Noxious Nostalgia at VH-1

As darn near every non-idiot knows, the television is oft called the “idiot box.” Interestingly, this sobriquet predates the E! Entertainment Television channel. If you ask us, this means that the boob tube, after the launching of E!, is actually dumber than the idiot box title would imply.

How about knuckle-dragging Troglodytes box? Admittedly, it’s not catchy. But at least it helps account for Ryan Seacrest.

Surely one of the most unpleasant irritants to be found on the cable variety of television is VH-1, a network we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have excoriated before. We wouldn’t trouble ourselves to lambaste it again were it not for the fact that this station somehow–magically, we think–gets worse and worse.

After our rip at Harry Connick Jr.’s expense ushered in a few nasty reader responses on this “website,” we are loath to take on another example of some Wizbang readers’ demotic sensibilities. But we just can’t help ourselves: VH-1 is galactically miserable.

It’s actually scarcely believable. The folks at VH-1 put up a masterfully horrid lineup of programming one season, and manage to top it with even more pernicious fair the next. How do they do it? Clearly, they have learned a thing or two from Phil Collins.

Perhaps the most irksome thing about VH-1 is its penchant for offering its insipid cultural detritus in the form of lists. Not only does it proffer all kinds of nugatory palaver, it must rank them, as if this somehow made it all worthwhile.

“Top 50 Teen Stars,” “Top 100 Heavy Metal Bands”–such is the unpleasant stuff of the geniuses at VH-1. Is anyone in America so stupid that he can’t wait until he finds out which heavy metal outfit took 33rd place? Gosh, we hope never to meet that fellow. (We bet he has really nice feathered hair, though.)

But the VH-1ers have finally crossed the line with the latest addition to its feculent programming lineup. The show in question is un-intriguingly called “I Love Toys,” or some such. And, as usual, it offers Gen-Xers the opportunity to become soggy with nostalgia, delighting in all the My Little Ponies and He-Men they can fathom.

It also, we should add, offers G-List pseudo-celebrities the opportunity to make dimwitted, cloying remarks about the playthings. For some reason, nearly every one of these dolts is listed as an “actor/comedian” in his byline, and yet we’ve never seen any of them as actors or comedians.

For example, there’s Mo Rocca, who ought to be close to shooting himself for leaving “The Daily Show” with such rapidity. That was a great career move, eh? Ah, so you say Barbie is really cool, Mo? We get it: That means Barbie is not really cool. Good one! Good one! We can’t wait until you reprise that gag for the next toy.

Something is really wrong with the program you are watching if you can’t wait until Patrice O’Neal gets some camera time. Unlike the obligatory oaf from “The Sopranos” or some reject from “Charles in Charge,” Patrice is actually clever.

If only Debbie Gibson could live up to his level of comedic genius.

(Note: The crack young staff usually “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently making snarky, unfunny remarks about an Etch-a-Sketch.)

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