And *that’s* why people don’t like reality shows. One of the reasons, anyway, and a strong one … Nothing else was on, NBC’s simultaneous rip-off of British television and Star Search, “America’s Got Talent”, was about to start, we figured we’d give it a shot. We gave Top Chef a try and didn’t hate it; why not?
Five reasons: the host, the judges (that’s three), and the first act we saw. Whew. The host was just about tolerable; don’t know his name, don’t care to; all I can say is he’s no Ryan Seacrest. Or Cat Deeley. He seemed really uncomfortable – or maybe that was my discomfort with the whole thing. And with the ascot-thing around his neck. The hosts … Oh my. The British guy from the British version, who seemed like a cut-rate Simon Cowell; Sharon Osborne – Sharon Osborne? Seriously? Why?? And … “America’s Got Talent”, and two British judges? Oh…kay. And, to represent America – dear God in Heaven, David Hasselhoff. I … he … *shudder* Sitting there in his plastic surgeried and hair dyed glory, proving himself to be the show’s cut-rate Paula Abdul… Chills, in a bad way. You’re pushing 60, man. Spare me the graying chest hair.
After about a year of setting up the show and explaining that twelve acts were to perform but only five would go through – the male British judge proving that the UK has good schools by reminding us that seven would go home – they brought out the first act: “Ishaara”, a group of 10 “first generation Indian American” college kids who “fused Bollywood and Hollywood”. Right. We’ve seen Bollywood, done gorgeously, on SYTYCD – Joshua and Katee last year, by Caitlin and Jason this past summer, and by the specialist they brought in and last season’s Top 5 girls – all wondrous. This … Well, first of all, did they have to provide their own costumes? If so, then I’ll let them off that hook; they looked … dare I say? Cut-rate? This started out with a flaxen blonde (amid all of the dark-haired, dark-skinned “first generation Indian American”s, the male Brit just couldn’t figure out why she stood out so) lip-synching to some moronic dialogue track, endlessly. After the aimless japing, the girls and the guys came together to … “dance” (continuing to lip-synch throughout) … Honestly, not to sound like a, er, cut-rate Ellen Degeneres – I could have done that. Especially when I was their age, I could have done that. That … was a bunch of college kids bouncing around a stage hamming it up. Part of the grand prize for the winning act is a Las Vegas headline show… How by all that’s holy could they make that into a whole show?
It was bad, bad, all bad. We waited it out, till the commercials came on and the “judges” had raved their raves… proving they’re on crack… and … oops, did I accidentally turn the tv off? My bad.
To get the taste out of my mind and to remind myself of why the “Kill Your TV” bumper sticker isn’t necessarily right, here’s what Bollywood on American tv should look like.