I stumbled on to this steroidal ‘Gong Show’ redux the other night named America’s Got Talent. I know some of you are watching it because my In-laws seem to enjoy it and they are a good bell-weather for any television programming that involves ‘judges’.
I watched a few minutes of the variety acts and honestly the spirit of Ed Sullivan would be thrilled – if he had the time. Geez, this show takes forever to set-up around 8 different acts for 1 to 2 minute performances. Believe me if Vaudeville would have taken lessons from this type of entertainment, that bygone era would have been remembered as the ‘Snoring 20’s. I mean 10 ACTUAL minutes of performance time is a pretty small ratio out of an hour show of eye-candy staging and endless set-up prattle.
And then the whole judging component ala ‘American Idol’ – does anyone in Hollywood have a single original idea? Why can’t we toss water balloons at the marginal acts we don’t like or let the judges shoot fireworks at the really bad ones. Better yet, narrow down a face-off between similar acts and then after their performance, let them beat the stuffing out of each other with downy-soft pillows. I think that, is a smack-down television entertainment, win-win for the ages – Jerry Springer meets Major Bowes.
Hey now don’t accuse me of being an uppity Broadway snob as I have liked my share of sophisticated TV variety shows in the past, like that high-brow cornpone known as ‘Hee Haw’. And do you remember the ‘Nick and Jessica Variety Hour’ – now that was quality programming. HEY, don’t judge me! Yeah I admit it, I mostly watched to see what kind of ‘HOT’ revealing dresses that ‘she’ wore on stage. Oooh why that Diva, Minnie Pearl drove me so WILD I’ll never know? Maybe it was the straw hat or her unhurried yet sultry pig-call 'Howdeeee!' that sealed the deal? Regardless, to go from hillbilly to headliner - now that REALLY does take some time and serious American talent!