Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In Sickness and In Health, through Mad Mad House and Sister Wives, forever and ever, Amen.

Thank God that Punky and I don't have a television. We'd never be able to watch anything and would live under a rock.

Actually, we don't own a television because The Brat has Fatal TV Brain Syndrome. Essentially, if you turn a television on anywhere within twenty feet of him, his brain puddles and pours out of his ears. It's a sad sad thing to see. No.. Really, the kid will freeze in his tracks, his eyes will glaze over, and he will be gone. I can't stand it. He's so vibrant and chock full of energy that it's nerve wracking to see him turn into a zombie in the presence of a tv screen. What's further scary? This will still happen even if there is nothing for him to look at on said screen. He blanks out at static.

Also.. Punky and I talk too much during tv time. Thankfully, since we only ever watch stuff on the computer, this is not so much of a problem. We can always hit the pause button and dissect whatever issue we just had with whatever episode/movie/thing is playing, then hit play again and pick up where we left off.

It's not that we don't like tv, it's just that we have so much to say about it. A. Punky hasn't had anyone to talk to about anything, let alone tv, for years before meeting me. B. I can talk the hind leg off a mule. C. We're talkers. We just are. No discussion is off limits. We just talk and talk and talk and talk. When that's not enough, we make up things to talk about. I play the Devil's Advocate. She spins of impossible scenarios, we are never without something to discuss, twist, and discuss again.

This is especially fun because Punky can figure out an episode of any show on tv two minutes after the credits are over. Killer? She knows who did it. Death? She knows why. Baby? She knows who the father is and when the conception happened. Bam. She just knows. I would think she could never enjoy tv, but she does. If I had it all figured out that fast, I could never sit around and watch a whole episode. What would be the point? She says, it's just always been that way.

Me? I can never figure anything out. I'm always surprised, even when it's obvious. On the flip side, I'm so freaking fussy about tv. I don't do week to week episodes. I wait until a season is over and then watch it all in one sitting. Drives Punky up a wall. She's a slave to commercials. Not me. I don't do cliffhangers. ( Back me up here Aine! )

So, we never watch anything current. Nothing is ever done enough, and also.. we hate anything that's too popular. This is some childish aversion to the mainstream that we still battle apparently. If too many people like something, we just don't touch it. It's too cool for us. So we wait five years till it's no longer cool, then we watch and drool.

Case in point, Mad Mad House. This thing is from like 2004 man. We're only now watching it. Now.. the premise is cool, but the delivery is so hoke-y... there are no words. Just.. none... Except maybe some expletives.

Here's the set-up that got us interested. It's a reality show. Ten contestants are chosen to live in a house. They are all average run-of-the-mill normal people. Their judges? Not so much. They're called Alts, and are supposed to be from alternative walks of life.

That was all we knew when we started looking for a streaming version of it. We didn't read the Wiki or anything in case of spoilers.

The Alts turn out to be one vampire, one witch, one voodoo priestess, one naturist, and one modern primitive.

Turns out, we know the vampire. Not personally or anything, we've just seen him on tv before. He's called The Vampire Don. Already, I am in stitches. Sorry.. my inner twelve year old says that no vampire can be called 'Don'. No way man, vampires have to be cool, and Don is not cool. My inner Jedi says that a name is just a name, and a vampire can be a Don if he was born that way. The twelve year old won. If you are a vampire your name has got to be something cool. Like Dracula, or Lestat, or.. something cooler than Don. Also... Don is cheesy. Soooo cheesy. He does a little vampire turn on the catwalk.. on the catwalk.. yeah he does his little turn on the catwalk.

The witch turns out to be a lady called Fiona Horne. I had never previously heard of her, but it gets mentioned that she's written six books and is sort of a big deal. I wanted so badly to like her. I just wanted so badly for witch craft to be represented awesomely on tv. She did okay at first. She was a bright perky blonde, all smiles. This was awesome, as Don had already cornered the market on dark and goth-y. Unfortunately, through out the course of the show she turns out to be a disappointment.

I would like to make one tiny note though. I am very aware that no brand of religion makes anyone completely invulnerable. It's all just about expectations with me.

I feel that if you are going to be the sort of witch that writes six books and tries to educate other people, that you've got to be smart enough not to be made to look like a fool on television. A. She falls for lies. Now.. anyone could be lied to, but she makes a big deal out of tarot reading and whatnot. Surely there should be a hint in the cards somewhere for her. B. She hosts a ritual/trial thing, as it is an elimination/competition sort of show, and she shows up dressed like the w-word. 

Seriously. She's got on a white plastic porn looking thing on with a pentacle cut out at her midriff. Also,she's wearing a robe out of Candice Michelle's closet. She looks like a porno-y wrestler skanky thing. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Why would you do that to twelve million witches across the world?!?!?!?!?!? Dude.. if I was actually a Wiccan, I would have either sued or killed her.

The best part is when she whips out this awesome looking sword and quotes from The Craft. Even Punky kersploded and she was all on the bandwagon of ' A witch can dress like a whore if she wants to.' Now, Punky will admit that the people behind the movie did their research and stole from actual witches, but even she will admit that maybe it's time to step away from the ' Better to rush upon this blade...' speech.

I think a lot of the frustration Punky and I felt with the cast of Alts had to do with responsibility. Neither of us are people that grab labels and try to represent them, because to do that is essentially to speak for so many other people. I think it takes some kind of balls to be the hokey person who says ' I'm going to embody the dark goddess for a bit ' and follow it up by putting on a black bikini top and leather pants. Why? Why does the dark goddess wear black leather pants? Wouldn't the imagery and the impact be better served by being truly dark? If I were to be a dark anything, I wouldn't announce it from the rooftops with my garb. I'd most likely be the rosy-cheeked innocent in a white dress. Why? Because then you'd never see the darkness coming. Like a snake camouflaged in the grass, you'd have the advantage.

Same goes for Don. Gah.. just.. argh.

Art was the coolest Alt. He was the modern primitive. He was also the quiet one. He did a lot of watching and listening, and oddly enough, had better instincts/intuition than both the witch and the voodoo priestess.

Avocado was also cool. He was the naturist, but he had a very nice smile, and was very laid back.

Ta'Shia was the voodoo priestess, and other than one or two things, she was also very awesome to watch. I have very great admiration for Voodoo as a religion. Living in NYC my exposure to it started very young, and I was always fascinated by a religion that placed the bulk of its power in women. At the time I was being raised in the Pentecostal church, a place that was rarely friendly to women in positions of power. I loved that Ta'Shia took great pride in her appearance, it rang very true to me and reminded me of all the beautiful cuban priestesses in my neighborhood and their bright white dresses.

This show is so funny. It promises the contestants one hundred thousand dollars, but the Alts immediately dislike anyone who actually wants to win the money. Like they're not supposed to be competitive for cash. Psh.

Then there's Big Love. The last season is over, but we haven't finished watching it because we're so ADD. It deals with a polygamist mormon family. One husband, three wives, and a bunch of kids. That show is a roller coaster, and spawns the most discussion between myself and Punky. For starters, I believe in polygamy. Just not in the religious kind. I don't really think that people were built or wired for monogamy. Can it be accomplished? Of course, but it's more a matter of will than of instinct. At least, that's how I feel.

Punky believes in Polygamy theoretically. She thinks it can work, and that it could be awesome. It would stick some of the community back in family life. However, she is not a sharer, so there shall be no third and fourth wife to help with the cooking and cleaning in our house.

The polygamy in Big Love is all kinds of jacked up. Bill, the man/dad/priesthood holder gets to have three wives. He has sex with them individually according to a schedule that the sister wives put together. What about them? According to the beliefs/rules in the show, they are all married to each other. So technically, the wives are married to each other, not just to Bill. Yet, Suppose Bill is with wife three, wives one and two can't hop into bed together. Why not? They're married, they love each other, they raise their kids together, budget together, worship together, why can't they keep each other warm on lonely nights?

Okay, so I'm not just talking about warmth here, I am discussing sex. How come two women can be married, but can't have sex? They only share a bed with their husband every third night. It doesn't seem fair. Of course, in their particular cases, these women don't seem to want that anyway, but.. to me, it's the principle of the matter.

I feel that women are a wondrous thing. They're special, and the bonds they can have with each other can be so.. awesome, for lack of a better word. It's not like I'm just sitting around thinking about the hot lesbian factor, honestly. I just enjoy seeing the nurturing nature of women, and love seeing it multiplied. Women that dissolve the barriers of society and propriety.. they become something else. I think of how amazing it would be to be raised by such women. Even to be loved by such women.

There shall be more on Big Love, and on Fiona and Don.. but my time is up. I didn't even get to blog about the in sickness and in health part.. more reminders please.

However, tis late.



  1. Ok, it's very weird how much you and Punky are like The Bard and me. First, all we do is talk. And we don't watch television. This is mostly because of commercials. The Bard loses interest in a show due to the amount of commercials and he starts roaming the house looking for something else to do with all this free time until the show returns. I don't watch them because I'm convinced of some Madison Avenue mind-control plot funded by a government grant.

    We do, however, rent tv series that others once raved about and now have all but forgotten about. Recently we watched the entire Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Breaking Bad, and now we are watching Mad Men. Anyone who thinks things haven't really changed for women should watch this show to see how different society was in the 50's and 60's. Not to mention all that smoking and drinking - at work!!

    Anyway, in our scenario, I would be Punky - guessing all the plot "surprises." (because yes, I hate them and I WILL DESTROY THEM!!) I get mad it they are too obvious, but that's rare in this kind of "good tv." We also like that we can pause the DVD so that we can discuss because we simply cannot wait until the episode is over.

  2. What's Breaking Bad about? I don't think Punky is interested in The Sopranos, though I am mildly curious. On the flip side, I think she might be into Six Feet Under, and I'm not. That is also how we work.

    Destroy the surprises Aine! ( Would your name happen to be pronounced Ann? )

    Ahh, tv discussions. They're the fun part. We just started watching the first season of Private Practice last night. Very good stuff. I recommend it if you happen to enjoy medical drama. Also.. very awesome females. At least in my book.

  3. I'm all for polygamy...I wouldn't mind a couple more husbands around to support me...LOL But then that would lead to a couple more wives to take care of all the added work that the husbands would create... Hhhmmm.... I think I need to rethink this process.....

    The only show that's a real MUST-SEE in our house is CSI. Our philosophy is that if you can't be entertained, then we'll get educated. We watch a lot of shows on the History channel & Discovery channel. And we DVR our shows so we can skip the commercials.

    Oh...and regarding the Fatal TV Brain Syndrome.... I have seen it affect grown males as well. :0)

  4. Ah, but see, all the extra husbands and wives could do all the work, and you could sit around proclaiming yourself First Wife of DOOM. ^.^

    Punky and I love us some CSI, also, Law and Order. Those we sort of watch week to week though, because who can wait for a season to end?

    Fatal TV Brain Syndrome. I've seen The Brat almost wet his pants over it. Gah. Lobotomies for all.