Below (The Double OTB)
Desperate times call for tough decisions to be made.
There are two shows that I want to write about. One is
on a network that may not be here tomorrow. The other is
a limited run program that will be wrapping when I get
to do this again in two weeks.
Chairman, I'd like to invoke the Double Dip, please.
(C-Note: Double Dip invoked *Double Dip cue*)
This Tuesday, a program wrapped that has not been
covered by GSNN. It was a quaint little 'reality' show,
but with an altruistic bent. PAX's "Cold Turkey" gave
ten smokers the chance to kick the habit, and share in
up to $100,000 in cash. The show had all of the required
elements: a devious twist at the beginning (players
tried out for a reality show that didn't exist... not
new, but certainly devious), intriguing challenges, the
right host (A.J. Benza was particularly good in his
role) and a wonderful cast of characters who you want to
But there was more to it
than just earning money and not smoking. We watched as
the contestants go to various hospitals in the
California area and seeing up close the many perils of
smoking: an X-ray of a blackened lung, pieces of
diseased aortas, and meeting people who had undergone
tracheotomies. Each of these parts was handled
delicately, and there was no reason to believe that this
was just for shock value.
It's a great premise all
around, and I wish that it got more press than it did. I
also wish that the show was run on a network that wasn't
floundering in financial problems (NBC's in cahoots with
PAX... Say, THERE'S an idea). Bravo to PAX for taking a
chance on an 'out there' show. I, for one, enjoyed it.
The other show that has
caught my fancy is the alleged 'social experiment' on
The WB, "Beauty and the Geek." The masses may lump this
with other reality series this summer, but make no
mistake; this is as much a game show as "Studio 7".
Seven brainy but socially inept guys team up with seven
stunning beauties who would rather read Cosmopolitan
rather than Scientific American. The result is a mix of
hilarious hi-jinks (watching the women build model
rockets and the men learning about pop music and high
fashion) and heartfelt triumphs. Additionally, Brian
McFayden (yes, the MTV VJ who fronted the forgettable
"Cupid" and "Superstar USA") shows that he has what it
would take to host a serious quiz show. Watching the
elimination challenge gives me goose bumps.
Underneath the layer of
the goofy game show with a twisted concept, the show
shows us the transformation that the contestants are
making; the women seeing that there's more to guys that
what's on the outside, and the men getting out of their
comfort zones, talking to women that they might not look
The show resonates for
me because I'm a proud geek. I never danced with a
cheerleader at the prom, scored the winning goal, or
anything like that. It's sort of a "Revenge of the
Nerds" thing for me. I enjoy seeing these awkward guys
getting to do the sort of things that I can only dream
On the plus side, "Geek"
is getting renewed next year, so even more people will
be able to see the greatness that I've been a part of.
On the minus side, Pax's impending move may leave the
former out in the cold.
Travis Eberle doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, and is a
goody-two, goody-two, goody-goody-two-shoes. E-mail him