written Wednesday 18 June 2003
Someone needs to explain Dutch TV to me.
Daytime and evenings consist mostly of:
- news shows (nice to look at, but hopeless),
- talk shows (fat chance I'll follow anything there),
- game shows (even fatter chance), and
- and classic American movies like Footloose and Dumb and Dumber.
Whereas "after hours" tends toward:
- even worse American and (horrors) British movies,
- US-style infomercials (gad, it's contagious!), and
- famously, soft-core sex shows
Which presents a problem: what kind of program could possibly segue each evening from the early clean to the dirty late shows?
The brilliant Dutch solution, courtesy of the Veronica network, is Meekijken Gewenst. This, Gentle Reader, is a seriously warped program. You Americans can think of it as something of a cross between Bloopers, Jackass, Kentucky Fried Movie and the worst bowel movement a Candystriper ever cleaned up. I love Meekijken Gewenst. I wouldn't miss it for anything.
The name would have to be translated to something like "Discretion Advised." The host takes you through about 10 minutes of short video clips, which he and his friends found God Knows Where, and which he and his friends presumably bilk the network by categorizing and stringing together. Ten minutes an evening is enough. I don't know when I have laughed so hard in all my life.
Consider just one week's damage:
- Skateboarding dogs,
- Dancing Baby with a machine gun,
- Motorcycle jumper doesn't quite clear the last truck,
- Endless commercials and commercial parodies in several languages,
- Exploding toilets.
You get the idea. Actually, you probably don't.
You probably don't even want to hear about the utterly dumbfounding "Give me chocolate ice cream!" episode, do you?
I can forgive Meneer Grob his endless fetishes for helicopter and motorcycle crashes (though, it's true: no two are alike!), enormous body parts, and zoo copulations. Whatever the case: Meekijken Gewenst serves its purpose perfectly, since the soft-core shows that follow it couldn't possibly shock anyone.
In short, the show's logo (first picture above) is dead on: you want to cover your eyes, but...you have to see. Whether the shock value, searing humor, and pandering to short attention spans is the Future of Television is a different question. But the next evening: there I am, watching.
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