Reporting Andrew Slafta
Last night, American television reaches another low. Admittedly, that’s not saying much–as American TV has been a declining and collapsing mess of roses, survivors, vocal solos, and Flavor Flavs for the last 10 or so years–but this low is at the bottom of the deep end. Literally. Because, see, I’m super clever.
If you’re lucky enough to have never heard of it, ABC’s Splash is a “celebrity diving competition,” in which individuals of dubious celebrity square off and each week the worst scoring diver goes home. So in other words, it’s EVERY SHOW EVER. This is a show where the guy who writes the music explains that the contestants’ theme songs are supposed to be terrible, and you get the idea that everyone else on the show looks at their job the same way. And tonight is its season finale after its 8th week.
Quickly, I think we should rattle off everything wrong with that sentence. For starters, I correctly typed “8TH WEEK,” meaning this show was on the air for 8 weeks now. Eight. One more than 7. And it’s not even over yet; we could be doomed with a second season.
Secondly, the use of the word “celebrity” in said description has to be one of the most egregious misapplications of a word since “musician Paris Hilton.” Some of these “celebrities” would have trouble booking a table at Denny’s, let alone a role in a movie, television show, or commercial for prescription strength antiperspirant.
Third, it’s the cast. This season had a currently relevant athlete, and a historically relevant athlete, but the rest of the cast is a hodgepodge of child actors, former “stars,” and people who kind of look familiar. Besides having large breasts–which is a notable point of celebrity for half of the cast, but sadly not excluding the male contingent–other points of fame include: being on The Cosby Show (1984-1992), a Funny Or Die video with “millions of hits,” being the girlfriend of a college QB, being the recipient of 10 Nickelodeon Kid and Teen Choice Awards, a stand up special on Country Music Television, and penning the book Sliding into Home. That last one was of course written by Kendra Wilkinson–former playmate and Hugh Hefner lady-mate–making the book’s awkward and disturbing title (and not the book itself) the achievement.
Lastly–and perhaps most importantly–THIS IS A SHOW ABOUT PEOPLE DIVING. Diving. An act which takes between two and three seconds per person. And each week, not everyone even dives. And somehow, the show is STILL an hour long. By its sixth week, over 5 MILLION people watched this program, and that number was a season low.
And this isn’t even the only “celebrity diving competition” out this year. Fox tried to cobble together something awkwardly called Stars in Danger: The High Dive, only to be beaten to the punch by this crap. And still, more people watched last week, then watched the season premiere of Community. And the season premiere of Splash you ask? That was watched by over twice as many people (8.8 million vs. a shade under 4 million). And…and…. and…this is why people have aneurysms!
You know what though, if we’re going to go for the gusto–if we’re going to try and come out with the most low brow, absurd, and disgusting spectacles involving faux celebrities–why stop here? Celebrity diving is pretty bad, but by no means the worst. I mean heck, remember Fox’s Man vs. Beast, the show where 44 little people competed against an elephant to see who could pull a jet plane better? By comparison, celebrity diving is intelligent and thought provoking. Like a Rembrandt painting, or a Beethoven symphony; just with more girls in tiny bikinis. Let’s push the envelope people. Let’s get creative.