Monday, September 19, 2011

Dennis Rodman is to "The Mole" as the honey badger is to LIFE.

Well! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day. As much as I’d like to say I could write an entire blog post about this very exciting holiday, I’m pretty sure even I can’t stretch that out into an entire blog post.

Sort of on-topic, but does anyone remember that horrendous pirate reality show from a few years ago that was attempting to capitalize on the Pirates of the Caribbean craze and it was the funniest and most horrible thing ever? It was so bad they didn’t even show the last few episodes and you had to search online to find out who won. Sorry. “Won.” Pirate Master. Yeah, it was the worst. I remember laughing myself to tears over this thing. The best part was, at the end of each episode, the contestant who was voted out was “cut adrift” and put on a raft in the ocean and then the camera would just watch them float off into the mist. I assume we were supposed to draw the conclusion that they died out there. Not everything makes a good reality show, TV execs.

Oh, and also? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE MOLE. That was my favorite show. Well, no, it totally wasn’t, but it was really awesome. First, there was Anderson Cooper, so I got to ogle him. Yes, yes, I know I don’t play for his team, it doesn’t mean I can’t stare longingly. And as an aside, I totally want to be BFFs with Anderson Cooper. I think he would know the best stories and you would have the best time with him. Also I think he would send you the wackiest texts. “Just woke up with a tarantula in my $4,000 alligator loafer while on assignment LOL” or “So don’t have the mental stamina to hang out with Kathy Griffin tonight, call me in an hour & I’ll pretend you’re having an ER and I have to jet? You’re the best, XXOO.”

(And, aside the second, is anyone else a little disturbed by the new Anderson Cooper talk show? I always saw him as classy, and haven’t seen the show or anything, but it sounds like it’s corny and annoying. This worries me. How will I look up to my silver fox if he’s getting mud facials with Kathy Griffin or whatever? Sincerely worrisome. I feel like his mom is tsking him every time it airs. She seems like she’d be totally classy, right?)

Oh, just in case you didn’t watch The Mole (and, based on ratings, the only household watching it was my own), the premise was there were like 12 people, and one of them was the mole, who was working with the producers, and trying to sabotage the others, and if you could guess who the mole was, you won, but if you didn’t, the mole won. It wasn’t rocket science.

The part I liked best about The Mole was that there were all of these clues all through the season pointing the viewer toward whichever player was the mole, but they were so insanely obscure there was no way anyone could ever get them. Like, one year, they went into a storehouse full of burlap bags, and if you looked at the first letter of every word on every bag in the storehouse, it spelled out the name of the mole. Yeah, no one at home’s doing that. That takes a level of commitment no one really has. Also, they didn’t tell us, as home viewers, this clue-dropping was occurring. So in the final episode, when they started showing all of these very random clues, the conversation my roommate and I had went thusly:

Me: Did they even show all of those burlap bags?
Her: Even if they did, it would only have been for a minute. And we didn’t even know we were supposed to be looking for clues.
Me: There’s not enough Anderson Cooper in the world to make me ok with this clue fiasco.

Then, after the Anderson Cooper seasons, they had a couple seasons of Celebrity Mole, which was even MORE awesome, if you can imagine it, because you didn’t have to waste time getting to know people. You already knew who they were! And who they were was the bottom of the barrel of celebrities. Like, the people who would eventually turn up on Celebrity Rehab. The sad chubby Baldwin. Dennis Rodman. Those type of celebrities.

Dennis Rodman’s season was the best because DENNIS RODMAN DID NOT CARE. And, spoiler alert, HE STILL WON THE WHOLE THING. I think he was drunk or high the whole time, and he was hysterical to watch because they’d be doing a task and he’d just half-ass the task. So of course, everyone thought he was the mole, because of the sabotaging. But it wasn’t sabotaging. Much like the honey badger, Dennis Rodman didn’t care. Sometimes he’d sit out the task, sometimes he’d throw things, sometimes he’d wander off and talk to strangers. It was like playing a game with a toddler. AND IT WAS AWESOME.

How he stayed in the game as long as he did was a mystery that I don’t even think Dennis Rodman understood, but eventually, it was down to three people, and Dennis Rodman correctly chose the mole from the other two teammates and won. No one was more surprised by this than Dennis Rodman. But you couldn’t tell, because he’s pretty inscrutable. He just kind of nodded and wandered off to call someone on his cell or something. The host tried to interview him about his “strategy” and went on and on about “how brilliant it was! To make everyone think you were the mole! By sabotaging the games!” and Dennis Rodman asked him what the hell he was talking about. Because he hadn’t been sabotaging anything. He didn’t want to play their stupid reindeer games, so he did something else until they were done.

This made for really watchable television. It wasn’t Dennis Rodman in his wild-man wearing a dress days, or anything, it was just hysterical because the other players were driving themselves insane, taking all these notes, comparing theories, the host was all fired up, and there was Dennis Rodman! Sunbathing on a bench! Watching the birds! Bored with the task, so chatting with a cameraman! I loved to think of the producers playing the blame game in the editing bay. “YOU thought it was a good idea to get Rodman.” “No, YOU said he was good TV, I said he had a drug problem now.” “WE CAN’T AIR THIS RODMAN WON’T PLAY THE SANDCASTLE GAME AND EVERYONE THINKS HE’S THE MOLE.”

I also miss the show Murder in Small Town X. Now, I’m pretty sure no one but me watched this. It was ten years ago, and it was not very good. But it was the funniest mélange of reality show and murder mystery you’ve ever seen. They brought a group of people to a small town in Maine, and they had them do a combination of a dinner theater murder mystery and a reality show. They were all investigators into a serial killing, and at the end of each episode, two of them were chosen to go out to obscure locations in the town and investigate clues. One of them found a good clue that they could bring back to the rest and share; the other was brutally “murdered” by the serial killer, and that part was scary because the murderer popped out from behind something in the dark and I never liked that part.

This was one of those summer reality shows that doesn’t have to be very good because it’s the summer, and they know no one is watching it anyway, so they don’t try very hard. But it actually was kind of entertaining. They took over this village and peopled it with role-playing actors in the serial killing drama and the contestants had to go around town and ask people questions. It was like dinner theater that never ends. So that’s kind of a nightmare. I hate murder mystery dinner theater. I was forced into one of these years ago and will never go to another one. It was on a cruise ship (well, I wasn’t ON a cruise. The ship was docked. You’re foolish if you think I can afford a cruise. If I had the money for a cruise I’d buy something that lasts, like a new computer or a puppy) so you couldn’t escape. And you had to ask the actors things. So I decided I would not, and would just eat and read the book I’d secreted away into my purse. But apparently the actors are trained to deal with people that won’t play along and they get all up in your face. Well, that’s off-putting. What are you bothering me for, actor? Go pester someone who wants to solve your stupid boat mystery. Also, they kept coming over and bothering me when I had a mouthful of food, like waiters always seem to. Well, I can’t ask you where you were at 10pm last night with a mouthful of dinner roll, Lady Covington, so back the frig off, ok?

The sad thing about this show was that the finale aired 9/4/01, and the winner, a NYC firefighter, died a week later in the Twin Towers. I know. Way to be a buzzkill. But he seemed very nice, and he only had a week to celebrate his winnings.

The ratings were insanely low for this show. Like I said, it wasn’t very good. The best actors were the reality contestants, and they weren’t acting, if that explains anything. But it was actually really a fun watch. It was like watching community theater people put on a reality show. I sort of loved it. And of course it was gone after one summer.

For someone who doesn’t really like reality shows I watch more of them than you’d think. I like the game shows, is the thing, like the competition ones? It’s the dating and lifestyle ones that make me tired. Oh, and I’ve never watched any of those Toddlers in Tiaras-type things. Mostly because I’m pretty sure I’d get sucked in. They look terrible and wonderful all at once.

This post has nothing to do with Talk Like a Pirate Day, like, at all, does it. I’m a total disappointment. Sorry. I kind of went off on a tangent and didn’t stop. It’s Monday WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME. Fine. Arr! Scurvy! Walk the plank, matey! Pieces of eight! Avast! Poop deck! (Hee hee!) Redrum! Shit, that’s not a pirate, that’s the kid from The Shining. Sorry. Chester Copperpot! (FINE I know that’s not a real pirate thing but there were pirates IN The Goonies and I love it so much that I had to throw it in so LEAVE ME ALONE.)

Can we have International Watch The Goonies Day? I’d be down with that, please. Who do I talk to about that? Anderson Cooper? Can you help me out with this?

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