Friday, June 22, 2007

The Next Comic Who Wants to be an American Chef

As I’ve written before, I’m hooked on some of the ‘reality shows’ the networks and cable stations are showing this summer. You should feel free to ignore this post, just as I do when I see anything on shows like “Survivor” or “The Great Race.” They are all equally fluff, but that sums up 90% of the shows on television anyway.

I was sorry to see Tom eliminated from “Who Wants to be the Next Food Network Star?” He seemed like a genuinely nice guy, but it was obvious that his heart wasn’t in it and he missed his family. I’ve noticed that the folks doing this show seem to have been taking notes on Bravo’s “Top Chef”, or maybe the contestants have. The folks this season sure seem more ‘in your face’ and have attitudes that weren’t evident in the first season.

Speaking of “Top Chef”, this season also has its share of drama queens. It’s funny that the guy I dislike most, namely Hung, knows last season’s biggest jerk, Marcel. Just like last season, when I wanted anybody but Marcel to win I’m feeling the same way about Hung. I appear to be in the minority, if you read the comments over on the TC fan site. Maybe I’m letting my total distaste for Marcel cloud my judgement.

Last Comic Standing” is kind of hit or miss with us. It’s hard to get much of a feeling for the comics when you get between 15-30 seconds (if that!) of a routine. Also, the show’s producers give a short interview piece with some contestants, but ignore others. Naturally, they want you to feel something for those particular folks, but you feel bad for those nameless comedians you see standing in the group when the selection is made. As with past seasons, I don’t think anybody will come into focus until the final group is together and interacting. I’ll be curious to see if some of the comedians from outside the U.S. make the final cut. There was one Australian female comedian (originally from London, if I remember correctly) that we thought was very funny.

America’s Got Talent” has a slightly different feel this year, with Regis Philbin gone as host. Jerry Springer seems like a genuinely nice guy, without the sometimes-phony vibe you got from Regis. I’ll never understand why David Hasselhoff believes he’s a legitimate celebrity, and Piers Morgan is doing his Simon Cowel imitation more than ever. He’s actually making children cry and feels as if he has to hit the buzzer fifteen seconds into almost every performance. Then when changes his mind and votes the performer on he claims he hit the buzzer just to see how they would react. I’m not sure how I feel about Sharon Osbourne. I think I like her more than I should and believe she votes performers on who really shouldn’t get past the initial spot. I still admit to enjoying this show more than I ever did “American Idol”.

Finally, “The Next Best Thing” is an odd guilty pleasure. How could you not love a show, which looks for celebrity impersonators? Seeing bad Elvis(s) {Elvi?), transvestite Tina Turners & Chers! That’s entertainment! So far the guy from New York who is a ringer for Howard Stern, a Lucille Ball and a Roseanne are among the best. I’m looking forward to dueling George Bush and “young” Elvis going up against Little Richard.
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