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....