Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Joy of Sex - on 'Footballers' Wive$'

Now I know that this is the film blog, and since I don't even get television reception, I never talk about it. My closest proximity to the tube is through TV-On-DVD. Well, rent one I did. It was a trash sensation that has apparently swept over Britain but has done little to crack American consciousness. Perhaps it would confuse American viewers to realize that WE'RE THE ONLY PEOPLE IN THE DAMN WORLD TO CALL WHAT WE CALL FOOTBALL FOOTBALL. You go ANYWHERE else and in the native speak, their Football = Our Soccer. So, when, in the opening credits of Footballers Wive$ (no the dollar sign is not a mistake), a soccer-disco ball spins around to trashy euro-disco, they're not in error. And I'll be damned if this isn't the most all-out trashy show I've seen in a long long time. And I'm talking real trash, not this boring, pornographic, voyeuristic "real" exploration of dimwitted rich American blondes. No, no. That shits boring - and you know it. You watch it because everyone at the office does - because that's all that seems to be there - when one Netflix que away is Footballers Wive$!

The show holds up with the best of trash - Tanya(pictured above), the most obscene wife (and the only one, it would seem, who has made it to the current season 5) could certainly stand comparison to old Joan Collins. There are many things about the show that made me think back to Dynasty, to a time when good trash television was just that - good and trashy. And if you haven't watched that show lately, instead of watching the new season of Nip Tuck,might I recommend picking that up instead. I'm thinking Wild Things trashy, not Desperate Houswives wanna-be-trashy. Blonde bored bitches do not equal excitement. However, morally corrupt millionaires with coke problems and illegitimate children do. Though, while watching Footballers Wive$, I realized the only reason that the show works is because it is fictitious. Had these women been real, the all-consuming blatancy of their escapades would seem desperate and grossly performative. Since they are only somewhat based on real people, they become monstrous generalizations of the maniacs they represent. Because one can never shed the pathetic skin of reality TV - think Anna Nicole - Footballers Wive$ alleviate the guilt implied whilst watching them. It is not, afterall, exploitation if you are watching something which is being (badly) acted. It is, however, if you are watching Wild On with Tara Reed (a show I had the displeasure of seeing unedited footage of during a very-brief stint as a video digitizer for E! Entertainment).

Take this example. There's a christening for which the parents restage the birth of Jesus. Rent-a-donkey and temporary manger in tote, Chardonnay, the mom (in belly dancer get up) and dad (a white man in a turban) take baby from his hay-filled crib over to the product placement mineral water fountain. Only the baby is not really theirs, but his mother's. One which she had with her son's fellow teammate who, coincidentally, is the baby's godfather. And, if that weren't enough, at the party, the godmother gets arrested for possession of 9 1/2 grams of cocaine! Yes. It is delightful! Run, do not walk to rent this gem of a trash fest.


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