February 15, 2003

Reality Bites

Finally gave up on Joe Millionaire. There are no "winners" in this game. You don't want the mean golddigger to end up as the chosen one, but you don't want the nice girl to have to face the lie and end up as the butt of the joke. And Mr. Millionaire is no prize, either. All that gorgeous French countryside and fine food wasted on the guy. I could actually feel myself get dumber as I watched the show. Obviously, Fox couldn't get any real bright bulbs to fall for the premise of the show, and brains certainly wasn't the top criterion in choosing Joe. Thank God for the butler, who provided the only glimmer of intelligent commentary on the proceedings.

Going to delete American Idol from the Tivo Season Pass list, too. Watching the judges rip apart the bad singers in the preliminaries was fun, but everyone is at least somewhat competent at this stage. Now it's just a bunch of random folks singing annoying pop songs. And they knocked out my favorite gal.

Why do you want to be the American Idol?
"Um, because I pretty much suck at everything else."

Are You Hot? is just flat out bad. The website Are You Hot or Not? works because there are plenty of average-looking folks submitting pictures, and there's no explicit criticism, just a number defined by anonymous votes on the internet. Heck, the number might even mean something, if you get enough votes. The TV show attracts media whores, and the celebrity judges rip the artificially attractive people by their artificial criteria. Who gives a crap about what some C-list celebrity thinks of yet another pretty boy or skanky 'ho.

Good thing that the grandaddy of them all is back. Survivor Amazon started this week, and there's already a twist, as the two tribes were set up as Men vs. Women, instead of the gender-balanced tribes of the past. Of course, the editors took full advantage of the situation, as there were plenty of footage of the boys being boys. Meanwhile, the women had trouble chopping down trees, the swimsuit model was more concerned with keeping her clothes clean than building shelter, and the housewife was already crying about how it's all too much after a day and a half. However, the beauty of reality shows is that even if there's no script, the editors can still take the footage and tell the story in the classic way. So here's the big comeback by the ladies in the Immunity Challenge, when the big muscled guys couldn't scramble across the balance beam, and the rocket scientist and the computer dude couldn't put together a puzzle. Plenty of fodder for the whiny bitches on Television Without Pity to get their hate on.

All this TV-watching is made possible by the marvel that is Tivo, of course. I've souped up my Series 1 Tivo with the extra hard disk and Ethernet card, but right now Tivo is offering the option to transfer my Series 1 lifetime subscription to a new Series 2 machine. The faster processor and extra memory would be nice for a snappier interface. Now if I only had an economical way of passing off the Series 1 box. I could just eBay the old machine, but shipping is such a pain in the ass.

Posted by mikewang on 03:31 PM