(1965, 1967, 1980)

Howdy folkses! Before we begin today's review I have a major announcement regarding the shocking theft of our missing corporate funds and swear jar monies back in September! Before you get over-excited, though, the authorities have not located former feline Intern Kelby. Despite his open taunts on Instagram and his posting reviews from just about every place he's visited for the past eight months he's remained as difficult to trace as a fart at a festival. After an epic pursuit across three continents, eight countries and even the Vatican itself, however his mystery accomplice has finally been apprehended!

That's the good news. The bad news... was Jonesy.

Yes, our beloved former Intern Jonesy, once Kelby's fiercest critic and nemesis, was apparently instrumental in the attack on Nate, the robbery and the desperate, fugitive flight across North America, Europe and Asia. Our own Private Investigator Tizwin and his amateur sleuth paramour La Tinque had embarked on what seemed a frivolous extended vacation to Hamburg, but their holiday itinerary was just a clever ruse! They knew Jonesy had left his secure hideout in the artists' quarter of Paris and had gone to Germany, probably to find Kelby, who had actually just left Berlin to return to Rome. They tracked Jonesy down, confronted him outside a beer hall and held him there until police arrived.

This is hot, breaking news, people...I just got off the phone with Tizwin, who called from a taxi following police to the local Interpol station. I'll be updating this post as I get more information.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program...

Television has always been an insatiable yet finicky beast, trapped by its own voracious appetite in an infinite cycle of trend-setting and trend-chasing, yet ultimately always at the mercy of its fickle viewers' mercurial tastes. Shows that don't perform are cancelled, moved, rescheduled or placed on hiatus, and every slot that opens must be filled with something new and exciting as executives and program directors engage in their ceaseless quest for the next big hit. Each year the major broadcast and cable networks receive pitches for hundreds of new programs, out of which less than 15% result in a commissioned script. Of those scripts less than 30% will actually be produced as pilot episodes, and of those pilots only a fraction will go to series. That leaves an awful lot of crappy TV in entertainment purgatory. MMT's Pilot Project revives some of these moldy also-rans and mercilessly skewers them for your shadenfreudistic enjoyment.

ROSIE (1960)

Our first pilot is for a proposed sitcom focusing on an imaginative boy and his beloved stray mutt. Sounds like a recipe for heartwarming family entertainment, right? Nope! The kid is whiny, the dog is creepy, the family is dysfunctional and the neighbor is an emotionally manipulative harridan. It's a wonder this thing ever got produced in the first place and a mystery as to why anyone bothered to save it. Storing a box of toenail clippings would have been a better use of the archive space.

We open with the titular pup breaking the fourth wall to address the audience Shakespeare-style, and eagle-eyed viewers will notice right away that this isn't an actual dog but a grown man in an absolutely horrific dog suit.

He's like a dope-addicted wookie with mange.

Rosie tells us he took to the streets because his previous owner was a delusional nut case, making him wear a pink bow, spraying him with eau de cologne and threatening to give him a French poodle cut. He ran off to become a carefree vagrant, eating garbage, dodging the dogcatcher and sleeping rough, but living life on his own terms, master-less and free...a shaggy, ragged ronin, if you will. "I guess there's a streak of the vagabond in all of us," thoughtfully proclaims this furry philosopher. He considered this mendicant's life his destiny until he met scrappy, inbred Kip, a be-freckled, prepubescent runaway looking to escape his inattentive parents and overbearing sister by scarpering off to join the circus...because major life decisions made at the age of nine always turn out just great.

Rosie wins Kip over with his infectious wit and even more infectious ringworm.

It seems our canine hero doesn't talk to the viewers at home exclusively; he can also speak to people directly, and he attempts to talk Kip out of his ill-advised, covert decampment. Kip seems to take the miracle of a dog speaking english in stride, but to be fair we join them mid-conversation and aren't shown the moment when they first met. Rosie keeps his arguments simple but we can tell he's seen his share of hustlers, pimps and addicts and realizes poor, feckless Kip is exactly the kind of fresh, tender meat these mean city streets eat for breakfast.

"I'd eat ya myself, kid, if it weren't for these irritable bowels what I got."

Kip proposes a deal: he'll go back home if Rosie comes with him. Rosie demurs, saying he doubts Kip's parents would let him keep such a large pooch, especially one with serious colon issues, but Kip assures him he'll be able to talk them into it. He says his neighbor Helen will gladly hide Rosie in her garage while Kip schmoozes over the folks. Rosie agrees tentatively, but makes it clear to the audience that he's only going along with it to make sure Kip gets home safely and has no intention of becoming anyone's pet.

Later at Kip's house we see Rosie peeping through a keyhole as Kip takes full advantage of his father's utter disinterest in engaging with his son in any meaningful way. Kip asks some roundabout questions about a dog being a man's best friend, mentions how it would be great if he had a friend like that, then tricks his dad into agreeing to let him have a dog before the dumb sap even knows what he's agreeing to.

"Whatever you say, son. Now go away. Daddy is busy pretending your sister is an only child."

Kip jumps up excitedly and lets Rosie in the back door, much to the horror of his bland cipher of a father, stern harpy of a mother and snarky, narcissistic sister. These three each loudly voice their objections and there's a distinct and unpleasant "unwanted child" dynamic at play.

At least he has a family...

...even if they don't have names.

Kip insists that his father keep his hasty promise and in his eagerness to endear the mutt to the rest of the group he tells them Rosie can talk "just as good" as them. He tries to get Rosie to back up his play, but the mutt stubbornly refuses to make a peep.

"Come on, brah! You're leaving me hanging here like a dick on a stick!"

Rosie seeks to drive the final nail in the "life as a pet" coffin by clumsily knocking over a lamp and table and rubbing his stanky, matted fur all over the sofa. Kip's family has about as much time for these shenanigans as they have for Kip himself. They order the fuzzy rascal out of the house and take off to attend a wedding, leaving Kip to fend for himself.

Once the neglectful trio leaves, Rosie lets himself back into the house through the unlocked back door... Okay, hold up a minute! Kip's family leaves for a nighttime wedding, doesn't bother to get anyone to watch him then doesn't even lock up the house? I know the kid's annoying, but he at least deserves to have the bare minimum of adult supervision. And why couldn't they take him to the wedding anyway? Does he have behavior issues? The heartbreak of psoriasis? Maybe he likes to shit on the carpet? We just don't know.

So Rosie returns to explain to Kip once and for all why the whole pet thing was never going to work out and to say goodbye before returning to his luxurious back alleys and delicious garbage, but no sooner does he start talking than they hear a knock at the back door. This is Helen, the cute neighbor, who hesitantly informs Kip that Rosie escaped her garage. She's relieved when he doesn't seem upset about it and gives him a big hug, pulling his face directly into her boobs as Rosie nods and pants excitedly from behind the sofa like a pervert at a peep show.

Savor this, Kip. You'll never get this close to a woman again.

Mandatory Furry reference.

Helen complains that Rosie did some damage to her garage and scattered garbage all over her yard. She furthermore insists that he was furtive and sneaky and that Kip should be glad to be rid of him. Kip, being a bit furtive and sneaky himself, tries to shoo her out of the house before she figures out what's going on, but Rosie sneezes and the game is up.

Helen lays a little guilt on Kip now for lying to her, doing the old "I thought we were friends" routine. Rosie whispers in Kip's ear that it was actually a couple of cats who scattered the garbage, but when he relays this to Helen she just gets angry, thinking that he's pretending Rosie can talk to mock her. She leaves in a huff, saying "Things were different before he came."

"No more motorboating for you, young man!"

This is the second time Rosie could have taken the heat off of Kip by just speaking the fuck up, but for some reason it seems he can only talk to children. Maybe it's because they're innocent and still retain the sweet, untainted imagination of youth. Or maybe he's just a hairy, flea-bitten asshole.

Rosie tells Kip they'll talk in the morning and tells him to go to bed. He offers to stand guard for awhile then sneak out through the window before his folks get home. As Rosie snoozes on the floor in front of Kip's bedroom (which is conveniently just off the living room) a burglar sneaks in the door through which Helen just left.

Does no one in this house know how to lock a goddamn door?

Rosie wakes up and watches the guy root around in some drawers and stuff his pockets with valuables for awhile, trying to decide if he should intervene. When the thief goes towards Kip's bedroom door Rosie knocks him over and pins him to the floor. He proceeds to talk to the intruder, encouraging him to change his wicked ways and turn himself over to the police. This kind of puts the kaibosh on the whole "can't talk to adults" theory and puts us solidly back in the "flea-bitten asshole" zone. Needless to say the burglar is a little spooked at being lectured on morality by a man-sized dog, and probably thinks he's having flashback hallucinations from all that LSD they fed him when he was in the military.

Another unwitting victim of MK-Ultra.

Rosie asks again if the thief is getting the message and gets a nod of assent. He lets him stand up, then stalks him around the room, proselytizing about sin and repentance, reaching a wild, evangelical crescendo of paraphrased bible quotes like a Baptist preacher fleecing the rubes at a tent revival. The poor, bewildered guy has finally had enough and leaps through a window to escape.

"Lost another one! Darn these secularist devils!"

Kip comes out and Rosie briefly explains what happened, and just then Kip's parents return, engaging blithely in some witty repartee about his dad running around the wedding kissing the bride multiple times, probably against her will, because the term "sexual harassment" meant nothing in 1960.

"Also we're Republicans, so we just don't care!" (Please send hate mail here)

Naturally they're shocked to see the living room in shambles with Kip and Rosie huddled in the middle of the debris...

"What the dickens?!"

As if all of this destruction and mess wasn't compromising enough, Helen now comes over and piles on with "Let me's that dog!" Not very helpful, Helen. Not very helpful at all.

Kip tries desperately to explain about Rosie saving him from the burglar but no one believes him. Things are looking pretty grim for our dopey duo and it looks as though these two friends are about to be separated permanently when suddenly the phone rings.

"Hello? Is this my agent? I've got a bone to pick with you, mister..."

It's the police. They're calling because a man came into the station to confess that he'd robbed their home! The police say the man handed over a locket belonging to them which dad identifies by confirming the inscription "To Ethel from John." So why were Kip's parents listed in the credits as "Mother" and "Father" when they were clearly given names? I really don't give a shit at this point and I suspect you don't either.

Now that she's no longer busy encouraging her little entourage to crush all her son's boyhood dreams, mom looks down and finds the burglar's gun, which he left behind when he leapt through the window to escape the wrath of Dog. Suddenly everyone is deeply concerned about what might have happened to the poor boy if not for Rosie's timely intervention. Dad even makes a little speech wherein he claims "Kip's safety is the most precious thing in the world to us." Yeah, I'mma call bullshit. Dad probably hired that "burglar" himself to whack Kip so he wouldn't have to look at his spotty, misshapen gob anymore, but Rosie managed to step in and spoil his plans.

I'd watch that show.

Needless to say Rosie is allowed to stay and presumably thwart any future attempts at filicide.

The End

So I just got an update from the German police about Jonesy. They're conducting an initial interrogation, but they can't get much out of him.

He says he's hoping they can expedite his extradition and insists he just wants to get home and cooperate with the authorities in every possible way to help them "take Kelby down." He also says he's confident he'll be completely exonerated when the full truth is revealed, but is unwilling to say anything more until he's back in Indiana with his lawyer.

When I know more you'll know more!

Let's proceed with our second little D.O.A TV obscurity, shall we?


Next up is a science fiction series that seems to have been intended as a sort of British answer to Star Trek (1966-69) but without the lovable characters, innovative sci-fi concepts, decent writing or overall charm. Still it's a fun little slice of groovy, 60's sci-fi cheese if you don't think about or analyze it too much...which of course is exactly what I'm going to do.

We begin with a frenetic opening title sequence designed to show off the miniature effects on which most of the budget was obviously spent. The models have a little bit of a Gerry Anderson vibe but they're more sleek and shiny and have a look akin to some of the stuff coming out of Japan around this time. The two companies responsible for the miniatures and effects get billing just below the producers and just above the featured actors, so clearly the effects work was a primary focus for the project.

That's a lot of chrome paint.

The music is particularly strident, jazzy and unmistakably from the late 60's. It's somewhat reminiscent of the music from The Avengers (1961-69), but it's not as good a match for the subject matter here and almost becomes a distraction.

I mean the real Avengers, not those spandex-clad imposters from the comic books. (Please send hate mail here)

So it seems the Solarnauts are a sort of Space Force like Ted Cruz thinks we need right now to protect us from meteors and aliens and those sneaky Space Chinese. They patrol our solar system in their gleaming bocce balls, exchanging flippant banter and getting into all sorts of scrapes.

Today they're poking around Mars, which looks remarkably like a giant red jawbreaker.

Our heroes are a couple of likely lads with the unlikely names Power and Tempo.

Power. He's got swagger. Not Captain Kirk swagger, more like rookie liquor store sales rep swagger.

Tempo. He's cheeky and snarky and his voice is grating and I want to slap him. Also he carries an ice cube tray.

These two fine examples of hot, simmering man-flesh are ostensibly the best and brightest the Solarnaut force has to offer. As they engage in their jaunty, devil-may-care chatter a strange cloud floats through space and settles over an Earth colony research base on the planet below.

The future of space colonization looks like mushrooms and hard boiled eggs.

When they try to contact the colony they get back nothing but static. Power wants to go in for a closer look, but Tempo reminds him they should call back to the big spinning space station we saw during the opening titles and report to their commander Tri-S for instructions.

Tri-S. We know he's important because he gets three ice cube trays.

Tri-S has that British colonial military superiority thing going on and you half expect he's going to pull out a swagger stick and order his lieutenant to shoot a couple of natives just to show those damn savages who's the boss. He barks orders and looks stern, glares at his underlings and shouts down every suggestion anyone on his team dares to make. Everything you need to know about this guy is in his first few lines of dialog:

One of his techs informs him "The cloud is now stationary over base four, sir."

To which he sharply replies "If it is a cloud!"

He then takes about five steps towards another tech who tells him "Sir, the computer confirms that it is a cloud."

He shouts back angrily "Yes, I know it's a cloud, but I want to know what sort of a cloud!"

I've had bosses like this guy. He's always right and you're always wrong, sometimes even when you're agreeing with him. Working for Solar Command must be like working at the White House right now.

Our heroes call to ask permission to fly down and check out the cloud, but Commander Grumpypants yells at them to stay put. As soon as they sign out, however their systems begin to fail. They shout out lots of fractions and sci-fi technobabble, twiddle a bunch of knobs and pretend to push buttons but it's just no use. They're losing control and plummeting directly into the cloud!

I know this is some tense, riveting action here, but I'm totally distracted by the blue foam mattress pads stapled to their chairs.

Meanwhile the colony is taking a pounding. Bolts of energy shoot down like lightning and one by one each of the buildings are blown to bits.

They blowed up good! They blowed up real good!

After the destruction of the colony the cloud eases off and our heroes regain control of their vessel. They immediately report the bad news to Commander Grumpypants, but he's got bigger fish to fry. He's just getting a threatening message from Solar Command's alien arch-nemesis and all-around bad guy Logik. That's pronounced "LO-jick," by the way. It's spelled with a "K" because that's a very futuristic letter.

It's Mr. Clean!

It seems there's been an ongoing dispute between Logik and Earth regarding mineral rights on Mars. Logik says his people had prior claims but the Solar Assembly has rejected all of his entreaties and attempts at compromise out of hand. Now he plans to use his latest invention, the deadly "isionic cloud," to take by extortion what he could not secure through diplomacy. We never really get much background on Logik's side of things and for all we know he may actually be legally and morally in the right. He says he wants the rights "restored" to his solar system, which implies that he has a legitimate grievance that's been intentionally ignored because of the enormous financial and strategic interests involved. Exploring that sort of moral complexity is well beyond the scope and intentions here, however, so we're supposed to accept without question that the uniformly white, Anglo-European Earth folks are right and the exotic-looking alien in the gold greasepaint is just a megalomaniacal dick.

Logik tells Grumpypants that he's sent a second, larger cloud that will soon reach the capitol city of Mars, and that he will detonate it in 12 hours if the mineral rights are not immediately restored.

"Do you like my hair? I bought it on Amazon."

Grumpypants conjectures that Logik's signal was too strong to have been coming from his own solar system, and that he therefore must have a base of operations somewhere nearby. He orders his people to find that base, stat. Another tech traces the signal to an observatory structure on an asteroid in the Main Asteroid Belt.

"I got my hair on Ebay."

Grumpypants orders all "Solarscopes," which is what they call their little ball-bearing spaceships, to the belt. The main tech informs him that only one ship is close enough to reach the observatory in time.

Guess which one.

Once they arrive at the asteroid, Power and Tempo immediately spot an unfamiliar structure and figure it must be Logik's headquarters. They decide to fly in for a closer look.

You can tell the model makers spent a lot of time and effort on this diorama. The level of detail is superb.

Of course Logik's men detect Power and Tempo's solarscope, as the dumb bastards flew right down without any caution or reconnaissance or attempted concealment of any kind! Logik's men open fire and after the solarscope takes about six hits Power finally wakes the fuck up and tells Tempo to "activate the missile barrier." You'd have thought Tempo would have done it on his own at the first sign of attack, or better yet that they would have raised their defenses before flying down alone towards a hostile enemy stronghold, but apparently the cream of the Solar Defense Corps can't think that far ahead.

Stupid but happy.

As soon as they get out of range of the attack they immediately drop their defenses and call Grumpypants to let him know they've found Logik's base. Grumpypants tells them the fleet won't arrive in time to help them stop Logik so they're going to have to find a way to take him out on their own.

Power figures if they can make Logik think they've been shot down and killed they can sneak into the base and destroy it from within. They plan to use an auxiliary saucer-capsule to get close to the base's airspace, then bail out of it and let it crash. They each climb into a little elevator and scoot down to the lowest level of the ship.

That's supposed to be them in those little illuminated tubes.

Now I have a particular pet peeve regarding proper scaling between the interior sets the actors use and the models those interior sets are meant to be inside of. On first viewing (and second, and third to be honest) it really looked like there was a huge size disparity, but on re-examining the screenshots I determined the scaling is more or less correct. It's just that it's completely unconvincing and looks utterly ridiculous. That huge room with the tubes up there is virtually indistinguishable from any of the crew's control panels, and it makes zero sense to have a big, open, unusable area in the middle of a spacecraft anyway. I know effective model work can be a challenge but I really shouldn't have to work that hard to accept a basic spacial illusion.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: suspension of disbelief must be earned.

So the boys pilot their little saucer down towards the alien installation and their plan works perfectly: they draw some fire, set off a smoke bomb to make it look like the capsule got hit, then space-parachute to the surface with their little anti-gravity armbands, landing relatively close to their target.

A convincing display, plot-wise.

"You look enchanting by starlight."

They putz around behind some rocks then separate to scope out the lay of the land, and we see a silver-clad hand pick up a rock and slowly sneak up behind Power. Thankfully Tempo grabs the perpetrator's arm just before the rock comes down. The attacker is revealed to be a brunette gal with a pretty silver bow molded right into the crown of her helmet...because even in outer space a lady's got to be fashion-forward.

Her eyes are up there, mister

Then we fade to a commercial break. You'd think Power about to have his brains mashed into guava jelly would have made a better cliffhanger than "here's a lady in a hermetically sealed cloche," but whatever.

When we return from the break we learn that the trendy space gal's name is Kandia and she's a geologist from the previously mentioned observatory. She says she mistook our heroes for a couple of Logik's goons. She had been out taking samples two days previously and when she returned to the observatory she found that Logik had destroyed it.

Now I'm not a suspicious person by nature, but this lady's story stinks like that egg-salad sandwich you left in the fridge last August but you're afraid to throw it away now because it's grown teeth and growls at you every time you open the door. She's been wandering around for two days without food or water? Without even the ability to remove her helmet to eat or drink even if she had food or water? Her space suit presumably does use re-breathing technology as none of the space suits have oxygen tanks, but after two days in it she's still cheerful and clean and chatty and her hair is perfect and she's fresh as a daisy and it isn't filled with 48 hours worth of piss and shit. Also that means Logik either destroyed the observatory then built his entire base in two days or he built the entire base over time without anyone at the clearly-within-walking-distance observatory noticing there was a big fucking alien base being built clearly within walking distance of them. There's just so much wrong with this story it simply cannot be true.

I've been waiting ten years to use this meme.

That's not to say she's some kind of villain in disguise. She's not. For the purposes of the narrative she's exactly what and who she claims to be, but to my mind that's actually worse than her simply spinning a wholly unbelievable yarn that these two highly-trained professionals are expected to swallow whole. It's her spinning a wholly unbelievable yarn we are expected to swallow whole.

So Logik sends out a goon patrol in a little green hover thing. The boys realize that if the goons find their little saucer intact but without a couple of bodies in it they're toast, so Power goes to set a bomb in it in case it isn't sufficiently mangled.

How very Thunderbird 2 of them.

As it turns out the saucer is completely fragmented and spread over a sizeable field of twisted metal and charred debris. Power gets back to Tempo and Kandia just as the goon squad is returning to base and our three heroes figure this is their big chance to get inside the thing. They sneak in behind the hovercar through the open bay door.

From the outside it's shaped like this...

...but from the inside it's shaped like this. 'Nuff said.

Once inside they use their guns to stun a guard, and the actor stands motionless with a cheesy little aura effect blinking around him to indicate that he's immobilized. They start planting a bunch of little magnetic "delta bombs" up and down the corridors. They're only about the size of a plastic bottle cap but they're bright red and they stick them all pretty much up at eye level, making absolutely zero attempt to hide them.

"They'll never see it if I put it here! I'm a genius!"

Kandia wants to help, but Power is a sexist 60's douche-waffle and doesn't want an icky girl getting in his way while he does his man stuff. He goes off to look for Logik on his own and leaves Tempo to take care of her. Tempo has been leering at her lady lumps since the moment they met and is only too happy to oblige. He asks her to carry the delta bombs and when she puts them in her cleavage for safekeeping he looks like an eight-year-old who just won a year's supply of free candy.

"Homina, homina, homina..."

Meanwhile we learn from Logik that there's less than 13 minutes left before the death cloud explodes over the capitol on Mars.

"I'll teach them to respect my concentrated cleaning power!"

So they stun a few more guards, run around a few more corridors and plant a few more bombs and eventually Power comes across a corridor with a bunch of concentric triangles on the floor. He runs along but takes care not to step on any of them.

Everyone knows those things are made of hot lava.

Eventually he makes a mistake and lands directly on one. An alarm sounds and Power discovers that he's stuck fast to the spot.

I told you it was hot lava.

Tempo and Kandia hear the alarm and assume Power must have been spotted or captured. Tempo plants the last bomb and says they only have six minutes to track down Power before the whole lot of them explode. As they run down another corridor Kandia steps on a triangle and gets stuck. Tempo pulls as hard as he can but he can't dislodge her, and as they struggle a triangular box with a clear front descends from the ceiling and traps her.

She knows why the caged bird sings.

Once it reaches the floor the entire enclosure, Kandia and all, ascends into the ceiling.

Tempo finds a service ladder leading up to the next level and reaches it just in time to see the box of Kandia rolling down the hallway and through a big green door. He can't get to the door in time to sneak through. As he's trying to open it a guard spots him and they have a little struggle, with the two of them straddling one of the hot lava triangles. Eventually Tempo manages to get the guard to step on it, the containment box comes down and glides through the green door. This time Tempo sneaks in behind.

It turns out this is Logik's control center. Power and Kandia are there, held at gunpoint, and Logik is just getting a status update about a few of the delta bombs being found and deactivated. Logik instructs the guards to look for more, but he's not about to take any chances in his moment of triumph.

"I can't believe they found the bombs! We hid them perfectly!"

Logik uses his sweet telekenetik power glove to flip a big lever which makes the entire top pod of the base lift off into space. He was only about a foot away from it and he had to move his hand like he was pushing the lever anyway, but I guess that's just how he likes to do things. Almost immediately after they've cleared the base the remaining bombs go off and the expensive diorama is destroyed.

Wouldn't it have been hilarious if they'd forgotten to load the film?

Logik gives his evil Mr. Clean speech now, indicating exactly the control panel he needs to use to detonate the cloud.

"It is here directly to my left. It is strong with lemony-fresh, grease-cutting power. Please do not struggle, overpower my guards
or destroy it."

Tempo leaps out from behind the panel, there's a struggle, they overpower the guards and they destroy it. They try to capture Logik but he manages to get to a hidden escape hatch and ejects from the pod in a man-sized yellow bullet-shaped dildo.

It's got three speed settings for maximum pleasure.

Back at Solar control the egghead techs report that the cloud has dispersed. Commander Grumpypants calls up the boys to congratulate them, saying the fleet will rendezvous with them in a couple of hours. He notices Kandia relaxing in Tempo's chair, reminds them that regulations prohibit them from carrying female passengers and abruptly signs out. Power, Tempo and Kandia have a good laugh at the inferior position women are afforded in thier supposedly advanced society.

It's funny because females aren't really people.

The End.

Just a quick update on the Jonesy situation...I just got off the phone with Tizwin and he tells me the Interpol interrogation was pretty much going nowhere, with Jonesy just repeating over and over that they needed to find Kelby, so they gave up and transported him to the prison where he'll be held until his extradition.

There was one peculiar detail, though. As they took Jonesy out to the car he asked if he could say something to Tizwin and Latinque. He leaned in close and whispered the words "meowie zowie" then the officer stuck him in the car and they drove away. Hmmm...

Instead of jumping down the rabbit hole of why Jonesy should mention a controversial GMO catnip variety in connection with Kelby and the September robbery, let's jump instead into our third and final failed TV program of the day. This one's a shitty game show without any complicated plot details to explore so I'll try to keep it short and sweet, like a fine liqueur or a handy in a public toilet.


Picture this: It's 1980. You've just spent the past 14 years working your way up from overnight AM newscaster, to rush-hour FM DJ, to Los Angeles TV weatherman. You've got a good, steady job and you've finally realized your long-term dream of getting into television, but you want something more. You want a gig where your easy charm, ready wit and boyish good looks can be exploited to the fullest possible advantage. And you want more money. It's fucking expensive to live in LA.

Armed with a fresh new haircut, boundless energy and an irrepressible can-do attitude, you've been talking and schmoozing and networking and sleeping with producers [citation needed], but still you haven't gotten that one magic phone call that will give you your big break into the high stakes world of television game show hosting. Then one day it finally happens.

Mark Goodson, the celebrated producer of such high-profile programs as The Price is Right (1972-present), Family Feud (1976-present) and (my personal favorite) The Match Game (1962-69, 1973-82, & revivals) calls your agent. He has a new show in development that's a 100%, guaranteed, can't miss, blockbuster hit. The best part? He's seen you on the evening news talking about all that sweet California sunshine and thinks you're the perfect guy to host it!

For a few magical months it's all optimistic joy and sweet anticipation. Then you finally tape one excruciatingly dull episode, watch a test audience tear it to shreds and then get word it's never even going to air.

In case you were wondering you are Pat Sajak.

You don't really care at this point, though because Merv Griffin calls you up and offers you Wheel Of Fortune (1975-present) and you end up becoming the longest-running and one of the highest-paid presenters in game show history.

As for Puzzlers it's a cheap, peurile, wrong-headed box of game show turds...and goddamn is it ever boring! Trust me, you don't even want to read about it. In fact instead of describing it I think I'm just gonna take a bunch of screenshots and make some shit up.

Caution: Satire!

Picture this: It's 2080. Amerikkka, so renamed in 2028 by official Trumpian decree, is under the sway of second generation Supreme Omnipotent Leader Ivanka Trump. She rules with a gold-plated iron fist over a devastated, apocalyptic landscape that was once the proudest, most powerful nation on Earth. Sixty years of education cuts have produced a dumbed-down populace with a reading level below that even of Ivanka's late father. Decades-long trade wars have decimated our once-thriving industrial economy. Virtually every road, bridge and tunnel in the country has crumbled to dust while we waited for the oft-promised infrastructure agreement that never came. Also, due to prohibitions the first S.O.L. Trump enacted in 2022 barring climate change mitigation efforts, and the resulting acceleration of global warming, the White House is now beachfront property.

Because temperatures routinely reach over 120 degrees, sunbathing on the East Lawn has become form of corporal punishment.

At 98 years old S.O.L. Ivanka stays alive by drinking the blood of sweat shop workers and daily subcutaneous infusions of migrant children's tears. With a restless populace living in extreme poverty and abject misery, a growing, clandestine movement of former educators teaching the fundamentals of the Constitution, and even a few of her loyal Red Hats beginning to lose faith in her vision, she knows her hold on power is at its most tenuous. What's an aging dictator got to do to get a little dictating done these days, anyway?

Harness the power of television, of course! Just like her dad did back in 2020, right before he dismantled congress and declared permanent martial law.

The citizens of Amerikkka may not have much in the way of food, water, stable housing, social services or human rights, but there are televisions everywhere, and regardless of class, age, health or socio-economic condition you can be arrested, detained and tortured for not watching them. Game shows are the most popular form of entertainment, with the winners receiving food credits for Kentucky Fried Chicken meal deals, and the losers...well let's just say the losers don't have to worry about eating anymore.

So S.O.L. Ivanka orders a new game show, stipulating that it must be simple enough that her father could have played it and that it should be hosted by the Pat Sajak clone she had made a few years back because after all these years he's the only guy still capable of making her nonagenarian lady parts tingle.

Five days later Puzzlers airs on TrumpFox Amerikkka for prime-time mandatory viewing.

The End. (Please send hate mail here)

Well that's The Pilot Project #1! As I say there are tons of these things out there just waiting to be dug up and snarked at. Just in the course of reviewing these three I saw at least a dozen more I'd like to get my fangs into, so you'll probably be seeing another installment in this series soon.

In the meantime here's hoping Jonesy can help us sort out this MMT robbery mess once and for all. Tizwin tells me La Tinque has some pretty good leads on Kelby, so with a little luck the little shit might finally get his day in court and hopefully he'll get a long, forced vacation courtesy of the state of Indiana.

As always, Cheers and thanks for reading!

Written by Bradley Lyndon in May, 2019.

Questions? Comments? Expressions of disgust? Why not skip the middleman and complain to me directly?

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