A name could denote royalty. A name can insight happiness, fear, even love or hatred. Or a name could get us to turn to a show on TV.
My apologies to shows like the ‘Vampire Diaries’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’ but Jesus Christ, Santa Claus, and Vishnu could all show up on these programs at the same time and I’d never know because their names kept me away (same goes for ‘One Tree Hill’, ‘Project Runway’, and ‘Chuck’). I’m a guy and because of this short coming, certain words stimulate my brain activity. Words that activate my primordial manhood and can get me changing the channel are things that make me think of war, fighting, weapons, death, sex, and nature (what can I tell you, I’m a slave to my gender).
Because of this, I have been known, as I am surfing along the hundreds of channels on cable looking for something to watch in between commercial breaks on my wife’s shows, to turn on programs I wouldn’t normally watch just because of their names. Some I have stuck with or turn on whenever I see them on the cable guide. Some I curse myself for watching even for a moment.
I am sure there are 30 more programs you could put on this list (and maybe more), but here is my list:
- Storage Hunters. Pretty much, anything with the word Hunters in it, and there is a good chance I’ll stop listening to my wife to tune in for a little (this is how I found out who Dog the Bounty Hunter was). Watching people bid and fight over storage garages filled mainly with junk holds my interest for about 4 minutes or until you find out the only thing in the garages are lamps shaped like ducks and an old Johnny Cash records.
- Ghost Hunters. Combine the word ‘Hunters’ with ‘Ghosts’ and I’m in. There a few problems though, all the green night vision camera shots gives me a worse headache than when I watched the Blair Witch Project, I don’t know if they have ever found any “real” ghosts, and watching these “ghost hunters” doesn’t make me wonder about ghosts, it makes me wonder if they’re still living in their parents’ basements.
- Kitchen Nightmares. Gordon Ramsey and his Gny. Sgt Hartman style of teaching whip failing restaurants in to shape. After the swarm of cockroaches, mold, and disinterested staff that are shown make you throw up a little in your mouth, the show sort of loses its luster and will make you forever wonder about the restaurants you eat in like Jaws made you wonder about swimming in the ocean.
- Lobster Wars. The Discovery Channel might be the king of nail biting names for their shows as well as shows about fishing. Lobster Wars is like Deadliest Catch but without the freezing oceans, danger, anyone relatable to, or of any interest. The only time I really care about lobsters is when I have melted butter and a seafood cracker in front of me.
- Strange Addiction. Did you know people are addicted to sleeping with their hairdryer blowing on them? How about eating rolls of toilet paper or the cushions from a couch or the girl who wears a fur suit out in public? I did because I stopped off at Strange Addiction. But after you’ve seen someone eat cigarette ashes, household cleaners, and the guy who is married to a synthetic doll, you might be afraid to go back (but you will anyway).
- Bridezillas. I have absolutely no idea what this show is supposed to be about other than showing women in wedding dresses behaving at their absolute worst. Culturally, it is a black stain on the advancement of women in America but in the midst of surfing, the obvious allusion to Godzilla is spot on and worth a peek now and again.
- Hoarders. Morbid curiosity will have me stop and check out the mountains of junk lining someone’s house. Insects, rodents, dead cats, Hoarders have it all. I’m keeping my fingers crossed one day they find something else under the stack of Tupperware containers and clothing that is piled up to the ceiling (let’s say, maybe Lindsay Lohan) besides the homeowner’s dead pet.
- Whale Wars. Something tells me that if these guys weren’t on the open sea faux fighting with fishing vessels, preaching about poaching, and screaming into megaphones, they would be hunting ghosts and living in their parents’ basements.
- Iron Chef. Cooking 5 meals with one main ingredient like Sea Slugs or Turducken and the “Chairman” who, if I’m not mistaken, was in the movie Double Dragon. I stay to see the secret ingredient and as soon as no one makes ice cream out of the duck fetus eggs, I’m on to the next channel.
- The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. I think we know why I turn this one on and I think we know why I never watch too long (here comes my wife).
- Deadliest Warrior. The name says it all. Scientist, historians, weapons experts pit history’s deadliest warriors (get it) against one another to see who would win in a battle. I’m waiting for the Justin Bieber vs. Samurai episode.
- 1000 Ways To Die. Making us think twice before trying to swallow cue balls and moving our wives’ armoires and proving the stupidity of mankind.
- Man vs Wild. Bear Grylls has killed fish by snapping their spines with his teeth and eaten a rotten carcass in the desert. Sounds great until I found out he sleeps in hotels and not in the cot he made from tree branches in the bowels of a swamp.
- Suvivorman. Les Stroud is like a more authentic Bear Grylls without the accent. If I could offer up a show idea for Mr. Stroud: Survive one week on Sarah Palin’s bus tour.
- Swamp Wars. I’m not sure what I thought about this show before I turned it on, but I know it involved the Swamp Thing and Adrienne Barbeau. But wrangling dangerous or deadly animals in Miami? They start showing some of the team members from Venom One getting torn to pieces by an alligator…I’ll be back.
- Swords: Life on the Line. Another fishing show. Fishing shows to the Discovery Channel are like CSI shows to CBS. And swordfish? Why do I stop at this show? One word. ‘Swords’.
- Arctic Roughnecks. Driving in a blizzard and a few hundred tons on their rigs. I’ve driven in a driving snow storm with a kid who had to use the bathroom and I was 25 minutes away from home. I’m not that impressed or interested for very long.
- Rocky Mountain Gators. Sounds like a perfect show. ‘Gators’ is almost as good in a title as ‘War’ is until 10 minutes into the show you realize Jay Young and his gators are neither compelling or worthy of the ‘Gator’ name unless he loses an arm, then maybe I’ll watch again.
- The Killing. Goddamn AMC for sucking me in to this show. I love the programming at AMC. How could you go wrong with ‘The Killing’? Just look at the name. Then watch the last episode after investing 13 weeks of your life to this show and you’ll understand why such contempt.
- Combat Hospital. I don’t even know if this show is on yet? I saw a commercial for it and ‘Combat Hospital’ sounds like a badass M.A.S.H. which is why I want to watch but it’s on ABC which means there is an 80% chance it will be terrible.
- Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. How can you not watch someone eat rotten shark meat that smells like ammonia? Sure you’ll have to control your gag reflex for most of the show but eating bugs and blood and rotten meat is gold.
- Bully Beatdown. Take a wimp and the bully giving him atomic wedgies, throw in a mixed martial arts fighter and his buddies beating up on the bully, and you got yourself Bully Beatdown. Its every kid’s dream who’s been stuffed into a locker.
- Sons of Guns. Did you know there is a show about guys walking around the woods at night shooting cardboard cutouts of bobcats and deer and trying to figure out which high powered gun to buy?
- Hardcore Pawn. To be honest, I thought Pawn was a different word. Once I found out it was ‘Pawn’, I turned it off.
- Ax Men. Guys cutting down trees. I’m turning my wife’s show back on.
- River Monsters. I’m waiting for the host to reel in some sort of freakish prehistoric fish that is the freshwater equivalent to the Megaladon Shark. Instead he catches Catfish every week and suddenly ‘The Biggest Loser’ doesn’t sound so bad.
- Swamp Loggers. The Discovery Channel has cornered the market on shows that sound cool but turn out to be as dull as watching people cut down trees, which this show is.
- Ice Road Truckers. Its Arctic Roughnecks on an ice lake…eh.
- Hell’s Kitchen. Probably the same thing that drew me to Kitchen Nightmares hooks me on Hell’s Kitchen except instead of bad restaurants, it’s bad chefs making worse risotto…and Ramsey is still swearing.
- Shark Tank. I was hoping ABC put the cast of Grey’s Anatomy into a huge tank of man eating sharks wearing wetsuits made of chum to fight for survival. Instead it’s a bunch of millionaires, billionaires, and Jeff Foxworthy (what?) listening to pitches from would be entrepreneurs. I should have known it was a terrible show, its on ABC, but I saw the word ‘Shark’ and couldn’t help myself.