Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Talk Reviewed: "5/17/2017" (S7E163)

So good job they got the extra credit!

What is it? Hour-length daytime multi-camera talk show just like the billion others that are out there.
Where did it air? CBS, which if you sound it out will tell you exactly what it is (yes I never get tired of that)
Who stars in it? That one actress from Rosanne who looks burned out as fuck (Sarah Gilbert, who is also credited as being The Talk's creator), Julie Chen, Sharon Motherfucking Osborn who as far as I'm concerned is rock and roll royalty, even if only adjacently through her (ex?) husband, umm, Cheryl Underwood, Aisha Taylor who I had to look up but we'll get back to her.
Why are we reviewing this? Because Debby Ryan was a guest host for this episode and...yeah, that's the sole reason why I even fucking watched it.

I had actually seen this episode a while ago, around the time when it originally aired (again, see "Why are we reviewing this?" above) and at first I didn't really think of bothering to do a review on a friggin' talk show of all things, but then I reread our Undateable review and I was like...yeah, I watched and reviewed that piece of shit only because of Bridgit I guess I can bother to write a review of this thing, so there.

The topics discussed about were a viral video of kids being pepper sprayed for class, Miley Cyrus, a Lifetime movie on Micheal Jackson and Ice Cube was invited talk about his new On3 League (it's a basketball "league" where they get 3 big-time retired NBA players to form half-court teams and play together - it strikes me as a bit too stunty and exposition-y to really make it as a league as opposed to basically a multi-season television special but whatever, seems like a fun enough concept to watch). Debby pointed out that her very first TV or movie acting role was as "Popular Girl #2" in the movie The Longshots starring Ice Cube and Keke Palmer who played his daughter, so she felt like it was kind of a reunion for her and that she was really excited for being in an Ice Cube movie with Keke Palmer and excited about the upcoming new Friday movie (yes they're making yet another one of those) and that's really the greatest extent that's worth mentioning about.

Now you'd think both of them being really big, super-huge Disney Channel princesses Debby would have a lot to talk about Miley Cyrus but...the conversation was rather disappointing. Debby didn't even mention the fact that she's worked with Miley, on the episode Starcrossed, which was the last third of the Wizards On Deck With Hannah Montana mega-crossover (probably the biggest live-action crossover in Disney Channel history so far, coming up on a decade later). In fact it...honestly kind of felt that she really held back on any actual insight and didn't really want to talk much about it beyond the pat, super-prepared PR statements everyone caught with a microphone in front of their face would say for fear that she might accidentally reveal some skeletons out of her own closet or something. Like how there's an unknown Sprouse triplet and his rotting skeleton is hidden in a storage locker rented out to both herself and Cole, and the whole experience is what prepared Cole for the Jughead role in Riverdale (which is still tied for the worst thing we've ever reviewed on this blog, BTW, but I have to admit Cole's really digging into and owning the Jughead character).

Oh yeah, and the Micheal Jackson Lifetime movie which isn't even worth mentioning beyond that, and talking about Zac Efron being Ted Bundy. Debby had freakin' more to say about this and Disney than she did Miley, but whatever. It's stupid. Charlize (or however you spell it) Theron wasn't hurt in the slightest damned bit playing a somewhat physically disfigured serial killer who preyed on both men and women in the dozens in Monster (also supposedly based on a real life killer) - she's been in tons of fashion magazines, shoots, commercials and of course movies in the already decades since. Hell friggin' Prometheus was much, much more damaging to her career if anything. Now that was a legitimately bad movie.

I'm sure there's other stuff too but I really don't feel like rewatching the whole nearly 40 minutes on CBS' website. Anyway let's talk about that last thing (which was actually the first thing they talked about), the whole students getting pepper-sprayed thing. Just quick background: a bunch of students in an Ohio high school are taking a criminal justice elective and for extra credit they signed a bunch of permission slips and waivers so that their teacher can pepper spray them in the goddamn fucking face.

So in between all this opining from Sharon and Cheryl and even Debby about how it's somehow good to have kids volunteer themselves to be pepper sprayed in the goddamn fucking face because, well, they signed the permission slips and waivers and they knew what they were getting into!, let me just say that just because a school prepares a permission slip and just because the kiddies volunteer for it knowing what they're getting into, doesn't prevent it from being a really stupid, horrible, fucking moronic thing to pull off. And what qualifies me to say this is that not only do I come from a family with a law enforcement background (so yeah, I know pepper spray hurts without even having to try it) but I myself also come from an actual teaching and education background so I know a fucking stupid idea when I see one and I know when teachers and school administration starts acting like dumbfucks, and this certainly qualifies. I've linked to "The Third Wave Experiment" and the book and movie it later inspired before so...here it is again. See, that was an idea that a whole bunch of teachers and school administration thought would be a really good idea to turn their classrooms into quite literally The Third Fucking Reich, and needless to say it ended as a horrible clusterfuck, so even well-meaning teachers and school administration can put their students into very dangerous situations due to a severe lapse in judgement.Spraying your students in the goddamn fucking face with pepper spray, even if it's for a specific point and even if they signed all their permission slips for extra credit, represents a severe lapse in judgement.

I'm also reminded of Maddox, aka The King of the Universe and proprietor of The Best Page in the Universe. Very early on when his website started even being a thing (so we're now talking already decades ago too - man, I really do feel old) one of his early fanmail responses involved some idiot knucklehead serial rapist in the making who asked Maddox to talk about the "injustice" of the Army not allowing soldiers to freely rape women (I cannot even think of an emoji or any words to described how fucked up this individual must've been). But then again I guess I don't have to think of the words because Maddox did a pretty satisfying smackdown of this extremely disturbed individual for all of us when he pointed out that you shouldn't need empirical evidence to be able to figure out on your own that raping women is bad, and a very bad crime that will see you locked up in jail from 25 to life.

I would tend to think that being sprayed with pepper spray in the goddamn fucking face tends to qualify along similar lines: you don't need empirical evidence and experience it first-hand to know that it's fucking goddamn horrible.

Episode Grade: Uhhh...how can you really evaluate a talk show though? I guess I'd give it a C- because if nothing else seeing freakin' Debby talk about the virtues of being sprayed in the goddamn fucking face with goddamn fucking pepper spray, and then the audience applause, is going to be yet another one of those things I'm going to file under "reasons why I want to permanently leave America."
Episode MVP: Sarah Gilbert because it seriously looks as if running this thing is literally sucking out her life's soul.

Extra Thoughts:

 - Fun fact: I think I shared before that my family has some law enforcement background, and one day (this was, well...already decades ago too...I hate being old) my brother found an expired can of pepper spray that my dad forgot about and he wanted to know if the expiration date meant anything.

Spoiler alert: turns out it doesn't, really. I also told him even back then (I was like, seven or so?) that spraying your own goddamn fucking face with pepper spray is really stupid. See even back then I didn't need fucking empirical evidence to know that that shit sucks. Duh.

 - Debby's, Cheryl's and Sharon's arguments were that kids who want to aspire into law enforcement for a career need to know what it feels like to be sprayed in the face to know what people who protested and fought for Civil Rights experienced before. And my response is, no, we should be cutting back on the use of pepper spray and weapons use overall, lethal or non-lethal, rather than just attacking protesters with pepper spray and tear gas as a fucking first resort (or even second, third or fourth resort).

 - Oh and speaking of which I believe the state of Massachusetts requires you to register pepper spray as a firearm as if it were actually a big piece of an overcompensating shooting-thingie.

 - I was actually really tempted to give Aisha Taylor MVP (and continue to break my New Year's Resolution) because I actually find her to be really, really incredibly attractive and alluring and yes those two "reallys" are necessary, but moreover for kind of a weird specific reason - because as strange as this sounds she really strikes me as looking like an older version of Debby, and seeing her actually right next to Debby only helped drive home that fact for me. In fact every time I look at her I think "hey she looks like an older version of Debby." Yeah, I guess I need to get my eyes checked or something.

 - And yes, I know, I am super, way behind on Andi Mack. I'll get to it.

 - And I originally wrote this yesterday morning, I was almost finished on it, then I got distracted and I literally forgot about this. In the meantime some...really bad stuff happened concerning a venue involving someone very relevant to this blog. I'm still debating about making some sort of statement on this blog, even if it just amounts to just a single sentence along the lines of "terrorism, violence and Daesh are really, really bad."


  1. One of the podcasts I listen to recently mentioned this show and talked about something along the lines of what you said, that Sara Gilbert looked like her soul had been sucked out. I figured it was hyperbole, but when I saw the clip they had on YouTube of the MJ segment, it was shocking how obvious it was that she did NOT want to be there. And she's the *creator*? Ack.

  2. I love Riverdale it's really good it's gotten better I like to watch the talk


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