Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I Can't Breathe
Desperate Housewives.
Boston Legal.
Grey's Anatomy.

Wow, that's not a bad line-up of shows. Critically well-received and publicly supported, all of them. The people at ABC should be proud of themselves. They've come a long way since the days when I was a kid and all they had was Monday Night Football and that show with that guy who makes the grunty-noises and his three gay sons. How far they had fallen since the glory days of Mr. Belvedere.

But now ABC is back. It's got a whole raft of zeitgeist-y water-cooler type shows hang their collective network mouse-eared hat on. I don't watch any of them personally because my TV-watching time is limited and I prefer pay-per-view lesbian clown porn, but I've heard good things about ABC these days. Just scads and scads of high quality programming to choose from in this, the all-important May "sweeps" period.

Which is why I can't figure out the reason they went ahead with last night's "special" of David Blaine Drowned Alive!

First of all, kudos to the news media. They no longer refer to Mr. Blaine as "street magician" but simply "stuntman." That's one step closer to "vapid media whore," but we're getting there.

The whole premise of the show is that the guy lives in a water sphere for like a week or whatever and then at the end, tries to set the world holding-my-breath record. While in chains!

So he couldn't just try to hold his breath for a long time. He had to be in the fishbowl in public for a week. Why again? Practice? I don't know.

And then the whole idea is that he was either going to set the world holding-my-breath record or die trying.

How'd that work out? Let's review the results: 1) Mr. Blaine did not set (or even approach) the World Holding-My-Breath record. 2) Mr. Blaine did not die.

A week in the tub and a crappy Houdini rip-off trick and what does he have to show for it? Prune-hands.

He did cry like a bitch when they finally let him out, though. So there was that. He must have had just a tiny shred of dignity left that his body felt it had to jettison before he left camera-view.

Even the title of the show was retarded. Drowned Alive? If you've drowned, you're dead, right? Or do I misunderstand the word? I guess the advertisers wouldn't go for David Blaine Wallows In His Own Urine.

If non-magic magicians weren't bad enough, tonight ABC offers us Fatal Contact: Bird Flu In America.

Again with the crappy title. Fatal Contact. That's the movie where Michael Douglas builds a machine that sends him into space where he has an extramarital affair with a frizzy-haired alien who later boils his rabbit, isn't it?

Just in case it wasn't clear from the secondary post-colon title, this is the movie that tells us all what to do in case bird flu arrives in America. After all, television is a public trust, you know.

From what I heard from the previews, the idea is this: when bird flu arrives, you should immediately murder your neighbor. Do it before they do it to you. It's all going to be chaos and mayhem and total dissolution of our nation politically and demographically, so the best thing to do is to set up a three-house long quarantine perimeter around you by killing everyone in those houses. Anyone who approaches your sphere of protection dies.

This must be done because, according to this movie: a) bird flu is the most virulent disease in the history of human existence and b) once the first person drops, it's every man for himself.

Do not wait. When the first person you don't know sneezes, start the purge and retreat to the bunker. If you live in an apartment or condominium... uh... well, you're fucked. Might as well run down and loot the 7-11. Get all the Slim Jims and Slurpees you can get your hands on before bloody, painful, ravaging, internal bird-death visits you.

Nice work, ABC. For me, it's nice to see that even though a TV network might be building a reputation for quality, it remains deeply committed to commemorating and celebrating its long and distinguished history of utterly unwatchable crap.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 4.2



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