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Luck Be A Lady

October 25, 2004

Election Day is a week and a day away. And, really, it can't get here soon enough. Get this business over and done with. And hopefully get Bubba Clem elected Sheriff of Pinellas County. With early voting being an option here in Florida, I plan to vote this week, but mostly because that will free up Tuesday early morning for putting up campaign signs and such.

Thanks to my DVR, I don't have to watch too many commercials anymore. But one I did catch, and enjoyed, is the Visa Signature ad featuring Frank Sinatra singing "I've Got The World On A String". Sinatra is one of the greats. His era is one from years gone by, but I still have an appreciation for his music (I own his greatest hits CD). The fact that the song isn't on that CD is ridiculous, but that's what file sharing is all about, no?

Let's talk TV for a minute, shall we? The Benefactor aired its final episode tonight, a compressed program that combined what had been intended as three separate episodes. To say it felt rushed would be an understatement (particularly the parts where Mark Cuban was to visit all three finalists homes, but then they only showed the one girl from Boston (Linda) where the visit exposed her as a complete liar). You know that if she had been from New York and had a nice house up in the Hamptons, Bill Simmons would have compared her with A-Rod. But since she's a Boston girl, nada.

As for sports reality shows, ESPN has two that I watched via DVR tonight. I had the show I'd Do Anything recommended to me. I watched this past Tuesday's episode... and it failed to grasp my interest. It's not host George Gray's fault, though I kept expecting him to throw out cheesy one-liners like he used to do on the American syndicated version of The Weakest Link. But I suppose it's because the show has too much of a Fear Factor edge to it that makes me dislike it. Or perhaps dislike is too harsh of a word (though that's what I typed without consciously thinking of what I was typing), but I didn't care at the end that the winner's sister got to meet the U.S. Women's soccer team. Whoopty-doo. Do I get to meet Peyton Manning for sitting through an hour of that?

Meanwhile, there's Dream Job, which is actually in its second season. However, until now I'd resisted watching. Why? I'm not quite sure. I suppose that I figured that I'd be hyper-critical to anything involving TV production, particularly the development of new talent. But I'll say this, the show is interesting. Stuart Scott is good in his hosting role, not being too over the top to overshadow the candidates. I find that ESPN VP of Talent Al Jaffe (who is one of the five judges on the panel) keeps saying things that I'm thinking. And that's a good thing.

ESPN's Dream Job
Contestants on Dream Job receive instant critiques from a panel of ESPN judges.

In this past week's episode, they had the booth producer tell the contestants a ridiculous amount of information through their IFB. I suppose it's part of the test to see how they do on the fly, but I know if I had ever tried anything remotely close to that as a producer, I would've been read the riot act (not to mention that the talent off-camera would be giving a confused/worried shrugging and shuffling of papers). The reality is that you'd have highlights in there as a standby and tell the talent to skip D4 through D9 and go next to D10, which would be whatever highlights. Not "I'll tell you the highlights through your IFB." I know news and sports are different, but nonetheless it took me out of the moment.

One final TV note: ABC has got to move Life As We Know It out of that Thursday 9/8 Central timeslot. That is a death sentence. The network runs how many newsmagazine shows a week? And they can't put one there?!? No, they decide to put a solid drama there, letting it get shredded by CSI and The Apprentice. And I've noticed that after an initial promo blitz, they haven't run any promos for LAWKI lately. Uh oh...

In matters pertaining to real life, Guavaween 2004 is this weekend. My friend Bill Cunningham is locked in for it, and it should be fun. I had planned way back in January or February to go as an NFL referee (as a back judge with the number 69 -- yes, I'm very clever, I know). But with the latest ad campaign by Miller Beer with the referees (which aren't all that funny IMO), my idea would just seem like a ripoff of that. So it's back to square one. Bill and I will be hard pressed to match the craziness of Guavaweens 2001-2003, but I'm sure it'll be a wild time in its own right. Though I wish that Matt (my bro), Slick Rich and Pouncey could make it down here again...

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