TV Show Reviews: "America's Got Talent" and "Master Of Champions"
Summer TV is an interesting genre -- the networks know that there aren't as many people watching, so they have to find something "interesting" to bring audiences in, while still being "inexpensive to produce". The best way to do that is to "copy" other successful shows, without having to pay the money to get big-name stars to appear in the shows.
Based on the success of "American Idol", both NBC and ABC have come up with shows where people display a talent, three judges discuss the talent, and the winners move on to the next round of the competition. I watched both "America's Got Talent" and "Master Of Champions" over the last two nights (yes, I have no life -- SubBasket's off at a Carrie Underwood concert tonight with her mom, and I'm home watching TV and trying to avoid washing the dishes), so here are my reviews:
In "America's Got Talent", people get picked to come up on stage and do their thing, whether it's singing, dancing, finger-snapping, or basically anything. The audience, in a weird twist, appears to be made up of people who tried to get on the show, but got turned away in the auditions. Some of the contestants are OK, but what makes this show horrendously bad are the judges: Brandy (as "Paula Abdul"), David Hasselhoff (as "Randy Jackson"), and some British newspaper guy (as "Simon Cowell"). In a switch from Idol, that they didn't steal at all from The Gong Show, the judges are allowed to hit a button during the performance to indicate that they want the person to stop -- if all three judges hit their button, the contestant has to stop. The problem was that the two American judges were just so excited about almost everyone that I felt I was in danger of saccharine overload. It was really sad. That, plus the spectacle of the whole audience booing a nice old lady who was singing and playing a harp (not too badly, either) made me reach for my remote and click away from the show with "the finger" -- which is what I give this show.
Tonight, I watched "Master Of Champions". Based on the Engrish-sounding title, I figured it'd be based on a Japanese TV show, which it turns out it is. (Skippy-san: Is "World Records" on NTV any good?) That's a good thing in my book, as is having two scandal-plagued athletes (Steve Garvey and Oksana Baiul) as two of the requisite three judges. In the previews, it looked like the show consisted of people doing really strange things, like you'd expect from a Japanese show. I really thought this show would be good. I was wrong. Most of the show was taken up with biographical films of the contestants, so they only had time to do six "stunts" in an hour. Oksana appeared to be really drunk. The host just plain sucked; I think I could have done a better job. It showed enough promise to avoid getting "the finger", but it still only gets a 2 out of 5. They're on warning, though... they'd better have someone getting hit in the crotch by a football in the next episode, or it's off my TIVO "To Do" list!
I just wish someone would come up with a summer TV show that people would really want to watch...