Simpsons Already Did It

The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problemsA little while ago, I tallied up my TV-watching and realized that, godsdammit, I spend more time on Fox than any other network.

Yeah, NBC has “The Office” and “Heroes“, ABC has “Lost” and Space has “BSG“, but if I’m honest with myself, Fox rules my universe with “Prison Break“, “House“, “The Simpsons“, “American Dad” and “Family Guy“.

(Oh, and technically “Bones“, which I’ve discovered on DVD and rather enjoy, even if I’m constantly noticing how much fire David Boreanaz is not on.)*

The downside to watching Fox, though, is everything else on the network. Even if one avoids “American Idol” like the plague that it is, it makes its presence known during the dramatic programming with little pop-up things at the beginning of each act.

And now, Fox is launching what may be the lamest reality/game show concept yet: “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?“, coming real soon.

I have this game I play when stuck watching a dull movie: Would this be better as a “Simpsons” episode? “The Guardian”, with Homer and Bart in the Costner and Kutcher roles, for instance, or perhaps “The Nativity Story” with Lisa and Milhouse? Usually, it’s a no-brainer; not only would the “Simpsons” writers generate better scripts, they’d be over after 22 minutes.

Anyhow, in this case, the pitch for this game show reminds me of Lisa’s science-fair project, “Is My Brother Dumber Than a Hamster?”, from the classic Episode 9F14 (“Duffless”). This obviously marks the beginning of a new generation of self-referential crap at Fox … or possibly the culmination of a long gestational process that started with “Wife Swap”. (Wasn’t there an episode where Marge and Maude Flanders switched places? It seems like there must have been.)

I eagerly await “Differential Diagnosis”, in which a panel of contestants race against the clock (and each other) to figure out which exotic complication the patient really has, or “Lockdown”, a reality show about people trying to break out of the set of “Prison Break” … which, after all, is an actual prison.

Do I need to copyright stuff like this?

* Thanks to the “Previously On …” recaps that immediately follow “Prison Break”, I also kinda-sorta watch “24“. Amazing how much information they can cram into that couple of minutes.

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