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What I Watched Last Night

After years of searching, I've finally discovered the location of the top-secret farm that grows the world's crop of smokin'-hot pole-dancing strippers and tavern beer-poster models. It's Telemundo's hour-long music video dance party Descontrol, airing Saturdays at noon on our city's very own WSNS-TV/Channel 44.

If American farming techniques were this good, we'd have ears of corn the size of train locomotives.

Usually, my experience with Spanish TV is limited to trying to recall what I was thinking when I decided to take Latin in high school instead of Spanish like everyone else. The year spent studying Catholic education's favorite dead language might pay off if I ever need to read Julius Caesar's state of the union address, but I'm pretty sure I'd be happier these days if I could follow Spanish-TV soap operas and game shows. But that matters none when it comes to Descontrol because - unless it's important to know why everyone seems to say "vaminos" a lot - music and practically naked obscenely-hot women are languages understood by everyone in this universe. Descontrol isn't simply part Soul Train meets mostly MTV Spring Break except without the beer bongs and drunk girl puke getting all over everyone's flip-flops. No, it's where the hoochie mama bikini elite come to bump and grind enough tits and ass to make Viagra unnecessary even for the blind.

Besides the hoochies, the show revolves around host Erika Garza, a curvy, healthy-looking bra model whose chest could eliminate world hunger all by itself. Besides spending most of her day being mistaken for Fergie, Erika has the ability to break the sound barrier by talking at a speed not even mastered by Ricky Ricardo when he'd start yelling at Lucy in Spanish. Rounding out the cast is a hip-hopster deejay and few select hottie dancers designated as "chicas Descontrol." I'm not sure what qualifies someone to be a Descontrol chica, but if Dean Martin and his variety show were still alive, he'd swear off hiring white women to be Gold Diggers.

I don't know why, but the main non-song and dance feature during Saturday's program was a platform populated by buff Latino dudes sporting knee-length shorts, mandanas, shaved chests, huge rope chains, and big colored ribbons on their biceps. In other words, everything Hot Chicks with Douchebags spends its existence warning the world about. As the show progressed, they were voted off the stage until only one was left to, I think, be auctioned off for a Calvin Klein underwear ad. Or be eaten for lunch by the chicas.

Of course, like its Soul Train and American Bandstand ancestors, a dance show wouldn't be complete without a current well-known band stopping by to perform its current well-known single. Saturday's band was Los Creadorez del Pasito Duranguense, which is Spanish for "guys in cowboy hats playing polka music."

The final element of the show is, of course, music videos. Which, not surprisingly, spend most of their time being pre-empted by the hoochies showing off a banquet of gifts that God in His infinite goodness was generous enough to put before any man with access to Channel 44. Not that I'm complaining, but this sort of thing makes trying to pick up on a song's storyline visually impossible.

Saturday's program had a few notable music video standouts:

* The "You Sure This Ain't European?" award, for Yomo's "Tu Te Las Trae." There's a lot of crazy shit being done in whorehouse casinos, but I'm reasonably sure dudes wearing gas masks breakdancing to techno isn't on the list. The guy painted gold with tree branches growing out the top of his head, I can see, though. It's got that level of dreamy weirdness rarely seen since VH-1 thought it would be fun 20 years ago to scare the bejeezus out of everyone with Lene Lovich.

* The "Our Name Says It All" award, for Banda Machos. If you're going to be a banda something, be a banda machos. Except I'm not sure a banda manly guys should put out a video for "El Proximo Tonto" that shows them being abused by a 50-foot-tall blonde groupie. Nor should they put out a song that has nothing do with the Lone Ranger.

Immediately following Descontrol was a soccer match between Peru and Argentina, which I didn't watch because I don't need to understand Spanish to know that unless a fan riot breaks out, soccer is very boring.

* * *

Meanwhile, back in the gringo world Saturday afternoon, NBC Sports was live in Salt Lake City, Utah, presenting the Toyota Challenge. This was a freestyle motocross competition where daring young men hopped up on Mountain Dew were sailing motorcycles through the air off ungawdly-high dirt ramps as acrobatically as adrenaline and insanity allows. The object, of course, is to collect as many points as possible during the course of three runs without landing on your head and turning into a freestyle paraplegic.

As it turns out, events like the Toyota Challenge are very educational. Where else can a 20-year-old learn what it's like to break a hip 60 years before he'll do a Kiss of Death Flip or 360 Flat Spin just getting out of bed in the old folks home?

Are guys like motocross freestyler Nate Adams out of their minds or just lucky when their Dead Sailer or Lazy Boy Back Flip goes awry and they find themselves still with working parts or heads attached to their shoulders after being face-planted into the ground? Who cares. Nobody gets laid by hot shred-metal babes every weekend by working at Burger King.

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See what else we've been watching! Submissions welcome.



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Posted on September 15, 2008


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