Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Reality TV worth watching!

half a rant warning

As many of you know (actually the very few readers, but it sounds better the other way, doesn't it?), I am no fan of reality television. I have taken my lumps from Steve Knight for my disparaging comments regarding American Idol and its mean-streak (and sorry music).

But, guess what? I have found a show worth spending my time with. The Contender is everything reality television is not. It is actually REAL. Instead of allowing America to call and vote for a winner, have some lame contest to decide who stays on, letting chicanery to triumph, having a vote to see who leaves or having Donald Trump fire someone, this show decides who leaves by letting 2 men beat the snot out of each other. Simple! The better fighter stays. The other guy goes home. Ah, simplicity.

I was not going to mention this show because I assumed that is was a huge hit. However, I have found out that people are not watching this show, which blows my mind considering the promotion, the producer and the premise (how is that for alliteration). It blows my mind that 20 something million people will watch over-produced singers belt out crappy 70s disco hits with jerk judges or the 45th season of Survivor (which was good in season 1, 2 and Allstar- I will admit), the ego-maniacal Lex Luther wanna-be Donald Trump (oh where is Superman), even the evil Fear Factor, Bachelor shows and whatever other crap they are feeding us weekly, yet they would not watch a show with true drama and real consequences. Amazing.

Anyway, it is not just me that feels this way. The great Bill Simmons, better known as the Sports Guy for ESPN is in my corner. Read his great review of some of the best television in 10 years. If this does not make you want to watch this show, nothing will. If not, just go back to the usual drivel that makes up the major networks' line ups (with the exception of CSI and Scrubs).

Read Bill's Column, The Contender Deserves a Chance and set your TiVo to watch the first 3 fights on Sunday night (true drama), along with a new episode at 8 p.m.

I promise the show is that good! And if you hate boxing, ask my wife (she loves it). Be prepared this is an emotional joyride show including crying.

Also, Bill (as a lifelong Red Sox fan) has a great column discussing why he hopes the new Jimmy Fallon/ Drew Barrymore Red Sox Romantic Comedy flops. Click Here.


g13 said...

pastor rick,

i admittedly don't know nothin' about nothin', but i think csi pales in comparison to the original law and order. gadgets and bad special effects can never trump lenny briscoe's nihilistic wit and mccoy's stoic, unrelenting prosecution.

anyway, there you go. $.02.

Anonymous said...


I'm so glad to hear you've come around ;-) I must admit I've only seen "The Contender" one time, but I liked it! It was the one where the black Christian boxer (who read the Bible and prayed with his wife and child before entering the ring) beat the Arab Muslim boxer (who said "Allah is Great!" on his way to the ring). Go figure. Mel Gibson was ringside too. Maybe that helped in some cosmic way. I was impressed with the show -- Mark Burnett's production skills were definitely in full effect. Thanks for speaking up and letting us know about good reality TV!

I gotta go text my vote for Bo Bice now. Bye.

Steve K.

P.S. Thanks for asking the tough questions about that other reality show -- the Terri Schiavo case. I've gotten a strong response to it over on my personal blog: