It’s been a while since I offered some random thoughts on the current state of television, so here we go! Hopefully my rantings make sense to the rest of you like they make sense to me!
The Biggest Loser: Families
For some reason I’m not getting as into this season of The Biggest Loser as I was into the last two seasons. Part of the problem is the contestants on the show. I just don’t care about their successes and failures like I cared about the contestants on the last two seasons. The concept of this season – that families would be competing on the show and that the trainers picked out their own trainees – was a novel one. For my television habits, though, it’s just not working.
Although a large part of the problem is NBC (and this is a recurring problem that you’ll see below). NBC is a great example of a company that is run by people who work with numbers and look only at the bottom line (which, by the way, currently sucks for parent company, GE). You can tell that no one at NBC is watching The Biggest Loser because there is NO way that a competent executive would allow the show to be broadcast the way it is. What does that mean? Well, every single time the show cuts to a commercial it is at a crucial point in the drama being told (whether that drama be real or made up). You can’t do that EVERY single time! Once in a while, you have to give your audience a bone and give them the payoff right there.
Plus, when the show comes back from commercial the viewer is treated to some 30 – 60 seconds of pre-commercial break content before getting to new content. What an insult! This is what you get when you combine “big television corporation” think with a “make more money” mindset.
This is a new show on NBC that follows the “new” adventures of Robinson Crusoe on his deserted island. For those of you that don’t know the story of Robinson Crusoe, it’s the story of a traveling merchant/businessman who is shipwrecked on an abandoned island. While on the island, he befriends a “savage” who is then named “Friday” – the day of the week he was saved by Crusoe. Think Lost and Gilligan’s Island, but starting in literary format almost three hundred years ago.
The first episode showed Crusoe defending his island against both pirates and corrupt Spanish prison guards – both groups which eventually wind up looking for buried treasure. Not a bad plot for a two-hour series premier. I thought the first episode was fun to watch and had the beginnings of a great show. Then the second episode came on…guh.
For some reason Friday and Crusoe spar over meaningless issues. Then we find out that there is a burial ground hidden within a mountain on the island – too Lost-esque for my liking. And not just too Lost-esque, but like a low-end version of Lost being pushed by a corporate powerhouse. Part of this show is also Crusoe’s constant flashbacks to what his life was like off of the island. Those flashbacks worked well in the first episode, but became burdensome in the second episode. Combine this with the fact that NBC doesn’t know how to go into a commercial break and you have the makings of an uncomfortable viewing situation for the people at home.
Finally, the preview for next week’s episode teased whether this would be the week that Crusoe gets off the island. So is this going to be the theme of the show each week? I hope not because that type of plot has no legs. Want proof? The preview suggested that a ship was coming to the island and this may be Crusoe’s chance to get off. Bleh. Wasn’t that the plot of the first episode? Let’s hope NBC doesn’t kill off what could be a good show here.
More thoughts on this season’s television shows coming soon!