Tuned In

The Morning After: Camacho for President!

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gladiators.jpgNBC Photo: Trae Patton

Watching American Gladiators last night, I realized that I have made a terrible mistake. I would have prepared my children much better for the America of the future if I had given them nouns for first names. Venom, Stealth, Fury, Mayhem–how can you go wrong in life with a name like this? (Clearly it helped Wolf Blitzer.) One of the exceptions to the noun-name pattern, gladiator Toa, shares a name with one of Tuned In Jr.’s Bionicles.

Gladiators is big and dumb and loud and cheap and OK, kind of fun in a big dumb loud cheap way, but it belongs on G4 network in the middle of the night, not on NBC in primetime. (The one thing I can do without is the little American Idol-style video profiles of the Gladiators’ regular-person challengers. America not want human interest! America want fight!) And if we can’t have writers, then at least let us have lines like, “I’m smellin’ fear. And I’m smellin’ blood. And I’m ‘onna eat you.”

Oh, yeah, and it is also NBC’s highest-rated debut since Heroes. The writers’ strike may have produced its first post-strike hit show. Last week, Mrs. Tuned In predicted that we were two strike months away from the primetime debut of Ow! My Balls! At this rate, I now think that a year from now we may be swearing in not Obama or McCain but President Camacho.

But then, last night was an all-around strike-alicious night of strike-y, strike-y programming, which also saw the debut of Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, a.k.a., Dancing with the People Who Judge Dancing With the Stars. Anyone watch it? Discuss among yourselves. I’ve got to go have a Brawndo. It’s got what plants crave.