Thursday, February 25, 2010

Countdown to sadness.

Who doesn't love a good countdown? Initially invented by NASA as a means of bringing an element of anticipation to their otherwise unbearable shuttle launches, countdowns have evolved into an essential part of every day life, so much so that some people actually stop breathing while they watch them. Top 5 plays of the week. Ten things i hate about you. Triple J's hottest 100. It's a timeless method of sorting the weak from the strong, bringing instant embarassment to whoever is mentioned first and unlimited spoils for the final contestant announced, much like a reverse running race where the competitors have to run backwards from finish to start. There's something really magical about sitting on your ass, relishing in the fact that whoever compiled the list is even more of a time waster than you are, having sifted through a vast collection of songs, videos, reasons to hate something or viral youtube clips and then compiling them in an orderly fashion from the ones that suck the hardest but still somehow made the list, to the ones that are responsible for the list's existence. Once the holy grail is announced, you can walk away satisfied thanks to information that you know you didn't need, or knew already anyway. If the number one isn't what you expected it to be, you've got a conversational cache that'll last as long as the attention spans of you and your friends, which is about as long as an episode of 20 to 1.

Speaking of 20 to 1, i watched it this one time. Supposedly it was an Adults Only special edition because it was a countdown of the scariest movie villains from the horror genre of film. Excited at the prospect of free gore, i willingly sat through the entire episode as Bert Newton and his perfectly round face announced the entrants in a horrifically un-entertaining fashion. What i didn't realise at the time is that the episode in question would feature zero to no gore and i'd have been way more terrified if they just filmed Bert Newton walking around the stage reciting old monologues from his morning show. Then he looks at the camera with that sinister grin like "you know i could eat the world if i wanted to, don't you?". Bert Newton is scary and hilarious, that's why he's been on television for so long.

It's a shame i can't say the same for the long list of forgotten or currently unpopular celebs that throw in their two cents in between every clip. Celebrities whose careers are like that of a freshly caught salmon, jumping around on the cold wet ground as they breathe their last breath and cling on to their final moments in the spotlight. What sane commercial television producer would take something as serious as a countdown and let a bunch of nobodies run rampant through the proceedings, flapping their cake-holes about that one time they hid behind a blanket during that one scary scene they saw that one time? Douchebags, that's who in case you were wondering. There's no comic relief or insightful trivia to be found here, just litres and litres of rage.

Bert Newton: "Swimming in at number 16 is the most feared creature of the deep, on steroids, and i'm not talking about -insert extremely homosexual innuendo.....-"

*Plays JAWS footage, leaves out best bits*

Over-opinionated and crabby ex-news reporter
- "Oooohhh, a shark, i'm really scared. Worst movie ever".

Some senior from Woman's Weekly - "After i watched JAWS, i never wanted to go to the beach again! Come to think of it, I went to the beach yesterday, so glad i didn't see JAWS!"

Blonde radio presenter and/or ZOO weekly model - "I was like, oh my god that shark is so plastic. Not back then, back then i was like omg so realisitc! But when i watch it now i'm like, get out of town, that shark is so plastic! Did you know i've been in RALPH magazine?"

Zany host from canned music video program
- "That music killed me every time man! How did it go again? *Attempts rendition of JAWS theme, gets notes wrong*.

Some guy i have NEVER seen before - *Attempts rendition of JAWS theme, gets first note correct, bombs on second*

Big Brother contestant - "You're just sitting there and then BLAARRRRRGGGHHHH, something happens! *makes voluntary arm movements towards camera, generalizes disabled people*"

And then you've got the hacks that reveal the end of every movie in between the clips, which is a real shame if you haven't seen every movie ever made and are a general fan of cliffhangers, twists, plots, conclusions and the reasons why you watch movies in the first place.

Bert Newton - "Oh dear, slicing his way into number 8 this week on 20 to 1 is Jason Vorhees, the hockey player from hell, or is he?" *Homoerotic glance at cameraman*.

*Plays footage from Friday the 13th with really bad music over the top that doesn't even suit the theme of the footage or the theme of anything*.

Staff hairdresser from Home and Away
- "I didn't even watch this movie. I heard there was a really big twist at the end or something?"

Someone that was famous in the 1970's
- "You know what i loved about this flick? The fact that it was his MOTHER THE WHOLE TIME! I can't believe it was his MOTHER THE WHOLE TIME!"

Cue 20, 000 people sighing collectively knowing they'll never be able to watch Friday the 13th for the first time. Thanks mysterious actor that was on a Hills Hoist commercial that one time! Ruining things for people is fun, but only if you're completely aware of it and you do it with precision and tact. It's not fun when some guy that knows this will probably be the last time he's on television decides to spoil a work of art to show the population that he 'knows heaps of stuff' and should be getting more work than the occasional appearance on a countdown show hosted by Bert Newton.

Here's a 10 to 1 of entertainers that would not only make better commentators, but are also much more worthy of a comeback, if not their own programs all together.

10. Duke Nukem. This womanising, rocket-launcher abusing diplomat for sex and violence has been in the lurch for a while now and with the official announcement of his comeback game being canned for good comes a chance for default stardom on a countdown show.

9. Dil from Stickin Around.
One of the most deserving characters for a spin-off series, Dil never really got a chance to shine. With his loud voice and obvious mental handicaps, Dil would run laps around 20 to 1's current list of interruptions.

8. The Great Deku tree.
Old, wise and never actually dead, this giver of life to all things Hyrule needs to know that he's wanted. What better way than to let people know that you still exist than to appear on an episode of 20 to 1?

7. Inanimate Carbon Rod.
Not since since episode 96-1f13 of The Simpsons has Inanimate Carbon Rod been given the screen time it deserves. Having become a social networking sensation through it's numerous fan pages and versatile casting range, this seemingly pointless entity may just have a use yet.

6. Agro.
Troubled by gambling and alcohol addiction since his early retirement, Agro's deep-seeded little man issues and permanent psychotic grin have limited him to brief Telethon guest appearances and the odd lowly blog post. His aggressive nature could definitely bring a zingy, controversial edge to the current roster, particularly in regards to any women that should find themselves in his radius.

5. Gazerbeam from The Incredibles.
Another career that ended before it took off. Aside from a brief stint on The Incredibles as a soothsaying superhero incapable of adjusting to the civilian life, Gazerbeam hasn't had much in the way of actual work, possibly because he doesn't actually exist and only got a place on this list because of his hilarious name.

4. Shawn Bradley.
Not just because he's a 7"6 mormon ex-nba center who has six daughters and listens to country music, also because i haven't seen him on t.v. since the mid 90's. Subs indeed.

3. A Stegosaurus.
I've never seen one before so i guess you can't call it a comeback or a guest appearance. Regardless, i think out of all the dinosaurs that a Stegosaurus would have the most charming disposition and is definitely worthy of an audience. His plates say "i'm pretty much defenseless for the most part", but the spiked tail proclaims "say something about my plates, i double dare you". Dinosaurs also have bigger brains than most 20 to 1 contributors.

2. The fish from the SAFCOL tuna logo.
Completely ridiculous and utterly irrelevant, the fish from the SAFCOL tuna logo still has a better understanding of film and literature than anyone i've seen on the two episodes of 20 to 1 that i've seen. Because it is incapable of anything but sitting there and being a logo, it avoids awkward faux pas like annoying me on national television and spoiling successful film franchises by revealing the endings.

1. Petri Hawkins-byrd.
His real name might be Petri, but we'll always remember him as the bailiff from Judge Judy, or if you want to get technical, 'Jesus Christ in the Flesh'. If a wrecking ball and a Centaur had sex, they'd both be cheating on Petri Hawkins-Byrd. His ability to resist head-butting Judge Judy whilst standing next to her for hours on end is only equaled by his penchant for standing so still and upright that he would eventually camouflage into whatever background the cameras had in frame, only to re-appear if any plaintiff's acted out of line or to say the funniest thing you've ever heard. He's the reason you are here right now reading about him, he is the enforcer of all things fair and just and he is a secret grandmaster in the realm of trivial pursuit, which makes him the grandmaster of everything.

If he ever does decide to come back to television, i've already started putting together a pilot episode called 'Black belt rebuttal' and it basically features him walking around and answering people's questions with unprovoked suplexes.

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