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for December 3, 2004

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Stiffy On TV
by Stiffy Biceptz

A fan emailed me the other day and asked, “Stiffy, being the TV enthusiast that you are, what are you watching these days? What should I being watching that you think is good?” I replied that I rarely move the dial off the F&T network (Fitness and Tanning…) but there were a few programs that measured up to my tough standards. And although I charged him aplenty for the information, Sean convinced me the compassionate thing to do was to share my wisdom with the rest of you, at no charge. So here it is.
The 2nd Greatest Show Ever
Since Northern Exposure ran in the early 90’s, no TV show has made an impact on Stiffy Biceptz in the way Joan of Arcadia has. I recently discovered Joan of Arcadia during a particularly slow Friday night at home. The obligatory roll through the channels left me at CBS at 8:10 pm when absolutely nothing else was on. I was immediately struck by the intensity and the humanity of the characters, as well as the authenticity of the storylines. In fact the show is very reminiscent of Northern Exposure, the greatest TV show ever made. Interestingly, Rob Morrow, who played Joel on Northern Exposure is an occasional director of Joan of Arcadia episodes. Joan, like Northern Exposure, is a truly alternative program, one that goes for the heart, brain and soul of its audience, and not the crotch. Joan of Arcadia also boasts an amazing soundtrack of alternative music artists, as did NE. I heartily recommend this show to anyone desperate for quality TV.
A show about a teenager who talks with God posing in human form on a weekly basis is a far cry from today’s typical low brow network fare. Joan of Arcadia is in fact of such high quality that I am surprised it’s actually on a network. As is almost always the case, I never catch on to good programs in their first season. It always takes me awhile to find them or hear about them. At least I find them. Joan of Arcadia is in its second season and is well worth the hour every Friday night. Message here? Don’t call me on Friday’s between 8 and 9 pm.
Let’s Ride
I really like American Chopper on Discovery. Just watching those guys do all that raw fabrication, bending pipe, cutting and welding is enough for anyone with a Y chromosome to want to go right out and starting building something, anything that involves working with metal. And the bikes they build are amazing. Ordinary motorcycles just don’t look right, now that I’ve been chopperized.
The true magic of the show is the chemistry between Paul Sr., Paul Jr. and of course Mike, Vinnie, and the rest. These are the nicest, most gentle bike builders ever. Yet the show lets you see into the sometimes acrimonious inner dynamics of their refreshingly healthy family. Not only is this the funniest show on TV, it’s the most genuine “reality show” currently around. I now regret not taking a “shop” class in high school. Well, not really.
Damn, I Look Really Bad
My most recent discovery is a hip little show on TLC called “What Not to Wear”. Two fashion pulse keepers, Stacey (VERY HOT) and Clinton help (more like attack, destroy and rebuild) fashion challenged folks to get their act together, clothes-, hair- and makeup-wise. During the course of the show someone who was secretly nominated by a friend is ambushed, told in no uncertain terms that they look horrible, and then is re-clothed and retooled with the help of Stacy and Clinton and five thousand bucks to look their best. I have been amazed at what they were able to do.
The show hit a little too close to home however, and it wasn’t long after watching the show I realized that I, Stiffy Biceptz, was in serious fashion failure mode. I’ve had a tough time making the transition from hip twenty-something to professional adult, at least clothes wise. And that life change occurred well over a decade ago.
Feel free to nominate me. Please.

©2004 Stiffy Biceptz

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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