Monday, May 2, 2011

Reviews:Celebrity Apprentice 2011; Body of Proof; Dancing With the Stars 2011

Couple of TV reviews-For the 2011 season, a "Dancing With the Stars" update as well as what will turn out to be the best season ever for "Celebrity Apprentice". Also, a former Desperate Housewife turns Medical Examiner in "Body of Proof".

Pic of the Day

”Dancing With the Stars” 2011-Will It Be the Karate Kid of the Pittsburgh Steeler?
Link to ABC site for this show

It’s a great year so far for this ABC favorite. While the dances are the main focus, of course, it’s the celebrities, such as they are, that are the stuff of intrigue.

This year the season began with the question of whether Christine O’Donnell, the Mike Castle spoiler of the past mid-term November 2010 elections, should dance. She chose not to because, well I don’t know why. She will be putting out a book soon and she swears she has two left feet.

With that intrigue settled, some of the other contenders were interesting.

Kirstie Alley is a dancer. Kirstie’s a big woman, we all know that. It was quite embarrassing when the effort to hold onto her bulk during a dance dip early in the season caused her partner to fall for the load was too much. His partner gamely took the blame but let’s get real; Kirstie was a bit much to hold while dipping and bowing.

Still Kirstie’s doing a pretty good job and she’s hanging in there.

Wendy Williams, a talk show host with boobs out to here and then some, now long gone, was quite the interest. She was hardly a shrinking violet but she was hardly a dancer of any greatness either.

For the obligatory “senior citizen” type we had Sugar Ray Leonard, who was quite good, personable and enjoyable to watch. A 70 year old type will never win this thing but you need one dancer like this for us older viewers.

The ones to watch seem to be Ralph Macchio, yeah, the former “wax on, wax off” Karate Kid. Macchio’s young enough to move without bother of cracking knees, he’s thin enough to move swiftly and fluidly, and he seems to have a knack for moving his feet.

Himes Ward is the obligatory sports guy this season and he’s another one to watch. Football players always astonish me in that they are often amongst the best dancers. There must be something about football requiring smooth movement and fancy footwork, much like the dance, in fact.

The obligatory youthful Chelsea Kane is also doing very well and she’s the female contender to beat. Goodness, the girl is a child, a Disney star, natch, as ABC is owned by Disney.

Finally a dark horse to watch would be Romeo…yeah, that’s his name. His father had evidently been on DWS oncit although I don’t know who his father was. Romeo got some bad reviews by the judges but he’s one who’s making a great comeback. There’s one on every DWS season.

My guess for the winner? Chelsea Kane…first. Macchio-second….Himes…third.

I am almost always wrong when I do such predictions.
Below, a video snippet from the ABC show’s web site.

”Body of Proof”-a Former Desperate Housewife Becomes a Medical Examiner
ABC web site for this series.

Dana Delany once lived on Wisteria Lane. Now she lives in Philadelphia where she cuts, probes and examines dead bodies that they reveal how they died and how the details of their deaths will lead to their killers.

So okay, “Body of Proof” is a typical cop type of show, whereby in 40 minutes or so the protagonist must figure out who the victim is, how the hell he or she ended up dead, investigate all the possible perps to end at about that 39th minute with the identity of the perp which will surprise the viewer all to hell.

It’s pro forma but some do it better than others, some characters have a more interesting background story, some storylines are more believable.

As for “Body of Proof”, well first, Delany is a very good actress. She was quite good on “Desperate Housewives” so her move to her own show did not surprise me.

Delany’s character, Megan Hunt, was once a well-respected, vaunted surgeon before an auto accident took away her hands’ ability to perform the delicate movements required of serious surgery. Somewhere along the way Dr. Hunt became estranged from her pre-teen daughter, so much so that Hunt’s ex-husband has custody of the girl.

I do like the show as the time seems right for a Medical Examiner type of show. Last ME show I recall was Quincy the ME .

There’s been and continues to be endless “Law and Order” type shows. An investigative show from the viewpoint of a Medical Examiner is different enough in this day and age to capture an audience.

Dr. Hunt’s relationship with her young daughter should attract female viewers. Sure, all the cop shows have insights into the lives of the investigators but on “Body of Proof” we have a story of a woman who lost custody of her daughter and her struggle to regain her daughter’s love and trust. It’s a great idea, really.

The story lines have been, so far, believable. Hunt’s quite the character. She runs up against her co-workers –fellow medicos and sleuths. In the end, everyone kisses and makes up.

I think this series will be successful. It doesn’t have that kind of long-term success appeal like, say, a “Law and Order”, but it should last for a season or two. It entertains, informs and captures the audience attention.

What more could one want from a TV series?

”Celebrity Apprentice”-Best Season Ever for More Reasons Than the Content
NBC Site for this Series

Normally I’d insert the obligatory smirk about Donald Trump’s hair. This year, however, things are mighty different.

First, the teams used for both the women’s team-A.S.A.P. and the men’s team-Backbone- are quite an interesting group. The female team has two very strong members-Star Jones and NeNe Leakes. Jones has a reputation as a bossy, take-charge kind of candidate and NeNe is no shrinking violet.

Then there’s La Toya Jackson, Dionne Warwick, and Marlee Matlin, amongst others, who provide tension and entertainment.

The men’s team, as of this writing down to only three, was also quite the group. Gary Busey could have been a show unto himself. John Rich provides the voice of sanity and reason while singer Meatloaf provides a little bit of screaming and a little bit of intrigue. Lil John is a bit of an oddball, an amusing one, while survivor star Richard Hatch provided plenty of story lines.

In short, it’s been quite an enjoyable Celebrity Apprentice season as of this writing on 4.26.11. It’s easy to predict the winner as it’s plain as the writing on the wall, more on this later.

For now, hey, how about The Donald and his upcoming presidential campaign? Even more amusing, how about how he got Obamer to produce that birth certificate thing?

I don’t think for one minute that Trump’s going to run for President. If he does, I’ll have to really give it some deep thought. Trump doesn’t strike me as the brightest bulb in the lamp. Further, I think he’s very liberal, hardly anybody’s idea of a Conservative.

But I do like the way The Donald’s refused to allow the sycophant media and the ill-mannered Obamer set his agenda. He says things I’d love to hear come from, say, a John Boehner.

I do think Trump’s amusing actions are to promote this very show of which I write. And, indeed, “The Celebrity Apprentice” is quite the successful show, especially this year.

The contenders make this series and this season we have Gary Busey, Meatloaf, Star Jones and NeNe Leakes. Busey is a basket case, Meatloaf has a temper, Star Jones is known far and wide for her bossiness and NeNe Leakes, perhaps not as well known as Jones but quite obvious upon watching the first episode, is one to fight should the need arise.

Like Joan Rivers before her, it’s very obvious that Star Jones is going to win this thing. I don’t know how The Donald has this show scripted, but his formula is very obvious. He gets a very strong personality, one who tends to alienate and dominate his or her team mates. Like all reality shows, you need some tension and conflict to keep the viewers intrigued. It takes a rather loud and bossy contender to achieve this. I think, in return for playing the part of the “bad guy”, Trump agrees to let this chosen one win the grand prize.

Evidence of my theory above was very obvious in the most recent episode as of this writing-4/28/11. Star Jones was Project Manager for the task of creating a brochure to promote the Trump hotel group. While both teams did badly, the women’s team performed the poorest.

Star was in charge of everything on that task. At the board meeting her team crowed about how organized and diligent Star was. The ladies of A.S.A.P. were convinced that under the leadership of almighty Star Jones they were going to walk away with the victory.

It was just the weirdest thing. Any manager with a brain to rattle around in his or her skull would have given Star the boot. There was not a single team member who committed any major error that caused the loss. The disapproval of the females’ presentation stemmed from the very concept, the very unoriginal idea, the snooty butler with white cloth draped over arm, the fancy flowers. The judges thought is was a snooze of a presentation.

In fact, the men’s team, dear Lord, they forgot to put the phone contact or the web site to contact the Trump organization AND STILL THE MEN WON!

Goes to show how awful bad the women’s presentation was.

It was the sort of error caused by poor management, the sort of bad work that should be laid squarely at the feet of the Project Manager.

And it looked like this was going to happen. Except suddenly, in a complete twist, LATOYA JACKSON ended up getting fired. Gentle talking LaToya, who is no ball of brain fire, true, but she’s the last person on the team to have caused that colossal failure.

Something to do with future tasks, as Trump mumbled. I saw it as part of the scripting. The viewer by now probably knows that Star Jones is a serious contender for this thing. This episode teased the viewer by having him or her think that Jones’ victory might not be so certain. “How can she possibly get out of this?” the viewer would ostensibly consider, while sitting on the edge of the seat.

As for the men…John Rich consistently provides the voice of quiet reasonableness. He’d be a likely winner but again, Trump likes the Joan Rivers types.

And he’s got it with a Star Jones.

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