January 19, 2011

Are you going to watch the new season of "American Idol"?

I'm going to check it out. I'm interested in how they deal with the absence of Simon and whether there's some resonance with America's (supposed) new civility.

UPDATE: I think they've done a reasonably good job of rolling in the new judges, but too much time was spent trying to establish that Jennifer Lopez is the "new Paula." I'm not interested in her preening over how nice she is. If she can't judge, she shouldn't be a judge. But I blame the editors. They think — I assume — that a "new Paula" is what the people want. Steven Tyler is focused and crisp. He'll be okay. But everyone needs to sharpen up. I don't want to watch Jennifer Lopez show us that she's a nice person, and I don't want to see the contestants demonstrating their love for her either.

UPDATE 2: Basically, a successful adjustment to Simonlessness. Steven Tyler is particularly good at simple, short, varied statements. Both Tyler and Lopez have interesting and expressive faces — which saved a lot of time, when, really, all we need to hear is yes or  no. Randy seems to take naturally to the seat of authority. We never saw the judges fight or even disagree, so the emphasis was on the contestants, and we mainly saw good ones. No one was humiliated, and we weren't subjected to the usual demonstrations of delusion and the mundane fact that many people sing off-key. Yeah, it might get boring as they sift through all the cities in Stage 1 of the competition, but it might get better as it becomes less urgent to convince us that Lopez and Tyler will be okay.

43 comments:

Chef Mojo said...

Nope. Haven't watched a single damn one of them. Not gonna start now.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I thought the point to many of the shows, the first ones of each season especially, was to make fun of people who thought they had talent. How is this going to happen if they are all nicey-nicey?

JAL said...

No.

Coketown said...

Only if Statler and Waldorf are the judges. They perfectly balance nuanced criticism with graceful civility.

Doh-ho-ho-ho!!!

SteveR said...

Will watch and promise not to be snarky with those who don't but are experts at what's wrong with it. I promise.

clint said...

Definitely curious to see how the new judges work out.

I've mostly stopped watching the early audition episodes, but I'm going to watch this week.

BJM said...

How can I resist watching Seacrest cry like a little girl, Tyler staring blankly, JLo preen and Jimmy Iovine try to out dog Randy?

Prime entertainment I tell ya!

Rob said...

Watching with my 16 yr old daughter. This is perhaps the first episode I've see more than 5 mins of. Steven Tyler is absolutely hilarious. Simon is not missed.

Methadras said...

No. Don't care anymore. It'll be the same crappy junk rehashed bullshit.

The Crack Emcee said...

Nope. Why should I? (I just asked my roomie, the TV watcher, if he'll have it on, so maybe I can have it in the background, and he said, "No, don't care.")

Anyway, I'll be blogging. I've got a steady stream coming in from here, The Other McCain, Ed Driscoll, Respectful Insolence, and Trooper York. Yipee!

TMR hasn't "arrived" yet, but that "dead end of a NewAge witch hunt" (after Jared Lee Loughner) just seems to keep getting longer, and longer, and longer.

mrs whatsit said...

Nope. Have watched the last few seasons, love the story-telling aspect and getting to know the contestants, especially in the early auditions -- does any moment later in the show ever really top the joy and glory of getting that golden ticket? But I won't even consider watching Steven Tyler and JLo, fergodsakes. Simon was the necessary acerbic palate cleanser against the moronic Randy, fascinating and loopy Paula, sweet but musically ignorant Ellen, empty-headed Kara. Without him the show has no grounding center and I can't think of a reason to turn it on when I could be sorting socks or something instead.

ken in sc said...

I tried to watch it before, but it was boring. I don't see how it would be better now.

PaulV said...

Crack,
I thought the new agers were all so spiritual. Guess I was wrong

Peano said...

No.

MadisonMan said...

I watched it -- well, the first 90 minutes, and Simon is not missed. Steven Tyler and JLo are interesting to watch as Judges.

I like the interaction between the judges and some of the singers who are flabbergasted to meet their idols. I'm thinking of StarBoob lady (and it's a good thing she sang the second song).

I wonder what Randy told Mr. Eagle Scout -- he looked like he was 25, not 19. I'm glad they don't show all the harsh -- needed -- criticism.

The 16-yo former wheelchair guy I think had the best voice that I heard.

So this episode did leave me wanting to see more, when I have time.

Rick Lee said...

It's pretty good so far. I didn't watch last season and I'm surprised so far that I'm enjoying it.

AnticipatoryRepudiation said...

I had it on in the background while doing a jigsaw puzzle. They waste too much time in these early rounds for the show to be watchable.

I do love it when someone with real talent is extraordinary. There have been a few of those moments in the last couple years, and so I will keep tuning in to enjoy them.

Christy said...

I clicked through and caught a bit of the judging. Tyler exceeded my expectations so I may well watch later in the season. I just do not enjoy watching the early rounds.

E.M. Davis said...

The show now features 2 too many singers as judges.

Simon was the only one willing to be truthful and not waste untalented people's time.

Unless they put J-Lo on some kind of horse tranquilizer, she certainly isn't "The New Paula."

And yes, Seacrest is very good at this hosting thing.

Marica said...

No.

I'm proud to day I've never watched an episode.

The Crack Emcee said...

PaulV,

Crack, I thought the new agers were all so spiritual. Guess I was wrong

That's never been my story. I nailed them as cold-blooded killers all along. The sweetness and light shit is just a cover for "I can do whatever I want to do" and - surprise! - what they want to do is control others. Think of it this way:

As long as you thought they were "spiritual" were you worried about them hurting anybody?

It's a great cover.

jeff said...

I've heard rumors that Randy used to be in Journey, but he's always been so secretive about that. Dog.

wv:coodscr. Man, good thing we are all kinder and gentler now. So many things could be said.

Ann Althouse said...

If you never watch the show, it's not that interesting to hear that you're still not watching.

Ann Althouse said...

"Simon was the only one willing to be truthful and not waste untalented people's time."

Well, they've got to narrow it done just the same as before. What's different is that we're not shown the bad people and Simon's reaction. There's less of a display of the judges.

traditionalguy said...

I have watched AI in the past after House was over. People see the race to win as a contest...but its true appeal was that Simon made it into experiencing an attentive judge in a courtroom making rulings. That is an activity that naturally impressed the young folks who had been raised in a Self Esteem First Regime most of their lives. People do need that experience of being judged to help them see themselves as they really are. If AI goes too easy on the contestants, then the show's appeal will disappear.

JAL said...

Well where is Tyler Hicks?

Unfortunately Nashville is ruining Kellie Pickler. She now has fake boobs.

I wish they had left her alone. You know, not alone alone, but let her be who she is and not palsticize her.

JAL said...

That was supposed to be "plasticize."

Good night.

Original Mike said...

Haven't seen a single show and I wouldn't want to ruin my streak.

Scott M said...

No. Reality TV is fifty percent escapism, fifty percent contrived drama, and fifty percent brain veg-o-matic.

LarryK said...

Simon was incredibly over-rated as a judge. Yes, his candor was a necessary 'palate cleanser' (thx Mrs. Whatsit) to Paula's saccharine. But his musical taste was bland and insipid, and the way he pimped Lee over the clearly superior Crystal last year was an outrage. Simon was wearing out his welcome, and I think part of the reason ratings were declining. I think his departure could prove to be a blessing in disguise.

BTW, again to Mrs. Whatsit, Kara was only 'empty headed' in her first season. In season two, she improved dramatically and in fact gave honest, detailed and valuable feedback to all contestants. The only judge this year who looks like he could do something similar is Steven Tyler.

PatCA said...

Thumbs up. Like you say, a good transition, and better than most stuff on TV.

Paddy O said...

I still think Harry Connick Jr. would have been a good host. Much better than J. Lo, but since they need a woman on the panel, I'll say he'd even be better then Tyler.

He was goofy, which would make for a lot of good lines, but he also really knows music. The panel now is 2 performers and 1 musician/producer. Especially at this stage, there should be someone who can talk more about the music. Don't just tell me they have a sweet voice or they're adorable or awful, with a bad voice. Simon was good because he got at more precisely why they were good or bad, especially in the early seasons. There's also the problem of just about no chemistry between the judges or with Seachrest. But that takes time, I guess.

My biggest encouragement was how nice America seems after watching American Idol. This is a show that still celebrates (even if occasionally mocks) the genuinely earnest who have a dream. And the taped stories were full of heartwarming goodness about what's possible, even still, in this country. The story about the Kosovo family, for instance. America is still a place of refuge and hope and dreams. Here on the internet we generally only see the bemused ironics with their witty turns of phrase deriding the earnest for being naive. So, American Idol is good for my soul in a way. I'm proud to say that I've watched since the first season and probably will continue to watch.


My biggest worry from the new season is that somehow, someway, the Huggins girl is going to make it to the top ten.

Trooper York said...

Paddy O as usual hits the nail on the head.

What is great about American Idol is not the singers. Or the songs. Or the judges.

It is the people that you meet. The families and their stories. Some of them can be overdone but some of them were interesting and heartwarming.


The kid from the South Bronx who had a twin brother and whose family was homeless for a while because he dad was sick. But who pulled it together and are still living as an intact family. That can show a lot of people the face of poverty that we don't really see. When the father turned to the son and said "Remember, you are an American, anything is possible." That's what Idol is all about.

The Huggins girl was cute and over the top but she will be out soon as she is not that good a singer so don't sweat it.

The Kosovo family's love of our country just shined in their faces and what they had to say about America. This is something that I talk about in the immigration debates that so often gets overlooked.

There is a lot of meaningful and interesting things in American Idol. You justhave to have eyes to see them.

Trooper York said...

The one thing that will get old quick is Steven Tyler drooling over teenagers. Hey Grandpa keep it in your fucking pants.

Trooper York said...

One thing that is sure is that we have not seen the winner. The only winner who was pimped from wire to wire was Carrie Underwood. Now they don't show you those auditions with a back story so quickly. They let it build.

Trooper York said...

I was never a big fan of J-Lo. I mean I am a big fan of her ass but not of her personally. But she grew on me and she seems like a very nice person. Naturally nice much like Paula without the medication. She will be a treat this season.

Trooper York said...

And thankfully Randy didn't dog it too much.

Trooper York said...

I just hope that our hostess will continue to blog the American Idol season. Not so much as to disturb the pompous elitists but enough to give this blog the flavor that makes it different from boringheads and the other blogs that read like George Will talks.

A six to one ratio between Sarah Palin to Idol post should be just about right.

MadisonMan said...

Yes to more Idol posts.

If that Huggins girl is the one from North Carolina who was the personification of perkiness, then yes, her being in the final 10 would be gruesome. I never remember the names at this point. It's always, the wheelchair kid, the perky 16-yo from NC, Miss StarBoobs, CurlyMopHeaded Guy, Crying Britney Wannabe....

How embarrassing for the soon-to-be Eagle Scout that his Mom could sing better than he did -- and they sang the SAME SONG. That was a little ick for me.

Paddy O said...

"The one thing that will get old quick is Steven Tyler drooling over teenagers."

And the Huggins girl moment was the worst of it. MM, she is indeed the pers-perk one.

You could see the gears turning in Tyler's head as he thought about what he'd like to do to her innocence. Creepy. Tyler drove his windowless van to the auditions.

E.M. Davis said...

"There's less of a display of the judges."

Uh... did you miss the Steven-Tyler-as-Lecherous-Old-Creep Montage?

E.M. Davis said...

"The Kosovo family's love of our country just shined in their faces and what they had to say about America. This is something that I talk about in the immigration debates that so often gets overlooked."

Best part of the show.

Cedarford said...

Watch it? Yes, poke in for a few episodes and if if a singer or two catches our fancy as really good (Underwood, David Cook, Daughtry) or just really talented, interesting and entertaining (Elliot Yamin, Jason Castro, Siobhan Magnus, Jennifer Hudson) - tune in to watch some more!

Its about the performers, not the judges so much. The judges should be good, add a contribution, but Idol erred badly in making the judges and Seacrest the "Stars" the last two seasons and treating the young talent simply as seasonal, replacable scenery.