Below are show host Officer John Bunell’s description of the dozen or so berserk motorists (and police) for your dancing and dining pleasure:

"These public enemy pubescents." (fleeing teen gangbangers)

"These felony freeway flyers." (escaping bank robbers)

"These motoring marauding madmen." (hauling-ass hooligans … oh no, I’ve got the disease too)

"These spark-slinging suspects." (on-the-lammers with a dragging rear bumper)

"These turnpike terrorizing teens" (jail-avoiding joyriders)

And all of this said in a gritted teeth, no nonsense, tough guy manner. At first, I thought Bunell was kidding around, but he’s as serious as the "Crime Dog."

In all of these adventures, the felon’s freedom is briefer than a bubble. He sideswipes a few cars, flattens a mail box, and runs over spike strips set out by police. Then Bunell incredibly would say, "In a surprise move, he bolts from the car," (Gee, might as well. He’s racked up a ticket book full of moving felonies) and the suspect runs into the brush where a half dozen Rottweilers flush him out and the entire police department of Hollow Point, Tenn., hammerlock him into an awaiting and battered cruiser. The crook is almost always some down-and-out white guy with long, stringy hair and an unbuttoned flannel shirt (Kurt Cobain on a bad hair day) or some black kid whose local Gap store ran out of his size.

Bunell always has a postscript for every suspect in these freebase free-for-alls. (Damn, there I go again.)

"Looks like this sprinting speedster will be pitted in the county jail for the next few years."

"This foot-failing felon has flagged down a few years in prison with this run." … ad nauseum.

And the show’s frantic pace and Bunell’s brainless blabber affects the kind of ads that prop up this patched-together Frankenstein. Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, and Dennis Hopper in "Speed," and Cash Flagg in "The Aztec Mummy versus the JelloŽ Wrestlers from Saturn" movie promos keep the adrenaline flowing like a Sid Waterman pump.

If television could be viewed as electronic methamphetamine, this is it.

So, if the drags are rained out and you’re stuck with a nightful of downtime and are bored to the point of considered felonious behavior, you could do worse than miss this nutty show. But not much.

And for the style councils that think this show should be re-titled, "World’s Worst Drivers and Stupidest Audiences," … uh, you may have something there. Good god, what am I saying? Hey, my job is to start arguments, not finish them.

Anyway, it’s back to the think tank. I’m still trying to avoid flaming death from hot pursuit of decent ideas to fill this space.


The Martin Chronicles [12-8-05]
Best of!


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