The past couple of days I’ve been sick, and, since I’ve gone through all my DVDs from Netflix for the time being (the ones that I can process in my five-seconds-from puking state, anyway), I’ve been watching a lot of television. I watch a lot of television to begin with, but I don’t normally sit down and watch whatever’s on. Today was one of those days.

I caught 2/3rds of several different movies, including Independence Day and World Trade Center. I, also, got sucked into the still very, very good Homicide: Life on the Street tv movie that served as the series finale. I think Homicide was the Boogie Nights of television for me. I’ve mentioned this before, but PTA’s film was the movie that made me want to be a director for reasons other than meeting Christina Ricci, and Homicide, even as a high schooler, was the first television show that elevated the form to something better, grander for me. I think the tv film is one of the finest finales of all time, and I still get chills when Gee sees Adena Watson in the squad room at the end. The tv movie also reminded me just what a great character Frank Pembleton was, and what a fantastic performance Andre Braugher gave on that show. It was coming across a few minutes of Pembleton and Bayliss interrogating a suspect that led to me watching the rest of the movie.

But by early evening, my boredom had gotten to the point where I was randomly flipping through the channels trying to find something, anything to watch. (For those of you wondering “why didn’t he read a book?” see “five-seconds-from puking”) I even watched part of an episode of Hannah Montana, something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. Although that particular experience made me resolve to come into work tomorrow even if I was puking up blood, it was nothing compared to the horror of Pants Off Dance Off.

For those thankfully not in the know, this show involves contestants stripping off their clothes while music videos play behind them. Then they are judged. It’s on Fuse, which is basic cable, thus robbing the show of any nudity or strong sexual content. I really can’t describe it any more than that. Some host, either Willa Ford or that methhead from Full House, run this shebang, which I guess is ending its third and final season this weekend.

I’d caught parts of Pants Off Dance Off before today, but it took a sickness to hit home just how terrible it is. This may in fact be the first television show I have seen with absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever. At least with reality shows or game shows, people are winning money or getting makeovers. This has women and men taking off their clothes for…what? So people just broke enough to get Fuse but not Showtime, MuchMax, or, even, the internet can watch it? Puberty, angst-ridden teenage boys?

It baffles me in a way that I think no other TV program has. If anyone can offer a defense, feel free to comment.