Keen readers - or at least, readers who remember a few things they've read - may recall that sometimes on this blog I make fun of stuff that is on television. There's a reason for that. People should just chuck their TVs out the windows, and that's coming from a man who wades in garbage for fun.
IN GARBAGE I found proof that television - far from being a decaying cesspool becoming worse and worse every year - has always been a mental sewer. What I found was a critical review, the work of Alain E. Ehtims, a ubiquitous television critic in the age of chest hair, whiskey, and explosions. (It is always this age wherever I am) Alain reviewed Garbage: M.D, a show about a doctor. Who was also a garbageman. And, it was set in the future. Anyway, here it is.
A Review by Alain E. Ehtims
To begin this review, I had to answer a simple question: What is Garbage, M.D? I had to reign in my joy at the novelty of a television show set in the distant future of THE YEAR 1990!
By day and night, Garbage (in the future, everyone only has one name) is a successful plastic surgeon to the stars, cavorting with the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. But every morning he does something far more important - he takes out the trash! Yes, that's the byline, and this isn't a cop show! "He takes out the trash!" How rich! This is impressive, cutting edge, avant garde television from ABC, who will reportedly be ditching the unpopular show Carter Country, which critics other than myself have recently trashed as "not racist enough."
But Garbage isn't just a city-ranging Sanitation Engineer, he's the elite commander of the massive Route King II, a truck he calls "KING!" from behind the luxurious command and control center seated behind this futuristic plastic windshield.
In the rapturous pilot episode, we learn the complex and tragic reasons that Garbage must be both a doctor AND a garbageman. We meet his comedic-relief foil, the rascally Police Robot Bossotron, voiced in a career-topping role by master actor Sonny Shroyer, hot off his soul-wrenching run as Enos Strate on the hit show The Dukes of Hazzard.
May I ruin a surprise? I will! Bosstron hates horses - and there's a horse in every house that counts in 1990! But when the Soy-Mafia (every food is made of soy in this veganic paradise!) needs to fill some beds with heads in Beverly Hills, Bossotron the police robot joins forces with his least favorite garbage man to prevent the decapitations from being blamed on him! Guess where they're getting THAT mess dumped? Not with Garbage, M.D. - who also has to pick up the trash in a trendy neighborhood without any of his face-sculpted celebrity clients realizing that the man who sucks the fat out of their stomachs is the man who sucks the fat out of their grease traps!
These zany hijinks continue until Garbage gets KING in trouble with HIS boss - yes, rapt readers, you heard me right! In this future, even your car has a boss! And this is a boss that doesn't take any guff from a dump truck! Classic sitcom comedy continues as Garbage must run back and forth from a waiting operating room - stitching up wrinkles and lifting the face of an aging Hollywood beauty queen - and talking to the chain-smoking, laser-gun-packing Chief of Garbage, Ban Hotswood! During these wild surgeries everyone's smoking futuristic electronic cigarettes that cure cancer!
In these scintillating scenes the director makes artistic use of elaborate color schemes, bombarding the viewer with bombastic screen-filling hues of avocado and eggshell. In one scene, a scene that recalled to me the beautiful sensual landscapes of my adolescence, Garbage walks through the smoke-bombed streets of Hollywood in the guts of dead robotic animals, their visceral internal organs rendered in disgusting oily smears that give Garbage flashbacks from CyberMedical School where he was touched inappropriately by horses.
Horses show up a lot in Garbage, MD, as the writers masterfully interweave callbacks, internal references, and character flashbacks interspersed at random with lies, memories, and the psychic visions of Hollywood stars - in this future, all stars are psychics, and have a telephone network you can call to talk with them directly!
The scenes of futuristic warfare hinted at in the smash-cut credits reveal a lot in common with the Frank Herbert classic Dune, except with camels instead of sandworms. Towards the end of the show, characters are revealed to be robots, the flesh of their faces flayed away with finger-knives, one at a time, Garbage waiting and sweating to discover if he too is a soulless automaton or if he will have his face removed by robotic razors. It's television like this you just can't get anywhere.
Anywhere! I saw this Pilot, I promise, and the joys of the overreaching robotic arms hauling and catapulting the futuristic trash of celebrity culture and a world gone mad with the banality of horses - this is a world that calls to me! I hear the shrieking siren song of Garbage, M.D. at night, written on the ceiling of my home in dappled doubts and shadows of a world that could be our own, if we but submitted to the fever dream of a madman, the holographic flesh I found splayed across the scattered napkins of a dozen west coast diners with disillusioned waitresses and pristine restrooms.
Garbage M.D. is real! I promise! Hear my words, ye who doubt, and despair upon the falling of the eons!
Alain E. Ehtims