TV Bites With
The New Reality
I am quite surprised by the monster ratings American Idol's
second installation has garnered. I really didn't think it would
draw such a tremendous audience without the advantage of summer
boredom to lure viewers. However, looking at its competition, it all
makes sense. Because of The Big Three's age-old tradition of airing
repeats in April in order to save its "best" for May
Sweeps, Fox cleverly scheduled American Idol for this period
of doldrum television in order to hook its audience. The Big Three
desperately tried to counteract Fox's success with war coverage and
increasingly terrible reality series. For a four-week period, I
watched all the reality fare that was offered on the Big Three and
Fox. Still reeling from the resultant loss of IQ points, this is
what I saw (in alphabetical order):
All American Girl
Oh, puh-leeze. Do you really think any true all-American girl would
put herself on such a silly show? I think they have more class.
Are You Hot?
I just can't understand why anyone (hot or not) would want to
subject themselves to such a humiliating experience. Not only were
they given points for face, body and sex appeal, but we had to put
up with aging actor Lorenzo Lamas (who hasn't been anything close to
hot in years) ripping off Howard Stern with his laser-pointer
"flaw finder" and spewing such profundities as "I've
got a burrito cooking south of the border and it's almost
done." Leave it to Howard Stern, Lorenzo. Stern is funny;
you're just creepy.
In this third foray into Desperate Women Chasing Hunky Man, there is
really nothing new or clever. The women cat fight. The man drools.
There's a lot of sucking face and hot tubbing. Yawn.
I found this show quite creepy. Hosted by Monica Lewinsky, this is
pretty much a Bachelorette clone. The only difference is that
the men wear gaily colored masks that look like rejects from a
C-movie horror flick.
Search for the Most Talented Kid in America
The episode I watched had a 13-year-old girl doing what looked like
a striptease in a dominatrix outfit (euwww). The other contestants
had enough talent for a good school production. If you're looking
for the most talented kid in America, this isn't the place to find
Though I'd like to hit host Arsenio Hall with a few digits of my
own, at least Star Search is very watchable and entertaining.
It's a huge bonus that viewers can immediately vote for (and get
results on) the contestant they like best. And thank goodness the
silly "modeling" category was nixed in favor of
Leaps and bounds better than Survivor Marquesas, it was a
refreshing spin to pit the men against the women. Too bad that
premise didn't last a little longer, since it's deteriorated into
the same old Survivor: shallow empty-heads (not to mention
Rob - the most pathetic excuse for a man I've ever seen)
back-stabbing to win money.
There are more reality shows to come (The Simple Life, Beverly
Hillbillies, a Joe Millionaire-type clone, etc.) and I
can't help but wonder if this genre will ever peter out. Are we
never going to get tired of watching attractive men/women/children
act/sing/dance/vomit in a jungle/mansion/go-hut? Cheap to produce,
the networks will churn them out thick and fast as long as we
continue to watch them. However, they'll have to be a lot more
imaginative than what's been offered so far in order to keep us
hooked. Then again, there's no accounting for taste.
would love to know what you think, sound off on the
boards and let us know what you think!