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Life Without Television? Pity. Television Without Pity? Life!

2003-10-23 - 8:42 a.m.

Okay, so on Monday I wrote an entry on why homosexuality is so five minutes ago, and what's the topic o'satire on last night's South Park? Queer Eye, metrosexuals, and how everyone's acting gay! COINCEDENCE?!?!?! Yeah, probably. But it was cool, though. And they even threw in something in the end about how there's also the Latino trend. I'm totally cutting edge!

"Crab people! Crab people! Taste like crab; talk like people! Crab people!"

I'm allergic to crab . . .

All of this made me very glad I owned a television. Recently, I got a lot more job responsibilities at work. This was not a promotion; a number of people walked out, and so I and other people here get to do their work, because the boss doesn't want to re-hire. So I can now say, with far more conviction, "I don't get paid enough for this job." And the best part is that I can say that AND still procrastinate by writing in this diary.

However, as I was saying to Shkbob, who works far longer hours than I do, it is vital to have something other than work. Work should never be the only thing you care about, nor should it be the escape from the rest of your life. It's all about budgeting time and energy, people. I work, but I care more about doing activisty-theatre-y stuff, and supporting all my yummy musician friends. It's really cool to be at a point where I usually have something to do almost every night. But even that can be draining after a while. It's okay to come home from work and collapse on a Friday afternoon if you're up again in time to go out. If you don't wake-up until Sunday, you've got problems.

This is why I love television, and televisions' beautiful accompaniment, Television Without Pity (

I have two virtually sacrosanct nights in the week, where my plan is to be in front of a TV with my industrial size container of mixed nuts (important vitamins and minerals, people, like salt and Vitamin Mmmm). The more important of these is Wednesday night, which actually has two television shows I like. Granted, it also has Star Trek: Enterprise, which is an assault not only on the dignity of man, not to mention an abomination to the dignity of woman (it's as if people had viewing the original series, decided the best things were Mr. Spock and space bimbos, and decided to make a Space Bimbo Mr Spock), but on Gene Roddenberry's dream of what Star Trek could become. The Original Series was cutting edge for its time, daring to show an African woman (Nichelle Nichols may have been African-American, but Uhura's first language was Swahili) as something other than a maid. Roddenberry's pilot even had a woman first officer, which got busted down to a nurse by network sensors. As time went on, the movies showed women captains, and NextGen, DS9, and Voyager all had progressively more integrated casts (although we only ever managed to have half a latina in a command position, the other half being Klingon)and higher ranking women. Then comes this show, which features mostly white males, and which has, at least this season, been all about war on terrorism by any means necessary and I know Roddenberry is spinning in his grave right now because of this. So I usually spend the entire episode screaming at the television, with my frequent refrain of "T'Pol, put your clothes back on! Trip, you can leave them off."

However, I spend the next day laughing at Keckler's recaps. Television Without Pity: doing more for bad television than Fox ever could.

It was the recaps that brought me to Jake 2.0. I figured that if Alex Richmond liked it, it had to kick ass. I've already written about how in love I am with Jake, so I will say now that it's not just him, but the whole cast that rules. How kick ass is it that the people in charge of Jake are an African-American woman and a Latino/African-American man? And that the scientist who developed the nanotechnology is a woman (and an extremely cute, neurotic woman played wonderfully by Keegan Connor Tracy)? Sure, they're the NSA and therefore aren't so big on "civil liberties" but it's just a show, dammit. With the hottest nerd ever at its center.

I get to follow this up with ass-kicking, hard-rocking US Marshall Karen Sisco on ABC (okay, so my two favorite shows are on UPN and ABC--what's wrong with this picture?). The show retains a lot of the Elmore Leonard cool. I even shake my thang to the theme song, which is "It's your thang! Do what you want to do!" Well, I like to shake my thang, and I wind up sockin' it to the cat, or the coffee table. That's my Wednesday.

Sunday is my other sacrosanct night, but this one is all about the bad, bad, BAD TV! First of all, there's Charmed, which is a carnival of sexist images and half-assed neo-paganism that Demian makes fun of in such a way that I need to keep my office door shut and my hand over my mouth. Speaking of Carnivals, Carnivale is actually starting to get good. It's time to come back to the Carnivale, people. Sure, the first few episodes were heavy-handed, obvious, and slow. The latest one, however, had me sleeping with the lights on. The final image had me chilled to the bone. Don't worry about coming in late; the show is almost as good as Passions about constantly reminding the viewer of the backstory. And if you don't like it, check out Aaron's recaps and learn to love Mommatose, Gordon Gayko, and the rapidly dwindling Pimperson family. It's worth bravin' the dust storms for.

Sunday night finishes off with The Lyon's Den, which is a horrible piece of garbage that is once again made worthwhile by the recaps, in this case done by Kim, who also recaps Karen Sisco. The show is typical law firm corruption blah blah blah Grisham-cakes (to borrow the TWoP expression) and worth seeing only if you have recaps to read during the week.

All these shows and their respective recaps let me unwind in the evening and laugh during work hours. I can work out while watching and invoice while reading. It's a total waste of time, but to quote Dr. Thora, that's the whole point.

Although I don't know what I'm going to do now. Joe Millionaire has started up again, and not only is the show absolutely terrible, but the recaps (again by Kim) are exceptionally funny. I might have to start spending more Mondays at home, or give up Charmed and Lyon's Den (if you've seen two episodes of any show, you can read the recaps) and watch Carnivale on HBO2. I don't want to spend too many evenings at home. Going to see Hedda Layne and Ginger Leigh and having dinner at the Rhizome Collective or just going out with peeps is what keeps me feeling cool and enjoying myself. Also, if I read anymore recaps I'll have to start staying late at work to finish up billing and all the other annoying tasks I have to do so much more of, and I don't want to stay here anymore than possible. That's the key, folks: moderation in all things.

At least until the new season of American Idol, and a new round of recaps on TWoP. Because I started the last season in love with Clay Aiken, but I ended it in love with Shack.

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The End - 2005-02-11
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