Posts tagged ‘tv’

Depressing TV 2: Older, Sadder, Messier

So I wrote about my affection for depressing television shows and/or movies awhile back. And, needless to say I’m still drawn to downright dreary programing. I’m not alone in my obsession with the bleak so here is my newest list of the heartbreaking, tear jerking, sap that’s been on my screen lately.


Ah, A&E, you are my fave purveyor of depressing TV. You hooked me on Intervention, now you’ve doubled up with Hoaders. This show gets into the lives of those who “collect things” … they just don’t know when to stop.  We’ve met Paul, the sad old man who has been charged with criminal littering around his house. His junkyard of a front lawn includes a rusted out school bus, among other prized possessions. You’ve also introduced us to Kerrylea, who has managed to fill not one, but two houses with piles and piles of crap. The beauty of this show is when the “experts” come in to clean up and haul off the mountains of mess that these folks have managed to hoard. Kerrylea (and just about all of our beloved Hoarders) flip their lids when it comes to this point in the show. “How could you ask me to part with this receipt from McDonalds dated 1993? NO way am I going to toss out this refrigerator full of year-old yogurt!”

Added bonus: I always feel the urge to clean after watching this show.


The Way We Get By

The often overlooked master of the morose — PBS offered up this little documentary that (and I quote) “an intimate look at senior citizens as they confront the universal losses that come with aging and rediscover their reason for living.”

Not only does this doc include old people (one of the key elements of depressing TV), we also have soldiers, veterans, and cancer! This show follows around a group of greeters at a Maine airport. It’s their jobs to welcome home US troops who have returned from (or are headed off to) war in the MIddle East. Sheesh, I was barely into this gem before the tears started flowing.

Added bonus: It aired on Veteran’s Day


My Sister’s Keeper

A good child death movie is exactly what I should not have watched on a trans-Atlantic flight home from a nice, long European vacation. But, ya know when you have seven hours on a plane .. your mind gets a little loopy.

Abigail Breslin plays a kid who was genetically engineered by her parents who also have an older daughter (not genetically engineered) with leukemia. Abigail was “made” so she could donate bone marrow for her big sis. But, come to find out, she’s sick of being poked and prodded and tries to earn medical emancipation from her parents.

Cameron Diaz is the mom in the movie by the way. Really? are we getting old enough for There’s Something About Mary to start playing dramatic old women with dying kids? I guess so.

Anywho, this movie is super sad. Leukemia girl meets a boyfriend (also sick) and tries to live life to the fullest before (you know what’s going to happen here) she dies.

I was sobbing like a little baby during this in-flight pity party.

Added Bonus: Alec Baldwin plays an epileptic lawyer with a service dog.


November 12, 2009 at 5:17 am 1 comment

Fierce Models, Wack-a-Doodle fashion designers: I’m Hot for Fashion TV.


Hey, Girrrl, hey!!
Wednesday must be my favorite night for TV right now. With America’s Next Top Model premeiring tonight and Project Runway in midseason I’m in seam rippin, fashion reality heaven. I am no fashion queen, but I loves me some tragic fashion television programing. The wackier the better. Pre-op transgender models? Bring it on.
can you believe this chick is actually a dude?
Blue-haired dress makers who talk in third person? I’m there.  
As with my previously mentioned love of depressing TV, I too am fascinated with fashion TV. And maybe the two subgenres of reality TV aren’t that far apart.
ah, suede, you’re such a wack-a-doodle.
Depressing TV takes me away to another place filled with drug addicts, dying children, and old people ….albeit, those are not places I really don’t want to stay for very long. Fashion TV, in all its groan-inducing wackiness too is good just for an hour-long visit.
Take America’s Next Top Model season premiere. What was going on in the first hour of the two hour show? Tyra-bot and Alpha Jay and Beta Jay were just too much. Each cycle they try to conjure up some theme. This year it was technology (or the future, or aliens, or something) but all those those zaps and beeps and bad special effects during the first round of eliminations were almost enough to switch the channel. But alas, I love ANTM and stayed on to see which quirky, beauty would win over my heart this time. Will it be Elina the Vegan lesbian who is a little intimidating or Marjorie the sweet and awkward French immigrant home schooled girl?
Let the cat fights and groaning begin!

September 4, 2008 at 1:50 am 2 comments

Mad About Mad Men

The swell AMC series, Mad Men, has me hooked. This recent Itunes download has me addicted to the drama set on Madison Ave. in early 1960s Manhattan. It was a time before women’s lib, civil rights and political correctness in the the work place…or anywhere for that matter. But I’m in love with the fedora-wearing, womanizing, scotch-drinking, Lucky-Strike-smoking advertising execs of Mad Men. Hot, clean-shaven and kinda mean…these guys are great. Lead man Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm  is suave, mysterious and strong. Ambitious junior account exec,  Pete Campbell played by Vincent Kartheiser is a fabulously bratty, entitled, sexual harasser.

As for the women of the show…they are glamorous sex kittens who love red lipstick, fur coats and their men. I love watching the show just to see what they are wearing. Secretary Joan Holloway played by Christina Hendricks drips with 60s style in short, tight dresses. Meanwhile, Don’s wife Betty lounges at home in great night gowns and gets dolled up in shimmering cocktail dresses for dinner out on the town with her man.

Catch Mad Men and all its greatness on Sundays at 9 pm Central on AMC.

If you love the show or just love to read and soak up behind-the-scenes type stuff then check out this great article and slide show on the New York Times. The article is fairly long but in it you find out that the actors are safely puffing away on non-tobacco Herbal Ecstacy cigarettes and that the creator of the show chose advertising as a subject because, “it’s a great way to talk about the image we have of ourselves, versus who we really are. And admen were the rock stars of that era, creative, cocky, anti-authority. They made a lot of money, and they lived hard.”


August 24, 2008 at 10:08 pm 4 comments


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