If there is one thing that holds us back, it is what we fear.
Fear Factor originally aired on NBC from 2001-2006. Hosted by Joe Rogan, the premise of the show is that contestants attempt to complete physically or emotionally daunting extreme challenges. If they fail to complete the challenge or their fear gets in the way, they are eliminated. At the end of each episode, the winner walked away with $50,000.
We all have to face our fears at some point. However, doing so for the chance to be on TV and win $50,000 cheapens that challenge of facing our fears. I would rather face my fears because I need to, rather than doing so for a potential payday or 15 minutes of fame.
Family sitcoms have been part and parcel of the television landscape since the beginning. The question is, do these programs stand out from the pack or are they just a little too predictable?
Indebted premiered on Thursday. Linda (Fran Drescher) and Stew (Steven Weber) are a middle aged couple who, well, have not been the most responsible when it comes to their finances. When their debt becomes too much to bear, they move in with their son, Dave (Adam Pally) and daughter in law Rebecca (Abby Elliott). When generations collide, as they usually do, misunderstandings occur.
The thing about pilots is that they never reveal the nuances and the colors in both the characters and the narrative. That takes at least a season or two to develop. I was drawn to the show because it followed the standard premise of a family sitcom, but it felt like it belonged in 2020.
The problem with this show is that it trades on stereotypes and predictable character molds. I appreciate that the characters are Jewish, as there continues to be a dearth of positive Jewish representation on television. But I felt like the writers and the creative team leaned a little too far on the stereotypes instead of using them as a launching point for greater character and narrative exploration.
When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in 2017, it did not break out of thin air. Getting the story to the public took time, effort and going against powerful people who would do almost anything to keep the story out of the news.
Ronan Farrow was one of those reporters. In his new book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, Farrow walks the reader through the process of reporting the story of the Weinstein scandal and the major barriers that were in his way. Back in 2017, Farrow was working for NBC. What started out as a routine investigation blew up into a news story that revealed a dark side of our culture that few were willing and/or able to expose.
Though this book is non-fiction, it reads like a spy thriller. The scary thing about this book goes well beyond what Weinstein did. The scary thing is that he had accomplishes who actively helped to bury the story. To my eyes, it says that men like Weinstein still hold all of the cards. The women he attacked and intimidated are powerless.
However, there is a glimmer of hope. There are good people in this world, like Ronan Farrow, who despite the challenges, are willing to stand up for what is right.
George to the Rescue (2010-Present), has aired on NBC for nearly a decade. Hosted by contractor George Oliphant, the show follows George and his team as they renovate the homes of deserving families.
What I like about this program is that the renovations are more than vanity projects or the homeowners looking to add value to their house in order to sell it. It’s about giving back to a family who is going through hard times and desperately needs a leg up of some sort. I don’t know if one might classify it as reality television. But if it does fall under that category, it certainly makes up for some of the brainless programs that also fall into the category of “reality television”.
In an ideal working world, an employee is solely judged by his or her work history. Their personal identities, physical appearance and beliefs play no part in their working life. But we don’t live in an ideal working world.
In recent television news, actress Gabrielle Union was unceremoniously fired from NBC’s America’s Got Talent. The reason for her firing was the objection of certain language from guest judge Jay Leno and the treatment she received because she is an African-American woman. There are also rumors that Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough were subject to additional scrutiny because they are female.
In regards to Cowell’s alleged indoor smoking, I personally believe that it is a disgusting habit that destroys your lungs and your wallet. But that is my opinion on the subject. If someone wants to smoke, that is their prerogative. I can’t tell them not to smoke. However, when it comes to respecting others, if you do smoke, go outside and do it. I don’t want or need the stench of your cigarette on me.
When it comes to the other accusations, its the same old same old. Women are judged by their looks and not by their ability and their intellect. They are also labeled as “hard to work with” (or other non-PC names) if they stand up what they feel is wrong. In the clip above, a comment was made that struck me. I’ve been a fan of AGT for a few years. While the male judges remain, the female judges are rotated out every few years.
The more I read about this news story, the more I realize that Gabrielle Union is all of us. Though the details of her experience differ, the story is the same. A female employee speaks up against something that she believes is wrong. Instead of at the very least investigating her claims, management demotes and/or fires her and goes on as if nothing happened.
My hope is that this story spurs more women to speak up. I also hope that it lights the fire under a company’s ownership or management team to ensure that the negative publicity that NBC has received does not happen to them.
Becoming a real athlete takes skill, months if not years of hard work and perseverance.
American Ninja Warrior has been part of NBC’s lineup for a decade. An American spin off of the Japanese program Sasuke, the show is basically an athletic competition that is adapted for television. Hundreds of elite athletes from around the country and the world attempt to complete a series of physical challenges. The winners of the local competitions will then move to the national finals, held in Las Vegas. The ultimate winner is that season’s “American Ninja Warrior”.
I don’t watch this show too often, but when I do, I find myself to be captivated. As a viewer, I am sucked in by the question of which contestants will make it to the top and which will have to come back next season.
Television shows that center around members of the police department trying to solve crimes have been around since the beginning of television. The question is, does the new show stand out from the pack or is it just another police procedural?
The InBetween premiered on NBC last night. Cassie Bishop (Harriet Dyer) has a unique gift: she can communicate with the dead. Her foster father, Detective Tom Hackett (Paul Blackthorne) turns to Cassie when conventional police methods are useless in solving the most difficult of cases. But his new partner, Damien Asante (Justin Cornwell) is not so sure that Cassie’s abilities will help them to find the perpetrator.
As police procedurals go, The InBetween is certainly unique due to the spiritual aspect of the show’s narrative. It was not the most thrilling of television programs, but at the same time, I did not have the urge to change the channel.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
The InBetween airs on NBC on Wednesday night at 10PM.
Getting your big break in the entertainment industry requires luck, hard work and being in the right place at the right time. Or, perhaps auditioning on television for millions of viewers.
Last night, Songland premiered on NBC. The premise of the show is as follows: four unknown songwriters audition with their songs in front of three respected producers/songwriters and one guest musician or band who will record the winning song. Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally are the producers/songwriters who provide guidance to the hopefuls. The guest musician last night was John Legend.
After three of the four songs are chosen, the producers will work on the song with the song writers. After the song has been refined, the song writers will then perform the updated song. One song and one songwriter is chosen as the winner.
I really like this show. Unlike other competition reality show where the focus is getting into the entertainment industry, Songland feels authentic. As a viewer I was genuinely rooting for the contestants and on the edge of my seat for the entire episode.
When you live in an apartment building, your neighbors hopefully become more than your neighbors. They become friends and by extension, family.
This is the premise of the new NBC series, The Village. Set in an apartment building in Brooklyn, the series follows the lives of the residents.
Sarah (Michaela McManus) is a nurse and single mother raising her teenage daughter. Gabe (Darren Kasagoff) is a young lawyer who has the most unexpected of roommates: his grandfather Enzo (Dominic Chianese). Ava (Moran Atias) is an immigrant who is raising her son alone when ICE comes calling. Nick (Warren Christie), is the newest resident of the building and a veteran. Ron (Frankie Faison) is the super whose passion for his social worker wife, Patricia (Lorraine Toussaint) is as strong as the day they married.
I’m not really a fan of schmaltzy television. When a show goes over the top with drama, I am usually turned off. But I liked The Village. I liked it because it’s my world. As many of you know, I live in New York City. To have a house of one’s own is a luxury. Most people either rent or own their apartment. I understand these characters and familial bond that goes with living in an apartment building.
Politics has always been a polarizing subject. But there is way to come together, if we are willing to listen to the other side.
Meet The Press (1947-Present) is the longest running show on television. Currently hosted by Chuck Todd, Meet The Press airs every Sunday morning on NBC. The purpose of the program to discuss politics and current events while allowing politicians and commentators on both sides of the political aisle to voice their opinion about the news of the day.
If you’re a political and news junkie like I am, Meet The Press is your ideal program. It takes all of the news from the past week and shrinks it down into a format that is digestible. It allows different political views to be heard and discussed in a mature and calm manner, which does not happen very often these days.