The Weekend Rally
We might as well rename this post the The X-Factor Rally this week. Because obviously when a show turns out 4+ hours of programming a week, it just begs to be saved up for two weeks and powered through in an 8-12 hour marathon session…right?! Doesn’t it? No? Is it just me?
Anyway, after the afore mentioned 10 hours of The X-Factor viewing I have finally come to a conclusion on this show. I love it. And while I admit that there are plenty of parts that are almost direct lifts from American Idol (e.g. train wreck auditions, a Euro-trash version of Ryan Seacrest, Simon, the entire format), there are enough changes that make this somewhat new and interesting. In reality, this isn’t a new show as much as it is a long overdue re-boot of the Idol franchise (except Simon had to depart and start this show on his own because, as was evidenced by his fielding a call from the show’s producers aboard his 100 ft. yacht in the south of France, it’s about time he finally gets paid).
For those of you who aren’t on board just yet, here’s the upside that The X-Factor brings to the table:
1. The 30+ Group: Whereas Idol has morphed into nothing more than a Disney-type teenybopper-producing machine, I love that The X Factor opens it up to any and all comers. And while the very young contestants have also made it interesting, it’s the grizzled veterans that make this show completely unique. They’ve been around the block. They know this isn’t supposed to be handed to them. They actually have an idea as to who they are (mostly). And best of all, they’re desperate. Some of these contestants have seemingly just come in from living on the street, so you have this overwhelming sense that they might literally kill that 16 year-old kid doing his “pained” rendition of Hallelujah if that’s what it would take to move on to next week. And in my book, that’s TV gold.
2. Competition: The major point of difference between The X Factor and Idol is that the judges have a vested interest in the development of the show’s talent. Not only are they actively mentoring the contestants, but the format of the show pits the judges against each other. They are each responsible for one of the groups (Simon has the girls, LA Reid has the boys, Paula has the groups, and the waif model/singer that no one has ever heard of has the 30+ contestants). And rest assured, the pissing contest has already begun. The only thing funnier than the fact that Simon and LA have begun trash talking each other, is that neither of them has even considered for a moment the possibility that Paula or Model girl can actually lead their talent to the win. (I’m also 93% certain that neither Simon nor LA know the Model girl’s name either and actually call her Model girl as well).
3. Simon: If you’re an Idol fan and you have fallen out of love with it, you should get on The X Factor now. Because just in case there was any doubt, Simon is the difference. It’s amazing what a judge with an actual opinion beyond “You look great.” can make. Simon hasn’t even brought “awkwardly brutal, yet utterly brilliant and entertaining Simon” to the party just yet, and already I find myself saying “God, I missed Simon” upwards of 10 times an episode. Throw in his hysterically subtle (at times) jabs at Paula’s mental instability, and you have yet another reason that I am all in on this show.
The Unwatched List
There are a whole bunch of show’s on the list this week (how’s that for descriptive?). But this probably isn’t the best indicator as to whether or not a show is falling off the Top 25. And there are actually two reasons for that.
First, I’m losing so many shows from cancellations and season endings that I can’t afford to kill a show just because it sucks. That’s the kind of dedication I’m bringing to this blog for you folks.
Of course, the second reason is work. Again, until this blog develops its’ own revenue stream, there will actually be times when I’m unable to keep up for a couple of days at a time. Despite the fact that I’ve trained my body to operate on a mere 2-3 hours of sleep a day (I’m a professional….so don’t go getting any ideas), I’m still in need of a few more hours per day to stay on top of my 25 shows, and my job, and oh yeah…my actual life.
The Worst Episode of the Week
The Real Housewives of New Jersey (Portrait of an Italian Family)
This was the season finale. This was building off the momentum of the now legendary On Display “performance”. This should have been must-watch, save until I delete TV. But instead, it was check the DVR and make sure it recorded the entire episode TV. All of the showdowns the show’s producers worked so hard to set up over the course of the season were never fully realized. Ashley, or Ashlee as she is now called, never moved out. And what’s even more disappointing than that, is the fact that the only way I found that out was through an on-screen caption which told me so. The captions also told me that Ashley legally changed her name to Ashlee. How in the hell was this not captured on camera!? I need to know how she came up with this. I want to know how much time and money was spent to make this happen. I might need to fire off a FOIA letter to Bravo so I can personally pour over all of their footage to get these answers. I don’t think I’m overstating the importance here in the slightest.
The other annoying element of last night’s finale is the fact that the Tre-Caroline feud was teased only to lead into a fireworks filled reunion show, or worse yet, next season. If I had any self-respect, I would skip the reunion show and not allow myself to be so obviously strung along. But of course since I don’t have any self-respect, I will be there with bells on hoping for a no-holds barred, Jersey Housewives brawl.