Things That Make Me Die Inside (Vol. 9)

How do you take a lousy idea and make it worse? If you’re CBS and the Muncie, Indiana Police department, you give guns (yes, guns!) and badges to Erik Estrada, La Toya Jackson, Wee Man, and Jack Osbourne, then you start offering cash and clothing incentives to criminals so they’ll sign waivers to show their faces on your reality show. Yes, PopWatchers, that’s the latest scoop on Armed and Famous, a series that is totally turning me into my mother. "It’s all fun and games till somebody loses an eye!"

Seriously, though, Indiana’s Star Press reports that some Muncie leaders are "concerned that the show’s celebrity cops are taking advantage of low-income residents — and possibly targeting the neighborhoods they live in." And according to the attorney of one arrested gent who was promised $400 for signing the Armed and Famous release, his client has thus far only received a shirt with the slogan, "I got arrested by a celebrity and all I got is this lousy T-shirt." Classy!

Anybody want to help me tally the levels of wrong in this story? Providing firearms to cast members of Jackass and CHiPs? Exposing HDTV viewers to close-ups of La Toya Jackson? Cash for criminals? Canceling Smith while greenlighting this heinoustry? I leave it to you to continue the countdown in the comments section below.

Comments (19 total) Add your comment
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  • Scott P

    And people wonder why I hate reality shows…

  • b

    As a Hoosier (although not from Muncie), I want to apologize on behalf of the state of Indiana for whatever the hell these people were thinking. I swear not all of us have judgment this poor…

  • Dave again

    Let’s see, to continue on Slezak’s list:
    Giving firemarms to La Toya Jackson and Jack Osbourne, placing the safety of innocent civilians in the hands of D-list celebrities, giving La Toya Jackson a TV show, forever making the town of Muncie, Indiana a punchline, giving La Toya Jackson a TV show, and…um, giving La Toya Jackson a TV show.
    Wow, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

  • Jay F

    wow! only one step away from “The Running Man”!

  • Juju

    This does not surprise me. Erik Estrada did not know how to bow out gracefully when his time in the sun was over. Latoya Jackson has always been a joke, and I just wish she would learn how to be a little bit normal instead of being so silly and stupid all the time. One more garbarge show to add on television.

  • daisyj

    Hey, I’ve got a great idea for a TV show. Seven has-beens and never-weres (I’m thinking maybe Frank Stallone, Cybill Shepherd, Tina Yothers, and that white rapper who called himself Snow) find new jobs… as doctors! Hilarious hijinks ensue as they administer medications, do surgeries and learn to pronounce “catheter”, all under the guidance of the increasingly bemused hospital staff. All patients who agree to be on the show will receive a free collectable hospital gown and, when necessary, a nice wreath. Working title: Doctor Famous.
    What do you guys think?

  • Ep Sato

    Woah, so first popwatch was saying that Armed and Famous was NOT wierd. Now, it’s something that “makes me die inside”. Sle, I got to ask if you folks read each other’s columns.
    As for the show paying $400 to sign a release form, it makes me wish some celebrity cops would come and bust me for littering or jay walking as I could totally use the money.
    People of Muncie, you should totally fire your mayor in the next election. What were your elected officials thinking when they armed the “crazy” member of the Jackson family?

  • Christopher

    I can almost get Estrada and Wee-Man. Both are physically capable and have a certain bearing…
    But Jackson and Osbourne are not even credible trial witnesses. How can they make them peace officers?

  • Meier

    Well, it looks like I’m going to be the first Muncie citizen to post a response to this, so I better make it good…
    First of all, a big “thank you” to Michael Slezak and Entertainment Weekly for bringing this heinous act of exploitation (in every sense of the word) into the spotlight for all of the country to read. Perhaps it will help in the shutting down of the production… at least I can hope it does.
    In all honesty, I am not very loyal to this town. True, it is the location of Ball State University where I received my degree, but the town itself is so pitiful it doesn’t even deserve any more humiliation. Muncie, one of the cheapest places to live in the United States, has a long way to go to improve its image, and one would be amazed at how a little support could effect its progress.
    The only help toward progress this reality show is giving are brand new squad cars for the department. The flip side could result in a negligent murder from a celebrity or the death of a celebrity him- or herself. There are no redeeming qualities with this idea of television, and I am glad I am not the only one who thinks this town is owed a whole lot more.
    I’ve never felt more trapped and unsafe as an American in my entire life.

  • Nose

    Keeping my fingers crossed that the scripted show is making a comeback and will push reality tv into oblivion. Please Heroes, Ugly Betty, 30 Rock, and other good new shows…put the has-been celebrities back where they should be! Oblivion!

  • Brett

    As another Muncie resident (A Ball State University Student), I was first a little excited by the prospect of seeing a C list (being generous) Celebs. Now I realize how insane it is that they would choose such a boring town. Plus, I was really surprised to hear that CBS is responsible for this.

  • Mozz

    Worst… idea… ever… I hope Erik Estrada shoots himself in the face. (it’s called retiring gracefully, and the man just doesn’t learn.)

  • lola

    Daisyj, I think you forgot to mention that the Celebrity Surgeons (celebrurgeons?) would get to operate on low-income and minority patients. But I guess that was obvious, huh? All in all, a great idea.

  • kellye

    i cant believe i live in indiana. im going back to texas!

  • Ep Sato

    “Mr. Fernandez? We understand that you need your appendix removed and don’t have insurance to pay for it. Well, don’t worry! We’re going to have Kato Kaelin pull it out for you and will even pay you $500 if you agree to appear on camera”

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