Garbage in, Garbage Out

So the story goes… I decided to give the local TV programs a chance after watching the Network’s anniversary celebrations over the weekend.

The anniversary gala was surprisingly good and really took me down memory lane. It is quite amazing how much of my memories thus far are tied to these local TV programs. Amazing and to be honest, totally terrifying that so much of my life revolved around the idiot box.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

As I was saying, I was watching this show on the local TV network that features 2 hosts going around visiting “less fortunate” families in the community with the aim of “bettering” their lives by “revamping their living conditions” through an hour of blood, tears and shameless exploitation for all to see.

I think that television is a good form of entertainment. And the impact it has on our lives in its short decades of existence is nothing short of phenomenal. At some point of our lives, we’ve lived with, laughed at, cried on, loved and hated one thing or another that had been presented to us in that little window to another world.

I believe that all of us have a selfish “I’m better than thou” mentality deep inside of us. Coupled with a morbid curiosity about the lives of others that are like us but not so like us, we developed this need to see people suffer and humiliated. All the better if it is in a public arena. Schadenfreude…

Enter the Television.

Over the years, the television had evolved with us, changing itself as far as the censorship board allows to quench our thirst for knowledge and to satisfy our deepest voyeuristic needs.

It should come as no surprise that television appeals to the lowest common denominator among its audience. After all, it needs to reach as many people as possible. It cannot afford to discriminate against people who are too stupid to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not.

Now is probably the time for me to get off my pedestal.

I have to admit that I enjoy my fair share of exploitative entertainment as much as the next guy. Cut throats trying to get each other off an island? Cool. Seeing how much garbage people are willing to swallow (literally) for money? Sign me up. Watching top models wannabes humiliated and cat fighting each other off the show? Yabba Yabba.

To be honest, I am pretty sure Houshun Takami’s “Battle Royale”(Live) would be coming to a small screen near you… it’s just a matter of time.

But the thing about all these shows is that they are blatantly exploitative and they bill it as such. There’s no pretense of exploiting all these people for any “greater good”. It’s just a matter of how much shit someone is willing to go through for money and/or fame.

So I guess my main jibe about this show is its totally pretentious and “holier than thou” attitude. From the hosts’ repeated incredulous snooty “Is this the way human beings live????” exclamations to their condescending attitude towards the “test subjects” to the very notion that they can change a family’s life just by interacting with them for a week and giving their house a makeover…. These ideas make me sick to the stomach that no other reality shows can…

So there…

I guess that’s the chance I’ve given local TV programs…

Things I learned from Television today…

The Good?
powerpuff girls
It’s true… Much to the horrors of the Girlfriend, I am a new convert to the Powerpuff Girls…
There! I’ve said it! I used to think they were stupid, childish and… well, plain girly…
amoeba boys, powerpuff girls
But a recent episode featuring the ultra cool Amoeba Boys won me over. I mean, come on… any single cell villains that cannot think of a grander scam than stealing an orange is a winner in my books. ( In my defence, I believe I’ve mentioned the power of examinations to make EVERYTHING on TV look interesting…) (Examinations have even made me watch the Titanic… again…) (which is something else I should not be mentioning…) Too many confessions in one post already…
The Bad
pupeye, pipeye, poopeye, popeye
Now… Babyfying lead characters in most successful franchise is normally a good idea to win over the people who like their characters cute and cuddly… They did it with Bugs Bunny, they did it with Mickey Mouse, they even did it with the X Men and the Justice League… But I think we should all draw a line at babyfying ugly one eyed sailors with speech impediment. (hmm… a one eye seaman… interesting… *rubs hands together…) And naming they Pipeye, Pupeye, Peepeye and… again, I am not making this up… POOPEYE…
On the other hand, the clip is pretty nice… They sure don’t make cartoons like these anymore… which is a real pity…
Speaking of the Justice League, we come to
the Plain Ugly
Justice League, TV, flash, green lantern, fire, atom, ice
From the pilot of a proposed series…
I am still stunned speechless by their masks…

My Reality Show for the Moment…

now that Amazing Race is on a hiatus, is without a doubt…

THE CONTENDER ASIA!!

Contender Asia, Yodsaenklai, Naruepol

There is something about boxing that just fascinates me… Call it bloodlust, call it what you will, but I prefer mortal combat over whiney judges lobbing “witty” remarks behind tonnes of security guards anytime. (Humiliating other people should not feel so good… even though some of these people really deserves to be humiliated… )

There is something… dare I say it? “pure” about 2 men facing off with nothing but their fists and legs… (I don’t mind 2 scantily clad ladies in the same scenario too, of course… but that’s another story for another day…)

Anyway, this week’s faceoff pits 2 of my favorite fighters against each other. I think they are easily the strongest among the fighters. The thing is that these 2 are supposed to be the best of friends… I love that when they found out they have to fight each other, they resort to the same defense mechanism most guys employ when in denial… they go to sleep…

All in all, ep 9 was a really sweet episode with the family members and/or close friends of the fighters being flown in to visit the Contenders. Was a big moment for some of them as they’ve not seen/talk to said family members for a long time already… I know the producers are milking these moments for all they’re worth, but I am a big sucker for this anyway…

Another tender moment was when Yodsaenklai, the Thai fighter say to his friend and opponent Naruepol that he (Naruepol) is all about looks and that he will have to punch him hard in his face so that he can walk besides him after the fight.

He commented on what a pair they make…

Naruepol, Contender Asia Naruepol, Contender Asia

“I go by luck. He goes by looks.”

Sweet…

Not another quote….

I was watching this program on Nat Geo Adventures (fantastic fantastic channel) this morning. It’s about a group of strangers backpacking together in Italy, which brought back tonnes of memories… It’s not just the places, but also the people they met on the streets, the endless amount of wandering around aimlessly, the food, the ambience of the places, and more importantly, the group dynamics…. great stuff…

Anyway, towards the end of the program, one of the backpackers was asked about her motto in life, she said:

“Live like you are dying. Dance like no one is watching. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like no one can hear you. WORK like you don’t need the money”

Not a bad one to live by…. but for me. IF I sing, I’ll make sure EVERYONE’S listening… no matter how off key I might be.

That’s just me, of course…

But the rest of the stuff is pretty good