The Joys of Christmas Programming

10 12 2012

Falalalalala -lala-lala

Tis the Season.

I watched a Home Alone Marathon last night… as a result, I set a marble trap at my door before I went to bed. Just in case. They’ll never outsmart the well-prepared.

The signs of Christmas are all around us – I’m not really referring to Christmas trees, lights or the occasional flurry, I’m much more interested with what the networks have come up with to keep us tuned in this Christmas. They bank on us forgetting how MUCH we hate Christmas specials hosted by marginal celebrities and their even more marginal friends (I’m talking about you Blake Shelton…). They KNOW that we’ll forget how excruciating it is to sit through a Holiday parade… unless it’s muted. Otherwise, you have to listen to the cheese-ball announcers pretend their degree in Journalism was worth it.  And they consider us to be naively entertained by any ‘new’ special, game show or filler episode on TV between Thanksgiving and New Years that has anything to do with Christmas, giving, or singing. They wouldn’t spend a dime on this rot if we didn’t fall for it… every year.

This year?

Extreme Home Makeover takes over the TV for 2 hours every Monday for a  SPECIAL Holiday edition. 2 hours. Remember when Extreme Home Makeover was an HGTV show, and the most compelling part of the show was the big reveal? Now its a show that spends 1:45 minutes forcing waterworks from even the coldest of hearts. Just when you thought a story couldn’t get anymore tragic… they throw in a terminal illness, or a war veteran. And just so we are clear on the semantics… a makeover is working with what you’ve got to make it better. Ty and crew do NOT ‘Makeover’ – they tear down and build mortgage busting mansions that would make King Louis XIV jealous. Just sayin’.

Today, I look at the TV line up for this evening (yes, i start planning my attack at 8am, don’t you dare judge.) and see a new show that I don’t recognize airing after the Voice on NBC. The show is called ‘Take it All‘ – it’s a limited -run gameshow, and it’s hosted by… wait for it, in fact, I could give you 3 guesses and you’d nail it in one… Howie Mandell.

Howie Mandell – who says the show is, and I quote, “The Price is Right meets Jerry Springer“. That sounds like afternoon programming at the retirement estates in Crocketbluff, Arkansas. Or what’s on a loop in the 7th ring of hell. Either or…

That’s not all ladies and gents… after an hour of this insult to intelligence, stay on NBC for the sophomore season of Michael Buble Christmas – featuring his famous pals, Carly Rae Jepson (Grammy nominated… don’t shoot the messenger), Rod Stewart (yep, still living) and Blake Shelton (who did he sell his soul to?).

Oh it’s on. It’s officially the Christmas season – when TV gets really really bad, and we don’t care.

What are YOU watching tonight?





The Voice: Battle Round 3 Results

18 04 2012

Last night on The Voice, the most significant cuts were made, rounding out the group of Semi Finalists.

Christina and Blakes group lost another member – they each started with 4 on Monday, and are left with just 2 after last night.

Two decisions were made – the first person was saved by voters, the remaining two contestants then sang for their lives, and one was saved by their coach.

Let’s start with Blakes Team: RaeLynn, Erin and Jermaine Paul.

Jermaine Paul received the voters save.

Country pumpkin Raelynn went very safe with her song choice, picking The Band Perry (guess which song?) and Erin chose Proud Mary… I’m sure Blakes heart was breaking, because deep down based ont he performances, the country sweetie pie was definitely the weaker of the two. But, she IS the most commercial. He went with the more powerful singer, and chose Erin Willett. He also knows that RaeLynn will emerge as a budding country phenom with one phone call…and he’ll make it.

Christina’s Team: Lindsey, Ashley and Chris.

Chris Mann saved by the Voters.

So black sheep Lindsey vs fresh faced Ashley. Ashley chose You and I, an odd choice… she is anything BUT Gaga. However, her vocas were strong. Lindsey picked an emotional little known song and stuck true to her art. Christina cried alot. Too much. She cried to make a spectacle, not becasue her heart was breaking. In the end, she chose the more unique artist in Lindsey Pavao.

So, Blake and Christina have just 2 people ‘representing’ them in the semi’s.

Blake has Jermaine Paul and Erin Willett.
Christina has Lindsey Pavao and Chris Paul.

Strong teams?





The Voice – Battle Round 2

13 03 2012

The battle rounds continue on The Voice – and it’s a battle alright. Two singers – One team member goes home, and one moves on to the live rounds.

Last night, we saw a few more duels for the ages, and a few more lopsided performances.

The two strongest power singers from Adams team Kim vs Whitney “No More Drama”: Whitney moves on (is it just a pure coincidence that this woman’s name is Whitney?)

From Christina’s team, an odd couple Geoff McBride vs. Sera Hill, “Chain of Fools”: Sera Hill advances (no surprise, Geoff seemed ill prepared to compete stylistically against the much younger, much sassier Sera)

From Blakes team Lex Land vs. Charlotte Sometimes, “Pumped Up Kicks“: Charlotte won the battle (Lex seemed extremely uncomfortbale with the song, and the duel from the start)

From team Cee Lo Sarah Golden vs. Juliet Simms, “Stay with Me“: Juliet Simms moves on (odd pairing results in a very odd clash of styles… physically and vocally).

Team Christina returns with Lee Koch vs. Lindsey Pavao, “Heart Shaped Box”: Lindsey Pavao wins the round (no surprise, Lee was in trouble with this song from the get-go)

Back to team Cee Lo with Jamie Lono vs. Jamar Rogers, “I Want to Know What Love Is”: Jamar Rogers advances (he truly outsang the sandwich maker, almost an unfair battle).

An entertaining bunch – If I had one kibbitz about the show structure – it’s pairing two totally different styles together. I feel liek the point of these rounds is to weed out the weaker singer. Right? So why not pair two similar singers so that one can rise over the other and the team would be more diverse in the end. When you pair two completely differnt style of singer together, you’re automatically getting rid of a vocal talent and unique style – not comparing apples to apples.

You want the strongest players on your team – so weed out the weaker ones!





The Voice: Post Superbowl Premiere

6 02 2012

Good on NBC. We knew about this timeslot and this premiere a LONG time ago, we have been hearing about it ever since the announcement, we’ve seen commercials, we’ve read articles, Blake and his wife sang pre-show, Betty White got involved in the advertising, heck C-Lo was even on stage with Madonna to promote the show. There was hardly a post-game show… 15 minutes tops, then cut right to the ‘main’ post show event… The premiere of The Voice.

NBC is so proud of this show. This was the show that was filler last season. As soon as there was a crumb to nibble on, NBC made this show a chart topper. It has only been a few months since The Voice wrapped last season, yet here it is again. Capitalize on a captive audience. Also, it doesnt hurt to double bill it with The Superbowl.

Synergy. There’s an entire 30 Rock episode dedicated to ‘Synergy’ of brands… NBC isnt ashamed, nor shy about their synergies. Do you really think it was Madonna’s idea to have Cee-Lo as a guest on HER stage? Please.

Anyways, enough about that. It was a highly promoted premiere in a highly coveted timeslot – and The Voice delievered on it’s promise. Hot talent (without the duds and trainwrecks), Hot judging (with actual celebrities) and a Hot start to the new season.

It’s a great show, it’s not THAT different from American Idol, but it does a better job at straying from the franchise than X Factor.

Last thing:

X Factor=Pepsi
American Idol= Coke
The Voice = Starbucks

I wish I could write more about this. One day I’ll write a full analysis of the pychology of each show based on the brands of beverage they promote. Maybe it’s just spitting in a fresh wound… you know, after watching and critiquing commercials and ‘synergies’ for the past week.

New episode tonight. Boy, I could really go for an overpriced organic free trade coffee beverage with an italian name.





The Voice: Finale and The Winner

30 06 2011

The Winner of the Voice is…. Javier Colon!

By now you all know, because you all watched last night as The Voice proved once again, it was way more than anyone expected it to become. Yes, last night each performer sang with a music icon : Train, One Republic, Miranda Lambert and the incomparable Stevie Nixx!

BIG names, BIG performances – songs that couldve been recorded and released as major hits!

Seriously, Javier and Stevie Nixx had something last night…and after that duet, I knew that I’d be very happy if he won over my girl Dia.

It was a great finale, no one can argue with that.

And I doubt you can argue with the winner. After it was announced that Dia and Javier were the Top 2, my mind was at peace. Both were deserving, both had incredible performances along the way, both had a fantastic final performance and original song.

Javier came out on top, but both will go on to record and have great careers…

Dia might just get adopted by Blake and join in their happy singing family. Don’t rule it out folks.

Thoughts?

Did the right person win in your opinon? Will you watch next season starting…this winter?





The Voice: Top 4 Results

23 06 2011

Last night, The Voice chose the final 4 contestants to represent their coaches in the finals!

I think the big shockers of the season were in last weeks eliminations, when Adam chose Casey, and a few other favourites got the boot.

So last night, I made some predictions, and they all came true… you probably did the same. The Final 4 was obvious after last night’s performances.

So the final 4 are…

Adam: Javier Colon

Cee-Lo: Vicci Martinez

Blake Shelton: Dia Frampton

Christina: Beverly McClellan

Thoughts?

I thought Blake was particularly invested in this process, he was shedding mini tears and handled the elimination of his young soul singer Xenia with such grace (even thought the choice was obvious). I felt the love on that team. The closest race was likely between Christina’s bald power singers.





The Voice: Monday June 21

22 06 2011

I havent talked too much about The Voice, but of course, I’m so watching it.

Now that it is in the later stages of competition, the cream is rising to the top – and last night, I finally saw some talent that could be viable commercial superstars. I was unsure in the earlier rounds.

My Favourites last night were:

Nakia – singing Adam Lambert and rocking it. He has a fantastic voice that can do rock, blues, soul… and he is memorable.

Dia – last week she took a Kanye West song down to the roots and WOWed me, this week she did the same with an REM song, Losing my Religion. I absolutely LOVE this girl, I think she has an Indie flair but the pure talent (ans stage) to be HUGE!

Beverly– is a massive personality, and a massive talent. Power vocals like Etheridge, shock factor like O’Connor.

Javier Colon – I am in love with his voice. He does great thigns with it, the songs he chooses are perfect for his range and stylings, last night he took on Fix You by Coldplay – a powerful melodic ballad, and his voice was like butter.

Vicci – had a prime spot, right after a very low key performance by Xenia – she amped it up and got the crowd into it. SHe’s a bit of a darkhorse, never really remembered her until tonight. She has the art of performance wrapped up, she’s a full package girl.

Those were my favourites… The standouts for me, the rest were also good:

Frenchie Davis – is getting alot of respect for her pipes, and I liked that she did something different last night. I still miss something with Frenchie, I don’t know what it is. Sorry, can’t put my finger on it, I just don’t LOVE her.

Casey Weston – was kind of a shocker vote for me by Adam – he chose her over two other very talented guys in his group to move forward. She has a unique vibrato and a very pretty voice, but I also don’t LOVE her. Nothing super “new” in my opinion.

Xenia- still suffering with crippling shyness, maybe this isnt her time. She needs to amture a bit and be able to handle extreme pressure and come out on top.

Thoughts?

Based on their perfomances last night, who will make the final 4?

 








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