Truly Bad Films

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


I watched one episode of the A&E show Inked. That's all it took. It's following the same tired plot trajectory as "pioneer" reality shows from way back, like The Restaurant which I likewise watched only once.

"Every Body Has a Story" is the promotional tag line of the show, but they aren't telling anything close to "every body's" story. All they focus on is life in one Vegas tattoo shop. So, only the stories of the shop owners get told.

Maybe I'm being too literary here, but when I hear "Every Body Has a Story," I think The Illustrated Man. I want stories from various people about their proudest or most painful art work and why they got it. I want re-enactments of their personal dramas ala Forensic Files or Unsolved Mysteries. I want to see the story that the tattoo represents, brought to life by actors who resemble the tattoo owner. There are bound to be a million crazy stories out there represented by a million gorgeous to home-made tattoos. Those are the stories of the bodies I want to hear.

I'm just as frustrated with 30 Days on FX. This is what we were promised: guy or gal goes out to do something new for 30 days and learns a lot in the process. I imagined this as a fascinating educational process unfolding, wherein the audience would learn all kinds of insider info belonging to worlds we would otherwise rarely see. This is what we got: Jerry Springer rejects facing off over butt-head belief systems.

If it weren't for Rescue Me I'd have to turn off my tv.


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