Tonight marks the start of the Winter Olympics in Torino. Personally, I'm having a hard time staying focused. Every time a news anchor mentions the word "Torino," I keep thinking of David Starsky's smooth ride or else the landmark "Torino with no wheels" from National Lampoon's Vacation.
I've never really cared about the Winter Olympics. Sure, we all tune in hoping to see a ski jumper go horribly awry and wind up as the new "agony of defeat" guy or, at the very least, a collection of wacky fish-out-of-water Jamaican bobsledders.
However, as we all know, that never happens. Instead of excitement, we get to watch grown men dressed in skin-tight lycra -- cue Ned Flanders -- bound together on a cafeteria tray, hurtling down an icy chute. Or we get the biathlon, where athletes manage to turn skiing and shooting guns -- a combination that worked incredibly well in several Bond films -- into a tedious chore.
And when the action isn't disappointing the viewers, they're being subjected to endless, weepy "Lifetime for Women" vignettes about the athletes. Sheesh. Cry me a river, then let it freeze and go curling on it. Sweep! Sweep like you've never swept before!
The opening ceremonies -- which take place tonight! -- may be the only thing more boring than the actual sporting events. The media kids have been hyping this all week long, but it's a pretty hard sell. "Will the Latvian luge squad be wearing new parkas this year? And what about the bitter fashion rivalry between the Norwegian and Finnish ice dancing teams? There's a fashion stormfront moving in, Katie, and I forecast a 100% chance of fun!" It's like the pre-game show at the Golden Globes, except instead of Scarlett Johansson and friends, we get to see twelve-year-old skaters and arthritic hockey players bundled up in their finest winter layers. It's like hanging out in the parking lot outside a practice rink.
Luckily, for those of you who aren't middle-aged housewives, there's a nice alternative on TV tonight. In an attempt to end the painful breakup as quickly as possible, the idiots at Fox are dumping the final four episodes of "Arrested Development" on the air tonight at 8pm Eastern. They've been getting better and better ever since they realized they had nothing to lose, and tonight's shows should ramp it up even more.