April 27, 2011 · 12:16 am
April 26th, 2011
In principle, The Voice is about something grand and meaningful. By having the show’s judges be unable to see the singers they are judging, the show purports to finally have a singing competition in which physical attractiveness and age are no longer a driving factor. In a music competition space in which Steven Tyler objectifies young female contestants and Paula Abdul’s most lasting impression on the pop cultural space is the predication of every American Idol comment with “You look beautiful,” The Voice seeks to focus solely on the eponymous instrument.
However, The Voice is not “important.” Showing that a pretty girl with a solid voice would get noticed even when she can’t be seen, or showing that even an American Idol reject with a controversial past can still get attention, does absolutely nothing to impact society’s obsession with looks or their opinion of people who choose to sell their bodies; The Voice is not going to change America in any way shape or form, and that part of the show is somewhat cloying at the end of the day.
And yet, lest you consider me cynical, I actually found The Voice quite refreshing in that it managed this sentimentality while maintaining a sense of fun. This is not a show that will change America, but it is a show that demonstrates the value of chemistry between “judges” and which in its central conceit creates an endless stream of “television moments” that channel the series’ central altruism in ways I found charming if not as life-changing as NBC would like us to believe.
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Filed under Reality TV
Tagged as Adam Levine, American Idol, Analysis, Blake Shelton, Blind Auditions, Carson Daly, Cee-Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Coaches, Competition, Frenchie Davis, Javier, Music, NBC, Review, Television, The Voice, TV
May 15, 2009 · 1:12 am
May 14th, 2009
If there is one blemish on 30 Rock’s solid, if not spectacular, third season that really stands out, it’s the criticism that the show has leaned too heavily on high profile guest stars in order to meet its ratings potential. First and foremost, it was “successful” in its goal: the show was renewed months ago, showing that critical attention and slight viewership growth really can save great comedy. However, the consequences of this was a reputation, that I’ve heard used as a sign of the show’s decline throughout the year.
But I’m with Liz Lemon in the end: it has been quite a year, and while I don’t think 30 Rock won the Thursday Comedy face-off at the end of the year I do think that “Kidney Now!” is a fine argument for the show’s ability to go above and beyond what one would normally expect. Combining two television cliches (the benefit concert and the organ transplant) and sprinkling with the most guest stars the show has ever crammed into it, it reads like one big middle finger to those critics who questioned whether the show could weather the network-pressured invastion of movie stars.
It’s not a fantastic finale, and perhaps lacked the cohesiveness of last year’s “Cooter,” but with a rollicking final song (which you can find more info on at NBC.com) and some fun material for Liz Lemon the episode delivered a nice sendoff for the season.
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Filed under 30 Rock
Tagged as Adam Levine, Alan Alda, Beard, Celebrities, Charity Single, Clay Aiken, Cyndi Lauper, Download, Dr. Spaceman, Elvis Costello, Entertainment, Episode 22, Finale, Fruit Blindness, Guest Stars, High School, Jack Donaghy, Kidney, Kidney Now, Liz Lemon, Mary J. Blige, Michael McDonald, Mickey Rourke, Milton Green, NBC, Norah Jones, Rainstorm Katrina, Season 3, Season 3 Finale, Season Finale, Sheryl Crow, Song, Television, That's a Dealbreaker Ladies, Tina Fey, Vontell Show, Wyclef Jean