I like to often pretend, for the sake of my own dignity, that I have some sort of taste or pride when it comes to television shows. Yeah, okay, I watch all that trashy crap on VH1, but that’s it. I don’t 16 and Pregnant it, and I’ve never seen more than five seconds of Jersey Shore. That makes me classy, right?
I’d been resisting RuPaul’s Drag Race on that very premise. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love my gays, but drag queens? That’s like a whole new level of camp I just wasn’ t sure even I could stand up to.
And then one morning I was flipping channels and I happened upon an episode, and I was hooked. This show is genius. Genius!
This year, the ads for the Super Bowl were trite, sexist (to put it politely), and not as good as they used to be.
In related news, the sun rises in the east, the world revolves around the sun, and The Puppy Bowl is the best thing to happen to Super Bowl Sunday since the invention of guacamole.
When considering what to discuss this week in my column, I did quite seriously consider discussing Puppy Bowl. Has ever a more glorious two hours existed on television? All those little paws! The hamsters who flew the blimp for aerial views! The completely nonplussed bunny cheerleaders! The kitty halftime show! Puppies! Then I realized, honestly, is there any commentary you can add to that besides “awwwww”?
I also considered discussing the epic amounts of misogyny that were in commercials this year. (Really, dudes? It pains you on a personal level to, god forbid, eat fruit? And this heinous emasculation can be solved by driving a Dodge? Frankly, if you lose your self-worth as a man by putting your underwear in the dirty laundry hamper and recycling, a stupid car is not going to make you feel better — you have serious issues.) But then everyone else discussed it better than I could, and I thought to myself, you know, maybe I should actually discuss the the top three ads that didn’t suck this year, in my opinion. Of course, my opinion is nothing like everyone else’s opinion, but what can I say? I’m a special snowflake.
There is a general consensus among anyone who is everyone that NBC is a dead network walking, which makes me sort of sad. I mean, call me lame, but NBC’s always been my favorite network. I don’t know, blame it on their comedies, which I’m addicted to, or the fact that when I was little I was in love with their local weatherman, who would go grocery shopping where we would and had a big, funny mustache.
If there’s one good thing about failure, though, it’s that it gives NBC a chance to give itself a big, sexy makeover. Trim your procedural dramas — we don’t need two different Law & Orders. Get rid of that awful new marriage counselor show with Jerry Seinfeld. We don’t need more of the same old procedural and reality show boring formula. If people wanted that, the other networks have those bases covered. No, what NBC should invest in is something totally, completely new. NBC should invest in being the most innovative network basic access television has ever seen.
Right now NBC is just another dime-a-dozen network that had the misfortune of making some very bad choices. There’s no point in them trying to copy their competitors — ABC has a corner market on weepy dramas, CBS has procedurals and sitcoms, and FOX has the grab-bag of whatever’s left over. But the one thing none of these networks have is the nuts to break new ground, cable-style. Viewers are going to cable. Awards are going to cable. If no other network is going to emulate the edginess of cable, why can’t NBC?