Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rock and Roll Over


Did anyone around here ever dress as KISS when they were kids? I was always Gene Simmons. For makeup, we smeared toothpaste on our faces and sprinkled baby powder on top of that. And drew in the black parts with magic marker. And recruited our little brothers to be Peter.

Gene currently has a new reality show on A&E. While it's fun now to watch him act like the 50-year-old Jewish man that he is---kvetching to his limo driver about hitting every pothole and such---the show itself, despite his wry, funny kids and wife Shannon Tweed, is kind of dull. Most of each week's scenarios are obviously set up: "See Gene and his son compete at a driving test"; "See Gene and Shannon go to a health spa"; etc. I'm reminded of the late, great Osbournes show: Ozzy and Sharon simply WERE. When they were throwing meat into their neighbors' yard, it obviously wasn't a set-up. I miss that.

The death-knell of reality TV is already tolling, and generic shows like Gene's, "Hogan Knows Best," and the billionth season of "Real World" are prime examples. RE the latter: Long gone are the days when uncategorizable kids from different backgrounds would sit around and talk about stuff, a la what me and my friends did in college dorm rooms. Nowadays there's just a stereotypical stud, a hot blonde girl, a Proud Black Woman (or Angry Black Man), a gay guy, a neurotic/artsy girl... and they all aren't particularly bright enough to talk about "ideas" or anything, but just go out and get fucked up. Whoever thought drinking and whoring would be boring. Congratulations, New Gen---you've made it extremely boring.

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