Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Week's New Shows

Presented from Worst to First

The Losers

Whose Wedding is it Anyway?

Episodes: None
Clips: 8 clips, all from season 7
Network/Studio: Style Network
Grade: D = Worst new show of the week
This is your typical run-of-the-mill reality show fare, this one focusing on the day to day lives and challenges of wedding planners. My main problem with this kind of show is that I get the feeling I will never see a wedding planner or wedding service presented in anything other than a fabulous light. As something of a newlywed myself, I do have an interest in how a wedding is put together, but I prefer that my reality television have a little more reality in it. This show is just pimping the wedding industry, which I am totally not down with.

Barely Political

Episodes: None
Clips: 26 clips broken down into 5 different categories, including "Obama Girl"
Network/Studio: Next New Networks
Grade: D+
They ought to have called this "barely funny," which would have only been stretching the truth a little bit. The folks behind the now-infamous "Obama Girl" music video are trying to capitalize on their fifteen minutes of fame by rolling out a whole slew of political-themed comedic sketches. There's a hypothetical Sarah Palin biopic, some live footage of Obama girl goofing around at the DNC, and a skit about a scandal involving senators being busted for going to prostitutes who specialize in an unusual fetish-- throwing the senators to the ground. I watched a handful of the clips, and didn't chuckle even once. They're fairly well-produced, but they just aren't clever enough to justify watching them.

Episodes: None
Clips: Seven clips, mostly 5-6 minutes in length
Network/Studio: Revision3
Grade: C
A show based on a social networking site? We've come a long way from Green Acres, folks. This is similar in tone and subject matter to Attack of The Show, but a little more laid-back and low-budget. It basically features two Digg bigwigs chatting about some of the hot stories that have come up on Digg. The two hosts are somewhat entertaining, but I'm not sure that it's better than simply scrolling through Digg yourself. Since this is a project that is obviously in its' infancy, I'll reserve final judgment for now.

The Line -->----------------------------------<-- The Line

The Winners

Barrett Jackson: Life on the Block

Episodes: Five 44 minute episodes from 2006-07
Clips: None
Network/Studio: SPEED
Grade: B-
This show is about a giant annual car auction (started in the 60s), and the surrounding convention-like hullaballoo. I didn't really care for it, steeped as it is in the culture of rare and high-end cars that I know nothing about. I imagine that if you're a car afficianado, this is going to be an awesome vicarious experience. The show goes to great lengths to ferret out all the interesting nooks and crannies of the event-- and why wouldn't they? They have hours of footage to fill. But for people like me, whose primary interest in a car is whether it can get from Point A to Point B with a minimum of fuss, this isn't going to hold your interest.

The Search for the Next Elvira

Episodes: All four 42 minute episodes, which aired last week
Clips: None
Network/Studio: Fox Reality
Grade: B
I have mixed feelings about the iconic dark mistress Elvira. On the one hand, she's basically famous for nothing more than showcasing her ample bosoms. On the other hand, she does it in a delightfully kitschy way, and I sense a hard-nosed self-marketer beneath all that black fringe. This show follows the typical reality talent search format, in which hopefuls audition before a panel of judges (in this case, Elvira and two drag-queen Elviras) as they are whittled down to a single winner. The abbreviated 4 episode format makes it tolerable to watch, although the scripted Elvira segment bookends are about as terrible as they are when she showcases movies to a late-night home audience. I'm going to watch this as a guilty pleasure but only because it's made up of four short episodes.

My Own Worst Enemy

Episodes: The 43 minute season premiere, which just aired
Clips: Five clips, including behind the scenes, episode recap, a web exclusive and a sneak peek
Network/Studio: NBC
Grade: B +
This isn't technically a new offering, as the first couple clips have been up for a while, but I'm including it here because this is the first episode we've seen. The basic idea is that Christian Slater has two personalities, one of which is a bureaucrat and the other of which is a deadly assassin. But the wall between his personalities is breaking down, and if they're busting that out already in the first episode, I can only assume that they're going to use that as a starting point rather than spinning it out. So first he sexes up and kills a beautiful girl like James Bond. Then he talks to a psychologist about his dreams like Tony Soprano. Then he exchanges off-handed quips with his office co-workers like... every show that takes place in an office. But as much as this is a mishmash of elements from other sources, I have to admit that it's pretty well done. The show moved quickly, the writing was decent, and the action sequences are well done. I don't really expect it to last, but that doesn't mean I want it to fail.

In Harm's Way

Episodes: Three 42 minute episodes
Clips: None
Network/Studio: MRC Studios
Grade: A- = Best new show of the week
I'm kind of a sucker for this kind of reality show. Each episode features a different dangerous job, with the current episodes covering bull riding, coast guard swimmers, and live animal rescue workers. The show plays up the danger aspect of the job for dramatic purposes, but other than that, I found the episodes to be pretty well-balanced and educational. They spotlight a variety of real people who do these jobs for a living, and give us some behind-the-scenes information that gives us insight into how these jobs are performed. I would say that they have the flavor of a National Geographic special-- although the footage isn't quite as polished. Some industry-themed reality shows seem to be out to promote the industry they cover, but that's definitely not the case here. Consider this recommended, and the best new show of the week.


The Hulu Man
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1 comment:

Epic said...

Sure, why not my man.
Justin Vertan
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