Saturday, March 8, 2008

Writer's Strike yields a winner...kinda...

Now that the writer’s strike is over, many people are rejoicing, namely several hundred unemployed writers and several thousand others who got laid off because of the strike. Now, instead of the mindless new crap that was aired to fill in the time slots we can go back to the familiarity of the mindless old crap we saw 3 months ago.

By & large, the strike didn’t really seem to affect most people, as they just found new stuff to watch. Speaking for my own household, we were hit by the lack of new episodes of House, Gray’s Anatomy, and CSI, and the ruination of Heroes by shortening the season to just a few episodes and trying to hastily fill in the blanks in the storylines. Other than those four shows, there’s not much episodic first-run stuff that’s deemed Must See TV in our house. Two other shows that I watch, Rescue Me and Army Wives, air during the off-season and their startup dates have yet to be announced.

On the plus side, the strike forced people to explore the other 175 channels on their TV’s that they never bother with. I know that I’m guilty of only watching maybe 25 of my 200 available channels. Of course, take away the 20 shopping channels (I shop in stores), 10 religious channels (I’m not religious), 15 Spanish-language channels, and all the mutations of Nickelodeon (I’m 38, not 8) and that pares down the list a bit.

And while in no way do I make a habit of watching CMT (Country Music Television), I have managed to come upon a new show on CMT that is yet another televised train-wreck that I can’t seem to stop watching. Every Friday night for the past few weeks, I’ve been guilty of watching “My Big Redneck Wedding”. Please, stop laughing.

Each week, the show chronicles another redneck couple in some exotic rustic backwater of America as they struggle to put together their supposed dream wedding in true redneck fashion. Most of the weddings take place outside, sometimes in mud, many involve animals, and most involve the wearing of camouflage and boots.

One couple took their vows standing on top of demolition-derby cars in a mud pit next to a railroad track, while another did theirs on horseback. There’s been mud-wrestling at the receptions, wild hog hunting, the removal of a dip of Skoal prior to the kiss, decorations ranging from shotgun shells to beer cans to hay bales to a cake made in the shape of a stable, complete with two plates of cake in the shape of horse turds for the bride & groom to feed each other. Wedding gifts have ranged from a Wrangler logo tattoo on the groom’s ass, naked pictures on horseback for the groom, a lizard, a pink squirrel-hunting rifle, and an antique tricycle in the shape of a horse rescued from a Dumpster.

The host of the show is none other than Tom Arnold, who pops up now & again to deliver snarky commentary and comic relief. He’s actually pretty funny in this role, in that he’s by far smarter than the people he’s narrating over. By the end of the show you’re left with a grateful feeling that your own wedding was nothing like this, and wondering when the next episode is coming on.

So if you’re a redneck, or just like to watch in slack-jawed amazement as rednecks get hitched, tune in to CMT. The Writer’s Strike produced at least one clear winner. It could be worse…I could be watching Flavor of Love 3, That’s Amore, and Rock of Love II. Oh, shit, I already am…

And I just gotta include this picture of a famous landmark back in Maine. We have rednecks galore up North, believe it or not. The South does not own the manopoly, despite what folks may think. This is the sign that's out front of Hussey's General Store in Windsor, Maine.

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