Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My Ideal Television Station

Lately, television is missing something. And that something is the wonderful sound of people laughing in living rooms/bedrooms/golden-encrusted toilet-houses all over America.

So I've been thinking: Why does TV suck so much lately? Well, the obvious answer is that nobody knows how to write a good sitcom these days. Or make funny, clever children's programming. I find myself watching Home and Garden TV more than ever, and I neither own a home nor tend to any "garden." All I've got is a fistful of grass I found in my bra following a late night romp with a homeless fellow in Central Park a few weeks ago (read: in my dreams.)

And who do I blame this all on? Nickelodeon. Why Nickelodeon? Because they have the power to buy and air every, single, genius fucking sitcom that has ever aired. And what do they go with? Roseanne, Cosby Show, and Full House. Full-fucking-how-fucking-se. Now, I love Cosby. (The Cosby Show, to separate it from it's later spin-off, the dreadfully unfunny urban sit-com, Cosby.) But Roseanne makes me want to pick my ankle hair for lice, and Full House... need I even go there? No, I needn't.

So, I created my own line-up for a channel for which a remote control would be unnecessary, as I would never change the station.

8 am: Sesame Street (pre 1990's episodes only.)

9 am: Maury Povich (guilty as charged, but I love boot camp and paternity.)

On second thought, scratch that.

9 am: Pee Wee's Playhouse (Best kids show ever.)

OMG, a Google Image search of Pee Wee brought me to this little guy. How could I not share that? In fact, no, you know what -- PUT HIM IN THE LINE-UP!

9:30: Fraggle Rock (Maybe the 6th best ever, but that's not bad.)

10 am: Mr. Wizard (R.I.P.? Is he alive?) (Update: A reader informs me, he lives.)

At least when he touched children inappropriately, they learned something.

10:30: Bargain Hunt (British antiquing show hosted by Dudley Moore doppelganger)

11 am: Punky Brewster (typical episode: "Henry!!!" "Punk-haaaaay!" Cherie locks herself in a refridgerator.)

The fake enthusiasm that can only be mustered by a depressed child star.

11:30: Out of This World (the adventures of a young girl who's mother is retarded, father is an alien, and neighbor is a retarded car selling alien. Joe Isuzu FYI)

12 pm: Car 54 Where Are You? (Hands down the funniest sitcom I think ever. The title is now less a rhetorical question and more a desperate plea from a bored loser on the Upper West Side. Me.)

12:30: Car 54 Where Are You? (It's that good. Where the fuck is the DVD already?)

The best, Jerry, the best.

1 pm: Parker Lewis Can't Lose (I'm definitely going to make my family synchronize their watches when we take our jetpacks over to the Space Mall.)

Such on-set chemistry, thanks in large part to that shirt.

2 pm: Mr. Belvedere (Bob Euker! He's the Euker-ist.)

2:30: Facts of Life

Facts of Life deserves its own little para. So my parents have an On-Demand channel called "Tube Time!" that has old classics like Diff'rent Strokes and Maude. And also the Facts of Life. I remember loving this show, thinking it was hilarious.

But here's the thing: Facts of Life is actually the most depressing show ever masked behind a really perky and catchy theme song. With every passing episode I would watch (and yes, before you ask, I go to Miami to sit at home and watch "The Facts of Life" on television), I would be more and more shocked. In one episode, Jo (the boyish one) wanted to get back at a teacher, so she wrote a story in the school paper about some hot gossip: Teach was caught at a coke party. A COKE PARTY!!! I watched this show when I was 6. Thank god, also a coke head.

It gets better. Turns out the teacher was released from jail because he hadn't been doing drugs. But the damage at the school had already been done, and the teacher had to resign. The end of the show has Jo, crying with the teacher, begging him to stay. But it's not up to him now. He grabs a box full of books and begins walking out of the room. "But Mr. Henderson!" Jo says. "This isn't fair! It's my fault. Please, let me do something!" Mr. Henderson turns around. "You want to do something? Then help me pack," spins round and walks out of the room, leaving Jo a tearful mess. I'm on the edge of the bed, locked in the moment. And out of nowhere...

Yyyyyyyyou take the good! You take the bad! You take them both! And then you have!

The Facts of Life! (tinkling of the keys) The Facts of Life!

The sudden impact of cheerful theme song nearly aborted the ghost fetus I believe is growing in me.

3 pm: Silver Spoons (Ricky Shroeds and Alf-Rivera? Aww.)

Silver Spoons emulating another great sitcom: Good Times.

3:30: ALF (Keeping with a theme here. Also R.I.P. to Michu Meszaros, who played the body of ALF. I've never met him, but I'm guessing he's tine-tine.)

4 pm: Perfect Strangers (I'm still trying to mind-cleanse the Bronson Pinchot seen on "The Surreal Life" and replace it with the one I had a crush on for 12 years.)

4:30: Charles in Charge (Yes, of my heart. And maybe, a little bit, my life.)

5 pm: The News (hosted by me, obvs.)

6 pm: Knight Rider (Do you know that for years and years I never connected that David Hasselhoff was Knight Rider? I'd be like "Ugh, David Hasselhoff is so greezy! You know who was smoking hot, though? That guy on "Knight Rider.")

David Hasselhoff really needs to stay out of the sun.

7 pm: Amen (Made me want to convert.)

7:30: 227 (Made me wish I had a stoop. And was black.)


8 pm: Seinfeld (Yes, I am that boring. And Jewy.)

8:30: Just the Ten of Us (Compliments Seinfeld nicely, what with their addiction to unprotected sex.)

In a nutshell, it's "Big Love" starring "The Commish."

9 pm: Insert various British Comedy here, namely Little Britain, Goodness Gracious Me, and my new obsession which I'm sure I'll let you in on in a few days: Nighty Night.)

Nighty Night!!! It's seriously the only glimmer of hope on television at the moment. And I hate to say it... but it's on the Oxygen Network! You can also rent the first season, which I HIGHLY recommend.

10 pm: I'll give HBO an hour to entertain me.

11 pm: Same goes for you, Cartoon Network.

12 am: ROC (I live and love for Charles Dutton.)

12:30- 7 am: An 7.5 hour marathon of TLC Programming. (I clearly ran out of memory steam.)

7 - 8 am:


Who's with me? Let's get the funding together.

Or, an easier way: Get your act together Nick at Nite!

UPDATE!!! See some shows I missed here.

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