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Hamburglar's Eye View

-by Victor Destefano


The Gauntlet Which Is Daytime TV or Daytime TV

A True Survivor Story

Lately, I've had the ability to watch some daytime TV, which is something I usually can't do. After actually watching some, I'm very thankful of that.

I got up one morning, ate some breakfast, worked out and figured I'd see what's on the ol' idiot box. I was curious to see what airs these days.

The first thing that got my attention was Jerry Springer. Now I was never a Springer fan, but I remember watching the show years ago when I stayed home from school and what not. The Jerry Springer I watched recently, though, was totally different. Not in a good way, either.

Now, it features these out-of-the-studio tapings where white trash guests invite a camera crew to the trailer park they're from in order to confront the person or persons with whom they have a problem with. I'd find it totally sad and disappointing, except, I, in no way, believe any of this is real. As a matter of fact, I think 90 percent of any Jerry Springer I saw was fake. I don't know if it's the work of the Springer Show's writers or if it's on the part of the guests, who must truly like embracing themselves on national TV.

I also noticed that the audience, who seems to believe this stuff, is now getting their chance to play a part in the oh-so-crazy Springer Show antics. They'll break out into chants of "slut" or "she's a man" or will even get on the mic to deliver individual, less then clever comments. What isn't fake on this show truly makes me wish it was. Say what you want about the superiority of this species, but I've never seen a group of cattle screaming "that cow's a bull" while a bull with a mullet yells "but I love you Becky, I love you".

The funny thing I noticed is that the commercials during shows like Springer are all either for Psychic hotlines, credit cards (no matter how bad your credit history) is or lawyers looking for clients who've fallen in supermarkets and such. It’s interesting to note shows with commercials like this, that don't speak highly of the target audience (in my opinion anyway).

After Springer, I figured I'd try to catch something else; hoping to balance out the day with something good. On ABC was The View. I managed to catch this slippery, corn laden, bowel movement of a TV show. Sorry to be vulgar, but I unfortunately saw Starr Jones getting a foot rub, so now you have get a gross image in your head as well. Think Politically Incorrect without the possibility of a guest who is somewhat funny, or at least thought provoking. That's what it is. Five annoying women talking over each other, creating the high pitch banter, which can only be rivaled by the sound of a kennel of stray, rabid cats, all trying to make sweet, sweet love.

You know what The View used to be called before it was on network TV? Hell! Yup, every single day, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmer sit front row in a 24 hour, un-air conditioned taping of The View. They have to smell the sweaty musk of Starr Jones while listening to her ridiculous comments clash with the voice of Joy Behar. It's non-stop View antics for all of eternity.

I have no idea why this crap airs. Again, I think it's laziness. After all, what would replace it if it went off the air? Another Ricki Lake clone? Maybe something similar to the already unwatchable Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? I almost feel bad for housewives and those whose working hours permit them to watch early afternoon television.

Between the mindless talk shows and the variety type shows (Rosie O’Donnell, Regis, etc), there was nothing on that I could tolerate. I figured I'd go sneak up on MTV and, maybe, if they didn't know I was looking, they'd actually play a video or two. Guess, what? Unfortunately, I was right.

We all either hear or talk about MTV not actually playing music, but what about those videos that they do play? My God!

This is what I've learned. There are two rap videos and 5,000 rappers. The one video is of a rapper in a mansion, surrounded by shiny, near naked girls and champagne, and the other is of a rapper (or rappers) in the ghetto surrounded by shiny, near naked girls and gold teeth. It's true, go watch some rap videos and tell me other wise.

Then you got pop crap. N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, Ricky Martin and the like. These crappy, meaningless songs were probably written by some fat guy in a Hawaiian shirt, and are sung by a bunch of twenty year olds (or much older) who seem about as deep as the pockets on Gary Coleman's Wranglers. I gotta admit though, I actually did like one Backstreet Boys video. Say what you will, but that one video featuring nothing but a chase scene was actually all right as far as those videos go.

Then there's the 'rock' videos. Rock, remember that? Before I go on, Limp Bizkit is NOT rock! Neither is Kid Rock or any other of these hip new bands that the kids seem to like. Basically, rock videos are the same as rap videos except that the white guys in 'em some how don't seem nearly as cool as the rappers. Something about a guy who looks like an anorexic Sam from Different Strokes, singing about what a great pimp he is, just doesn't do it for me.

Sure there are a few good videos out there, but they are the tiny minority. For every OutKast video, there's 10 more featuring nothing but those shiny girls and a Lexus.

I tried everything. I went in with an open mind, but I just couldn't find one damn thing half way entertaining. I didn't like it one bit, but I figured it was no big deal, just a morning of TV. Then, I realized it wasn't the case. I saw two people arguing and I started chanting, "JERRY...JERRY". Then, at the register at GNC, a guy pulled out a wad of cash and I shouted "BLING, BLING" Maybe TV DOES rot your brain? Nah!

Copyright©2001 Victor Destefano