Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Yes, I'm watching "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here."
Regardless of the whole controversy surrounding our awesome video entry for the "I'm a Blogger..." competition, I have to admit I am enjoying the show I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here."
And of course hating it with every fiber of my being at the same time.
Come find out how I can live with this paradoxical approach to television viewing...
First off, the premise, competition, challenges, and "danger" NBC is promoting with this show is silly. I'm still not convinced the entire thing isn't being shot on a soundstage in Burbank somewhere. The lighting casts such an artificial glare on everything, and I've seen golf courses look less landscaped. But I'll put my cynicism down for now and assume they really are in the 3rd world country based on the AIDS-like scabs both Lou Diamond Phillips and Sanjaya are currently sporting. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
When first seeing the ads for this NBC show, I waited and waited for a reason to devote even a minute of my time to watching this self-presumed train wreck. Sure, I'm a sucker for a Baldwin, won't change the channel during a Lou Diamond Phillips special, and will remain ever faithful to John Salley after riding his rebounding skills in many a Sega '94 NBA showdown matchup with my college roommate, but after that, the celebrity quality seemed a bit lacking. Frangela were famous for making fun of clebrities, and Speidi were famous for begging the world to make them celebrities. Why would this show be enjoyable?
And yet, there I was last Monday, tuning in to see what was going to happen. And I'm glad I did.
First, let's get the whole Heidi/Spencer thing out of the way. Their performance on the show is the weakest part. Their whole will they/won't they stay/go the first two nights created no drama, only a hope they were serious about not returning. Sadly, NBC felt the whole thing made for great buzz and ran with it, creating the bizarre Sunday morning religious programming vibe we got from the two. To say all religious people should be offended by their behavior is an understatement; pretty sure we should all be offended by their behavior.
Luckily, we had a second Baldwin to call shenanigans on them.
Yes, one of the reasons I am enjoying "I'm a Celebrity..." is because the producers don't seem to be playing by normal reality show rules. Current celebrities being boring/insane? Bring in new ones. And that's how we got a second Baldwin. One that makes Stephen seem downright wholesome.
I love Daniel Baldwin's attitude on the show. First, he's talking about strategy, which I'm not really sure is really going to help him since the viewing audience decide all their fates, but I don't care at this point because his strategy is near genius. Lasting the longest during the food challenge last night and then supporting Lou Diamond Phillips's second tour of duty as leader? Brilliant. Second, I love how he is calling out the other celebrities. Janice Dickinson not carrying her weight in camp? DB is going to let her know. Sanjaya hogging some screen time during an eating challenge? DB is going to put him in his place. Spencer prattling on about faith and Jesus? Daniel isn't falling for the act.
I wrote on Twitter last night when Daniel Baldwin is the voice of reason anywhere, there is sure to be a rapture of some sort. And while I meant it, it still shorts him a little bit. Because what he said to Janice Dickinson was pretty much what every viewer wanted to hear; do something other than lay there and complain. And that's the genius of the show. The villains and heroes have naturally taken up sides. Some people genuinely seem to be there for their charities (Lou Diamond Phillips); others seem to be there to bask in the glow of the spotlight just a little more (Janice Dickinson). Separately those archetypes wouldn't work. Together however, they make magic.