Marriage in trouble? Post-wedlock blues got you down? If you can't stand the stinkin' sight of the person you're married to, whether it's been two years or 42, The Learning Channel wants to help Charleston's crankiest couples turn their rancor into reality — reality TV, that is.
TLC's new reality program, One Week to Save Your Marriage, proposes to fix marriages that are in the crapper by subjecting them to the scrutiny of the world. The show tricks out couples' homes from top to bottom with remote-controlled cameras that record every misanthropic moment of every day for an entire week, laying bare the issues behind the flying dishes for everyone to see, including television psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig.
Ludwig is a regular on national TV shows like The Today Show, Oprah, and Larry King Live whose book, 'Til Death Do us Part: Love, Marriage and the Mind of the Murderous Spouse, will be published by Simon and Schuster this spring. She dissects the captured footage in search of "flash points" between the carping couples, which presumably provides her with the clues to what she needs to do to patch up the marriage. Following her observation, Ludwig devises a customized series of "challenging and revealing tasks" for the couples to perform, which provide "tips about getting their marriage back on the right path," according to press materials.
TLC is accepting applicants for One Week to Save Your Marriage through mid-May; the only requirement is that couples are in a position to take a week off work — and are at each other's throats night and day. Application forms can be found at www.bbcnyc.com/week.asp. For more info, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember to ask nicely before using your spouse's computer. —Sarah Grasmick & Patrick Sharbaugh
Mingling with the smell of freshly buttered popcorn at last month's ShoWest conference for theater owners in Las Vegas was the acrid scent of desperation, brought on by submarining attendance at movie cinemas in the past year. At the top of the blame list: cellphone owners who refuse to silence ringers and have no compunction about yakking on the phone during features.
"I don't know what's going on with consumers that they have to talk on phones in the middle of theaters," John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, told attendees. Fithian mused that his group was considering asking permission to jam cellphone reception in cinemas (federal law and FCC rules currently prohibit the use of cellphone jammers.) If that fails, there's clearly just one alternative: allowing the use of pellet guns in cinemas as well. —Patrick Sharbaugh