Travel time is really the only time I channel surf. Sitting on the bed with laptop (on lap!) catching up from plane time lets me turn the TV on without feeling guilty about wasting time. After all, I can’t very well be ‘daddy’ or ‘Mr. FixIt’ when sitting in middle america in a moderately priced hotel. So TV it is.
Which brings me to realize how much I hate CBS. It seems to have two modes of entertainment: horribly overproduced, jump cut-ted, harshly lit/gauzed lensed, and self-important (seriously, have you watched David Caruso on CSI: Wherever? I keep waiting for him to look at the camera and say “I’m totally fucking with you. No one actually acts like this, and no actor would actually try to convince you that someone acts like this. So I’m clearly either so mentally unbalanced that I think I’m pulling this off or you’re just too lazy to care that I’m basically poorly playing a caricature inside a show that is supposed to be about forensic science.) The second: the shitty sitcom. I swear, in what universe is Jamie Goertz married to that fat guy? Did some producer somehow violate causality and this is the universe’s way of making sure he can’t kill his grandfather? And what is with their sets? I think it’s the same set for any CBS sitcom – always the living room with the staircase in the back, kitchen off to the right, and impossibly decorated. It feels like the serial days of the 30s where they just cycled shows thru the same soundstage except then, unlike now, IT WAS FRIGGIN RADIO so we didn’t notice.
But there is a special place in my heart for “without a trace”. It fits the CBS “Mode1” program model (overproduced, overacted) BUT throws in a bonus of pulling from Mode2 (shitty sitcom) by pairing a 32-year old hottie with Anthony LaPaglia, a 70 year old can of Chunky soup. Do they do this to titillate their older demo? Are they saying, “hey Herb! I know you wear adult diapers, have type 2 diabetes, and haven’t seen your dick since you were 30, but shit man – look at what Anthony LaPaglia is banging!”
In last week’s episode, of which I caught 30 mins while in Jersey, the aforementioned hottie did the following:
* wore a hilariously low top, cut to literally cause her breasts to be on the verge of escape the entire show. no, she isn’t a waitress, she’s an FBI agent. Riiiight. I’ve seen that top before, but I was in Texas at a gentleman’s club.
* Then somehow got out of the office without losing her top to go shoot a bad guy. Yep, shot him dead. Two of ‘em, in fact. Just another day at the FBI NY office.
* Headed home to her ridiculously sized apartment, met her nanny (!), and then yes – tucked her newborn baby into bed. Can you imagine that bedtime story? “mommy just blew some guys head off, but I’m so well adjusted (and endowed), that I can come home and give you kisses.”
The scenario is just so ridiculous, and the lensing so incredibly sappy, that I actually thought about suffocating myself with my own pillow, hoping to cause temporary brain damage from asphyxia just to erase that 30 mins from my short term memory.
I know, I know. I don’t have to watch it, so stop complaining. And apparently 20 million other people disagree with my rants (altho they are also probably the ones voting for Palin), but when historians look back at this epoch and identify the inflection point where the culture imploded, I’m confident it will have something to do with CBS renewing their slate of shows for a seventh season.