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Good bad late night television


I'm a big fan of bad, late night television. This isn't to say I actually stay up late watching said bad television. On the contrary, I'll stay up late work, and happen to listen to bad television as I work. There's a certain level of "bad" that I enjoy, and enjoy very much. Below that level, however, I'm not interested and turn off the television, choosing silence over crap.

After running the gamut of recorded tivo shows and my Hulu queue, I started browsing the new shows to see what bad television I could find.

Hoo, boy, did I succeed. Battle of the Bods is the PERFECT bad television, reminiscent of Elimidate, which may just have been the pinnacle of awful late night television.

The question Battle of the Bods tries to answer is "Can five women self-rank themselves in the same order as three arbitrarily chosen, but similar in at least one way, men rank them?" by allowing five women to do just that. There are three rounds of ranking: the face, some attribute the women choose by majority, and the full package. Here's how you know the show is bad: of the three episodes I've watched, the chosen attributes of the second round have been: legs, breasts and breast bounce.

Yes, that's good bad television.

I enjoy this show because of the incredible arbitrariness of the ranking process. Here we have five women who are supposed to order themselves in how they believe the men-with-one-similar-attribute will rank them in terms of prettiness.

Supposed to.

What we have instead is five women's egos wrapped up in how pretty each of them believes SHE is, relative to the other women around her. Her belief is based on feedback from the community and culture and world she lives in. If your world, as defined as your perception of the feedback you receive from those and that around you, values Rubenesque models, and you're underweight, face it, you're ugly. If your world is made up of 6' tall black men with small Asian women fetishes, and you're a tall white woman, you're going to be ugly, even if you're Cindy Crawford.

The ranking is completely relative, with five women unable to detach their own egos from the event and realize that, hey, it doesn't matter.

In the initial episodes of the show, the women are catty, ego-centric and small-minded. One woman can't believe the three guys ranked her last, "behind those two ugly bitches, did you look at them?" Honestly, I would have ranked her low, too, but that was mostly on personality. This woman then goes on to say, "If anything, I hopes this shows people they should be nice to each other," just before she says, "look at the receding hairline on number three!"

Because a hairline is all that matters in a mate, she needs to criticize the guys who made her feel small. I suspect "hypocrite" is not in that woman's vocabulary.

Some later episodes are even more entertaining. In one episode, one woman INSISTED that she be placed in the 2nd spot, when the other four women were all in agreement she should be fifth. when the guys ranked the insister 5th, the other women vowed, "She won't lose us any more money!" and dumped her in the 5th spot for the remaining rounds.

Little catty bites are always entertaining, especially when taken in the perspective that THIS MOMENT DOESN'T MATTER. Who cares if some guy ranks me fifth of five women in terms of looks. Am I happy with my life? Yes. Am I able to achieve my dreams and goals if I work hard enough? Yes. Do I really care about those people? No. Neither should those women.

Not that it doesn't make great bad television.

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