Friday, September 15, 2006

Update: Shame-Faced

At the spin-off blog, Rosemarie considers Kidnapped. The classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel, not the new NBC series.

TV: Midnight Money Madness

I’ve been burning the late night oil recently, pushing one big project toward conclusion. Which explains why I’ve been watching this bizarre hybrid game show, airing live in the wee hours on TBS. What I don’t know is why I feel compelled to write about it.

The show purports to combine the spontaneity of talk radio with the interactivity of the Web. They left out the production values of an informercial. It’s hosted by two alleged comedians and an English woman so relentlessly chipper she makes Petula Clark look like Sylvia Plath. Contestants call in to play games like “You’ve Got Balls!” (in which you guess how many balls are in a tube) and “Things That Are Hot” (in which you ... name things that are hot), all in hopes of winning a few hundred bucks. The viewers are high, unemployable, or both, so some of the games take a while.

There are also celebrity guests. So far I’ve seen reality TV diva Omarosa and porn legend Ron Jeremy, making the show’s definition of celebrity so vague that I might qualify.

I appreciate the fact that there are two telecasts, allowing the West Coast to get in on the action. But MMM is terrible. So terrible that I can’t stop watching. And I’m not alone; there’s a frighteningly detailed Wikipedia entry for a program that’s only been running for two weeks. My concern is that although my schedule will be returning to normal, I may find reasons to tune in anyway, just to enjoy the chaos.

I feel much better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest. As a reward for listening, here’s a clip of Petula Clark singing in French in front of a fake deer.

Miscellaneous: Name of the Day

I used to love reading political stories out of South Carolina when the director of the state’s Democratic party was Morton Brilliant. His name made any attributed quote sound sarcastic. Follow up a noble sentiment with the words “Mr. Brilliant said” and you’ll see what I mean.

Yesterday I was reading about Google’s new for-profit philanthropy effort. The man in charge? Doctor Brilliant.