It could be argued that…

… TV was better in the 70’s and 80’s, but ¬†that’s not a fight I’m willing to pick.

TV show theme songs, on the other hand, were inexorably better, memorable, and good. This point I will argue.

And also, here’s a picture of a crab featured on this post for no reason.

Hoarders Hotel?

I like the show “Hoarders”. It’s a little scary to watch because there’s a little hoarder in me. Watching helps to remind me to keep that in check. And there’s the “morbid curiosity” factor as well. One of the regulars on the show is Matt Paxton. He seems like a nice enough guy and has led an interesting life. I think, however, that “Hoarders” may have jumped the shark, so to speak.

We’re not regular watchers, and I don’t know which shows are from which seasons. We watched two episodes last night that (I looked it up today) are from the current 2012-2013 season. The shark jumping occurs when Matt is left alone, at night, in the house with a “night vision” camera and tried to sleep in the hoarder’s home. OK, I get it. It’s dramatic. In one home, he was confronted with “overwhelming odor and 105-110 degree temperatures”. Ewww. In the second episode, he was lying on a pile of the hoard in the person’s bedroom with a bunch of dog droppings near his head. All in the glorious green glow of night vision. Double ewww. The show is generally graphic enough about the terrible conditions inside these homes and doesn’t need this drama.

hoarders2

The pretense is that Matt will be sleeping in this house. Sure he is. I suspect it’s a little bit of unscripted drama, a chance to have him say swear words that get bleeped out and then off to a comfy hotel where a person can really sleep. It’s unnecessary. It’s a bit absurd. It’s shark jumping, “Hoarders”. Usually that would be it, but an interesting thin occurred to me.

I don’t want to see Matt making a fake attempt at sleep and describing the kinds of animal turds near his head each week. It’s not good television. But what if there are people out there who want this experience? Perhaps they are genuinely curious about the lives of hoarders and their suffering. Perhaps they are hoarders themselves and want some of the genuine comforts of home while on the road. No matter who they are, I have the answer: Hoarders Hotel.

There will be different degrees of rooms, from the “merely crowded with stuff but otherwise neat and clean” to the full on “pest invasion with years-old trash”. Since it’s a hotel, certain concessions will have to be made. I’m sure the health department won’t allow actual hoards in the rooms due to health, safety and fire concerns. It will have to be more theatrical dress. Fake trash, if you will. I’m sure a team of lawyers could help figure out the amount of authenticity we can provide without running afoul of local ordinances.

I’m sure a few piles of books and stuffed animals are perfectly fine, but actual rat droppings may not be. Modern climate control will allow us to set the temperature for each room (controlled by the hotel manager, not the guest) from Alaska Wilderness Winter to Saharan Summer Swelter and anywhere in between. We will most likely have to keep the plumbing working in each room, but if toilets are not a guest’s first choice, we’ll have a wide variety of receptacles available to meet the personal preferences of each guest. Infestations can be simulated with mechanical rodents, insects and other creatures along with proprietary special effects as required by the desired squalor level of the room.

The most difficult aspect will be getting the smell of each room right. Since we won’t be able to use real feces, dead rats, long-forgotten food in the fridge, maggots and other stink things, we will need special “Eau de Doo Dah Day” for the rooms. If the fine folks at Jelly Belly can conjure up “Skunk Spray”, “Barf”, and “Rotten Egg” jelly beans, we can get someone to help us get specific odors, such as “7-year trash”, “week-dead rat”, “mound of human waste”, and “general funk”. We could offer a nasal cacophony of odors. I’m thinking 30 or 40 ought to do the trick, with guests able to specify their preferences, or for the brave, opt for the “surprise package”.

I think this could work, especially if we charged a premium for the rooms and had a questionnaire filled out ahead of time to allow for customizations. The hard part might be hiring maids and getting guests to leave.

Either way, although I like the concept, it doesn’t really draw me. I’ll be staying at the Hampton Inn.

To Honor and Abbey

I watched the entire second season of “Downton Abbey” today. I watched the entire first season yesterday. I am looking forward to watching the third season¬† this coming week.

I’m not sure which job in the house I would want most, but probably chauffeur. I like cars. I wouldn’t mind being one of the landed gentry, but it looks like you generally inherit that job rather than applying for it.

Regardless, this was way too much TV. I can’t believe I got hooked on what is effectively a post-Edwardian soap opera. I’m not ashamed of that fact, just surprised. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable show, even in its overly melodramatic moments. I admit to giving a little squeal of delight when Mr. Bates and Anna got together, and also when Thomas got cheated by the black marketeers.

No spoilers, please. I have some shows to watch.

Junque

The other night I watched an episode of “Hoarders”, which always freaks me out a little bit, since there is some hoarder in me. Immediately after “Hoarders” was over, I switched to “Antiques Roadshow”. And that’s when I realized that junk is in the eye of the beholder. These two shows are opposite ends of the Bell Curve!

“Hoarders” is scary. Many of the people live in filth and are surrounded my mountain of junk. “Antiques Roadshow” celebrates the most unusual bits of that junk. I’m not saying that the folks on “Antiques Roadshow” are hoarders, although many might be. But they do have “stuff” that got on TV … just like the “Hoarders” folks.

I don’t really have a big message here. I just found the parallels between the two shows interesting, especially since I happened to watch them back-to-back.

Golden what?

There was apparently an awards show last night called “The Golden Globes”. The 13-year-old in me immediately thought it might be awards for boobs of some sort, but I don’t think that would fly on network TV. I really don’t know what it’s for, who gets them, etc. And I don’t care.

I don’t watch awards shows and unless I’m up for some award, doubt that I ever will. And even if I’m up for an award, I won’t be watching since I’ll be in the audience hoping I won. Maybe. Depends on the award. I might stay at home.

There are Tony’s and Grammies and Emmies (OH MY!) and Oscars and SAG and at least twenty others. I know the Oscars are for movies and that’s about it. I might have watched it once in the 1980’s and remember it being an excruciating ego fest of people I had mostly never heard of.

There always seems to be an ad about some awards show for something I don’t care about, or some group or other societal designation that I don’t support, or some kids thing and a bunch of other crap that I can’t remember because it doesn’t matter to anyone but those involved. How does some singer I don’t listen to, or some actor from a movie I didn’t see, or some other thing that affects my life in no way at all getting a statue matter to me? It doesn’t.

Yeah, I’m a grumpy old guy.

But I’m getting sick of the cult of celebrity where irrelevant stuff and the minor accomplishment of just doing your job is celebrated and the reality is manufactured. It’s a waste of my time to even bother to look at it. The glamor isn’t there. It’s a bunch of people who barely look human wearing clothes that cost more than my car acting like any of it matters. Newsflash: it doesn’t.

If they’re human, they’re all thinking the same thing: I’d better win, and they’re better hurry up and give me my stuff. That’s it. The rest of the night is all “blah blah blah” like the adults in Peanuts cartoons. And since I’m not involved and I don’t care, I don’t even get that part where I care about one segment. I get only the “blah blah blah”. I want to watch this parade of fake emotion and artificial gratitude for 3 hours or more? No, I don’t.

Ok, I know some of this matters in some ways to those involved. It could mean a better career or more money or something else. But not for me. And I don’t watch other things where the same stuff is involved, unless it’s for me.

Yeah, this rant really is about me. I think it’s a good one, too. I’m not afraid to admit that. I have an ego. I try to keep it in check most of the time, but it escapes now and then and I write completely self-centered stuff like this now and then.

Maybe I deserve an award!