I Love Television 


It's a pretty ridiculous state of affairs when a show like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is still considered to be one of the most subversive shows on television. Christ in a bag of cats, people! The show's not subversive if my grandma prefers Carson Kressley and his ugly belts to my twice-yearly visits to her rest home. (Old people can be sooooo petty!)

You wanna see subversive? I'll show you subversive! In just over a week, THE MOST SUBVERSIVE SHOW I'VE EVER SEEN will be returning for another slam-bang second season – and it's called Wonder Showzen (9:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, MTV2). In fact, this show is so subversive, I'm continually astonished it ever made it to the tube. The retarded brainchild of New Yorkers John Lee and Vernon Chatman – self-proclaimed artists, rock musicians, television executives and sex-collective members – Wonder Showzen is a viciously hilarious anti-government, anti-religious screed disguised as a classic children's show … with naughty puppets.

Consider Sesame Street, Teletubbies, Zoom, or any number of kiddie shows you've come to know and love. Then take those same shows and add atheism, masturbation jokes, cannibalism, anarchy and puppet-on-puppet oral sex, and you've got a pretty good starting point for Wonder Showzen. Hosting the show is a group of puppets led by a derby-wearing yellow furball named Chauncey who every week goes on a new adventure – which generally ends horribly. For example, in one episode, Chauncey and a (real) little girl named Kaitlin decide to take a rocket to outer space – and end up accidentally killing God (and then eating Him). Whoops.

Wonder Showzen also specializes in live-action segments, featuring a cast of pubescent kids in a variety of wildly un-PC situations, such as performing a musical dance tribute to slavery or defining "love" as "something special between my dog's butt and the carpet." But my favorite segment is called "Beat Kids," featuring a 9-year-old child reporter named Trevor, who interviews adults in a variety of occupations and pastimes. When Trevor visits the horse track, for example, he asks the trainers if slow horses "get sent to the chop suey factory." In another particularly offensive (and therefore hilarious) segment, he dresses up like Adolf Hitler and asks passersby, "What do you think is wrong with the youth of today?"

Much like the quickly paced kiddie shows it parodies, the jokes in Wonder Showzen are piled on fast and furious, with blink-and-you-miss-it gags involving pigs (what they call "Hindu kryptonite"), milking cows ("I saw my daddy doing that in the bathroom!") and Abraham Lincoln ("It never occurred to me to shave my beard and free the slaves – though I have thought about shaving the slaves and freeing my beard!").

And for those shortsighted few who are still too goddamn cheap to invest in cable or satellite, this week is definitely your week to celebrate, because Wonder Showzen: Season One is coming to DVD on Tuesday, March 28. Didja hear that, Grandma?? That means it's time to dump Carson Kressley and check out the true "King of Subversive TV," Wonder Showzen. (And don't forget, Granny: There are no TVs in the chop suey factory!

It's me or Carson, Granny.
steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, MARCH 23

9 P.M. ABC AMERICAN INVENTOR
It's an all-out competition to see who can invent the one thing everyone needs (i.e., hot robot doll).

9 P.M. FOX THE O.C.
Marissa still can't figure out how she lost Ryan – mmm, could it be because you're freaking NUTS?

FRIDAY, MARCH 24
9 P.M. SCI DOCTOR WHO
The doctor and his sexy assistant hop into a time-traveling phone booth to foil aliens. Oh, that old story?

SATURDAY, MARCH 25
10 P.M. AMC HUSTLE
Season Finale! The con artists are looking at the inside of a prison cell when one of their own turns against them.

SUNDAY, MARCH 26
10 P.M. SHO THE L WORD
Season Finale! The lesbionic drama ends another slam-bang season with the gang fearing for Dana's life.

10 P.M. HBO THE SOPRANOS
Christopher moves his way up the goombah ranks, and Tony begins to regret his decision.

MONDAY, MARCH 27
8 P.M. FOX PRISON BREAK
With Lincoln's execution on hold, that means Michael can return to dinking around in his jail cell for a few more episodes.

9 P.M. FOX 24
Ray Wise, Peter Weller, C. Thomas Howell are all onboard this season – so where's Yahoo Serious?

TUESDAY, MARCH 28
9:30 P.M. NBC TEACHERS
Debut! It's Welcome Back, Kotter all over again when an English teacher tries to reach out to his neo-Sweathogs.

10 P.M. FX THIEF
Debut! Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Streets) returns to TV as the leader of a treacherous gang of burglars.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29
9 P.M. WB THE BEDFORD DIARIES
Debut! Six hot college kids come together in a human sexuality seminar. It's like a beautiful dream!

9:30 P.M. FOX UNAN1MOUS
The bunker gang teeters on the edge of violence when someone forgets to lower the toilet seat.


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