Wednesday, July 29

Recent Random Thoughts of Media Junkie

I watched the 3rd episode of Hell's Kitchen last night.  It was the follow up of the cliffhanger from episode 2 where Joseph, at the elimination-thingy, challenge Ramsey to go out to the parking lot to throw down.  It ended pretty anti-climatically: Joespeh just stormed out.  But it is those sort of events of reality shows that always blow my mind.  Had you seen the show?  Have you seen television?!  Did you not know that Ramsey would yell at you?  (It was actually clear that Joseph got flustered and then embarrassed and felt like he had to defend his manhood or some such.   So weird.)  Otherwise the episode didn't have any big zingers.  None of the chefs have become a favorite of mine yet.  I like Kevin for manning up and working hard with 2 hurt ankles.  And Ariel, who I was pretty dismissive of at first but brought it at service.

Then I watched More to Love.  I have never watched a full episode of The Bachelor or that ilk (I may have made it through a few late night episodes of Blind Date... and, yes, I did see a few Flavor of Love episodes).  Those shows seem like so much selling oneself for fifteen minutes of fame.  I mean, these are "beautiful" people.  They should have no problem meeting people.  If they are having a hard time finding "love," it is because (1) they are choosing poorly and/or (2) are not good people inside.  Having a tv show pick a mate and then have you compete for that love... ick.

So More to Love has me conflicted.  One one hand it is just another dating show: 1 man, 20 women.  No way to build a relationship.  And then there is the plus-size thing.  It does feel exploitative... but I'm not sure if it is anymore exploitative than any other reality show. (The intro animation starts classy with a wedding ring motif but then, right at the end, has a large ring fall with a thud around the title, jarring the letters.  Really?)  One the other hand, they almost all seem sincere.  Honestly sincerely looking for something they have not been able to find out there.  The show had me tearing up a few times.  And there is quite a bit of beauty.  But there is also a level of desperation that is hard to deal with.  When, after just a few hours and maybe ten minutes with Luke (the gentleman), they begin wax so about him and then cry at the prospect of having to leave... ack.  But I watched and found it touching and compelling and the show has me thinking about the nature of love and beauty and fame and exploitation.

Also, Luke has moves.  Serious bad ass moves.  Sometimes slick, sometimes cheesy as all get out.  I suppose you get ballsy when you know all the women are competing for your attention and you can get away with, "How do you say 'kiss' in Spanish?"

I've watch a few episodes of The Great American Road trip on Hulu.  It is a poor excuse for a series of product placements.

CBS has a show called There Goes the Neighborhood this summer.  A small neighborhood enclosed behind a 20ft wall.  Big Brother, basically.  I wish it was more like Survivor meets "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street."  That is a show I would like to see.

When did Brian Leher of WNYC just become a lefty radio talk show host?  In the vein of Rush (but left instead of right).  Not as bad, obviously.  Maybe I never noticed because I am a lefty.  But lately he seems to have dropped all pretenses of balance.  Sucks up to people he agrees with and goes attack dog on those he doesn't.  Hey, I agree that it is okay for personality journalists to be have and be open about their point of view.  But Leher has just rambles now, seems to care less and less what his guests actually say.  And 30% the time his interjections just have their facts wrong.

Brooke Gladstone has been away from On The Media lately because she is working on a book.  Sadness.

My favorite voice (sound, timber, etc.) on NPR right now is Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

My hatred (yes, hatred) of Jonathan Schwartz has waned.  Now he just strikes me as sad.

More people should listen to Speaking of Faith.  Not just may friends but the country.  Not that it is the most amazing show ever, but it does open up new ideas.