Every week, television documentaries present us with so many unusual people, so many strange and/or disturbing problems, you might find it hard to keep up with all of them. That's where I come in! Here's an unflinching look back at TV's Week in Freak Shows.
Bizarre ER (Discovery Fit & Health)
Who Is This Now? Sean Stephenson.
Why Are We Watching Him? His current lip is part of his former ear.
How Did He Get Here? In the course of a horrific car crash, his shoulder and face were impaled on a fence post, leaving his jaw in nine pieces, much of his facial skin and cartilage destroyed, and his shoulder pulped.
What's the Grossest Thing We See? The device surgeons used to stretch the bone in Sean's ruined arm (without which the limb would have had to be amputated) would not be out of place in a torturer's toolbox.
What Have We Learned? The skin of your ear is chemically comparable to that of your lip, but rather than discovering that first-hand, slow down when you drive in the rain.
Sister Wives (TLC)
Who Is This Now? Christine Brown.
Why Are We Watching Her? She's throwing a Hanukkah dinner for her family — her husband Kody, his three other wives, and all their kids — even though they're fundamentalist Mormon polygamists.
How Did She Get Here? Christine was raised FLDS and grew up celebrating Joseph Smith's birthday each year. However, Christine's husband and her fellow sister wives grew uncomfortable marking the occasion of Joseph Smith's birth (Kody says Mormons already get enough grief from Christians of other sects for supposedly worshiping Smith like a god), so Christine subbed in Hanukkah instead. She likes the way it incorporates miracles and lights.
What's the Grossest Thing We See? Kody, dead asleep in a living room chair, while everyone else in the family buzzes around him getting dinner ready. (Honorable mentions go to Kody's haircut and Kody's beard.)
What Have We Learned? Apparently, there's no reason not to follow your Hanukkah dinner by treating the neighbors to your Christmas caroling.
World's Wildest Police Videos (Spike)
Who Is This Now? An unnamed male resident of West Melbourne, Florida.
Why Are We Watching Him? He's out for a naked jog. (Well, not totally naked. He's wearing swimming goggles.)
How Did He Get Here? As (retired) Sheriff John Bunnell narrates, "It's clear he's on something more than a runner's high."
What's the Grossest Thing We See? The perp's swimsuit areas are blurred for broadcast, but even so, there's nothing gross about his physique. However, when he ignores officers' requests that he stop, we are treated to the next evolution in police videos: the TaserCam! And even the Taser barely slows him down! Maybe he really does have superpowers.
What Have We Learned? If you get caught jogging nude — even if you have a very nice body and, therefore, nothing to be ashamed of, really — you run the risk that (retired) Sheriff John Bunnell is going to read some mean, punny narration over the video. To wit (and I do mean wit!): "The officer gets his man, and his evidence ... thanks to his crack police work." And "Fortunately for him, there's a spare jumpsuit ... at the jailhouse."
Tara Ariano just added a camera-enabled Taser to her Amazon Wish List.