Thursday, December 19, 2013

The unforgiving minute: Wait – so "Darkwing Duck" is something different?

I got rid of cable TV some years ago.

It was partly because I was getting more of my programming online. Partly because AMC (which used to stand for American Movie Classics) was relying pretty heavily on "Smokey and the Bandit" marathons to pad out the weekends. Partly because A&E (which used to stand for Arts & Entertainment) hadn't been programming much in the way of arts or entertainment in quite a while. Partly because SyFy (which used to be called the SciFi Channel) stopped showing the new Doctor Who, letting it go to BBC America.

Which is why, for the last several years, although I saw a lot of mention of "Duck Dynasty," I had no idea – blissfully ignorant – about what it was. I think I supposed it was an animated series of some kind. Something on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel, or maybe – if we're lucky – on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. There's where I was wrong.

Now, only somewhat against my will, I have a little better bead on the whole thing. It's not a cartoon series starring anthropomorphic animals. It's something even more dramatically removed from the world we live in: It's one of those tightly scripted, carefully edited, high-concept freak shows that go by the shrieking misnomer "reality TV."

And apparently one of the "stars" gave an interview in which he let things get a little too "real," provoking an utterly predictable backlash and allowing him to spend some time drawing a check for riding out the free-media gravy train of passive-aggressive political victimhood while Sarah Palin binds his wounds with crushed leaves of sedra, oil of the kernel of the apricot, and infusion of bitter orange blossom.

Which is a long way of saying I can dig out my "Ren & Stimpy" collection and safely go back to paying "DD" no attention.

Minute's up.

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