Really…shouldn’t this show be called “Dancing With The…Who??”
Really…shouldn’t this show be called “Dancing With The…Who??”
So the new television season is in full swing, yet I find myself unexcited and uninterested. I mean, do I really want to watch a show about airline stewardesses or Playboy bunnies? Do I really care if a transgendered person is dancing with a hottie to horrific cover versions of songs I used to enjoy? Do I really care if Ashton Kutcher took over for Charlie Sheen on a show I’ve never, ever seen before?
But there are definitely some shows on my radar. For better or worse, these are the shows that I will go out of my way to watch this season…and I think you should, too.
1. Dexter – This is the best show on television, bar none. Going into its sixth season, Dexter is the story of a serial killer with morals, making his way through life always trying to do the right thing but somehow always getting into trouble. Okay…that’s a REALLY lame description of the show and trust me when I say it’s sooooo much deeper than that. There’s a very good reason why people rave about this show. Michael C. Hall is absolutely incredible in the role, having been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor four years in a row. When people tell me that they haven’t watched Dexter because it’s about a serial killer, I try to explain to them how it’s so much more than that; how that serial killer has morals and is constantly conflicted over the entire concept of “good vs evil”. It’s simply the best-written show on television.
2. Survivor – I know, I know…why in the world is this on my list? In fact, there were a number of seasons where I didn’t watch at all (I had no idea who Ozzie was this season, even though he had apparently played twice before). I love that the game itself has evolved and hasn’t stayed complacent. I love the hidden immunity idols and Redemption Island and returning players mixed-in with new players. These changes have made the show more interesting. And, as always, it’s all about the people they choose to play. It seems like it’s always a blend of “crazy” and “normal” with a dash of “really?’ mixed in for good measure. And hey…if Random Esquire can be a fan, then that’s good enough for me.
3. The Walking Dead – I’m fascinated by the whole “zombie apocalypse” idea. Whether it be a viral infection of some sort or just an unexplainable turn of events, zombies are intriguing to think about because there’s just enough semblance of realism in the back story on how they come to be; the body is alive though the mind is gone. And I’m no fan of gore, either…so I haven’t seen most of the zombie movies out there. So I was hesitant when initially watching The Walking Dead, but I read some really great things about it before it debuted last season so I gave it a shot. I’m so glad I did!! This isn’t so much a show about zombies (although there are a lot of them and they die in some pretty gruesome ways) as it is about how people survive in a zombie apocalypse. Where do you go? What do you eat? How do you fend for yourself? How do you react to others reacting to the apocalypse? It’s really a fantastic view of the human psyche. Seriously.
4. The X-Factor – This is the show that started it all…and the fact that it hasn’t been marketed that way is probably a reason people aren’t jumping all over it like they should be. American Idol came from this. America’s Got Talent came from this. The Voice came from this. The X-Factor is a blend of all those shows (a singing competition with live auditions where the judges turn into mentors throughout the competition) and, at least in the U.K. version, does it better than the rest. Now having said all that, the first two episodes didn’t blow me away last week. When I first heard that this show was coming to North America, I watched the most recent season of the U.K. version to see what it was like and was blown away…not only by the unique talent on display, but the uniqueness and heart and talent of the show itself. Last week’s U.S. version didn’t really have a ton of talent and the “heart” seemed forced, but that’s all about the editing choices and can be easily remedied. I don’t know about you, but I want to see the best of the best and I want some great stories that I can get into (like how the most recent America’s Got Talent winner was washing cars before the season started!). Give this show a chance…I think you’ll end up being pleasantly surprised and quite entertained.
5. The Biggest Loser – I’ll admit to being “late to the party” on this one, but this is definitely one of the more inspiring shows on television. To see what these people can do to change their bodies and change their lives helps me believe that anything is possible. Of course, if I had two or three months off from work to do nothing but work out all day and eat veggies on somebody else’s dime, I might be able to lose the weight, too. Regardless, it’s not like what they do is easy…and it’s amazing to see some of the transformations. This year will be really weird because Jillian Hall is gone and Anna Kournikova is her replacement (at least she’s not Cara Castronuova…who was BRUTAL last season). But in the end, it’s all about the stories and the people and their struggle with food addiction. Year and year, it’s a great show to get into.
So what am I missing? What shows are just SOOOO good that I absolutely need to watch them?
I’ve been a fan of American Idol, on and off, since its inception. I was excited about Kelly & Ruben winning, but I wasn’t so excited about Fantasia and Taylor winning. I missed Jordin’s season, but I got to see David & Kris from beginning to end.
This year, though, has got to be the worst season of American Idol they’ve ever had.
Are there people who can actually sing? Sure…but there’s only one clear artist in the entire group. And let’s be realistic, folks…even Crystal Bowersox won’t sell a couple million records because her style isn’t “mainstream”.
But I’ll get into that later.
So let’s just quickly dissect the remaining contestants, shall we?
I’ll be honest…I like the guy. He’s a bluesy guitarist with a pretty decent voice and I can see a solid fan base for him going forward. Why? Because he’s different. Sure…the judges all say he’s “just another guitarist with a decent voice”, but how many bluesy guitarists are out there right now? John Mayer…Kenny Wayne Shephard…umm…yeah. So while he may never go platinum, he’s got the potential to corner a niche market that could keep him busy on the road for a very long time. Add in some good looks that make the women swoon and you’ve got a great future in the business. But is he a superstar? Oh heck no. The guy is a walking snoozefest.
This guy’s charisma (or lack thereof) makes Casey look like Jim Carrey. Having said that, he’s probably a good bet to make the final three. I don’t think his voice is that good and he rarely goes off song into anything truly original, but people seem to like him. A lot. His “I’m too shy to be charismatic” shtick has snowed-over the judges but I just don’t get it. He reminds me of a less-talented Danny Gokey. I honestly don’t see a big career for the guy. I mean, at least Chris Daughtry and David Cook were original enough in their Idol performances that you could sense their ability to have successful pop/rock careers. I really don’t get that from DeWyze. Sure, he can sing…but so can most people who are on this show. Nothing really stands out for him.
Ummm…how do I even begin to describe “Teflon Tim”? I’ve got one word for you: Sanjaya. Honestly…this guy is a singing waiter and I cannot believe he even lasted in the competition as long as he did before his elimination last night.
Pretty. That’s how I would describe Aaron’s voice. It’s not particularly strong, though, and he isn’t quite ready yet for the big stage yet. “Karaoke Boy” is how I’d describe him. He’s not really a lot better than any good singer you’d hear on karaoke night somewhere. He’s like a less-talented David Archuletta…and we all know where HIS career is right now.
This chick bothers me. Her voice when she doesn’t scream is just “really good”. And that’s the thing with her: when you take away the screaming big notes, you’re not left with much else. She started the competition as the “female Adam Lambert” but has fallen quickly in the past few weeks from that lofty comparison. She started off as a unique singer with massive potential and it just appears as though she’s going week-to-week singing very boring blasé songs in a safe effort to get votes instead of just being herself and risk it all. And it appears that every week she is defending herself by saying that she doesn’t want to be put into a “genre bubble”, yet she’s singing adult contemporary songs that just don’t seem to go with her look. I’m just confused by her and that bothers me. To me, she’s not being herself…rather she’s trying to win. I know that’s the goal, but I just don’t respect how she’s going about doing it.
“Big Mike” is my personal favourite. He reminds me of Season Two winner Ruben Studdard…and that’s a very favourable comparison in my book. In addition to the vocal ability, I think he’s got the most charisma out of the entire group. So what’s the problem with Lynche? His genre. Listen…solid R&B singers aren’t easy to come by but the genre isn’t breaking any sales records. You’ve got occasional standouts like this week’s “mentor” Alicia Keys, but she’s made a career relying on pop singles to help sell her R&B albums. I fear that Lynche, much like Studdard, won’t have much of a career even though he’s extremely talented and has all the tools.
Let’s face it…if Crystal doesn’t win this season then there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the show. She is heads and tails above the rest of the competition in terms of overall star power and musical ability. People may have their favourites, but Crystal is far and away the best artist out of the bunch. The problem, similar to Lynche, is that I fear that her style wouldn’t do much in terms of selling records. She’s a new-age Melissa Etheridge, and I mean that as a big compliment. But for as much as I love listening to Bowersox sing, I just don’t know if I could listen to an entire album of hers. I suppose time will tell.
Add to these final seven (now six) some of the recently departed underachieving singers like Lacey Brown & Paige Miles, and it all adds up to one big ball of suck.
And what’s worse this year? THE ADVICE!! I won’t say that the judges are worse without Paula around because Ellen blows Abdul out of the water in terms of being an awesome judge. So no, the judge change isn’t the problem…the week-to-week advice is the problem that makes these average performers even worse. One week it’s “do something different and step out of your safe boundaries”…then the next week it’s “you changed around the song until it was unrecognizable…where’s the person we know and love so much?”
I’m sure I’m not alone in my thoughts on this season. Are there people out there who disagree? Am I just not seeing something in these singers that you see? What say you?
Right out of the gate, Jaison is adamant about wanting Ben out of the game for how he acted at tribal council. I can’t say that I blame him…he’d be my top target, as well. Even without personal feelings involved, it’s just a smart strategic move.
Over at Galu, the only interesting bit of video we could see was four tribal members performing yoga while Shambo disapproved. C’mon…that’s ALL the interesting video we can get from that tribe? Seriously?
Russell, back on Foa Foa, was causing more havoc and loving each and every second of it. He planted seeds with Ben and Ashley and then sat back and watched two more people go after each other. Unbelievable, this guy. He might be a jackass and he might be a complete douchebag, but right now he’s proving himself to be a hell of a player.
After 20 minutes of nothing much, the reward/immunity challenge was up next. It was another physical challenge, but the good news is that everybody got swimsuits as a “reward” of sorts…meaning that we didn’t have to see anybody sitting around in dirty underwear anymore.
Galu pretty much destroyed Foa Foa in this challenge (yet again) and won both immunity and reward (some pillows and blankets). In addition, Russell S chose Shambo to go visit the Foa Foa tribe and sit-in on their tribal council…and Shambo got a clue from Probst to a non-available immunity idol in the Foa Foa camp.
And before you think Russell H might talk his way into trouble somehow before Tribal, know that he ended up sitting out of the challenge…hence he wasn’t even seen as a factor in Foa Foa’s losing.
So now it becomes Ben & Russell vs. Ashley & Jaison. Who’d be going home? Ben or Ashley??
Now Shambo made a completely different impression upon Foa Foa than Yasmin did previously. She was as friendly as she possibly could be and immediately found herself thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Of course, not everybody found her to be 100% genuine…even though she probably was.
Russell made a “deal” with Mick that if everybody voted Ashley out that night, that he’d promise to get Ben voted out the next time they arrived at Tribal Council. To solidify his “trust”, Russell showed Mick his immunity idol…which got the exact reaction he was hoping to get.
This guy is impressing me more and more.
In a funny moment, Shambo appeared to have found the tree where the immunity idol was supposed to be…yet came out empty-handed. It wasn’t really touched on, but it was picked up by the camera.
Tribal council was one of the most entertaining in awhile as Jaison held nothing back and called out Ben for the a**hole douchebag bully that he is. As the conversation went on and on, Ben only dug himself deeper and deeper into a hole. He couldn’t understand that his words could be interpretated as being racist. He didn’t get that he was seen as a bully who talked down and tried to intimidate weaker players…especially the women. Even when Ben attempted to mock Jaison a bit, Jaison mocked Ben right back and made him look ridiculous.
It really was incredible at just how much Jaison verbally bitch-slapped him and how Ben didn’t seem to care (or if he did, how he simply didn’t have the mental capacity to get into a war of words with a far more intelligent man). Heck…Probst even gave Ben the opportunity to take back anything that he may have said, only for Ben to flat-out refuse.
Needless to say, Ben was sent packing and Russell…in a move that he didn’t really like but had to do in order to not cause any mistrust with himself and the tribe…had to vote Ben off. And needless to say, the result of the vote left a smile on my face.
The first half of this week’s episode wasn’t that entertaining, to be honest. But tribal council more than made up for it. Jaison made tremendous points and made Ben look like a fool without coming across as petty. He was eloquent, well-spoken, and had zero problem mocking Ben to his face for being the douchebag that he is. That totally made this yet another fun episode.
And in the spirit of cross-promoting, if you get the chance today check out Colette’s Bitchy Survivor Blog.
What were your thoughts?