Tuesday, March 15, 2011

All-nite television....

Talk about guilty pleasures....
This post is not about music OR books. It's about an addiction I've developed on Monday nites, the 1 "weekend" nite off I can count on each week. Xcept 4 CNN when I'm waking up, Monday nite is about the only time I DO watch television. & over the last 3 years I've become addicted 2 the WWE's "Monday Night RAW" professional wrestling on the USA Network, & BBC America's hilarious British car show TOP GEAR.
The 2 couldn't B more diffrent. My roommate Jay got me hooked on wrestling. At 1st I thot it was REALLY STUPID, the kind of thing idiots & lowlifes & drunks & violence fans would enjoy. But I put-up with it 2 get 2 the Good Stuff that followed later in the evening.
But then I slowly got addicted 2 the Big Comedy & the Big Drama -- almost Gothic Drama in some cases, the dramatic equivalent of a heavy-metal concert, as funny & doomy & over-the-top as yr fave heavy metal band.
I started 2 look 4ward 2 the latest adventures of the larger-than-life heroes, the evil bad guys, the soap-opera plotting & gossip. I wondered what "living legend" from pro wrestling's past would come out of the woodwork 2 further my education.
I don't even care whether the wrestling action is "real." Doesn't matter 2 me. & such considerations don't detract from the entertainment value. Obviously some1 is scripting & choreographing this stuff. No way could they pull it off without a framework 2 follow. & besides, I know there's no way I could get slammed around (or fly around) the ring the way these folks do without seriously hurting myself, probly permanently.
So I don't care if the punches R pulled or the injuries R faked. Doesn't make NE diffrence 2 the actual spectacle or the effect -- which is gloriously cheap entertainment.
I'm not such a rabid fan that I'm going to the upcoming Wrestlemania -- I won't even be buying the pay-per-view of it. But I love the big laffs & I get sucked in2 the big dramas, & I hava great time week after week.
Bsides, I think the characters R great -- some of them R way larger than life, comparable 2 characters outta the best movie you've ever seen or the best book you've ever read. I'm hooked on the ongoing story. I love the struggles toward greatness & thru adversity, the legends & the history & the mystique around summa these athletes.
I want somebody, ANYBODY, 2 shut The Miz up. I want somebody 2 silence Alberto Del Rio. I want some1 2 put a gag on announcer Michael Cole, & I hope it's Jerry "The King" Lawler. I really do think John Cena's the All-American Guy. I wait 2 C what new outrage Randy Orton pulls off. & I wish somebody would kick CM Punk's ass & make him a little more humble. & I can smell what The Rock is cookin'.
& that's just a few of the stories that R continuing on RAW every week. Yeah, sure, it's pretty fakey & over-the-top at times. But it's not really about NE of that. & the entertainment level is pretty amazing. & these WWE people R on the road around the country (& around the world) 5+ nites a week. I don't know how they do it & keep their energy up....
So now that I've maybe blown my credibility with some of you, let me try 2 get it back....

My son got me hooked on TOP GEAR, which is the best, funniest show on television right now, near as I can tell. It's certainly the cleverest, wittiest show I'm aware of. It's at times beautifully filmed, brilliantly edited, marvelously hosted by the hilarious Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond & James May -- & I don't even think U havta B much of a car fan 2 love it.
I love looking at old "classic" cars, but most newer cars leave me cold. The trio of hosts shows that there's plenty of newer vehicles U can still "wow" at, even if U can't afford them.
& the show goes way beyond its basic format of looking at, test-driving & reviewing cars -- some of their historical pieces (like 1 on the roots & birth of the automobile) R pretty great 4 documentary value, & summa their races & travels around the globe have bn amazing. These guys have shown that there isn't much that cars can't do. They have driven 2 the North Pole in tough, specially-outfitted Toyota pickups, driven across South America & thru part of Africa, crossed the English Channel in self-modified "aqua-cars," & much more.
& some of their nostalgia pieces R also pretty amazing -- including 1 long film they did last season on the demise of the British sports-car industry, something uniquely British from the 1950's, '60s & '70s that is now mostly gone. U might not Xpect something this moving in a car-review show, but there it is. These guys Rn't just a buncha jokers. They've got soul, 2.
They are usually hilarious, & never ever boring. If I have 1 complaint, it's that they don't do ENUF shows -- they make 6 in a "series" & then take a break 4 a few months. & tho I do sometimes get tired of BBC America's endless re-runs during their Monday nite TOP GEAR marathons (tho U might catch something new in an episode you've already seen 2wice), I'm also grateful that recently as the hour gets later they've been pulling-out 5-, 6- & 7-year-old episodes I've never seen B4, including 1 they ran 2nite that featured The Guys as roadies 4 The Who. So I guess this post does have some connection 2 music after all....

1 comment:

Perplexio said...

I started watching wrestling back in the eighties (1985 or so) and continued watching it intermittently over the years with waxing and waning interest. As my favorite wrestlers retired or died my interest waned further and further. After Bret Hart retired and his brother Owen was killed in that tragic accident I stopped watching entirely.

One of my favorite matches, I think it was Wrestlemania VI or VIII (or possibly IX) was Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart. It was for the IC belt and it was one of the most beautifully executed matches I've ever seen. Yes I know it's fake, but it does take some skill and athletic ability to fake some of the things they do.