Saturday, September 23, 2006

How Far We'll Go for Our Fifteen Minutes of Fame.

It was artist Andy Warhol who once proclaimed,"In the future, everyone will have fifteen minutes of fame." And in this day of hungry media vultures intent on filling tv and newpapers full of wholesale sensationalism, there are those who crave recognition and are more than willing to earn their own fifteen minutes.

You see,we are a culture of celebrity, as well as notoriety . There is the kind of celebrity who becomes a cultural icon, whose fame exceeds their own mortal existence while they live on in the publics consciousness for decades to come. Then there is the disposable celebrity: famous today, forgotten by lunchtime tomorrow. But to many of the unwashed, who live a dull, plodding, day to day , mundane existence; temporary fame can be exhilarating, even if it is brief .

Take The Jerry Springer Show for example, a show which brazenly,yet humorously brags it is the worst show on tv. However, it does serve one function; it gives those people out there who will never amount to a whole hell of a lot their little day in the sun. They can parade their sordid problems in front of the entire nation as Springer's studio audience insults and jeers them for an entire hour. These folks are by turns fat,unattractive,ignorant beyond belief and some of them should even take into consideration paying their local dentist a visit A.S.A.P. They're not just the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel, they're the scrapings of the scrapings, desperate to grab onto their own fifteen minutes of soon to be evaporated fame.

It's losers on parade and we out there in the television viewing audience are voyeurs witnessing these simple saps willingly debase themselves in front of a tv camera just so they can brag to their friends and neighbors," I was on The Jerry Springer Show." While the viewers watching at home point, howl with laughter and say," Hey Harry, check out the assholes."

Sadly enough, I myself have looked through the same slime encrusted window at these shameless exhibitionists from time to time, with equal parts of amazement and total contempt. But hey,they're on national television and after all, this is the ultimate goal for which they allowed themselves to be presented as a laughing stocks wherever The Jerry Springer Show is televised. But when all is said and done, is this really entertainment?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

TILL DEATH: An Example of Cynicsm In Our Society.

I was anxiously awaiting the debut of Till Death because of one reason: the return of Brad Garrett who so deftly played the put upon,long suffering Robert in the hit tv series EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND. This would surely be a sure-fire hit, especially with the talented Garrett at the helm. So, on September 7, I tuned in expecting to laugh my ass off. Instead,I sat through a mildly amusing show that brought home a most cynical message: Marriage Sucks.

According to the writers,(the husband and wife team of Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa) marriage is wonderful and romantic in the beginning but after a number of years it curdles like a bottle of old milk. What a wonderful message to convey to today's viewing audience. Not!

That's right, Fox network. For years, ever since MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, you've bombarded your audience with shows that depict the downside of marriage.And while the couples depicted do end up staying together, they are portrayed as unhappy, bitter folks resigned to being shackled to one another until the Angel of Death comes along to release them from their life of total misery.

It's my guess that a television show which portrayed people in a happy, healthy and harmonious union wouldn't reap the barrel of laughs that two people in complete and total misery would provide. Our society has become rather sardonic when it comes to marital relationships and one might say tv is simply mirroring us as we are. If so, it is sad making to think that we view marriage in such a downbeat fashion.

Now, to be fair I thought I'd give the show a second chance. However,I endured approximately five minutes of the Sex for Furniture episode before throwing in the towel and switching the channel. It was unfunny and(once again that word rears it's ugly head) cynical. From all the ads promoting the new series, Fox seems to predict TILL DEATH will be a smash hit. Perhaps. But from where I sit, I don't see it surviving more than one season. If the show winds up lasting for a few seasons or more,it'll prove that cynicism is more prevalent in our culture than it ought to be. And that ain't funny.