Sunday, August 9, 2009

TV Twittering










(Click the jewel on the genie's turban to get a moderate surprise!)

Bizarro is brought to you today by the Witness Protection Program.

I've harped many times on this blog about reality shows like American Idol and how I can't understand why people watch them. But it has a massive audience, so I guess I'm in the minority.

Last night, I saw a couple of minutes of a poker show. Apparently, people will now watch people play cards on television. This astounds me. Are there people so lazy that they are not willing to move their own wrists and play cards themselves, preferring instead to watch strangers do it? And they're not even dogs.

I understand why these shows appeal to producers; there are no production costs other than the equipment they shoot with. No writers, no actors, no sound effects or even editing to speak of, just a pack of cards and a TV studio. Half of Hollywood's on- and off-screen talent is out of work because of this kind of programming. And the vast majority of them aren't wealthy stars, but just working stiffs like you and me.

Those of you who enjoy this kind of show are perhaps saying that if I really enjoyed playing poker I'd find it fun to watch others do so. Perhaps, but I enjoy lots of things – eating, riding a bike, reading – but I can't see myself watching others do these things on TV. Even when you make a game of it, like those wretched eating contests, I am nonplussed. I'd almost rather be waterboarded than forced to watch gluttonous twits cramming hot dogs down their throats.

Which reminds me – I'm "tweeting" now, I'm a twit, you can twizzle me or whatever. PiraroBizarro is my Twitter name.

16 comments:

John Carroll said...

Would "cultured meat" change your mind about meat eating? Cultured meat is animal protein grown under artificial conditions (check this link here), so it doesn't involve killing animals or chopping down rainforests as pasture.

The imagination can run wild, such as walls covered with living lobster claws that were "born" there, never having been attached to a real live lobster. But, it seems a nice way to get around the ethical problems associated with current meat consumption.

catastrophile said...

"I've harped many times on this blog about reality shows like American Idol and how I can't understand why people watch them. But it has a massive audience, so I guess I'm in the minority."

It doesn't necessarily follow that you're in the minority. It's just that the rabid fans and generated hype easily drown out all the millions upon millions of us who just don't watch, don't care, and don't talk about it.

Milan Davidovic said...

"Are there people so lazy that they are not willing to move their own wrists and play cards themselves, preferring instead to watch strangers do it?"

I could be wrong, but I think the large sums of money at stake have something to do with the attraction. Game shows are still popular, no?

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you Dan - I despise reality TV! I watch tv for interesting stories and characters, not to see a bunch of dumb, drunk idiots act like assholes!

Nowax said...

You think reality shows are dumb (most are I agree) but you're tweeting? Oh Dan. (Disappointed look.) But I still will love you unconditionally.

Anonymous said...

One of these days, there's going to be cameras in everybody's home. Not because Big Brother has to make sure you're not up to evil things, but for the entertainment of others. Maybe even as far as putting cameras inside pots for exciting boiling water shots.

Waldo said...

I am with you on American Karaoke. Don't see its draw... But I have to admit that my wife has had me somewhat hooked on Top Chef and the fashion designer show with Tim Gunn and Heidi (who married Seal and not me - smart girl) Klum.

As for twitter... aren't you busy enough?

Anonymous said...

Aah, reality shows. Among the greatest of reasons why I don't even turn on the TV anymore. It shall remain that way until the day my sister runs from her room to tell me about a show which isn't "reality"...

matts2 said...

I admit that I watch poker on TV. And I am myself amazed that it is on TV. I have played poker for decades and it is interesting to see some of the world's best engage in the activity. Lots of people run, but they still want to see the world's fasted runner. The difference, though, is that I can learn something about poker that I can use from those guys, I am not likely to learn about swimming or running from the Olympics.

PIRARO said...

@John Carroll...
I have no objection to meat that does not cause suffering or environmental damage, so I'm all for "cultured meat". I don't think I would eat it because it creeps me out, but I have no ethical objections at this time. I hope they do perfect that, it's the only way that other animals will ever get a break from us.

PIRARO said...

@Nowax...
Tweeting is just two sentences of whatever, so it can be amusing or boring. It's a good way to connect with people about my cartoons and stuff. Sort of a necessity of the business these days.

Anonymous said...

How can you harp on a television show about nothing when you are displaying comics here and there?

People who enjoy looking at comments will look at yours instead of draw their own, same applies to poker. People who are that interested in poker will watch others playing poker.

Yeah, I understand the idea of one being a sport and one being an art, at the end of the day you are ragging on something that you are a part of, willingly or not.

Pies said...

Obviously, the ridiculous ways in which you waste your time are somehow less ridiculous than other people's.

Which isn't to say I enjoy watching poker, or any other sport for that matter.

Prospero said...

I am and have been a firm despiser of so-called "reality" TV, mostly because, thanks to post-production editing, they are in no way, shape or form, reality.

PIRARO said...

@Pies...
No offense intended, I just needed something to bitch about on my blog. I've no doubt that things I do for fun would seem idiotic to others. :)

I used to be hooked on watching TV evangelist, Robert Tilton, for instance.

RSJ said...

Someone once said "nothing on TV happens by accident these days" and, according to my friend in 'the business,' that's true of so-called 'reality' shows. All of these people are coached and fully aware they are being taped. Many are also actors, although they will usually not reveal that in their official bios.

I recall reading about a family that had appeared on Jerry Springer wherein the wife was hurling vicious insults at the husband for having an affair with her sister. Sis and hubby screamed back, most of it bleeped out, and they nearly came to blows. Later, they all had a big happy party for family and friends where they proudly showed the tape -- Wow! Lookit -- we're on the Tee-Vee! The wife admitted to the author of the article that there had never been any affair between her spouse and her sister -- they had just made it up to get on Springer's show.

As far as Twittering --- isn't that a British thing like fish and chips or an old Monty Python routine?