Cultural Catchup: April 25th

Wow, so much is going on right now…

Idol Gives Back, McNutts provide Commentary

So, tonight was the first part of the rather epic Idol Gives Back event on American Idol, and the singing was just…ok. I thought Jordin was pitchy in the beginning, contrary to the judges, but really there wasn’t much to really say about the performances. There is a lot to say, however, on the subject of the cultural ramifications of Idol Gives Back. The elder McNutt has taken an interest in it, and I’ve assisted in analyzing and considering the issue over at McNutt Against the Music. I implore all of you to go over and check it out, it’s quite interesting (I even bring up Baudrillard!).

…in which McNutt and McNutt discuss “Idol Gives Back” – McNutt Against the Music

What’s up with the Boys of Entourage?

Joe asks, and Joe receives; I have, indeed, not talked about Entourage since its recent Season 3.5 premiere. My thoughts? First episode back was good, the second was dull and annoying, while the third got things back on track thanks to some classic Ari and the absolutely stunning Carla Gugino. Ari/Lloyd have been a powerful force thus far, and I think it’s making me more and more frustrated with Vince and Eric. While the latter two are all caught up in the drama of it all, unable to escape their juvenile ways, Ari and Lloyd have this great rapport that just kills me. They’re currently saving Entourage, and I think that they’re perhaps my favourite duo on TV right now.

The Post-Elimination Speech Revenge: Dancing with the Stars and Reality Legitimacy

So, I haven’t been paying too much attention to Dancing with the Stars, but I’ve seen enough to know that the show is suffering the same fate as The Apprentice: its contestants are losing respect for the program. It’s one thing for viewership to fail, but the past two weeks has seen Clyde Drexler and Heather Mills give absolutely biting exit speeches that attack parts of the show’s structure.

Drexler ended last week attacking the judges for expecting non-dancers to be so good. Reasonable? Absolutely not. But it’s still tough to hear for producers. And this week, Heather Mills prepared an entire speech in which she voiced her views on animal rights (unsurprising, but it really pissed off Tom Bergeron who told her to “save her speech for another venue”) and pointed out that she feels bad since her partner (Johnathan) would not be unemployed thanks to her exit. I seriously doubt the show wanted us to think about unemployment when watching ABC’s reality television programming.

The Apprentice had a similar problem, in that after a specific board room the team just laughed as they left, failing to take Trump seriously in the least. Is reality TV becoming so transparent that contestants are no longer willing to isolate themselves? If this is the case, what does this mean for future shows? Is reality TV finally becoming less desirable, less idealistic? I guess that’s a question to ponder.

Today is a pretty crazy day for me, as I’m packing up and heading home. I should be back home in time for some Idol Gives Back and Lost blogging, however, which could mean a long night in front of the HDTV. Mmmm. High-Definition.

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Filed under American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Entourage, Television

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