Friday, August 10, 2007

And Now, Once Again, A Message from Chez's Evil Twin Garth*

You know what'd be just awesome?

If somebody could figure out a way to simultaneously give every single fucking person on America's Next Top Model stage-four cancer.

Or maybe some kind of flesh-eating bacteria that's airborne and kills in a matter of minutes.

I swear to God, the guy who invents that shit and releases it in Tyra Banks's dressing room should get a Nobel Prize for Ass-Kicking Science.

I hate reality TV to begin with, but seriously -- is there anything more brutally, painfully, hideously, jaw-droppingly, stomach-turningly fucking insipid than America's Next Top Model? From a cultural standpoint, can anything shame this already-suffering country in a more grotesque and egregious manner than a TV show that features a bunch of really vapid girls encouraging the pathetic advances of a washed-up bikini and lingerie model desperate to be within 100 yards of anyone willing to kiss her ass and remind her that she used to be young and relevant, then enduring the scrutiny of a panel packed with every possible brand of gay stereotype -- from the preening fashion-fag to the clownish drag queen to the arrogant metrosexual -- all so that they can get a crack at a career that'll require them to do nothing but look pretty and bored and walk in a straight fucking line?

The idiots on this show talk about modeling like it actually matters -- as if these simple, shallow kids are competing for a Rhodes Scholarship or a neurosurgical residency at Johns Hopkins.

Jesus fucking Christ.

Let me take this opportunity to once again thank our fighting men and women who are dying in various hell-holes around the globe to preserve "our way of life."

God bless America.

There's not a second during the times I've stumbled across this fucking abomination that I haven't thought to myself, "Holy shit! Every single person at that judge's table needs to die a horribly painful death -- and they need to do it right now if possible!"

Understand, I've got nothing against looking good -- and Lord knows, I do -- but there's almost nothing further removed from the "Actual Important Shit" Universe than the world of high fashion. If you think that anyone in the U.S. outside of a fucking Manhattan turtleneck-and-horn-rimmed-glasses art gallery opening or the South Beach White Party knows who the hell Anna Wintour is, really gives a shit about the new D&G collection or LOVED, LOVED, LOVED The Devil Wears Prada you seriously need to get out more.

There's a good-sized swath of this country that not only doesn't take wardrobe advice from homosexuals, it's likely to grab a baseball bat and a Bible if it even comes across one (and no, I'm not drawing Red-State/Blue-State lines you asshole).

Speaking of which -- is there a reason that intelligent, free-thinking gay Americans haven't rioted like fucking Stonewall over the gruesome, caricaturish portrayal of gays on shows like America's Next Top Model?

Or Blow Out?

Or Flipping Out?

Or Project Runway?

Or any fucking show on Bravo?

Reality TV has become the modern-day minstrel show of gay culture.

Homosexuals on these shows are cast almost exclusively as swishing, superficial drama-queens -- and are no doubt told to play up their "gayness" the same way that blacks were once coerced into doing jive-talk buffoonery if they wanted any kind of career in film or television. Neither portrayal constituted or constitutes progress; it's just the same-old same-old -- the perpetuation of a ridiculous stereotype, and one that confirms the worst fears, suspicions and prejudices of that segment of the population I mentioned a minute ago -- the folks with the baseball bats.

If you're gay and want to be on reality TV -- you'd better be willing to make Paul Lynde look like fucking Lee Marvin.

It's expected by now that reality TV in general, and Bravo in particular, will Breakfast Club everyone down to his or her most easily identifiable trait -- the reason of course being that there isn't a reality show producer alive who's interested in the lessons to be learned or even the fun to be had watching genuine social interaction; they're just out to make a fucking buck.

If you need proof of this -- and of the corporate agenda behind most of this programming -- subject yourself to an hour of Bravo's Top Chef (or actually, do yourself a favor and don't).

A recent episode was literally a harmonic convergence of corporate synergy.

Follow along now kiddies:

Bravo is owned by NBC/Universal, which also owns the Spanish-language network Telemundo. Last week, the contestants still in the running -- meaning the ones who hadn't already been sent packing by a panel of judges which in-fucking-explicably includes fashion-model-turned-LAKSHMI+SCAR-Google-Search-curiosity Padma Lakshmi -- were asked to cook for the cast of the tele-novella Dame Chocolate, a show that which network is currently trying to push?

Telemundo, of course.

Also stepping up to the feeding trough for this particular episode: Jose Diaz Balart, co-anchor of Telemundo's morning show and possibly the most pompous and journalistically-challenged douchebag to ever sit in front of a teleprompter. (Remind me to tell you some time about the inexcusable shit he pulled during the whole Elian fiasco.) But once again, NBC wants to promote Telemundo's crappy shows -- in an effort to topple its far more popular rival Univision -- so it does it under the guise of regular programming on another of its outlets.

Incidentally, the icing on the cake (pardon the baking pun) is all those lingering, almost pornographically photographed shots of gleaming GE applicances that show up over and over again in every episode of Top Chef -- product placement at its absolute goddamned finest, given that GE is part-owner of NBC, which, once again, owns Bravo.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Wow Garth, one of these days the cretinous sons-of-bitches with dollars-signs in their eyes who think of me as nothing more than a dupe for their marketing schemes are gonna just cut out the middle man altogether and begin scripting these shows around their worthless fucking products."

Oh, my poor deluded friend -- it's already happened.

A couple of months ago, the USA Network -- a cable entity that just might qualify as the Xaviera Hollander of media whores, as it's been passed around from media conglomerate to media conglomerate (it was once owned by both NBC Universal and Paramount Viacom; it's now exclusively owned by, you guessed it, NBC Universal) -- well, USA ran a summer-fluff mini-series called The Starter Wife. The show starred Debra Messing and was generally aimed at the lonely, middle-aged, Haagen-Dazs-hoovering, Oprah-worshipping crowd; it preached the message that, yes girlfriend, you are still beautiful and no, your thighs aren't the size of a t-rex's torso and therefore younger men are just waiting to fuck you and help you desperately prove to yourself that, in fact, that uncaring asshole who left you for his 23-year-old secretary had it all wrong.

You're a fucking MILF baby. All you need to make your Cosmo dreams come true is, well, to look like Debra Messing would help -- but if you can't swing that, a giant fucking glop of "Pond's Fresh Start" exfoliating scrub or "Pond's Bare & Repair" eye-makeup remover should do the trick nicely. See, Pond's not only sponsored The Starter Wife, it was involved in the mini-series from its inception; company reps were on-hand during the scripting of the show and its various rewrites -- always ready and willing to point out to the hacks writing this thing the best places to slip in a shot of Debra Messing's character bukkakeing herself with "Pond's Pristine Clean" facial cleanser.

In other words, the entire show -- supposedly an artistic enterprise (yeah, I'm still willing to refer to most scripted TV that way) was actually nothing more than a six hour commercial. The fact that the fucking thing picked up so many Emmy nominations should tell you everything you need to know about the standards of the National Academy of Television Arts and Scientists (NATAS, or SATAN spelled backward) these days.

Pond's Cosmetics didn't just present The Starter Wife, they engineered it -- all to sell you something.

Which means, by the way, that it was still less fucking brain-dead than America's Next Top Model. At least somebody put some goddamned thought into it.



Has somebody come up with the cancer thing yet?

Are they dead yet?

Fucking come on already!

(*As always, the views and opinions of Garth do not necessarily reflect those of Chez, who knows nothing more about America's Next Top Model than what he's seen on Best Week Ever.)


deadbeatJONES said...

Let's not forget the glory that is soon to be: CAVEMEN.

Ugh. Ick. Bleh.

Chez said...

Yeah, that was a hell of a bad idea -- but the really underhanded thing about TV series is that it features none of the actors from the commercials.

As much as I neither A) own a car at the moment and therefore require insurance of any kind, let alone Geico, nor B) want to see this trend in adver-tainment continue -- I admit that the commercials are clever and funny, and that's due not just to the concept but to the actors playing the parts.

This was a big chance for them and they got screwed -- worst of all, I have no idea why. Who the hell was so dumb that they decided not to hire the guys who made the characters popular in the first place?

VOTAR said...

I like Top Chef, despite the jarring, non-sequitor lingering product placement shots.

And Padma is outrageously hot. Especially that scar... which I assume was given to her by Iranian Revolutionaries who tortured her for information on the whereabouts of her husband, Salman Rushdi.

Now, I'm off. I have an ovewhelming urge to purchase many products from the GLAD Family of Plastic Food Containers. And I have to hurry; my favorite telenovella is coming on soon.

Uncle Sam said...

especially since it can't be that easy to undercut commercial actors pay-wise

Dave said...

Mmmmm..... Haagen-Dazs

Jayne said...

Padma and Salman are getting divorced.

and I love the cavemen.

Anonymous said...

Sad buncha dipshit girls who are going to be DONE when they are 25.

Robo said...

BRAVO Garth (no pun intended). You hit the nail on the head once again. My fiancee watches ANTM and the only saving grace is Tyra's sagging chest. [snicker]

Product placement is king. I think my endearment for Pepsi over Coke was because ET liked it.

The cavemen commercials were genius. My favorite is the airport one with the solemn elevator music. It reminded me of a Wes Anderson film and I laugh ever time I see it.

Just give it some time and we'll have the Burger King in some sort of miniseries on Fox.

Al said...

Debra Messing.


Two terms that have spent FAR too much time apart. Garth has done well to bring them together...

Vermillion said...

Great, thanks a lot. Now there is another gag I have to rip off of you for my blog. What amazes me is that your evil twin isn't very evil. Maybe its is one of those Bender-Flexo deals.

And Tyra Banks only has her shows so she can sexually molest women with impunity. I have done the research.

Anonymous said...

While aspiring to be a model is kind of a vapid waste, I think "Who Wants to Be A Pussycat Tranny" is infinitely worse. I can just hear the pitch, "How can we ruin the self-images of young girls, while simultaneously give struggling trans-genders a little more publicity?"

sparksinner said...

"Reality TV has become the modern-day minstrel show of gay culture."

'nuf said on that.

Also product placement is with us to stay. I just wish they could be a little less obvious about it. I watched 5 minutes of "My Boys" once because I thought I might see Jim Gaffigan. But what I saw instead was a single chick talking to her friend as she was checking out for a date. That stuck out as a pretty obvious placement, but then the very first spot of the break was for

Disclosure: I work in advertising. Maybe I'm more attuned to this kind of crap. I know for a fact that many, many people are totally oblivious to all but the most hamfisted placements.

Thanks for the thought provocation, once again.

Anonymous said...

Hey.... they don't have to look like debra messing. There's enough nerdy/dorky 20 year olds looking for any sort of hookup, seems like some sort of dork-bored housewife program should be setup.

Anonymous said...

A stereotype is a guide to group human behaviour. We each use stereotypes because we are constantly judging, constantly assessing people and will do so until we die. For instance, when you get on your next flight to visit Grandma, to close that sale or to party with your new bride on Ibiza, Lanzarote or Phuket, do you take note of your fellow passengers or do you act like it is September 10, 2001?

Stereotypes are true representations - shorthand notes, sketches, jpeg thumbnails, music samples - neither fleshed out nor fixed in stone. Chez' twin admitted as much with "gruesome, caricaturish portrayal...".

His curious dislike of gay stereotypes doesn't change the truth of them. No place in his protest does he use words as: false, myth, fable, lie, canard or deception. If a common characteristic of homosexuals was not "swishing, superficial drama-queen...buffoonery"; if "preening fashion-fag(s)", "clownish drag queen(s)" & "arrogant metrosexual(s)" were slanderous depictions of gays, he would have said so.

The GLBT movement is not about putting 'respectables' forward - Raymond Burr, Clifton Webb, Harry Andrews - so that he can feel comfortable, free from stomach churn yet showing comradely solidarity.

It is about confronting, challenging, undermining & defeating the mores, ethos & will of the majority. It is about norming deviant ideas & behaviour. It is about sordid disgusting opponents of decent society being brazenly repulsive; up close & personal; in your face.

To 'Chez' twin': What do political types say in Washington? Get on message & stay there? Best you brush up on Harry Hay (founder of the modern GLBT movement;, & reconcile yourself to more Pete Burns, Reichen Lehmkuhl & Bobby Trendy.

Shane said...

I happen to love America's Next Top Model, and I swear to God, I'm not just saying that to disagree with you there, um, Garth.

It has nothing to do with taking the show, its intent, or its characters (which, yes, that is exactly what they are) even remotely seriously. This show is just fucking camp at its highest, with Tyra serving as some sort of latter-day African high priestess over her fey and bony minions. It is hysterical to watch the dead-eyed models freak the fuck out over dresses (I mean, come on, it's a dress) and receiving that height of narcissistic self-promotion: TyraMail.

The show is brilliant, in my estimation, for bringing just a little bit of camp to a television line up whose "reality" driven shows want to present themselves as even the least bit meaningful. ANTM has nothing to do with real life, with what gay men are really like (though, I admit, I did LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Devil Wears Prada, as did all of my's for the bitchery, dude), or even what high fashion is really about. Fucking Cover Girl make-up is NOT high fashion; it's marketing. To me, the show is no more than a weekly episode of the Mount Rose American Teen Princess pageant, and I love it.

And as if that wasn't enough, Rich over at does a weekly screenshot recap that will make you piss yourself. Swear to God.


Seamus Gentz said...

I'm actually making pretty good progress on the cancer scheme. It's largely just a matter of marketing. These people come from the same subculture that will inject botulism into their face to look better.

Just bill breast cancer as a simultaneous weight loss aid and all-natural breast implant. Get Calvin Klein to shoot some artsy glamor shoots about "The Lump", talk it up in People and Cosmopolitan, and get the National Enquirer to run unflattering photos of anyone who doesn't jump on. Introduce testicular cancer as the new hot thing three months later, and the world will be a better place with rainbows and puppy dogs. We'll dancing on Ryan Seacrest's grave in eighteen months, tops.

Rob in Canada said...

What's worse than the awful America's Next Top Model? Try its bastard child, Canada's Next Top Model, hosted by the silver-haired gay photographer from the first show.

Everything you hate about ANTM except with poorer production quality.

Anonymous said...

Oye Americano...chez...wa hapen wi Elian an Diaz Balart ju sanambich


The Polar Bear

Chez said...

MR. P!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!