State of the Auditorium

September 9, 2012

Image from IceNineJon via Flickr, used under Creative Commons

Hi. It’s been awhile. Since the curtain fell on the last season of American Idol a few changes have happened in my life. I got a new job, which necessitated a move to the new location of the position. So Kathy and I packed our bags and moved from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to Akron, Ohio. Honestly I am happy to be back in the Midwest. For the first 20+ years of my life I lived in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. While I had good experiences in Alabama, Colorado, and Maryland, they just weren’t as much of a match for me. Coming to Ohio feels like I’m coming back to my roots.

Although I am happy have a job and earn income in this age of uncertainty, my job change has increased my work responsibilities to a level that I feel less motivated to write as my “extra-curricular activity.” This is important because we’re coming up on the season premiere of The Voice.

I’ve recapped the past two seasons of The Voice on this blog and I’m just not feeling it this season. Don’t get me wrong, the show has had moments of awesomeness and it’s still a better program than Idol. Last season I was moved to tears after a battle round performance – that’s some kickass singing. I found at least a few contestants to be pretty likeable. And unlike the past season of Idol, I feel like the most talented contestant actually won the show. On the other hand, the show has also had its problems. While it doesn’t have quite the same retro-fetishistic sentimentality as Idol does, its ratio of clunkers to hits is getting closer to Idol’s. Also, while I like the music of most of the coaches (latest example: scoring “Moves Like Jagger” was a coup for Rock Band Blitz, as it’s one of the more challenging and fun songs in the game) as TV personalities I find them to be quite grating. I’m not sure I can take another season of Adam Levine’s douche-y machismo, Blake Shelton’s ham-fisted “eagle-shaped tears” musical conservatism, Christina Aguilera’s tired posturing, and Cee-Lo Green’s combo package of borderline sexual harassment and terrible taste in music. Not to mention it feels wrong when all too often the three male judges are ganging up on the one female judge; especially when she has valid points. Finally, Carson Daly is only entertaining as a host when his wooden façade cracks and we see his frustration with the contestants, coaches, guest performers, and program in general.

Basically, there comes a point in every season where recapping the show isn’t fun or cathartic for me. It starts to feel like a second job. For me, that moment seems like it’s coming sooner rather than later and it’s a bad sign. While I’m proud of what I have written these past few years and I’m pleased that people have read (and hopefully enjoyed) my posts, in truth the writing process doesn’t come easily to me. One reason why I shifted the focus of this site from reviewing songs and albums to recapping musical competition reality shows is that the pace of the TV season and the ephemeral nature of the medium forced me to stick to a schedule and meet deadlines. However, that has also meant pushing myself to come up with something to say about every performance on every episode and a lot of times the words aren’t there for me and I get frustrated.

I want to keep this site going with new posts because writing is the one hobby for me that produces a tangible output. I’m pleased with the results but I find the journey frustrating to the point where I’ve found myself going to bed angry. If I’m going to make this site work for me I will need to change the format of how I write recaps and possibly what I write about entirely. Still, I hope to make this work. You probably won’t see any posts from me this week, but you should see something from me soon.


One comment

  1. You know I’m a big fan of the blog, and having reviewed waaayy too much reality TV over the years, I feel your pain. I think the other major difficulty with The Voice is that the shortlisting process takes far too long and we don’t get to form relationships with the finalists in the same way we do with Idol. I estimate each contestant gets about 5 performances from blind auditions to finals, which isn’t enough to establish their range and what they’re capable of. Which might also explain why nobody buys their records after the show ends.

    Noticed you didn’t mention The X Factor, which also starts back this week. Not a fan of that one?

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