Italian television, a strange and wondrous place, continues to amaze, astonish, and entertain. My new favorite show is Bugs Bunny dubbed – “Ehhhhh - Che succede, amico?” The other night, Mark and I saw what seemed to be a giant group talent/variety show pitting two groups of mostly buxom and scantily clad women against each other: le bianche e le nere. The white women versus the black women. And no, I’m not talking about uniform colors. Interessante...
Also interesting is that I just finished watching Game 4 of the World Series on Italian television. Yes, the Red Sox still won, the Colorado fans waving white towels still looked like they were conceding surrender, the victory still felt different from 2004, and Papelbon is still crazy good and crazy just. That it is now mid-November and this game was played... 2 ½ weeks ago is odd enough, but the video editing by the Italian TV channel was really outstanding. And by outstanding I mean bizarre. So they skipped a few innings, wanting to condense the game, fine. But missing Bobby Kielty’s homer only to show him descending the dugout steps? During a pitching change for Colorado, they cut to a blimp shot of the night stadium and next to Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox playing leftfield? The bottom of the ninth, three final outs left for Colorado, and... they... showed... two of them? Who was editing this? Edward Scissorhands? Buñuel? Mr. Ed?
On our non-cable TV, there are three channels in a row – 14, 15, and 16 – that are identical. There are at least two other matching pairs between 1 and 30, which is as high as our TV goes. Sometimes I feel like I’m playing a game of electronic media: “Yes, yes, I know. The pope was talking on that other religious channel too... but which one?!” The local access channels that we get seem to focus primarily on karaoke and variations thereof. Call in dedication request karaoke anyone? As previously mentioned, Walker, Texas Ranger is often at home on Italian TV.
Easily the most bizarre aspect of Italian TV I have seen is what appears to be the rug channel. Yes, the rug channel. Any time I have passed it, there is a well-coiffed man in a suit and tie sitting on rugs, pointing out the qualities of rugs, standing next to hanging rugs, talking about rugs. I think he is selling the rugs – beautiful Persians, interesting abstract Modern geometric designs, etc. – but I am not sure. I have never seen anyone else on the channel, and I’m beginning to wonder if the host is in solitary confinement in a rug warehouse... with a cameraman. Maybe there is a rug fascination that has swept Italy but somehow missed our apartment. We do not have a single rug.
An additional note: in bocca al lupo to the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams at PS 161 in West Harlem! Both teams are in 1st place in the NY SCORES program going into the last games tomorrow – forza! Dai! Dai!