Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Saturday, August 12, 2006


IMDB Is the Devil's Playground

I was at the gym this morning ('cause, y'know, I do that sometimes) running on the treadmill and trying to maintain an interest in the rebroadcast of last night's Mets/Nationals game playing on the television in front of me. This wasn't easy as I neither give a shit about-- nor have any sort of working knowledge of--either team.

A couple of sets over, there was an utterly repulsive-looking TV movie running on TNT. It looked like your basic Lifetime special; a romantic "comedy" that, if I'd been forced to actually sit through it, would've made me jam a letter-opener up my nose in an attempt to lobotomize myself and stop the suffering.

The thing is, though, that there are only so many fucking close-ups of Paul Lo Duca I can watch without hearing whatever the hell the idiot commentators are talking about that's keeping him on the screen for minutes at a time before my eyes start to wander over to any other goddamn thing in the room that'll hold their attention.

So I found myself looking back over at the crap on TNT. It starred Patricia Heaton, who's always been as appealing to me as chilled wheat paste, and Lainie Kazan, who is a nasally notch below Fran Drescher on the Vomitously Annoying Actress Scale. It looked like it was set either in Italy or in the Sonoma Valley or in an Olive Garden off of I-95 and from what I could gather, the plot seemed to involve a woman whose mother plans on smothering all the men in the house with her enormous breasts. I'll be honest, I wasn't really working overtime to figure out what was happening.

The thing I kept looking over for was that there was an actor, playing opposite Patricia Heaton, who I recognized, but could not place. I knew that he looked older than I remembered him, probably because the only work he's able to get is the occasional shitty TV movie with Patricia Heaton as the lead, and when the fuck would I have seen that? But, as I finished up my sad little attempt at exercise, I still couldn't place him. So I thought, "Oh, I'll just look up Patricia Heaton movies on IMDB when I get home."

This is a problem. I don't give a fricasseed rat turd about fucking Patricia Heaton movies. Nor will my world come crashing down if I never figure out who the vaguely familiar actor is. I should not give a fuck and I definitely shouldn't be spending time on this issue when I could be doing something productive, like washing my clothes so I don't have to work out in shorts that are quite so crusty.

And this is the real evil of the internet age. It's not the people who no longer physically interact with other people, like I've heard so many nitwits whine about. It's not the easy availability of morality-killing pornography that fucking fundamentalists are all twisted up over. It's not even the increased opportunities for child molesters to make contact with children that Dateline NBC seems to be so jazzed over. The real evil of the internet is that we have the ability to search out the answers to all these fucking picayune questions that we used to be able to shrug off and say, "Ah, who knows?"

And IMDB is absolutely the worst.

Formerly Productive Citizen #1: Hey, what the hell was the name of that sitcom that starred Michael Keaton and Jim Belushi?

Formerly Productive Citizen #2: Oh, shit, I don't remember. Hang on! I'll IMDB it.

Nobody should care about a sitcom which starred Michael Keaton and Jim Belushi! Nobody! (It was called Working Stiffs, by the way.) And even if someone does care, there's no earthly reason that we should be spending a nanosecond trying to learn something about it, dammit.

The scales have fallen from my eyes and I now see IMDB as the modern-day Bread and Circuses that it is. And I'm done with it, do you hear me? Done. I'm going to use my precious time to read Shakespeare and learn foreign languages and bake really delicious chocolate cream pies. Hang on a second...

Okay so the movie was called The Engagement Ring and the actor whose name I couldn't remember was Vincent Spano. Also, Patricia Heaton was born in Bay Village, Ohio, which is a suburb of Cleveland. I dated a girl from Bay Village once. But that's not important.