I care about who orders all of the peanuts in a place like that?”

The main problem with “Mr. Sunshine”, aside from it being shown to anyone not responsible for making sure that those involved never got another job in the entertainment industry ever again, is it’s half-hearted attempt at “edge”. It feels like all of the interns working on “Community” rose up and decided that they could make their own, edgier show if they could just raise enough money to rent a “Friends” star for an afternoon.

There is absolutely nothing special about “Mr. Sunshine”, except for how precisely it has all of the pieces of a successfully failed show: the uppity lead who will spend a half a season learning a lesson and then never changing again, the functionally retarded buffoon man-child who can say all of the writers most pointless non-sequitors, and the Allison Janney as Jane Lynch playing Alec Baldwin.

Halfway through this waste of everyone’s time, I was actually worried about how I would formulate a review of a show as bland and predictable as a beige whoopee cushion, but then I was treated to a pleasant surprise in the form of one of Groupon’s new commercials.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details, but the punchline was “I got a super great deal on a pussy waxing!”

Perhaps I SHOULD elaborate.

It's like a raped tropical rain forrest, in her pants.
It's like a raped tropical rain forrest, in her pants.

I, like most people who own a television, saw the debut of Groupon’s new ad campaign during the Super Foot, Bowl Match Contest last Sunday. Now, the name of the game in Super Bowl advertising is “Zow!”. That is an actual industry term and is in no way me simply belittling the proud men and women whose job it is to try to trick us into purchasing shit we don’t need. The Super Bowl is, for lack of a more exactly fitting term, the Super Bowl of advertising. A thirty-second commercial spot during the game costs anywhere between 14 and 700 quatrillion Dollar Bucks. That’s big time money, and it is so much because for that four-hour block every single person, living or dead, is tuned into the game and just sitting on shit piles of money that they need to be told what to do with. It’s a true science fact. So the way you make your mark on an audience of that size is by doing something either very clever, or very stupid, and since we are in a very real clever drought, stupid usually rules the day.

So it turns out that there was a group of people who told viewers that they should have been offended by Groupon’s new “Suck it, World” ad campaign. And while I thought that openly mocking the plight of a mostly peaceable people, was certainly an interesting choice by the people at a website for coupons to flight simulator classes and restaurants that people don’t go to, I didn’t really think much else about that specific message because I don’t generally put a lot of curry in my mouth. But this ad, oddly enough, did get my attention.

So the basic set up is the same, a sort of mock public service announcement with your standard insincere run down of something that we should all really care about if only we could get 50-90% off of our not caring. Elizabeth Hurley in a bath robe pretends to educate us about the Brazilian rain forest being stripped bare of trees, like so many labia follicles being torn from mother Earth’s tenderest of flesh. But that’s okay, because she got a voucher for a discounted cunt deforestation of her own, so YAY!

Now, it’s really no secret that America doesn’t give a shit about the rest of the world, but is it really necessary to rub the planet’s collective nose in your freshly de-pubed twats of uncaring? And why are so many people pretending to be offended by being reminded that they don’t care. We knew you didn’t care about Tibet or the rain forest before this commercial, so what you’re really upset about is someone pointing out the fact that you don’t care. You see, as long as everyone doesn’t care equally we’re all right, but the second someone reminds you of something horrible and mocks you for not caring about it, it suddenly becomes the only thing in the world that you’ve ever wanted anything done about. For a second, until everyone forgets and we can all go back to comfortably not caring again.

So cut it out commercials. Stop making people feel bad that they don’t feel bad. People don’t watch horrible new Matthew Perry television shows to be told they don’t care enough about once proud, respected institutions that have since become pathetic, pitiable charity cases!

TV Review: Seriously Funny Kids

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Anyone who knows me, knows that I have said one thing more than any other single thing that I have ever said. More than “please”, more than “thank you”, more than “you tell anyone about this and I will ruin you!” And that one phrase that has come to be known as the thing that most defines me as a person is:

Pictured in the sweater he was buried in.
Pictured in the sweater he was buried in.

Heidi Klum is this generation’s Bill Cosby.

The resemblance is uncanny. They were both mammals, they both existed, the list goes on and on! If only Bill Cosby were alive today to see the stellar work of his rightful successor.

Last night saw the debut of Frau Klum’s latest television “show”, “Seriously Funny Kids”. And just like the late Cos’, Heidi seems to believe that kids, when you speak to them and listen to their half formed, uneducated responses, unfiltered by experience or knowledge of acceptable social tact, often say what one could call, the darndest things. I assume the only reason Klum’s “new” Lifetime “program” wasn’t given the “Kids Say…” moniker was because it’s too hard anymore to know who’s parent company owns which what, so they just figured it would be safer to call it something else.

When a show begins it’s relationship with the television viewing audience with an attempted reassurance in it’s very title, you’re already setting yourself up for an awkward evening. If a show has to try to convince you of what it’s premise is, it probably isn’t what it’s telling you it’s supposed to be. You have to have a certain confidence, bordering on arrogance if you’re a bad TV show trying to make it out in the big cruel world of a billion channels worth of choice. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, that is a declarative statement. They are telling you, in no uncertain terms that what you are about to see are THE funniest home videos in the entirety of America and it’s controlled territories, no questions asked, end of story. It’s not “Really Guys, America’s Funniest Home Videos”. I wouldn’t believe that shit for an instant, and neither should you. And as such, neither should you believe that these kids are “seriously” funny.

There's too much in this one picture that doesn't make sense to even begin to comment on.
There's too much in this one picture that doesn't make sense to even begin to comment on.

Heidi seems to believe that her qualifications of having borne a litter of Seal pups gives her an intimate knowledge of which kids are and are not “Seriously Funny”. Her interviews with kids run the gambit of topics from asking the infants if they have a girlfriend, to taking every opportunity to imply how much she enjoys her husband’s pock speckled baby wand. Her innuendo are so thick that even the kids try to get her to dial it back.

Ultimately Heidi proves several things in this half hour that time will never remember existed. Firstly, the long-held understanding that Germans don’t understand the meaning of the word “funny”. It’s not their fault, they’re a dour people. There actually isn’t a German word for funny. The closest they have translates roughly to “that which momentarily distracts from my reality of sorrow and anger”, and that is hard to fit in the TV guide.

And secondly, that just because children will blurt out anything that comes into their mind instinctively and without any sort of thought as to what any of it might mean, it doesn’t mean it’s funny. Least of all SERIOUSLY funny. Kids get a lot of leeway because they don’t know better yet, but I think that just sends the wrong message and I believe our over crowded prison system will back me up on this. If some one, anyone really, came up to you rubbing pancakes on the sides of their face and shouted “I’ve got a pancake hat!”, then giggled like a maniac for ten straight minutes, you would empty three cans of pepper spray into their face before you stopped screaming. But if a kid does it, we have to laugh along with them and pretend what they’re doing isn’t completely fucking psychotic? Bullshit. You have to learn some time that that kind of shit is unacceptable and you either learn it at home, where these mistakes can be easily remedied, or you learn it in a court of law where all of the pancakes in the world won’t lessen your sentence. Teach your kids how to act now, or they’ll see first hand how “Seriously Funny” their first prison tattoo is before you know it.

Or I may just be so confused by that promo picture that I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. I’m gonna grab a pudding pop and my blankie and take a nap.

MTV Caught You Looking… Again.

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Penis.

Ooooh, aren’t you outraged? Of course you are. You want to know why? Because I just said you were. And that’s all it takes. We’re off and running.

You’ve likely never seen my penis, the majority of you have never even had one of your own to never be spoken of. But I just said “penis” in public, and now you feel like you should be uncomfortable? Why? Because that’s what you’re told you’re supposed to feel, so why wouldn’t you?

America loves epidermis!
America loves epidermis!

The Music Television channel, which hasn’t played music for probably almost as long as it HAD played music, knows how to play the free advertising game. Last week they debuted a new regurgitation of yet another British television series, “Skins”. “Skins”, in both incarnations, tells the story of high school kids and their genitalia. Also, that adults are stupid, young people rule the world with an endless string of “fucking” innuendo and the popular kids are doin’ it, right now, as we speak.

Parents hate this kind of shit.

Now, I had entertained the thought of reviewing “Skins” last week, expecting it would be exactly what it was, a horrible, horrible show. Instead I decided to skip it, choosing instead to get my soft core teen nudity and back arching where every other red-blooded American gets it: everywhere else. But then “controversy” and “outrage” began to spring up, so I thought I’d take a little peek, because I enjoy nothing more than what angers idiots.

But you see what you did, you ridiculous protesty busy bodies, you gave a show, that would have otherwise gone unnoticed and disappeared rather unceremoniously, a gigantic buzz that MTV couldn’t have afforded to buy on their own. And you know what? They were counting on it.

Music Television knows what they’re doing, they’ve been at the forefront of pissing you off to make you tell people that they shouldn’t watch something so that they’ll watch it technology for years. This time they just used scantily clad teens (again) and our natural but frowned upon want thereof. Now parents groups are stomping their feet and making fools of themselves, which causes the natural, knee jerk reaction of sponsors, who were COUNTING on people’s want to see scantily clad teens, but are now forced to pretend they had no idea that a show about drug fueled underage humping would somehow involve drug fueled under age humping. The list of sponsors who have now pulled their ads from the show includes Subway, Wrigley, Taco Bell, H & R Block and General Motors, all pretending they agree with you and that this smut they wanted their products to be seen associated with was only supposed to be associated with it as long as you didn’t notice it was associated with it. Of course, these sponsors pulling out (oh the punularity) aren’t going to hurt this show, because MTV has already budgeted for mock outrage, it’s standard on every MTV production ledger.

These teens totally want to bang you, adult viewer.
These teens totally want to bang you, adult viewer.

I’m not a parent myself, nor was I particularly promiscuous in high school, it would even be safe to say that I was very much your best description of the opposite of what ever that thing might be. But I was there and I, like many of you, spent upwards of seven years in my teens, and know that while our experiences may have varied, it was usually understood that at some point, many of us took our new parts for a test drive. The parents behind these groups that want you to believe that Jesus created the penis to be used only once and only to make another smaller version of you and then never be spoken of again. The Parents Television Council is made up almost entirely of former frustrated teens who were excluded from the genital exchange that went on at their schools.

The simple fact of the matter is teens want to put their parts in other teens, it’s biology, it’s what puberty was invented for. It was a way for our bodies to signal to our brains that we are done cooking and are now ready to begin procreation before three fifths of us freeze to death when the sun hides for many moon, or before we’re eaten by a sabre toothed ground squirrel. It’s “civilization” that’s told us that what our bodies know naturally is wrong. So now that we live eight times longer than when we were wearing the all natural fibers of yesterday’s lunch and someone told us an invisible man wags his finger at you when you don’t do it exactly like he likes, we’ve got people telling us we shouldn’t do what kept us alive long enough to have a past that we must now be ashamed of.

Teens want to frolic naked with others no more today than when the first teen was discovered, approximately twelve years after the birth of the first child. Adults have changed. Adults now spend all of their time telling other adults that they should be afraid of every damned thing that exists. You get told something long enough, no matter how stupid, and you’re forced to believe it. So now it’s universally accepted that kids today are having more sex than ever and that we should be protecting them or they might just die from fun. We live in a world where when you give birth to a child, all of your toilets are fitted with locks. It’s not that today’s babies enjoy toilets more than ever, it’s because we just have too damned much time on our hands.

Just know angry parents, that you’ve been played again. It’s not your fault. Well, yes it is, but it’s just so easy. It doesn’t take any creativity to get a small group of people to convince a larger group of people that something they’ve never even seen is super offensive and shouldn’t exist any more. This is just the latest example. And rest assured, it’ll happen again when a channel finds itself in need of quick and dirty publicity and doesn’t care how it gets it (lookin’ at you Spike), and we’ll all be right back here once again, yelling about how we must protect the children all while they’re at home, totally doin’ it in your bed and with your ground up pain killers caking their gums.

Good night perfect parents, where ever you are.

TV Review: “Retired at 35”

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Like entertainment, only not!
Like entertainment, only not!

There’s a reason the situation comedy is dead, and “Retired at 35” is it. That is not to say that this show is solely responsible for the death of an entire genre of television, though sure, I just made it sound like it is. In fact, “Retired at 35” is probably one of the better versions of this show that I’ve seen. But there’s a problem inherent in that statement.

So, I’ve discovered that TV Land, cable station channel 629 on your local dial, has started producing “original” programming. Those of you not familiar with TV Land, I’ll make it easy for you, if it was on 50 years ago, it’s on again on TV Land. As such the average median age of a TV Land viewer is approximately mummified, so these new sit-coms not surprisingly, center around the premise of old people being a creepy, bitter hoot. You see, old people are just like you and me, those that have something left to live for, except everything they do that we do is kind of gross and sad.

“Retired at 35” is the story of a wormy New York middle management execu-something of an anonymous company that comically produces food based stick items, your toothpicks and popsicle sticks and what have you. This hysterical eating accessory tycoon for some reason makes the trip all the way down to visit his parents in Florida, naturally, for his mother’s umpteenth birthday. It’s during this birthday celebration that our hero quits his job (not a formal declaration of retirement as the shows future promos seem to indicate that he will then be looking for a job, making the entire show based on a seemingly random lie) that somehow inspires his mother to leave his father and their loveless marriage that had somehow managed to only hold together as long as no one did anything pointless and impulsive in front of them.

The rest of the episode then centers around this quitter son trying to set up his nonsensically separated father with elder poon, hunting said wrinkly gash at the local bingo hall, naturally, and in a “comical” twist of fate, bedding said blotter bimbo himself.

And while somewhat amped up with “edgy”, “mature”, “humor”, if this all sounds terribly familiar, and terribly terrible, it should. Shows like these are what make it so easy to see when something interesting and original comes along because it looks nothing like this.

Me am on ABC Family next Fall!
Me am on ABC Family next Fall!

Now, television is not an exact science, no one knows exactly how it’s supposed to be done. But the fact that this program will be gone next year, and all of the time and money that will have been wasted on this soon forgotten collection of cliché, just like the one before and the one before that, should be some kind of clue that this isn’t the best path to results. If television WERE a science, and someone was given a grant for an experiment that produced a form of life, so without the sustainable elements OF life that it would whither away within a couple months time after writhing in such agony that it’s very existence seemed to be meant as nothing more than an affront to every god that man has ever believed in. Then that scientist came back next year asking for another grotesque amount of money to recreate that exact experiment, only this time this abortion of television science would be a truck stop short order cook with a sassy Asian neighbor, that scientist would be asked to leave and to never be allowed to science again. For his safety and ours. But the folks that put together this program are the same that put together the last one and will be the same to put together the next one. It’s a creative gene pool so thin and diluted that it’s a wonder that any of their offspring survive at all.

But fear not gentle viewer, as the television landscape continues to stretch farther and farther, well beyond it’s breaking point, more of these shows will be forced to be made to fill the gasping void of programming hours and we’ll all get to relive this exact same tired, threadbare premise again and again… Wait, did I say fear not? I’m sorry, I meant, weep for the medium, because soon all that’ll be left is TV cameras following annoying people with pitiable lives that should never be shared with anyone. And won’t that be fun?