Tuesday, March 13, 2007

From Rags to Riches, Bel Air to Brooklyn, en Route to Miami

The Malloys go from traveling bandits to gated-community residents in The Riches.

This post is voyage of sorts—a journey of the mind and the soul and of the remote control. It is not, however, a journey of the body, unless you consider the flight of my ass cheeks from one side of the couch to the other, possibly the result of early onset rheumatoid arthritis in my hip joints.

The journey began at 10PM last night when I sat down to watch the much anticipated premiere of The Riches. I was in a rather chipper mood, despite my STILL being sick and having spent my third day in a row in the apartment. I was still hacking green things out of what felt like my left lung, but I was looking forward to a new television show, a good night’s sleep, and at very least, a day where I might make contact with the outside world.

Sadly, as of 1:25PM the following day, none of the above has yet to occur. Firstly, I did not enjoy The Riches and the only reason I can come up with is that I’m just not much for the crime genre. I can’t get into any of the Crime Scene Investigation Shows, Missing People Shows, or Sexy Coroners Solving Crime Shows (except for Quincy M.E. cuz that show was awesome, way better than Diagnosis Murder because as much as I adore Dick Van Dyke, can you really top Jack Klugman when it comes to sexy, surly crime solving?). It seems the only crime related shows I’ve had brief fixations with are Homicide and Law and Order, which if left to Dostoevsky, would imply that I was far more interested in punishment than crime.

So while, I thought The Riches was an excellent production with a compelling script and great performances, I didn’t take to it. But of course, I wanted to write about it. But I just couldn’t figure out what to write. At 11PM, I took some cough suppressant, thought I’d hit the hay, sleep on it, and come up with something on my way to work in the morning. Unfortunately, I never slept. I believe there must have been some stimulants in that cough suppressant that touted “non-drowsy” as a selling point. Usually I steer clear of such things with my heightened sensitivity to all things caffeine-like, but I had taken it mid-day and napped rather nicely. Although, now that I think of it, that was probably due to a drug combination issue, Nyquil having remained in my system from the night before. So, despite exhaustion, sleep was no where to be found and I lay on our guest room futon from midnight to 5AM, cough fully suppressed, thoughts racing and churning, worrying about what to write about The Riches.

Come 5AM, I finally felt sufficiently sleepy enough to join Stu in our bed. Needless to say, the moment I placed my head upon my pillow, the itch in my chest began, the mucus started moving, and all coughing hell broke loose. I popped out of bed, Stu asking me if I was okay. I burst into tears.

I relegated myself back to the guest room futon, sitting at its edge, refusing to lie back down on that brick of a mattress, coughing, crying, and cursing simultaneously. I sent Stu back to sleep and did the only logical thing. I went downstairs to watch TV.

After viewing several minutes of a few of my favorite infomercials (The Magic Bullet, Hip Hop Abs, and Proactiv Solution), I settled in on, yes folks, a very special episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I know the joke is to say that every episode of The Fresh Prince is a special one, but this one really was. It was the one in which Will, exhausted by the demands of school, work, sports, and romance, is offered some speed by a classmate. Unwilling to take the drugs himself, he puts the bottle in his locker. During the senior prom, an unsuspecting Carlton ingests the pills, believing them to be Vitamin E tablets that will reduce the size of a rather sizeable pimple. A bout of unconsciousness and stomach pumping ensues and we all learn a very valuable lesson about the dangers of drugs (and of doing the Running Man at high speed to I Will Always Love You).

While everyone loves The Fresh Prince, special episode or not, it is particularly special to me because when I first moved to Seattle in 1995 with my dear friend L, and we got our first apartment together in our new city of residence, we made dinner together every night and sat down to watch a 7PM rerun of The Fresh Prince. We also watched a lot of other TV and we didn’t realize how that would be frowned upon in the holier-than-thou-we-don’t-own-televisions Northwest. We were so berated for our TV viewing habits that we started telling everyone we were a Nielson family, forced to watch hours of TV out of civic duty. Imagine my thrill when one day I actually was asked to be a Nielsen watcher and received $1 for filling out that weekly journal. Don’t ever say that dreams don’t come true.

Next up at 6AM, The Cosby Show! Say what you will about Bill, the man will always be a comedic idol and aside from my own love of his stand-up, I will always have fond memories of watching The Cosby Show with my father. My dad thought this show was genius—and it was, for a time—and would actually allow me to watch it with him, despite its time slot of Thursday nights at 8PM, clearly a TV-on-a-school-night violation. Unfortunately what I caught at 6AM this morning was one of the episodes from that final season in which Rudy is too old to be the cute one so she’s been replaced by Raven Symone. In this episode, Denise throws a birthday party for the ridiculously adorable Olivia. She has several friends come to the Huxtable residence and you can tell it’s that phase in which Bill Cosby has become completely enamored of any child’s innate comedic abilities. Sure, a five-year-old in a bow tie singing Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger is funny, but it’s contrived and obvious. But with Bill in the room, it doesn’t matter cuz that man’s reaction to anything is always hilarious. It was one of the worst episodes I’d ever seen and I hated that Bill had that Kids Say the Darndest Things show, but I laughed my ass off at his every facial expression anyway.

And, rounding out my wee hours of the morning viewing--you know I love it--back to back episodes of The Golden Girls on Lifetime! You know what? This show is still funny. But this morning I realized why I love it so much. Yes, I love Dorothy’s caustic wit, Rose’s heartwarming stupidity, Blanche’s insatiable lust, and Sophia’s kicky wisdom. But most of all, I love their cake. These women are old and care not about their midsections and I love them for that. They eat cake in every episode, any time, night or day. In the first episode, they had cake at midnight. In the second episode, they ate what looked like the last episode’s remaining cheesecake at noon. Later that same day, they had a brand new cake for a dinner party, and you know the leftovers were coming out for a late night kitchen conversation. Sigh. It’s never too early or too late for cake with your best girlfriends.

By the time the cake revelation occurred, it was just about 7AM and I was finally getting sleepy again and the lung hacking seemed to have subsided. I switched over the Today Show, thinking I’d get some shut eye and some news at the same time.

You know it’s a sad day when you’re falling asleep to the Today Show rather than waking up to it and you’ve already watched two hours of television. I opened my eyes at 8:30AM and called my boss to let her know I was couch-bound for another day.


smrtygrl said...

Three points to make, not necessarily in order of importance.

1. We'll be eating cake together in roughly 72 hours.
2. The first season of Bosom Buddies came out on DVD today.
3. You moreso than anyone will appreciate how truly mortifying was the day someone told me I resemble Wendy Jo Sperber.

gigi said...

1. Amen and hallelujah!
2. Amen and hallelujah!
3. Short of having brown hair, you look absolutely nothing like Wendy Jo Sperber (moment of silence for Wendy Jo)!!
And you more so than anyone will apprecaite how mortifying it was the day someone told me I reminded him of Natalie from The Facts of Life. After which he said, "oh, because you write and you're funny." Damn straight!