Friday, July 31, 2009

Commuting and the Effect of Direct TV on my Life....

It's Friday today and I'm rather happy about that. The past couple of days have been extremely rainy and damp. Thus, for almost the entire drive to work today, I felt like I was smelling dead fish. I'm not sure why. I do pass over a couple of rivers but not enough for the fishy aroma to pervade the air. Also, I have a bit of a cold so the fact that I could still smell the fishy smell means it was pretty pungeant.

Dead fish aside, I'm getting used to the drive to work. As I said, it's thinking time. So far, I haven't done too much thinking about my writing but given that I'm finally getting settled in a new house, that will come a little later.

At the moment, I have rather random thought processes while driving. They're mostly related to TV. I've been watching my Direct TV on my downtime.

One thing I want to know: Why does BBC America show the same five commercials each time there's a commercial break? You can't tell me that it can't attract more advertiesers than it does. Every time I turn it on for an hour, I'm forced to sit through the same promo for How do you Solve a Problem like Maria and the upcoming crossover When Maria Met Joseph. While I'm absolutely not opposed to these shows, I am becoming very opposed to the commercials. I also do NOT want to watch that Jonathan Ross show because I find him annoying and I find the fact that I'm reminded who his upcoming guests are every five minutes to be more annoying.

Secondly, there's that commercial for Cheerios. It's the one where the adorable little kid in his pajamas wakes his parents up to give them Cheerios to lower their cholesterol because he read it on the cereal box. First of all....REALLY? Second of all, that kid is barely old enough for his head to reach the top of the bed to wake his dad up so you're telling me he can not only read the word cholesterol but he knows what it does? I'm sure there's some backstory about his dad reading him the box and explaining to this overly precocious child what cholesterol is and what it does. Personally, I think I'd probably be telling the kid a story about the bee on the box or something. Thirdly, in real life, if a kid woke their parents up with a bowl of Cheerios here are a few things that would really happen:

1) The dad would not wake up.
2) The dad would half-wake up, say, "nice idea but come back in a couple of hours."
3) The dad would wake up, say "go see your mother," and roll back to sleep.
4) Upon sending him to his mother, the mother would wake up and get annoyed with the dad for sending him over.
5) Once the mother was annoyed, the parents would bicker about who let him read the cereal box in the first place.
6) The parents would realize that their child was a little creepy and perhaps they ought to go buy him some books to read instead of cereal boxes.

I find that kid a little too precocious for my tastes.

Aside from commercials, I also think about TV shows. I like the Food Network, I've mentioned that. I've been watching that show Throwdown with Bobby Flay. I'm entertained by this show but the more I watch it, the more cruel I realize it is. The premise of the show is that Bobby Flay, one of Food Network's "Superstar" chefs with 20+ years of experience, challenges cooks from around the country who are the supposed 'best' at what they make. The challengers are set up by being made to believe they're doing a pilot for a new Food Network show or are auditioning for a show or some other slighly believable premise. Then, Bobby Flay and his team waltz in, challenge them and the battle is on.

Here's the thing: The people he challenges are usually local favourites. They've been cooking their speciality for years and years. They are experienced and they are successful because they're good at what they do. I see this as a good thing. However, Bobby Flay is given his assignment and has to come up with his version of their speciality in what seems to be less than two days.

The thing with Bobby's dishes is he always tries to get fancy. For example,I've now seen episodes on Sloppy Joes, Barbecue, Falafel, Philly Cheese Steaks and more. Each time, Bobby doesn't try to make the simplest dish because he knows he'll lose so he throws in ingredients like peanut butter, chipotle, poblano peppers resulting in a gourmet version of the local favourite.

This is all well and good but it doesn't seem fair. He should be forced to make the exact same dish as the person he's challenging in order for it to be fair. What he's coming up with is not the same dish thus it can't exactly compare, can it?

When Bobby does issue the challenge, it seems a little arrogant. He's telling the person whose been cooking their signature dish for years that he can do it better because he practiced for TWO DAYS. That seems a little unfair. It also seems a little unfair to taunt the challengers with the idea that they might get to have their own Food Network show and, instead, have Bobby show up to arrogantly presume he can cook better than them.

Bobby loses a lot. I'm happy about that. The interesting thing is when he does win, he always seems embarrassed, like he knows it's a little mean to do what he's doing. Whether or not he humbly acknowledges that just because he won, doesn't mean he's the best, the challenger has to feel a little crappy. I mean, for years, they've thought they were the best at what they cooked and then this New Yorker strolls in, takes their crown away and then leaves town. That has to sting a little, even if the locals do know you're the best and continue to eat your food. It's a pride thing.

So, those are my random TV thoughts at the moment. I'm sure there's more but I can't think of them. However, it's nice to know my commute is good for something, even if it's not terribly productive thinking. Eventually, I hope it will be. In the meantime, I'll keep watching TV. It gives me something to ponder about.

Happy Friday.

No comments: