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January 10th, 2009

Rush to the Bottom: Man v Food, The Principal’s Office

With the recent announcement that NBC was taking away an hour of primetime programming every night to give Jay Leno more time for his “comedy”, some people on the internets suggested that scripted television had just put one foot in its grave. If it was a person. With feet.

Every now and then we talk about the lowest of the lows on TV here at the Ping. In watching The Soup every week I’m amazed by how many purely crappy shows are out there, and I too wonder if scripted TV will be gone in the not-too-distant future. Here are two reasons why.

First, The Principal’s Office (warning: instant-on video) on truTV, which used to be Court TV. Learned of this one from The Soup and it’s exactly what you think it is: a camera in a principal’s office and the corresponding school. It’s kind of “America’s Funniest School Videos”. Kids act dumb, principals dish. That’s it. What, have we given up on hearing how our real kids do in school?

The other bottom feeder is Travel Channel’s – Travel Channel’s – Man v Food. In it, a guy named Adam Richman goes places (ah, travel) and eats mass quantities of food. I had left Travel Channel on after an episode of No Reservations once and saw some of this.

When Richman was eating a table full of food and the camera was taking the time to show close-ups of him eating said food, I was alternately grossed out and ashamed. Grossed out because, well, it was an incredible amount of food. But ashamed because here I was, with this fancy TV and a comfortable couch, essentially watching a court jester eat food for my “entertainment”. I mean… seriously.

We now have the ability to get news and entertainment and information from all over the world… and this is how we use it. I’ll stick to my Lost and Golden Girls, thanks.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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