New Castle News

August 7, 2013

The Couch Potato: Find something new to watch on TV tonight

The Couch Potato
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — We spend a good portion of our lives searching for things to make us happy.  Whether it is a wife, a friend, a good job or money, we are constantly looking for the next thing that will bring joy to our lives.

What I’ve found is that while searching for things is certainly a necessity for survival or to just feel contented, it’s often the blindside hits that bring the most pleasure.

While the Couch Potato was working his way through college, the search for satisfaction was basically a never-ending process.  My friends and I were constantly out looking for a good party, a pretty girl or some form of entertainment to keep the mind off of books and studying.

 During my sophomore year at old Slippery Rock University, my roommate and I were quite bored and were endlessly flipping through the channels on TV.  Nothing was really on and we were both about to call it a night.  That’s when one of those blindside hits came out of nowhere.

 As my roommate flipped through the stations one last time, he instinctively stopped on channel 19, which was the campus movie channel.  SRU was kind enough to put three movies per week on this channel, and sometimes they weren’t half bad.  Other times, they were terrible titles, like a foreign film, that no one in their right mind would ever watch.

 However, on this evening though, the movie caught our attention.  We popped into the movie about a quarter of the way through, and for some reason, we could not stop watching.  Every scene got progressively more ridiculous and we found ourselves dying at the absurdity of the jokes.  We had never really seen anything like this film.

Well to ruin the suspense for you, the name of the movie was Wet Hot American Summer.  Don’t let the name fool you, Wet Hot is a 2001 comedy film set at a 1980 Jewish Summer Camp in upstate New York.  The action on screen lampoons the teen summer camp movie that was perfected in the 80’s, and it does so with hilarious results.

 I won’t bore you with the jokes, although I would love to because they are so hilarious, but check it out if you ever get the chance.  It stars Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks and numerous other stars who worked on this low budget flick before they were famous.

 So getting back to my point about being blindsided by comedy gold requires a flash forward to present day.  One night, while bored and channel surfing, I stumbled across a show called Children’s Hospital that airs on Cartoon Network at midnight on Thursday’s (actually Friday morning).

 It is not a cartoon, but I found myself laughing out loud at the same absurdity seen in Wet Hot American Summer.  After some research, I was not surprised to find out that Children’s Hospital is produced, written and directed by a lot of the same people who were involved in Wet Hot American Summer.  David Wain, Ken Marino and others all have had a hand in both productions.  This time though, the crew is parodying television hospital dramas like Scrubs, House, ER, again with hilarious results.

Even if you don’t check out either, I encourage you to channel surf, Netflix browse or DVR peruse tonight and find something that you have never seen before.  You never know, you just might be blindsided into happiness.