Thursday, August 18, 2011

LNN: Episode Insanity I:

Twin Spirals of Pain

You know, when I revamped this blog and decided to change my direction, I thought Gee! I wanna write funny reviews of terrible things! Now? I don’t want to do this. This was an awful idea all along. Everything about this experience promises to be painful. This is a punch in my soul, people! And yet I did promise that this would be my next post. Well, fine. I’m going to be a man of my word and endure this. I’m going to watch Parking Wars.The shit I watch to try making you people laugh…

According to the Netflix blurb about the show, it’s a “gritty reality series” about “resourceful parking enforcement officers” (I dare you to say that with a straight face!) and “inventive citizens who park illegally.” In a one sentence description, I gather that this is going to be as unintentionally hilarious as an Asylum movie. We’re going to kick this off with Season 1, Episode 1.

Netflix, tell us what this episode is about:

Jeff, whose favorite insult is being called "meter maid," squares off with an irate citizen over a broken meter. The booting team of Steve and Sherry encounters a woman who has an extreme emotional attachment to her car.

Sounds like pure gold to me! Let’s dive in!

  • Wow. In the title sequence, in the very first second, the word “Gestapo” is used. Godwin’s Law officially invoked. Classy.
  • Generic rock soundtrack? Check.
  • I don’t even know what to say to this: “By day we tow, we boot, we write tickets, we deal the power, the pain, the thrust. You eatin’ dust. We the PPA enforcers. You can’t mess with us.” This was just rapped. WhatisthisIdon’teven…
  • The aforementioned Jeff from the episode blurb apparently has an eye for the ladies as evidenced by the continual shots of him looking at their butts. Also this is mostly going to consist of him being called a slew of names. And this is riveting TV.
    • Also, “meter maid?” Really? That’s your favorite insult, Jeff? There has to be something far more original and amazing that you’ve been called. Hell, the show you’re on played the Nazi card in the first second! Have some standards, man!
  • And now a crazy little elf man is screaming about a parking meter and being cheered… while being on hold on phone. I have no idea what’s going on anymore, but Philadelphians? Class acts.
  • And now? Booting. They even get their own theme song!
  • Cliché: “We have a hit!” Check!
  • Cliché 2: “It’s a bit of a ‘cat-and-mouse’ game.” Check!
  • I’ve just been given some serious parking enforcement lingo. Cindy, the emotional car lady from the blurb, is an “H&H” which is a “heavy hitter” which means she’s racked up over $700 in parking tickets.
    • First of all, that’s pretty damn impressive to rack up that kind of parking fines
    • Second, your lingo sucks… and it’s inaccurate. There’s no “and” in “heavy hitter.”
  • And now they’re going to wait for a tow truck!
    • And the tow truck driver is an arrogant assbag! Fan-flipping-tastic!
  • Cindy said her car is like a pet. That’s… Are all people in Philly that dumb?
  • Generic hip-hop/R&B song? Check!
  • This place is filled with some hilarious rage… ok mostly just the guy who called them the Gestapo in the title sequence.
  • Gestapo guy hands the lot officer his phone, to show that he has been on hold with his insurance company for some time. She closes his phone, ending his call. He’s distraught. She laughs. If this show was meant to make me appreciate these parking enforcers it just failed big time.
  • “If someone is angry I tend to be a little bit kinder to show them this is not a personal thing.” As totally evidenced by you copping an attitude with the guy who was rightfully upset by you hanging up on his phone call!
  • The show ends with Gestapo guy getting his car back, roll credits.
  • Generic rap track? Check!

So, a guy got called a meter maid, someone taught us some parking enforcer lingo, and Godwin’s Law. I don’t know I’d call this show gritty… probably more grating.I cannot honestly fathom why this needed to be a show. If I wanted to watch sad people get cussed out by the general populous, hell I’d probably just go watch parking enforcers in real life.

But the fun doesn’t end here, kids. Tonight is a two-for-one special on my misery. Up next: Mall Cops: Mall of America. All I can say right off the bat is Minnesota, I thought you were cool, man…

Okay, let’s see what Netflix has to say about this show:

The Mall of America’s security team is charged with maintaining order and safety at the largest retail space in the United States.

Well… that didn’t really tell us much. Why am I going to watch this again? Oh. Right. Mall security equals “teh funneh.” Ok, well, let’s look at the episode brief Season 1, Episode 1:

S1:E1 – Black Friday
When shoppers invade Mall of America on the busiest shopping day of the year, mall cops deal with a shoplifting ring, a man carrying a concealed weapon, a girl who has had a seizure, and an intoxicated man who refuses to leave the mall willingly.

Yikes. Black Friday? Don’t you think your playing this gambit a little too soon? Shouldn’t this be your season finale episode, or something? Also, ‘invade?’ Nobody is invading the Mall of America. It’s no a micro-nation that we’re attempting to conquer just by showing up. Mall of America, you are no Kickassia. Alright, enough stalling:

  • Intense preview sequence? Check!
  • They used the word epic… FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU--
  • America, your Black Friday obsession is scaring me. Why are any of you outside, in Minnesota, in late November, at 2:30AM, waiting for the mall to open? Does this sound like a thing reasonable human beings do?
  • Show about the mall uses the line “shop ‘til you drop.” Check!
  • I admit, I love this bit that moments before opening, everyone inside the mall is wearing an expression of “Oh shit…” And you know what? I know how they feel.
  • Sped up film? Check!
  • The profiles to introduce the… officers(?) are ridiculous.
  • Report of a shoplifter!? OH NOES!
    • Wait. That was it? They got word of a shoplifter, the guy ran, cut to commercial? Then why make it a segment!?
    • This mall cop running is hilarious. I’m going to renamed him Joey Bagodonuts.
  • “The Handbag Mafia”? Really!?
  • Oh neat! We get to talk to a crazy guy who’s putting on make up in the middle of the mall!
    • AHHAHAHAHAAA!! Best exchange ever between Mall Cop and Crazy Guy:
      MC: Do you have any weapons on you?
      CG: The most powerful weapon I got is my mind.
      MC:Got a knife?
      CG: Yeah!
      Oh sweet! He’s armed!
    • Oh… and end segment. What the hell, Mall Cops!? What the hell!?
  • Wait wait wait. Sergeant!?. Do mall cops have actual ranks!? Pfffhaaahahahaaaahahaa!!! No! No stop! That’s too much!
  • I’m not even going to comment on the seizure segment. I can’t be that much of an asshole. Sorry, everybody.
  • The last segment is about a belligerent drunk man stealing wine from a store then resisting ‘arrest’.
    • Aaaaand the drunk man pooped his pants. Wow. I’m so glad we’re ending on that note.
  • End credits bonus! A mall cop has to help someone find their car at the end of day! Groundbreaking television!

So, that was Mall Cops. And it was, um, well, pretty terrible! I mean, wow. It was kind of stupid, and mostly just really boring. Even playing the Black Friday trump card from the beginning did not help. The rest of this show must be an absolute snooze-fest.

Final thoughts on these two shows? I cannot fathom why these are even on. I mean they were funny in all the worst possible ways. Parking Wars felt miserable to watch and Mall Cops, which should have been hilarious, was really just dull. America, I beg you, stop putting this shit on TV. Stop letting it run for season after season.

Parking Wars:
Netflix Assumptive Rating: ****
Actual Rating: **

It had funny moments, but mostly just unpleasant to watch.

Mall Cops:
Netflix Assumptive Rating: ***
Actual Rating: *


Well, with that slice of hell off my plate, I’m going to go watch something less mind-rotting. Something simple and kind. And maybe, if I’m lucky, it’ll have robots.

Or ponies.

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