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Friday, January 18, 2013

Watch This Show

The song That's Entertainment (written in 1952 by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz for the movie The Band Wagon) begins with the line: "Anything that happens in life, can happen in a show." It turns out that they were only about fifty or sixty years ahead of time in making that statement. I guiltily admit to being a fan of some reality television shows, but I am amazed (or is it "bewitched, bothered, and bewildered?) at some of the programs I see advertised. We have come full circle from reality television being the five o'clock news to it being any and every thing we humans do. There are shows that follow the lives of people who do everything from driving trucks to hunting ducks. There are preschool beauty queens, numerous "stars," and even women selling brassieres. People who say humans couldn't possibly have created anything in their history, it had to be aliens. As you may already know, I refer to the people on these shows as guys who can't get girlfriends. Nowadays, if you can't find some sort of tv program that piques your interest, you must not have enough channels. In a combination of smart-aleckyness and an "if you can't beat them, join them" philosophy, I have come up with a few ideas for tv shows that just might be viable for cable tv programming.

The Emperors Knew Clothes! This show could be a joint venture of the fashion and history networks. It would examine the styling whims and escapades of rulers throughout history, and all corners of the globe. Areas of discussion could include the leader's impact on fashion of their era, the impact of these fashions on commerce, the social and economic woes of those who tried to follow the ruling fashion foibles, and perhaps even a segment on what fashion choices they might make if they were alive right now. What would Marie Antoinette wear to a movie premiere? I can almost smell the Project Runway companion show...

Canadian Bakin' Since Canada has both French and British influences in language and custom, this would examine the impact these mixed cultures have on Canadian Cuisine. Just how important is maple syrup to Canadian gastronomy, eh? Is Canadian bacon really Canadian? How have the First Nations influenced Canadian chefs? Is it possible to make a lighter, more croissant-textured scone? And what's with all that snow?!

My Dawg's Bigger Than Your Dawg What really makes an American celebrity        
an obvious success? Is it the size of their talent, or the size of the bodyguards in their entourage that shows us that they have "arrived?" This show would, of course, focus on more than just the entourage. It would examine outrageous homes, automobiles, pets, and clothing and jewelry as signs of dominance and success and compare them to preening displays and mating rituals of various species throughout the world. Naturally, this would lead to discussions of ancient as well as current courtship rituals of humans worldwide.

It isn't my intention to make judgements of anyone regarding what they watch on tv. I will not take a holier-than-thou attitude unless the programming is destructive or promotes hatred or harm, whether physical or emotional/mental of others. Hey, I have my own train-wreck viewing moments. And I suspect that may be what keeps us watching all of these varied shows. Partly because we may be interested in duck hunting, for example, and partly because we are watching someone and thinking, is this really happening? Could this be my next-door neighbor? We never know, do we, until we watch that show?