Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why [fake] jerks are awesome.

Some Monday night in the very near future, I will probably go brain dead.
Yes, it will specifically be a Monday night, because that is the night I descend into that lowest rung of TV viewership and watch 'The Hills.' And 'Gossip Girl.'
I know my brain is supposed to be occupied with thoughts that make me worthy to attend the Brown Graduate School, that I am supposed to spend all my waking moments thinking about [post?] post modernism, the correct number of footnotes for my thesis and learning my 4th language so I can fit in cultured society [Uzbek? Try to give me a language exam in that!].
But come Monday nights, fuck that. I mean, how can I concentrate on being a pretentious, elitist Ivy League grad school bitch when Spencer Pratt is so damn entertaining?! And don't even get me started on the pure genius [in fashion sense and otherwise] that is Chuck Bass.
Okay, so on Thursday nights any intellectual brain activity goes out the window as well. But seriously, its ABC's fault for allowing Dr. Alex Karev to walk around for at least one scene weekly during 'Grey's Anatomy' in nothing but a wife beater.
Clearly, my affinity for jerk characters on melodramatic and brain wasting television shows needs to be analyzed.
Because the only thing better than wasting time on these television shows is wasting more time discussing them.

Exhibit A: Chuck Bass
In real life, I would hate Chuck Bass. But you can't get further from real life than 'Gossip Girl,' so in fake life, I totally love him. In real life, I would probably have a crush on his kinda nemesis Dan Humphrey, the mopey boy from Brooklyn who writes short stories on the Hamptons beach by bonfire light about his tortured love for the unattainable girl and who, thanks to some enterprising prop master, has a copy of Terry Eagleton's 'Literary Theory' on his bookshelf [Yes, I actually noticed that. And yes, I guess I can't escape my pretensions even when watching trash TV]. But on TV writing mopey stories bonfire-side seems kind of ridiculous [which I suppose even in real life, it is] but not ridiculous enough to be all that entertaining. My dear Chuck on the other hand, is so ridiculous that he is amazingly entertaining. And by ridiculous I mean he has tried to seduce a 14 year old girl [in the pilot episode, natch], Dan Humphrey's woman by offering her a grilled cheese with truffle oil [in the pilot too], and his best friend's woman [In the back seat of a limo. A classy move which actually worked]. And he does it all while wearing fashion ensembles which would probably give Tim Gunn a stroke. He's the best dressed man whore around. And after I've spent 3 hours agonizing over the correct word to use in my [never-ending] thesis, the guy who wants to agonize over his Moleskine notebook isn't all that appealing. But I have to admit, the hard-drinking, hard-drug taking, hard-scheming, plaid and stripe mix-matching man slut kinda is. You know, for a change of pace. Look, in real life it would be in my best interest to end up with mopey, Moleskine-toting, Eagleton reading boy. But hey, this is fake life where there are no consequences and white suits never get dirty. So be a fake jerk, and I'm all yours.

Exhibit B: Spencer Pratt
For all intents and purposes, Spencer Pratt is the biggest fake jerk around. Yeah sure, 'The Hills' is a "reality" show, just a reality show that re-shoots scenes to fit into a narrative and doesn't even care enough for continuity to make sure their star isn't wearing two different colors of nail polish in the same "scene." Spencer Pratt resides in that special place, the reality of the fictional universe, where the fake is presented to the world as real [...maybe reality television is the actual desert of the real] and where the real we see is clearly fake. Chuck Bass is a true fake jerk, but Spencer Pratt wants us to think he's such a fake jerk it's totally real - I mean, no one could act like that big a douche unless they actually were one. Right? But acting like a fake jerk takes some skillz - just ask one of my other loves, Kanye West. Kanye gets more press for not winning an award than he would if he actually won one, just for throwing a diva fit. Spencer Pratt can throw a carefully crafted diva fit too, ones that include such gems as telling his none-too bright sister "You're making yourself cry" [Probably the best line ever uttered on that show. Trust me. And here is the link for the episode containing this line for your viewing pleasure.]. But Spencer can pull off lines like that, just like Kanye can pull off classics like "George Bush doesn't care about black people" and it makes them more famous than they were before [In Spencer's case, 'fame' might be a relative term]. But basically Spencer Pratt is the Kanye West of 'The Hills.' Just white. And generally talentless.

Exhibit C: Alex Karev
Okay, I'll admit it took me awhile to warm up to this fake jerk. That's because I spent the first three seasons of 'Grey's Anatomy' totally enamored with George, who in real life I probably would have been enamored with too [too bad in real real life he's actually gay]. But then George turned into a man whore, getting married in a quickie Vegas ceremony only to sleep with his best friend, who let's face it, is one hell of annoying character. Suddenly George's over-earnestness stopped being endearing and was just an excuse as to why he couldn't possibly be a jerk. Too bad he was. Alex on the other hand, had always been a jerk and never admitted to being anything otherwise. A jerk who had surprising moments of tenderness - if you didn't melt when Alex pried the sobbing prom-dress clad Izzie off Denny's dead body to hold her in his arms while the sweet pseudo-indie chords of Snow Patrol played in the background then you don't have a heart [ This show has only gone down-hill after that amazing prom episode, btw]. All of this begs the question: which is better - the jerk masquerading as the nice guy or the straight up jerk who ever once in awhile has a genuine streak of niceness? This in turn begs another question: why am I using 'Grey's Anatomy' to ponder real life questions?!

As you can see, my love for the fake jerk runs deep - from trash TV to Kanye West to Bob Dylan to Mr. Darcy. Why?
I can only conclude that is because they are, indeed, fake.
No girl wants to date a real jerk....unless of course, that jerkiness if you know - fake.

Got that?

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