Oh my oh my. The contretemps surrounding American Idol is blanketing the airwaves. Did Paula Abdul sleep with Corey Clark?! Did he have an unfair advantage?! Can we actually trust the producers of this program anymore?! What does this mean for the future of American Idol?! How could something like this happen?!
Okay. Breathe, people.
Could we take a moment and just ponder the juggernaut of mediocrity that is American Idol?
It is a show whose winning contestants are determined by PHONE CALLS. Do you hear me?! PHONE CALLS! You can call in as many times as you can get through to ensure that your favorite contestant goes to the next round. How PURE a process do we think this is?! Are we shocked and stunned that somehow it's not a Jimmy Carter-certified ballot box that made Ruben Freakin Studdard the last American Idol?! It's a TV SHOW--not the first election in post-Soviet Czechoslovakia for heaven's sake! It's a TV show featuring marginally competent vocalists, with a couple of really good ones like Kelly Clarkson thrown in to make it seem legit. For god's sake, can we stop talking about this?!
The irony of this situation is that it sums up the essence of reality television programming, even as it seeks to discredit it. That essence is as follows: taking something that isn't really dramatic or interesting (if you really honestly think about it), like 9 people you don't know on an island you've never seen--or 22 adolescents who think they can sing--or 9 punk ass teenagers in a tricked-out house "interacting" with each other---and attempting to create drama and interest around it.
Now ABC's Primetime Live is trying to do the same thing by talking about a reality show. Did Paula Abdul, eminent has-been, sleep with Corey Clark, no-talent opportunistic dork--before he got kicked off the show anyway for having a criminal record?
I don't mean to sound like an elitist, but does anyone REALLY care?! Anyone over the age of 20, that is? Is this an issue that has been troubling Americans, even as our troops die daily in Iraq, as John Bolton is a heartbeat away from helming our ship at the UN, as Tom DeLay still walks the halls of Congress?
Somebody make it stop.
Alternatively, somebody should do a reality TV show. About this woman, right? She has a daughter from China, right? And she writes a blog, right? And she has a weird sense of humor--and she pretty much wants to put her foot through the TV but for the sole saving grace of Jon Stewart, Seth Cohen of The OC, every Law and Order episode ever made and especially the ones with Fred Thompson, and the occasional dose of Oprah. What do you think?! Ohmigod! It could be, like, so totally dramatic and interesting! And Ryan Seacrest will even host it: "Tonight: your results are in, and E will either eat a Chipotle burrito or a bowl of Honeynut Cheerios for dinner after putting her child to bed. After the break we learn how E's dinner will go! Don't miss it! And stay tuned for scenes from next week's program where your votes will decide if E misses The Daily Show to pluck her eyebrows while b**ching about her 'combination skin' OR whether she goes to Gay Drunk Karaoke and tears the joint up with a Neil Diamond medley."