All I Gotta Do Is Act Naturally
Incidentally, don't you love when people use the phrase you know what that means and then proceed to tell you what it means anyway?
It means it's time for tv you wouldn't give the time of day during the rest of the year!
These shows are like the semi-nerdy guy who sat in the back of chem class who only seems halfway desirable once all other options were null and void.
TV like that.
First up, we have America's Got Talent or should I say, America's Got Talent!?
If you've never seen the show before you've still seen the show before. In other words, America's Got Talent is a "new" show that revisits concepts much older shows that have come before it.
So here's how you make an America's Got Talent cocktail.
You take equal parts Let's Make A Deal, Star Search and The Gong Show, a cup of American Idol, one washed up too soon singer, a 15 minutes of fame type actor whose clock still manages to tick and a random British guy. Add them to a blender, garnish with Regis Philbin and serve.
The thing about America's Got Talent is that virtually anything counts as talent. You sing like Mariah Carey? You're in! You balance plates on your head? Superb! You dance to the macarena while your poodle barks in harmony? Sold! It's the kindergarten show & tell you never dared dream about.
The problem with shows like these is that while everyone has a chance to be a star, very few of them actually are. Ironically this also includes the people judging them. The guy who swallows swords definitely has talent, more so than say playing second fiddle to a talking car, but his talent is more along the lines of Barnum & Bailey type talent then someone who should say, win one million dollars.
Infact many of the contestants have some sort of act worth watching once or twice, but they are the kinds of acts you'd only ooh and aah over while walking the boardwalk and eating a sno cone. Yet, the panel of highly-qualified judges continues to put these contestants through. When the finalists finally emerge no doubt it will look like the Land of the Misfit toys.
Then we have Rockstar:Supernova. At first glance one might assume Rockstar: Supernova is leaps and bounds from America's Got Talent territory. Au contraire, my friend. Both shows feature performers who want an elusive prize. On America's Got Talent it's one million dollars, and on Rockstar its the chance to
Last summer, Rockstar: Inxs was like the bastard child of American Idol, but in a good way. If nothing else, it helped pass the time till a new season of AI kicked in. But this year, no matter how hard I try, I just can't get into it.
I think the problem is that there are too many contestants trying to be something they're not instead of just being. Last year there were at least five people I could whole heartedly root for whereas this year I only have lukewarm feelings, even for my "favorites".
The other problem is the that my favorites and Supernova's favorites clearly aren't the same thing. For instance, so far I think the best vocalists on the show are Dana and Josh. But do I think either one of them are right to front the band known as Supernova? Absolutely not. Infact, from what I can gleam about the judges taste in contestants it seems they have almost none.
Speaking of none, let's segue into The One, shall we? If it had not been for a friend who brought this program to my attention I might never have seen its premiere, which would have been unfortunate, if only for the likes of this post.
The One is ABC's answer to all the shows listed above. There's a panel of three "expert" judges, the contestants compete for cash and prizes, America votes...yadda, yadda...you know the drill.
The big twist with The One is that it takes the eleven contestants and puts them in a house to find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start being real.
Now that is originality.
In all fairness, The One is only one week in, but in my mind, you don't need a second chance to make a first impression. Nobody has blown me away vocally on this show. Between this and Rockstar I can't decide if I'm just getting old and jaded or if American Idol really did suck all the talent out of this country.
Also working for The One are the contestants that have the whole "living the American dream" factor. Check out the girl whose family apparently had everything and then gave it all up to help make their daugther's dreams become a reality. Giving it all up, by the way meant moving to a van down by the river and her older sister dropping out of school.
Some would say she should be the one. Others would say she should see someone.
Of course what reality season would be complete without Fox's contribution? The past two summers that has been in the form of So You Think You Can Dance. If the attitude filled title doesn't tell you it all, I don't know what else will.
So You Think You Can Dance is American Idol part two, stuffy British judge included, only these people dance instead of sing. And lo and behold, the people on this show are actually (gasp) talented! Seriously, the dancers left are like Lay's Potato Chips...you can't root for just one.
Finally we have the red-headed step children of summer reality television, Last Comic Standing and Big Brother: All Stars. These shows are unusual if only for the fact that they aren't all that different from the shows above. There are unnecessary, untalented hosts, there is voting and there is voyeurism. But where the shows above are full of entertainers, these two shows are full of comedic moments, some of which are even intentional.
With Big Brother I even suprise myself because two seasons in a row now I find myself rooting for Janelle and her crew, although I'd probably be happiest if Kaysar won it all. Janelle is so not the kind of girl I'd normally hang with, but I like her strategy. She seems straightforward, even when she's being a bitch. I like that.
Last Comic Standing was rather lackluster this summer and I have a theory on this. It all went downhill when they replaced Jay Mohr as host. Sure Jay wanted out, but I feel that they needed each other more than they both realize.
This show is weird if only for the fact that NBC cancelled it last year, leaving Comedy Central to have to air the unaired episodes. Then they turned around this year and it's as if they have reality show amnesia, not remembering anything that happened last summer. Then again, does anyone else actually remember Dat Phan?
I datn't think so.
So if I were you, I'd jump on the summer reality show bandwagon before it's too late. Come on, everybody's doing it. After all, a chance to see a star in the making doesn't happen everyday.
Just every four to six weeks.