Thursday, June 7, 2007

summer lovin'

This post brought to you by my never-ending romance with my television. "Kat love TV. Marriage?" (That's a UK Office joke, for you plebes out there...) I decided it would be unfair to the greatest season of all if I did not give a little insight about what I'm watching on TV this summer. Because I won't have cable again until the fall, I must continue to scour network programming. Luckily for me, Fox has completely taken care of all of my needs. Though the only reality show I watch with any regularity during the school year is America's Next Top Model, reality is pretty much all I go for during the summer. So here's a brief explanation about the three shows I've been following lately.

Hell's Kitchen
Mondays at 9PM on Fox
I started watching Chef Gordon Ramsay's quest for a new chef to hire last summer, and it became quite addictive. When I told a friend that I liked to watch it, he said, "Well, why? You can enjoy the singing when you watch American Idol, but you don't get to eat the food!" But alas - Hell's Kitchen has almost as much drama as ANTM, and a cast of contestants so frequently pitiable or scorned that I don't know why sadistic reality TV watchers don't pay closer attention to this show. This season just premiered this week, and is already promising to have better editing and drama than last year's. Besides, if seeing things onscreen that you aren't experiencing in real life wasn't pleasurable, the food network wouldn't exist. Let alone the porn industry.

On The Lot
Tuesdays at 8PM on Fox
I have been watching this show with, for some reason, not as much interest as I think I should have. Maybe because I do not (yet) have directorial aspirations, I cannot be as captivated by this show as other film students. But there's something strange about this show. I would think that enough people would be interested in watching short films once a week, but I think there's a formatting problem that makes it difficult to carry out. I have enjoyed a number of the shorts that have been shown, but I think the show lacks a personality. Garry Marshall is the most captivating person onscreen, and while he's quite a character, that's not really a good thing when there are enough talented young people around showing their work. I'd like to see this show get a little revamped for next season, because I think it could be interesting to apply the reality show competition to film.

So You Think You Can Dance?
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9pm on Fox
I had really wanted to watch this show during its first season, and I can't remember why I was never available when it was airing. But last year I got a little obsessed. Produced by the same geniuses behind Pop Idol, etc., SYTYCD has pretty much the same format. There are three to four judges (Nasty Nigel and Mary Murphy being the most memorable), and each week contestants work with a different expert choreographer. Also, the early episodes of each season have both impressive performances and hilariously bad ones - sound familiar? Why I love the show, though, is that by and large the personalities are more fun to watch. Also, I love the dancing almost every time, whereas I am rarely entertained by the singing on Idol anymore. Plus, I respect the way that they make dancers from different backgrounds compete in other styles that will challenge them, proving who is a great dancer, not just a one-trick pony. Last night they picked the top 20, notable because of the presence of Lacey, sister to last year's winner Benji, and the return of Hok! Hok was a favorite of a lot of people's last year when he would have been put through to the top 20 if it weren't for his lack of a work visa. I'm looking forward to seeing who he's partnered with next week!

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