Wednesday, March 07, 2007

They Can All Sleep Soundly

People everywhere need help. Right now. As you read this, there are people all over the country, desperate to improve some facet of their pathetic little lives. At least that’s the message you get if you watch as much TV as I do. It seems like 70% of television shows these days center around ambitious losers who are dying to turn their bad luck around. They all need something – a date, a new wardrobe, a makeover, a remodeled room, help raising children, a nicer car, bigger house, their dream job, fame and fortune.

And who holds the key to everyone’s happiness? Gay guys and British people. That’s right – gay guys and British people, roaming the countryside, building gazebos, fixing your hair, and telling you how to tango. Television is littered with show after show featuring carpenters, designers, nannies, life coaches, and talent scouts; experts in every field, trying desperately to scrape some of the shit off of what you've become.

I can’t flip through five channels without seeing some gay guy dolling out fashion advice or upholstering cushions to turn your boring garage into a Spicy Spanish Paradise. Nor can I flip through five channels without seeing some British dude giving a reality check to talentless dreamers who think the only requirement to singing and dancing well is the desire to do so.

Who’s behind all this? Probably Elton John, but that’s not even important.

What gets me about all these life-improvement shows is the bullshit affirmations the people give at the end - as though their lives have actually been positively altered by something as trivial as new drapes or cooking tips. I mean, if you’re on American Idol, okay fine, your dreams have just come true. Good for you. But, if the only thing that changed in your life was a gay guy showing you how to walk like a diva, stop smiling; you won’t be seeing a new tax bracket any time soon. You’d better try getting used to your shitty existence.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Pimp My Ride lacks both gay guys and British people. But, it still has that horrible life-affirming moment at the end. There’s always some 20-year-old idiot in tattered jeans and a tight t-shirt saying, “I just got a disco ball in my Mazda. Now I can go to law school!” Only if it’s offered at DeVry.

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