There's this quirky movie from 1990 called "Metropolitan" about these horribly pretentious Manhattanite college students. One of them talks about literature a lot, but admits that he never actually reads novels; he only reads literary criticism. At least he did better than our former vice-president Dan Quayle, who saw himself fit enough to criticize Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses in public without ever having read the book. (Click here for that story and more entertaining Quaylisms.)
I've decided to take the Metropolitan/Quayle idea a step further. I'm going to become a renowned expert in TV shows I've never seen by watching only the E! True Hollywood Story behind-the-scenes documentaries about said shows.
I'll admit I sort of backed into this project by accident. One day I was channel surfing when I came across The E! True Hollywood Story of the sitcom Growing Pains. I started watching, even though I had never even heard of this show that ran from 1985-1992. After only a few minutes I was hooked on the tale of how this show was cast, the love-affair-that-almost-was between Alan Thicke and Joanna Kerns, and the love & respect the players had for each other until teen heartthrob Kirk Cameron's foray into fundamentalist Christianity and oh-so-cute Tracey Gold's anorexia almost tore the cast apart. Throw in a former Playboy Playmate getting kicked off the show because it offended Kirk's new Christian sensibility, and you have a real behind-the-scenes HIT with me. I had more fun watching this drivel than I ever would have seeing the show itself. The way I see it, why waste your time with the real show at all if you can get the recap AND the scandals in one shot from the E! True Hollywood Story?
It's like CliffsNotes for TV. It's brilliant. From now on when somebody asks me if I've been following such-and-such show, I can just tell them "oh I don't watch shows on TV - I just wait for the E! abbreviated version to come out." Imagine how much time I'll have for other projects.
And it doesn't have to stop with sitcoms either. Thanks to VH1's Bands Reunited, I am now intimately familiar with the careers and surrounding scandals of the members of the bands Vixen and Klymaxx, two bands I had never even heard of before this brilliant VH1 series brought them to my attention. Years down the road when I'm sitting around with my friends reminiscing about the past, I'll be able to talk about how I used to rock down to Vixen & Klymaxx. (I'll conveniently forget to mention that I rocked down to them for a period of one hour apiece during these VH1 specials.) I'll seem that much more culturally literate. It can only help.
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