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Once in a while, a TV show comes along that defines its era perfectly. H8R is such a show. Reality, celebrity, hatred, hidden cameras, stupid behavior — H8R has it all.
The premise is simple: Find a person who hates, hates, hates a celebrity, then have the celebrity confront that person and try to win him/her over.
In a society filled with an overwhelming amount of irrational hatred, nothing could be more timely.
So in episode one, we have a guy named Nick who hates Snooki from Jersey Shore and a woman named Danielle, who despises Jake Pavelka from The Bachelor. Nick thinks Snooki is “the Newark of New Jersey … a drunken donkey.” And Danielle thinks Pavelka is “cocky, like a douche…. I think he might be gay.”
Now, I don’t understand why anyone would waste energy on Snooki or Jake — or most any entertainer, really — or why these “celebrities” care whether someone hates them. But then, there’s a lot about our culture I no longer understand.
Anyway, Snooki shows up where Nick is playing pool and tries to win him over by offering to cook an Italian dinner for him and his family. And Jake visits a pool where Danielle is relaxing and takes her flying and to The Bachelor house.
To find out whether they win over their haters, you’ll have to watch for yourself.
But really, what a perfect idea for a show. Take someone with a hate based on what’s written in the tabloids or how a celebrity appears on TV (gee, you think they could they be playing to the camera?) — in other words, a hate without substance — and then have it confronted.
As you might imagine, some people are going to back down because their hate is just bluster. Some will never back down because their mind isn’t open. And perhaps later in the season we’ll see celebrities who deserve the scorn they’ve earned.
But H8R is perfect for the times because we’re living in a country with so much seething, such unfounded anger.
Every day I find myself wondering the same thing Forbes magazine asked in 1992: Why do we feel so bad when we have it so good? And Nick Lowe’s question — What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding? — is as germane today as it was when he wrote it in the 1970s.
There are no more debates or honest disagreements. We go from zero to 60 in an instant. You’re either with us or you’re the enemy. And we must destroy our enemy.
It’s utter insanity. Not only can’t we all get along, but sometimes the more unstable members of our society have to shoot those they disagree with.
I find this frightening. And I suspect I’m not alone.
So I look forward to future episodes of H8R with Barack Obama and a member of the tea party and Rush Limbaugh and a member of moveon.org. (I’d volunteer to be on with Dick Cheney.) But in actual future episodes, the celebs include Kim Kardashian, Eva Longoria and — wait for it — Ron Artest. That’s an episode I wish they’d recorded around Conseco Fieldhouse.
Sure, H8R probably won’t solve anything. But maybe it’ll convince a few people to calm the fuck down.