Saturday, August 16, 2008

Weekend Rant - Hitting the Finish Line

Even with all the world breaking events happening in the Olympics, some of the TV landscape is changing and this week heralded the season finales of Flipping Out and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List. I was pretty full of Jeff and Co. and didn't really need the Reunion Special to tie things up (at this point I could care less -- I have so lost interest), and Kathy's season, overall, left me feeling luke warm and glad that it was over. Kathy has risen above her so called D List stature and has lost part of her appeal to me. Maybe it's me, but I preferred the Kathy that was willing to go that extra mile for her fans (and gays) and there was too much of her success and fabulous friends this season. I also felt a bit deceived by the whole Woz thing... after Kathy's last relationship problems I was hoping it was something serious and good for her and now it feels like none of it was real. That's probably more of the realization that this season was too scripted and too much in all the wrong ways. It didn't feel as Emmy winning this year -- that is probably what happens when success goes to your head.

The Olympics have been phenomenal so far --- I can't get over how many world records are falling to the wayside this time around and I am very impressed with Michael Phelps and his quest for the most medals. Hot stuff.... and I am still in complete awe watching most of the competitions. The beach volleyball has been incredible and I have been completely addicted to seeing Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor continue their winning streak (105 games) and had one small panic attack the other day when it looked like they were going to lose and they pulled a rabbit out of the hat to win that one. I still can not get over how well they are doing and I have to applaud all the athletes that have been pushing themselves beyond the limits of us mere mortals and doing Olympian feats.

My only complaint is that even with major HD channels, I don't get enough choice or variety as it seems all the networks are playing pretty much the same thing. Can't beat the HD though -- I have never seen so many athletes in so much detail. It's a visual orgy and it makes the competitions even that more interesting. The 3 networks (NBC,CBC and Radio-Canada) are all offering various insights in to Beijing (and China) via special reports, and I have to say that those on Radio-Canada reported by Jean-René Dufort (aka Infoman) have been the funnest of the gang. CBC had Sean Majumder doing his Raj Binder schtick (and not being that terribly amusing -- how I wish it was Rick Mercer doing the reports instead) but have redeemed themselves with the interesting Ying & Yang series by Sook-yin Lee. NBC has been putting out Mary Carillo: Exploring China which has made for some interesting yet strangely odd reports. Mary seems like to ask those silly questions that all of us think, but don't want to articulate because we might look like a special needs case. She has the most fascinating voice and presence about her ... enough to keep my attention and sigh "oh my god" when she makes one of her off the wall comments.

Reality Bites Back was hilarious in last week's Almost American Gladiators, and had me in hysterics in this week's installment of So you think you can Dive? Not only did we get a hilarious spoof of a reality competition show, they threw in a Rose ceremony and a Boardroom scene. It was all hilarious stuff and the parodies are getting better and better each time. This week we had former Olympic gold medal diver Greg Louganis as a Judge, and the free style part of the competition was outstanding. I felt Amy's dive of shame was the most creative and was glad to see her still in the competition. Mo is definitely the sexiest, Theo is trying to play up the good boy character and poor Bert tried his hardest to turn on our Judge but got shot down. After seeing the preview for next week's Hunting with the Stars (which looks like it does includes hunting the stars) I can hardly wait. This looks like one of those rare gems in the reality TV universe.