Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where Some Men Fear to Tread

Induced by sickness and a masochistic urge, I find myself searching through the absolute dregs of daytime television. It's that magical time of day where you learn a little something about the world and maybe, just maybe... a little something about yourself.

Lesson #1
(courtesy of
ABC Family... and Levi's presumably)

Friendships CAN last forever, if only because of enchanted denim.

I was (mostly) guiltless about tuning into an episode of Gilmore Girls when I was treated to a few inspirational tidbits during the commercial break. It was seemingly just one of those sweet stories about four girlfriends fortunate enough to keep their bonds strong beyond the walls of high school... What's their secret? "The pants have the magic of keeping us together!"

What are they so happy about? Pants!

You thought college and the sheer cruelty of time was standing in the way of you and your pals, when really it was just a lack of magical pants. With the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its soon to be sequel (made possible by binding contractual clauses with America Ferrera and Alexis Bledel), we learn that jeans transcend painful memories and great distances, but not terse teen melodrama.

I was prepared for Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 when I saw the trailer running before the similarly themed The Strangers earlier this year. There is, however, no preparing for lines like this: "These are not just any jeans... they make things happen!"

Lesson #2
(courtesy of
The Lifetime Movie Network)

Love thy neighbor despite their personality and interests.

Remember the smart one on Baywatch, played by Alexandra Paul? And by smart I mean flat chested.


I caught the tail end of the must-see Lifetime thriller Love Thy Neighbor, in which Alexandra Paul suspects her neighbors might be as likely to lend her a cup of sugar as they are to steal her clothes and belittle her design sense. The solution to her problem is filled with that witty social satire you know and expect from the Lifetime Network. After fending off the psycho suburbanite mom, she pulls out all the heroic stops by saying "Your daughter can't play soccer and she's not even a good cook!" The psycho mom flies off the handle and over the stair rail to her gruesome death. If that hadn't stopped her, Alexandra had plans to graffiti the "Honor Student" bumper sticker on her van.

If there's one thing I admire about the Lifetime Network it's their valued efforts to rescue early nineties TV celebrities from extinction. That and their ability to turn harrowing true stories into embarrassing recaps for those that survived them.

Lesson #3
(courtesy of any soap opera

The housebound don't have standards.

I used to watch Passions in its early days. Any show with the poor taste to exploit Princess Diana's death immediately after AND have shameful CD tie-ins is good enough for me. (I simultaneously gained and lost all respect for the Scissor Sisters in their supernatural cameo here. A guaranteed must see!) Nevertheless, things actually happened on that show. Nothing you'd dare tell your friends about, but still, things happened. Nowadays you're waiting months for an arch nemesis to do someone in, and years for the "will they, won't they" lovers to finally get the hint -- even though you know they'll never show the goods once they do.

I know you're thinking about skipping work now too...

Many gay viewers have been following the Luke and Noah storyline on As the World Turns in the hopes of pioneering a realistic gay relationship in daytime television, proclaiming it to be the first of its kind. Well so what? Passions had the first progressive relationship between an elderly witch and her animate doll, so let's get perspective here. What people fail to acknowledge is that the storylines will never be good and the sex scenes will always happen behind closed doors. Is it worth the devotion? The best we have to hope for are shirtless scenes and acting so numbing you're prepped for surgery. These stay at home parents, independently wealthy stoners, and bed-ridden depressives that constitute the daytime ratings just aren't giving themselves or the concept of "taste" enough credit. Do yourself a favor and remember the good old days with Passions' Timmy and Tabitha... Standards, people. Standards.

No comments: