Killer Year–The Class of 2007


Time Suckers — aka My Evening Train Wreck
July 13, 2006, 6:00 am
Filed under: JT Ellison, Killer Year Founders

There are time suckers lurking in the shadows of my house. They await my arrival after quitting time, laughing quietly to themselves as I trudge slowly down the stairs from my office. I am caught unawares, dragged in, unable to turn my head from the obvious train wreck happening in front of me…

I hear them coming…

“Woooooooo-hooooooo. Take it off, girl, let’s see some skin…”

Oh no. The TV is on. They’re here. The ridiculous brain emptying television shows of summer.

Let’s start with the most egregious time sucker of them all. The Pants Off Dance Off on FUSE.

This is possibly the most horrifying show I’ve ever discovered. (Thanks a lot, hubby!) A dizzying array of semi and not so decent looking males and females of various ages get on television and strip to popular tunes. The fun lies more in the fact that 90% of the entrants have no business dancing in private, much less public. Hey, I’m not being mean. We all know our limitations. Mine is dancing. No jive, my friends. So I can poke fun at will, because I know I couldn’t do any better.

So they do a modified strip down on TV, then just as you would get to the nudity, FUSE sends you to their website to vote for the best dancer of the night. (FYI: There’s no real nudity. Even on the website. Yes, I went and looked.)

It was Sean the stripping midget that got us hooked in the first place. Sean’s got this Elvis impersonator vibe going on, and he dances with a little bit of Molly Ringwold in his hop. It’s utterly captivating.

It goes on and on, the bizarre and bad just colliding. It’s a train wreck. In truth, it’s just plain sad that I’m even aware of this show, much less that I sit down and actually watch it. What’s that tell you?

I poke fun, but somewhere deep inside I admire these people for having the nerve that I never would – to get on TV, for God’s sake, and strip. Its crazy and stupid, but it makes me laugh. After days writing dark thrillers, a little laugh here and there is always worth it. Hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. The rest of us schlubs will watch and point rudely.

I just have one question. Do girls not buy matching lingerie anymore???

What does this have to do with writing? NOTHING. That’s the problem. It’s dark and I don’t want to be on the computer 24 hours a day. None of the shows are new, no new Netflix came today, HBO didn’t have anything cool tonight, and I can only watch the twenty-four hour news cycle for three hours at a time.

Why don’t you turn off the TV and read, you ask?

Well, that’s a more difficult question to answer. Hubby isn’t a writer, nor is he a big reader. It’s not fair to ask him to turn off the TV so I can read. During the season, we have a ton of shows that we watch; every evening has something that is TiVo’d while we watch another channel.

During the summer, it’s more of a baseball games and miscellaneous crap scenario. The crap is musical in nature and often comes from VH-1, MTV2 (Check out Where My Dogs At, a brilliant animation show poking fun at celebrities) FUSE and various and sundry channel surfing finds. We call it Hubby’s evening stream of consciousness, or the Unbearable Lightness of Being Randy.

Yes, we actually do try to spend time together. I could easily go in another room and read. I don’t want to. I’d much rather watch silly stuff on television with him. All together now, Awwwwwwww.

Onward…

I was all exited about the LAST COMIC STANDING, but it’s disintegrated into a Survivor-esque melodrama, with the producers focusing on the personal relationships instead of letting the comics be funny. Big bummer, because I love to laugh.

There is one time sucker that’s worth it – CBS’s Rock Star: SUPERNOVA. I was a huge fan of the first season, where CBS helped INXS pick a new lead singer. SUPERNOVA is the same thing, picking the new lead singer for a conglomerate band made up of Tommy Lee (Motley Crüe), Jason Newsted (Metallica), Gilby Clark (Guns N’ Roses) and produced by Butch Walker. Dave Navarro hosts the show with Brooke Burke, whose wardrobe is, shall we say, even skimpier this year? Really, the show has some redeeming value – great music. The house band is top notch, Navarro is actually quite charming, and if you’re into music, this is a good way to spend a couple of hours a week.

So, do tell. What’s your guilty pleasure that’s really a time sucker???

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18 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The internet. I can lose hours of my life online…

Comment by Sandra Ruttan

Just the mention of Brooke Burke gets me going. Meow.

She’s the only reason I tune into that show.

Comment by Rob Gregory Browne

She is rather fetching, isn’t she???

Comment by JT Ellison

Oh, lord. My wife clicked that link. From across the room, allegedly fixated by GameCube, my son piped up, “Thats inappropriate.”

I am still in shock.

Comment by Bill Cameron

Bill,
Sounds like your boy has a good head on his shoulders and would never be caught with his pants down. Well done!
And apologies to the wife if I offended…

Comment by JT Ellison

When I let it, my time-sucker is TV-on-DVD. My wife and I barely watch real TV anymore. (And when you’ve got reality TV competing with CHEERS and MONK and NEWSRADIO, it’s no contest.)

In fact, the only thing that broke the spell was the sheer panic that Novel #3 is due in August …

Comment by Chris Well

Oh, no offense occurred. She was laughing her ass off!

Comment by Bill Cameron

Hi Chris, welcome to Killer year!
Everyone, go check Chris’ great interview with Cornelia Read at his blog. Very cool stuff.
http://chriswellnovelist.blogspot.com
And Bill, thank goodness. I’m not in the business of offending wives. At least I hope not!

Comment by JT Ellison

Well, JT, my favorite time sink of the moment (since I can’t watch the E! True Hollywood Story) is four and a half hour lunches. You know the kind–where you’re in the restaurant long enough to get hungry a second time? 😉

Comment by Tasha Alexander

A word to the wise – always order a big lunch so you have food left to snack on later…
Tasha, you inspired this column with your addiction to the E! True Hollywood Story. Thank you for the motivation, and the lunch;)!

Comment by JT Ellison

Ya know, I haven’t actually seen an episode of the E! True Hollywood Story since about 1999….

Sometimes I miss having real cable.

Comment by Tasha Alexander

Sounds like some one needs a connection at E! Entertainment Television….

Comment by Brett Battles

Hmmm….the internet. And yes Rockstar. Love that show!

Comment by Andrea

“I haven’t actually seen an episode of the E! True Hollywood Story since about 1999… Sometimes I miss having real cable.”

Just wait for it on DVD.

Comment by Chris Well

Mine is Canadian Idol (dropped off American Idol when it was coming down to grey-haired guy, Vince?), & So You Think You Can Dance? I watched the first season of Rockstar when they picked the INXS guy, but don’t know if I can fit in this yrs. season. I agree with JT Ellison – you’ve got to spend time with DH watching something mind-numbing after the kiddoes are in bed! Oh….Last Comic Standing is still on my list too, but Roz being in the last bunch makes me sick.

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very insightful read, thankyou.

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