Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Embarrassing TV I'm Watching

Christ I'm terrible at updating this thing. What I need is some kind of deadline to make me sit down and update at least once a week. Let's randomly say Thursdays, because, um, that's today. And most of the TV week is done.

So here we go. This is where I admit to watching some TV shows that would disgust the more discerning viewer. But, hell, sometimes you need a break from the dramatic and the scripted; a chance to delve into the mundane and the stuff that "other people" watch and enjoy (She says as she polishes her monocle and sniffs down her nose at the little people).

These are the shows that aren't completely horrible, or disgusting. They're just bad. Bad, but highly entertaining. And which I enjoy, albeit with a little sense of shame that comes when I think that I shouldn't be watching this. That watching this only encourages "them". But which I watch (heh) loyally.


America's Next Top Model

After a disastrous season last year (the "short" season, in which, hilariously, the winner was 5'6" because PETITE MY FOOT) that almost made me renounce this show, Tyra and her posse of demons is back with a vengeance. They managed to do this mostly by doing three things--three wonderful, brilliant things that have helped make this one of the most ridiculous and entertaining seasons this show has ever had. They are:

a) Bringing in Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley as a judge. This guy:

Yeah. And he ALWAYS dresses like that. He wears massive capes with giant sleeves, and tusks around his neck and this dude is batshit insane. He's hilarious, and terribly articulate, and makes truly bizarre observations such as: "You give me off a vibe of something luxurious, and a woman who is used to rings, and is used to jewelery,she's used to big rooms, big men, big lovers, big houses. She's used to the good life. And the way you're seated is gorgeous!"

I love this man. The best part is that he's managed to completely upstage Tyra in levels of crazy and dramatic. And Tyra can't do a damned thing because this guy actually has power. So she shrinks in the magnitude of his insanity and it's hilarious to watch. It's like they brought back Janice Dickinson, but BETTER. I want him to stick around forever.

Where was I? Oh, yeah.

b) They pushed Jay Alexander out of the judging panel and right where he belongs: doing short, hilarious appearances where he 'teaches' the girls to do things like walk or 'show their personalities'. This guy is a great character, but only in small doses. And his interactions with Tyra were getting to be a bit too much. By putting him in the background again they made his appearances more surprising and welcome, and now I can go back to not hating him.

c) The producers of the show went out of their way to cast the most ridiculous, insane, trashy drama queens they could find in all of the USA. But for a couple of exceptions (who are boring and therefore left the show early or will leave it soon) these girls are truly horrible human beings. They screech, they fight, they instigate fights, they throw tantrums...and the best part is that they lack self-awareness. It's funny that there's still girls so delusional out there who really think that this show will get them anywhere, when not one of the winners has managed to have an actual modeling career (in fact,some of the finalists have had more success than the winners). But they're there, and they buy every word out of Tyra's mouth as if it were gospel. And oh, it's so much fun to watch. The simple truth is that at this point they producers are really digging at the bottom of the barrel for contestants, bringing in some girls who have zero chance of ever doing anything with their lives. And some girls that are just plain ugly and would never make it as models. Angelea is the perfect example, and she encapsulates everything about this show: this girl is TRASHY and really not good-looking at all. She starts fights, says ridiculous things, has delusions of grandeur. And she's a reject from a past season! Who was clearly brought back for the drama but now she's being praised by the judges! And, since Tyra loves a gimmick for a winner, I have the nasty feeling that this chick is being set up to win. Brr.

Well, that unexpectedly turned into another diatribe. I never know I have so much to say about this moronic show until I start writing about it. But, hell, it's just so much fun to watch. Even more fun to yell at the TV about how deluded the girls are. I'd feel sorry for them except that this show has had like a hundred seasons and they know exactly what they're getting into. And what they're getting into? constant humiliation, getting their expectations raised only so that the judges will have more fun in bringing them crashing down, and maybe a couple of nice photos for the portfolios they'll carry around as they try and fail to get jobs. If anything they have less of a chance of making it as models after being on this show. And they had it coming.


Moving on.

Corazon Salvaje

Now this is a little easier to explain, I think. Corazon Salvaje started out as a 1957 novel. It was pretty great actually-- set in the 19th century it was all about dashing pirates, noble families, unrequited epic love, murder, drama, romance, etc. It was the Gone With the Wind of Latin America, which means that it was a huge hit and was immediately adapted into a TV series in the 50s. Then in 1993 it was brought back in its most famous adaptation, which became an insanely huge hit not only in Latin America but all through the world (I have a Croatian friend who was a huge fan of it in the 90s when it played in her country). I remember watching it and loving it. It was all elaborate colonial costumes and epic romance, plus an outrageously handsome hero who went by the name of JUAN DEL DIABLO. Because, how much more awesome can you get?

Rawr. So, anyway, it was a giant, beloved hit of a Telenovela, probably the best ever done in Mexico.

And then they decided to bring it back last year. A new adaptation. There was of course a huge outcry at the very idea of desecrating the memory of the show, but there were some people who were into the idea. That is, until they actually saw the show. And this is what I'm watching now.

It's a tornado of Bad. The awesomely bad. It's so bad, in fact, that it needs an entirely separate post, because I have so much to say about it. So I'm going to leave that for later. Let's just say that I watch it almost every night and I'm completely in love with the horrors within it. Even my non-spanish speaking husband enjoys watching it. It's embarrassing, but oh so much fun to watch. More on that later.


I think that's it, really. I somehow thought I'd have more to file under this category, but the only other thing I watch regularly falls into the Truly Horrible category, which will be posted soon. Of course, I watch a lot more TV than this. But everything else is more sporadic than anything else. Like I'll watch Modern Family or Parks and Recreation every now and then, but while they're good they're not really shows that call for my undying devotion, for whatever reason.

There's others like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and South Park that I watch online because we don't have cable.

Then of course there's the eternal staples, watched in reruns that I've seen a hundred times before but can't get sick of. Things like The Simpsons (I'll mostly ignore new episodes, but early ones still kill me), King of the Hill (hands down my favorite animated show) and sometimes old episodes of Friends.

In addition to all that I've been watching Muneca Brava on youtube. It's this Argentinian telenovela from the early 90s that I never finished watching back then. It's pretty repetitive and sometimes terrible, but it's a lot of fun and a great time-waster.

The list would undoubtedly be much longer if we had cable. So I suppose it's a good thing after all to only have broadcast channels and not have to pay outrageous fees so I can find more ways to waste my time. Maybe when I finally get a job we can get cable, but then I'll probably have less time to waste on television. So no need, really. Plus with pretty much all shows available online or on Netflix (best thing ever or what?) there's no real need for cable.

That's it for now. Thanks for tuning in to my Bible-length dissertations of terrible TV shows. Coming up next, some more horrible confessions and a full write-up on Corazon Salvaje. You should all be watching that, by the way. Look up your Univision guides and find it. You'll have a blast, I promise.


The Caustic Critic said...

Glad I'm not the only one who can't resist the siren song of ANTM. ALT is tremendous--he really is the best judge since Janice--he's just the right balance of crazy and knowledgeable.

You declined to say who you're rooting for--right now, I'd say the final two will likely be Raina and Alaisia (Krista will suddenly become "too old", Jessica "too pretty" with a "bad attitude", Alexandra will fall into the "Sad fat girl" trap, and Angelea will be the 3rd place bitch.)

Figgylicious said...

I'm going with Raina all the way. She really is quite gorgeous. Which just leads me to think that she won't win, because she's just that kind of gorgeous girl who takes great photos but who inexplicably gets kicked out because she fails at the Cover Girl commercial OR does something to displease Tyra.

I'd say Angelea, Alasia and Raina for the final 3. In a nightmare world, Angelea wins because Tyra LOVES a 'schtick', and she has the 'second chance' thing.

courtney said...

Corazon Salvaje... I can't BELIEVE they remade that. I'm still nursing emotional wounds from the shitastic rape of Betty La Fea.