Dalton Ross’ ”Unan1mous” decision: It st1nks!
No one — and I mean no one — loves cheesy reality television more than I do. Married by America? Watched every episode. The Family? Worshiped it. (Poor Dawn Marie.) Paradise Hotel? Checked in every week. (Poor anyone who ever appeared on that show.) So naturally when I heard about the concept for Fox’s Unan1mous — nine people locked in a bunker together with a $1.5 million purse waiting just outside — I was jacked. It would be ridiculous exploitation, I figured, and it would be genius. Turns out I was right on the former and waaaaaaaaaaay off on the latter. Unan1mous just feels wrong, starting with the very title. Along with CBS’ Numb3rs, there seems to be some sort of movement afoot to put numerals in TV show titles. Well, 2 be blunt, it’s really ann0y1ng and lam3. What, is Prince suddenly programming network television schedules? And, if so, should I go out and buy a purple TV set and expect to see lots of Apollonia 6 videos?
The first batch of Unan1mous contestants just might be the most unlikable group of reality rabble-rousers ever. They include a mental patient (and when I say ”mental patient,” I mean a bona fide mental patient, as in has done time in a loony bin and is still cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs); a person who pretended to have testicular cancer, to gain favor (yeah, live strong dude!); and a Bible-thumper who was kind enough to tell one of the contestants that he is basically going to hell because he is gay. These people, frankly, are vile. And that’s not to say they make good villains, either. They’re just plain grating. But Unan1mous’ awfulness doesn’t stop there. The host looks like some sort of dorkifed version of Seth Green (I realize that may sound redundant to some), and the production values are beyond hokey. Yet millions of people are watching this show. Of course, that’s because they’ve all just heard Ryan Seacrest crush some aspiring singer’s dreams of fame and fortune on American Idol and are simply too lazy to change the channel, but seriously, shouldn’t that excuse have died with the invention of the remote control? I mean, how difficult is it to press a freakin’ button?!? Hell, my limited attention span forces me to skip around every single commercial break, not to mention if 30 seconds of a program pass without a couple making out, something blowing up, or a model being handed a piece of paper by Tyra Banks. All I’m saying, America, is that there have been much better bad reality shows than Unan1mous. And, God willing, there will continue to be as well.
OBSESSION OF THE WEEK
I don’t need to tell you that I’m a geek — you know that already. But what some of you may not know is that I am a big-time football geek as well. Every Sunday from September through December, I abandon my wife and children and disappear into some god-awful New Jersey sports bar to watch my beloved Washington Redskins (also known as The Team With the Most Offensive Name in Sports) go throw a little brown ball around for three hours. I’m not proud of this. It’s just who I am. So, yes, I actually was excited when the NFL announced the 2006 schedule last Thursday. Me and my buddies sent around little e-mails dissecting each Skins game for 2006 — you know, pure dork stuff. But there is a line of dork even I will not cross. ESPN presented a two-hour NFL schedule special to mark the occasion — two hours!!! What the hell could there have been to discuss for two freakin’ hours? ”Well, Mike, let me tell you, that Cardinals?Lions matchup in week 11 sure looks like a doozy.” ”You got that right, Joe. Football will definitely be played by those two teams on that day.” Again — two hours! I am officially obsessed with America’s obsession with football. (Oh, and go Skins!)
Saturday Night Live has never met a joke or sketch it didn’t want to milk into the ground. In that grand tradition, I present:
The Top 5 Worst Movies Inspired by Saturday Night Live Skits
1) It’s Pat!: The Movie
Well, considering how much It’s Pat: The Skit sucked, you can only imagine how awful this is.
2) Stuart Saves His Family
That SNL sketch where Stuart helps Michael Jordan get his confidence back? Funny. But instead of MJ, this movie features Laura San Giacomo. Not really the fairest of trade-offs.
3) Blues Brothers 2000
Mission from God? More like a mission from hell.
Mary Katherine Gallagher insists on sniffing her fingers, although I’m not quite sure why, because everything about this fiasco smells like crap.
Aykroyd strikes again! A repeat offender! And Lord knows Sinbad showing up certainly doesn’t help matters. I can’t believe this is only fifth.
Wow, a lot of you out there listen to really crappy music. This was evident by the thousands (warning: I’m embellishing the number here to make myself sound cooler than I really am) of responses to last week’s list of Top 5 Heavy Metal Power Ballads of All-Time. Here are a few of the other suggestions you all offered up:
”Home Sweet Home,” by Motley Crue
”Nobody’s Fool,” by Cinderella
”Sister Christian,” by Night Ranger
”Forever,” by KISS
”Sweet Child of Mine,” by Guns N’ Roses
”Patience,” by Guns N’ Roses
”I Used to Love Her,” by Guns N’ Roses
”Winds of Change,” by the Scorpions
”No One Like You,” by the Scorpions
”Diamnods and Rust,” by Judas Priest
”Alone Again,” by Dokken
”Mama Said,” by Metallica
”Hero of the Day,” by Metallica
”I Remember You,” by Skid Row
”Here I Go Again,” by Whitesnake
”More Than Words,” by Extreme
”Always,” by Bon Jovi
”Black Lodge,” by Anthrax
”I Could Have Been a Dreamer,” by Dio
”Watch the Children Pray,” by Metal Church
”Sleep,” by Savatage
”Forever Free,” by WASP
I should start by mentioning that I have no idea who Savatage is…but I absolutely love the name. ”I Remember You” received the most nominations, but I stand by my Skid Row selection of ”18 & Life.” It’s also interesting — and might I add, heartening — that nobody nominated Warrant’s ”Heaven.” (I do have a soft spot for ”Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” however.) Anyway, I look forward to any and all comments about this week’s List. On to other e-mails…
I noticed in your rant on CGI films that you never mentioned Shrek. Do you hold it in some trophy-case/pedestal above all other animated films, or did you just have an honest lapse in memory? — Adam Carlson
Adam, you are one of several people who wrote in asking my thoughts on Shrek. I liked the first one enough, but thought the second one was just a long, extended pop-culture parody. It was lazy as hell and generally pointless. Dude, I think we just smashed the pedestal!
While I think that you are making a really valid point, I suggest you watch The Incredibles — quite possibly the best CGI film ever, and it wasn’t about animals or returning babies. But just a really great movie overall. — dmac
Well, dmac — if that is even your real name — I couldn’t agree more. While it did kind of disturb me seeing parents bring their 3-year-olds to a very violent film that dealt with such adult topics as suspected marital infidelity, there is no question that The Incredibles was a CGI film that truly set itself apart. Wish there were more like it.
My boyfriend and I have had a drinking game for 24 all season… ”Establish/Set up/Organize a perimeter.” Gets you goofy every ep, I promise. — Emily
Nice one, Emily! Combine your 24 drinking game with my 24 drinking game and we make one pretty pathetic pair of alcoholics. Bottoms up!
What is your opinion of Prison Break, the highly addictive yet farfetched Fox show? — Ryan David Padgett
I know I may be in the minority on this one, but I think Prison Break just might be the most overrated thing on television. I love the concept, but think the execution and writing are just plain sloppy. Most of the characters are cliché composites of inmates from previous films and TV programs, and the storylines are often almost laughable. I guess what this show needs is a good drinking game.
That’s all for now, Send in your questions, quibbles, and musings either in the form below or to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll tackle some more next week.