Lean to the left . . .

By JAMES PARKER  |  June 27, 2007

Girls kick ass too, particularly the amazing Gina Carano: kickboxer, Muay Thai fighter and mentor to the gang on Oxygen’s FIGHT GIRLS (Tuesday at 10.30 pm). Were John Betjeman still with us — the most helpless fetishist of female athleticism in all of English verse — I would advise him against watching Carano in action: one glimpse of her ring style would have washed the poet away in a transport of senile lust. Fight Girls is interesting. It follows the Contender/Ultimate Fighter template — a group house, a knockout competition, formal contests contrasted with viperous domestic bickering — but the fights themselves are shoddily presented. No real-time action: just edits and reaction shots, and a strange pink light falling over the ring. Master Toddy, the Muay Thai instructor, is a character: having summoned the girls to some basin of desert rock outside Vegas, he addressed them from a nearby cliff in a booming Star Trek voice. “Climb toward me! Make your own way!” Intensely visionary, right?

But not as visionary as local comic Chris Coxen, of West Roxbury, who appeared on NBC’s LAST COMIC STANDING (Wednesday at 9pm) as “combat dancer” Danny Morsel. The stand-ups were on parade: desperate, engorged, each of them taking the stage like an emissary from some realm of heightened self-consciousness. Jokes, zingers, a dull relentless jabbing at the pleasure centers. But our man Danny Morsel got out the beatbox and popped some vicious martial-arts moves, with a Rambo headband and a “war doll” strapped to his chest . . . Too much for those goddamn middlebrow consensus-comedy judges, who instructed him to dance his way home. Shame!

Now then — some important news. Next week will be the last “This Week in Reality.” This daring experiment, to which I the writer and you the reader have given so much, is almost at an end. No tears. Be proud: in a tiny way — not detectible by conventional instruments, or indeed by any instruments at all — we have changed the face of the culture. So next time will be a sort of rolling review of our time together: the Top Ten Reality TV Moments of the Past Nine Months or So. All your pals will be there: Tred Barta, Erik Estrada, perhaps even a cast member or two from Meerkat Manor. Bring popcorn and a brave smile. ¡Venceremos!

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  Topics: Television , Chris Coxen, Erik Estrada, Joe Rogan,  More more >
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