Thursday, May 08, 2008

The wonder of reality tv

As I think I've mentioned before, while I loves me some TV I find I don't watch it as much as I used to. But there are a few shows I try to watch regularly, and in their standard time. Heroes, for one. And Spike's The Ultimate Fighter for another.

Heroes is pretty obvious: I like sci-fi, I like super heroes, it's well written, and that Claire chick is cute. So why Ultimate Fighter? Well, I think it's because it involves all the guilty voyeuristic pleasure of The Real World - a bunch of hyped up young people crammed into a house - and adds the special ingredient of focused violence.

I've watched this show since day 1, and while the in-house antics are occasionally (OK, make that "almost always") annoying and obnoxious, I keep coming back. And what keeps me coming back are two things: the fights and the fighter interviews. Let's look at why, shall we?

The fights: I have always harbored dreams of being a badass. I took Judo for, oh, a month or two in Junior High and never earned a belt. I took a week of Aikido in High School. I've been in one "real" fight that I can remember and was completely useless (in my defense I was drunk and already on the floor...surprisingly I cracked wise about something and the next thing I knew the guy was straddling my chest [or as the MMA guys call it, "in full mount"] and choking me). And yet in my fantasy life I'm a bad mofo and not to be messed with. Which is why it's my fantasy life and not my real life. So I'm captivated by guys who can actually beat the crap out of each other (and get the crap beaten out of them) and seem to enjoy it.

The fighter interviews: While some of these guys are moderately thoughtful and well spoken, a lot of them are complete knuckleheads. The knuckleheads are easily identified by their hyper macho posturing and the 90 degree turn to their TapOut baseball hats. And, as in life, the guy with the biggest mouth is usually the one on the short end of the stick. Or the pain end of the beatdown. Or both. Take, for example, this week's matchup between Matt Brown and Jeremy May. Pretty much everyone expected Matt to win...he just plain looks dangerous. But Jeremy couldn't shut up about how great he was, finally busting out with a genius remark that "I think I'm gonna put the hurtin' on him. In a good Christian way..."

For the record, Jeremy didn't make it out of the first round before he was TKO'd. As expected.

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