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Sittin’ On The Dock of Pop Culture…Biding Time (Cue Off-Key Whistling) March 29, 2007

Posted by doctorolove in Movies, Pop Culture Rants, Sports, TV.

It’s the pop culture equivalent of down time. The equivalent of that horrid time of the school year between MLK Day and Spring Break when there is absolutely no major holiday to let off steam. It’s the equivalent of waiting to see the doctor, only the doctor is a really cool piñata with Crème Eggs, gold doubloons and naked pictures of Kim Fields circa the Tootie days. It’s the dogdays of spring where those of us who drool over all aspects of pop culture rescind our spit ducts like reversed Pavlov dogs. It’s the time of the year WHEN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING happens in the world of sports, movies and TV.

Think about it. In the world of movies, it’s that icky period for most major studios and more than a few “major” indie houses. They’ve just unleashed all their Christmas blockbusters and arty, Oscar-caliber movies. They’ve even dropped a star studded romantic comedy on us to siphon some cash from guys who like cheap Valentine’s Day dates. And we are just a few mere weeks from the summer movie season, where every explosion, every gore filled cop buddy flick and every star studded gross out laugh fest has been screened, tweaked and rescreened to within an inch of the script’s life. SO for about t two months, studios are forced to release films like 300 or Ghost Rider. Sure, each will take home 100 million or so in receipts, but the studios know that each of these would be swept under the rug by movies that have more going for them in the summer. I mean, 300 lacks the major aspect of a great summer movie: Plot. Oh, and acting. And line delivery. And general merit to overall society. Though, 300 is a major Dog Day problem solver. It answers to both men and women. Guys get visceral blood and guts as well as women with what can only be described as Princess Leia in Jabba the Hut lingerie, but as if it was designed by that smarmy guy who sat behind you in 10th grade French. Women get sweaty men, clothed even less than their female counterparts, sweating and running into one another. The dog days usually gives us garbage but 300 solves that age old problem of just how to get through the crap.  If you exploit it, they will come. Exploitation doesn’t work for the summer, at least not when the next week, there’s something coming out that may just exploit something better. Simple exploitation when there is nothing to compare it to jogs our Pavlovian side. This film could signal the death of the dog days. Well, at least for movies.

Because TV, well, there’s that old chestnut. Sweeps are over and not coming back for at least two more months. It’s re-run time for our favorite shows. We’ve already Tivoed or discussed on message boards everything we are seeing again. And unless it’s Lost, you probably didn’t miss the nuances the first time (Nuance is a word they just don’t understand on Grey’s Anatomy)  Sure, it’s nothing compared to summer when clip shows and  bad overplayed movies dot the network landscape. TV tries to fool us by released the shows they didn’t think would work back in September. They try packaging them not with re-runs, but with “See What You Missed.” Are they really that stupid that they think that our schedules have diminished any less that now, some five months later, we have time to watch what we couldn’t find time to watch then? Actually, yes, because they package it with American Idol or The Amazing Race. There is no re-hashing of live (or semi-taped) reality shows. You have to be there when it happens. And the TV people know this. They know that with these reality shows, you can’t afford to miss out, lest we be the oil encrusted third wheel at the water cooler the next morning. SO they package these new show with their new returning reality show and we are forced to watch. Usually because the sudden heat has zapped our energy and we just don’t have the stomach for anything else in the Vast Wasteland. So maybe, TV is fixing the dog days.

But we just can’t save sports. And there is no amount of talking it out.  We are smack dab in a grey area. Baseball doesn’t really start for another month (Watching the first few games of any season is like watching a baby learning to walk…and the baby’s not yours and has had a few TGI Friday’s Hi Octane Iced Teas) Football is now over and while watching players being drafted is more exciting than what we got now, even that isn’t for a few weeks. Basketball and Hockey have playoff races, though, right. Besides the fact that in order to find either sport on TV nowadays you need a compass, a TV Guide and a Sherpa wearing a 1976 Lew Alcindor jersey, the games, well, they suck. The new point system in hockey is tougher to figure out than any baseball statistic (and those only matter in fantasy games.) And basketball’s new parity has resulted in teams tanking their seasons faster than the Germans tore out of Leningrad (Oh that’s right…a history reference…and it’s probably anachronistically incorrect…That’s right…an SAT word…also probably incorrect.) The teams that are in contention are so pitiful, it’s like a game of Hot Potato that 20,000 people are paying 50 bucks a pop to see. Sports are garbage right now. And though TV has its reality and movies have bloody Trojans, we have nothing. Can that be fixed? Probably not. And don’t even give me your XFL debate. It’s not football if you cannot get frostbite while watching it. And soccer is even harder to find than other sports. And I sprung for the “Direct TV package with Sherpa service.” Don’t use him for that but his tea is magical.

So for now, we wait. And maybe that’s good. Because have you seen the black suit people? I rest my case. And my tastes. For now.



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