A personal blog is not really the best place for true confessions, but I have a burden of guilt I must unload. This summer, during the hiatus of my favorite television shows, I have been watching America’s Got Talent.
Right! Me! Hater of reality TV from the onset, put off by the rat eating and the back biting and hanky-panky that goes on in the jungle or on the island. I tired quickly of even the ‘reality’ shows focused on singing and dancing. I tried American Idol and Dancing With the Stars, sticking it out only one season. The format has quickly become cliched: three judges, one of them mean, contestants are booted off in front of the audience, the camera picking up every emotion. The winner (or sometimes the loser) is announced after a gut-wrenching, tension-building, cat-call-filled 45 second wait. “And you will be going home … … … … John Brown and the Molding Bodies!” It’s all so last week (as is that phrase).
But here’s the thing. I love variety shows. Loved Ed Sullivan in his time. In the course of an hour you could see singers, dancers and stand-up comedians. I even liked most of the copy cats who tried to follow Sullivan. So, while channel surfing one night in June, I stopped on a group of four bicyclists performing dangerous tricks on a stage. When they finished, three judges gave their varied opinions and then a young girl came on with a jazz/ballet routine. A variety show! That’s what this is. Mute the judges, skip the hype and drama of who comes back next week and you have a program where you can see singers, acrobats, magicians, contortionists … a little of everything. And best of all, most of it is worth watching.