And climb the stairs to the beach...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rescue Me!

My dear husband had some surgery to repair a disc in his neck and a nerve in his elbow last week. We have been preoccupied by that ordeal so I haven't posted anything lately. He is finally beginning to feel a little better and his pain is easing just a bit. So, I think he is heading in the right direction. But he will be 6 weeks in a hard cervical collar and another 6 weeks before he can play golf. I don't know how many old Perry Mason episodes he can watch, but he seems to be going for the Guinness World Record. He has taped a gazillion of them and today he actually saw the one episode when Hamilton Burger won a case. Me, I just walk through the living room and groan. I never liked Perry Mason back in the day when it was one of my mother's favorite shows, and I certainly don't feel like watching it now.
Ed, as I said earlier, loves Perry Mason, but he really loves the old westerns most of all. Shows like Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, The Rifleman and so on are all on cable now. If he's not watching these old black and white shows, he is watching  the History channel, which I do enjoy sometimes, too. For Ed, if there's something about the Civil War or anything about any president, Ed will be watching. And of course, there are certain times of the year, like now, where there seems to be a football game on almost every night of the week. I seldom watch a game. I am such a girl.

My preferences in TV viewing are all in living color and are all less than half a century old. I suppose some people would categorize what I watch as 'guilty pleasures', shows with little or no redeeming value. I love anything having to do with the paranormal or psychics or that sort of thing.

And I love the true crime investigations on the various cable networks like The First 48 or Snapped!

The grislier the story, the better. And combining the two, true crime AND paranormal investigation, well, that's just perfect for me!

And, I have to admit that on occasion I have even watched Finding Big Foot.

But recently I have discovered "rescue" shows. The premise of all of these shows is that experts in the various fields are called in by failing businesses to rescue them and put them back on the road to success.

There is one called Bar Rescue, another called Hotel Impossible and one called Kitchen Nightmares about restaurants. There is a new one coming out where Buddy, the star of the reality show Cake Boss, saves failing bakeries. I think it's called "Bakery Boss" and he sets out to rescue bakeries all over the country that have gotten themselves into trouble, and in other words are no longer "rolling in dough". Ba-dump-bump.

Buddy, the Cake Boss
And, I just saw a commercial for a new one called "Church Rescue" where they combine Business and the Bible to help save churches from foreclosure. Oh, boy I can only imagine what that will involve.
The "Church Hoppers," entrepreneur Kevin 'Rev Kev' Annas, marketing specialist Anthony 'Gladamere' Lockhart, and pastoral counselor Jerry 'Doc' Bentley, team up to empower churches to keep them from the ever-increasing threat of bank foreclosure. They form the story for the new National Geographic TV show "Church Rescue."

So in these shows first we see all the failings of the businesses. Poor hygiene in the kitchen, slow bartenders, bedbugs in the hotels. The expert comes in and retools everything, from staff to menu, teaching bartenders the right way to mix drinks, chefs how and what to cook and managers how to manage. They usually redecorate and sometimes they change the name of the business. There is always some sort of drama between owners and staff. Partners in the business aren't getting along, or particularly in family businesses, some family member is holding the whole operation back. Letting go of the old way of doing things is very difficult for most of these folks and even though they have asked for the help, they are so determined to hold on to the old ways that cause the problems, arguments erupt and somebody stomps off.
Bar Rescue is probably my favorite for some reason. The star of the show, Jon Taffer, is very confrontational, but successful at what he does. He's a "no pain, no gain" kind of guy.

Usually, they all return the next day, an epiphany has occurred and everyone is finally on the same page. As the new and improved restaurant, hotel, bar, bakery is revealed, the owners and staff are overwhelmed with gratitude. Re-energized, the staff welcomes a full house in for the grand opening, and the rescuer disappears from the scene like the Lone Ranger. As credits roll, they update the viewers on how the business has fared in the months since the show was taped. Usually, sales have picked up by 30% and the staff are no longer feuding with each other. Not all succeed, but most do. And we are pulling for them to succeed. We really want them to! We believe in the makeover!

These are just the latest in the "makeover" shows that have fascinated us for so long. From the  magazine makeovers of my youth, with the before and after photos of the mousy brunette turned blonde bombshell, to the extreme home makeovers, the Oprah makeovers, the Biggest Loser, etc. of today's TV programs,  don't we just love to see the transformation of something not quite good enough into something beyond what we thought possible?

We just love the idea of potential realized, and then used the fullest. It's the basis of fairy tales and myths. It's Pygmalian or My Fair Lady, Cinderella and the Phoenix rising from the ashes!  And now Bar Rescue! These all are stories with  some component of rising above adversity and in the end, winning.  Some of these reality shows may not be that real.  Still, we want to believe!

I could pitch a new makeover show to the Learning Channel that would be a big hit in my household. It would be called 'Ed's Spinal Makeover'. After all the pain and Perry Masons he can endure, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes,  he will rise up from his recliner, rip off his cervical collar and pick up a golf club, and then after pats on the back, with confidence and determination Ed heads for the course. As the credits roll over a camera shot of Ed putting on a green somewhere, the update will appear on the screen: Since filming the show, Ed has been pain free, and golfing twice a week. His handicap has been reduced by 30% and he got a birdie! His wife reports all is peaceful at home since they've agreed to watch TV in separate rooms.

Have a great day!

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