It's ugly out there, kids, and no, I'm not talking about the snow, and the snow, and the snow and ...
I'm talkin' TV land, where the harsh reality of the writers' strike is finally starting to settle in, like a chronic winter cold and all the unpleasantries, annoyances and bad tastes that come with it. Anyone have a box of Kleenex and the first season of "Weeds'' on DVD?
It was bound to happen sooner or later, and by the looks of my pathetic TiVo menu, later has arrived. Rather cruel of it to happen right smack in the middle of the dregs of winter, don't you think? That time of year when even people who think they don't watch much TV are exposed for the channel-surfing, time-wasting, reality-watching frauds that they are.
So how bad is it? Let's recap recent activity, or lack thereof:
No Golden Globes. The awards season is in shambles. In case there was any doubt, Sunday's Golden Globes press conference was a pitiful reminder. Jack Nicholson mugging for the cameras at a table with a lot of wine in a room full of Hollywood stars: party! Entertainment TV anchors reading the names of winners in between clips: less fun than even the constant parade of talking heads dissecting the lastest presidential primary. Just goes to show what those of us who live for awards season already knew, that it's not whether you win or lose, it's who you wear, who you show up with and who you thank in your speech. Someone, anyone, please save Oscar Night on Feb. 24!
No "24.'' For those of us who live and die (and die, only to live again) by Jack Bauer, January is our month. Our holiday calendar goes something like this: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Two-Night "24'' Premiere. But not this year. With the show shelved because of the strike, we're forced instead to endure the torture of FOX endlessly hyping 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles'' during its NFL playoff broadcasts. Pfff. A painful reminder that if there wasn't a strike and Kiefer Sutherland wasn't in jail and "24'' wasn't MIA, that maybe, just maybe, FOX would've choppered Jack into Green Bay on Sunday for a spot on the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show from Lambeau Field.
Return of "American Idol.'' Good news for those who love it, the equivalent of two-night root canal for those of us who hate it. It rolled out this week with its traditional early auditions of karaoke castoffs embarrassing themselves before the judges and the nation -- a k a "Freak Week.'' Had the misfortune of catching exactly 2 minutes of it on Tuesday, just enough time to see a rejected wannabe in hideous green glitter eyeshadow flip off the cameras as she vowed revenge by making it in "actressing'' instead. That'll be enough "Idol'' to hold me all season, thanks.
Return of "Rock of Love.'' A recession? Soaring gas prices? Stagnant housing market? Hey, what the world needs right now is "Rock of Love 2''! VH1 shamelessly went back to the Bret Michaels well -- which isn't real deep -- one more time for Round II of this reality sleazefest. Same drill as last time, but with the skank factor ratcheted up. Loved the intro on Sunday's premiere with the chronically bandana-ed Michaels describing rock 'n' roll as his "b---- goddess.'' And how about scary Angelique, who looks like a Botox experiment gone bad, getting a VIP pass?
Hey, wait a minute, why I am even watching this?
'Tis the season, I guess.
Labels: 24, American Idol, Golden Globes, Rock of Love