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Review of Bonds on Bonds By a Guy Who Hasn't Seen It

Jack the Ripper. Stalin. The kid in your neighborhood with the Iron Maiden shirt who used to tie firecrackers to the tails of stray cats. And now, Barry Bonds. History has always had its monsters, but rarely have we had such unfettered access to them. ESPN or ESPN2, or maybe ESPN Classic, is following around Bonds, trying to capture the essence of a very complicated man. It might be ESPN News, too. One of those.

Assuming the average television show would get three stars, I will award or take away stars based on things I'm assuming happened on the program.

One star taken away

For the title. Bonds on Bonds? The only image in my mind after hearing that is something like:

If you don't recognize that, you're lucky. If you do recognize it, just be thankful I don't have Photoshop at work, because I would have digitally edited a shot to show exactly what entered my head when I heard the title Bonds on Bonds. Even some stupid pun - like Bonds Away!, complete with exclamation point - would have been better than Bonds on Bonds.

One star taken away

For the obviously rigged Golden Ring Challenge. Yes, it was interesting to see Bonds eat a whole banana cream pie with his legs in a shark tank, trying to find the golden ring, but it was obvious he was going to win! There was no doubt Bonds was going to win the immunity cloak, because it's his show, people! They aren't going to send him home on the first show.

One star added

For the teary confession from Bonds about his involvement in the BALCO scandal. While he says he knew it wasn't arthritis cream and flaxseed oil, he never asked what it was. I can believe that. When doing something ethically questionable, it has to be so much easier if you can convince yourself of your own ignorance. If Bonds could honestly tell himself he wasn't injecting diproxyhyplebron monixtrine into his butt, he could sleep better at night. He knew he was cheating, but the mental wall he built was able to insulate him from the ethical doubts he might have had.

It was a surprise, too, this confession. You'd have to be a complete idiot to have expected something like that, or to make a big deal in, say, the opening paragraphs of a New York Times review if there weren't a teary admission of guilt.  But what do I know? I'm just a guy guessing at the actual contents of the show.

One star added

For the funny story Bonds told about playing basketball against Prince...and losing! Bonus points to Prince for being a class act and cooking pancakes in the morning.

One star taken away

For the Barry and Friends musical interlude. Nice idea, but it just went on far too long. I had no idea Bobby Bonilla played the saxophone.

Four stars added

Just for the idea and execution. Because no one can get enough Bonds. Bonds Bonds Bonds. Bonds working out! Bonds showing his surly side! Bonds showing his sensitive side! Bonds acting like you and me! Bonds acting like a spoiled superstar! Bonds singing songs that remind him of the good times! Bonds singing songs that remind him of the bad times! Bonds!

I only wish they didn't have to play the games, so they could send Bonds on adventures. Maybe putting him in a hot-air balloon, or giving him a different blue-collar job every week.

Final Tally: * * * * * * (six stars)

Twin Peaks meets The Simple Life. Our generation now has a cultural touchstone. I can't wait to see it one of these days, assuming there isn't professional bowling, a documentary on a marmalade factory, or any other program at all on another channel.