October 20, 2009

TV Review | TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens 1.1, 1.2 – “Reality Shows,” “Crime Shows”

I’m not sure where TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens (TVtropolis: premiered Friday, October 9, 9:30 PM ET/PT; also Saturdays, 11:00 PM ET/PT) fits into TVtropolis’ grand scheme.  TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens is one of TVtropolis’ many shows “about TV,” which either means a celebrity-profile show or…uh…Producing Parker?  What is TVtropolis’ main theme, anyway, other than “rerun dump?”

TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens needs clips to break the monotony of minutes-long Torrens monologues, of which there are many, so it opts for a sketch comedy wraparound and/or man-on-the-street segment.  That’s fine, except for the vast amount of Torrens the show offers.  Jonathan Torrens is fine in smaller doses.  Basing an entire show around him?  Even Jonovision had Torrens interview guests.  TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens screams “VANITY PROJECT” in neon letters.

I can see this show’s strengths, which do exist.  The streeter segments for “Reality Shows” have Torrens read from what he claims are actual reality show application forms, which contain terms like “hippo sebum” and “rats have babies in your open mouth.”  Maybe the show’s making those terms up, although the television industry does get more depraved than hippo sebum.  Less excitingly, the streeter segments are titled “Let Me Axe You Something.”  You’d think J-Roc would appear in these segments, but no.

The second episode, “Crime Shows,” is a bit better than “Reality Shows.”  The long-form Law and Order parody is well-executed – proper show logo, accurate picking-apart of Law and Order‘s overall presentation, the caption “An Ocean of Emotion.”

I will admit that TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens does its research.  For example, “Crime Shows” points out Dennis Franz’s and David Caruso’s turns on William Shatner-fest T.J. Hooker, as well as Franz’s Shakespearean acting roots.  The jokes attached to said facts don’t work, but there are no misspellings of Maude or poorly-reasoned assumptions.  On TVtropolis, this makes you King Everything.

TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens is a filler show, which TVtropolis has a million of.  The show is reasonably intelligent, which for TVtropolis is a rarity, but it’s a vanity project.  This doesn’t discourage TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens from being the best new show of TVtropolis’ 2009-10 season…not that anything substantial was competing against it.

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