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Smaller: Not Always Better! 

Ahem!! Three things of note before I express an opinion that will surely get me lynched. Note #1: The sixth and final season of Lost kicks off this week, y'all (ABC, Tues Feb 2, 9 pm)! In this very special episode we'll discover the downsides of detonating a hydrogen bomb. (Special guests: The kids from Glee! Sigh. I wish.)

Note #2: Right now there's a special Syfy contest (with prizes!) that's not called, "Name Our Next Terrible Made-for-TV Movie" even though it should be. The channel that brought you Mansquito and Sharks in Venice needs a title for their next flick about a knight who comes in possession of a holy relic that unleashes a murderous demon. My suggestion? Pat Robertson Is a DICK. I don't think it's going to win. Submit yours at syfy.com/moviecontest before February 14!

Note #3: Here's a show you should NOT watch this week: The Michael Vick Project (BET, Tues Feb 2, 10 pm). Yeah... that Michael Vick. The football player who was sent to prison for his involvement in a dog-fighting ring. According to the press release, the show will "follow the iconic and polarizing professional football player as he journeys on the road to redemption - in both his personal and professional life." Know what? DICK YOU, MICHAEL VICK. And dick your stupid show, too. You and Pat Robertson are dicks and I have no intention of further lining either of your disgusting dick pockets. Good luck with that "redemption," dick.

Now, on to my lynching! So there's another show debuting this week, this one entitled, Little Chocolatiers (TLC, Sun Jan 31, 10:30 pm). Can you guess what it's about? It's about "little people" who make "chocolate" aaaaaaand... that's about it. Answer truthfully! Would you watch a show about chocolate makers unless it concerned (a) little people, or (b) Willy Wonka? NO, YOU WOULDN'T. And I'm sure TLC is gonna try to sell this as an "uplifting story about little people overcoming adversity," when in actuality, they're making a show about Oompa-Loompas!

In case you haven't noticed, there are more than enough of these shows, including TLC's Little People, Big World (little people/farmers), The Little Couple (Dwarves! Married!), as well as Animal Planet's Pit Boss (a little person who owns a little person talent agency/pit bull rescue operation [??!!??]). Am I crazy or are there more shows devoted to little people than blacks or gays? I have no idea! And I'm too furious to do the basic research to find out!

Okay, fine, here's my disclaimer (written primarily to avoid the aforementioned lynching): I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST LITTLE PEOPLE. However, besides the obvious exploitation of a group of people that wouldn't be chosen for these shows if it weren't for their small stature, it should also be noted that no one has approached ME about doing a reality show! It could be called Average-Height Television Columnist, and would revolve around the difficulty of me writing my TV columns - even though I'm not quite six feet tall! (True, my difficulties may stem from calling people "dicks"... but TLC doesn't have to know that.)

In some cases "smaller" is just fine. steve@portlandmercury.com

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