We just flew in from Ontario and, boy, are my arms tired. (Badum-dum. Why, yes. I WILL be here all week.) Very little reading got done during the flight (and by "very little" I mean "none whatsover"); however, thanks to the magic of powerful satellites that are orbiting this great spaceship earth EVEN AS I WRITE THIS, I did have a chance to become familiar with a cross-section of afternoon TV offerings.
So I was watching Dr. Phil, something I've only done once before, and he was settling marital squabbles of the "I-want-a-jeep / Well-I-want-an-SUV" variety. It was pretty funny, actually. Couple after couple would come out, each partner would present his or her case, and then Dr. Phil would state who was right. I mean, how satisfying is that? Nowithstanding the fact that, as I understand it, real marriage counsellors aren't supposed to pick sides, who ever said Dr. Phil was a real counsellor of any ilk? Isn't the dude just an ordinary doctor who's written a bunch of self-help books?
So given that we're able to conveniently set aside all expectations of professional ethics, I will totally admit that I find the idea of this self-professed marriage "counsellor" just wading into a debate and stating "You are right and you are not" to be AWESOME. Because isn't that what we all secretly crave? For some random stranger to come along and tell our significant other that they're just WRONG, goddammit?
But wait a second... forget what I said about professional ethics and non-professional counsellors, because when I flipped a few channels down the dial whom did I find but Ms. Tyra Banks interviewing young women who suffer from anorexia and bulimia. Now, I certainly don't profess to have anything but a layperson's understanding of matters psychological, but isn't there something... hm... let's call it FUCKED UP... about the fact that on one station we have a medical doctor whose banal advice is exceeded only by the banality of its recipients, and on another station we have a former swimsuit model counselling people who suffer from a disease that has one of the highest mortality rates of any form of mental illness? I mean, if Dr. Phil is going to really help anyone, maybe his efforts would best be spent on young women who've suffered years of mental and physical abuse at their own hands. Of course, fifteen-second platitudes don't usually help people with powerful mental disorders, so maybe I can understand why Dr. Phil keeps anorexics and bulimics at arm's length.
I watched as much of Tyra and Phil as I could take, and then soothed myself with a hit of Sesame Street. Nothing to complain about there, other than this: has Ernie always been such a dink? I've never been a huge Ernie fan: I've always thought his obtuseness and seemingly laid-back demeanor were a particularly virulent form of passive-aggressiveness. I mean, what was UP with that time he ate all the licorice and drank all the grape juice under the guise of making the portions the same size? This time, he and Bert were supposed to be taking turns with their respective activities -- playing drums and reading a book -- but OF COURSE Ernie was calling the shots and only letting Bert read like one sentence before belting away with his crappy drum solos. Why does Bert put up with this crap?
Before I forget, I just wanted to mention that Honey, We're Killing the Kids is one of the absolute worst TV show titles I've ever heard. Did the parents know the show was going to be called that when they agreed to participate? Did the kids? It makes my heart sad.
On the other hand, I've discovered that I have a seemingly limitless ability to watch back-to-back-to-back episodes of A Baby Story and get choked up each time a fresh, gooey new baby is placed on its mom's tummy. I need to learn to check my compulsion to yell "Just get the epidural!" at the TV screen, though. At least when I'm in public.
I also watched about a gazillion trailers for Flightplan, which was playing on the airline equivalent of Pay-Per-View, and I went from not caring one iota about it to having a burning need to find out what happens to Jodie Foster's daughter. This happens to me all the time. Curse you, all-we-have-is-this-suspenseful-kid-related-hook filmmakers! (I'm looking at you, you bastards behind The Forgotten! I'll never get those two hours of my life back!)
So can someone help me out and just tell me how Flightplan ends? Trust me, you're not ruining it for me because I have no plans to ever rent it. Jodie "Now That's What I Call Overcooked Ham!" Foster has had her chance with Nell. And then again with Contact. I don't care how adorable she was in Freaky Friday or how many Ivy League degrees she has, nobody should be allowed to get away with such egregious scenery chewing. Jody, if nothing else, think of your lovely teeth!