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The Telefile
Olympics for TV Fans Who Normally Avoid the Olympics

So I'm far from the only person excited the the Olympics are starting tomorrow night, but around here in the TWoP offices I'm pretty much a rarity. My copy of Time with its helpful article on the 100 athletes to watch has garnered me a few quizzical looks, and I quickly have to change the subject to "Hey, did you see what happened on Project Runway last night?" in order to stop them from thinking that I've suddenly turned into a sports obsessed freak. However, I think there are quite a number or events (which I'll be babbling about annoyingly ad nauseam for the next two and half weeks) that I think might actually appeal to my fellow TV junkies out there. While nothing will be quite as fun as The Office's Olympics... this might keep you entertained for a few days at least.

If you like So You Think You Can Dance, you should watch Rhythmic Gymnastics. Because you know you love it when someone shows up in the audition rounds with a ribbon to dance with. See these people essentially dance, but with weird stuff, like balls and hoops and the much beloved ribbons. None of which will seem weird at all after seeing Katee and Courtney traipse around with parasols.

If you like Pushing Daisies, you should watch Synchronized Swimming. You know you love seeing the Darling Mermaid Darlings flutter around in their fabulous costumes. The Olympics are just like that, except usually with more people and plain old suits. However, you do get to watch people try and hold their breath for a really long time, and there's the added bonus of seeing the goo-gobs of makeup that these girls wear to go into the water. Insane.

If you like The Bachelorette (and don't lie, I know you watch), you should watch the Pommel Horse. With either experience there's always the chance that you'll get to see a grown man being basically castrated on TV for the sake of entertainment.

If you like House, you should watch the Triathlon. In nearly every single episode of the medical drama House and co. they apply the third times a charm attitude to solving cases. On their third try they figure out the correct diagnosis and in the Triathlon, though it helps for them to be ahead during the swimming and biking rounds, they can make up a lot of ground during the running and still sprint to the finish to win. And no one has to die!

If you like Ugly Betty, you should watch Handball. Last season Betty survived a vicious dodgeball attack by Lindsay Lohan. And if you think that she meant business, you should see the players in this intense game go at it in the grown up version of the playground game. And it doesn't hurt that a lot of the players look like Betty's hot gym teacher.

If you like Wipeout, you should watch Diving. There're no big balls, but at least the people in the Olympics are trying to land in the water.

If you like Lost, you should watch the Marathon. Clearly you are the sort of individual who likes to be suckered into long involved events that get you all excited at various times, but pretty much keep you hanging on until the bitter end without a clue of what is going to happen. Yup, that's the marathon, except people are usually a little bit sweatier than even Hurley on a given day.

If you like 24, you should watch Shooting. Guns. Guns. Guns. Do I really need to explain this one?

If you like Grey's Anatomy, you should watch Trampoline [Editor's Note: "Trampoline is an Olympic Sport??? -- Mindy]. If you like the soapy medical drama with all of its bed-hopping, you are totally prepared to watch people hopping around on a bed getting themselves into twisted positions.

If you like American Gladiators, you should watch Decathlon. Both the show and the sport have a lot of tough athletic prowess going on with a number of different events. True that there's no Hellga or Wolf, but the Decathlon does feature a bunch of really well-toned athletes doing impossible things, and you don't have to look at Hulk Hogan to watch.

If you like Law & Order, you should watch Swimming. This one is a bit of a stretch, but bear with me here. Think back to the good old days of Lenny Briscoe (played by the late great Jerry Orbach) where he was on pretty much every Law & Order/Dick Wolf production out there. Now think about this summer of swimming where wunderkind Michael Phelps will be competing in so many waterlogged events that it will make your head spin. Lenny's the character that's appeared on the most TV shows, and now Phelps is hoping to break the record of the most gold medals at one Olympics. I said it was a stretch... but seriously... just watch him. It's gonna be good.

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