Monday, July 23, 2007

House of Shayme

This entry was initially supposed to feature an intimately affectionate in-depth analysis of 2004's Van Helsing (one of the most unfairly maligned movie triumphs in recent cinematic history), but folks? That'll have to wait.

Right now, I'd like to express my frustration with TBS.
And no, I'm not talking about an archaic tablespoon abbreviation.
I'm referring to the former Turner Broadcasting Station which, we can all agree, has proved an embarrassing failure in its attempt to attract viewers by showing popular films in their most egregiously bowdlerized airline-approved versions.

This is the network that reinterprets family-friendly fare by broadcasting the infamous crucifix scene from "The Exorcist" while replacing the line "Let Jesus fuck you!" with "Let Judas Priest fudge you!". How the topic of exorcism can be addressed in a film where any mention of God's only begotten son is replaced with dubbed lines referencing a notorious occult-metal rock band fronted by a leather-clad sodomite escapes me, but there you go.

They showed "Van Helsing" back-to-back last night. Closer than back-to-back, truth be told. At one point they actually displayed the ending credits of the movie in the bottom half of the screen while restarting it again in the tiny rectangle occupying the top half. Why?

Why, to save money, silly. Running non-stop ads for in-house-produced projects like "Bill Engvall" and "My Boys" doesn't allow for much time in between showings, does it? To say nothing of the hateful animated crawls that burst forth like so much toxic pus over the featured program, obscuring a huge portion of the picture for a full thirty seconds...

Obviously, I'm not a TBS fan.
Last night, however, while being subjected to a segment of this obscenely pervasive hype, I was struck by an ad for a show called "House of Payne". The spot was just as maddeningly intrusive as the rest, deploying a sudden, wildly distracting graphic of a fat guy leaning against a door assailed by some equally fat persons that were advertised as his "family". It looked bad. Exactly how bad I determined to find out for myself. offers free downloads of their newest "original" programming, so naturally I found myself checking out the link for House of Payne's deliriously panned first episode. Patiently, I allowed the sponsored ad to finish, happily anticipating what critics promised to be an ineptly staged, culturally offensive, comedically tone-deaf nightmare on wheels.

Instead I see this.

I click a link to a different episode. Once more I'm forced to watch the Pine-Sol and All-State endorsements, but again the message of exclusion repeats itself. First in English, then in French, followed by German and then Japanese.

Wh...what the hell? TBS is discriminating now?

I'm all for discrimination when it applies to matters of taste and aesthetics, but blocking IP addresses from foreign countries is a different kettle of fish. What are they worried about - bandwidth expense? This is TBS for Chrissake.
They should be grateful for every last hit.


At 7:41 PM, July 23, 2007, Blogger Mariana said...

Thanks for saying you loved Van Helsing. It's sad for me that even when people say they liked it it tends to be in a "it's so bad it's good" sort of way, when I genuinely love and admire it.


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