I’m a lucky guy (I say this knocking on wood because I’m also a superstitious guy and a complete pessimist when it comes to my own life; that light at the end of the tunnel has just got to be an on coming train). I work in marketing and advertising writing copy and making short films about beer. I have almost equally powerful editing facilities at the office …
… and at home …
… so I don’t actually have to make my 1 hour and 30 minute (each way) commute unless I’m shooting, I have to attend a meeting or I run out of free beer at home. You have not truly lived until your work day unfolds like this …
4:50 am Get up and make breakfast
5:00 am Send/answer emails
5:30 am Write any copy needed or start editing
10:00 am Switch TV from Today Show to Channel 17 in Philadelphia for daily trash TV marathon starting with Maury
11:00 am Eat lunch and respond to emails while watching Steve Wilkos
12 noon until 3:30 pm More editing with another episode of Maury, then Jerry Springer, a first run episode of Steve Wilkos and then a channel change to ABC for Hot Bench
3:30 pm Finish editing, save and render where applicable, then move computer from living room to dining room
3:30 to 4:00 pm Watch second episode of Hot Bench
4:00 pm to 4:30 pm Take off last night’s pajamas, take a shower, put on clean pajamas
4:30 to 7:00 pm Return to editing if I’m behind or on a roll. If not, it’s Angry Birds 2 and web surfing until dinner.
I only told you that story so that I could tell you this story: daytime television is a cesspool of depravity, human weakness and ass clowns that have no rock bottom when it comes to debasing themselves just to be on TV.
Oh, and the guests on the shows are pretty awful, too.
Okay, I take that back; they’re not all bad.
At least Steve Wilkos and his production team (lead by Executive Producer Mrs. Rachelle Wilkos) try to do something positive by giving lie detector tests to suspected pedophiles and child abusers and, when they fail, turn the results and a copy of the episode over to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the case.
Hot Bench is single greatest judge show EVER. If you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself. Judge Acker is badass and easy on the eyes, too.
And, while we’re finding silver linings, you have to give credit to Springer’s production team for coming up with nearly 4,000 different titles for the same premise:
Piece of human garbage A wants to tell their relationship partner, piece of human garbage B, that they have already moved on to bumping uglies with piece of human garbage C and wants to break up with B. “A” and C make out in front of B leading to fisticuffs between B and C.
Sure, there are variations in the gender/gender identity/sexual identity/friendships/family relation combinations of the participants, but it’s all the same shit. Coming up with a new title every time takes an incredible amount of skill … and an awesome thesaurus.
But there is no excuse for what’s going on over at Maury. Yes, it has a built-in drinking game …
Step One – Eye up each guest on their way to the stage and try to determine if they will address the host as “Maury” or “Murray.”
Step Two – Place your wager.
Step Three – Drink if you are incorrect.
… but even the enjoyment of this little gem is sullied by a bland, soul sucking presence that seems to exist (to my complete bewilderment) only to shoehorn himself into each episode …
Executive Producer Paul Faulhaber.
For some unknown reason, each episode of Maury features a “backstage” segment in which Faulhaber, the love child of Drew Carey and Glenn Beck …
… dishes out the most bland, obvious advice you’ve ever heard to people that just failed potentially life-changing polygraph or DNA tests on syndicated television. Or, just makes sure to get on camera doing something that Murray, the host with the 55-year on camera career, could have done better …
Seriously, Paul? What does that, or any of your appearances, remotely contribute to the show?
According to his wonky non-wikipedia wikipedia page, he majored in English and Economics at SUNY Albany, but spent 26 years producing similar fare like The Montel Williams Show, The Gordon Elliott Show and The Gayle King Show, before picking up the EP mantle at Maury and creating The Trisha Goddard Show.
None of these things qualify him to be onscreen talent.
Maybe at 77-years-old Maury can only handle so much action and a walk backstage to stand for a few minutes while idiots who want to share their bad choices with troglodytes like me watching at home is too much for him physically. That’s okay, you’re in Cooperstown, big guy; you’ve got nothing to prove.
But do we even need the backstage segment, let alone PaulieCameraTime playing social worker? Your audience is home in the middle of the day watching other people admit their huge life mistakes – we don’t care if it’s set backstage or in front of the stacks in a cardboard factory – we just want to hear Murray’s verdict on the poly or the DNA test.
Jamming yourself into a more and more prominent on screen role can only end badly, Paul. Ask this guy …
When it comes to the case of Maury, the audience has determined, Paul Faulhaber … YOU ARE NOT HOST MATERIAL.
Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.