Show and Tell

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I gave up on reality television several years ago when I realized I prefer my fake drama performed by actors. I decided, though, to give American Inventor a try. Angela and I are both suckers for gadgets, and we also listen to Doug Hall’s weekly radio show, so it seemed worth checking out.

It’s not bad. There’s way too much melodrama. As soon as the contestants start to tell their story, the sappy music starts and we get close-ups of everybody in the room who is choking back tears (yes, I’m looking at you, Mary Lou). And I feel bad for the people who were obviously only put on the show so that America could make fun of them. Still, some of the inventions have been pretty clever, and I suspect it will get much better once we get past the open casting calls.

For people who think Doug is too hard on the contestants, I recommend listening to his podcasts about the show. He explains some of his decisions and gives some insight into what he’s looking for as a judge on the show. I haven’t agreed with all his votes, but I think he is being more realistic than Mary Lou some of the other judges.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the show. I still consider it on probation. I’m going to give it a few more episodes to see if it’s worth sticking with.