I LOVE TELEVISION 


Note from Wm.™ Steven Humphrey: Remember that one time when I said there was nothing good on TV for the week, and that I was going on vacation, and that you should enjoy this classic column from the I Love Television™ archives? Ditto.

You know, there's been a lot of YAP, YAP, YAP lately about television's "plummeting morality." Well I say, LET IT FALL. I've had it up to here (please imagine a spot just above my "inferior nasal conchae") with uptight naysayers with a chicken leg shoved up their ass telling ME what's proper for children to be watching on television. Let me tell YOU something, Mr. Naysayer-Man! I've got somewhere around 27 out-of-wedlock children floating around this country, and though I'm not in contact with any of them, they know they're free to watch whatever they want, whenever they want! (Just don't expect me to pay the Cinemax bill, freeloader. Now … bring daddy a drink.)

That being said, it's sweeps month over at the Fox network, when they do their damnedest to offend as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. First it was Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire. Then it was Celebrity Boxing. Now it's going to be Out-of-Control Ferris Wheel, in which the producers pack a mechanically damaged Ferris wheel with blind adults, cancer kids and baby kittens.

OK … that's not true. See, sometimes when I have offensive news to deliver I'll make up an even more offensive lie to lessen the offensiveness of the blow I'm about to deliver. That being said, one of my favorite reality TV shows of all time is coming back for another go-round this week: Man vs. Beast II.

"Oh for the love of sweet Jesus, Humpy!" I hear you cry. "Don't you know that it is morally reprehensible to humiliate animals in such a manner?" Well, my question for you would be, "Who's humiliating whom?" In last year's Man vs. Beast competition, was it not the towering grizzly bear who won the hot-dog-eating competition by downing 50 wieners in under two minutes? Was it not the wily orangutan who defeated the sumo wrestler in a tug-of-war match?

"Perhaps you have a point there, Wm.™ Steven Hump-Me," I hear you crow in defense. "However! Was it not the Navy SEAL who defeated the chimp in the obstacle course?" Well … I'll give you that one. BUT THAT WAS ONE GODDAMN LAZY MONKEY!

But … whatever! My point is that if there was any humiliating going on, it was the ANIMALS doing it! What about those 50 dwarves who were in a 747 towing match with an elephant? Where are the people screaming, "Hey, you bastard elephant! What did those midgets ever do to YOU??"

So on behalf of all the humans (normal and short) who got their asses handed to them by these furry-coated jerks last year, this Friday I'm putting my entire paycheck on MAN to win in the annual competition. After thousands of years of getting bit in the ass by you garbage-eating varmints — IT'S PAYBACK TIME!

God hates a lazy monkey.

steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, AUG. 30

10 p.m. AMC MAD MEN

Pete makes a desperate grab at Don's job in this awesome series set in 1960s Madison Avenue.

10 p.m. BRAVO WELCOME TO THE PARKER

Season finale! Demanding clientele crush the hotel, while the staff tries to hold it together.

FRIDAY, AUG. 31

11 p.m. HBO REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER

The best and funniest place on TV to get your weekly dose of Bush-bashing.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 1

9 p.m. FOX AMERICA'S MOST WANTED

Season finale! It's the 20th season-ending episode. Twenty seasons? Haven't they caught those crooks yet??

9 p.m. FXRLTY SOLITARY

Contestants are kept in solitary confinement, with no human interaction, until they all go buggy and quit! Nope, no sadism here.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 2

7 p.m. FOX FALL PREVIEW SPECIAL

The Fox network gives us a sneaky peek at their new fall schedule … which is pretty much round-the-clock episodes of House.

10 p.m. HBO ENTOURAGE

Season finale! The episode where I hope Vince and the gang die in a plane crash and Ari gets his own show.

MONDAY, SEPT. 3

9 p.m. VH1 THE PICKUP ARTIST

The king of the douchebags shares more of his tips on how to pick up drunken bar sluts. Tip No. 1: Wear a fuzzy Jamiroquai hat.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 4

9 p.m. MYNET JAIL

Debut! It's what happens after Cops, in which shirtless criminals get a real taste of the slammer.

10 p.m. BRAVO FLIPPING OUT

Season finale! A real estate speculator (aka "house flipper") with OCD barely holds onto his sanity while renovating properties.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 5

10 p.m. ABC NASCAR IN PRIMETIME

In this behind-the-scenes peek at NASCAR, ABC examines how hillbillies are hypnotized by cars racing around a track and then are persuaded to vote for Bush.

11 p.m. BRAVO TIM GUNN'S GUIDE TO STYLE

Debut! Project Runway's fashion guru puts his "queer eye" on gals with style problems.


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