Changing Channels

One of the better shows on TV is ABC’s “Primetime: What Would You Do?”

The John Quinones-hosted program, which airs Friday nights, often puts people in uncomfortable positions to see how they would react … do they do what’s right, or just walk away from a tough situation?

The show is at its best when it sticks to values everyone can agree on, like treating other people decently, or not stealing as it addressed in recent programs.

One episode tried to get the reactions of people walking by when a young man was attempting to steal a bike at a park vs. how people respond when an attractive woman was attempting to do the same thing.

People were tougher on young man, perhaps not surprisingly, yelling at him and asking if it was his bike or not. They were easier on the young woman, with some even stopping to help her cut the bike free of chains.

Kinda funny, kinda revealing.

Another episode focused on how the public sometimes mistreats waiters and waitresses and had actors treat wait staff poorly to see if anyone would come to their defense.

Many diners did speak up for the wait staff, and that was refreshing to see.

Quinones and the show do a good job, for the most part, at not coming down too hard on people for their various reactions to difficult situations.

The show veers a bit however, when it gets into larger social or moral topics at times.

John Quinones

I just read up a bit on Quinones and learned he is a fraternity brother (Lambda Chi Alpha, photo courtesy) of mine from San Antonio.

“What Would I Do?” if I saw him coming at me … probably shake his hand for a show well done.

YouTube Preview ImageMike Francesa may not be the most jocular guy around, but credit the man for being a strong interviewer.

Listening to the long-time sports talk show host, heard on WFAN and simulcast on television’s YES Network, the other day I was reminded of why he has been so successful for two decades.

Francesa interviewed former NBA player Chris Herren Tuesday and it was a terrific spot on a person who let a drug addiction ruin a potentially great playing career.

Herren, now in his mid-30’s and far removed from his playing days at Fresno State under the controversial Jerry Tarkanian, appeared on the show to promote his book Basketball Junkie.

While Herren ruined opportunities to become a basketball star with his hometown Celtics, then later overseas, due to a heroin addiction, the larger picture Francesa allowed to emerge is the standout person Herren has become.

Herren now mentors kids on and off the basketball court through a company he created in 2009 and appears to be a great husband and father, as well.  He also enjoys watching his high school alma mater, Durfee High, play. (see above video clip)

Now that’s success … and credit Francesa for giving Herren the opportunity to tell his tale without being judgmental or heavy-handed.

John Henson

I have to admit it, when I first saw ads for the ABC show “Wipeout” I thought it would be pretty dopey.

I’m not really a big fan of watching people make idiots of themselves on television a la “America’s Funniest Home Videos”.

That show, and its host Tom Bergeron especially, seem SO forced … with people so desperate for fame or fortune they’ll hurt themselves or their pets in all kinds of ways.

“Wipeout” contestants aren’t preening to the camera or trying to yuk it up for laughs.

They’re too busy trying to make it through a water-soaked obstacle course without getting knocked down or out.

It probably hurts them a little bit, but contestants aren’t really in danger … only of being embarrassed a little.

Hosts John Anderson and and John Henson make the show a pretty funny watch too with their corny comments.

Jill Wagner, who initially gained fame starring in car ads, provides on-course interviews while trying to stay above the fray.

The show provides pretty much guilt-free pleasure, and not too many programs today can say that.

When it comes to Thursday nights on ABC, I’m never too wiped out to watch “Wipeout”
I know … that was TOO easy.

Haaaaaaaaaaaa “Wipeout”!

Donald Trump

When you are a leader, it’s good to send people off your trail by having a bit of a loon serve as second in command.

Some people feel President Barack Obama did just that when he selected Joe Biden as vice president.

Biden, you might recall, reportedly plagiarized speeches and was known for saying nutty stuff BEFORE becoming VP.

If Gary Busey was auditioning for the job as Trump’s VP on this season of “Celebrity Apprentice”, then The Donald should have just two words for him:

“You’re Hired!”

Busey, after all, was brilliant in getting more than his share of attention on his short stint on the program.

Meat Loaf, for one, was plenty baked at Busey and wanted to tear the actor apart after one disagreement.

And you thought people didn’t like Dick Cheney?

In standing up to Busey, Meat Loaf showed in that instance he would make a strong secretary of defense in a Trump administration.

Speaking of more potential cabinet members, poor LaToya Jackson, bumped off a recent episode in favor of Nene Leakes and Star Jones, is a soft-spoken person who could best serve as secretary of state.

(LaToya returned after stating her case to ‘The Donald’ but only lasted one  task and was dismissed in favor of John Rich and Lil’ Jon).

Word is, however, that Meat Loaf already got word of the potential appointments in the next president’s administration and approached Trump about them.

“Mr. Trump,” said Meat Loaf, with tears starting to roll down his eyes. “I like your decisions on having LaToya and I serve in your cabinet but I have to disagree with you wanting to make Gary Busey your vice president!”

Trump took a moment and then calmly and coolly replied … “Meat Loaf … don’t be sad, you of all people should know … that two out of three ain’t bad!”