16 Things on TV I Can't Be Bothered to Care About
I write about TV for a living, I watch a ton of TV, and I read a lot of news about TV, including a number of much-hyped stories that seem unavoidable all over the Internet. Yet even I can't bring myself to care about some of them. For instance:
1.The Taylor Swift/Nicki Minaj/Katy Perry MTV VMA Feud. Two years, five years, 10 years from now, no one else will care either, so let's stop caring now.
2.The VMAs themselves. The one day a year MTV pretends it still cares about music videos. Again, a year from now, will you remember who won any of these prizes?
3. The Jon-Snow-Is-Alive rumors. Either he is or isn't, but I'd rather just find out when I watch "Game of Thrones" next season and not endure nine months of speculation.
4. Wealthy White Senior Angeleno Dads Who Become Women. Jeffrey Tambor deserved an Emmy nod for "Transparent," but his character's wealth and privilege and generally supportive grown kids make her transition story atypical... why, who did you think I was talking about?
5.President Obama's farewell interview with Jon Stewart. Mutual backslapping by two members of an elite club most of us will never belong to.
6. James Corden's acting-karaoke bits that see him channeling the visually memorable moments of more famous performers. This week, he and Paula Abdul re-enacted the "Opposites Attract" video. Let me know when he starts aping Craig Ferguson, and I might start watching "The Late Late Show" again.
7."Lunch With Stephen." I admire Stephen Colbert's seemingly endless creativity and enthusiasm. He's so eager for the September launch of his "Late Show" that he's making viral videos for a show that hasn't even aired yet. But c'mon, these are just promos. Really clever promos, but still. These and the podcasts and all the other ephemera he's been dropping lately are threatening to make me sick of his "Late Show" tenure before it's even started. It's only seven weeks away, so go ahead, Stephen, make us wait, make us hungry.
8. The cancellation of "19 Kids and Counting." Maybe I would have cared if TLC had canceled it right away, instead of holding their fingers up to the wind for nearly two months. Instead, the network seemed to make a point of waiting to cut the Duggars loose until the family's scandal had fallen off the radar. Mission accomplished.
9."Fear the Walking Dead." Why does everyone keep talking about the zombie apocalypse like it's actually going to happen?
10. The media's bafflement over Donald Trump. We didn't create the "Apprentice" host-turned-presidential candidate, but we've given him decades of free publicity. (I include myself in that "we," for every word I've ever written about him, including this item now.) So we shouldn't pretend to be shocked and astonished every time he does something outrageous (insult John McCain's military service, give out Lindsey Graham's phone number), especially if we keep giving him more free publicity for every stunt he pulls.
11.Judd Apatow's latest anti-Bill Cosby rant. True, Cosby is fair game now for whatever ridicule anyone wants to throw at him. Apatow even returned to stand-up comedy for the first time in decades just to mock Cosby this week on "The Tonight Show." But when did the "Trainwreck" director become the king of Cosby Outrage? Who elected him (and not Hannibal Buress, who started this avalanche)?
12. Wyatt Cenac calls out Jon Stewart for racial paternalism. Cenac, who for a while was the only black writer on "The Daily Show," told "WTF"; podcaster Marc Maron that he once complained to Stewart about what he felt was the host's racially insensitive imitation of Herman Cain, and that Stewart got defensive, chewed out Cenac in front of the rest of the staff in a profane rant, and drove the writer to tears. Yeah, that's pretty uncool, both the part about what Cenac called the "Amos & Andy" voice Stewart used to speak as Cain (by the way, Apatow's imitation of Cosby was pretty creepy, too, for the same minstrel-y reason) and the part about humiliating Cenac in front of his peers. Then again, Stewart's made a lot of edgy jokes over the years, and some have landed with thuds. And comedy hosts have been cursing out their writers in front of each other since the dawn of television. Stewart's alleged misdeeds are, unfortunately, not atypical for the medium. Hey, maybe Comedy Central should take him off the air. Oh, wait... never mind.
13.#AprilLives and #AprilDies. Vote if you like on whether or not Tara Reid should be crushed by falling space shuttle debris, but it won't matter; they'll still make "Sharknado 4: Even More Product Placement," no matter what we do.
14.Candace Cameron Bure and Paula Faris may be the next "View" co-hosts. For those of you still keeping score, that would make two former child stars (Bure and Raven-Symone), two comedians (Whoopi Goldberg and recent hire Michelle Collins) and one "GMA Weekend" newswoman (Faris). This is apparently "The View's" idea of diversity. But they could hire Tara Reid, and it still wouldn't matter. Stick a fork in this show, it's done.
15. Ted Cruz's opinions on "Star Trek." The presidential candidate may have stepped in it with the geek constituency with his comments to the New York Times that, when it comes to U.S.S. Enterprise captains, he prefers Kirk to Picard because he believes man-of-action Kirk would have been a Republican, while man-of-contemplation Picard would have been a Democrat. This is yet another reason, going all the way back to Dan Quayle and "Murphy Brown," why politicians shouldn't talk about TV or pop culture. Even Kirk himself, William Shatner, felt compelled to weigh in, insisting that it's foolish to attribute 21st-century partisanship to futuristic characters, since "Star Trek" "wasn't political." Not sure why we should care what Cruz thinks about "Star Trek" anyway, since it has nothing to do with his positions on real-life issues -- unless he plans to solve America's dependence on fossil fuels by acquiring dilithium crystals. By the way, not sure why we should value Shatner's opinion either. If he truly thinks that the highly allegorical "Star Trek" isn't political, he's either being disingenuous or didn't pay much attention to his own scripts.
16.Hulu's proposed ad-free premium subscription tier. Guess they finally recognized that no one likes their shows interrupted by ads you can't skip. Why, it's almost like they've been reading my column. Now, for $12 to $14 a month, I'll be able to watch "Seinfeld" straight through instead of with my finger on the fast-forward button, the way I watch it on TV. In fact, this is the signpost toward a cord-cutter's paradise. Eventually, I won't need a TV anymore. Sure, I'll have to download hundreds of apps to my iPad, one for Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and each traditional TV channel I want to watch. And I'll have to pay premium prices a la carte for so many of them that the total cost may surpass that of the bundled channels on my cable bill. Which I'll still have to pay so I can stream the shows on WiFi. But I won't have to watch commercials I can't skip, so it'll all be worth it, right?