Monday, May 16, 2005
WHY TOMMY GRAND NEEDS TO MAKE HIS TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO CHEATERS
Another one bites the dust and Tommy makes a bust.
Cable television's second greatest show, Cheaters, is in serious disarray. I've been a fan of the show since I ran across it while out in East Texas. What I thought to be just a local access funfest (as it's based and filmed primarily in D-Town), I later realized to be the global phenomenon that it is today. I was led in innocently enough by a man by the name of Tommy Grand (with that name, you wonder if he has another profession). Dressed in a black mock turtle neck, nice pleated slacks and donning a long, black leather trench and armed with a permenant five o'clock shadow, a booming baritone and a little handheld video camera which he uses to display the very worst of human behavior to suspicious spouses, Tommy embodies a modern, Sherlockian, smooth superhero--a Robin Hood, if you will, of the underworld--defender of the little man (and woman). And when you see him in public (especially if he's jumping out of a white van with limo tint followed by a camera crew, boom mic and your significant other), run like hell or your cable television debut is about to crash upon you.
A still shot from the Tommy Grand Mini Van Cam. Cheap wine gets 'em everytime.
Tommy Grand made his sad and mysterious departure from the show over two years ago and can only be spotted in his greatness on re-runs. He was replaced by a dashing and tenacious young whippersnapper named Joey Greco.
Fire in his eyes.
Don't get me wrong, Joey has his wonderful attributes as a host. C'mon, the kid got knifed for crying out loud. But he's cold. Sometimes barrelling over guests and leaving the broken-hearted with only half the answers and twice the confusion--rarely seeking resolve. He likes the spotlight--his chance to show the world that he's not just another four-eyed twerp with a chip on his shoulder--no, he's machine, an emotionless and methodical robohost. They're night and day the two of them which explains why they couldn't possibly co-host, switch off between episodes. So now, here's my top three reasons (trust me, my mental list is about twenty marks long) why Tommy Grand needs to be brought back to save Cheaters from, well, I hate to say it, cancellation.
1) THE TOMMY GRAND "YOU-DON'T-NEED-HIM-ANYWAY-YOU-NEED-ME" MOVE
You know it if you've seen it. And if you've seen it, you'll swear it's the most insanely remarkable move ever. Besides being one of the most dynamic host in television history, he's also a col' pimp. He's like the Billie Dee Williams of reality television. Lady catches her boy cheating on her. The situation hits the fan and girl leaves in emotion wreck. On the ride back to the studio, Tommy pulls the ultimate in smooth moves. He starts with a single hand rub on the shoulder. Nodding his head and quietly, subtly interjecting with short words and phrases of agreement as the victim of love-gone-bad gets it out of her system. Gradually it turns into an arm across the back. Next thing you know, right before we disappear into a commercial break, Tommy's in near-full embrace, tears have dried and we're nothing but smiles. Sure, it's kinda sleazy, but Tommy knows a good opportunity when he sees one. How do you think he landed the gig in the first place? And as the girl hops out of the mini van with one relationship ended and a new one just begun, Tommy cooly closes with, "Call me." Yeah. If you've heard those words, you swore for that moment you were the luckiest gal in the galaxy. That's how good Tommy is.
2) "MY NAME'S TOMMY FROM THE TV SHOW 'CHEATERS.' WE'RE HERE TO TALK ABOUT YOUR DISHONESTY AND BETRAYAL!"
Man, if you're on the business end of these words, you're the loneliest cat in the world. Tommy has incredible mastery of language. He speaks like a powerful preacher--using almost biblical dialect with such ease as he verbally lashes at the red-handed love bandit. The look of utter confusion on the face of cheaters is a testimony to his verbal ability. When he jumps out of the van and unloads his five minute assault of interrogatives and accusations, the only suitable reply is an open mouth of amazement and bewilderment, then gather your entrails and apologize.
3) TOMMY'S FATHERLY INSTINCT
If he's not trying to pick you up like a weepy bridesmaid at her best friend's wedding, he like an angry father going for the jugular on some punk who just cheated on his daughter. Now, we know how vicious he can be during what they call the "confrontation," but his true fatherly instinct really shines during the briefing in which he is "forced" as part of his obligation as a private investigator (yes, I question his credentials as well) and what the show calls the "right to know," to fully inform his client by forcing them to watch the ever-painful video survelliance of their straying lover. And, man, let me tell you, some of this video footage their clients are forced to watch has GOTTA be painful. Tommy starts by saying, "I have some video to show you, [clients name], and this is going to be painful," and ends by Tommy, in disgust, closing the LCD viewer on the camcorder saying, "It makes me sick, [clients name], to see [cheaters name] doing this to you. It's just disgusting and heartless. You deserve so much better than this, [clients name]." Almost Cosby-like.
Oh, crap, gotta go. Another great Tommy Grand episode of Cheaters on WB.
Sick 'em, Tommy.