Sunday, January 14, 2007

Grease is the Word, Rolling Stone is Not

Tonight I had the opportunity to catch up on some reality television. Last week, I missed the premieres of "You're the One That I Want" and "I'm From Rolling Stone," but because I love musical theatre and because I want to be a music journalist, I had to check these shows out.

"You're The One That I Want":
It was only a matter of time before somebody had the bright idea to capitalize on the success of BBC's "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria." In that show, hopefuls auditioned for the role of Maria Von Trapp in a new West End production of "The Sound of Music." If an American counterpart to the show had to be made, "Grease" was the right choice. It's campy and just as loved as it is hated, perfect for reality television.

Theatre producer David Ian, "Grease" co-writer Jim Jacobs, and director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall are looking for a Sandy and a Danny for their new production of "Grease," scheduled to open in June 2007.

Last week, auditions were held in Los Angeles and Chicago and tonight the final auditions were held in New York. There were some decent talents, but you have to wonder why people who can't sing or who are obviously wrong for the parts would humiliate themselves by auditioning. Also, the audition process is really unrealistic. I was suprised, however, at how nice the judges were. They were willing to give some of the "singers" second chances, even ones who did not deserve it.

Overall, the show is enjoyable, but I could do without the behind-the-scenes drama. Still, for a Sunday night guilty pleasure, it ranks up there with "Desperate Housewives."

"You're the One That I Want" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on NBC

"I'm From Rolling Stone":
There are people who want to work for "Rolling Stone" or a successful magazine like it, and who work hard to try to get there. But MTV and "Rolling Stone" have partnered to give six slackers the chance of a lifetime--the chance to write for "Rolling Stone" (the winner gets a staff writer position). I missed the first episode, but what I saw tonight was enough to disgust me.

The episode focused on three of the six: Colin, Krishtine, and Russell. Colin's assignment was to interview We Are Scientists. He went in completely unprepared and had no idea what to ask. He even told them that they had a concert that night, as if they didn't know. It was painful to watch. Somehow he managed to write a blog entry and was the first one of the group to publish on the website, setting the standard pretty low.

Russell is, according to MTV's website and himself, the best writer in the group. He did seem to be the most capable of completing a successful interview. I'd put my money on him, except the preview for next week shows him coming in late to work. It wouldn't be MTV without a little drama.

Krishtine interviewed El-P and when she finished her assignment, her editor asked her to rewrite and to ask him some follow-up questions because she was missing some important facts. Krishtine whined about how annoying it was to rewrite something and also said she never does follow up interviews. She's going to be a great journalist.

Thank you MTV for turning rock journalism into another excuse for drunk twenty-somethings to make fools of themselves on national television (not that drinking has never been a part of rock journalism, but at least many of those journalists had talent).

"I'm From Rolling Stone" airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on MTV

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