Episode 169: The Joy of TMZ


Last week, I talked about my thoughts on slut shaming and why I think it’s pretty stupid, particularly in this day of age. I had to touch upon Kim Kardashian since she has primarily been the target of a lot of slut shaming. Now, I don’t really care all that much with what Kanye West’s wife does. However, I am exposed to it practically every day as she is always featured on one of my favorite guilty pleasures. That would be the celebrity gossip show on TV, known as TMZ.

I know it’s supposedly a trashy show and it’s only successful as it tries to capitalize on the success and/or misfortune of others. TMZ is a gossip site so you don’t really learn anything valuable from watching it… unless you consider knowing how Beyonce and Jay-Z spent their Wednesday night really important information. And the people who are on the show can be extremely sophomoric, misogynistic and just plain horrible. The last fact has been parodied several times already in a lot of other television shows and movies.

All of the above is pretty accurate… yet I still love the show! I can’t help it! I know it’s trashy and stupid and I’m probably getting dumber from watching TMZ. But it’s still one of my favorite shows right now and I do feel compelled to watch it each and every time it’s on. Not because I want to know what Lindsey Lohan is wearing or how if Drake and Meek Mills finally squashed their beef between each other.

No, I like watching TMZ because it’s actually a really hilarious show. It’s not actually like a sitcom or anything like that where every line is crafted to illicit a laugh from the audience. No, TMZ is more like an improv show akin to something like Who’s Line Is It Anyway? It even feels like a majority of the “reporters” on the show were given stereotypical personalities and they had to run with the gag throughout the 30-minute runtime.

But there is a weird chemistry that works between all of them. They insult each other and love to gang up on even their fellow reporters… well, I actually think they love to gang up on the bearded lawyer at the back… and a lot of what they say is very hilarious! Sure, they may have trouble practical knowledge, like math and stuff. But they all have this weird quick wit about them that’s something that I actually envy. I do wish I could think of a comeback at the right time like they do on TMZ!

Also, I do find it amazing that they manage to pump out an episode each and every night by compiling the stories from the previous day… and still somehow interject a humorous take on the story. I have a feeling there are a lot of weird gems that were left on the editing room floor because they could only fit in the best quips and jokes in the 30 minutes the show had. Then again, I could be giving these guys too much credit. Who knows?

But all of the joking around makes it seem like the TMZ offices is a fantastic place to work in. It seems like a really casual work environment. There doesn’t seem to be any real dress code and, despite some of them being really terrible in insulting at times, the people over there generally seem like nice people. I guess they have to be somewhat friendly as their jobs do involve them getting close to celebrities and such so I guess it’s pretty natural for them to be extremely sociable most of the time.

The seemingly relaxed working manner is only fostered even more when you see how they treat Harvey Levin at times. I mean, Harvey Levin is the head honcho over at TMZ. I’m assuming he didn’t invent the entire paparazzi thing. Taking snapshots of celebrities in compromising positions has been there ever since the world’s obsession with famous people. But I do think he’s the guy that brought the concept of paparazzi to popular culture.

Harvey Levin practically built TMZ from the ground up. So, you would think he would be this rich guy who snubs his nose at his employees and would be a giant stick in the mud. But, while he is a rich guy and the boss, Harvey Levin is not immune to being ridiculed by his staff. They repeatedly make fun of his height and him being a penny pincher… and a Jew. And that happens each and every day he’s on the show! I can’t imagine any other boss taking that kind of heat and just laugh it off!

I guess to quickly summarize why I love watching TMZ, it’s because, like any really good television show, I love watching the people in it. I may not get along with them in real life as, like I said, they can be really mean when they make fun of celebrities who have an off day and look terrible in a swimsuit or if they’ve gotten fat. But I do like their interaction with each other. The way they talk to each other and get into fights and make fun of themselves and each other. It’s like a sitcom to me. A really good sitcom that’s set in a celebrity news show with a cast of zany characters who love and hate each other but generally get along with one another.

TMZ isn’t just for people who want to see hot celebrities in their underwear or wearing next to nothing. For people like me, TMZ can be a show where you can get a good, hearty laugh.

Anyway, one of the favorite topics of TMZ is taking pics of hot people in different outfits. A lot of people have taken offense with paparazzi swarming over ladies and gents just to get that one picture of a celeb in a bikini. But you know who else wears skimpy bathing suits? Video game characters… and there has been a lot of vitriol regarding selling sexy outfits to virtual ladies and men. I’ll give my opinion on the entire thing next week!


What’s your take on TMZ? Let me know in the comments section below!

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