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Friday, June 6, 2014

New Fall Season Preview: Deep Cable Reality Show Edition

The last few months have been rife with news about what’s coming to TV this Fall, and as a massive television fan—meaning I enjoy TV very much, and not that I’m a morbidly obese individual who, while being dangerously overweight, also enjoys televised entertainment—I couldn’t be more excited.  The NEW FALL SEASON is like Christmas to TV fanatics.  Sure, it’s usually a mostly disappointing Christmas with plenty of baseball cards and tube socks under the tree, but there’s usually at least one Nintendo Entertainment System in there.
But I’m not just a fan of network television, no sir.  I’m also a big fan of cable TV.  And I’m not just talking about your Food Networks and your Learning Channels and your Lifetime Televisions for Ladies.  I’m talking about deep, deep cable.  Like, channels you haven’t even heard of, man!  These stations tend to get short shrift at NEW FALL SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT TIME, and that’s why I’ve decided to step in and introduce you, the loyal GEP reader, to some of the deep cable programming I’m looking forward to this Fall.  I should tell you, it’s all reality television—that is, after all, the bread-and-butter of the deep cable multiverse—so if you’re some kind of TV snob who feels reality television and it’s stars aren’t fit to live among pigs—notoriously the most disgusting of all animals because of all the mud, obviously—then you can just piss of to the CW and watch your Vampire Diaries and your Law & Order: Ghost Squads and your Green Arrows or whatever that is.  For the rest of you, here’s a special preview of some of the reality shows coming to the deep end of your cable box that I’m particularly looking forward to watching in marathon form some Sunday afternoon.

1. Down The Mystery Hole (Who Dunnit?): Remember when Courtney Love thought she found that Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared without a trace a couple of months ago?  That wasn’t just Ms. Love reaching out to a cruel world that’d mostly turned its collective backs on her and her antics, but prep work for a new series on Who Dunnit?, a network devoted to unsolved mysteries, crimes attributed to extraterrestrials and stories about ladies murdering people, usually their husbands or other ladies who they’ve discovered are sleeping with their husbands.  As everyone knows, Courtney Love loves a good mystery, and Down The Mystery Hole provides her the opportunity to explore some of her favorites in front of a camera.  And she’s not alone!  You could even say she’s “gotten the band back together,” because she has, in fact, done just that.  Hole’s original line-up joins Love on her quest to learn more about the mysterious Bermuda Triangle, capture the first Chupacabra alive and interview it, recover the aforementioned Malaysia Airlines flight and somehow connect its crash to aliens or bigfoots.  In the first episode, Love and Company focus their sights on one of the greatest mysteries in American history: Who killed Kurt Cobain?  The answer might surprise you.  It surprised me, and I’m not easily surprised.  (Here’s a hint: Illuminati.)
2. So You Think You Can Mosh? (Cable Channel #737b): The Greatest Generation had its Sock Hops and the Baby Boomers their Hippy, Hippy Shakes, but I am, and will remain to be until the day I die, a proud member of Generation Mosh! You remember moshing.  Sweaty people kicking and punching each other to loud music.  It was the height of youthful expression when I was a lad, and I’m happy to say that I was right in the thick of it, or, more accurately, right on the edge of it, ready to scoot back if it appeared things were getting out of hand.  What I’m trying to say is that I felt it firsthand, man, the raw powerful energy coming off of those strong, youthful bodies, the smell of alcohol, cigarettes and expired anti-perspirant in the air, while a mediocre ska-punk band held sway.  It was an exciting time to be alive, choking on cigarette smoke and fearing for your life in a cramped, hot black box for three hours at a time.

Anyway, So You Think You Can Mosh? pits some of the best moshers in the biz against each other in an epic mosh battle to last over 34 epic nights, all while being serenaded by your favorite alternative rock bands from the 90’s (Silverchair!  Seven Mary Three!  The Toadies!  Better Than Ezra!).  I know what you’re thinking, “How can someone mosh to Better Than Ezra?”  Sounds like you’ve never seen the sweet mosh moves of Freddie “Outta The Way” McMahonMan.  That guy can mosh the shit out of “Good,” yo, and he’s, like, 45 now!  It’s sick.

The judges are equally great.  In the first seat, TV cooking competition judge and four time mosh champion at the Scuzz Olympics, Jeffrey Steingarten, whose gruff one-liners and near-constant phlegmy throat clearing is a joy to behold.  In the second seat, commonly referred to in reality TV circles as “The Ladies Seat,” you get Amanda Bynes, and, boy, is it great to see her back on television again.  She’s a delight.  And finally, in seat numero 3, ska punk journeyman, John Feldman, who’s weekly reminder to “Keep Your Pets Out The Pit, Y’all!” will be the catchphrase of the Fall (if there’s a God, anyway)!
3. AmishTV: If you’ve turned your television on at all in the last few months, you are well aware that shows about Amish people are hot right now.  So hot, in fact, that an Amish cable network devoted entirely to Amish reality programming has finally been established.  No longer must Americans entrust their obsession with Amish culture to the hacks over at TLC!  We got AmishTV now!
AmishTV (“Television they’ll never see”) is premiering a slew of new content this Fall.  Here are a few highlights:

*America’s Funniest Home Videos: Amish Edition – I know what you’re saying: “Amish people don’t own video cameras, nor do they possess the television sets and VCRs necessary for watching videos, funny or otherwise.”  You’re not wrong.  But AFHV:AE has come up with a clever workaround.  Amish families are invited to re-enact hilarious barn raising mishaps, churning accidents and various beard foibles they’ve witnessed or heard about in front of a live studio audience for cash and prizes.  Tom Bergeron hosts.
*So You Think You Can Churn? – A lot like So You Think You Can Mosh?, only with butter churning.  Tom Bergeron hosts.
*The Blind Farmer and Goat Show – I’m particularly excited about this one because I knew the blind farmer and his goat before they were famous.  I’m sure he doesn’t remember me—I mean, he is blind and I don’t think I smell the same as I did the one, and only, time we met—but I’ll never forget his goat eating a carrot out of my mouth.  I was visiting Amish country with a girlfriend and her family, when we happened across a kind of livestock variety show while shopping for fudge.  We plopped ourselves down on the shoddily-constructed bleachers—odd for Amish country now that I think about it—and witnessed pretty much what you’d expect from a blind Amish farmer, a goat, three piglets and a pony that wandered off into a field at the show’s conclusion.  (Former Girlfriend (to blind Amish guy): “Uh, your pony is wandering away.”  Blind Amish Guy: (without a care in the world): “Oh, he’ll come back.”)  I’m not sure what the TV version will look like, but expect various vegetables being eaten out of various people’s mouths by various livestock. 

4. One & Done (The Home & Garden & Do-It-Yourself-Canning & Family & Multiple Children & Primordial Dwarves Network): One & Done is the story of a happily married couple who in direct opposition to God’s wishes, have one child, and stop.  This ain’t the Duggars!  This ain’t Kate Plus Eight!  This ain’t even John & Kate Plus Eight, because these two are married and not assholes.  If anything, One & Done hits a little too close to home for me.  I too have been harassed at work, like the dad on the show, about when me and my wife are going to have another one.  I like how he handles it with a shrug and wry smile, and then in the confessional moments complains about how much he hates when his co-workers ask him that and how often he contemplates smashing his stapler into people’s faces.  I can identify, only I usually fantasize about drenching them in hot coffee and then smashing the empty coffee pot over their heads.
Gotta say, The Home & Garden & Do-It-Yourself-Canning & Family & Multiple Children & Primordial Dwarves Network, while an accurate description of its programming, is a real mouthful.  I do like that show You Can Do It! though, which features primordial dwarf septuplets canning vegetables they’ve grown in a garden, a garden in which they also live in homes made out of hollowed out gourds.  It’s fun.
5. Rescue My Rest Stop (fiXuP): The fiXuP (“Fix up.”  Get it?) Network is just what you think it is: a deep cable channel devoted solely to shows about people fixing stuff up.  From dilapidated chicken coops to burned out limousines, fiXuP fixes it all, and in an upward motion.  Rescue My Rest Stop is the one I’m particularly looking forward to—though most of the burned out limousines in the aforementioned burned out limousine show were burned out in horrifically violent Mafia scuffles, and I love that stuff!—because like you, I use rest stops all the time.  Mostly for peeing, but sometimes for snacking, and occasionally for pooping, but usually I just hold that until we stop for dinner at a Wendy’s or something.  The point is, most of our nation’s rest areas are pure garbage.  Soaked in urine and male semen, teeming with germs and chocked full of high cholesterol snacking foods, the American rest stop is truly the most disgusting place in the universe.  That’s where master carpenter, Guy McCain, award-winning gardener, Sherry Greenglasses, and snack food aficionado, Jose “Cankle-sauraus Rex” Villalta come in.  McCain, Greenglasses and "Cankle-sauraus" use their expertise to turn some of America’s foulest rest areas into sparkling clean destinations you wouldn’t mind spending a couple days visiting on your next family vacation, you know, if you were poor.

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