‘7th Heaven’: His punishment and his passion

You have the power to make blogger Aric McKeown ‘Watch TV’

by Keri Carlson

Aric McKeown subjects himself to torture on a nightly basis. He watches television.

Although most people watch TV, they usually admit it reluctantly and disguise it as a guilty pleasure. TV is the lowest of the low culture, a mindless soup of canned laughter, reruns, stereotypes and commercials.

But the way McKeown watches the idiot box is especially masochistic. He lets others choose which shows he watches. On his Web site Make Me Watch TV, voters pick a show for McKeown every weeknight. He writes his comments on his blog during the show and films the process on a webcam. Watch someone watch TV? Whoa.

In the first two weeks of “Make Me Watch TV,” the site received an average of 100 votes per time slot, McKeown said. After some radio publicity, the site peaked a couple of weeks ago with 1,000 voters. Now the average is around 500 votes.

“Most people are trying to make me suffer,” McKeown said. While some vote for shows they actually like such as “House,” McKeown often has to watch Jennifer Love Hewitt’s show “Ghost Whisperer.”

A show like “Gilmore Girls” is a frequent request, McKeown said, because it attracts both kinds of voters – “the people who love it vote for it because they’re fans and the people who hate it think it’s funny to make me watch it,” he said.

While “Make Me Watch TV” is run democratically, the site has a feature that allows a sponsor to override the votes and choose the show. “It’s like lobbyists,” he said, “money gets things done.”

Whether the show is good or not, McKeown’s humor comes from trying to dissect the plot with a stream of conscious flow. McKeown’s descriptions reveal just how ridiculous most TV storylines are.

For the cartoon “My Gym Partner Is a Monkey,” McKeown writes, “Adam is having a birthday party with his human friends. He is embarrassed that his animal friends showed up. If your animal friends can talk, they should be welcome anywhere.”

McKeown’s writing is sarcastic, and he mocks until Jennifer Love Hewitt is crushed into a pulp. Yet he still comes across as goofy and loveable. And his comments are what you were thinking about TV too: Sitcoms are about as entertaining as watching someone watch TV; never vote off the drama queens; and talking animals should be welcome anywhere!