Rawk. Part II.


Damn. Television has the power to be both so brilliant and so very, very stoooopid. Came home after a really fun dinner tonight, flicked on the TV and saw that CBS is making a mini series, which will air later this year about Pope John Paul II (aka JP2). "Look at the amazing resemblance this actor has to the Pope" Mary Hart cooes. I laugh out loud and say to Bernie the wonder cat "Yeah, right, looks more like Jon Voight". Turns out is WAS Jon Voight. Then, as if things couldn't get weirder "Midnight Pontiff" decides that he is going to do the whole interview in his somewhat questionable Polish accent. Seriously, what the hell?! I can't decide if I'm scared or amused. Amused, I think, but it is hard to tell the difference sometimes.

That is pretty much how I felt when I first tuned in to ROCKSTAR INXS earlier this television season. Then, much to my dismay, I got hooked. I was INVESTED EMOTIONALLY by the time the finale aired last night and nobody was more surprised by that then me. The thing is, I can be a wee bit of snob about TV sometimes. I am its greatest defender most of the time, but I also lean towards "quality" television like Homicide: Life on the Street, The West Wing and Charlie Rose. You have to break it down and ask: what does all great television have in common? Answer: good storytelling. And there is no better manipulator of "real" human stories these days then Mark Burnette. It's taken me a few years to come to this realization, but there is good reality tv and not-so-good reality tv. If the "Big Brother" franchise is to television what "The Enquirer" is to the print media, then Burnette's programs, like Rockstar INXS are In Style Magazine or Toronto Life, even. It's not The New Yorker or Harpers but it's still worth reading and fun, to boot. Burnette is a master at creating suspense and characters that you both care about and dislike (am I the only viewer that wanted to SLAP Jordis?). Also, bonus points to Burnette for putting only singers who could actually sing in a singing contest (ahem, Idol!) and choosing contestants who were not children. Most all of the Rockers were in their 30's and had the talent and baggage that goes with that...which equals, you got it, good storytelling.

The first "Rocker" that I became attached to was Ty. You remember Ty? The charismatic black guy with the mohawk that just about everyone in the free world found "cheesy"? Whatever. Like it is news to me that my tastes run towards cheese. After Ty got axed I took a liking to Suzie, from Toronto who really is sweet and has great pipes, and JD, from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. The weird part is that New Glasgow is my family's home town. I was born in Toronto but I spent the two longest weeks of my life in New Glasgow when I was 13 years old and I can say with complete sincerity that New Glasgow, while it has its charms, is the last place in the world someone who has "front rock band" as the goal on the top line of their resume would want to be. JD wanted this job more than any of the other contestants and it felt like sweet, sweet justice when he won last night. Good for him. May he live out his days in a LA mans with a keg of Alexander Keith's Pale Ale at the ready and ladies all around. He's a hell of a singer, a showman and I applaud him. Rock on, JD. Rock on.

Tonight I will go back to the boob tube and check out Mark Burnette's next offering The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Too sinfully delicious to ignore.

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