Dancing With The Stars: The Most Dangerous Game

I recently watched Dancing With The Stars for a Cracked article, and until I go undercover in al-Queda as a star-spangled banner it will remain the most dangerous assignment I've ever taken. It's also why my fee for future reality TV articles will be "counselling, a liquor store, and restorative massage by no less than three Milla Jovovii*."

*Yes, this will require cloning, and no, I can see no better use of the technology



The article that endangered my sanity

Until someone builds a kitten chew-toy out of napalm-covered grenades nothing will ever utterly destroy two nouns as thoroughly as "Dancing With The Stars." I thought it was uncharacteristically nice of the opening credits to list the dancers until I saw "Lil' Kim"* and realized "Holy shit, these are meant to be the famous people!"
*I'm not sure where "ballroom dancing with a white gay man on national television" ranks in rap circles, but suspect it's somewhere below "ratting people out" and only slightly above "Being Vanilla Ice."
It went on to more people I'd actually heard of, but that was like going from wondering "what's making that noise?" to finding out it's Jason Voorhees sharpening a knife. Steve-O, Steve Wozniak and Holly Madison (the latter at least knew why she was picked, bouncing in like she took a wrong turn on the way to "So You Think You Can Pole Dance For Your Uncle?") The whole thing's a horrific collision between people falling into obscurity and the wretched F-list things that live here. Things for whom "no hidden camera in the bathroom" was a relative plus for this gig, had they needed one, had they not been primitive moth-human-hybrids attracted to cameras instead of lights.
Every episode is the same thing repeated X times, where X is "the number of contestants left"/"the number of layers Hell has this week."
1. The Preparation
First there's the worst reality show ever made watching two people with a narrator constantly repeating how they "did well/badly last week and are really trying very hard" until words themselves start to lose meaning. Endless restatement is a known psychological technique for breaking down the human psyche, rendering viewers susceptible for the main event: The Holy Shit This Show Is Really About Watching People Who Can't Dance Dancing.
2. The Dancing
This is the exact moment your hope for humanity dies. It's where you realise that a seven-figure population of people is watching a real dancer strapped to an artificial personality with teeth instead of skill, and they're cheering for the latter. Where you realise that a show that just had the people who could actually dance would have been cancelled halfway through the pitch meeting's first sentence. Where an entire culture not only rewards a lack of skill but actually insists on it.
It's pretty hard to continue from there. I managed because I'm a professional, because it's my job, and because I was drunk - by the end of the first couple I'd had double drinks, and paused twice to do pushups as my body's "fight-or-flight" emergency response had flooded my body with adrenaline in an attempt to get my away from the screen. I'm not saying the people who watch this are twenty-two million arguments for eugenics - I'm saying I have glands smart enough to avoid this show.
3. The Fallout
The rest is a floodlit parody of "Have a GREAT day!" North American-ness. Watching Denise Richards taking shit from a midget Italian ballerino is priceless: the first thing you (or any approaching aeroplane pilots) see is a blinding expanse of white, a vast panel of grinning glare which could be used to communicate with the International Space Station if she learned to open and close her lips in Morse Code. The second is hatred so intense it'd make Cobra Commander chill out and hug the Joes.


She is three seconds from her skull exploding in screaming judge-eating snakes
Every second of shit she takes, she's remembering those two weeks she could have had him bought and ground into gravel, paid someone else to park a Mercedes full of manure on him, and played "dodge the paparrazi" for the rest of the day. Now it's a pit stop on real American TV before going back to cameos on Bollywood romance movies about stuntmen, and that last bit was not hyperbole. That really happened.
Then it's backstage aka "Support group for terminally grinning has-beens trapped in a limbo undeath of dancing for hooting spherical TV absorbers ." Micheal Irvin used to dodge human tanks for a living, and now you get the special treat of him acting grateful for three screeching stereotypes he could pulp with one arm giving him shit about dancing.
After X lobes of your brain have been shut down the show just ends - you have to come back later for the results edition, which is on par with going back to the dentist thinking "maybe he'll use anaesthetic this time".
The only hope is that this is part of some radical emergency plan to re-educate America - watching less and less famous people do duller and duller things that would not interest the public in any other way, moving from "Dancing With The Stars" to "Living With The Minor Celebrities" to "Basic Finance And Hygiene With The Nice People In The Little Box."

2 comments:

SickBoy said...

It's incredible how you've managed to encompass all of my heretofore unexpressed feelings toward all of reality TV into one blog post. Good show!

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