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We all have failures sometimes
By Bert Ehrmann
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Fort Wayne Reader
Even though I like to think of myself having some inside knowledge of the movie and television industry (it's because of the subscription to Entertainment Weekly) it doesn't mean that I always make the best entertainment choices. I'm sure there have been many good movies and television shows that I have missed over the years even with this "inside" information.
Worst of all is even with this information I still don't make the best choices. Though I watched the series Earth 2 religiously from the first episode to the last dreadful minute on that godforsaken planet (those people are still up there), I didn't discover Buffy the Vampire Slayer until it was on two hours a day on FX in syndication. (And I can't tell you how many articles I read on how good Buffy was, and how few articles I even found that mentioned Earth 2 let alone in a positive context.)
In this column, I'll try to sort through my biggest entertainment blunders.
My Biggest Entertainment Blunders:
I saw the movie Gothika inside a movie theater. I knew it would be bad but I couldn't resist - nothing else was playing that particular week. I should have revisited harder. My brain still hurts after sitting through two hours of that dreck.
Another entertainment mistake I've made is telling people "I don't care about a movie's story and plot as long as the special effects are cool." Just like some middle-aged Republicans regret being a member of the communist party during their "wild and wacky" days of college, I regret saying this. Like these commies, I chalk this statement up to being a dumb kid.
I just want to state this for the record; though special effects might add something to movie, I won't go see a movie just because of good special effects. I've learned my lesson after seeing such debacles of Soldier and Event Horizon. (And even a Republican ex-commie is still a commie in my book.)
As I touched on a bit above, another of my mistakes is all the time I've devoted to bad television looking for those few rare gems in the television landscape. Some men spend their time in bars watching the NFL or NCAA; I spend my time at home hoping to find a show that I'll be able to brag to my friends about. For every hour of joy that shows like The Office, Arrested Development or Deadwood have brought, I have watched at least ten hours of dreck like Space:1999, Line of Fire, or Just the Ten of Us (the hardly ever seen spin-off to the show Growing Pains). What's bad is that the only way to discover gems like The Office is to sit through stinkers like the US version of Coupling.
Sometimes at night, I dream of having all those hours I've wasted on bad television back. In my dream, I spend these saved hours on other pursuits like reading or art. But I know that I'd just take all these saved hours and waste them once again on television. (Damn straight - Eds.)
Even with all these wasted hours, I'd have to say that my biggest mistake is that I still can't quite understand why I didn't watch Seinfeld when it originally aired on NBC. For a show that will probably still be on the air in syndication 30 years from now (when I run this country of ours), I was blissfully unaware of how good Seinfeld was. People would ask if I was watching Seinfeld and I would laugh. I figured that Seinfeld was just a show that got its popularity from the same place that makes Fear Factor a hit.
With Seinfeld, I was left out of conversations at my part-time job when people swooned over George and Elaine and that time when Kramer set his hair on fire. My co-workers would literally question my sanity on not watching the show. I'd laugh at them and then try to get the store manager to turn the break room television over to Space: Above and Beyond.
It wasn't until Seinfeld was almost over and airing on every even-numbered cable station in syndication that I saw just what I had been missing. Yes, Seinfeld is probably the best show that network television is able to produce. And me with my dumb ideas about the show made me miss out on seeing it happen with the rest of the world.
Though I may have made mistakes that were more painful (like the time I tried electrocuting a cricket in a wall socket but only managed to shock myself) it's the entertainment ones that hurt the most. But this isn't the end of the story. Pick up the next copy of The Fort Wayne Reader in two weeks to learn of my entertainment successes. To spoil this a bit for you, this list includes making fun of Friends and something special that happed to me the first time I saw Star Wars. Was it that Mark Hamill was also in attendance or that I got free butter on my popcorn?
Be back later to learn the shocking truth!