Friday, March 12, 2010

Episode 419

I love it when TV talks about other TV. Television in conversation with itself is just a sign of how ubiquitious it is in our society, and that kind of validates my lifestyle. In any case, my taste for inter-TV-referentiality (that's the technical term) is satisfied in a major way by Community. Abed's constant references to other television shows are brilliant, but often they're so quick, you don't even catch them, and they're certainly lost on non-TV fanatics. In last night's episode, though, there was an anything-but-subtle TV reference when Jeff -- mourning his recent break-up -- cries onto Pierce's shoulder and somehow turns it into a hysterical rejection of TV's new favorite gem.

In another similar moment, we also learned last night that Andy Bernard thinks of his own life as analogous to How I Met Your Mother. But unlike the rest of us, whose lives are nowhere as interesting or hilarious as television but we still delude ourselves into thinking they are, Andy's life is actually exciting enough to be compared to something involving Neil Patrick Harris.

In any case, the motivation behind this TV-on-TV post was something that I saw on Wheel of Fortune last night. The puzzle answer was: "Television medical drama House." The gentleman whose turn it was spun and spun right up until the end, finally bought the U, and then when he had all but the L, V, N, and C, he solved: "Television medical drama-house!" he proclaimed. He got it right and actually won a trip to Europe in the meantime, but there was a light chuckle in the audience and Pat Sajak, while congratulating him, corrected his syntax, as it were: "Television medical drama, House," he said. Silence. "It's a TV show called House." "Oh." And that was the end of it. This guy had never even heard of the show.

I'd like to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, but I just Googled "House" and -- out of over 1 billion results -- the first 2 (and 4 of the first 6) hits are about the TV show. One of those 6 hits went to the House of Representatives, so I think we can fairly say that television is four times more important than politics in American culture. Sounds about right.

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