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Monday June 25, 2007 7:00 am
SYTYCD and John from Cincinnati: Should I Watch or Should I Go?
I’m typically not a fence sitter when it comes to television. Nearly every show can be put into one of two categories: “Shows I Love and Therefore Watch,” and “Shows I Hate or Ignore and Therefore Don’t Watch.” I don’t labor under the impression that I’ve invented these categories; I imagine that this is the way a lot of people watch television. I think, though, many people have shows that they’ll classify as “I’m Watching This Not Because I Love It but Because It Happens to Be On.” This, by the way, is a really lengthy title for a category and I would recommend something zippier, like, “Law & Order reruns.” Because of TiVo, I haven’t been someone who just watches whatever is on for a while.
Now my categories of viewership have subcategories like, “Awful Reality Shows I Can’t Stop Watching,” (that’d be pretty much any reality show on MTV, except for “Made”) “Brilliant Shows I Can’t Discuss With Anyone Because of Low Ratings,” (that’d be “The Wire,” and “The Thick of It,”), and “Hated Shows I Only Have Watched In Hospital Waiting Rooms,” (that’d be “According to Jim,”), but all shows will fit into one of the two major categories. That is, until now.
Two shows that I’ve started watching in the past few weeks have their own new category: “Shows I Can’t Decide Whether Or Not I Like.” These shows? So You Think You Can Dance and John From Cincinnati. I need help, wise and discerning readers of this site. I don’t like having this phantom third category, so I want advice on whether or not I should keep watching these shows or jettison them like so much … jettisoned materials. I would have said, “garbage,” but Hell’s Kitchen has taught us that garbage is just spaghetti you haven’t served yet.
Okay, pros and cons for each show. Here we go:
So You Think You Can Dance
Pros: My wife has decided to watch this show, and I enjoy watching TV with her. Also, she and I both are utterly freaked out by judge Mary Murphy, who seems to be a heady brew of Paula Abdul, Rosie O’Donnell, and, I’m gonna say, Percoset. That’s a good thing, because we both have an affinity for being freaked out by weird people on television shows (and on that note, we’ll miss you, Aaron of Hell’s Kitchen).
Also, and this might be blasphemy to say, I think the American Idol structure they use (meaning, every week having to do a new type of dancing or singing) actually might work better for dancers than for singers. Admittedly, I don’t know tons about dancers (other than that in my college they seemed to exist on a diet of pizza crusts and cigarettes), but I would think that having a wide range of experience and skill in all types of your discipline’s styles would be much better for one’s career as a dancer than as a singer. In short, I don’t think Chris Daughtry’s career would’ve benefited from an American Idol: Soul Music-themed night because we don’t ask our singers to do much more than be one-trick ponies. In fact, we like having styles of music. I would think, though, that if a dancer could do hip-hop just as well as she/he could do ballroom, the job market would be far more open for her/him.
So, there’s that.
Cons: Watching people dance kinda bores me.
Really, that’s my only con, but you’ve gotta admit it’s kind of a big one. People start their routines, and the dancers are talented and the routines are interesting, I guess. But I get bored. I can watch Idol because I could go to a concert and watch people sing for two hours; I doubt I could watch people dance for that long.
Oh, one more thing: after a while, Mary Murphy scares me for real. And then it’s not fun anymore.
John From Cincinnati
Pros: David Milch created the show. This is a big pro to me because I loved, just couldn’t-wait-for-the-next-episode-was-furious-when-it-was-cancelled loved Deadwood, and that was totally Milch’s baby. When I heard Milch was doing a new show for HBO, I was salivating for it. Plus, there are some really good actors on the show: Luis Guzman, Willie Garson, and Ed O’Neill, character actors I like; plus, Jim Beaver and Dayton Callie, both awesome on Deadwood, have shown up in the first two episodes.
And then there’s John Monad, the title character. Is he an alien? A ghost? Is he autistic but with some sort of special powers? He’s this bizarre blank state that seems to be able to summon whatever he needs from his pockets, cause earthquakes, heal the sick and maybe even raise the (avian) dead. I want to know more about John, and since Lost is off the air for the next few months, I need some new mysteries to solve. His bizarre pronouncements are the stuff of which a million message board postings are made.
Cons: Well, first, it’s about surfing and, like dancing, surfing kind of bores me too. I grew up in a place surrounded by beaches, but I was never really interested in surfing and that hasn’t changed since I became an adult. Also, I don’t love the “first family of surfing” that makes up the central core of the main characters. Everybody seems to just be yelling and swearing at each other, with the exception of the youngest Yost, and it makes me tune out and lose interest.
So there they are, my fence-sitting shows and the reasons to keep watching them or to give up on them completely. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
- Related Tags:
- american idol, david milch, deadwood, ed o'neill, john from cincinnati, luis guzman, mary murphy, so you think you can dance, willie garson
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