Thursday, February 28, 2008

Late to the party, but I know I good thing when I hear it

Here's the way it is. I HATE reality shows. Hate, loathe, despise, detest, abhor, not to mention disparage, scorn and disdain. That's just me. If you like 'em - more power to ya. As my grandmother used to say - that's what makes horse races.

Me - when I watch TV, I either want to see a smart-aleck review current events (Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, you know...) or I want to see some escapist fiction, with pretty people and good writing (kinda like Juno, though probably not as good - but don't get me started). I just have absolutely no desire to see real people do stupid things. I see that every day, anyway.

And I get that there are also those talent-based competition shows - the dancing and singing ones. I was sort of neutral on those - they don't fit my beautiful people/smart dialogue criteria, but I've always been a sucker for a good spelling bee, so I get them, at least a bit more than the "I'm going to chew on a live scorpion now" shows.

And then two years ago, I got sucked in. And I mean with a giant sucking noise I got sucked in! I disappeared every Tuesday and Wednesday night to watch Bucky, Taylor, Kellie, Chris, Katherine, Ace and the rest of them battle it out on American Idol.

Until the end. Look, I was fine with the final three (Katherine McPhee - the pretty girl with a sweet voice, Taylor Hicks - the quirky guy from the South with a shtick, and Chris Daughtry - the charismatic rocker who could put it out there). But then it was clear, it should have been Chris and Katherine and then it should have been Chris. Taylor Hicks? As they say - WTF? Taylor Hicks? Are you kidding? And that was that. I was done. D-O-N-E. Done. As far as I was concerned, that was exactly why I hate (abhor, detest, despise, well - you know the drill) reality shows. Because even though this was supposed to be talent based, evidently I still had to suffer from real people (the audience) doing stupid things. Feh.

Oh, and can we just note, for the record, that as of early January this year, Katherine McPhee, Ms 2nd Place, had sold somewhere around 366,000 albums, Taylor Hicks a whopping 700,000 and Chris Daughtry? He'd sold 3.6 million. Yeah. Million. (Plus - I hear Daughtry on the radio all the time and I like it. I have yet to hear a Taylor Hicks song. Not once. Ever. Not that this bothers me from a musical standpoint, mind you, but that's not the point.)

Why am I dredging all this up? Well, I've heard some murmurs that this year's American Idol is worth watching. And, as you can tell, I'm just a tad reluctant to put a dog in that fight again. Still, I try to keep an open mind - so I put it on in the background the other night as I was writing some stuff. It was boys night and made for fine background noise. Until the last singer. No joke, I stopped working to listen. This kid, David A, is something else. He was mesmerizing.

And if he doesn't make it to the final two, well, at least I'll know I'm right about reality TV of all stripes. And I really don't want to be right. Not this time.

No comments: