Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TLC's "What Not to Wear"; Jeopardy's Watson

For TV, we review a silly, but somewhat truthful, fashion show-TLC's "What Not to Wear". Also, some commentary on Jeopardy's Watson.

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TLC’s “What Not to Wear”

TLC web site for this show.

So Stacey and Clinton barge into an unsuspecting person’s life every week, give her a prepaid credit card with $5,000 on it, go through the “victim’s” wardrobe, critiquing and finally throwing all ugly/unfashionable items within into the trash.

Hey, makeover fashion shows are like that. For it only takes about fifteen minutes for the Big Reveal. The rest of an hour’s got to be filled with something.

But of course one must like fashion type shows to even get to a point of finding this show on the upper cable channels and I am one such person. These sorts of shows are the absolute best for multi-tasking cause almost half the time is taken up with silly commercials, another twenty minutes is filled with activity not requiring the sort of concentration that, say, and episode of “24” might require.

Sometimes I sit and read a book while watching these sort of fluff shows, raising my eyes to a passing concentration during those times when Clinton is earnestly explaining to a fashion disaster why a nice form-fitting cropped jacket with a loose flowing blouse would look much better than the garish thing with big pink polka dots the fashion victim might be currently sporting.

It’s not the stuff of serious but as I figure, I watch plenty of grave TV, including all Sunday political talk shows and Fox news most of the other time. At times I gotta give the ole brain a rest and these sorts of shows are just the ticket.

Although, I must state here, “What Not to Wear” can be a learning experience, I suggest softly.

Because name me someone who doesn’t care how they look, who wears ugly and un-matching without a proper thought applied, who declares that “comfortable is more important than fashion”…and I’ll show you a big slob bucket.

If what you wear had no affect on anything, why ever have a dress code? Why dress up for a job interview? Why ever comb your damn hair?

Like most everything else in life, it’s all a matter of degree.

For I’ll never be convinced that extremely pointed toed shoes as Stacey London prefers is a requirement for proper fashion and Clinton? Well right there you gotta wonder what’s with a guy getting all involved with how women dress. I’m just sayin’.

In the end of the show, as with most of these shows, be they fashion or home d├ęcor, comes the Big Reveal. The fashion victim, along with buying an entirely new wardrobe of appropriately fitting and classier clothes, the target is given a complete hair transformation as well as a makeup application that changes her appearance entirely.

Stacey and Clinton stand proudly as their fashion student enters the room three different times, each time wearing a different stylish outfit. The made over fashion victim then stands before a full length mirror as Stacey and Clinton point out the wisdom of this blouse and the punch of that accessory.

The fashion victim then returns home to her friends and family who nominated her, wearing a smashing new outfit, sparkling and sophisticated accessories, sporting a new hairstyle with artfully applied makeup. She enters the room to a dramatic gasp of the people in her world.

There’s always a bit of pathos in these fashion victim’s lives, added because a)there are true stories that affect how we dress and b)it makes the show have a bit more gravitas. Often the fashion victim has successfully recovered from a cancer bout. Often they are busy Moms with almost no time to take care of themselves in terms of dress and fashion care. You’ve never seen so many females sob on a fashion show, insert smile here.

“What Not to Wear” is the crown jewel of fashion shows. Indeed both Stacey and Clinton have had spin-off types of shows and Stacey is shown in many commercials featuring fashion and/or fashion comfort.

It’s a good show, I quite enjoy it, and someday I have every intention of nominating my daughter for just such a fashion makeover.

Jeopardy’s Watson

Jeopardy Web site HERE
I am a devoted Jeopardy aficionado, not that I’m proud of this and not that I am all that good at it. I do track my running score and I average around 20 correct answers on the entire board. Remembering please that as a TV viewer I’m not subject to the quickness of the buzzer and I don’t deduct for incorrect answers I may give.

I’ve also, twice now, taken the online Jeopardy quiz and never heard a word from them.


Still, husband and I have quite enjoyed the new competitor, Monsieur Watson.

It’s absolutely amazing how well Watson has done. Those IBM programmers had to put their hearts and soul into programming that thing.

Still, Watson’s made a couple of boo-boos that aptly illustrate his…eh…”non-humanness”.

First, what Watson DOES and for which he can’t be beat, is buzz that buzzer faster than human thumbs are able. Saw Ken Jennings on Fox one morning and he said that the human hand simply can’t buzz that thing as fast as Watson, even though, get this, Watson IS hooked up to some kind of thumb mechanism and uses the Jeopardy buzzer just like the human players.

My biggest Watson laugh came with the question “What are members of the same graduating group in school called?” Myself shouted out “alumnae” but that was wrong. Watson answers, get this…CHIC! The correct answer was CLASS. Get it? CLASSy people are often considered quite CHIC. Come on, smile here. A human being would never even consider guessing that the noun for all graduating members of a senior level in school as a CHIC. What the hell is a CHIC? The programmers need to teach Watson the difference between a noun and an adjective I’m thinking here.

Watson also got a bit confused and thought that Toronto was an American city. Also, when Watson got a Daily Double. Heh. Watson bet some kind of el strango amount like $1,239.58. Which is perfectly legal but humans tend to make things easier and bet rounder sorts of amounts.

Finally, the question was about a famous Olympic athlete and a major distinguishing physical feature. Ken Jennings managed to beat Watson to the buzzer and said “What is a missing leg?” This was a wrong answer. Watson buzzed in, heh, and its answer was “What is leg?”

I don’t know what Watson was thinking but Trebak chastised Watson as this was, one supposes, already guessed by Jennings.

I doubt we’ll ever have to worry about a phalanx of Watsons taking over the world. If they do, be prepared to have your children graduate in a CHIC and all money amounts from tips to lotteries will be calculated to 1/100th of a penny.

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