I was strolling through the channels the other day looking for something to fill about 20 minutes when I went to ESPN to watch anything that wasn't a reality show. While sports are, in their own way, reality shows, at least everyone knows the rules for actual sports and it isn't a foregone conclusion that white males will win at sports. This, of course, is a refreshing change from both reality shows and actual reality.
As I was watching some sort of sporting contest, it came to a commercial break and I saw something very surprising. This, of course, was an ad for ESPN Hollywood. Also known as, "Who fucking cares?"
The premise for the show is this: some idiots talk about athletes and their relationships with famous people who aren't athletes. It's a gossip show for the sports set. Apparently, ESPN wants to break into the demographic that makes Bravo way less popular than, let's say, ESPN. To quote Josh Baskin in Big, "I don't get it."
This is not even a show designed for latent homosexuals. This show is just out-and-out (pun intended), flamboyantly gay men. Like the kind that wear pink, mesh tank tops wherever they go. And what ESPN viewer actually fills this stereotype? For that matter, what gay man actually fills this stereotype? None I know. In fact, the -- admittedly few -- gay men I know watch sports because, get this, they enjoy watching the games and they want to see who is going to win.
Nobody cares that what's-her-face has been seen hitting the clubs with Derek Jeter. In fact, anybody who does care about that is already getting this news from Entertainment Tonight because that viewer gives a crap about models and actresses and actors and other people who are well known for being famous. They already gobble up this tripe on a regular basis on E!, so why would they turn to ESPN for this sort of garbage? If they did, they might accidentally watch a sport. And nobody who watches gossip shows wants to do that.
This is not MTV where they can replace everything with unadulterated filler and nobody will notice. ESPN viewers are not going to sit down and watch something they hate. They want sports and they want them now. The only gossip they crave is how quickly people are recovering from their injuries, not who Tom Brady was seen with at a swanky restaurant. Tom Brady probably doesn't care who Tom Brady was seen with at swanky restaurants, so I don't care either. As a matter of fact, I only care about him in his relationship to the football field. Once he gets off the football field, I'd just as soon allow him the chance to go about living his life. Hell, he's analyzed enough on the field, he and his teammates are already on camera more than any actor anywhere (16-19 games * 3 hour broadcast per game = 48-57 hours = 20-40 movies) so let the guy get some freakin' time off, why don't you?
Yes, athletes date actresses. That is because attractive people like to date other attractive people. This is not news.
If ESPN wants to show more chicks on their channel, stuff the actresses and talk about how much the women of G4 rule. Nothing says "awesome" quite like women who talk about video games for a living.
Let me provide you with a simple table explaining how it all works:
|Electric Sex||Electric Suck||Electric Mayhem|
In fact, women who talk about video games rule at about the same level as women who talk about sports. The thing is that ESPN has several women who do the latter, so they are already doing fine in the category of "awesome".
The only other woman who is as awesome as women who talk about sports or video games is, of course, Meg White because she rocks and, get this, is probably the only woman in entertainment who is actually judged on her talent. So they could use the time wasted on ESPN Hollywoood to show White Stripes videos. Now that I would watch; the White Stripes rule.
Or, better yet, they could talk about women's golf. Or women's tennis. Or women's basketball, soccer, ice hockey, or any of the other sports that women compete in. Then they would be talking about something related to their actual programming. Just anything other than gossip on athletes. Nobody watching ESPN cares and, I'm willing to guess, neither does anybody at ESPN. And yes, that includes the people who host the show. As a matter of fact, the people hosting ESPN Hollywood are probably only on the show because 1.) They are hoping to move up into a job with E! and 2.) They are tired of waiting tables for a living.
So, unless it's sports, I'm staying away. And I'm willing to bet that everyone else is too.