Monday, February 5, 2007

The Boob Tube

It's a slippery slope, and I knew that when I agreed that J and I would (a) have a television, and (b) get cable. I had been one of those tiresome people who, nose up in the air, used to say, "Television? Oh, I don't have one of those!" Never mind that I would watch it every chance I got at my mom's house, devouring whatever happened to be on--but particularly those random things that most people seem to bypass, like The Weather Channel and shows about quarrying. My excuse was that I lived in the mountains and wouldn't have gotten any channels anyway without the help of a pricey satellite dish.

Now that we have a TV--well, ok--no proclamations here. But occasionally I find myself--rather, we find ourselves--doing very imprudent things, like staying up very late to watch such gems as Infarto (on Azteca; we can't understand everything that's going on, but it's rather like driving past a car accident--the urge to look is huge).

Last night, after we'd spent the day working, we settled down for The L Word. That's a Sunday night must, and a show about which I'm sure I'll blog more extensively later. Then I insisted we turn off the telly to do a little more work, and around 1am, as a way to segue out of work and into sleep, J turned on the idiot box...and found....

The (White) Rapper Show.

Damn. In the immortal words of Doc Botzer, too cool, man, too cool. It works along the lines of Project Runway, Top Chef, and all those other "reality" shows I like--the ones where people actually do something. A posse of "white" (I'm not sure how they are defining this--it seems to be construed as not-black) wanna-be rappers competing for whatever ultimate prize, and along the way competing in challenges like "Affirmative Reaction," a takeoff on Family Feud with questions about stereotypes of black people. Plenty of cheap laughs here, but it's riveting to see what the contestants come up with for the challenges, and how they construct their own images, from the irritating crazy "ethnic studies" grad student to $hamrock, with his grill in disarray.

The Talkin' Videos blog has a fun description of the "Affirmative Reaction" episode here.

The book I wasn't reading while I watched this stuff: actually, I'm good for today, though after class the Linguistic Anthropology cycle begins again.


mmmqq said...

re: Top Chef: At first I was bummed that Sam didn't make it to the final final FINAL round of competition, but in the end it was Suh-WEET to witness Ilan kick Marcel's butt. Yeah.... BUTT!!

Jenny Juice Box said...

Fall back, babe...I gotta interjectizzle didn't discuss the something-licious voice of Persia, whose "smokin in the club" breakdown was, like, the best thing I've ever heard. Mad props. Much respect. Peace out.

An Briosca Mor said...

Well, I of course do have a TV (else how could one watch The Simpsons, and now The Office?), but I don't have cable. This is due not so much to any high-mindedness on my part but rather to my poor judgment in specifying the location of the cable drops in my house when I had to do that before it was built. Amazing how differently a room lays out when you're looking at it as a floor plan rather than as a 3-D entity that you plan to co-exist in with furniture! For me to have cable now means I'd either have to tear up my walls and re-wire, or have ugly looking cables extending across doorway openings and such.

So I don't have cable. This does save me some money every month, and probably boatloads of time as well (that I then end up wasting on the Internet), but also unfortunately it means I miss out on the odd gratuitous flashes of skin that you never get on network TV. (Although for some reason the FCC doesn't seem to mind Homer and Marge Simpson appearing in the buff. What's up with that?) So, Tes, I appreciate yours and Rob's detailed commentary on cable shows. The Doc quote adds that extra special bit of insight into the show, but I do feel I must ask this: Was it poetry, man?

T said...

Yeah,, well, some of it was poetry :-)

Unfortunately (?), in the rapper show we see no flashes of skin real or of the big moments of the rapper show was when an angry Persia brandished a large dildo at one of the male contestants--but the producers fuzz it out for the television.

Reminds me of the Monty Python skit--"I can't deal with all this sex on the television--I keep falling off!"

But yes, always happy to provide you with the cable television commentary. And if you're really interested, some of these shows are available on the Internet--I know the Bravo shows turn up on iTunes for download eventually.

Rob, Late to the Discussion said...

mmmqq: you have GOT to be fucking kidding. Every dish that Ilan made in the final was off the menu at the restaurant he works at. This post on eGullet has the rundown. He's a wanker. A great stack of wanker-fried wanker layered with wanker pesto and sun-dried wanker, encased in wanker pastry, sprinkled with grated wanker, and served with wanker sauce on a bed of sauteed wanker. With a sprig of fresh wanker for a garnish.

T said...

Yeah, Qwags, I was going to point you to the discussion we were having on Rob's blog about the final episode of Top Chef. Even though I didn't think Marcel was the best thing since sliced bread, I do have to give him a lot of credit for not going *completely* bonkers with all the shit (some of it deserved, but certainly not all!). And Ilan really got on my nerves. Of the last four, I think Sam probably should have won it. But anyway. Whatever.