Home > Most Everything > Weight Loss Challenge and Popular TV

Weight Loss Challenge and Popular TV

Starting this last week, I joined a weight-loss group with some co-workers.  I’m sure you’re all thinking, “But Paul, you’re so much better-looking than 99.99999% of the population could ever hope to be!  Why are YOU in a weight-loss group?”  Well, thank you for the compliment, but since getting married, I have put on about 20 pounds.  I am by no means very big, but as I get curvier and more voluptuous, I miss the days when I could fit into my “skinny pants” (is it just me, or do I sound like a woman who’s trying to fit back into pre-baby clothes?).  I only hope to get down to my original weight: 8 lb. 6 oz.

I did take precautions before getting married, though.  I made sure to ask my fiance (now my wife), “Would you still love me if I weighed 400 pounds?”  She paused for a moment, and said, “Of course.  I’ll love you no matter what.”  As soon as I heard it, I knew I could get as fat as I want.  That’s like a free pass to the Golden Corral!  (Where the motto is: “Rustle up some heart disease!”)  The coin has two sides, though.  Women also want to feel secure in knowing that we men, as husbands, will love them no matter their appearance.  It is our job to reassure our wives whenever we can.  If your wife says, “Would you still love me if I weighed 400 pounds?”, look intently into her eyes, smile, and softly say, “No way.”  I’m looking out for her.  It’s worth hurting her feelings to make sure she’s thinking healthy.  HA!

The single greatest barrier to weight loss in this country is these 9 simple words: “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?”  Of course, the only answer to that question is, “Yes, yes, oh dear God, YES!” followed closely behind by, “Do you have any Thin Mints?”  Don’t pre-pay for Girl Scout Cookies.  Don’t put your name on any list for later delivery.  OF COURSE the little girl knocking at your door has cookies readily available.  Her mother is waiting at home with a stockpile of cookies.  Thousands of dollars worth of them.  Demand the cookies now.

Back to my weight loss story.  Really, the only reason I’m trying to drop a few pounds is to test my own metabolism.  I’m a young man still, and as such, I still have great metabolism.  Since I started eating healthier ten days ago, I have lost about 7 pounds.  I know it must make my co-workers sick who have trouble getting rid of that middle age weight.  That’s probably another reason why I’m dropping the weight.  It’s my vengeful side.

Now let’s talk about highly-addictive television.  Some of the highest-rated shows on TV are Fox’s 24, CBS’s whole CSI lineup, and Fox’s House.  As a concerned member of the public, I will now dissect these shows.

24: This show’s plot always contains 3 elements:

–A device

–A conspiracy

–Plot twists

There’s actually about 4 minutes of real, actual dialogue between random shouts from Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer: “Tell me where the device is!” (Or, to a lesser extent, “Where’s the device?!”) “What device?” you may ask.  It doesn’t matter.  There’s always a device.  Could be a nuclear device, biological device, or a Richard Simmons device (most diabolical of all).  There has to be, otherwise the show would come to a grinding halt as we would watch Jack do mundane things, such as brush his teeth, eat at McDonald’s, and 8 action-packed episodes of Jack sleeping.

In 24, conspiracies are popular.  “Oh, the president is in danger!  Who can we trust?  Oh no, there’s a conspiracy!  We can’t trust anyone except Jack Bauer!  Not even the President!  Save us, oh benevolent Jack Bauer!”  All this conspiracy stuff and “the bad guys have an inside man at CTU/Pentagon/FBI/Wal-Mart/CIA/White House/Google” gets really repetitive.  It’s still entertaining, I’ll give you that.

Plot twists are key to 24‘s ill-gotten success.  “Can we trust this guy?  He has a criminal background!  He tried to kill the President!  He’s a good guy!  Wait, he’s a bad guy!  No, he was just a double agent!  No, a triple agent!  Watch out, Jack!  Quadruple agent!  He just wanted the other bad guys to THINK he was a triple agent!”  All I’m saying is if you put two seasons of 24 on two TVs side by side, I can’t tell the difference.

I can’t believe that there are so many blogs and message boards devoted to this show, trying to predict what will happen.  I’ll tell you what’s going to happen right here!  (And you can quote me):  Many of the people you thought were good guys are actually bad guys!  Then, in the last 5 episodes, they will turn back to being good guys because they were quintuple agents all along!  Lastly, they will find out where the device is, because Jack’s incessant line of questioning will finally break the bad guys’ spirits.  The day will be saved.

CSI: The plot is simple.  A murder has taken place at some residence, business, sporting event, hotel, or government building.  The whole CSI crew will spend 45 minutes accusing the wrong person of the murder.  However, that person does know something about the murder.  He or she will point the CSI people in the right direction, and they will find out the murderer is the person you would have least expected (like the fiancé, best friend, business partner, parent, etc.).  It’s as gripping as an episode of Scooby-Doo.  Or as Velma might say, “The ghost haunting the amusement park is actually the amusement park owner in a clever disguise!”  I’m just waiting for the murderer in CSI to say to Grissom, “I’d have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for you meddling CSI agents!”

House: I’ve watched a total of 3 episodes of this show, and I feel like I’ve watched every episode.  I’ll break every episode down very simply:

–Someone is struck with a mysterious illness

–No one knows what is wrong

–The doctors think they have it figured out, but what they do to help is only making it worse

–They finally ask the pompous Dr. House to help

–House makes a diagnosis, which is only partially right, and the patient gets even worse

–House amends his diagnosis, and through some unorthodox methods, saves the patient’s life

–The End

You see, the writers of this show want to keep the shows formulaic, because if they had actual stories, people would become frustrated at the complexity.  They want their shows to be predictable.  It makes you feel smarter, and more likely to come back next episode.  These shows are dumbed down just enough to make the average American “head of household” feel like a real genius when he or she figures out two episodes in advance that Jack is going to find the device and save the world.

I would love feedback on this.  Tell me if I’m wrong, but especially tell me if I’m right about these shows.  I’d love some honest comments from fans of those shows.

  1. Phil
    January 21, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Wow, you got the TV shows right on the money. They are so very entertaining though. And yes, having just polished off the last bit of thin mints, I can definitely agree with your Girl Scout cookie statement. If those things were available year round, we would all weigh 400 pounds.

    • kylebaxter
      January 21, 2009 at 8:13 pm

      I’m so glad that you still post comments on this site and not only on Facebook. I wish more people would choose to leave the feedback here, since the postings on Facebook are automatically pulled from this, my main site. Oh, well. I’ve done my best to not listen when the Girl Scouts assail every person who walks by with (in unison, mind you), “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?!?!?”

  2. Bob Baxter
    January 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Like Phil said, you are right about the shows. I did want to correct one error though – your birth weight was 9 lb, 1 oz. Trying to trim down below your birth weight is a dangerous thing!


    • kylebaxter
      January 23, 2009 at 4:19 pm

      Yeah, it won’t be too dangerous, I don’t think. I was a chubby baby. Have you seen the fat rolls in my baby pictures? Sickening. HA!

  3. C
    November 27, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Love the scooby doo quote!

    But re: House: you forgot the part when House is having a conversation(unrelated to medicine) with someone and stares off into space, then runs out of the room with the correct diagnosis. (Usually Wilson…)

    • kylebaxter
      November 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm

      True. “Mushrooms in beef broth simmered in a medium wok . . . it’s arterial latropsoriasis!”

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