Thursday, July 17, 2008

You Know You Want to Watch

It's been a while, and it's time for a roundup of crappy TV. Sure, Generation Kill started Sunday night, and Mad Men returns at the end of the month, but summer really isn't the time for edification. It's the time for half-drunkenly watching fluff. It's the time for I Love Money.

I Love Money is on VH1. It's repeated so many times a week I have no idea when new episodes air. Just turn to VH1, and an episode will surely be playing. It appears to be some sort of 'all star' competition, where contestants from other VH1 shows I've never watched have been asked back to compete not for "love" but for $250K. I don't know where they found these people, I really don't. Since even the contestants seem to understand the inherent loss of self-respect that goes along with their participation in this program, they all go by pseudonyms: Toastee, Heat, Real, Destinye, Niblz, and (my favorite) Whiteboy, who is a tatooed Jewish guy who undoubtedly just graduated from Brandeis.

The contestants live in a "mansion," are divided into two teams, and eliminate each other. It's a low, low rent version of Survivor meets Big Brother meets a train wreck. There's no purpose to anything other than being on TV and winning some money, and the show and the contestants are honest about this fact, and it's for this reason that the show is brilliant. Isn't every reality competition finally "about" the love of fame and money? Isn't every reality contestant ultimately playing a character, having been cast for "dramatic" effect? Here, it's all in the open, and in that sense I Love Money is a meta-reality show, a reality competition about reality competitions where generic convention is laid bare. It's so bad it's wonderful. You must watch it.

If you can't bring yourself to spend an evening contemplating the feud between Toastee and Niblz, try The Greatest American Dog instead, on Thursdays at 8 on CBS. Here, we have crazy dog people and their dogs living in a house together, competing for the title and, of course, money. Each week, one dog/human pair is eliminated. It's Survivor meets Big Brother meets America's Next Top Model, with cute dogs thrown into the mix. Brody and I watched last week's premier together and were happy to see that one of the contestants is Star, an orange and white Brittany. "Look," I said to Brody repeatedly, "that's what a good dog looks like. Look! That's a good Brittany performing tricks rather than running in circles chasing bugs while it's human gestures wildly, trying to get its attention." Brody was nonplussed, but he enjoyed the show, and you will too.

1 comment:

tunsie said...

One time my buddy brody raided somebodys grocery bag and ate his moon pies wrapper and all.he doesn't have 2 b PROPER but he is a good doggie.I think brody would like 60 minutes like niece made me watch a show called Random One,which is on the internet show.I also use 2 enjoy ben steins money.let me show brody some good programs,and he won't want 2 go 2 mums house.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie