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Cable Box 


Three La-Z-Boy pundits swilling beer and displaying their dirty socks assess music and cinema. In any given half-hour episode, pickin' may refer to selectin' fine VCR fodder, riffin' rhapsodically on an acoustic guitar, or whiskin' away dingleberries tendin' to accumulate on sofa-huggin' homeboys' bums.

Target Demographic

Ennui-ridden males, ages 17 to 41, living among philistines who fail to recognize the genius of George Lucas, Ozzy Osborne, and Mike Judge (director of Beavis and Butt-head and Office Space, which the show's credits refer to as "the greatest movie in anyone's time").

Thematic Concerns

Musical segments tend toward charmingly earnest romanticism, a la early U2, although a recent video by house band Mortum Red was titled "I Fell in Love With a Slut." Cowboy Ray of Mancow fame frequently opines on pressing topics (William Shatner versus Jack Lord). The commentators are obsessed with integrity. Says producer Jason Drake, "We do an honest show. Movies that are good, are good. Movies that suck, suck."

Representative Excerpt

The three guys pickin' films--Eric Johnson, Richard Drake, and Eamon Colwell--discover a pleasing theme in the best releases of 1999.

EJ: Mena Suvari--who's also in American Pie--took her shirt off in American Beauty. Well done, thank you! Thora Birch took her shirt off. Hello! Look at those things. She's got talent. That's what I'm saying. (Approving grunts.)

EJ: I'll tell you the best thing about American Pie--what's the first thing that comes to your mind? And if you say baked goods, you're gay. Can you say Shannon Elizabeth, the foreign exchange student? Wow!

rd: That's who I was talking about.

EC: Wow!

EJ: Wow! Way to steal my lines. That girl. She was on the cover of Maxim a few months ago--and if you don't get Maxim, you know. Wow!

rd: American Beauty?

ej: Pie.

ec: Wow!

rd: Moving on...

ej: Any movie with American in it--thumbs up! America was ready for American Pie. Great-looking broads in that film. Good humor.

rd: We already did that one.

ec: Schwing!

ej: We got American Beauty. Again, good-looking broads, some good humor, Kevin Spacey. American Movie--a bunch of cheese heads trying to make their own movie; it was very funny because they were all stoned. American Psycho--some guy killing people.

rd: You're killing me here!

Peek Into Psyche

Sitting under three framed posters for earlier Star Wars epics, the esteemed pundits discuss the nuances of Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace.

rd: Jar Jar was a little different character for Star Wars. A little too human, I think, in some respects.

ej: I don't like how people just rip on Jar Jar. I mean, this is a vast galaxy, a huge galaxy--planet upon planet upon planet. There's bound to be some races or some people who are idiots, all right? You've got to have idiots. They can't all be freakin' Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, just walking around saying 'Hey, I'm Han Solo,' and kickin' the crap out of 'em. You've got to have morons.

rd: Plus you've got to have a comic relief character, too...

ej: Comic relief aside, sometimes through ineptitude comes heroism. You can have heroes who are inept. It happens throughout all history. Eamon is one of them, OK? But Jar Jar fit that role. I had no problem with him. He was funny, yeah. He became a hero to his people. He united the Naboo and the Gungans. I mean, that's solid. My boy's solid.

ec: Solid!

3 Guys Pickin' airs Tuesdays at 11 PM on cable access channel 19.

--Joy Bergmann

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