Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Who Wants To Be A Superhero: Okay, I'll admit to watching Stan Lee's contribution to the reality show world.

I've got to admit to having mixed feelings about the show.

Now I realize that absolutely nobody in the world is watching it except me and my wife and a couple of people who might be related to the contestants, so I can't talk about this the way I could talk about, say, 24, which everybody watches every week (don't you?).

There have been some moments of genuine heroism on the show--the best was when Monkey Woman (yes, Monkey Woman) fought to reach a goal for nearly twenty minutes with two big guard dogs that probably weighed more than she did dragging her down.

But for the most part, the show is kind of a joke. Really tongue in cheek, and even silly at times. You can't tell whether they want us to take any of it seriously or not.

And basically, that's what the final three came down to. One guy who was taking it super-seriously, and a couple of people who weren't.

The guy who's taking it seriously is Feedback. This is a guy who grew up on Marvel comic books, and considers Stan a surrogate father--his real Dad killed himself when he was young. Like I said, serious.

And then there are the other two--Major Victory, a Superman parody who used to be a stripper and spends all his time joking and prancing around like a goof, and Fat Momma, a heavy-set woman who, quite frankly, I think is as shocked as anybody else that she's made it this far (last week she locked herself in a closet until a producer would come let her tell him she shouldn't really be on the show any more. The other two competitors talked her out of quitting, but quite frankly, she was right).

So this week, who do they boot off? Major Victory. Why? Because he wasn't setting the tone Stan was looking for. Never mind that Major Victory basically set the tone for this show. So much so that he's the one whose image is on most of the advertising, and on the season one DVD. His tone might have been right for this show, but not for Stan's show.

Look, quite frankly, I agree with the decision. I'm rooting for Feedback--he's kind of the Everynerd of the show, and more of the kind of competitor I was hoping the show would be full of.

But to make the decision while Fat Momma was still around--that's just silly. Major Victory versus Feedback would have made the perfect finale, and would have been a whole lot of fun. And I think everyone, including the producers, knew that. Stan knew it. It was a no brainer.

So why didn't they do it?

Major Victory has an estranged daughter. And all along, he's said he's doing this for her, wanting to become a hero in her eyes.

See, next week, the ending is going to be about the winner. And Stan and the other producers knew they didn't want Major Victory to win. But they love the guy, and wanted to give him a send-off they wouldn't have time for next week. So they bumped the guy, even though it made no sense, just so they could give him a "moment" with his daughter.

In their mind, it works out perfect. Major Victory gets a grand send-off, next week Feedback wins, and everybody, including the loser, Fat Momma, is delighted. It's like they moved the one woman who knew she had no business there into the finals so no one, not even the loser, would "taint" the victory of the winner.

This is how reality TV works, folks. It's not a competition. It's not a game. It's a scripted, produced, show.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Podcast People I've recently taken to downloading podcasts of various podcasts off the internet to play on the way to work instead of the Radio.

Look, I'm telling you--forget whatever chipper pair of Morning DJs you listen to in the morning because you saw their airbrushed mugs splattered across a billboard somewheres, that pair of lightweights you find yourself praying will just shut up and play another Jessica Simpson song.

Go find yourself some good podcasts. There's all kinds of stuff all over the place for whatever you're interested in. And I mean what you're interested in specifically. You don't have to wade through some "Sci-fi" podcast wading through some discussion of whatever B horror movie SciFi Channel showed last night--you can get a podcast just for, say, Serenity. If your thing is one-handed fire-juggling on waterskis, you can probably find a podcast for it.

What? You actually like your radio? Well, guess what. Chances are, they also do a podcast. One that doesn't include the commercials. I've actually downloaded a two hour show (Jillian Michaels on KFI AM 640) that clocked in at one hour. It's like having Tivo for the radio.

Anybody still listening to radio the old fashioned way is a Troglodyte.

Granted, I still don't have a Tivo, and still watch TV the old fashioned way, but I'm not doing the stupid radio any more.

Maybe I'm like Archaeopteryx.