Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Entertaining Television

Last night showed me that there is still hope in reality television. Specifically in the form of Deal or No Deal and Pros vs. Joes. I blogged about Deal or No Deal before I had ever seen the show. Now that I have seen it, I have enjoyed it a lot. The game itself is pretty interesting, but proper strategy is always skewed by the fact that the amounts on offer mean way too much to the people playing. But this just makes the viewing experience more fun when you watch someone turn down $150,000 because she has a 1 in 4 chance of $400,000. And then she ends up with $5 (instead of taking the deal like she should have). The people are what make the show, as the contestants are mostly hilarious. They really ham it up for the cameras and I admit that I find it a pleasure to watch (although at this point I fast-forward through a lot of the briefcase choices.

Pros vs. Joes hooked me from the beginning with the introductions of the professional athletes. I was very impressed with the quality of players willing to appear, including none other than Jerry Rice, the greatest football receiver of all-time, who is now obsessed with reality television. Other athletes on the first episode were Dennis Rodman, Matt Williams, Goldberg, and Jim McMahon. But Rice stole the show, entering the locker room sounding like "The Ladies Man," and going on to verbally and physically (on the football field) abuse the Joes. Rice has totally reinvented himself in my eyes, and I think he's been highly entertaining so far. I always equated Rice with Michael Jordan in a sense as the perfect, proper athlete who was always composed. Turns out both guys are way more interesting and more like regular people. Good. There were issues with the format of Pros vs. Joes, but overall it was an incredibly entertaining show. Although I feel that it might be better (and certainly more competitive) if average Joes faced off against top former FEMALE athletes. Food for thought and probably in the works already.

But as much as I like these new shows, nothing will ever live up to Man vs. Beast, the greatest reality show in history, and one that deserves a post in its own right. But I will wait for the third installment to write extensively about it. For now, chew on these morsels about events that took place in the two glorious episodes that were made. A 100m race between a man and a giraffe, followed by a 100m race between the same man and a zebra (Note: The man, Shawn Crawford, later became an Olympic Gold Medalist after beating the giraffe and losing to the zebra. The giraffe and zebra are still eating a lot of grass and leaves). A tug-of-war between a sumo wrestler and a female orangutan (naturally won by the orangutan). And finally, a hot dog eating contest between the legendary Japanese Takeru Kobayashi, and a Kodiak bear from Alaska. Needless to say, the show's producers made this an America vs. Japan match up and the lucky viewers watched a seemingly bored bear demolish the greatest eating machine humanity could offer.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I loved Man vs. Beast, as did Tony Kornheiser if I'm not mistaken...