So in our awesomely mediocre hotel room (if you’re staying at a Super 8 know what you’re getting into. Dont’ expect fancy shit. It’s a couple of comfy beds and a clean bathroom. Worth well more than 1 star) we had cable for the first time in many many years for either of us. The first night in the hotel room since we had been hiking earlier in the day and also done a good deal of driving straight up a mountain we decided to relax, have some spaghetti, and watch some cable television. What we learned straight off is that we are not missing anything by not paying for cable. Shit is a wasteland of awful things.
There were a lot of channels doing Super Tuesday coverage, and all of it was terrible. I don’t mean that everyone was saying terribly stupid things in their analysis (which they all were) I’m saying the actual coverage was not any good. It was confusing and all over the place. It was all filler as well. None of it had any purpose. I didn’t know who had won most states and by what margins or how many delegates each candidate would get from that state. I wanted to know which states gave all the delegates to the winner or split up their delegates. Whatever, that was a bust. The winner of the night was a local station in Tennessee which literally said the exact same thing twice in the same segment. It went something like this.
Anchor: Originally we had about 400 people in here all day, but in the past hour since you last spoke to us we’ve had a huge uptick. About 50 people or so. People are starting to pour in. We expect about a dozen more before the hour is over. Let’s talk to this guy who runs the polling center here.
How would you say things have gone today?
Poll Center Dude: Well, we’ve had about 400 people come in to vote all day, but in the past hour we’ve had a huge uptick. At least 50 people and we should be seeing a dozen more before the hour is out. People are passionate about the voting process.
It was maybe the best segment of local news I had seen in a while.
So after that we went cable searching. Man. Outside of the local arts channel which played public domain footage of operas, plays, musicals, orchestras, musical performances, and all manner of kitchy local shit there was nothing. Until Storage Wars.
Now I have seen clips of the shows and such but never watched it for real, cause no cable. I find the show utterly fascinating for a number of reasons.
1. you’re lead to believe that these people have some idea of what they’re doing, but I’m not sure they do. They just name prices of things like they’re actually getting money for it. They just look at shit and decide right there it’s worth $400. I know good and well that in their store it’s going to sit around for six months to year before they decide to drop the price in half and hopefully get rid of it then before someone comes in and haggles them to $50 and a pack of cigarettes for what was originally a $300 (according to them) table.
2. Like all reality television, they vetted for the most ridiculous people they could actually find. They found a stereotypical dysfunctional couple to yell at each other and be stressed out about each and every decision they make. Then get to go around each other’s backs when they bid and the other partner gets to give a vicious side eye when the other one makes a decision. So good to each other. Then there’s the weirdo who doesn’t really seem to try hard, but is funny and occasionally lucks out. The best thing about this dude is that he wants to be Jack Nicholson. Right down to the way he talks and the glasses.
3. My initial concern about this show (and the storage auction thing in general) is that there are some moderately poor people who’s lives are all stuck in storage being attacked by some sharks who profit off the misfortunes of others appears to be completely unfounded. No, what this show is are a bunch of rich people who seem to have their lives in storage lockers being preyed upon by sharks who profit off the misfortunes of others, which makes all the difference. One dude bought a storage locker with six brand new Vending Machines in them. SIX. Who does that? There were some original very good paintings netting loads of cash. There were some vintage spurs and shit like that. It’s kind of weird to see what’s left in the boxes. I hate most of the people on the show, but seeing what they find is kind of worth it.
After we had our fill of storage wars (and Storage Wars: Texas which has a much more likable cast) we found food network. The girlfriend LOVES to watch food stuff. She can look at food blogs for hours at a time. It’s sometimes fascinating to watch. The show we caught at first was some cupcake contest that neither of us could be bothered to care about. It was that boring. Except for that one of the contestants was cooking in a cocktail dress. So we were rooting for the one in practical clothes and an apron. We have no idea who won cause we switched channels. (Apparently jousting is a thing again.)
Afterwards was Chopped. It’s one of the many (what seem to be) take offs of Iron Chef. This time it’s an elimination style event. Four contestants get a mystery box and they have to make an entree using all the ingredients therein. Usually these picnic baskets are filled with bullshit. Leftover pizza, banana chips, canned fruit, uni, refried beans (for dessert) and shit like that. The thing about the show is that so many of the people are professional chefs and yet seem to have no idea how to work with some rather common ingredients. Some of them admitted to having no experience with desserts or meats or fruits and stuff. It was fascinating.
The best part of this show (outside of seeing what food they come up with) is watching the judges be outrageously inconsistent from one second to the next with their critiques. In one round they told one person they were being too traditional with their choice and told the next contestant how cool it was that they were being traditional with their choice. Seriously. There was another time where they told a person they didn’t have enough on their plate and the next contestant (with the exact same portions) clearly had too much on the plate. It isn’t that there was a small variation in opinion. It’s that they were so forceful about things that didn’t seem to be so different at all. Whatever. The show was enjoyable for the most part.
After that we fell asleep cause everything was election coverage (still no clue who won anything) or reruns of jousting and dudes with guns (on a show called dudes with guns or something like that) and lots and lots of televangelists.
So yeah. TV. Don’t watch it. It’ll rot your brain.