It’s been pretty well established – I watch a lot of tv. And I am subjected to even more tv that I would not purposefully tune in to (SO’s questionable selections while I grind away on this masterpiece of a for-free website). I do not consider myself a conneiusseur of the televised programming form, I enjoy lowbrow garbage with the best of them. I am probably closer to the lowest common denominator than the highest and will never be held up as some beacon of good taste. All that established, I am getting majorly concerned with where we are going as a society with reality shows. Some of the scumbuckets currently appearing on a small screen near you are pushing my ragemeter dangerously close to the “homicidal” level. I’m pretty certain that, as a society, it would be a moral improvement to just go straight to violent shows along the lines of The Running Man.
(Note: I’m using “moral” here as this is from a one-man’s-opinion perspective, but it’s also possible that it’s an ethical question. Should our collective social fiber rise up against the lowest echelons of reality tv? Should my pet project FingerFork be a precursor to the actual debut of The Running Man? Did I just successfully jinx Kentucky? Points to ponder.)
For those not familiar with The Running Man, it was an 80s film (based on a Stephen King novel), about an innocent man in a dystopian society, fighting for his life in an American Gladiator-esque reality show where ex-cons duke it out with glamorized bounty hunters called stalkers. Arnold Schwarzenegger played Ben Richards, the wrongly accused hero who was destined to kick some ass and throw open the curtain of censorship and oppression. Since the prey were convicted killers, the audience felt fine in enjoying their gruesome deaths. Arnold managed to turn the tables though and prove that he wasn’t a mass murderer after kicking some major ass and tossing off a few Austrian-inflected one liners. Arnold got to say “I’ll be back,” Richard Dawson played the devilishly evil host of TRM and football great Jim Brown portrayed a fire shooting stalker – good things all. All things considered, I would gladly trade the VH1/E! reality dregs for some Running Man.
10 Reasons To Just Move Directly To The Running Man (sure, some of these are pretty weak, but “7 Reasons To Just Move Directly To The Running Man” doesn’t have the same pizazz.)
1. TRM doesn’t lead to negative incentives – The message most people will take away from the program is that it is good not to be chased down by professional bounty hunters who are seeking to kill you. Our current reality programming suggests that being a despicable human, having as many children as possible, or both, are the paths toward your own television show.
2. No sweet dance sensations evolving from today’s shows – Seriously, the running man is badass as hell. Visual proof provided below: “The freshest move I’ve ever seen, like he was floatin on air.”
3. More empathetic characters on TRM – While Ben Richards was an extreme example, it is more likely that a viewer might find common ground with someone who accidentally murdered a few people when he was young and now is fighting for his life than with the vacant mouthbreathers from The Hills or The City.
4. On extremely rare occasions, social injustices might be corrected – Ben Richards leveraged the TRM platform to right a wrong. To my knowledge, nothing good has ever sprung from Tila Tequila Is A Whore or The Real Housewives of Chula Vista.
5. Would feel less dirty after watching a convicted rapist get set on fire by Jim Brown than after watching a future felon try to win the love of some dumbass – Even The friggin Dating Game had a future serial killer on it in the 1970s. They had to nix the rest of Megan Wants A Millionaire after one of the d-bags killed his girlfriend. (And, Megan, you were great on Beauty and The Geek, but let’s give the fucking reality bizness a break, okay?)
6. Superior costuming/hygiene on TRM – The spandex onesies of TRM trump the communal toothbrush of Rock of Love Bus.
7. Much more entertaining host – Richard Dawson was fucking awesome, the ringleaders of today’s reality circuses add little other than a rehash of what you just saw prior to commercial and are going to seeing again twice after commercial. If you have the misfortune of watching a reality program on TV Land, like High School Reunion, there is about three minutes of new footage per show. Also, High School Reunion is terrible.
8. There’s a better chance of your “I wish they would all die” pleas being answered – I haven’t actually seen it – even skipping their obligatory appearance on Chelsea Lately – but there is some show about some stupid young girls who were involved in that Hollywood theft ring earlier this year. Even when fastforwarding through The Soup at 3x and seeing the blurred “highlights” of the next episode, I still had to sigh that these worthless morons are still going to be around tomorrow.
9. More examples of sacrifice vs. self-promotion? Some guys die but struggle to get Arnold some codes or something so they can like finish the rebellion and bust Richard Dawson’s ass. (It’s been some time since I’ve seen TRM; for the sake of research I was going to rent it but it’s only available for purchase on the Playstation Network. Given that I’ve only made $0.58 so far, I couldn’t spring for that action.) But let’s just say that there were some noble actions taken in the movie than in a typical episode of Flavor of Love (with the possible exception of the woman who took a dump on the floor rather than miss out on some time with Flavor Flav. Although, who knows, that may have just been business as usual for her.)
10. I don’t have anything else, so let me reiterate, the running man dance is awesome – Instructional video below.
Speaking of the running man The race was a little rougher than anticipated. The previous weekend it was sunny and 70, on Sunday it was windy and 42 degrees. Windy does not play well to the larger type runner. And for some odd reason my knee that I fell on the previous week was hurting like a bastard at the start – I seriously thought I was gonna have to quit after like a quarter mile. But then I remembered what a pussy I would look like after writing about it on here, so I persevered. To add insult to injury, we also inexplicably forgot to pick up our laundry (even though we had three days to pick it up) so I wasn’t even Asic-ed out to the max. It was a Nike – Asics – Under Armour hodgepodge. Finished in just over 85 minutes, a little worse than I’d hoped but okay given the conditions. They also said my name as I crossed the finish line, which was cool (although they mispronounced my last name as “one seven” instead of the phonetic “seventeen.”)