overthinking the idiot box

February 1, 2006

Letter from the editor
I haven't broken any laws. Except, perhaps, the laws of nature.

So, we're two days late with this issue, and it might seem like there's no obvious excuse. But, see, the fault lies not with the stars, Horatio, Hamlet, or anyone else in particular. Anyone human, at least.

See, SMRT-TV may not be a particularly advanced site technically, but that's because we put all of our development capital on the back-end side. Specifically, in the labor we use to create the site on a bi-weekly basis.

Some people might think that using our vast bankroll to clone an army of half-cat, half-gorilla web designers was a bit wasteful. Some people might also think that we'd be a little bit more snazzy and a little less error-prone, what with battalions of nimble-pawed HTML editors at our disposal. To these critics I say, why not live the dream? Don't judge me too harshly. I might burn in hell for violating the sanctity of life, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat if it means never again having to stay up until 5 AM looking for just the right picture of Shannon Doherty for the front page.

It's a pretty good system, normally — the catillas assemble the site, I sleep a delicious eight hours in my warm cozy bed, and the new episode goes up on schedule. Occasionally, during a long night of production, one of the catillas will wake me up to ask who some strange hairless monkey person is (while the catillas enjoy Law & Order reruns and Good Morning America, they're sadly ignorant of the staff's more esoteric favorites), and I'll quickly write a precise and witty caption before returning to a deep and luxurious slumber. In the morning, they bring me breakfast in bed and a print-out of the Futon Critic's latest updates. All in all, a good life indeed.

However, when UPN and the WB announced that they would be morphing into one new network, it proved to be too much for the catillas, who are easily frightened by both change and the majority of UPN's line-up. They were last spotted near the Nevada-Utah border, fleeing towards a simpler place and time, where everyone's seen the latest episode of According to Jim. But while the rest of the staff nobly volunteered to hunt the rogue catillas down and bring them home (at great peril to themselves, I admit with great admiration), I decided to stay behind and finish the site, so that even if they perish in their mission, their efforts will be memorialized.

Thus, here I sit typing at 5 AM, hoping like hell at least a few of the catillas survive recapturing. I miss their soft fur, their sweet nature, their ability to type with both their hands and their feet. They are a simple but noble people. Hardly abominations.

No matter what the UN might say.

-Liz Shannon Miller

Return to Season 2, Episode 9.