So today I was skimming through the TV Guide and looking over what fun alternative programming is out there for the people not interested in the Super Bowl. I may not understand them, but that doesn't mean I'm going to abandon them. That's right, people, your buddy Dre is now equipped with the ultimate in counterprogramming for Super Bowl Sunday.
What I have found in my research has disturbed me, but it has also forced me into asking difficult questions about myself. I'm at a crossroads, people. Do I watch the game and root for Peyton Manning along with millions of other proud Americans this weekend? Or do I give in to some of the alternatives these sneaky networks have cooked up? Do I dare miss a Super Bowl commercial that everyone will be guffawing over at tomorrow's water cooler? We all know how awful that is ... to be the only poor sap who didn't see that "hilarious Budweiser commercial" from the previous night. I don't even take real bathroom breaks during the Super Bowl anymore. Don't ask.
Okay, we have a couple of nice options here. On the Fox Sports Network they are airing Best Damn's Top 50 Beatdowns. You do not need to watch The Best Damn Sports Show Period to watch their beatdown specials. This is basically a look at some bad beats in the world of boxing and martial arts. Yes, they can be grisly. If you're demented enough, FSN is airing Best Damn's Top 50 Beatdowns 2 an hour later.
Speaking of bad TV, everybody loves those When Good Pets Go Bad shows. Spike TV knows this and is airing two one-hour episodes back to back starting at six. This is pretty good flip-back material for anybody watching Beatdowns.
On G4 (TV Guide is swearing up and down to me that this is a real channel), there is something I am seriously tempted to watch. An Arrested Development marathon! I've never seen the show and have been told I would love it. I just saw Jason Bateman in Smokin' Aces and thought he was hilarious. I could save money by not buying the DVD and watching this marathon. Hmm ....
Cinemax is airing the 5,678th airing of The Rock, which I can never get enough of. This would actually make for a terrific drinking game. Every time you think you see Sean Connery's double, you take a shot. Give a try but don't drive home.
Gossip hounds, I have something for you next. At this hour E! will be airing Even Bigger Celebrity Oops! (I'm guessing there was a Big Celebrity Oops at some point). Yes, it's a look at everyone's favorite comedic moments involving America's sweethearts. Tom Cruise's couch incident, Tara Reid's faulty boob falling out, Paula Abdul's American Idol affair ... it's all here so you can laugh at the rich and famous!
Masochists can't be left out of the fun, and this year you have two very solid options for a couple of hours of pain. Option 1: You can stick a broken beer bottle in your eye. Option 2: You can watch The Fantastic Four on HBO. You really can't go wrong with either.
USA will be airing a Monk marathon, a show that I do watch, but not with enough regularity. Tony Shalhoub's genius cannot be overestimated, people.
Okay, the next option I'm going to need to slow down a bit because I want to make sure everyone is following me here. Three words: Puppy. Bowl. Three. Put them together and what do you have? Animal Planet's very own Puppy Bowl III. Not sold yet? How's this for a description:
Premise: Puppies cavort in a play area that looks like a football stadium in the third annual event that offers an alternative to the Super Bowl. Included: a halftime show featuring kittens.
Stop rubbing your eyes. It reads the way you think. You guys have no idea how conflicted I am right now. I feel like Darth Vader when Palpatine was shooting the blue lightening out of his fingernails. It's a win-win and a lose-lose all at once.
Things start to get a little less appetizing from here on out. The Super Bowl's already started, after all. But you can never really go wrong with The Simpsons on FOX. There's those second episodes of When Good Pets Go Bad and Beatdowns. Meanwhile, on NBC there's those "I'm Horrified Yet Can't Look Away" episodes of Grease: You're The One I Want. But not much doing outside of those options.
Right about now, Prince should be getting on stage for the halftime show. I can't remember the last great halftime show I watched. It might be when Michael Jackson sang the Free Willy song with about four thousand kids back in Super Bowl XXVII. It didn't seem so frightening back then. Could anyone see that happening now?
On a side note, I don't know what happened, but it appears Lingerie Bowl IV will not be happening this year. The website is up, but it looks like it's a no-go. Sorry, America. I too will miss those classy promotions telling viewers to "Play Hard" or "Stay Abreast of News & Events." But all is not lost. Howard Stern's Stupid Bowl III will feature a flag football game of the show's staff versus a bunch of drag queens. If that isn't enough to set your night on fire, how about some Penthouse Pet cheerleaders? You can watch this freak-fest on the Howard TV On Demand Channel for a mere $13.99. A small price to pay for losing your soul.
If the masochists are really feeling frisky for some more action, just turn the dial to the TV Guide channel for Guide To The Grammy Awards With Joan & Melissa. That's Joan and Melissa Rivers, for those of you who have been fortunate enough not to fall into that starved crocodile pit.
Ladies, how many years do you think Paris Hilton has set the women's movement back? Thirty? Forty? Why not catch House of Wax on Cinemax at the ocho hour. I haven't seen it, but from what I hear she gets the chop in satisfying fashion.
At first I thought ABC smacked a home run with its airing of Old School at nine. The game could be a blowout by then and people could watch Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn for a couple of hours. But it's on ABC. That means you have to try and imagine what Will Ferrell's naked body looks like instead of seeing it yourself. The human mind is simply not capable. Network TV also bleeps out all the curse words so no earmuffs are required. Eh.
But do not fear, I have one solid choice to keep you busy for the last hour of Super Bowl greatness. The Cooler will be making its way onto IFC, and if you haven't seen it, this is probably your best bet. Alec Baldwin, William H. Macy and Maria Bello are all in peak form here. Now, I know that probably wasn't the best sell, so here it is: Ahem. Maria Bello. Naked. Completely.
But who am I kidding? If you aren't watching the Super Bowl at this hour, you are definitely watching Puppy Bowl III. Now, I know what some of you are thinking. "Dre, I would love nothing more than to watch Puppy Bowl III, but I've never seen Puppy Bowl I or II and don't want to feel like a loser." You don't have to anymore. Amazon is selling those puppies (no pun intended ... okay, that was a bold-faced lie) for only $19.00 (used)! Now you have no excuse.
I may not either.
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Dre writes five times a week for Film.com, covering movies and DVD with his Floridian flare. E-mail him!