Tuesday , April 16 2024
I only watched two hours of TV last night, but I was still intrigued.

Secret Life and Top Gear Keep Me Intrigued

In describing how flat, non-stylized, utilitarian things can still be beautiful and function perfectly, a wise man said last night, "Look at Keira Knightley, she's just an ironing board with a face, and she works." I'll give you three guesses who said that, and your first two don't count.

That's right, my good friend and yours, Jeremy Clarkson, uttered those very words last night on… Top Gear! If you wasted your first two guesses on Richard Hammond and James May, I appreciate your knowing what I'm going to talk about, but you really have shown that you don't watch the show.

I know, I know, most people don't watch the show, most people don't get BBC America, but that's no excuse. Top Gear is, I'm told, now available for download from iTunes the day after an episode airs. It looks to me as though it's $1.99 an episode and for the previous season, $14.99 for the iTunes Season Pass, and a mere $9.99 for this season. $9.99 is well worth the price; you're going to get far more laughs, action, and actually manage to learn a little something for that $9.99 than if you went out and blew it on something like a ticket to Transporter 3.

Really, that's what we're talking about here — you could go out and see a barely scripted, nonsensical 90-minute romp (that's not specific to Transporter of any of the films in the series, just a general statement of fact), or you could buy far more viewing hours of Top Gear at the exact same price.

Wow, okay, that's a lot of shilling for Top Gear, and while it's something I totally approve of, it wasn't my intent to shill. So, let's press on.

One of the shows that returned last night following a substantial hiatus in the midst of its first season was ABC Family's Secret Life of the American Teenager. I thought the first season of the show was cute enough, not without some problems, but cute enough. Last night's episode, though, I thought was severely disappointing.

It featured Amy and Ben figuring that they ought to get married. Well, Amy decided on it after her mom acted well and truly insane to Amy. I can't delve into all of that, but accept it when I tell you that Amy's mom, Anne, acted wholly incorrectly suggesting that she wouldn't help Amy with the baby because Anne wanted to do what she wanted to do. Nice idea of family there. But, anyway, Amy and Ben, both underage, opted to get fake IDs in order to get married. Yeah, because if you get married with a fake ID that'll be valid, particularly when people with fake IDs signed as witnesses.

For a show that handled everything in its first run of episodes in a manner that was, more often than not, reality-based, to open with such a foolish plot distressed me. Has the show decided that reality isn't the way to go? I'd be really disappointed by that, it's not the way the show has thus far expressed its worldview and doesn't seem to fit with the more "message"-based show they've been thus far.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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