Today's live-blog (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., PDT) was dedicated to enduring a Friday's worth of daytime television: droning infomercials, shouting confessionals, courtroom procedurals, and tacky gameshows. Warning: This is a high-typo zone. Feel free to post comments! Oh, and don't forget to check out Year One, Year Two, Year Three, Year Four, and Year Five.
8:00 a.m. (KSBW) I'm starting today's Daytime Dispatches like a pro athlete suffering a grievous injury: my clicker's "OK" button is stuck. Don't worry, though. The remote still works, but sometimes I must depress the button for one or two seconds just to change the channel. Gotta fight through the pain. Gotta hack it - especially since my marathon of schlock TV begins with The Today Show!
8:05 a.m. Savannah: "So can we get to weather?" Great, I was curious about how hot it might get today. And... Oh god, it's a live wedding proposal. But I wanted to see the weather! Al: "You said yes, right?" Blushing bride: "What?"
8:08 a.m. "Your smile, like other precious things that start off white, it yellows over time... If you're not whitening, you're yellowing." Let's reflect on this for a moment.
8:11 a.m. Yay! Instagram allows folks to post 15-second videos. Samantha teases us with 15 seconds of getting her hair done. Tanron Hall produces a video-selfie - yep, shooting into a mirror - to admit, "I am a sample horder." Al's masterpiece: 15 seconds explaining why his video failed to load. And now it's time for pix of ugly dogs!
8:20 a.m. So apparently there's a thing called the Bling Ring, folks who've been stealing from "our special breed of American royalty: Celebrities."
8:26 a.m. See Man of Steel! Eat the Super Bacon Cheeseburger at Carl's Jr.! Wonder why you'll never look like Superman!
8:30 a.m. Erin Clark offers "Coverage you can count on." Watch these brief reminders that the local action news team is hard at work, on your side! Look into those eyes, those sad vacant eyes of poor Erin who must smile into the camera second after second after second... Is this the day when her soul finally dies?
8:34 a.m. Al: "In case the zombies don't attack, let's look at your weekend weather." Did you know that Brad Pitt's starring in a new zombie movie? A movie that's opening tonight? Can you believe the coincidence?
8:35 a.m. Matt: "Brad Pitt's new movie World War Z about the race to stop a zombie pandemic is now out in theaters." Savannah: "And it got us thinking, 'What's with the undead's rise in popularity?'"
8:40 a.m. Old-news-guy: "Escaping underground to avoid the apocalypse speaks to modern-day fears of pandemics, disasters, and the social collapse depicted on the news every day." Do you ever wonder if the endlessly recursive nature of America's entertainment culture will suck us into a black hole? Do you think that it's already happened? Could we tell the difference?
8:46 a.m. Stella McCartney and Chelsea Clinton are comparing notes on how hard it is to be a celebrity: "I love getting interviewed by somebody who knows what it's like." Watching this reminds me of my grade school days, back when some teachers would record their lectures in first period and play them over and over again throughout the day. I wondered then, why don't students do the same thing: Just set our tape recorders on our desks and record the recorded-lectures? Teachers and students could simply leave the machines in the classrooms and take the day off.
8:52 a.m. An adorable moppet named Hunter Hayes explains, "The stage is where I'm comfortable. This is where I become myself the most... This is my home, and these [screaming tweens waiting for his next song] are my best friends."
8:55 a.m. As Hunter warbles, "You'll always be wanted" to the girls and their mobile phones, I realize that sometimes it's better to use pre-taped vocals. This kid's vibrato sounds like someone is swinging a drugged cat by its tail.
9:00 a.m. (KION) It's Live with Kelly and Michael!
9:05 a.m. Kelly: "Who here works from home? [silence as no one in the audience replies] Three? Four? Well you're not alone. A lot of people kind of work from home."
9:10 a.m. Kelly is now making small talk with a phone-in contestant in some travel trivia contest: "When I was a kid? In school? I used to convince the substitute teacher that I was a British foreign exchange student? [A smattering of polite laughter] "And nobody ever sold me out!" [Less polite laughter - awkward silence] "Isn't that crazy?" [Everyone's wondering how long she'll keep this going] "Can you imagine?"
9:15 a.m. And now Robert Downey Jr. is pitching Iron Man 3, and he's talking about changing his kid's diapers. "You know how your farts don't bother you when you smell them?" [Points to 14-year-old audience member who now looks mortified] "You know what I mean!" [Robert hugs terrified, embarrassed girl] Kelly: "You just made her day and ruined her life..." [Cackles] "...Instagram worlds are colliding right now." Robert: "But when it's your baby you don't mind." Kelly: "But sometimes your farts bother you, right?"
9:25 a.m. First emergency of the day: Want to make some nachos - and can't find the cheese grater. I can't find the cheese grater!
9:30 a.m. Blandly handsome True Blood actor is explaining why he dropped out of college. He's wondering why he's talking about his failures in higher education - realizing that he's just not that bright. Feeling sad.
9:31 a.m. Kelly: "You know what you should do? You should go on a talk show."
9:32 a.m. Cottonelle commercial: "I want a toilet paper that's, you know, pillow-y." Yeah, time for some nachos. I'll be back in a bit.
9:46 a.m. Now Kelly and Michael are competing with audience members to "guess the nose." They're looking at cropped pictures of stars' noses and, you know, trying to guess who they are. The background music would be perfect for a movie about defusing bombs. I'm watching this so you don't have to. You're welcome.
9:49 a.m. I just saw a commercial for the National Association of Broadcasters. Turns out that radio and television are good things. "Reaching more people. Touching more lives." Think about this: A television commercial - for television - on television. My head hurts. It's too damned early in the day to have a headache.
9:51 a.m. Kelly is reading a letter from Tawana Green in Philadelphia: "Hi Michael and Kelly! My eight-month-old is looking at the TV and watching your show and became excited when she saw the two of you." Kelly pauses, frowns - and then throws the letter over her shoulder. "No picture," she explains. "Normally there's a picture of the excited child."
10:00 a.m. (ccABC) Turns out the dreaded fourth hour of The Today Show is being replaced by a new show by Katie Couric. So I must suffer with...
10:01 a.m. The View!
10:02 a.m. Whoopie: "First of all, do not attempt to adjust your television set. Everybody on The View panel is black. I don't know if daytime television will ever be the same!... Clearly Barbara, Joy, and Elizabeth are not here today..."
10:07 a.m. Guest host Ne-yo has just name-checked Instagram. Yep, three networks, three hours, three separate references. Oh, and apparently there's a person called Ne-yo.
10:10 a.m. Guest host Ne-yo is drowning in an ocean of host talk-spray. These ladies must be paid by the word.
10:16 a.m. Whoopie's daughter is showing off her mesh jeans for full-figured women and Ne-yo flashes an "OK" symbol. Smart plan, dude. Stick with non-verbals.
10:20 a.m. Sherri Shepherd: "Well you know, you know what happens though, it's so much, it's not like it's, when you do a route and you do it repetitively - re-pet-it-iv-ely - like you go from home to work every day, and that's the same route, um someone, a magician, told me you actually put yourself into a hypnotic state, and then what happens is that you drive, and remember you get out of the car and you go, wait a minute: how'd I get here?" Story of my life, Sherri. Story of my life.
10:30 a.m. Progressive insurance company's "Snapshot" plug-in-our-monitoring-device pitch has taken an interesting turn: Stop paying for other people's bad driving habits. "We look at your driving habits to see if you could be saving more." Progressive, you magnificent bastards! You make surveillance common sense! Best of all, it's free!
10:40 a.m. Symbicort commercial for folks who have trouble breathing: Old man who wishes he could take his kids fishing is feeling better now ("in just five minutes!") and explaining the side effects. "Symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. Tell your doctor if you have a heart condition..." And the kids walking behind him are blithely ignoring it all, looking forward to a day at the 'ol fishing hole. You'd think one of the kids might say, "Um, granddad? Are you sure about this? Lung infections are kind of a big deal. And osteoporosis. Aren't you worried about that stuff?"
10:50 a.m. "OK, so this is me. I use artificial tears often." Commercial Woman admits her shame. "So I saw my eye doctor, and she said I have a disease. That's a big deal." Creepily Smooth-Talking Doctor explains that Commercial Woman should lay off the eye drops. Now Commercial Woman takes Restasis, "Twice a day. Every day." Much better. Wait, what?
11:00 a.m. (KCBAD) Time for Judge Alex!
11:01 a.m. Truwauda "Yvette" Flagg is suing former roommate Shakedra Parks for selling her TV and bedroom furniture and pocketing the money. Shakedra says that "Yvette" owes her for skipping out before paying rent. And she's brought her father for some reason.
11:05 a.m. The case is rocked by revelations about the open-door sleeping habits of these star-crossed roommates. "Yvette": "She wanna text me about, you know, doin' the nasty or whatever. And she's like really?" Judge Alex: "Oh, it was a noise complaint!"
11:12 a.m. Cool! You can call Judge Alex and vote for who should win the case, toll free. "You'll also receive some valuable offers!"
11:18 a.m. Judge Alex is just about to discover where Shakedra's dad is "storing" "Yvette's" bedroom furniture.
11:20 a.m. Amazing coincidence. Shakedra's dad has the same bedroom set! In his bedroom!
11:30 a.m. Judge Alex lays the smackdown on Shakedra's dad. Catharsis ensues. Say, what's on the Home Shopping Network?
11:33 a.m. So there's this fake butterfly thing-y you stick into your plants (the FlutterBy Solar Fluttering Butterfly 2-pack): "It's the detail that sets your house apart from your neighbor's house. And it looks like you spent all that time... You wouldn't think that's a fake butterfly. You just wouldn't!" The long silver pole and attached solar panel certainly doesn't give anything away. Host: "How cute is that? And as long as there's sun out, it's not going to stop, it's not going to slow out. I mean, even if it's not fluttering, it's cute. But the fluttering!" Co-host: "Oh yeah."
11:40 a.m. "You can't help but smile when you see a butterfly, especially in these colors!" Ohhh, turquoise! Next up, a really cute pressure washer: "We are the only place in the company that has these colors!"
11:44 a.m. "If you have ever thought, 'You know, I'd like to have a pressure washer,' this is it. This is the one you want. This is the day you own it."
11:45 a.m. Oh my god! The pressure washer sounds like a dentist drill! But still, it is really cute. Great color.
11:50 a.m. And it comes with a Turbo Nozzle! That's a 20 dollar value! And let's not forget, you don't need a bucket for water. Even more savings. And they're offering flex-payments. Flex!
11:53 a.m. "Let me just tell you right now, because here's what's gonna happen. Your gonna get this home, we're gonna ship it to you - free shipping and handling - you're going to get this home. It'll be your new obsession. It's gonna be your new ob-session."
11:57 a.m. HSN Host reveals the dirt of my soul: "And you know we would never not clean the inside of our house. We would never not vacuum it. We would never not mop the floors. We would never invite people over to a dirty house. Why do we think it's OK when it's dirty on the outside of our house? It's dirty on your deck. The patio furniture is dirty. That grill looks dirty - and then you're gonna throw a ten dollar, twenty-dollar steak on it? I mean, why would you do that when this has the affordability you're looking for? This has the power that you need."
12:00 p.m. (KSBWD) Time for Action News.
12:03 p.m. Apparently a homeless person set fire to the Elks Lodge that had her car towed. Concerned Mom Holding Child: "Obviously it's very sad? Um, there is a homeless encampment? Down the hill right right here? And we've tried to deal with that? Um, it's kind of one of our frustrations? About Santa Cruz? Of, um, what I guess, what we maybe we allow, or are maybe too lenient on some things?" Lunch time. Back soon.
12:24 p.m. Ohhh, Pet of the Week! A bunny! Chloe explains bunny eating-habits to the host: "They like the tops of carrots. I know you like the bottoms." Host: "We'd make a great pair." Awkward laughter.
12:30 p.m. (KION) Time for The Bold and the Beautiful!
12:30 p.m. OK, Scruffy-Beard is making out with Forgettably-Pretty Girl. They're confused about something, but they're sure of their love. Alright, now it's another pair: Slick-Hair Purple-Shirt and Snark-Gal. Apparently Purple-Shirt's launching a web series, and Snark-Gal is sure that she's found the right talent. Wait, now it's a third pair, and they're sure of their love too: "If the world wants to know about Rick and Maya. Let 'em. Rick and Maya, together at last." Good to have that cleared up.
12:40 p.m. Scruffy-Beard is still thinking about Stephanie [I have no idea who she is]. Scruffy-Beard is so confused. Both of them are, but mostly about their lines. Ah... Forgettably-Pretty Girl is gaining confidence now: "I want you," she says to Scruffy-Beard. All of you." A-n-n-d-d-d, nope. Scruffy-Beard is still confused.
12:45 p.m. Apparently Stephanie is Scruffy-Beard's former wife. Revelation! But Scruffy-Beard is still confused. So, so confused. Forgettably-Pretty Girl is willing to wait for Scruffy-Beard to figure out his feelings. But for now, she says, maybe they should take some time apart. Scruffy-Beard remains confused.
12:50 p.m. Ohhhh. Forgettably-Pretty Girl is now walking outside near Big Bear Lake. She sees Showering-Naked-Hot-Guy-Whose-Junk-Is-Hidden-By-Leaves, and naturally she snaps a phone-pic. Showering-Naked-Hot-Guy-Whose-Junk-Is-Hidden-By-Leaves won't like that. At least he doesn't look confused.
12:55 p.m. Now Clothed Showering-Naked-Hot-Guy-Whose-Junk-Is-Hidden-By-Leaves is chasing Forgettably-Pretty Girl, who falls and promptly passes out. Clothed Showering-Naked-Hot-Guy-Whose-Junk-Is-Hidden-By-Leaves wants to kiss Forgettably-Pretty Girl.
12:57 p.m. And that's the episode. Next up?...
1:00 p.m. (The CW) An infomercial for Walkfit Platinum Orthotics!
1:02 p.m. So now we're in the Mall of America with Stuart Pankin (who you might remember as the guy who played the uncredited role of "Patrick" in a 2012 episode of "Desperate Housewives"), Mimi Umidon (who you might remember as co-hostess for the "Bullet Express" food processor infomercial), and Dr. Allen Selner - and a Big Announcement!
1:07 p.m. It's been seven minutes, and I'm still waiting for the Big Announcement! They keep showing that graphic of a skeleton regaining its alignment, thanks to Walkfit. Now Stuart Pankin (who you might remember as "Man in Maternity Ward" in 1974's "Free to Be... You and Me") is pushing people over because their feet aren't in alignment. OK. But what about that Big Announcement?
1:16 p.m. Sorry, no Big Announcement yet. I'm starting to doubt whether I can trust Dr. Allen Selner. I mean, sure, you can roll a 52,000 pound steamroller over a Walkfit. That's pretty cool. And Stuart Pankin (who you might remember as "Doctor" in a 2001 episode of "Malcolm in the Middle") plays better golf now, thanks to his Walkfit. But still, where's the damned Big Announcement?
1:26 p.m. Neither Stuart Pankin (who you might remember as "Uncredited Party Guest" in the 1976 movie "Next Stop, Greenwich Village") or Mimi Umidon (who you might remember as a co-hostess for the "H2O Turbo Vac" infomercial) are telling us anything about a Big Announcement!
1:28 p.m. And the show's over. No Big Announcement. I can't think of an infomercial that let me down as much as this one. Now I'm stuck here, alone with my unaligned feet, feeling bitter - not better. Can I ever trust anyone again?
1:30 p.m. (KCBA) Screw it all. I'm watching The Family Feud!
1:33 p.m. "Name a lie a girl tells her parents about her boyfriend to make him sound better." Victoria: "He's drug free!" Beverly: "He has no kids!" Lucinda: "He's never been to jail." DING!
1:40 p.m. "It balances you. It fills you with energy. And it gives you what you're looking for to live a more natural life - in a convenient two bar pack. This is Nature Valley: Nature at its most delicious." Nature Valley is apparently an Irony Free Zone.
1:41 p.m. "Name a job where no conscience is required." Lucinda: "Police officer." Lucinda's had a tough life.
1:47 p.m. "Name something sexy a man can wear to bed." Haley: "Lotion?" Susan: "Lady's lingerie." Jennifer: "A uniform." The Pitts family is weirding me out. Winning answer: "A smile." Nice, but still: The Pitts family is weirding me out.
1:50 p.m. The Pitts family goes down. Steve Harvey offers them some consolation: "Y'all look good on TV."
1:58 p.m. Getting my second wind. Time for...
2:00 p.m. (KTVU) ... Maury!
2:01 p.m. (KTVU) "They should be in high school, but they're here today for DNA tests." Teen Paternity Wars!
2:02 p.m. "This is Jasmine... [Audience: "Yay..."] and this is Jasmine's mother Tanya. Welcome Tanya to the show [Audience: "...Yay!"]. Jasmine's 17. [Audience: "Aww..."] but all of her dreams of college and a future are put on hold [Audience: "...Aww..."] because she - has a baby [Audience: "...Aww..."] - a little two month-old daughter named Chandler [Audience: "...Aww"]. Now if being a teen mom isn't hard enough, Jasmine's also dealing with the fact that her that her 19 year old ex-boyfriend named Jeff [Audience: "Booo..."] and his mother Donna [Audience: "...booo..."] are flat out denying her story [Audience: "...booo!"].
2:05 p.m. Jeff: "Jasmine and her mom were acting really weird towards me and my family when she gave birth, and I bet that's because I'm not her baby's father." Makes sense to me. Also, "you can't tell she looks like me because she looks too young."
2:10 p.m. And the results are in. And we'll learn them... later!
2:17 p.m. Shrieking Girl: "You think I'm gonna have sex with you?" Goateed Googly-Eyed Guy: "How would you know? You were drunk!"
2:27 p.m. Maury: "So you and Kendall were together, right? When you got pregnant you went to him, right? What'd he say?" Regla: [Censor beep] "... And I told him, you wasn't sayin' that when you was clappin' these buns!"
2:31 p.m. Kendall: "Y'all don't know me. Y'all don't know me. Y'all don't know me. Y'all don't know me. Y'all don't know me. Y'all don't know me. Y'all don't know me. Y'all don't know me..."
2:33 p.m. Maury: "Kendall, you are the father!" Kendall leaps out of his chair and then drops to his knees, crying up to the heavens like an "Avengers" character. Truthfully, I would too.
2:41 p.m. Maury: "When it comes to four-month-old Sophia - " Time for another commercial...
2:42 p.m. "You're not fully clean until you're Zestfully clean." After watching Maury, I'm not sure mere soap would do the trick.
2:48 p.m. Maury: "When it comes to four-month-old Sophia, Joey, you are the father!"
2:53 p.m. Maury: When it comes to two-month-old Chandler, Jeff, you are the father!"
3:00 p.m. (KCBAD) Let's see how Ricki Lake's doing these days...
3:01 p.m. "Addicted to Plastic Surgery": Ewwwwww.
3:02 p.m. So "Vanity Wonder" has spent thousands of dollars on hundreds of butt injections. Oh, did I mention that her name is Vanity? Ricki: "So let's talk about your butt, if you don't mind." Um, what else are we going to talk about?
3:14 p.m. Let's meet Steve who's had 54 procedures to turn himself into some sort of cross between the ShamWow Guy and a Vulcan cat: "So I sought out Michael Jackson's surgeon." Yeah, not a good start.
3:23 p.m. I've gotta say, neither Vanity nor Steve have blamed anyone for their situations. No snark here: At least they take responsibility for their decisions.
3:29 p.m. And here's Melanie, who decided to get a cheap off-brand tummy-tuck in South America: $10,000, including a Brazilian Butt Lift!
3:31 p.m. Melanie remembers being dropped off at her hotel: "I had a nurse assist me, and she just laid me down in the bed. And as she rolled me over, I just saw a puddle of blood."
3:34 p.m. Ricki: "When we come back, Melanie's plastic surgery nightmare continues." Yay!
3:40 p.m. Every hour or so there's this guy who pops up on the screen, promising me easy money. He looks friendly. Trustworthy too. "Call me," he gestures. I kind of want to.
3:50 p.m. The creepiest part of this Ricki Lake episode? The responsible "you-shouldn't-have-gotten-all-those-surgeries" plastic surgeon is... showing off his plastic surgeries! Next up: Maul That Muffin Top!
3:58 p.m. Ricki: "All I can say is, I want your card!"
3:59 p.m. Last hour! What should it be?
4:00 p.m. (KION) An hour of Judge Judy!
4:04 p.m. Surisa is suing her daughter Krisheena for some damn thing. But what?
4:05 p.m. Ahh... Surisa claims that Krisheena trashed her house, spraying their electronics with water and stealing a bed.
4:13 p.m. Dad now says that Krisheena set a booby trap designed to electrocute them.
4:15 p.m. Krisheena complains that mom was texting her too much. Harassment!
4:16 p.m. Judge Judy doesn't blink: "Judgment for the plaintive." Boom!
4:30 p.m. Let's stay with Judy... "The people are real. The cases are real. The rulings are final."
4:32 p.m. OK. Plaintiff says he gave his ex-friend a loan. Defendant says it wasn't a loan; it was a business deal.
4:33 p.m. A third guy named Kevin explains, "Jimmy was hired to haul away some dirt. Then he walked off the job." And?...
4:34 p.m. Judge Judy is getting increasingly perplexed with this case. Me too.
4:36 p.m. Kevin: "His involvement was that he introduced me to Jimmy." Who's this guy? Joe? James?
4:38 p.m. Judge Judy has caught Kevin in a fib. I think. To Kevin: "I don't buy anything you're saying to me. Now you can sit down."
4:40 p.m. The Judge sounds like she's gotten her head around this case. Me? Not so much. Gotta breathe.
4:45 p.m. Ah, Jeez. There's something about a land-deal now. Joe tries to explain his side and starts to cross his arms. "Shhhh," Judge Judy interjects. "Don't cross your arms." I hope there's a paramedic nearby. Joe's not looking too good.
4:45 p.m. Sweat is popping on Joe's forehead. He crosses his arms again. "Uncross," Judge Judy reminds him.
4:48 p.m. Oh crap. Are both of these guys named Joe? I'm counting the minutes.
4:51 p.m. Nope. It's Joe versus Jimmy who's talking about bonds, permits, and contracts. Judge Judy keeps repeating: Your contract wasn't with him. It was with Kevin.
4:53 p.m. Now the blood is returning to Joe's face. Judge Judy is eating Jimmy alive...
4:56 p.m. Jimmy: "I didn't even know Mr. Rappa. Joe put this whole thing together." Judge Judy: "No, listen to me, you just told me you spoke to him." Jimmy: "To who?" Judge Judy: "Mr. Rappa." Jimmy: "He said he spoke to me!" Judge Judy: "You told me you spoke to him." Jimmy: "Yes, we've spoken." Judge Judy: "Judgement for the plaintiff."
5:00 p.m. Exhaustion. End of a long day.