Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'd Say I Was "Elitist", But Most People Don't Know What That Means

Right now, as I write this, AMERICAN IDOL is embarking on its seventh season; and like in previous years, it's taking off without me. I have never seen a full episode of AMERICAN IDOL. The only reason I've ever seen any of it is because I set my DVR to start two minutes before HOUSE so I don't miss anything.


It's hard to have a beef with a show I've never seen, but I'm managing with this one. I know I'm in the minority. When the TV ratings come out next week the top slots will be filled with American Idol. If they have three shows a week, they will be numbers one, two and three. What's wrong with you people? How did Simon and company suck you in? 

As I've written before, the show is less entertainment then it is a money-making strategy, squeezing dollars out of the audition process (on some shows it's prep, on this one it's the show) the voting, even the hosts' beverages. Then an idol is picked, and Simon's record company puts out an album which you will want to buy because you just watched a season-long informercial for it. It's sinister! But also - the music is crappy and unimaginative, the judges are insufferable, and Ryan Seacrest isn't a personality: he's a dotted line into which you are supposed to insert a personality.

But most importantly, AMERICAN IDOL is a reality show. It's a little late to nip this trend in the bud, but for Pete's sake, when will people stop watching that crap? Scripted television is less inauthentic than reality shows! Professional wrestling is more convincing than THE GREAT RACE or THE APPRENTICE. Of all the reality shows, AMERICAN IDOL is the reality-est. That is to say, the most staged. How much weight do you think your fifty-cent vote carries, eh?  I like to think that last year's contestant, Sanjaya, the kid with the bad hair and inconsistent performance, was the public's unconscious attempt to see how far Simon would listen to the public before he simply pulled the plug. 

So you guys watch, I'll blog. When I run out of blog material, I'll make a sandwich and maybe play a little solitaire, or download TORCHWOOD from the BBC and watch that. It's only five months... I can hack that.

1 comment:

wamk said...

We watch Idol for the auditions. While I recognize some folks are purposefully bad, so that they can get on TV, there are also the "real" ones that really think they can sing.

It's like that car crash on the side of the road. I don't want to look, but I can't help myself.

There were reports this past week on previous Idol winners and contestants being dropped from their record labels for sluggish sales. Perhaps that will help sound the death knell for this show.

I also find it interesting that the artist that winds up with the most commercial success isn't always the eventual Idol winner. Chris Daughtry won multiple awards from the music folks, while show winner Taylor Hicks got dropped.

Idol has become more of a populartity contest, and less about the best singer winning.

Anyway, I'm waiting for Lost to come back on the air..