“Everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”
What would you do for your fifteen minutes?
If you live in Southern California, are desperate to be noticed by just about anyone, and you have just enough pain tolerance to do horrid things to your own anatomy to fulfill your desires to be noticed, then have I got some exciting news for you!
It would turn out that television veteran Bob Saget has a reality show in the works, and that it’s been picked up by A&E. The show’s working title is “Strange Days”, and it’s being presented as some sort of unconventional cultural travelogue. The show looks to explore different backgrounds and lifestyles of folks in our great nation, as sort of a way of painting a vivid image of this big chunk of land that we call “Americana”.
Truth be told, I pay so little attention to TV these days, unless it’s wrestling, sports, news, weather, Kim Kardashian, or an episode of Law and Order: SVU that’s flown under my radar. There’s a fair chance that a show like this never once comes to my attention.
However, for me to know about it, it would have to be mentioned one of the following ways:
-plugged during a sports game
-advertising on the bottom crawl of The Weather Channel
-it’s so controversial that Bill O’Reilly and/or Keith Olbermann won’t shut up about it
-Kim Kardashian tweets about it, or wears a pair of pants that advertise it
-mentioned on a wrestling newsboard
DING DING DING! I found out about “Strange Days” on 411mania.com’s wrestling section (motto: You want news on the weekends? Do a Google search). It turns out that Bob Saget’s little show here is looking to incorporate a little bit of wrestling into it.
Here’s the press release for a casting call:
“Tijuana Entertainment in California currently looking for high impact, high flying and hard hitting, but crazily creative backyard wrestlers over the age of 18 and located in Southern California with their own backyard ring, costumes and techniques for a brand new TV show for A&E! The show is an hour long, non-scripted, documentary/reality show following our host, Bob Saget (formerly of Americas Funniest Home Videos and the sitcom Full House), as he explores American society off the beaten path. The series will follow Bob as he explores the unique cultures, lifestyles, practices, and people of America. The show will aim to be both fun and informative, while remaining objective and without mockery. It will immerse the audience into new worlds, to understand them from an intelligent level of common human interest.”
Now, having seen the movie “Backyard Dogs”, I’m aware that backyard wrestling is a lucrative, multi-million dollar business that transcends just wrestling. It is an entity that expands beyond its own scope, crossing over into music, movies, and other facets of pop culture, creating a brand of entertainment that is respected and loved by millions of loyal fans.
Well, actually, that last paragraph was a complete load of dung.
Wait, I’m sorry. That was insensitive of me.
I just want to be as good as the good people of A&E, who are aiming to provide a sensitive portrayal of backyard wrestling for the viewing audience. I need to focus on being positive, like that warm-sounding press release was.
I vow that, for the remainder of this piece, that I shall remain perfectly positive. Even if something comes up that is worthy of my ridicule, I will not stray from a cheery attitude.
So, that said, let’s take a look at what this press release entails of, shall we?
“Tijuana Entertainment in California currently looking for high impact, high flying and hard hitting, but crazily creative backyard wrestlers over the age of 18 and located in Southern California with their own backyard ring, costumes and techniques for a brand new TV show for A&E!”
First off, I’m gonna take bets on just what exactly the production budget is for this show. For five dollars, you get to send me your guess. The one who’s the closest gets all the money. Though, sadly, I believe that if we had seven people play this, we’d have doubled the budget for the show. I mean, A&E can’t foot the bill for eye-catching costumes? They can’t leave Southern California to film some backyarders elsewhere? I mean what….
(No, no, Justin. Positive, remember? You’re not keeping your promise that you would demonstrate positive thinking, and positive thinking alone, during this column. You better shape up, man. Start being positive NOW.
It’s a good thing that they’re not letting any backyarders UNDER eighteen take part in production. They’re not professionals like those expert adults that partake in such activities. I just hope that the truly skilled ones are able to call out of work that day, because, you know, this could be their big break!
See? Nothing to be negative about! What else do we have here….
“The show is an hour long, non-scripted, documentary/reality show following our host, Bob Saget (formerly of Americas Funniest Home Videos and the sitcom Full House), as he explores American society off the beaten path.”
I guess this can really be seen as a step up for Saget. Over twenty years ago, there he was; crawling through the muck at ABC, juggling two TV shows that were only watched by millions and millions. But lord knows he couldn’t sit back and be Danny Tanner forever. He mostly certainly couldn’t do his genius voiceovers for those home videos for the rest of his life.
No, he had to go out on a limb to get that ripened peach. We need to commend Mr. Bob Saget for finally making it in this crazy entertainment industry, as he’s earned the right to….film backyard wrestlers on a shoestring budget? Well, my friend’s mother used to videotape her son and myself play-wrestling on his trampoline when we were twe.lve, so….I really don’t know what this means. Maybe it means that my friend’s mother was a visionary, I don’t know.
But still, he HAS a job. There are so many who don’t! Like, for example, uhhh…..Jim Mora Jr! Having a job, no matter how unorthodox it may be, is positive. Take my word for it.
“The series will follow Bob as he explores the unique cultures, lifestyles, practices, and people of America. The show will aim to be both fun and informative, while remaining objective and without mockery. It will immerse the audience into new worlds, to understand them from an intelligent level of common human interest.”
In case some of you had this CRAZY idea that this program would exploit America’s lunatic fringe in the interest of providing a ratings-grabbing freak show, then I suggest you put away that pitcher of Hate-or-ade now! Put it back! Hey, don’t you roll your eyes at ME, young man!
The immersion of backyard wrestling and mainstream America is LONG overdue. This show will teach America that backyard wrestlers are unfairly discriminated against for their lifestyle choices, much like homosexuals. We put the gays and lesbians in the country through the wringer when it came to treating them as equals. We would mock what we had no basis for understanding. I can proudly say that in 2010, homosexuals are just about treated as equals on an individual basis.
That’s what ‘Strange Days’ aims to do with backyard wrestlers. Surely, as a normal person, you look at backyard wrestlers as these Neanderthals, these mouth-breathing bottom feeders who have no outlet in life for their aggressions, so they have to meet up at somebody’s home, put on a costume, ‘get into character’, and then try to put somebody’s eye out with a garden trowel.
Let me tell you something, buddy. To the untrained eye, that might LOOK like that’s all that they’re doing, but guess what? There’s FAR more to it than that. You’ll see….when you watch Strange Days on A&E. As I’ve mentioned, ad nauseum, it’s not an exploitative feature. It will be handled in a very sensitive and unbiased light, one that help you understand that these beautiful snowflakes, made from God’s touch, are just like us.
You can even learn things. Like, other uses for a garden trowel besides, you know, gardening.
Some of you may be wondering if a show like this is out of touch with modern trends, given that backyard wrestling hasn’t really been a hot button issue since around 2001, when pro wrestling itself was last a mainstream giant.
Point is, if backyard wrestling was irrelevant, would A&E waste valuable production hours and dollars doing a one hour show centered around it?
I think not.
With WWE and TNA both climbing the mountain and preparing to do battle on Monday nights, there’s no better time than now to cash in on the next wrestling craze. It’s up to Bob Saget to lead the way, displaying for the world to see, a brand of wrestling that gets its identity from crazy stunts, excessive blood, pale-bodied youths, and DIY-constructed rings!
Errr….wait. Neither WWE nor TNA has any of those things. Not even excessive blood anymore.
In fact, WWE’s really cut back on the violence and sexuality and overall piggish image that wrestling once personified. Nowadays, the production has been glammed up. Celebrities associate with the product to give it a rub, and vice versa.
I’m no longer seeing a positive angle in this backyard wrestling thing.
Wait a minute.
Bob Saget wouldn’t just associate with any kind of meandering, thrown-together crap, now would he?
The lead actor in both Raising Dad and Surviving Suburbia would never in a million YEARS devalue his own name just to do something exploitative, all in the name of getting a paycheck, now would he? The host of 1 vs. 100, which was in NO WAY an attempt to ride the coattails of Deal or No Deal, would not lower himself to some cockamamie production unless he truly believed that it would enrich the lives and minds of every viewer, right?
So I’ll definitely be tuning in to see Strange Days. I can’t wait to see what other cultures will be explored, whether they’re cults, bigamists, seemingly crazy UFO conspires, or anyone else with a different outlook on life. I’m sure we’ll all appreciate the evenhanded and fair approach that a Bob Saget production would afford these fine people.
I’m especially looking forward to the backyard wrestling episode. Can’t you tell? I just hope that, when it’s over, that the tremendous athletes depicted will go on to bigger and greater things in the wrestling industry. After all, if they have the heart and dedication to want to bleed and be battered for free, without any formal training, or safety measures in place, then who’s to say how far they could go with WWE or TNA backing them?
I’m just glad that A&E will be providing these gentlemen their long overdue shot at greatness, adulation, and fame.
One thing is for certain: They’ll deserve a LOT more than the allotted fifteen minutes that everyone else seems to get.
When he isn’t watching WWE, TNA, or his beloved Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies, Justin Henry can be found writing. It is his passion as well as his goal in life to become a well-regarded (as well as well-paid) columnist or author. Subscribe to The Cynical Examination, his wrestling blog, at http://www.facebook.com.