Sunday, February 27, 2011

going, going, gone.

Dear Reader,
Today I mourn the loss of a beloved phenomenon: quality Nickelodeon. Where did we go wrong? Why did it leave us so abruptly? It seems we had such an abundance of good shows at one time, then poof, gone. I can't quite decide where to place the blame, but I've got a few theories.

Theory the first: It all began with Amanda Bynes.
Don't get me wrong, "She's the Man" is one of my favorites, but that's beside the point. It was she that single-handedly took down the Nickelodeon network. Think about it, before her presence on "All That," the show was an equal balance of humor among all of its stars. Kenan, Kel, Lori-Beth, Alisa, Danny, and so on. And who can forget the show's heart throb-Josh Server. But once Amanda became a cast member, the show became all about her. She began playing the "funny one" in virtually every skit. She got all the good lines, awe-striking scenarios, and giant fruit costumes. Eventually Nickelodeon caught on to this travesty and decided to give Amanda her own show all about her; cleverly titled "The Amanda Show." Her self-centered style of rambunctiousness reached a new level of audacity, and she became a fame-whore. The network never fully recovered. Sure they tried to compensate with shows like "Drake and Josh", "Zoey 101", and currently "I-Carly," but nothing seems to restore them to their former glory. It was all just too much for the world to handle at once. I guess you could say Amanda Bynes was like a McGangBanger to television. A lot of good things going for her, but in the end, you're stuck sitting on the toilet at 3 in the morning begging for mercy.

Theory the second: Rugrats All Grown Up? Really?
I once watched a video of an idiotic man dressed in a giant banana costume taunting a gorilla. I thought to myself, the world will never again know such a stupid mistake. Boy was I wrong. After a special one-hour episode of Rugrats where our gang of youngsters dreamed they were 'all growed-up,' Nickelodeon thought it would be a good idea if there was an entire show dedicated to this tyranny. Now answer me this- who in the right mind would want to watch a show about their favorite cartoon babies going through puberty? Tommy's struggle with acne, Angelica's first period, Chuckie's issues with boy's locker rooms, and not to mention Phil and Lil's gender confusion issues from being dressed the same their whole lives. I'd much rather believe that they stayed babies their whole lives, repeatedly celebrating their first birthdays and eating dirt. It was this disturbing display of child-exploitation that led to Nick's downfall.

Theory the third: Nick News.
Dear Linda Ellerbee, your attempts to make children more aware of current events is useless. Please give up. Also, lay off the Botox for a few days. Love, America. I can't think of a time in my life where I honestly thought, "Dang! I'm craving some monotone dumbed-down explanations of what's happening to penguins in Antarctica!" Gag me. Her show is like the 'Cheer up Charlie' scene in Willy Wonka. No on watches it. No one likes it. For me, the fact that the show continues to be aired puts a permanent damper on the entire network.

Dear Reader, my theories support that Nickelodeon has not only gone downhill, they have gone down the hill, crashed into a fence, flipped into a garbage can, and been smothered with questionable muck. We will forever miss the shows that brought us up into the world of adulthood with style and class. Alex Mack, thank you for blowing our minds every time you turned into a puddle. Pete and Pete, thank you for giving us excuses to not eat creamed corn. Aaaah!! Real Monsters, thank you for showing us the many uses of arm pits. Salute Your Shorts, thank you for your opening song. It will never stop being hilarious. Doug, thank you for-- Instrumental music begins and teleprompter says the get the heck off the stage. Enjoy watching the Academy awards.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dear Reader,
I think the Format sang it right: "I love love, I love being in love, I don't care what it does to me!" To me, love should be fun. Love should be silly. Love should make you giggle at the very thought of kissing that certain someone. Love should make even the bleakest of mornings seem like Christmas. Love should feel like putting on slippers after a day in stilettos. Love should be spontaneous. Love should be open-minded. And most of all, love should give you better confidence in loving yourself. But how much do I really know about love? Let's just say my knowledge on the matter is derived simply from observation and John Hughes movies.

Well Reader, today is the big day. And do I have a Valentine? No. But don't worry, I'm not one of those whiny single people that refers to it as "Single-awareness Day," and complains all day about how they will never find love, while devouring bag after bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos. Please, they have every day to be bitter about being alone in the world, February 14th shouldn't be any different. I personally love Valentine's day. I mean, minus those nasty chalk-tasting heart candies with cheesy lines on them, I think it's a very classy holiday.

I decided to make my day today extra special, so here's my scheme:
Last night I finely constructed 3 crafty Valentines (I'm talking bedazzling and all). Throughout the day I will leave them in various places for me to find. When I come upon them I will act completely surprised and tickled at the thought of someone (me) taking time out of their day (my day) to make me feel special (which I am). Some would view this as, well, pathetic to say the least. But I think Valentine's Day can also be a great reminder of how much we need to love and appreciate ourselves.

But let's just say I got to pick my dream boyfriend for Valentine's day...
I have it down to a tie.
Bachelor #1: Seth Cohen from "The O.C." (played by Adam Brody)
Um, could there be a more perfect man for me? Our day would consist of reading comic books together on the beach, eating cheeseburgers on the boardwalk, playing Street Fighter til 2 a.m., and ending the night with a classic upside down Spiderman kiss.

Bachelor #2: Duckie from "Pretty in Pink" (played by Jon Cryer)
Ultimate loyal and charming best friend. My day of romance with him would include listening to 80's records, dancing like fools in public places, and eating our weight in Chinese food. Not to mention our awkward, yet endearing, peck at my doorstep. Precious.

And you thought that Bella chick had a tough decision? Please.
Well Reader, I hope that you can find special joy in today. Whether it's making out with your significant other, or watching "West Side Story" all by your lonesome. Spoiler Alert- everyone's true love dies by the end of the movie. Til next time!
-The Swampman