Sunday, June 3, 2007

While I'm Condemning Bad Television

Next up on the chopping block is Sunset Tan. Sunset Tan is pretty clearly what it sounds like. E! has decided to follow the ups and downs of the high pressure, big money world of tanning in L.A. Firstly, I am going to make an observation here. In a place where it is regularly sunny and surrounded by beaches, why would people in L.A. go to a tanning salon? I mean, there's no rainy season in L.A. I know, contrary to the Tony Toni Tone song, it does rain in L.A., but not all of the time or for huge extended periods. Seeing as this show exists, tanning is clearly popular. I guess this is what having a lot of disposable income does to people.

In addition to its bland, uninteresting topic, this show is also one that has yet to build its celebrity Blow Out (Dude, Cindy Margolis and Alia Shawkat?! I love Arrested Development, but you're trying to pull Maeby as star power. Antin, you need to try again, DUDE!). In the episode that I'm watching now, two girls have the most awkward interaction with Chris Kattan. Chris mothafuckin' Kattan. This bitch is best known for being Corky Romano. Also, the best that the girls behind the counter could come up with is Chris Kattan, You need a tan! Are you fucking serious? Like this is the best taunt you could come up with for Chris Kattan? These girls are classically Southern California. Bottle blond, huge boobs, nice figures with little to say. I'm amazed that they did that well. And as I type that, the girl says she is hot and bothered by him. Additionally, one of the girls was talking about how shaking hands with Kattan made her boob shake. And, boy, did it shake! But, that's immaterial right now because the awkwardness was amplified by ten when his wife shows back up again. Even still it wasn't as amusing as other reality moments.

Additionally, some of the hotshot spray tanners goes to Vegas, and one of them is in a relationship. But, he has crazy girls climbing all over him. Not just crazy girls. Crazy NAKED girls. While this is the single man's fantasy, home dude's not so jazzed. And, his boss is pissed because he DOESN'T want naked girls climbing all over him, biting him, and being generally hot in his presence while paying him to be there to spray a tan on. This moment has almost legitimated this show for me. A sleazy older man tells his younger worker that if he doesn't want girls climbing all over him, he needs to go back to Los Angeles. Brilliant, but it just keeps up E!'s track record of shitty reality programming.

Aside from reality shows, E! is also really bad at list programming. They tried to copy the well-tested method of Video Hits 1 of putting no-name NYC and LA comics and low-budget actors in front of a blue screen, paying them peanuts, and telling them to say something funny about something they may or may not know about (I don't believe that Michael Ian Black loved the 1970s). While they may not have known anything about what they were talking about, it was generally amusing to hear folks such as Black, Beth Littleford, and Rachael Harris go off on random topics. E! tried to do this as well, but the only thing that E! has going for it is the presence of Chelsea Handler (she helps to prove that those crazy broads can tell jokes). Everyone else is absolutely terrible. I rarely see an actual funny person on these shows. E!, a note for you: Kelly Packard is not funny! Just because she was on Baywatch and Ripley's Believe it or Not! does not mean that's qualified to comment on stuff in a humorous, effective manner. Also, their list programs are way too long. They spend too much time on each thing. 25 things should only take one hour, not two. An hour and a half at most. If it takes you two, you're not doing enough jump cuts, the bread and butter of teen/young adult programming.

Because of the shittiness of like 75% of its programming, I'm putting E! on notice. If it didn't have the decidedly low-budget Soup, which should air all of the time instead of once a week, it would be intolerable in comparison to its already insufferable companion channel The Style Channel. I can't watch visibly hot girls complain about not being hot for more than 30 minutes, but this is the entire premise of the hour-long Instant Beauty Pageant: girls buy clothes and cry about how they don't think they look hot even though EVERY OTHER PERSON AROUND THEM says they are hot over and over again and I'm screaming to myself about them overreacting. Style should just stick to showing Fashion Television with Tim Blanks, editor of Fashion Magazine. E! needs to go take a look in the mirror and reconsider their programming to make it actually funny and entertaining outside of True Hollywood Story and its celebrity video biographies.