22 December 2008

And Wernher von Braun Weeps

I hate a lot of things. And a watch a lot of television. So it goes without saying that I hate a lot of things on television, e.g. Nancy Grace, the 700 Club, Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee, The Fox News Channel. But more than I hate any of these things -- and I hate Nancy Grace A LOT -- I hate a program I've never even watched: "John and Kate Plus Eight."

Although I've never see this wretched new low in reality television, I know all about it. Because you can't watch anything on the Discovery Channel, Food Network, or TLC without coming across promos for it. So, let's see if I can get the premise of this show without having ever seen an actual episode:

All-American, middle class parents have two kids. But they decide that two aren't enough. Like most Americans, what they have isn't good enough. They want more (so do I - I'm one of those Americans who wants more - but for me that means more shoes. Or more cookies.). So, they decide to have another kid. But wait! Oh noes! The missus can't get pregnant. So instead of looking into adoption or just thinking, "Well, we have two great kids and that's good for us" they have some sort of fertilization treatment. But fertilization treatments are costly. So, they go to some doctor who decides to hedge their bet and implant a lot of fertilized eggs into the Missus. You know, so they don't have to pay for more treatments (cuz treatments are expensive and Mr. and Missus All-American's insurance probably doesn't cover that). They hope one will take.

But all the eggs "take." So, one again, instead of being sensible and selectively terminating some of them, they decide to have them all. Six total. (that is where the "Plus Eight" part comes into the title: 2+6=8). I will hazard to guess that the kids spent a good amount of time in intensive care at who-knows-what-cost. Thanks, taxpayers! And we wonder why our insurance premiums are so high? Idiots like these people.

But wait! There's more! So I guess that some local television station caught wind of this precious bundle of resource-users and put them on the air. And then some channel decided it would be a swell idea to subject the nation to them.

I'm right, aren't I? Even having never watched this sorry excuse for entertainment, I know I'm spot on.

So as far as I can tell, all the show consists of is the two parents complaining about how much work it is to raise eight kids. And we are supposed to be amazed at them and their brood. Hey: YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELVES. Remember? So now we have to watch you complain about your kids on national television. I guess our insurance premiums will be going up even further once you start paying for years of therapy for each of those snotlings of yours.

And just imagine the SUV strollers those people were carting around. I hate them even more at the thought of it.

And the really sickening thing? I was in a bookstore the other day. The store had a display of newly-released biographies. These people have a book out! Why?!?! In in the HELL do we also need some book about these people? Are then done squeezing money out of their side-show of kids? Have we slipped so low as a society that the mundane lives of people with kids is more interesting than the biography of Wernher von Braun that was also sitting on that shelf?

I bought the von Braun biography.

03 December 2008

Stepford Wives of the Food TV network

I use a Nordictrack cross-country ski machine each week day during my lunch break (perk of being a stay-at-home librarian).

Because Nordictracking is miserable experience, I try to make it slightly less miserable by watching tv while I do it. And really, the only things on tv during early-mid afternoon are: soap operas, things narrated by Bill Kurtis, terrible "bringing home baby" shows where one is supposed to be in awe of a woman doing what a lot of women do all the time: being pregnant and having a kid (Why do they think their so special? And why do they think we really care?), and Food TV shows.

I tent to opt for the Food TV shows, even though the network has turned ever single one of their female show hosts into a creepy fembot.

Paula Deen (show: various) - once a loveable, grandma-type southern lady who seemed genuinely excited to show us how to make things with quaint names like "whoopie pies." And then her show became popular and the executives at Food TV forced her into a contract that requires her to say ya'll at least 14 times per episode.

Robin Miller (show: Quick Fix Meals) - I catch this one often since it airs at 12:30pm, which is usually when I'm Nordictracking. She has the second-deadest eyes on all of the Food network. It appears as though she's had a pull-string implanted in her back. An intern pulls the string and some flat-sounding exclamation of how easy/how tasty said dish is spews forth from her Botox-smoothed face.

Sandra Lee (show: Semi-Homemade) - easily the front-runner for the Deadest Eyes on Any Show that is not CSI award. Also a contender for the What Those Southern Beauty Pagent Girls Aspire to Become When They are Thrice Divorced and Desparate to Regain the Adulations of Someone, Anyone, Oh God, Please Make Them Love Me Again award (see also: Real Housewives of Orange County). This woman seriously creeps me out. Likely, they simply return her to her charging station after every episode.

Strangely, the one female show host that doesn't appeared to have been Stepford-ized is Rachel Ray. Then again, her insufferableness has always gone to 11, so there's really nothing left to change there.

Mabye Bill Kurtis would be a better noontime option.