Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"Tuesday Night Book Club"

I was hanging out at Dave and Ken's last night. While flipping through the channels we ran across Tuesday Night Book Club. There may be a typo in the show's title. I think it was supposed to be called Tuesday Night Boob Club. But using the air night in the show's title handily eliminates the last bit of thought you might need to watch this show.

Of course five minutes of Scottsdale, AZ bimbos on parade and I was hooked like a White River catfish. I made poor Dave stay up way past his bedtime so I could finish watching it.

Part of the attraction was not being able to tell just how contrived TNBC is. All of the husbands and wives are pretty convincing as actual fake people. On the other hand, Tina's (the workaholic) child daughter psychoanalyzing her mother like a disgruntled 17-year old seemed like a rejected Dawson's Creek audition. (Note: I love Dawson's Creek.)

Either there is an inspired and raging torrent of irony running beneath the microderm abraded surface of this show, or it's just bad. It could be both.

Things I found entertaining:

-Despite the title, book spines are pretty safe in the hands of this bunch. It's as if the phrase "book club" has been a euphemism for "Botox party" for centuries.

-The blank stares of the neglectful doctor husband who loves his motorcycles more than his former-model wife. Hint for the wife: The problem isn't that he wants you to be more like the bikes; it's that you married the emotional equivalent of one.

-The hulked up bodybuilding mass of quivering insecurity that is Lynn. The scene where her friend Jenn is applying fake tanning cream to her might-as-well-be naked body lets you know who this show is REALLY for--straight men, who you can bet will be tuning in for all eight episodes. But what makes Lynn compelling isn't her manly-girl figure, it's her unstereotypical selfishness, at least for a newlywed wife (she lives at the gym). Her husband points out to her that cooking a meal for him is not on her to do list. To make things even better, Lynn's husband is as insecure and as pumped up as she is. He looks like The Rock, but he acts like Grace Adler!

-Tina, the stressed out divorced mom, is a little like Donald Trump in Mary Hart's body. And she’s a former Miss Hawaii to boot. Don't get me wrong; Tina is my favorite--driven, road-weary, and kind of bitter. She's been pressed to conform to every female stereotype and rejected them all, except that of a 1980s anchorwoman.

Now she's dares people to get in her way. More maternal with her "book" club friends than her own kids, she puts on a good show about sacrificing her private time for work so that her children can have the best coaches (the little girl didn't look like an olympic hopeful to me). But it is obvious she gets high on her personal performance. Taking arguably unethical advantage of Tina's addiction to ratings, her therapist gives her kids a chance to "score" her as well. The fact that they consistently rate her as mediocre drives her insane. While Tina's dissappointment in her kids' scores looks a little like remorse, it looks more like the frustration Lance Armstong might feel after losing a not so critical race. Her sort of shallow, self-flagellating enthusiasm makes me think that if she weren't a woman I might see her whooping it up at a Promise Keepers rally.

I don't suspect this show will really be about personal growth. Is it fake? Yes, but all of us have to deal with the fact that consumerism has made fake the new real. Why not come to terms with this by watching somewhat mannish looking girly girls not working very hard at making sense of the world?

I think I know where I’ll be Tuesday nights at 10:00 for the next six weeks.


Anonymous Sally said...

Now I'm intrigued, is it supposed to be reality tv? It sounds like a show you could totally get hooked on, but it's way past my bedtime too.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

I think it is a reality television show about fake people. I liked Anna Nicole's show for the same reason. They seem to be working from scripts some, but I suspect their lives are a little scripted to begin with.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous highheels said...

Are you an idoit? Didn't you see the show! Clearly Lynn is not a bodybuilder. She is so tiny. It's called figure competing. I compete in figure; I competed against her last summer in Las Vegas.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Troy said...

Me, an "idoit"? Maybe. I'll have to look the word up. In the meantime, please forgive the figure-building faux paux. Lynn didn't look that tiny to me. And she could crack walnuts with that behind! Obviously I have some things to learn about "figure."

9:25 PM  
Anonymous highheels said...

Good idea. Yes you should. Her competition weight is 110 if you look up her stats. If you think she is big you are really giving women with "average" weight a really bad complex. If you bother to look her up further, you will find out she is one smart cookie. Too bad they portrayed her otherwise. That's reality TV for you. PS looks like they pulled the show.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What!!! Pulled the show? No, tell me no. I was just really getting into it. Now I'm P----D off. I was looking forward to seeing it next week, especially Lynn in the figure competition. One of our friends caught her being interviewed on the radio last week. Said she was very intelligent, funny and interesting. I hope it's just a rumor that the show is cancelled.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Troy said...

Lynn didn't look "weight" big, she looked "could probably kick my butt" big, but even that may have been the camera. In any case, no woman (or man) should feel insecure about their weight.

I'll be sad if the show was pulled, too. In fact, Highheels, until you said it was cancelled I thought you might be working for the show. I suppose if you were actually Lynn posing (forgive the pun) as someone else that could still be true, but who sits around googling themselves all day?

If you run into Lynn tell her you educated someone about figure and that we hope the best for her marriage. She and her husband seem too well matched to call it quits this early. They should work on the communication thing and learn to support each other's dreams and goals. And they might try cooking for and with each other. Unless their arguments were fake, too! Where does the intrigue end?

I hope it isn't cancelled.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Helen said...

Saw an article in our back home online local newspaper-
title of article "Reality 'book club' not completely real"
Kathy Shayna Shocket
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 23, 2006 09:28 PM.
She's been identified as Lynn Carahaly a speech pathologist. She was quoted as saying,"Am I upset how they portrayed us? Entertainment is entertainment. And talking about me graduating cum laude and owning my own business isn't what sells". She's right! Would have like to see the rest of the episodes, guess the show was too HOT for the "Old Suits" at CBS.

6:27 AM  

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