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Wherein I ask the tough questions, like, “Why on Earth would I begin a blog entry with the word ‘wherein?’’
All right, it’s been a little while since I posted, so here are the reality TV questions that have haunted me lately:
1. What did Shaq just say? No, it’s not that I can’t understand the words that he’s saying; I’m just having trouble figuring out what he means or, more often, why he said it in the first place. I’ve begun watching “Shaq’s Big Challenge”, wherein (damn it, I’ve really got to cut that out) basketball great and star of Kazaam Shaquille O’Neal conquers the problem of childhood obesity by helping a half dozen kids lose weight. “Helping” may be too strong a term since Shaq always seems to have other obligations when it comes to the day-to-day assisting of the kids with their programs, but I’m not going to quibble with that. Any kind of help is a good step; also, Shaq is huge and can easily crush me.
In the first episode, Shaq argues with one of the kids about what kind of donut is the best kind. Shaq thinks Boston Crème, while one of the kids says crullers are better than the B.C. Shaq’s response? “No they’re not!” Seriously, he starts a debate on donuts and takes a firm stand against crullers. But, memo to ABC, I’d totally watch “Donut Debate with Shaquille O’Neal.” Like, every night.
Also, Shaq is show footage of one of the kids eating four slices of pizza during a meal (and dipping each piece in garlic butter as he does), and the dietician asks Shaq how many pieces he eats when he has pizza. Shaq just smiles guiltily because he doesn’t feel like saying, “I’m the Big Aristotle. I eat all the pizza I want!” and then instead of, say, talking to the kid about changing his eating habits or, I don’t know, doing … anything, Shaq just says something like, “You’ve got a lot of work to do.” Thanks for the help, Mr. O’Neal. Whose name is on this show, by the way?
Really, though, the best example of Shaq quote confusion was when he spoke of one of the kids no longer participating, and said, “If Kit drops out, I’ve failed the system.” What “system?” No idea. Why has Shaq failed this supposed system if one of the kids drops out? Not a clue.
Now that we’ve said goodbye to June and its 30 days of weddings, trips to the beach, and the slow, crippling realization that it’s still a long, long time until Lost comes back, why don’t we take a few minutes and look back at the best and worst of June reality TV? Nope, that was a rhetorical question. Yes, I know, there are lots of reasons not to look back, and yet I’m going to do it anyway.
Oh, and it doesn’t really fit here because it’s not a reality show, but Flight of the Conchords on HBO is pretty hilarious. I don’t really have enough to say about it to write a full column, obviously, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Okay, here we go…
I’m typically not a fence sitter when it comes to television. Nearly every show can be put into one of two categories: “Shows I Love and Therefore Watch,” and “Shows I Hate or Ignore and Therefore Don’t Watch.” I don’t labor under the impression that I’ve invented these categories; I imagine that this is the way a lot of people watch television. I think, though, many people have shows that they’ll classify as “I’m Watching This Not Because I Love It but Because It Happens to Be On.” This, by the way, is a really lengthy title for a category and I would recommend something zippier, like, “Law & Order reruns.” Because of TiVo, I haven’t been someone who just watches whatever is on for a while.
Now my categories of viewership have subcategories like, “Awful Reality Shows I Can’t Stop Watching,” (that’d be pretty much any reality show on MTV, except for “Made”) “Brilliant Shows I Can’t Discuss With Anyone Because of Low Ratings,” (that’d be “The Wire,” and “The Thick of It,”), and “Hated Shows I Only Have Watched In Hospital Waiting Rooms,” (that’d be “According to Jim,”), but all shows will fit into one of the two major categories. That is, until now.
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