Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Worst Thing I've Ever Seen on Television

No, seriously...

Wait for it...

The Skating/Gymnastics Spectacular.

Here is the description from the channel guide -- I'm not making this shit up: "Pianist Lang Lang is the featured performer at the annual skating-gymnastics event. Gymnasts: Paul Hamm; Nastia Liukin; Ivan Ivankov; Yulia Barsukova; Shenea Booth; Arthur Davis; and Raj Bhavsar. Skaters: Evgeni Plushenko; Shizuka Arakawa; Surya Bonaly."

I mean, really? This was something some television execs went into a meeting about and greenlighted? "How next can we exploit the American public's fascination with both figure skating and gymnastics?" they asked themselves, and decided to combine the two. And apparently this is not just a one time thing, it's an annual event. That's disturbing.

Because honestly, this show is crap. I doubt it's better in person, either. You've got the gymnasts on one end of the rink, and the skaters on the ice, and they keep trying to do these numbers where they're all performing at the same time, but you have no idea where to look or who to look at. And for good measure, the orchestra and pianist are right there on the ice too. Of course there are plenty of solo performances, and there is the cachet of a few current reigning Olympic champions. But who invited Surya Bonaly? The most inconsistent female skater of all time, with the shittiest attitude? I didn't realize until just this minute that she even still existed.

And there's the problematic issue of gymnastics, and men's gymnastics in particular, not really being a "performance" type of sport. I mean, it's not meant to be set to music (except the women's floor exercise) and done in weird, figure skating-like costumes. So yes, I snickered hysterically through the moments where four of the men came out in gold lame gymnastics pants and did a weird little dance and then took turns on the high bar or something. And then I was supposed to take seriously Catalina Potolan's performance in which she wore a pink velour bodysuit with a swirly skirt which she took off halfway through, and dance around and stroked the balance beam -- it was hideous, all of it -- the outfit, the routine, the expression on her face.

I hope these people were all well paid for this.

And please. For the love of all that is holy in this world. Will someone please tell Evgeni Plushenko he needs a frigging bang trim?


Melissa said...

I thought you were going to say Zednik's sliced jugular. That was horrifying. I've only seen the youtube of it, but it looks on par with the Malarchuk injury.

Shannon said...

Uhhhhh... I don't know what that means. But no, nothing grisly. Sorry to disappoint. Or glad to not be that gross. Whichever works. But I meant "worst thing" in a "this makes for bad television" sort of way. Whereas I spent years watching The Sopranos, and there were some pretty grisly moments on there, and yet it was still good television.