newlogoJune06.jpg (31063 bytes)

This Day in My History

2000:  Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
2001:  L'Chaim
2002:  One Hump or Two?
2003:  Gone, But Not Forgotten
2004:  What to Say?
2005:  Move Over, Julia
Slowly Mounting Panic

"Urinetown "

Books Read in 2007

Updated 4/9:
"Paula Deen"


"Puppies at 3 Weeks"

Puppies at 3 Weeks
click here to download

YouTube Video

Mefeedia Video Archive

My Favorite Video Blogs

Desert Nut

(for others, see Links page)

Look at these videos!
Steve & Jim's Dinner with
Charles Nelson Reilly

Titanic 2

John Lennon's Piano
The History of Late Night TV
7 Minute Sopranos
The Zimmers

Family Stories Vlog
(updated 6/1/07)

New on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)

Davis Madrigal Anniversry

That's My Answer

Have you answered
the Question of the Day?

AND...THE...WINNER... ... ... IS...

2 June 2007

I was a latecomer to the phenomenon of reality TV.  After saying I would never watch that garbage, as I have previously confessed in this journal, I have become hooked on some of the reality shows ― American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, Amazing Race, and a few of the lesser known ones like Top Chef and Project Runway.

There was another new one which started this week.  I had really been looking forward to "On the Lot."  The winner would receive a $1 million contract to produce a movie and the opportunity to work with Stephen Spielberg.

With as much filming and videotaping as all our kids did over the years, I was curious to see what a group of young filmmakers would come up with, to see how the show would present them, what kinds of tasks they would be given, etc.

With judges like Carrie Fisher and Garry Marshall, it couldn't be that bad, could it?  And the behind the scenes of making of the movies would surely be fun.

So I tuned in for the first two episodes.  The first was an introduction to all the filmmakers who had made the first cut and then slashing that group down to the final 15. 

In episode two, the final 15 were each given the task to make a 1 minute comedy film.  We saw them each at work, learned a bit about their background, and the last half hour was screening of the films.  In American Idol-like style, we the audience would help chose which filmmakers were to be eliminated this week (3 would leave following this first task).

Some of the films were terrible.  Ned, a pug, and a videocamera could do better, even with the ubiquitous fight and/or chase scenes.  But some movies were very clever.  I was curious to see which would make the final cut.  (I was kind of rooting for "Spaced Out," about a couple of aliens stopped by a highway patrol cop for drunk space-ship flying.)

Like American Idol, the results show was the next night.  And I'm now wondering if I can stomach this show through to the end.  It would be fun to see what sorts of films are produced and how the filmmakers progress in their technique, but my lord was that one of the worst results shows I've seen.

I know you can sell a lot more commercials in an hour show than you can in a half hour show, but this was really a fifteen minute show that they stretched out to 60 minutes by rerunning tape from the previous night and then doing that dramatic pause thing that has become de rigeur in every reality contest.  The news for each contestant is delivered like William Shatner on too many tranquilizers.

The contestants were seated on the stage in three rows, 5 to a row, and they went row by row, eliminating one from each row and naming one in each row as one of the top 3 videos of the contest.

"John ....... Marsha ...... you are the last two.  .............. One of you will remain ............. and .............. one of you will be ........  eliminated ................ which one will ........... be eliminated?"

This is the point at which, of course, you cut to commercial.

When we return to the show, the same dialog is repeated.

"John ....... Marsha ...... you are the last two.  .............. One of you will remain ............. and .............. one of you will be ........  eliminated ................ which one will ........... be eliminated?"

The lights dim and the hostess (somebody Costa) now reads (for the second or third time) the comments that the judges made on each of their films.

John? ............ Marsha? .............. .... to ..... leave.

There is a soft drum roll that goes on forever and finally she says something like "Marsha?  I'm sorry................. [Marsha looks crestfallen] .......... but you'll have to say goodbye to John because he's not returning."

All those shows do it.  Ryan Seacrest draws out the American Idol results interminably.  Same with the guys on Dancing with the Stars.  But at least with those two shows, you have some program content, good bad or indifferent to break up the interminable announcements. 

On On the Lot that's all it was.  60 minutes of 15 contestants going through this dramatic reading of the results.

I was happy with the results.  I'd like to see the remaining contestants complete the contest, but I sure don't know if I'm going to sit through another show like this week's results show.

And they're sneaky!  You can't even TIVO your way through it because it's not only the endless commercials but it's also the endless delivery of a one sentence line.

This may spell the death knell for me for this show, unless they pick up the pace a bit.

My friend Alan started a blog yesterday.  Drop by and say hi. It's always nice to get encouragement when you're just starting out!  (Actually, I've never met Alan, but know him from an old, old CompuServe group.)


"Spaced Out"



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