There are time suckers lurking in the shadows of my house. They await my arrival after quitting time, laughing quietly to themselves as I trudge slowly down the stairs from my office. I am caught unawares, dragged in, unable to turn my head from the obvious train wreck happening in front of me…

I hear them coming…

“Woooooooo-hooooooo. Take it off, girl, let’s see some skin…”

Oh no. The TV is on. They’re here. The ridiculous brain emptying television shows of summer.

Let’s start with the most egregious time sucker of them all. The Pants Off Dance Off on FUSE.

This is possibly the most horrifying show I’ve ever discovered. (Thanks a lot, hubby!) A dizzying array of semi and not so decent-looking males and females of various ages get on television and strip to popular tunes.

The fun lies more in the fact that 90% of the entrants have no business dancing in private, much less public. Hey, I’m not being mean. We all know our limitations. Mine is dancing. No jive, my friends. So I can poke fun at will, because I know I couldn’t do any better.

So they do a modified strip down on TV, then just as you would get to the nudity, FUSE sends you to their website to vote for the best dancer of the night. (FYI: There’s no real nudity. Even on the website. Yes, I went and looked.)

It was Sean the stripping midget that got us hooked in the first place. Sean’s got this Elvis impersonator vibe going on, and he dances with a little bit of Molly Ringwold in his hop. It’s utterly captivating.

It goes on and on, the bizarre and bad just colliding. It’s a train wreck. In truth, it’s just plain sad that I’m even aware of this show, much less that I sit down and actually watch it. What’s that tell you?

I poke fun, but somewhere deep inside I admire these people for having the nerve that I never would – to get on TV, for God’s sake, and strip. It’s crazy and stupid, but it makes me laugh. After days writing dark thrillers, a little laugh here and there is always worth it. Hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. The rest of us schlubs will watch and point rudely.

I just have one question. Do girls not buy matching lingerie anymore???

What does this have to do with writing? NOTHING. That’s the problem. It’s dark and I don’t want to be on the computer 24 hours a day. None of the shows are new, no new Netflix came today, HBO didn’t have anything cool tonight, and I can only watch the twenty-four-hour news cycle for three hours at a time.

Why don’t you turn off the TV and read, you ask?

Well, that’s a more difficult question to answer. Hubby isn’t a writer, nor is he a big reader. It’s not fair to ask him to turn off the TV so I can read. During the season, we have a ton of shows that we watch; every evening has something that is TiVo’d while we watch another channel.

During the summer, it’s more of baseball games and miscellaneous crap scenario. The crap is musical in nature and often comes from VH-1, MTV2 (Check out Where My Dogs At, a brilliant animation show poking fun at celebrities) FUSE and various and sundry channel surfing finds. We call it Hubby’s evening stream of consciousness, or The Unbearable Lightness of Being Randy.

Yes, we actually do try to spend time together. I could easily go in another room and read. I don’t want to. I’d much rather watch silly stuff on television with him. All together now, Awwwwwwww.

Onward…

I was all excited about the LAST COMIC STANDING, but it’s disintegrated into a Survivor-Esque melodrama, with the producers focusing on the personal relationships instead of letting the comics be funny. Big bummer, because I love to laugh.

There is the one-time sucker that’s worth it – CBS’s Rock Star: SUPERNOVA. I was a huge fan of the first season, where CBS helped INXS pick a new lead singer. SUPERNOVA is the same thing, picking the new lead singer for a conglomerate band made up of Tommy Lee (Motley Crüe), Jason Newsted (Metallica), Gilby Clark (Guns N’ Roses) and produced by Butch Walker.

Dave Navarro hosts the show with Brooke Burke, whose wardrobe is, shall we say, even skimpier this year? Really, the show has some redeeming value – great music.

The house band is top-notch, Navarro is actually quite charming, and if you’re into music, this is a good way to spend a couple of hours a week.

So, do tell. What’s your guilty pleasure that’s really a time sucker???