Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The TV Shows I Hate To Love

I tend to haul off about TV stuff, the idiotic commercials, programs, channels, and the like. But, I do find myself hooked on a steady rotation of shows, all being contained within the genres of documentaries or scientific types of shows. I have a steady rotation amongst this core gang of programs, and regardless, I will still find things to scrutinize about them. Why scrutinize shows I like? It would be uncharacteristic of me to act otherwise. Giddy-up...

A show devoted to scientifically proving, or disproving, myths, urban legends, wives tales, and the like. The show is hosted by two nerdy, though clever, people who had worked in the logistics area of special effects production. The stoic one, Jamie, is a doddering mad genius with an overgrown moustache that I smell through the TV, compounded with an annoyingly ubiquitous and idiotic beret. With very little personality but lots of ingenuity, he seems to be very clever and in charge of the show, despite the fact that his disgusting moustache and stupid beret detracts all credibility from his analyses, just because of looking stupid. The other guy, Adam, is this loquacious sprite of a dork, complete with horn rimmed glasses and earring. He embraces this irritating San Fransiscan niftyness and sexual ambiguity that places him in every struggling art gallery and coffee house on the west coast. While clever enough to construct "rigs" for experimentation, he is the typical dopey kid with intelligence but no common sense. Can calculate angular velocity on a whim, but is too stupid not to touch the red hot piece of iron. A member of the supporting cast is a girl named Kari Byron. Wow, just that perfect "girl next door" type. Cute and always with an amazing smile. Not a stunning model per se, but one of those types of girls that everyone would love to take home to mom. Then take home to yourself. She'll be an underground celebrity - well, she already is. This show apparently has a huge budget. When they need a bunch of guns to test a theory, they don't borrow them, they buy them. Then in a later episode, if they need guns again, they don't reuse anything, they just buy them again! Wish I had that flexibility.
Anyway, it's proven itself to be an interesting show, and the two lead bozos tend to stick to the "scientific method" as it were. Hell, they blew up a cement truck with a few hundred pounds of dynamite. Too cool.

Most Haunted
One of two popular ghost hunting shows, this is the one people have accused to be fake. Haven't figured out the bottom line about it, but these British folks explore hideously old houses and castles and film their activities. The host is this wonderfully scaredy-cat type of personality, literally one who would be scared of her own shadow. She's a real pip. Annoying to the point of detracting from the veracity of the other members' research. There's an overzealous medium named Derek who is very convincing, however.

Ghost Hunters
On a related note, another ghost hunting show featuring a team of people that are led by a couple of off-duty Roto Rooter guys with lots of equipment and assistants. Good show, but with too much dialogue and little action. I suppose that's the reality of such ghost hunting efforts, but things could be compacted down a bit. They constantly have a bed of scary sounds/music behind moments when the crew claims to hear a noise, and one is left to discern if the odd bangs and booms are from the soundtrack or from the actual footage.

Deadliest Catch
A fascinating show about crab fishermen in the Bering Sea, it always captures my interest and reminds me that things aren't all that bad. They document a bunch of fishing boats during the brief crab fishing seasons, amidst horrible weather and long hours. While a very risky job, the deck hands always cash in on a week's work with twenty thousand dollar checks.

How It's Made
A creepy, creepy show that shows how things are assembled and produced. Apparently this show is based out of Canada, like the French Canada area. All the products shown are products nobody every heard of. They abruptly cut to commercials, and the scripts are written for a second grade audience. But damn it, I have to know how bricks are made.

David Blaine Specials (various)
Blaine is a great street magician (are there many?) and his on-the-scene segments are fun and truly spontaneous. I love when he is in New York City and he flashes a wild trick to a bunch of wandering crackheads, as they invariably run away out of fear once the trick is completed. That's the real magic - making the crackheads disappear. Keep him handy... maybe for a sawbuck he'd do tricks just so the creepies run away.

Iron Chef America
Yes, a Food Network product, I have to admit. It's fun to see chefs sweat and struggle, despite the irritating and ubiquitous commentary stemming from Alton Brown. Two competing chefs are required to develop five unique dishes based on a "secret" ingredient. I also enjoy watching the odd moments when the cocky judges are forced to sample creations such as squid ice cream. Some day the producers of the show should come up with a truly challenging secret ingredient. Forget mushrooms, halibut, tofu or kobe beef. How about things like cork, bleach, scalp, or Beetle Bailey clippings.

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