If you're dragged unwillingly along while the family watches "America's Funniest Home Videos," here's a little game you can play - Spot the Fakes.
It's amazing how many of these supposedly spontaneous videos are obviously phony. Even this past Sunday's first-prize winner was somewhat suspect.In the clip, a teenager is shown dancing around in front of the bathroom mirror after taking a shower. Funny, but the kid was wrapped in a towel - making the video OK for family viewing - despite the fact that he was supposedly alone in the family bathroom.
This is but one example of many.
But the producers of "AFHV" assure us that they have a fool-proof method of weeding out the fakes - they call and ask the submitters if the tape was for real.
Now, what kind of a genius does it take to figure out that most of these people - with the prospect of thousands of dollars dancing before them - are going to swear their video is on the level.
Apparently, it takes more brains than the folks at "AFHV" possess.
"When a tape comes in that is questionable, and looks as though it's staged, we do three things," said Vin Di Bona, the show's executive producer. "First of all, we call the people to ask them. We all look at it and determine if it's staged. And if it does fall in that category, we won't use it."
He went on to tell the tale of one wonderfully funny video that they checked up on, and the submitter replied, "No, I'm sorry. It's staged."
Granted, this may happen from time to time. But all it takes is one look at "AFHV" to see it doesn't happen all the time.
Fraud is such a nasty word. But it seems to apply here, both to some of those who send videos in and to the producers who put this stuff on the air and call them spontaneous.SCHEDULE CHANGES: "Hunter," recently booted out of the Wednesday at 9 p.m. timeslot in favor of "Quantum Leap," has found a new home - Fridays at 8 p.m.
This latest move bumps "Dark Shadows" back to Fridays at 9 p.m., and sends "Midnight Caller" into the limbo of hiatus.TONIGHT ON THE TUBE: Peter the Great (6:05 p.m., TBS) concludes; Nova (7 p.m., Ch. 7) looks at the Soviet space program in "The Russian Right Stuff"; KSTU airs the made-in-Utah movie Footloose (7 p.m., Ch. 13); Roseanne (8 p.m., Ch. 4) wants to go to Vegas, but it could cost her her job; And the Sea Will Tell (8 p.m., Ch. 5) concludes without much in the way of surprises; Frontline (8 p.m., Ch. 7) looks into "The Mind of (Saddam) Hussein"; the Coach (8:30 p.m., Ch. 4) goes on an ill-fated ski weekend with his girlfriend, daughter and son-in-law; and thirtysomething (9 p.m., Ch. 4) lightens up with an episode about a bachelor party and the women's alternative to it.
- LOOKING TOWARD WEDNESDAY: The Wonder Years (7 p.m., Ch. 4) finally gets to the episode about Kevin's dog problems (which was postponed a few weeks ago); Michael Nader returns as a super villain in a special airing of The Flash (7 p.m., Ch. 7); Kids at Work (7 p.m., Ch. 7) is a disturbing look at children in the workplace; and Hannah is set to go to Africa with Patrick on Anything But Love (8:30 p.m., Ch. 4).