by Dan Angell
I’m sitting in a hotel room, 3 hours before I have to show up for my cousins wedding pictures and my suit is in another city. I am typing on my sister’s computer and becoming increasingly irritated with the unresponsive keys which insist on making me go back over ever sentence to correct errors. There is awful programming on the TV and I get to choose between reality trash TV and animal planet where I get to ask myself who actually cares about lions killing a giraffe? Is that real entertainment? I think I’ll stick with the trash TV because at least I can make fun of it and write a review. What am I supposed to review on the animal planet? Should I be critical of the attacking angle of one of the lions? Am I honestly the best person to comment on the nutritional habits of a jaguar? I don’t think so, but I have plenty of comments on I Love New York.
To clarify, the show is about a girl known as New York who was kicked off of another reality show staring Flavor Flav. Clearly these are the people we should be asking for when we require some insight onto society today. When Shakespeare wrote his plays, he was many times in fear for his life because of the times when he showed the royalty to be imperfect. When the musical Hair was written it was used as an anti-war play. And now, with the economy in a downward spiral, the dollar becoming worthless, no industry to speak of, and oil prices going through the roof…we have I Love New York.
But I digress. New York brings a group of men into a mansion and makes them compete for her love and affection. They are expected to basically bend to her will, hate each other, and in the end despite their best efforts all but one are sent home. All of this is done with cameras following the whole scene, getting close ups on every slap, punch, pinch, tear, kick, fall, crack, snap, and pop, and yet I can’t look away. That’s how they get you. The show comes on with you thinking that you couldn’t possibly care about what any of these people have to say, but at some point you become interested in just exactly who’s going to get dejected, rejected, and objectified next. It’s like watching a boxer get knocked out in slow motion. You watch the punch from the beginning. You see where it’s going. You see it get around the opponents guard. And then you stand jaw open in a trance as glove connects with chin, and a man is sent unconscious to the floor and there is nothing he can do about it.
That being said I am happy that I can write this review and become a sort of meat shield between my fellow bad cinema savants and this television herpes. Admittedly I still feel a certain amount of shame for watching this, but at the same time it eases my mind to know that I do this so you don’t have to. Now, if you’re into that sort of thing be my guest, and then when it’s over head down to the hospital and get sterilized…please. Now I did run into a good bit of fortune in that this is the last episode of this particular season for this particular show, and as this is the second season of a show about New York finding love, I can safely assume she did not do so in the first season. Also, as now I have seen the winner, I do not have to watch the previous episodes this season, as similarly no one watches the place the bank robber went before he got to the bank. Who cares where he ate breakfast and picked up laundry as long as we see him pull a gun on a room full of people and demand money from the terrified bank teller?
I don’t really think seeing the rest of the season is terribly necessary though. There were two men left, one tall black guy who was very head strong and one shorter Latino man who was really more like a pet dog to New York than a boyfriend. Naturally she did the sensible thing, she slept with the tall black guy, and once she was done sent him home and kept the other as a boyfriend, claiming she was in love with him. It really makes me begin to question love. I am sitting in a hotel room, now 4 and a half hours away from participating in the ultimate showing of love and affection, and I just watched the television equivalent of someone playing the practical joke of getting a paper bag of dog feces, lighting it on fire, and setting it on the door step of love. Essentially, either New York is lying and really just wanted to screw around with one guy and keep the other as her bag boy, or I have been lied to for years and should just give up right now. I’m not sure after watching that if I can go through with the wedding with a clear conscience. Is the only real difference between trash TV and real life the little chocolates shaped like wedding cake all the guests receive at the wedding dinner? By standing by my cousin as he takes the first step into a relationship which will determine the course for the rest of his life am I really just perpetuating a dangerous sequence of events which instead of bringing love, compassion, and romance to two people who so deeply care for each other that they are willing to forsake all others for as long as they both shall live, will actually lead to the slow but undoubted fall of the moral majority and an unraveling of all of the so called “rights” which we hold dear and on which this country was founded and so many gave their lives to protect? Can I really feel good about myself knowing that I may in fact be leading the charge against a gainful and joyful life for all mankind?
I can only hope the answer lies in the middle of this tiny Godiva Chocolate wedding cake, along with its creamy center.