Feminist Kryptonite, Episode 1

Every fiber of my being screamed “don’t watch it!” But I couldn’t resist the constant marketing of “Ready for Love” so I dove in.

Yes, I dove in to that awful dirty sludge and felt the mud ooze into my hair and I couldn’t stop it. It’s feminist kryptonite, this show. Here’s the premise:

Three uber-hot, relatively wealthy guys are so pathetically tired of being alone that they enlisted the help of three matchmakers to find them the love of their lives. The matchmakers selected four women, and the men select three of those women, which when you take the square root of human indecency and multiply it by product placement galore, each man has nine women to choose from.

So the uber-hot, relatively wealthy guy goes on a date with all nine women at once (and really, Mormons get a bad rap for polygamy? Puh-leeze.) And because of his male privilege, Tuesday’s date was doing what the man did for a living: write and perform music.

“Hi girls. Worship me. Sing to me. Finish the lyrics to this song that I can’t write, mmkay?”

(P.S. in the bottom corner while watching these girls sing off-key in a studio, an ad appears to buy the actual single on iTunes. Clever, Plain White Ts-man. Clever.)

This week’s man, Tim, calls the matchmakers to see who he should spend more time with. Let’s sum these up.

Girl 1: tells a story of how she farted on a guy’s lap once.
Girl 2: tells Tim she has a list of 50 qualities she wants in a man, and that he has over half of them! Half!
Girl 3: Puts the moves on by playing the piano and admitting she’s “darker.” (Code for baggage.) Girlfriend plays the piano and looks at Tim longingly. (Code for awkwardly.)

The next phase of the show involves the matchmakers taking the girls to task over how they behaved on the 9:1 date.

Matchmaker tells Girl 1 “You should never say f-a-r-t in front of a man.”
Matchmaker tells Girl 2 that her list is stupid. Though I’m pretty sure she disagrees with him.
Matchmaker tells Girl 3 that she really used her “eyes” to “make a connection.”

A word here about how the girls appear onstage: in glass encasements, similar to the drive-up banking tubes.

The matchmakers then select the three girls who performed the worst on the 9:1 date, and Tim gets to save one immediately. Tonight, he saves Fart-Girl. Then he takes two other girls to a fabricated garden and lets the other two girls beg him to stay on the show. Tim cries and feels sick to his stomach. He sends home the most unlikeable girl out of the nine, consoles her, and then watches her leave.

I haven’t really made myself blog regularly, and even though I never watched The Bachelor, I enjoyed Bill Simmons’ wife’s Bachelor blogs. So the plan is to blog this gem of a program each week.

Like Joel McHale, I’ll watch “Ready for Love” so you don’t have to.

Home Box Office

When we lived in California, many many years ago, my parents arranged for a little gold box to be attached to our television. I was quite young at this time, so I don’t remember how it got there, but I remember that if I pushed a black switch from left to right, I could watch Fiddler on the Roof, Pirates of Penzance, and Oliver, if it was the right time of day.

This was the first time I was exposed to cable, in the form of one a la carte channel–HBO. My parents went back and forth with HBO subscriptions for the past 30+ years. It was a great channel for days I stayed home sick from school. Without HBO, I never would have seen Auntie Mame or The Secret Life of Walter Mitty or Fraggle Rock. Fraggle Rock! Can you imagine a childhood without Fraggle Rock?!

But in recent years, my parents have bailed on HBO in favor of other premium channels, and where I currently live, to get HBO I would have to quadruple my current cable bill. I don’t even get ESPN, for crying out loud. So when HBO announced the they were producing Aaron Sorkin’s new program, Newsroom, I thought long and hard about sacrificing other creature comforts–you know, like food–in order to get HBO so I could watch it.

Then I figured the episodes would be on iTunes! So I hoarded iTunes gift cards in anticipation of the program’s debut…only to learn that HBO doesn’t release programs online for at least a year. So I proposed to my parents that I would pay for HBO to be added to their cable subscription, because then I could get HBOGO on my Roku.

Well, my parents being who they are added HBO anyway and won’t let me pay (though I have figured out a way to do it anyway), so I spent last night and this morning catching up on Newsroom. It’s only four episodes, so it’s not like I spent 20 hours watching TV. But then I made a mistake of browsing the other offerings through HBOGO. Back to the Future! The Wire! Documentaries galore! And one thing is very, very clear to me:

I’ve made a huge mistake.

Arrested Development – Huge Mistake from Russell Challenger on Vimeo.


This week has been a bit of a down week for me. Newspaper deadline went just fine–in fact, we finished a day early–and I still managed to get to the gym twice (this week’s goal: 4 times). But the closure and peace I felt a week ago didn’t stick around for long, and I’m just feeling not myself all over again.

And then on Twitter, someone I follow posted this.

Not the first time I’ve seen it, but Ron Swanson has some good advice for me:

**Greatness itself: The best revenge.

**Self-reliance: Trust yourself.

**Masonry: building walls makes you strong. Defending them makes you even stronger.

**Rage: One rage every three months in permitted. Try not to hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.

New Parks and Rec this Thursday. You should watch it.


Brian Williams was on Jimmy Fallon last night. Williams is surprisingly hilarious every time I see him–SNL, The Daily Show–and Late Night was no exception.

He mentioned a site that I had completely forgotten about: his music discoveries.

If you like music that isn’t on the radio, check out BriTunes. You might find something cool.