Here's how an ex-lover used to describe me: "Don't get me wrong. I love the package, I just hate what's inside the package." And sometimes, that's the way I feel about television. I love the general concept, but hate the specifics (M*A*S*H, Law & Order, Touched on the Swimsuit Area by an Angel). However! There are days when television does something so right, so perfect, that I can't help but hop up in the air and scream, "Hallelujah, I love that TV so!" And today, my friends, is one of those rare occasions. Because today is the day TV gave us what could be the most perfect show ever devised, The Surreal Life.
Bestowed upon us by the producers of Blind Date, The Surreal Life (Thursdays, 9 pm, the WB) recognizes that "reality shows" are anything but real, and has taken the genre to the next level. How? By taking seven washed-up ex-superstars and shoving them into a mansion to live together for 10 days without transportation, cell phones, or personal assistants (assuming, of course, any of these has-beens can still afford personal assistants).
And who was chosen to partake in this grand sociological experiment? Prepare to crap your pants, my friends!
• MC HAMMER--That's correct! The greatest rap sellout of the '80s! After tumbling into poverty after a run-in with the IRS, Hammer was forced to sell his big sequined diaper pants and become a Christian.
• EMMANUEL LEWIS--This diminutive star of Webster slipped off the pop-culture map after his sitcom career bit the dust. But will this show provide a much-needed second chance for the three-foot-eight 40-year-old?
• BRANDE RODERICK--Unless you're a Baywatch or Playboy fan, you've probably never heard of Brande. But cut the producers some slack! What other wash-ups are willing to take off their clothes? (Don't forget: Dana Plato is currently indisposed.)
• COREY FELDMAN--What can you say about this tragic failure who once starred in such childhood blockbusters as Stand by Me, The Goonies, and License to Drive? How about, "Omigod Omigod Omigod Omigod OMIGOD!!"
• GABRIELLE CARTERIS--That's right; the bespectacled 35-year-old teenager who played nerdy Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills, 90210! I hated her then, and I'm SO READY to hate her again!
•VINCE NEIL--Vince is famous for being the lead singer of Mötley Crüe, who are famous for sticking a telephone receiver up a girl's hoo-hoo and calling her mom. THAT'S GROSS!
• JERRI MANTHEY--She was the bitchy brunette from Survivor II and I'm sorry, but couldn't they have gotten Shannen Doherty? Somebody get her agent on the line!
And even more perfect? These seven fallen stars will be forced to perform everyday mundanities, such as grocery shopping, camping out, putting on a backyard talent show, and participating in a "naked sushi night." (Whoopee! I hear Webster is hung like a horse!)
Do you see? FINALLY? The Surreal Life isn't just another ratings ploy, but a signifier that we have reached the pinnacle of art on television--that is, unless they decide to run MY show, Washed-Up Celebrity Nude Indian Leg Wrestling.