Quick aside: TV is back! These past few weeks were pretty rough for those of us who become one with our couch during the waking hours when we’re not at work becoming one with our desk chair. There was such a dearth of new shows these past few weeks that my DVR actually remained around 60% full (it hovers around 80-90% during TV seasons). Times were tough. I watched a bootleg recording of Spring Awakening on YouTube and got really into Cheers on Netflix. No, I’m not proud of myself.
But none of that matters because television has come back to us, and oh, all the brand-spanking-new episodes. Downton Abbey, Cougar Town, Girls, Shameless, Happy Endings, Bunheads; and new series like The Americans, The Carrie Diaries, and Deception. So many humpable, marriageable, and, uh, killable characters. And it’s awards season. I may never go outside again.
Hump: I mean, the picture pretty much speaks for itself. That right there is Stephen “tWitch” (yes, that’s how he spells it) Boss, formerly of So You Think You Can Dance, now — using the extremely loose definition of the word “star” — one of the competitors on Fox’s two-hour special, Stars in Danger: The High Dive.
Was he a great diver? No. Does he look like that in a banana hammock? Yes. Case closed.
Marry: Surprising factoid: The Middle, that ABC sitcom starring Patricia Heaton, is pretty damn amusing. I continue to be amazed with the mundane, suburban subject matter from which the writers (who I imagine lead very different lives in Los Angeles) manage to create comedy. It’s basically Seinfeld’s famous “show about nothing” model set in middle-class suburbia. Plus, it’s got Sue Heck.
Sue is like a classic middle child, token female child, and Woody Allen-esque ball of neuroses all rolled into one. At school, she’s Tracy Flick from Election mixed with Bill Haverchuck from Freaks and Geeks. That picture up there where she’s giving herself an ulcer because she forgot a project at home? Classic Sue. I’m sure I’d despise her as a school peer, but from my wizened late-20s, I think she’s just the spark plug we all need to actually accomplish stuff. Sometimes she trips herself up because she’s so worried about being perfect that she undermines her own abilities, but hey, there are worse qualities to have. Plus, that’s when her cool older brother, Axl, sweeps in to save the day.
What I’m saying is, if you’re in need of some mindless entertainment in between worrying about Lord Grantham’s poor railroad investment (that’s some Monopoly 101 amateur hour stuff right there) and why so many shows are on at the exact same time when your DVR can only record two at once, give The Middle a try.
Kill: It physically hurts me to admit this, but on Monday, I did something I swore I’d never do again: I watched the season premiere of The Bachelor. I really don’t know what happened. I got home from work around 8:20, turned on my TV, looked at Twitter, and the next thing I knew, I was watching 26 women undo all the years of gender equality for which we’ve worked so hard just by getting out of a limo.
The lengths to which they’re willing to embarrass themselves just to make an impression on Sean, the producers (who will, in turn, give them more screen time), and the cameras are actually depressing as sh*t. One woman fell on her head trying to “flip for Sean” (you know what never works out as planned? Physical punning). Another wore a wedding dress. One contestant, who would later get blackout drunk and grind with a window, brought a silver tie à la Fifty Shades of Grey, because if there’s one way to form a connection with a veritable Ken Doll who seems as vanilla as they come, it’s definitely an item of clothing indicative of sexual domination and bondage as depicted in an erotic novel.
The person who stood out the most (just like the producers wanted, those manipulative editors of emotion) was Tierra — pronounced like “tiara” — the brunette Jessica Simpson doppelgänger. Sean and Tierra locked eyes, and I seriously thought they were going to start going at it right there. It was actually kind of uncomfortable to watch. Sean immediately ran and got a rose for her, which pissed off all the other contestants. This all would have been forgettable and unnoteworthy if Tierra was not a terrible person who, in the clips of what’s on deck for this season, came across like sociopathic Amy Dunne in Gone Girl. Lady be crazy.
All of that said, Sean got hotter since Emily summarily dismissed him from The Bachelorette, right? Ugh.
Photo: Courtesy of Eric Liebowitz/FOX; Courtesy of Michael Ansell/ABC; Courtesy of Kevin Foley/ABC