Tag Archives: Adam Lambert

First Adam Lambert, now this.

“Best show on TV this year?” you ask.

Oh, that’s easy.

lambertI could also have said the campest. If anyone thought Fox had blown the gay meter with Adam Lambert on American Idol last season, then they need to watch Glee. Compared to this, Lambert is Hulk Hogan in thigh-length boots.

Up until now my favorite show was Better Off Ted. And that’s still an amazing sitcom. But I LOVE Glee, and it’s not often you’ll hear me say that about a scripted show. I love it to bits and shreds and I want to have its children. Seriously. My uterus belongs to Fox. In Gleeterms of originality, wit, infectiousness, excitement, fearlessness, funny lines per episode, and the sheer genius of the idea, there is nothing – nothin‘, I tells ya – to beat Glee.

The basics: bunch of hormone-raged misfit high schoolers try to find their identity by performing in a glee club, coached by a visionary teacher who’s also busy fending off the various forces of evil trying  to shut the club down. That’s the nutshell version.  But it’s so much more. Funny, involving, surprising, bitchy, sexy. There’s something for everyone. Black diva, hunky jock, acid-tongued queen….and I ask you, how many dance troupes feature McLovin’ in a wheelchair? It reminds me of the first season of Desperate Housewives before it grew old and tired.

I love that some TV executive at Fox had the balls to greenlight this. Whoever that is, I want to find him and kiss him thank-you. (So he might want to leave town now. I’m just saying.) Suddenly, maybe television isn’t doomed after all.

Watch this show, I implore you, or miss out on a major cultural experience that’s about to sweep the world. One of so many. First Barack Obama, then Adam Lambert and Better Off Ted, now Glee. America – you’re back.  

Glee gets FIVE magic carpets out of Five.

TV Swami – he says YES to original TV programming finally.

 

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Aren’t you glad a Moron didn’t win?

 

What a crazy, unforeseen turnaround.

Only a few weeks ago, I was declaring that the final of American Idol would be nothing without Lil Rounds, and everyone else, except for Adam Lambert, was a loser who’d go nowhere and wouldn’t be missed. Well, I was wrong.

All too soon, Lil is no more. Voted off. Outclassed and outlasted by lesser talents: the guy who’s cute but in a sinister way; the sixteen year old with her hair on the wrong way around; and even that guy with the miserable mouth and the mole on his forehead that you wish he’d either pick off or allow someone else to.

The reason for Lil’s expulsion? Inauthenticity. Week after week she was trying to be something she wasn’t. Relevant, cool, a star, a diva – nobody was sure, not even her, I suspect. All she had to be was the pre- Idol Lil – down to earth, raunchy, forceful, real, and belting out songs like she’s hailing a cab at an airport. But someone got to her, and she blew it.

Of course, last year I thought David Archuleta was the best thing ever, and look what happened there. In 08, he was the Mormon golden boy with the smoky voice (not naturally; he had an operation) and the magical green eyes who could do no wrong. 

Then he went and did wrong. He had one hit – Crush – during the post-Idol euphoria when he was flying high, then followed this up with an album that was so blah, so inadvisably anemic, so nothing by contemporary music standards, that he left thousands of fans dangling, and the rest of us in utter despair, as one of the most promising careers ever on that show sputtered, fizzled and dived nose-first into a hedge.

Mind you, once it was revealed that the Mormons, to their eternal shame, were the chief sponsors of the Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage movement in California, anyone tarred with the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints brush was doomed and cursed in my eyes. A church that sponsors and actively campaigns for division, hate, inequality, and bigotry? The very things Jesus himself was against? Wow, time to remove someone’s tax exempt status, it strikes me – and fast. Or drop the m and let’s refer to them as Morons from now on.

Archuleta was on the show last night too, back from obscurity for one last burst, breezing in to let us know why his mainstream career had gone nowhere by singing one of the blah songs from his blah album. He’s going on tour to the UK this week. Good luck, Britain! Remember, he’s a Moron. And the Morons promote hate and division and bigotry. Don’t let the cuteness and the nice teeth fool you.  

Actually, aren’t we all relieved now that he didn’t win? Cute as he is, goofy and daffy as he seems, and even with the Mormon albatross hanging around his neck – when you put that feeble dimbo on the same stage as the towering commercial giant that will be Adam Lambert after he wins this thing (or even if he doesn’t, frankly), it frames everything in a new perspective. At that point, the relative insignificance of an Archuleta or a Lil Rounds or an Anoop Desai, or whoever else you can name (and soon won’t be able to), becomes truly apparent.

I promised faithfully that I would not – not – watch another season of American Idol, and this may yet be my last, but I’m so glad I got sucked in. I wouldn’t have missed Lambert’s performances this year for the world.

Already I have money set aside to buy his album, money I’d planned to spend on something important, like food. Because I don’t need it. His talent alone is nourishing enough. There is protein in every note; he exudes carbohydrates of magic from every pore. Quite honestly, Adam Lambert could do next to nothing on his album – hum, groan, make noises, bang saucepans with a spoon – and I’d still buy it. He is utter magic.

So goodbye Lil Rounds. It’s over. You didn’t stand a chance. Please put David Archuleta in your backpack and leave, then sit back and watch how the professionals do it.  

 

American Idol still, infuriatingly, gets five magic carpets out of five.

TV Swami – he say YES.

www.cashpeters.com.

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Stop screaming and let me listen

Today, please forgive me.  I’m basking in the glow of yesterday.

The YouTube video got almost 1500 hits in just over 24 hours. Miniscule by Susan Boyle standards – that woman’s up to 90 million views to-date, or something ludicrous – but impressive nonetheless.

Incidentally, I was listening to her more closely, and I’m beginning to wonder whether her singing’s all that great after all.

Her story – the personal rags-to-rags-only-now-they’re-famous-rags story – is still captivating, of course, and she deserves all the acclaim she’s getting. The video gives you faith in people again and makes you want to cry. But the trick is all in the editing, I fancy; in particular the sound editing. Something tells me the producers skilfully sugar-coated the soundtrack in mad applause and screaming for a reason, and behind it, without this sweetener, Susan Boyle, though lusty and impassioned and cuddly and lovable and a powerhouse vocally at times, may in reality – in her shower at home, for instance – be a trifle inconsistent, sounding like someone’s grandma who’s knocked back too much sherry at a wedding and insists on belting out a bunch of standards to a steadily-dwindling crowd.  

I hope not, because I want her to succeed as much as anyone else. But we’ll only know for sure when they bring her back to the X-Factor for the real rounds and make her perform alone, without the audience shouting over her. At which point we may find that she’s good and highly entertaining, but she’s no Adam Lambert.

I’m just saying.

 

Susan Boyle gets four magic carpets out of five – but she’s on parole.

TV Swami – he say YES to clever sound engineers.

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PBS. Today’s excuse for not writing a blog

I’m snowed under. Truly.

Finishing book, finishing promo film, working on radio piece, doing taxes, sorting out insurance people after car crash, worrying that the right contestants might not get through on American Idol when clearly an Adam Lambert-Lil Rounds finale in May will make everyone’s life complete and possibly usher in a new era of international co-operation among warring nations…. I have a lot going on.

So I’m not doing a blog today. Bottom line.

In fact, I’m beginning to think that bloggers are people who resort to  writing down their thoughts as a handy alternative to doing anything useful or constructive. Watching TV would be one example. Whereas all I seem to do every day is write down my thoughts in one way or another. I make a living from it. So to then do it in a blog as well is beginning to seem kinda superfluous somehow.

Also when I blog I’m doing it for free. And every time I watch PBS, America’s version of BBC TV, I’m reminded what a bad business model ‘doing stuff for free’ actually is.

PBS – also known as The Begging Channel – is freely accessible to all. Each day they show a range of taped shows, from news hours to concerts to lectures, and whatever else they have lying around the office.

They’re also notorious for introducing Americans to truly mediocre Britcoms such as A Fine Romance and Are You Being Served? that were ratings winners when  I was about nine years old, and convincing them somehow that they are a freshly-minted example of the state of British entertainment today. In fact, it can’t be long before a British variety series I helped write when I was 15 and still in school – The Two Ronnies – gets shown over here, billed as the latest comedy craze. 

“Hang on, run that by me again. A short guy and a fat guy performing skits together? Really? Oh, you crazy goddamned English!”

The reason PBS is known as the Begging Channel, though, returning to my point, is because they proudly broadcast all their shows for free.

F-R-E-E. 

Including classical concerts by puffer fish chanteuse Sarah Brightman, and really excellent self-help lectures by such people as Wayne Dyer and that Rich Dad, Poor Dad guy. Which is fair enough. Who among us doesn’t like free stuff?

But then – then, they go and spoil everything by interrupting the shows with pleas for money. Every twenty minutes or so, some frumpy woman with a bad hairstyle, who wouldn’t be allowed on any other network with those looks and that dress sense, turns up to ask viewers to stump up cash for these so-called free programs. Pledge a financial donation of up to $300, she implores us, so that PBS can keep showing a wide range of “quality programming” – vintage comedies, stimulating lectures, and beautiful concerts by shrill, posturing divas with mannequin hands that we promise will be interrupted every twenty minutes next time as well with even more begging.

Meanwhile, in the background, a coachload of pensioners with similar fashion sense stare at a bank of phones that sound like they’re ringing off the hook but which nobody appears to be answering.

And they go through this ritual repeatedly. Week in, week out, year upon year, interrupting their shows with cheesy panhandling. No matter how much we send them, they’re never satisfied. They never have enough money, it seems, with which to broadcast their free programs. 

I, of course, have never sent them a penny, I can proudly tell you. My view is this: if you’re stupid enough to operate a TV network without advertising or other visible means of support, don’t then come to me and expect me to give you money for a service I can get for nothing. It’s not going to happen.

So that’s PBS. Now, extrapolating this money-pit scenario to my blog…

I write books. I get paid for that. I do radio. I get paid for that. I write material for a blog, for which I receive praise, comments, criticism, and attention, but never any money.  I mean, where’s the sense?

In short, ladies and gentlemen, I am not Sarah Brightman and will not be treated as such. Thank you and good day.

 

PBS gets three magic carpets out of five, simply for showing up.

TV Swami – he say NO to blog-writing.

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