I have found the trashiest show on television. It has nothing to do with sex or infidelity or gross eating in the wilderness. It resides on the Spike Channel. When I worked for a film festival, Spike was one of the sponsors and to me it was Latvia or Uzbekistan - a very foreign country, a man cave of entertainment where I would find plenty to scare me off. Here are some of Spike’s shows: 1000 Ways To Die - no metaphors here: OCD-er dies cleaning; terrorist eats himself to death; animal abuser gets dog boned; two cons get a fatal case of road rash ... you get the picture. MANswers; Hooters Snow Angels, Deadliest Warrior. The men in these shows (the leads, the extras, cameos) have sun-bronzed arms and wear faded tee shirts and worn jeans. The hosts ride in trucks, lift heavy things show an interesting camaraderie sometimes based on insults and generally act manly.
The show that held me spellbound recently because it lacked even a token nod to good taste was called: RepoGames. The premise of RepoGames has Josh, the Repo Man arriving with a tow truck in somebody’s driveway ready to repossess a car or truck. Do I need to add that the owner is less than pleased to hear and see that hitch lifting his car off the ground? After the pandemonium of expletives and shadow punching dies down, Josh says, “I’m going to ask you five questions. If you get three right, you get to keep your car and I’ll pay off what you owe.
The hapless victim (in this case a shirtless and shoeless man named Wilbur) surrounded by the army of people who live with him/her grunts and calms down. We soon learn that Wilbur has eight children by three baby mamas that he has not married. His teen-aged son stands next to him ready to help him answer. Intermittently, out of joie de vie or nervousness, he pinches his father’s nipple. I won’t re-create the entire show but this one question will tell you all you need to know.
Josh: What are names of Barack Obama’s two daughters.
Wilbur: Who’s that man?
Wilbur’s son: (grinning in disbelief) Barack Obama. The president.
Josh: Have you ever voted?
Josh: Do you know the names of Barack Obama’s daughters?
Wilbur’s son: That’s white people’s name. They’re like real richified. What comes to mind is Destiny and Maria. Yes, Destiny and Maria.
Josh: Incorrect. The names are Sasha and Malia. Wilbur shake it off now. Shake off the dumbest answer I’ve ever heard. (to Wilbur’s son) Did you just tweak your father’s nipple?
In the end, Wilbur only got one answer right. After appearing to be in a fog for most of the segment, he came to life with a question about a show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy and answered crisply: “Are you smarter than a 5th grader.” His son was ecstatic and tweaked his nipple and playfully punched him several times.
Alas, one right answer did not win the game. Josh and Craig with the repossessed car (a 1997 Honda Accord) roar away while Wilbur and his son shout after them: “*#%@*# I played your dumb ass game. Who knows Obama’s daughters’ names?”
So while the pundits argue back and forth about Barack Obama’s ability to govern, Wilbur (from Dallas, Texas) had to be reminded he was the president and his son thought the Obama family had become real richified.
I love television.