Will Wii Fit get me into the Mii Generation?

May 23, 2008

This morning I checked out the Wii Website, and found an answer to the question I had been looking for:

Why do I need Wii?

Wii is not just a gaming console, it’s a reason to get together with your friends and family and play today’s hottest games. Wii offers legendary Nintendo franchises like Mario, Zelda and Metroid, as well as all new classics like Wii Sports and Wii Play. Create your own Mii character to star in Wii games. Play friends online over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection or use the Internet Channel to surf the net from your sofa. You can even download classic Nintendo games using the Wii Shop Channel. Take a look around and see why your TV is not complete without Wii.

The people at Wii know that keeping up with technology can be overwhelming; the atmosphere of their website minimalistic, uncluttered, and spa-like (the polar opposite of MySpace). I feel like I’m at IKEA with Feng Shui. The demonstration videos for the Wii Fit remind me of the scene in The Matrix where Morpheus trains Neo to live in the grid. However, Wii is not asking me to live in their world, but to reinvent my world with the Wii brand. Apparently, the future is now.

This change is not new. I remember eating my first TV Dinner in the early 70’s (a ready made dinner in an aluminum tray that was shaped like a TV set). Our family moved out of the dining room and into the living room to eat dinner in front of the TV Set. You were supposed to eat TV Dinners on a TV Tray. TV Trays were sold in sets of four and each tray folded out in front of you on a little stand. Thanks in part to the invention of the TV Dinner, I literally grew up in front of television. My grandmother liked to cook big Sunday dinners for us at her house and she never understood why we didn’t enjoy “dinner conversation.” In her day, family members looked forward to the eventing meal to catch up on each others’ lives and share town gossip. I remember my grandfather loved Soul Train and my grandmother had a hard time getting him to turn off the TV and come to dinner. Despite owning a big RCA Television Console, She held on to family dinner by never buying a TV Dinner or a set of TV Trays.

Now the Nintendo Corporation is asking families to leave their individual TV sets and video consoles and congregate together in front of the ole’ Family TV. Their motives are admirable, but do I need a Wii to have “quality family time?” Of course, sitting for hours in front of the TV is not good for you, so the makers of Wii have come up with the Wii Fit, so we all can stay active and remain together. I’m skeptical about the Wii Fit. Take a look at the Wii Fit Promo video vs. the Parody, and you’ll see why.

When I was little, we always had a bunch of neighborhood kids over at our house. Our backyard was small, but we had a sand box, a tree house, and something called a “whirli-gig.” We also shared a driveway with our next door neighbors so we could make a bike track out of chalk and ride around. We also had a kiddie pool which we set up as a bike wash. It seems that in order to have a house that kids want to come to, I need to own a Wii. A nearby park isn’t a gathering place anymore, and that makes me sad. My big Orwellian fear is that the outside world will become so undesirable, that Wii Fit is a necessity. I wonder if by purchasing a Wii, am I giving in to the possibility that I can’t think of anything else to do. Hopefully, there is a balanced middle ground. If I join the Wii/Mii Generation, I want it to be a positive change, and I welcome any of your stories and/or comments.

PJ


Malissa loses cat fight {Groomer Has It}

May 11, 2008

I really want to like Malissa, but on Groomer Has It this week, she made it difficult for me to take her seriously. After telling us that she knows the difference between stuffed animals and real animals, she actually managed to get “bitten” by a stuffed German Sheppard. Later she said she had a “seventh sense,” realizing later that there are only 5 senses. The worst mistake was cutting off a cat’s whiskers after a judge told the groomers specifically “do not scissor the face or cut the whiskers.” That’s actually a mean thing to do because cats use their whiskers to judge distances. So Malissa went home. It was no contest between Malissa and Artist, who ended up at the bottom because he lost confidence when his cat “boo-booed three times; three times it put chocolate truffles on my table.” Mean Kathleen said that Malissa “is an insult to my gender,” but Kathleen is not impressive when it comes to her interpersonal skills (although she won “best in show” this week for cat grooming). Kathleen impressed the judges by knowing her role in the process: “I am her (the cat’s) servant, I am not her friend.” OK, but I wouldn’t claim cat worshiping as a credit to our gender, either.

What’s the difference between grooming a cat vs a dog? According to Jorge, dogs want to please you, but with a cat, “you have to please them…basically, they’re like a woman; you have to tell them what they want to hear, and they’ll work with you.” Jessica, the resident cat groomer, also had a difficult time with her cat. Earlier Jessica had begun to show claws in her personality, prompting Jorge to say, “I would like to put a muzzle on Jessica.”

Last week I wondered what CPR had to do with dog grooming, but this week I learned that a good groomer needs to know basic animal first aid in case of an emergency. The groomers had some pretty funny things to say before the Quick Sniff Challenge (performing 3 different types of first aid on three different dogs–2 stuffed animals and a CPR dog).

Jon: The CPR dog looked kind of like a stuffed-bear-sloth-creature. It needed a brushing.

Will: That CPR dog was crazy looking…I’m not putting my mouth on that thing, no way girlfriend.

Jorge: I had given a little Yorkie CPR and he had the worst breath.

Artist: You can’t be walking around with your scissors in your hand saying ‘I can give a Continental Cut like nobody’s business’…you’ve got to be solid.

Next week: Chow-Chow Challenge


Elizabeth Berkley claims, “So many shows celebrate people who don’t really have anything” {Chelsea Lately}

May 8, 2008

On Chelsea Lately last night, special guest Elizabeth Berkley {Saved by the Bell, Showgirls,CSI Miami} said that the contestants on her show, Step It Up and Dance, “are professionals.” Berkley continued, “What sets the show apart is that people…”

“…have talent…I know, not like American Idol…” Chelsea Handler chimed in with her usual dry wit and sarcasm. Unfortunately, Berkley took the bait and blurted back, “Right, so many shows celebrate people who don’t have anything.” I’m not sure how Handler kept a straight face when she replied, “People who don’t really have…Hello?”

But talent is not what Reality TV is all about; if it was, Berkley would probably not have been selected to host Step It Up and Dance. Although Elizabeth Berkley has a few acting awards to her credit, she’s a new Bravo TV host mainly because of her infamous performance in Showgirls, for which she won a couple of “Razzies.” Realty TV is not about talent, it’s about finding talent. Reality TV is about people with potential fighting their way for a chance at more than 15 minutes of fame. I don’t watch Step It Up and Dance, but I saw a preview for the next episode. One of the professional dancers gets injured while trying to dance suspended in a cage ball. Then the judges tell them they’re all up for elimination. Will this be the first time an entire cast goes home at the same time? I won’t lose any sleep over the outcome. Berkley shouldn’t worry either; she’s got a supporting role in CSI Miami, a show that will be around a lot longer than Step It Up and Dance.

PJ

Left: Elizabeth Berkley with David Caruso on CSI Miami


David Cook’s performance worthy of Rock Hall venue {American Idol}

May 7, 2008

I started to feel as if I were in A Clockwork Orange watching American Idol last night; being forced to watch the red Coca-Cola trademark on a million TV screens when Ryan Seacrest interviewed finalists was mind-numbing. However, I was very impressed with David Cook’s soulful rendition of The Who’s classic Teenage Wasteland. Cook made this song “relevant” (to borrow a word from Paula Abdoul) for the times. I can actually admit I was wrong in my last post- an up-and-coming artist can perform a copy of an original recording. David Cook breathed new life into this old classic, claiming it for himself as a solo act. “He is back!” was all the judges had (thankfully) to say; the performance spoke for itself. Jason Castro did not sing that well this week and even Randy Jackson appeared offended. “That was a Karaoke BOMB,” said Jackson. He didn’t even say, “Karaoke bomb, DAWG.”

I have to end here… for some reason I feel that I need to drink a can of Coke.

PJ


Judge Judy is never short of one-liners

May 6, 2008

I’ve been watching Judge Judy on and off for 10 years, mainly to hear her one liners. I call them Judge Judy-isms. She reminds me of a grandmother, never short of opinions or old fashioned advice. I started writing a list:

1. Beauty fades; dumb is forever.

2. You have to put on your listening ears.

3. I am a truth-telling machine.

4. If you wallow around with pigs, you’re going to get dirty.

5. Where did you think you were coming, to a tea dance?

7. An 8 year old does not need a cell phone!!!

8. If you think that I believe anything you just said, then I’m 5’7″ and 42 years old. Don’t laugh.

9. ‘Uhhm’ is not an answer.

10. Do I look like I need any help from you?

PJ


Commercial Break {Poetry}

May 5, 2008

Every so often, I will write a post that has nothing to do with a particular TV show…we all need a break from our routines once in awhile. Here is a poem by Tim Seibles, whom I met a few years ago at a poetry reading. I remember Tim telling me “poetry is bread.” Comparatively, sometimes TV can have the same effect as “junk food.” Read on:

    Commercial Break: Road-Runner, Uneasy

    If I didn’t know better I’d say
    the sun never moved ever,

    that somebody just pasted it there
    and said the hell with it,

    but that’s impossible.
    After awhile you have to give up

    those conspiracy theories.
    I get the big picture. I mean,

    how big can the picture be?
    I actually think it’s kind of funny —

    that damn coyote always scheming,
    always licking his skinny chops

    and me, pure speed, the object of all
    his hunger, the everything he needs —

    talk about impossible, talk about
    the grass is always greener

    I am the other side of the fence.

    You’ve got to wonder, at least a little,
    if this could be a set-up:

    with all the running I do —
    the desert, the canyons, the hillsides, the desert —

    all this open road has got to
    lead somewhere else. I mean,

    that’s what freedom’s all about, right?
    Ending up where you want to be.

    I used to think it was funny — Roadrunner
    the coyote’s after you Roadrunner…

    Now I’m mainly tired. Not that
    you’d ever know. I mean

    I can still make the horizon
    in two shakes of a snake’s tongue,

    but it never gets easier out here, alone
    with Mr. Big Teeth and his ACME supplies:

    leg muscle vitamins, tiger traps,
    instant tornado seeds.

    C’mon! I’m no tiger.
    And who’s making all this stuff?

    I can’t help being a little uneasy.
    I do one of my tricks,

    a rock-scorching, razor turn at 600 miles an hour,
    and he falls off the cliff, the coyote —

    he really falls: I see the small explosion,
    his body slamming into dry dirt

    so far down in the canyon
    the river looks like a crayon doodle.

    That has to hurt, right?
    Five seconds later, he’s just up the highway

    hoisting a huge anvil
    above a little, yellow dish of bird feed —

    like I don’t see what’s goin’ on. C’mon!

    You know how sometimes, even though you’re
    very serious about the things you do,

    it seems like, secretly, there’s a
    big joke being played,

    and you’re part of what
    someone else is laughing at — only

    you can’t prove it, so you
    keep sweating and believing in

    your career, as if that
    makes the difference, as if somehow

    playing along isn’t really

    playing along as long as you’re
    not sure what sort of fool

    you’re being turned into, especially
    if you’re giving it one-hundred percent.

    So, when I see dynamite
    tucked under the ACME road-runner cupcakes,

    as long as I don’t wonder why my safety
    isn’t coming first in this situation,

    as long as I don’t think me
    and the coyote are actually

    working for the same people,

    as long as I eat and

    get away I’m not really stupid,

    right? I’m just fast.




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Dr. Phil reveals he’s “as flexible as a rubber hose”

May 2, 2008

Based on the title of today’s episode, Cougar Craze, I expected Dr. Phil to set the women’s movement back a few years by making the guests look desperate and needy. But Dr. Phil was more worried about the women marginalizing his age group by choosing to dive into a dating pool full of men under 30. Attractive and articulate women over 45 claim that older men “have pot bellies and are rigid and set in their ways.” The show took a bizarre twist when Dr. Phil jumped off his high chair (literally, because today everyone was seated on high wooden chairs facing the audience), unbuttoned his sport coat and said, “I don’t have a pot belly.” The audience breathed a sigh of relief when Dr. P hopped back upon his perch and didn’t remove any more clothing. Then Dr. P said, “I’m as flexible as a rubber hose!” to which the audience of women responded with a resounding, “Oh no he didn’t!” An embarrassed Robin McGraw stood up and gushed, “I’m leaving.” Dr. Phil: “I didn’t mean it like that! Right. The director made the right choice when staging this episode. The guests were seated next to, not around Dr. Phil like they needed therapy, and Dr. Phil sat poised to lead a discussion, rather than give advice. Dr. Phil’s bottom line was: “Age should not be a deal-breaker if you both have the same mind set.” It was an entertaining show and for a minute I thought Dr. Phil might stand up on his chair and beat his chest with his fists, gorilla-style. Maybe that footage will appear on the Dr. Phil Uncensored page.

Have a good weekend,

PJ


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