Tuesday, March 24, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Remember channel surfing? I do. Before the advent of digital cable, when you only had 30 or 40 channels, I would flip through all the channels endlessly until I found something to watch. I could go through all the channels 4 or 5 times before finally settling on something. My mom hated it, she would always yell at me, “just find something and leave it dammit,” but it didn’t bother me in the least. It’s a generational thing I would imagine. I mean, when she was growing up she only had 3 or 4 channels to choose from so I could see how this would drive her insane. The only other way to find something to watch back then though was to look in the TV listings that came in the Sunday paper every week and that’s sort of like reading, which ruins TV.

Thankfully we don’t have to worry about this anymore; if you have cable then you have the accompanying guide, which is less like reading because it’s reading the TV, so it’s ok. No more channel flipping. Just push a button, find something to watch and watch it, everyone’s happy. You even get a brief synopsis of every program to make the choice easier for you.

That last feature is fairly useless to me but I still appreciate their benefit. I don’t watch a ton of TV* and what I do watch I already know when and where it can be found. And if I do branch out from my comfort zone to watch a movie or something I usually have an idea of what that movie is about and if I want to bother watching it or not. Occasionally though, when I’m really bored and there’s nothing else going on, I come across a random movie summary that just seems so outrageous there’s no way I could turn away. For example, I was searching through last week and saw this:

The Number One Girl – (2005) Tony Schiena, Vinnie Jones. Carnage ensues when a gangster asks a martial artist to judge a beauty pageant

What the what? How could I not watch that? I mean I couldn’t even begin to imagine how all of those plot points could come together to make a coherent movie. And I have to tell you guys, it was terrible, and I wouldn’t give back a second of that time. There are bad movies, and then there are movies so terrible and wrought with unintentional comedy that you can’t turn away. I’m not even going to tell you about it because I don’t want to ruin for you.

Later that same week I came across this:

MVP: Most Valuable Primate – (2000) A deaf girl befriends a runaway chimp who plays hockey.

Again an amazing summary, although this one did not deliver the goods, it was just the normal kind of bad. When the best actor in a movie is a chimpanzee it’s never a good sign. That chimp could seriously emote though; he was acting his ass off.

*Technically this isn’t true, my TV is almost always on when I’m home, but more often than not it’s just background noise while I’m reading things on the internet or I’m watching sports. Neither of which count in my definition of “watching TV”.


Los said...

Worst movie I ever watched in the movie theatre was "That Darn Cat." It was a Disney remake of a terrible Disney movie from the 1960's ... both starred Dean Jones.

Lucy said...

I think channel surfing is a male thing, cause it drives me absolutely crazy. Matt's idea of fun is to watch 5 minutes of one show and then flip right when I get a little bit suckered in. Then he channel surfs for another 5 minutes. Ack!

Eric said...

Los - I've never heard of either of those movies and I guess I should be glad for that.

Lucy - It's definitely a guy thing. Lack of commitment and all.

JW said...

Monkey shines...that's my input to stupid movies.

Also, is it just me, or have you ever come across a movie you LOVED as a kid, to watch it grown up and then realize that you had really shitty taste as a kid?