Jewish World Review March 15, 2002 / 2 Nisan, 5762

Greg Crosby

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Consumer Reports

The Great Escape | I watched "Celebrity Boxing" last Wednesday night on the Fox channel and I feel unclean and ashamed of myself. I don't blame the show, it was my own fault. I definitely knew what to expect, but I tuned in anyway. So, I got what I deserved -- an hour of low class trash television. It was worse than that, actually. It was sad and pathetic to watch Tonya Harding chase Paula Jones around the boxing ring. Stop laughing, it wasn't funny.

You probably won't believe me, but I usually don't watch these kinds of shows. Honest. I'm not a wrestling fan and I've never seen the survivor things or any of the other so-called reality-based television programs. But it was one of those nights. Nothing was on, and I didn't feel like reading, or writing, or playing a game or listening to music. I just wanted to plop down on the couch and have the television entertain me.

I tried every other channel first. Nothing. The other networks had programs that I either had no interest in or I couldn't understand at all. The local stations are always unwatchable. There were no classic movies on cable that I wanted to see. As a matter of fact, there was nothing on cable altogether and, besides, how much Emeril can a person take? So ... I watched "Celebrity Boxing."

The show had three sets of "celebrities" duking it out for three rounds each. First up was Barry Williams from the old "Brady Bunch" show verses Danny Bonaduce of "The Partridge Family." Although Barry was bigger, he was softer and more out of shape than Danny. He was also getting the worst of it and looking a bit dazed, so the fight was stopped in the second round. I felt kind of sorry for Williams.

Next out was Todd Bridges, from "Different Strokes," against washed-up rapper, Vanilla Ice. The fight went the full three rounds with Bridges winning in points over Ice. However, if they ever have an ugly tattooed man contest, Vanilla Ice would win hands down.

Finally the main bout of the evening. This was the one everyone was waiting for --- the girls. Rough tough Tonya verses poor pitiful Paula. After about a round and half of falling down and running away, Paula finally threw in the towel and conceded to Harding. I must admit, it was a fast hour.

The best thing I can say for the show is, for the entire hour it was on I didn't think of the war on terror or the crisis in the Middle East. I forgot all about 9-11. For that stupid hour I never once thought about the Tailiban or al-Qaida or suicide bombers. I forgot about politics and culture wars and crazy mothers who kill their babies in bathtubs. The frightening events of our modern world were back-burnered for awhile -- put on hold. The pain and suffering of real-life was replaced with has-been celebrities exchanging goofy punches in a ridiculous televised boxing exhibition. I was actually able to escape reality for an hour.

Maybe that hour wasn't such a waste of time after all.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2001 Greg Crosby