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Tuesday, February 11, 2003


Hey Joe, Where You Going With that Vacant Look On Your Face?

We was robbed.. America was robbed. If we want to keep going with this, perhaps the entire universe finds itself, well, robbed.

The folks at Joe Millionaire sat 20 million slack-jawed, rapt Americans in front of their TV sets and gave us the dreaded clip show. Instead of fresh drama, new and shocking dumb-guy revelations, and straight-off-the-shelf cattiness, we were served up a serires of flashbacks, like we were watching A Very Special Episode where Alex and Mallory sit around the Good Old Kitchen and reminisce about all the wackiness that unfolded around the yellowed fridge and breakfast nook..

We was robbed.

To be sure, this blue-balling episode did have its pleasures. Unfortunately, indulging the pleasures of the dreaded clip show are like picking up the trashy-but-good-enough gal by the jukebox, bringing her home, getting knocked on the head, and feeling that woozy-making deja-vu as you sidle up to the same Wurlitzer a week later and compliment her on her selection of that great Foghat song . Occasionally, we'd get what seemed to be a fresh shot of Evan gaping blank-faced like a clock with the numbers rubbed clean then realize that we'd already pointed and laughed and remarked about how slow Our Favorite Big Lug seemed to be on the uptake. There was the same litany of Freudian slips made all the more deliciously Freudian by their utter incomprehensibility to the smooth gray matter that let them fly. There was the endless supply of "I don't know's" to any question requiring the aforethought of anything with an attention span greater than that of your developmentally disabled fruitfly. There were the same old dagger glances cast across the ladies' bedroom that seemed always on the verge of erupting into the greatest pillow-fight ever captured on film. We were even thrown the delicious, ratty, old rawhide strips of Mellissa M. in the hot tub and a reprise of the World's Most Suggestive Subtitles. But this wasn't enough. This was nothing.

This was a Twilight Zone episode of causal viewer cruelty, where at the end we could half-expect stately butler Paul Hogan to calmly announce that we were bad people that don't deserve to know whom Evan is going to pick and flip us a classily white-gloved bird. FOX's favorite Jeeves one-upped that feverish nightmare by taunting us with a teaster about a big twist in next week's series finale. A finale which is SEVEN. LONG. DAYS. AWAY.

Fuck FOX and their reality crack, leaving us to twitch in anticipation of the big finish, when either conniving Sarah or probably-conniving-but-much-better-about-it Zora are gonna get their just desserts, and the back of the hand that's going to be served our 19K jackhammer boy by the deceived object of his affection.

Fuck me, fuck us all for not tucking away the currency of our attention in our shoes as we walked through the seediest part of the television neighborhood, hooting and hollering about how sweet life seems on payday. We all asked for this. And we'll get it a long week from now.

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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