Monday, July 02, 2007

Gotta love weekend TV

I was flipping channels Saturday and came across some interesting programming on Spike TV. Spike, formerly the Nashville Network, bills itself as "TV for men". Ok, I get it. TV for men, as in TV not for women. Spike. Ha ha!
I guess they couldn't call it Dick TV, although that would have kept them from being sued by Spike Lee. I'm also a little surprised that the phalus arrow in the logo points downward, but whatever. Sometimes a logo is just a logo, right? Anyway, in spite of being a man, I rarely watch the ol' Spike tv because it seems like most of the time when I go there, it's either re-runs of Star Trek or one of the CSIs (I don't know which one) or it's some ultimate fighting thing, none of which appeals to me in the least. However, when I was scanning the channels on Saturday the little preview box at the bottom of the screen said "EXPLOSIONS".

Q: What's better than watching explosions on television?
A: Two things; 1) watching explosions in person and 2) nothing.

So I immediately stopped and watched. I had forgotten that the one other thing Spike shows is things like explosions, car chases and riots in 3rd world countries caught on video. On these shows, they always have a narrator throw in just enough trivia about the given topic so it can seem like there's actually some educational benefit to watching these things. But in reality, it's just wild stuff caught on tape and the value is in having it beamed into your living room where you can sit back with some popcorn and gawk at it without people thinking you're some kind of freak.
For instance, the Explosions show was followed by a show on train wrecks. Same format, different calamity. The train wreck show, narrated by John Bunnell, former sherriff of Multnomah County, Oregon and current narrator of any "World's Wildest Caught On Video" extravaganza that comes down the pike offered brilliant, bite-sized observations like "trains are big and fast" and "don't cross railroad tracks when trains are coming" between clip after clip of freight trains plowing into cars and trucks at high speeds, which helps the producers feel that they're performing some sort of public service.
Unfortunately, the explosions show was almost over so I only caught the last 20 minutes. But that was enough for me to learn two "facts" (as stated by the narrator); 1) "Explosions can't be prevented" 2) "Explosions can't be avoided". Really? In that case, I guess I would like to take this opportunity to thank every gas station I have ever been to in my life for doing a good job of preventing and avoiding the unpreventable and far.


tampafilmfan said...

I saw the train wreck show this weekend. (Yes, watching John Bunnell-narrated "wildest..." shows on Spike TV is a secret vice of mine.) The show teased a clip of two people seemingly walking into the path of an incoming train THE ENTIRE SHOW.

So, yes, I watched THE ENTIRE SHOW waiting to see what happened to those two people in the pedestrian-versus-train smackdown. And then they showed the clip ... which turns out to be the exact clip they had been teasing for an hour, because apparently the people got smooshed and the footage was too violent to show on TV!!! I was so mad! Imagine, a TV show lying about having some graphic footage to show!

I was suckered by Spike TV. What does that say about my IQ? Sigh...

Why, it's Clark! said...

Yeah, I forgot about the teaser footage. They do that all the time, constantly promising that something really amazing is coming right up (and then throwing some commercials at you) but that was the first time I'd ever seen them back off from the actual payoff. Maybe it's a new, kinder and gentler Spike?