Thursday, November 10, 2011

Television Update: 11/10/11

Let's talk television! I like to keep our DVR in a perpetual state of being between 65% and 75% full, so I added two new (as in, new to us) shows to the "Always Record" lineup. One has been around for years now, and the other is brand new.

The Amazing Race: This CBS reality show has been around for, what, a decade now? It features teams "racing" around the world, and as someone who likes traveling and who will watch the occasional game show (and that's basically what this is), this seems like something I would enjoy. I don't know why it's taken me so long to give it a try.

Verdict: PASS. "The Amazing Race" features plenty of the "OMG CONFLICTS!!!" nonsense that plagues reality television, but not so much of it that it makes the show unwatchable. So, I can live with it. But the tasks or whatever they have to do are interesting, the places they go are likely places I'll never go myself (Indonesia and Malawi aren't real high on my list), and it's educational, too, when you see how the contestants travel from one place to another. I don't know, really, but I'm intrigued. What's going to happen next? New episodes don't stay on the DVR for long.

Other thoughts on this show, since I have taken a liking to it. Who's going to win? Hard to say, because one mistake can I also have to wonder: are the "elimination legs" pre-determined? Or do they wait until they find out who will finish last before they decide whether to eliminate the last place team that day? Obviously, I hope it's the former, but there's really no way for us to know, is there?

I'm not particularly fond of the host, Phil Keoghan, for two reasons. One, I think he's kind of a jerk. "Oh, you guys have been eliminated, so sorry...just kidding! This is a non-elimination leg!" Seriously? Also, what kind of accent is he trying to pull off here? Keoghan is from New Zealand, and it sounds like he is trying to sound American, but sometimes, his native accent slips through. I'd rather he just speak in his "native tongue", personally.

Also...this is a minor inconvenience, but because "The Amazing Race" airs on Sunday evenings, I have to record a two hour block (8 to 10) in case CBS is airing an NFL game at 4:00 PM that day, in which case, "The Amazing Race" will almost certainly start late.

Up All Night: This is a brand new NBC sitcom centered around two first-time parents. Hey, I know a couple of first-time parents!

Verdict: FAIL. Unfortunately, the whole "parenthood" thing seems to be more of a side plot than the main focus of the show. The show spends way too much time focusing on Reagan's (that's the mom) career as a television show producer and not enough time focusing on the things that young parents go through, which is the whole reason we started watching the show in the first place! Ugh.

It wouldn't be so bad if Reagan had, you know, a normal job. But for some reason they decided to give her a glitzy job producing a daytime talk show with some Oprah-wannabe. It wouldn't be so bad if the Oprah-wannabe ("Ava") wasn't the most annoying character on the show, but this aspect of the show completely ruins it for me. Instead of being a show about young parents that both mom and dad can enjoy, instead it's a show about a working mom with a glamorous job that is basically targeted towards women. Why couldn't they have just given her, I don't know, a regular job at a local bank or something? You know, something us normal folk who don't live in New York or Los Angeles can relate to? It's occasionally funny when they distance themselves from Ava, but still: off the DVR it goes.

But in order to end on a positive note: NBC's "Parks and Recreation" has become one of my favorite sitcoms. It has surpassed "The Office" as the network's best show, in my opinion.

1 comment:

Tabby said...

When Phil says "spa" it makes me laugh every time.