The Reader's Eye on Television

"Do you ever watch Arrested Development?" John asks. "No," I answer. This is where most conversations with me go. When the "How have you been doing?" greetings are over and we've stared at our mimosa for a couple seconds the topic turns to television. "I don't have a TV. My roommates owned the television and I haven't bought one yet since I moved out."

"I don't like TV," John announces, holding up his hands in the international symbol for don't-get-me-wrong. "But, I watch a couple shows."

"I only watch Desperate Housewives ," Rob jumps in. "I hate everything else. Well, I watch Lost sometimes too."

"Ben and I watch Lost ," Grace tells us. "But, everything else is terrible. Well, we still watch The Simpsons , but that's not like TV at all. That's more like art than television."

"That Simpsons Halloween Treehouse special we watched over here the other night was hilarious. I haven't seen that show in a long time," I say. "They've really got their edge back. It's funny again. But, that's the only thing I'll watch. TV sucks."

"TV sucks," Mel interjects. "I used to watch The Simpsons , but now I only watch Adult Swim ."

"TV sucks."

"Yeah, TV sucks."

"I love TV," Suzanne says. "I'm a TV junkie. When I'm at work I wonder what shows I'm missing."

"That's weird," I say.

"I know. It's an obsession. I left yoga the other night because I was thinking about pita chips, my couch, and what shows my TiVo recorded that day. It's becoming a problem."

"No, it's not weird that you like TV. Everyone likes something. Some guys dedicate hours each week to golfing. Some people spend entire days in bars. You like to be entertained by a little box in your front room. What's weird is that you admit it." We're at a cocktail party on a Sunday morning in a house in Hillcrest. The rooms are appointed with leather chairs, one-off tables, and there's art photography on the walls. "You're supposed to say that you hate TV, and it's a pox on the country."

"No way. TV is awesome," she beams. "I've never seen Arrested Development , though. I'll TiVo it and tell you what I think."

"I'll TiVo it too."

"So will I."

"Me too."

"You should come over Wednesday and watch Lost with us."

"See you at Desperate Housewives night."


Thursday, November 17

The O'Reilly Factor

FNC 8:00 p.m.

The city of San Francisco is no longer allowing military recruiters on the campuses of high schools or colleges. Because of this, Bill O'Reilly has stated that he hopes al-Qaeda blows up Coit Tower. It's so cute when the little dickens slams the door and yells, "I wish you were dead!" They're so emotional at that age, aren't they?

Barbecue University With Steven Raichlen

PBS 10:00 p.m.

At my last job interview my potential bosses suspected something was not quite right with my résumé, but they weren't going to waste company resources on a background check. SUCKERS!

Friday, November 18

Ballroom Bootcamp

TLC 10:00 p.m.

People wonder why I pray at night for God to blind me.

Saturday, November 19

Jesse James: Legend, Outlaw, Terrorist

DSC 1:00 p.m.

That's it. I'm making a movie. Jesse James is going to be a terrorist. Bush will play Hitler. It'll be set in Old West Germany and shot in Italy like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly . I'll cast Liza Minelli as Clyde, the lovable orangutan, and the bloated face of Jerry Lewis as Moses. It'll be glorious.

Volcano (1997)

UPN 8:00 p.m.

Anne, you can blame it on Ellen all you want, honey, but we've all seen Volcano . Just take your lumps and hope that in ten years the next Quentin Tarantino makes you his John Travolta.

Sunday, November 20


WB 7:30 p.m.

My friend Viv says Reba chews her words when she sings. "She looks like someone put peanut butter under her top lip and she can't use her finger to get it out." Wilbur, sing me "Rocky Top," Wilbur.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

FX 8:00 p.m.

Yes. Yes. Yes. The movie that answered the question on every lip of every American. "Could Demi Moore fly if she jumped off a building and held her sweater out at the waist." Charlie replies, "A thousand times. YES!"

Monday, November 21

Darkman III: Die Darkman Die (1995)

SCIFI 11:00 p.m.

This is going on my list as my second favorite title to a movie sequel. My favorite is, of course, Breakin' 2 Electric Bugaloo . With Evil Dead II, the Sequel to the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror holding strong at number 3.

Tuesday, November 22


SCIFI 7:00 p.m.

Firefly is the original series that was made into the movie Serenity . This looks like a mini-marathon, playing until 11 p.m. There. You can't say I never told you anything about television-y type stuff.

Wednesday, November 23

Face Eating Tumor

TLC 7:00 p.m.


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