Tuesday, January 08, 2008

TV Updates: My take on AG, TAR and the return of The Mole

American Gladiators

Let's just get the big question out of the way first, shall we? Did I like American Gladiators after being so excited that it was returning to the airwaves? Yes, I did. I was debating whether or not I should admit this, since my husband said that he overheard a bunch of people talking about how bad it was on his way to work, but I gots ta keep it real!

Here is what I liked about it:
1) As I hoped, there was minimal time spent on the hosts--Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali. The time that they were on screen was indeed annoying, but bearable.
2) The show moved extremely fast--they really kept the action going and went from challenge to challenge quickly.
3) Speaking of the challenges, they were awesome--just like I remembered them, and some were even better. The Eliminator at the end just kills people--I felt so badly for everyone during it.
4) One word: WOLF! Hands down, the best Gladiator of all time. At first I was too scared to look at him because he reminded me of BOB from Twin Peaks. Just seeing that pic of him above again freaked me out. Wolf is less scary than BOB, actually. But he still rocks.

What I didn't like:
1) The cheese-o-meter straight up broke because it was cranked up so high on this show. The hosts' interviews were canned, as were the contestants' responses. So much so that I began to wonder if the show was actually real or completely faked. I hope it's not staged.
2) Choppy flow. Sure, they moved the show along quickly, but there were way too many breaks and commercials.
3) Too much time spent on showing the stats of the Gladiators and interviewing contestants after lame efforts. If someone gets pushed off of a platform within 2 seconds, you do NOT need to interview them. There's really not much they can say. "Uh, I fell." Similarly, once we know who all the Gladiators are, we don't need to be reminded of their stats before every challenge.
4) Titan. As Jon Stewart commented on The Daily Show last night, it looks like they just "unfroze him" from the original show. Titan is the worst--he's like a living Ken doll on steroids. He may look macho, but once he flashes that blindingly white smile and you realize his hair doesn't move, he becomes more laughable than scary.

I didn't realize that the premiere on Sunday was 2 hours, so I just finished it last night and still have Monday's show to get through. The only contestant I wanted to root for so far was the fireman from New York... so if I don't like any of the contestants in the next installment, it may be hard for me to continue watching, even though I did like it a lot overall. It will simply get old quickly if there's no one you really want to win. If anyone else watched it, let me know what you think. Somebody else liked this show, as it did very well in the ratings...

The Amazing Race

I'll write more on this when the season is over, but for now I just wanted to say this: I cannot STAND Ronald. I don't care if he actually didn't berate his daughter for once in the last episode, I seriously don't know what I'll do if they win the whole thing. He is completely ridiculous and needs some counseling. Some of the things he freaks out about are bizarre and always unwarranted. What I am really, really hoping will happen is that either his daughter or one of the other racers just hauls off and smacks him. Wouldn't that be great? Oh, and one more thing--enough with the "Who's Your Daddy?" shirts! He must have had 30 of those puppies made for the show?!?!

OK, I lied. One more thing. I had really wanted the Goths to win--I loved them despite fearing during the premiere that they would be really obnoxious. They weren't at all and were incredible athletes. Too bad they're in a dark closet listening to depressing music now. My hope is that either TK and Rachel or Nicolas (Chicago, represent!) and Donald win. Nate and Jen are actually worse than Ronald and Christina--they just need to go AWAY.

The Return of The Mole

As I scanned my daily media industry e-newsletter this morning, I could hardly believe my eyes. "ABC bringing back 'The Mole'" screamed the headline from Vanity Fair. I clicked on the link and held my breath... searching, searching, searching for one word and one word only. Anderson. For those of you who never watched this show, it was how Anderson Cooper and I met, so to speak. I fell in love with him instantly. This morning, a new hope sprung alive in me--would there be a way I could be reunited with Anderson that would be a little more uplifting than watching his news program (which is often thoroughly depressing)? Could they possibly have gotten him to come back and host The Mole again?

"Are you kidding me? Hell to the no," is probably what he said when they approached him about it. He's way past slumming it on reality TV now. But it was fun to have that hope, if only for just a millisecond, that he may be back. They actually don't have a host lined up yet, but they are looking for someone with that "Anderson quality." Good luck, peeps, it doesn't exist--he is one of a kind.

But I'll still watch the show because it really was a great show. If you never saw it, then get the DVD and read up on its premise and you will see what I mean. It was successful in over 40 countries as well (each ran its own version under the same format).

I'm assuming it may be a while before it is ready to go since they don't even have a host, but rest assured I will let you all know when I hear any concrete details. In the meantime, look at Anderson on the DVD cover--look at him, love him, bow down to him.

- e


Anonymous said...

Okay, I was going to have to disagree and say that you're totally off base on TAR, but you threw in that sentence at the end. That blonde is HORRIBLE! I would have left her behind several times by this point in the race. Dumb goths should have yielded them when they had the chance - whole race would have been different...and so much more watchable!

The Mole! Also my introduction to Anderson Cooper. Love him. One possibility for a replacement (but it'll never happen) - Michael Vartan. Wouldn't that be something?!?

Anonymous said...

Ok, pardon my ignorance, but I just don't get the fascination with Anderson Cooper. What is it about him that you love so much? I need to be educated.

Erika (aka "e") said...

AT - Yes, I will save my bigger tirade about TAR and specifically Nate and Jen until I write about the finale. I guess I was initially more disturbed by Ronald because I am used to seeing bickering couples by now, but he is just so bizarre, especially with some of the phrases and words he chooses (I realize that English may not be his strong suit, but still). I agree that MV would be an excellent choice for The Mole's replacement host... but I fear it will be somebody lame.

DY - There is no way to explain the allure of Anderson, you just have to experience it for yourself. It's something about his subtle sense of wicked humor and how he rips on people without them even knowing he's doing so. Plus he's just uppity and cocky but can pull it off. And he has the best laugh in the world. If you watch a few of his shows, you will be overpowered by The Love of Anderson, trust me. But you could also rent the DVD of The Mole so as to be entertained at the same time. His life story is incredible but also extremely depressing, which makes him all the more intriguing.