NEW YORK CITY – People, it’s not OK to rejoice over bad news – but executives with VH1 quietly threw a little party last week after a Colorado state representative uttered a boorish, reprehensible, senseless, beyond forgiveness-through-bribery, Biblically cherry-picked, heartless, poorly-timed, politically destructive comment about a complete stranger’s unthinkably painful tragedy.
Why celebrate? It was because that one crazy comment created virtually-viral viewership for VH1’s newest half-hour reality series, “Chaps: The First Season.” The infusion of eyeballs came just in the nick of time, since the show’s recent rancid ratings and reviews were moving it closer and closer to cancellation land. For a typical comment taken just 10 days ago from the “Reality Revue” blog: “2 words – ‘Bo-Ring!”
“We expected so much more from the outset,” said Kennedy Quinn, VH1’s Talent Scout for Throwaway Theatrics. “When we signed him, we were thinking maybe he makes a grand entrance in the House one winter day dressed as a horned daemon, to prove that liberals are waging a War on Christmas. Pyrotechnics wouldn’t have hurt either, well, a few staffers might wind up as collateral damage, but whatever. Instead, what did we get? Pretty much a nothing burger until last week, and I think he knew in his heart that he had to go big.”
Nervous investors watched “The First Season” restlessly, as expectations of controversial quotables and confrontation fizzled into – hold on to your hats – a procedural gaveling for being out of order? Hardly moved the needle. Next episode, he took the mic to sing his displeasure over having a bill killed, but it sure wasn’t the blues artist Blind Limon Singinhitts down on the killin’ floor. Tough to tell, but it sounded like he nicked the melody from some boy band out of the 60s, written long before half the House members were born, and the whole thing fell flat like a half-baked Scrambled Eggs souffle.
One might think he pulled this stunt to jive with VH1’s primary mission – readers, did you know they used to play music videos? But one would be wrong. This season’s lineup of brand new half-hour shows, fresh with flesh and enough eye candy to cause tooth decay, was of course meant to capture the coveted “millennial” demographic. Unfortunately, kids these days are all like streaming Hulu and Netflix on their Samsungs and iWatches, and VH1 realized it had to diversify into the last vast untapped market. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“Hellennials are defined as Americans who believe Satan roams the Earth, and has the ability to spiritually enter weak-minded and vulnerable bodies – normally liberals or the gay lesbians (citation needed) – to “possess” them. Once possessed, the only way to save their souls is to yodel that Jewel song VH1 used to run in the 90s or conduct an “exorcism,” an arcane religious ritual requiring intense resolve, along with many changes of clothing and bedding.”
Match made in Heaven, right? Not so fast. There were a few signs of life in the early episodes, like a call to impeach Obama for being a dictator, but who doesn’t do that these days? Giving praise for discrimination in business because the perps refused to participate in someone else’s acts of sodomy – by deciding not to sell things to them? Run of the mill, generic 365 everyday fare. Weak sauce.
Verily, it seemed as if “The First Season” would be “The Last Season,” until that fateful day in March when the Fat Boy of all horrible quotes was dropped. Today, ratings are through the roof, talks of a multi-year contract are in the works, and – wait, who is that guy walking into VH1 headquarters? 70-something, white hair, bow tie, dark-framed glasses – could it be…Scorcese? No, my eyes have been playing tricks on me since I became liberal…and I would’ve stuck around to find out, but I had to get back to Denver to fall asleep during this week’s budget hearings.
And Monday morning, hidden cameras captured some of the chatter from a certain closed-door caucus meeting.
“…you can thank me later…you mean a person can go so far over the edge that everyone and everything else looks normal?…I think I’m starting to come around…pure marketing genius…look Polyanna, everyone seizes on the tough stuff to make a sale or make a point – politicians, think tanks, media, anonymous bloggers…”
Ouch, ya got me, Doc. Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
But back at headquarters, there was enough “film” in the can to feed the beast of sordid voyeurism for at least eight solid weeks, certainly long enough to suffice until the next celebrity train wreck stokes the restless fire once again. For today, that’s a wrap.