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Screen » Film Events

I Love Television™: The Great Manipulator

A few must see shows airing this week, along with the presidential debate.



UGHHNHH! Why is everybody always trying to manipulate me? Just 10 minutes ago, my editor tells me I need to write gooder. Psssht! I’ve been writing this column for over 15 years, and my writing has only improvend. (Or at least it had not been more worsenening.)

Listen, people! I will not be manipulated! Not by my boss, not by you, and certainly not by ex-Mrs. Wm.™ Steven Humphrey #2 who keeps trying to convince me I’m the father of her three children with scientist-approved DNA tests and sworn testimony from Maury Povich. OH! And speaking of TV, I won’t be manipulated by that, either! Here are three good examples of TV that won’t be manipulating me this week:

• Presidential Debate #3 (All Networks, 6 pm, Monday, Oct 22). President Obama and “Golden Mittens” Romney return for their last shot at manipulating the voters into not voting for the other guy. Obama will be attempting to manipulate you into thinking a) he’s an entirely different person from that disastrous first debate, b) he’d never tie his dog to the roof of a car during a road trip, and c) that he’d actually prefer being the president, rather than just relaxing on the beach and drinking Mai Tais until they run out his nose. HA! Right. Meanwhile, Romney will be trying to manipulate you into thinking a) he’s not a robot, b) he doesn’t have more money than one-quarter of all inhabitants of earth, and c) he wouldn’t sell you to a Chinese sweatshop to make iPhones for the rest of your life if they asked nicely.

• Hunted (Cinemax, 10 pm, Friday, Oct 19). “Cinemax??” I hear you scream. “Are you trying to manipulate me into watching boobies?” Not this time! While Cinemax does specialize in soft-core porn offerings such as Co-Ed Confidential: Whoops, How Did My Panties Fall Off?, the new show Hunted actually has something resembling a pedigree. Originally produced by BBC1 and created by The X-Files’ Frank Spotnitz, Hunted stars the attractively pouty Melissa George as a double-crossed secret agent who’s being manipulated by her shadowy employers, and decides in turn to manipulate THEM—with her gigantic, pillowy, pouty lips. (Whoops! How did my panties fall off?)

• The Girl (HBO, 9 pm, Saturday, Oct 20). While Alfred Hitchcock may be considered one of the greatest directors of all time, he was also one honkin’ manipulative dick! This creepy HBO flick tells the true tale of actress Tippi Hedren (played here by Sienna Miller) who was hired out of nowhere by Hitchcock to become the lead actress in The Birds, and quickly became his sexual obsession. When she refuses to ride his wild baloney pony, Hitchcock psychologically tortures her as well as ruins her career. Apparently back then there weren’t the same sexual harassment laws and HR departments that torment me on a daily basis.

Not that I would EVER try to manipulate YOU, of course! By the way, did I mention that I’ve been diagnosed with semen cancer? Yeah, it’s really terrible, and if someone doesn’t manually help it out of my body every three hours, I might… HEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!?

Allow me to twitipulate you. @WmSteveHumphrey

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