I LOVE TELEVISION 


Here's your problem, America: There aren't enough of you willing to suffer for what you believe in — especially when it comes to television! Example: Did you hear about the lady who vowed to starve herself until Sanjaya was voted off American Idol? (I swear I'm not making this up. Check out her site: myspace.com/starvationforsanjaya.) Unfortunately "J" — as she likes to be called — didn't realize the unbridled power of the millions of tone-deaf grandmothers and squealing preteens who make up Idol's voting bloc. And they don't give two poops for starving people. After 16 long hungry days, "J" finally caved in, admitted that Sanjaya is here to stay, and ended her hunger strike. (It's a good thing, too! If things had kept going at that rate, by summer she'd have been wearing Nicole Richie's bikini.)

Now there are those who claim that "J" is one short ambulance ride away from the cracker factory. I AM NOT ONE OF THESE PEOPLE. Sure, "J" could be using her political clout for issues of more significance, such as … ohhhhhh … I don't know … the war in Iraq? But do you really think Dick Cheney cares if some chick on MySpace starves herself to death? Of course not. In fact, he'd happily volunteer to blow her face off. However, Sanjaya should care! If he doesn't, that makes HIM the Dick Cheney of American Idol!

Yes, I respect "J's" brave stance against the continuing crapitization of American Idol, and so? I have selflessly decided to join her fight! (Well … kinda.) Instead of using this column to constantly bitch and moan about how awful certain shows are (like that ridiculously asinine Pussycat Dolls program … ISN'T IT TERRIBLE??), I've decided to become "politically active" and actually SUFFER in order to make TV better! That's why I'm going on … A BOOTY STRIKE!

Yes, that's right! A BOOTY STRIKE! Until certain shows decide to straighten up and fly right, I vow to immediately stop offering up my booty for everyone's sexual gratification. "But you'll still be gratifying my booty … right?" I hear you ask. NO!! NO, I WILL MOST CERTAINLY NOT! I patently refuse to do anything half-assed, which is why my booty strike is FULL-ASSED. And as of now, I'm waging a full-assed booty strike against NBC's Thursday-night lineup!

Yes, I adore NBC's "Comedy Night Done Right." What I don't adore is when they start dicking around with the shows' running times! This week's new episode of The Office is 42 minutes long (?), the brilliant 30 Rock is 39 minutes long (??), the not-as-funny Scrubs is 33 minutes long (?!), but poor Andy Barker, P.I. is only 29 minutes long (?!?!?)! WHAT THE EFF? Sure, it's great to get an extra 12 minutes of The Office, but how does that make Andy Barker, P.I. feel? "Sorry, Andy. You just weren't funny enough for 30 minutes, so we're only giving you 29. TRY NOT TO FRAK IT UP."

These weird show-ending times have GOT TO STOP. You know, ENGLAND ends their shows at weird times, too … and look what happened to Princess Diana! So until NBC goes back to ending their shows on the half-hour, I AM OFFICIALLY ON BOOTY STRIKE! (Oh, stop crying. You can still see pictures of my booty all over the Internet.)

Where the trains always run on time.

steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, APRIL 5

8 p.m. NBC THE OFFICE

Return! After Pam blabbed her secret, America wants to know: Will Roy KILL Jim Halpert?

8:42 p.m. NBC 30 ROCK

Guest starring Arrested Development's Will Arnett. Oh … it starts at 8:42? Sorry, I'm busy then. How does 9:14 work for you?

FRIDAY, APRIL 6

8:30 p.m. MTV HUMAN GIANT

Debut! A brand-new sketch comedy show starring the very funny Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel and Aziz Ansari.

SATURDAY, APRIL 7

1 p.m. MTV PUNK'D MARATHON

Season premiere! Now this is the way to deal with annoying programs! Get all eight new episodes out of the way!

8 p.m. ABC THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

(Movie, 1956) Moses (Charlton Heston) leads his people out of Egypt and invents the Easter Bunny.

SUNDAY, APRIL 8

9 p.m. HBO THE SOPRANOS

Season premiere! It's the final season, which means these goombahs better get to whackin'!

10 p.m. HBO ENTOURAGE

Season premiere! After giving Ari the boot, Vince gets a new — and much sexier — agent!

MONDAY, APRIL 9

9 p.m. NBC THANK GOD YOU'RE HERE!

Debut! It's the Australian version of Whose Line Is It Anyway. Umm … Australians are annoying enough without the improv.

without the improv.

9 p.m. FOX 24

The vice president is going to figure out some way of bombing the Middle East, or his name isn't Dick Cheney.

TUESDAY, APRIL 10

8 p.m. FOX AMERICAN IDOL

Special guest vocal teacher: Jennifer Lopez! Finally, someone who sings worse than Sanjaya.

9:30 p.m. MTV SCARRED

Debut! Home videos of teenagers' most painful, nut-crackin' accidents. (The upside? Most of these guys are now sterile!)

guys are now sterile!)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11

9:30 p.m. ABC NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY

THE UNDERBELLY

Debut! Speaking of the need for sterilization, here's a new "feel-good" comedy about having babies.

10 p.m. BRAVO TOP DESIGN

Season finale! The best designer in the world is crowned, and slips away into a life of obscurity.


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