Ruminations For A Wednesday (One Day Late)
The only thing that used to brighten Wednesdays up for me was the fact that that was the day that the new issue of The Onion was published online. I love The Onion, but ironically my favorite part was not the satirical news stories (they're great, but the best joke is almost always the headline itself) or the infografics or the always hilarious American Voices, but the only part of the entire website that isn't completely made up: The A.V. Club.
Recently this section of the website, which focuses exclusively on pop-culture stuff (movies, books, TV, music, video games--one of my favorite sub-sections is Commentary Tracks of the Damned, which dissects DVD commentary tracks made for terrible, terrible movies) has changed it's format. They've stopped publishing new issues on Wednesdays, and now new articles and features appear randomly during the week. This has jostled my Wednesday routine, but I'm not upset because they've also recently added some new features including a newswire, a club blog, and the best addition of all, Amelie Gillette's collection of "Pop Culture Love Letters" called The Hater.
I particularly loved this entry the other day, a list of Things That Still Exist But Shouldn't. Here's her list, with my comments in parentheses:
1. The Real World (My only request would be to throw in Survivor, too. And all those other "pretty people bitching about each other" reality shows that all sort of run together after a while)
2. News Items About Mike Tyson (I gotta admit, "Mike Tyson Still Crazy" doesn't really qualify as an earth-shattering news bulletin)
3. Tickle Me Elmo Hysteria (I can't comment on this--I'm only sort of vaguely aware of who/what Elmo is)
4. Judge Judy (Yes, yes, yes, sweet merciful God YEEEEES)
How much fun is a list of Things That Still Exist But Shouldn't? I can't resist ripping off the idea. So here is my own humble list of stuff that has long since outlived whatever entertainment value it may have once had:
1. TV Sitcoms. I know that Sitcoms, like snowboarding and Saturday Night Live, are declared "dead" by the supposed authorities on an annual basis. It's something of a cliche. But with the single exception of Sienfeld, there hasn't been a truly funny, original, and (here's the part that eliminates Arrested Development) successful sitcom on television in at least two decades. I exclude The Simpsons and other animated shows from the category of Sitcoms 1) because animation is by it's very nature a genre that allows for expansion and experimentation outside the parameters that define live-action entertainment, and 2) because it's my list and I say so.
2. Tom Leykis. I know he's got a million mouth-breather fans out there, but honestly, for how many more years is this guy going to do the exact same show every day? I don't care whether you like his gender-baiting schtick or not, if you've heard a half-hour of this show then you've pretty much heard the last ten years.
3. No-Frills DVDs. The bells and whistles are the WHOLE POINT of DVDs! Nothing is more aggravating to me than taking a DVD off the video store shelf, turning it over, and reading that the "Special Features" consist entirely of "theatrical trailer" and "subtitles in English and French". How can I possibly contain my excitement? The only reason No-Frills DVDs continue to exist is because the industry knows that after the money is made off the initial round of sales and rentals, fans of the movie will still buy the "Special Edition" DVD when it comes out in two years, as well as the "Director's Cut" two years after that, and then perhaps the "10th Anniversary Edition", if they can manage to play it out that far.
4. Boy Band Members. The music is bad enough. But then we end up having to follow these Tiger Beat turds down through the years as they progress through the various levels of celebrity decay (tabloid scandals, strange marriages, reality shows, etc.). Thanks a lot, VH-1.
5. MTV. It couldn't possibly have been this stupid back when I watched it in High School. Could it?
6. Saw-type horror movies. One or two new ones come out every month, and they always make a tidy sum on their opening weekend. And yet I don't know anyone who can legally buy a beer who goes to see them.
See how much fun this is? That's a good start to the list for now. I'll surely come back to this stolen idea in the near future.