The Luv Doc: A Resurgence of Quality Programming

Dear Doc: In these exciting times, I often wonder: Why haven't we seen a resurgence of quality programming like Battle of the Network Stars. Wouldn't that be just great? (Your attention to this matter should include a clear addressing of the most up-to-date whereabouts of one Miss Joyce DeWitt.) - Kris

In the words of Thomas Wolfe, “You can’t go home again.” Touché, Tommy. Really, who wouldn’t want to see a reanimated Howard Cosell hosting a star-studded physical competition featuring swarthy, athletic folks like Gary Burghoff, Gabe Kaplan, Dick Van Patten, Loretta Swit, Vicki Lawrence, and Delta Burke? In fact, you may want to pleasure yourself just envisioning that pasty B-list ménage 20-plus years after they reached their physical prime. Ideally you find liver spots, stretch marks, and dense, abrasive tufts of gray back hair a turn-on because you know you’re going to have to do Loretta Swit first. She’s a wildcat! I would wish that for you Kris, but sadly, the future happened. Sometime back in the Nineties, the major networks were challenged by hundreds of tiny upstart cable channels that barely had two dimes to rub together. Lacking the production funds to even come up with shows as embarrassingly fatuous as Harry and the Hendersons and Alf, the smaller cable channels mined a previously underdeveloped vein of stupidity: reality television. Turns out all you really need to create fascinating television is to strap a camcorder to a cocker spaniel’s head and turn it loose in a double-wide full of toothless, meth-snorting hillbillies – or the East Coast equivalent, a rooftop hot tub in Seaside Heights, N.J. That’s it: no high-priced actors, sound stages, lighting, costumes, or craft services, just poorly shot video of knuckle-dragging half-wits on the prowl for unprotected sex. That’s all you need to sell boatloads of pimple cream, tampons, Hot Pockets, and Axe body spray. Plus, 30 minutes watching Snooki wet-hump a Jacuzzi full of mooks and you’ll forget Joyce DeWitt ever existed. However, if you still want to rub up against some Wood (as in Janet Wood, aka the brunette/the smart one/the real pants-wearer of the cutely implied threesome on Three’s Company) she’s busy as a one-legged woman in an ass-kicking contest. Most recently, she starred in the film The Great Fight with superstars Robert Loggia and Charles Durning, and in 2011, she also starred in the off-Broadway hit Miss Abigail’s Guide To Dating, Mating, and Marriage – yet another threesome that probably leads frustratingly to nowhere. You may want to check out Jersey Shore instead.

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Dan Hardick

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