Sunday, May 10
Hale Sweet Hale
I'm not one for spreading my colorful tail feathers and boasting "I don't really watch TV" (you know the type). Not that there's anything wrong with that (I don't know about you, but I will be forever grateful to that Seinfeld episode for inserting that phrase into wider public discourse....I laugh every time I say it). I actually have a lot of admiration for folks who live their lives without television, and wish I had the temerity to do that. But I don't.
(Oh...I'm hearing my mother's voice saying "I don't eat that junk", referring to less-than-optimally-healthy food....unless of course it's on sale. Yeah, we become our mothers, no matter how hard we fight it. I'm working on coming to terms with that--I figure I'll be done with that...oh, say...about 20 years after I die.)
At the same time, I gotta say that I don't think there is almost anything worth watching, even though I do have a TiVo (which I have cleverly used to save almost every old movie--or the good ones, anyway--to DVD, a noble use if ever I did say so myself).
I know. You disagree. Everyone's got their "thing". Among my friends it seems to be Top Chef, Lost, maybe a few others. I'm sure they'll pipe up here and set me straight (so to speak). Now, I respect my friends, I think the world of them. So whenever people go on and on about a show, I watch an episode or two, just to see what the fuss is about. I'm sorry to report that about 90% of the time, I don't get it. I especially don't get how people speak about Lost as if it were a reality show. But then again, I don't like mysteries (I'm talkin' books now) either, and everyone seems to love those too. Maybe I'm just weird. (maybe??)
I did sign on to watch "The L Word" because, well, it seems like it was required. But gawd, it got awful, didn't it? I liked The Sopranos for a long while, until I got tired of the repetitive themes--you know, there's only so much you can say about the mob, especially when half your original characters are dead or dismembered. Kinda puts character acting to the test.
On the other hand, I have a nine year old. And you know what that means. Say no more. (there's another one!)
So I am left with the two shows that I really do like. A lot. And one of them I hardly ever watch, though a marathon was on this weekend that provided fascinating background to my gazillion household and chorus-related tasks, so I caught up a bit (or maybe not, I have no idea how ancient the episodes were). The two shows? House. And The Amazing Race. The first because it's intellectually fascinating (an extreme rarity in television) and celebrates the "other side" of highly eccentric people, which I take personally. I am somehow able to overlook the fact that it is produced by the Fox Network, which makes me sick if I think about it too much. So I don't.
And the Amazing Race? I just love it, hands down. It appeals to my desire to travel nearly continuously, with little or no idea where I'm going next. You know that t-shirt/bumper sticker/whatever that says "Not All Who Wander Are Lost?" That's me. Yes. Underneath this calm exterior (ha!) lurks the secret life of...dum-da-da-DUM....Adventure Girl. (the other one, not the blonde busty one who has a made a fortune off of the moniker).
So last night was the finale. No, I'm not gonna spoil it for you, in case you love it too and you didn't see it. But it doesn't spoil it to tell you that it ended in Maui (via Beijing). And therein lies the rub--at least for some of the contestants. All I can say is that I laughed more, longer, and harder than I have ever laughed at any episode of that show. I felt like I was home. Serves 'em right. After being on a whirlwind (do you know the race only lasts three weeks?), pressure-filled, sometimes cutthroat, race around the world, they land in the blessedly English-speaking 50th state (especially for that dip of a woman who complained throughout the show that people were losers and that they "sucked" because they had the nerve to speak other languages in other countries). And what do they find? "Locals"!
Witness my two favorite moments from this show. Ever.
Contestants get into a car, and tell the taxi driver they are in a race for a million dollars, and they have to go really fast. What does he say? Why, he says what anyone in Hawaii might say (if I could write it so you could hear the local "lilt", I would) : "That is illegal. I cannot do that."
I'm already rolling on the floor laughing.
And then, the taxi driver gets lost. He goes to where he "tinks it is" ("there's surfboards"), rather than following the written directions. Well, of course--what beddah way to find da kine--good idea, brah. Finally, when the contestants persuade him to call for directions, the woman on the other end says (I am absolutely giddy writing this): "Tell those people that I am not their personal concierge." Okay, now I'm apoplectic.
Ah.....Home Sweet Home.
And no, I'm not gonna get into the fact that the people I wanted to win did not win, and that the people who did win were not near the top of my list, and that I am dumbfounded that education as a lawyer, even at Harvard, automatically makes you "really smart" even if you think that Africa is a country. There's demystification for ya.
Breathe, Robin. Breathe.
I don't really watch TV.