Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Maybe it's because I have little understanding of what the television experience should truly accomplish that I watched such crap growing up and, at times, still do. Luckily, I have a fairly intensive work schedule that makes it impossible to miss a day of it and it's quiet easy for me to avoid daytime television, but I take one sickday and it's Maury Time!
What's always shocked me is that I always knew Maury was no Pulitzer Prize winner, but he, at the very least, is not retarded and is a grown human who seems to be fully functionable. Why on Earth does he put his name on such juvenile programming is beyond me. I can't figure it out. Take, for instance, the above show where a girl is deathly afraid of mustard and pickles and the title of the show is, "My Fear of Mustard and Pickles is Ruining My Life." Or another one of my favorites, "That's No Freak, That's My Child!" where they parade kids with some sort of birth defect around like zoo animals. Of course, there's Povich Paternity shows where, for about three straight years, they stuck to the formulaic, "You're My Baby's Father, Now Man Up!" theme. This is some incredibly dynamic programming, folks. And, it's for that reason, that I present:

This was quickly becoming the most popular Povich programming for a period of about a year and a half. In the show, they would take someone who had a horrible run at teenage life because they were overweight and typically it's a female. That female would then tell the producers they wanted to show someone who used to make fun of them that they've lost the weight and they're a lean, mean sex machine and ready to take on the world. But first, they need to bring some closure to their childhood by showing someone that, one, I'm hot and, two, you can't have me. The set up is completely scr3wed so, from the beginning, you know this ain't gon' end up that good. In an average circumstance, they bring out the guy-role first while the crowd boos him from backstage to his chair while he wonders, "Why in the hell are they booing me? What did I do now?" Unbeknownst to him, it's not what he did now, it's what he did some 15 years ago. He sits there and Maury just teases him like, "Do you know why you're here, Mark?" Mark keeps shaking his head while the studio audience continues to jeer at him and boo. They then show a picture of the girl playing the ugly duckling role from the high school yearbook to Mark. Maury will typically ask, "Do you know this person?" Now, the funniest circumstance is when Mark says, "No, I don't have a clue who that is." The funniest part is, he genuinely has no clue who this person is. Now, common sense would say, if you didn't know the picture of them in high school, you really ain't gonna recognize them now so, essentially, at this point, the gig is up and they'd be better off going to a commercial.

But they don't.

So after Maury has brought Mark in on why he's there, he negatively identifies the girl who is about to come out and confront him (which is just all kinds of weird), the girl (who we'll call Marsha) comes flying out of the back with vengeance in her eyes and payback on her mind. She comes out and sits down next to Mark and goes into an embarrassing monologue of how people picked on her in high school then she directs her attention to Mark and says, "You used to call me a fat ass and, once, you threw a chicken finger at me!" Mark continues to just think of a happy place because he thought he was showing up because someone had a secret crush, but rather found out that someone was out for revenge against him. Sometimes, the Mark-role will lose his tolerance with how incredibly stupid the show's subject is and he'll belt out in a "Dude, get over it!" type of comment which, really, is not a bad idea. Marsha's grudge indicates a girl who has had a difficult time moving on in life and she should really see a counselor. Mark was a punk in high school and Marsha's playing the part of the nuclear bomb out to destroy Mark's social life on television. Mark has a reason to be pissed off because Marsha's using Maury as a very public platform for redicule. It's unfair, really. And, in the end, Marsha saw no resolve and Mark can't get a date back home.

But it's such good television.


You know the scenario. Single parent, usually a mother, has no control of her child--usually a daughter. Daughter makes some completely over-the-top claim that she's like 12 years old and snorts cocaine and has sex with ten different partners everyday. Mother's wigging out and comes to Maury because it's cheaper than finding real help for a kid who just really has a bad mouth and a chip on her shoulder because her mother is an indolent nincompoop who has lost direction as a parent in her daughter's life. Oh, and no matter how hard the mother and daughter might try to hide it, they can't mask the fact that they were plucked right from the trailer park. The set up shows the kid backstage wagging her finger at the camera with this atrocious heavy rock music playing in the background to nail home the bad attitude. The kid stands on the projection screen behind her mother with her arms crossed, shaking her head and occassionally laughing as her mother weeps on the couch with Maury. They wheel the kid out and she hits the crowd with a barrage of obscenities and both middle fingers in the air. They ship her off to boot camp, someone yells at her for a month and then she loves her mother. It really works! I saw it on Maury!


Sometimes, Maury's forced to be the moral enforcer. I mean, someone's gotta do it. For about five straight years, Maury got stuck in the "paternity tests revealed" themes because, well, there's no shortage of subjects on this theme. For a while, I think the paternity test shows were really because his writers and producers had nothing else really to come up with. "Hell, Maury, let's just do another paternity test show. People love that crap!" So, the set up is simple: the woman has had sex with multiple partners and the man wants nothing to do with her, but she's had a child and she insists that it belongs to the man. And while the child sits in the lap of the mother sucking on his thumb, the man and the mother go back and forth about how sleazy this woman is and she needs to stop having sex with so many people and how he ain't the daddy of her ugly baby. Then, the cliffhanger, the tests are revealed. Either one, you have a negative test and the dude just goes off like he won the lottery or, two, it's a positive match and the guy denies it for a second like, "You said 99.9%?" then he completely one-eigthies and is like, "I love this woman and I plan on being a major role in this child's life," like the lines are just fed to him. Here's an example of when it comes back negative.

I also found this clip when I was searching of a man who thinks he is the baby's daddy when he's white and the child obviously is part black. Oh, the hilarity. Watch when they show their family picture and try to keep from laughing. Only a complete moron would be surprised by this paternity test. Well, it would make sense because he's validly a moron. You can hear people laughing in the studio audience because this man is a total tool.

I love how he goes into the typically, "Get away from me! I hate you!" garbage. Dude, you should hate yourself for being so clueless.


In Maury's tireless search for the next big thing in daytime television, he had a string of shows on gender-bending guests which are not-so closely analyzed by the audience and then the audience shouts their presumptions at the guests as the work the catwalk. My fascination is not the transexuals, it's the true-blooded females that are sprinkled throughout that are there to throw off the audience.

I mean, what if you were selected as one of the women to be amongst the not-so women. What would that say about you as a female? Like the producers approach you like, "Well, we'd like you to be featured on a show where the studio audience guesses whether or not you're actually a female." Do they come clean and say, "You look like a man." I mean, if they find you for this show, it would mean you either are a really ugly woman or you have male-like features. Either of which are not too complimentary, I can't think. They thing bring you out and then the audience yells, "Man! Man! Man!" at you. If that happened to me and I was a female, I'd be cracking some heads.

Here's a clue as to if it's a man or not: if they're named Cookie or Corona, chances are that ain't no female. It's just a general rule.

Sometimes (*always) Maury finds a way to go from somewhat-credible journalist to absolute childish ridiculousness. Like the time he featured guests who were afraid of certain foods including this man who was deathly afraid of peaches. I can somewhat sympathize because I hate the fruits, but I don't run away from them.

What this man's real problem is not peaches, but mental health. The rocking in his chair, the dazed look, the mouth he can't close, the stuttered and hurried speech. I think he could have some serious issues that only a psychologist could properly assess. Too bad for this man the producers of the show don't recognize his problems before confronting his fear by using his fear against him for the entertainment of the masses. Check out how they sensationalize this man's fear with the video of the peaches being smooshed and eaten by a person who can't chew with his mouth closed. Even if he's just an actor, he's a bad actor and would never land a real gig. And, I'm sorry, this dude trying to convince me that he's got a girlfriend is a stretch that not even Maury can accomplish. This man is a very lonely person. I guarantee you that.

I gotta get more sleep. These 4:00 mornings just ain't working for me.

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