The WB

White trash are illiterate, oblivious, ignorant, hateful, prone to violence, and unattractive, but they are not funny. And no amount of slick packaging, hype, and advertising will ever make it so. NASCAR-watching drunkards certainly warrant our scorn, and they, almost without trying, are able to bring about hysterical cackles related to their clueless, pathetic plight, but was the world really in need of a sketch comedy program featuring Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and Bill Engvall? I mean really, Jeff Foxworthy? Why not give Yakov Smirnoff his own show? One would have thought that hillbilly chic long ago passed its expiration date, but here we are yet again. Like cockroaches, low-income dullards (or in this case the representation of low-income dullards) never really go away, merely hiding out until the culture is once again receptive to their lowbrow, juvenile humor. And this is the WB network after all; where ratings and critical reception seem to have little impact on programming. How else to explain the three-year run of Reba?

As Foxworthy states at the show’s opening, “We’re not here to change the world, only to make it a little more bearable.” For as we know, the nation’s trailer parks have been a hotbed of political activity in recent years. And yes, let us finally allow the pool halls of the world return to their drinkin’ and a-brawlin’ after years of voter registration drives. The notion that a show of such rampant idiocy is a much-deserved break from the 24/7 contemplation and reflection of the Earnhardt set is both insulting and laughable. Perhaps the only laugh I experienced during the show. After the opening nonsense, we are treated to Jeff’s commercial parody “House of Gravy,” which I’m guessing means something to those who just now got over the removal of Colored drinking fountains. Then we are subjected to a brief skit asking the question, “Why do we put stuff in dead people’s caskets?” Following that brilliant premise, we watch a small group file by a body with moose heads, golf clubs, six-packs, and spare tires. Again, not funny. Not in any language; not in any known universe.

Then comes one of the most disturbing things ever featured on a network already known for disturbing images. The three lunkheads are dressed as babies in the backseat of a car. The trio is equally guilty of assorted indignities, but the guy in the center — the one wearing the diaper — bears the lion’s share of the burden. He repeats, “I made brown,” spews chocolate all over his chin and shirt, and at the end, urinates all over the place. Needless to say, the studio audience roared. The applause even managed to eclipse a rock concert when Foxworthy uttered, “I can see Dooley’s wiener!” That inexplicable horror show was followed by the “adventures” of a grossly overweight family, where the parents interrogate their daughter as they would a kid caught with drugs, for the parents have found a diet shake and running shoes in her closet. Say it for me people — not funny.

Next, we hear from the Hatfield-McCoy Redneck Dictionary, where “handsome” is defined in a way so devoid of basic comedy that I cannot bear to repeat it. And last of all, the threesome come out on barstools and give us their version of folk wisdom, preceded by the phrase “I believe.” The dipshit with the guitar says, “I believe the official color of the state flag of Alabama should be primer.” The same cracker also says, “I believe guns don’t kill people, husbands who come home early do.” Again, I don’t disagree with many of these representations. Blue-collar trashy types are adulterous, obscenely overweight, unsophisticated, and painfully stupid. Where Blue Collar TV fails is in its belief that this shit is acceptable. They’re laughing at themselves, but they won’t think of apologizing. Shit yeah they love hootin’, hollerin’, cussin’, and avoiding bookstores as vehemently as soap, but that’s the culture, they argue, so why not have fun with it? Instead of such self-deprecation, we need to have TV shows where elitist Easterners portray these bumpkins with obvious loathing. We need to put these literal motherfuckers on the defensive once again, rather than having a forum for their sub-humanity. We’ve already given these yokels their very own President, after all. What else do they want?

Review Posted: 7.17.04