"It's a polar bear," a statuesque woman on the little black screen breathes huskily while posing for the camera. "Wait," I blurt. The DVD is paused. "The plane supposedly crashed in the tropics. Why the hell is there a polar bear in the jungle."
"This is a good show," Grace reminds me and starts the DVD.
I ask, "Why is this a good show?"
"It just is. Actually, it's not that good until the later ones -- the second season." On screen the woman is no longer in the jungle but sitting in a seat on the plane just before the crash.
"Why are we pretending it's a good show?"
"The last ones are great."
"The ones with the invisible things that bend the trees down and the glass portal in the middle of the jungle? Yeah, that sounds terrific," I say, holding a finger up. "Wait. How'd that woman just get out of those handcuffs?"
"SHHHHH!" the group hisses in unison. "You have to see Locke's story," I'm told in a hushed whisper.
"Wait, why the HELL was there a polar bear?"
Three fingers cover three pair of lips, all point at me and say, "SHHHHH!"
"Nobody knows why there's a goddamned polar bear on an island?"
"No," Grace answers. She leans in and whispers, "They're going to tell us in the next season."
"So, there are things," I continue, and the DVD is put back on pause. "Things in the jungle that are loud and bend the trees down, but we don't know what those are. There's a portal in the later episodes dug into the ground that we don't know what the hell that thing does," my arms are waving wildly as I launch into a full-bore rant, but I'm ignored and the show is started again. "And Pippen!" I yell. "Pippen is --"
"Wait," Grace interrupts me, grabbing my hands. "I don't really watch it for the mysteries. These little things that they use to keep us interested --"
It's my turn to interrupt. "Dinosaurs?!"
"NO!" she screams.
"Yes! Pippen the junky Hobbit mentioned dinosaurs two seconds ago. Have the writers introduced a dinosaur subplot? Are we to believe --"
Grace interrupts me. "They've already dropped that story line. I think they floated it out there and it didn't do well." The DVD player is again put on pause, and the crowd lets out a collective sigh in exasperation.
"Fine!" I shout. "Tell me where the DAMNED polar bear came from!"
"You have to watch."
"GYAAAAGH! GYAAAAHGH! GYAH! DAMN!"
WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK
Thursday, November 10
100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock & Roll
VH1 7:00 p.m.
My theoretical band, the Foppish Dandies, is breaking up. Sure, we've said we'll stay together, but the front man, the founder, is moving to Pittsburgh. My theoretical solo project Petrol Bismol and the Gasoline Coffin Jockeys takes up a good portion of my theoretical band time, but to be honest I could start another theoretical group endeavor. I've come up with the name Unicycle Getaway Driver, but that's all I have. Which is, really, all a theoretical band is.
Vampires Among Us
TLC 7:00 p.m.
What a crock! What a crock! What a total contrivance. There are not enough people who practice vampirism to fill an hour. Sure there's that one middle-aged woman in a red velvet dress, but if she lived in any city other than New Orleans she'd spend all of her time making Ren-Faire outfits for her "friends," and if you're unlucky enough to walk past her cubicle you'd be wrangled into hearing stories about how her cats spent their weekend.
Friday, November 11
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
USA 8:00 p.m.
Step 1: Make him watch this movie with you.
Saturday, November 12
The Godfather (1972)
WB 1:00 p.m.
Somebody at the WB gets a raise for finally figuring out "hangover programming." Two ibuprofen and a sausage McMuffin washed down with a Coke and you'll be feeling like a champ by the time Luca gets the piano wire.
Under Siege (1992)
WB 8:00 p.m.
Busey takes a beating from Steven Seagal, the likes of which haven't been seen since Gary mixed a bottle of scotch and a license to operate a vehicle in the state of California.
Sunday, November 13
Born With Two Heads
DHC 8:00 p.m.
Somewhere a Discovery Health Channel employee is scouring the landscape for a bearded lady, the world's largest rat, and a man with a rubber face to round out Sunday evening's program listings.
Monday, November 14
Shadows in the Sun (2005)
FAM 8:00 p.m.
Way better than the reduced-budget sequel Sock Puppets by TapLight .
Tuesday, November 15
Beverly Hills, 90210: 10-Year High School Reunion
BRAVO 8:00 p.m.
We should round up all the young celebrities and put them through a program like Scared Straight. Remember that documentary where they took those hoodlum kids to prison to show them what it was really like on the inside? I want to see Shannon Doherty yell, "Hold on to my belt loop! You're my bitch now," to Tara Reid. At the end I'll sit Paris down in an empty room and have her face Tori Spelling. I'll rub the Hilton's shoulder while they both cry and I'll say in a gentle voice, "Do you see now? Do you see what you'll become?"
Wednesday, November 16
I Walk the Line: A Night for Johnny Cash
CBS 8:00 p.m.
Get your money-grubbing paws off that man's jock strap; he is dead, for the love of Pete!
ABC 9:00 p.m.
If somebody doesn't tell me where that polar bear came from, I am going to drive to L.A. and slap the living piss out of each and every soul associated with this series.