Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bands Reunite and A Possible Return

In my perpetual reading of the fabulous Best Week Ever blog, there were a couple of stories that caught my attention.

The first was about a list created about 25 Bands That Should Reunite. There are some bad choices on the list like Phish and The Grateful Dead. But, that's most based in my disinterest towards jam bands. Also, I'm not a huge Pink Floyd fan, who is the number one band to reunite. Talking Heads: I'm game to see them again, but I don't think that I want an album. David Byrne should just stay on his own and running Luaka Bop. The ones I would really like to see reunite are The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine, The Misfits (with Danzig. They are touring nowadays in a bastardized form; they aren't the real Misfits), Hüsker Dü, Pavement, Black Flag, and the Cocteau Twins. That's about half the list, so that's not too bad of a list in my book, especially when I don't agree with most lists that I read.

Now, the other story was about American Gladiators. American Gladiators is possibly one of the best shows of the 1990s. Devoid of the tropes of reality programming, AmGlad featured pretty much what everyone really wanted to watch on television: attractive people getting hot and sweaty with each other. There was a lot of tackling and really ridiculous games. Anyone who watched had their favorite gladiators on the show (Mine were Diamond, Zap, Ice, Sabre, and Tower because he frequently referred to himself as the Tower of Power while talking about himself. The others were just totally awesome). That was also the other totally sweet part of the name: the gladiators had totally ridiculous names that made sense when explained but were strange on their own. When I was growing up, it became ritual to watch the show every week. In my area, it came on at 10 am with wrestling coming on at 11. Yea, I watched wrestling too, but that's immaterial to this story.

This all-American display of awesomeness is returning back to television
. NBC is reviving the old show as a midseason replacement. The only problem is that they are going to strip the show of its fun aspect, instead making it more like a reality show. Also, and against the traditional appeal of the gladiator contest as understood in Roman history, they are going to give the contestants the opportunity to train in the events before the actual event. This is preposterous. AmGlad was one of the best shows because it wasn't a lot of nonsense. You turn it on, and the first thing that happens is action. Hardcore, bone-shattering, dude-on-dude, girl-on-girl action. No chach. This was why I liked this show. I also watched this show because the contests had no idea of what they were doing. They didn't see the wall before the climbed it. They didn't know how to operate the weapons on the assault field. These things made watching the show just that much more fun. In the end, you didn't even notice that an hour had passed.

I will watch this show, but I hope that they let that hot sports action take the center stage instead of the background of the contestants, which I don't really care about. Actually, that's a primary problem that I have with reality programming. A lot of it is based around building characters and drama instead of letting the show's topic speak for itself. Call me a realist if you will, but I don't like fake drama. This will sound hypocritical as I watch a lot of Bravo reality programming, but I hate that aspect of Bravo programming as well. It was actually what drove me crazy about Top Design, season three of Project Runway, and season two of Top Chef: the fake drama created between the contestants. I just think that all of the emphasis on drama and less on the pure displays of talent and emotion are a bad strategy towards creating good television. And, this is coming from someone who has watched a lot of television in his life.