The Lane Train

News and Pop Culture for the Blog Generation

What’s Wrong with America’s Got Talent?

Posted by thelanetrain on July 3, 2008

When this show debuted two years ago (I know!), I loved it.  It was like that crazy summer reality hit that was kinda good, kinda lousy, and pretty middle of the road.  But now it seems like America’s Got Talent,  NBC’s new summer juggernaut, has sort of turned on itself.  Watching it two nights ago (as I slipped in and out of Sloppy Seconds’ season finale) made me feel disappointed, as if the whole show is becoming a caricature of itself.  And it’s bad enough that we’re elevating David Hasselhoff back to the A-List.  Seriously, the dude singlehandedly ruined the reunifcation of Germany.  What the hell?

After The Jump: Why Talent has jumped the shark

I really wasn’t sure what to think as I tuned into America’s Got Talent (AGT) for the first time this season ON Tuesday night.  It was the Dallas auditions (and kudos, btw, for doing an opening montage a la Dallas) and for some reason, everything seemed very fake.  Fake people, fake judging, Piers Morgan doing his best Simon Cowell, and it just seemed very scripted and polished.  It looked as if you knew the minute an act took the stage, you knew immediately if it was passing or failing.  It’s not like most shows don’t do that nowadays, but on AGT, you knew that the presentation of the acts to the audience wasn’t for the purpose of an audition, but to show exactly who would move on after a previous selection.

What happened to good ol’ days of season one?  You know, when Regis hosted the show and Brandy played the role of “kind, sympathetic female judge”?  When it was little Bianca versus the Quick-Change masters?  If you notice, the auditioners actually got to sit in the audience and watch the other acts.  I hate it now that they’ve completely American Idolidzed the entire format.  Quite honestly, the show kinda sucks.

They’re not the only guilty ones though.  Consider everyone’s favorite animated comedy Family Guy, and compare an early episode versus a later one.  Earlier episodes depict actual story plot lines and arcs, interactions between characters, and the random jokes were funny and truly random.  Nowadays, it just seems that each character is driven to the point where they become gross exaggerations of themselves: Peter has evolved to the very definition of puerile and inane, Stewie is overly effeminate, Meg has transitioned from least-liked child to physical and emotional punching bag, and Herbert (the old man who lusts after Chris) gets more screentime than we need him to, acting more and more like he should appear on To Catch a Predator.  Plus, the inside jokes are getting tiresome.  Sure, its funny to reference pop culture and repeat similar themes, but when the Kool-Aid Guy shows up, like, three episodes in a row, maybe its time to pitch some fresh material.

It’s always a cop-out to say, “Yeah, I liked the show before it got big and turned lame”, but in these cases, its true.  These show were so much more enjoyable to watch before fame and success swallowed any iota of originality and spunk.  It just keeps looking more and more like we’re watching the main characters act as how the public would want to see them instead of how they should act according to the script.  Or perhaps the writers think they know exactly what the audience wants, but the end product is so overdone and stylized, it ruins any likability the show was once known for.  Maybe its just me, but these shows need to slow down and realize they’re doing themselves in.

I’m pretty sure that a world without America’s Got Talent would be a saner, happier place.  I’m not so sure about drawing that conclusion with Family Guy. We already lived through their absence once, and I don’t want to live through it again.

(Photograph via Yahoo!)

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3 Responses to “What’s Wrong with America’s Got Talent?”

  1. sytycd said

    I disagree. I absolutely love what they’ve done with the show and I think the talent has never been better.

  2. Jonny said

    I just saw them send Spiritual Harmonizers or whatever there stage name was home. The last time they were on, Piers said “you remind me of a young Stevie Wonder,” to the main singer. This was the point they jumped the shark. You can’t provide a comment that MEGA and then just be like, but I don’t think its good enough. Compare a person to one of the best entertainers of all time but put some magician over them. Sorry, but I will watch 2 hours of Stevie Wonder over 2 hours of David Blaine any day. Which is another thing, why can’t they have more than one magician in the show. They sent home the best one first. The show is ridiculous.

  3. Steve Jackson said

    America’s Got Talent – seems to have lost it American Roots identity. The “Fair and Honest shake”. It was cruel and plain senseless to fly all of those acts to Vegas only to dump them at the airport and then cut even more without even seeing them perform at least 1 more time. Whoever is ruining the shows format this year needs to watch the reruns and understand what this show “was” about. It comes off like they planned for 26 episodes and had to trim it to 10 or 12 at the last minute and I am being fast forwarded through each show.

    Suggestion: Why not just pick the best 3 or 4 acts from each audition and then hold a series of shows pitting them against each other?

    Questions:
    OH! and if it isn’t a million dollar why send it forward?

    Why are the judges paid per season multiple millions and the winner of the 1 million gets paid over a 40 year period? (Yes some of us do read the small print WOW!!)

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