There are water shortages, nursing shortages, trucker shortages, doctor shortages and OH MY GOD Veggies, there's a Lentil Shortage! There's even a Toor Dal shortage (as if you didn't know). But the worst kind of shortage is going on right under our noses, and we are so numb to it that we haven't adopted a colored bracelet or a web site devoted to it. So, allow me, in my own sick manner, to alert you to the next crisis at our doorstep.
That's right, Mr. and Mrs. America, there is a celebrity shortage. You don't think so? How else to explain the current crop of TV programs devoted to nothing other than creating stars?
Tonight alone, there are three programs that are dedicated to helping Hollywood and the entertainment industry solve this growing crisis. Rock Star: Supernova on CBS, The One: Making a Music Star on ABC and Last Comic Standing on NBC, which I credit with being bold enough not to use a colon in its title. How about this? Last Comic: Standing.
Monday night, NBC gifted us with Project Runway, which I initially thought was about building an airplane, but as it turns out, is about skinny women prancing around in their underwear.
Wednesday night (SET YOUR TIVO) NBC returns with America's Got Talent, which besides being atrocious grammar, is patently disproved by most of the contestants. Then, CBS returns with another spine-tingling eposode of the Rock Star deal, and ABC gives us another tension-filled The One [colon] Making a Music Star. This assumes, of course, that music stars can be made.
I'm not sure if I should include Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, since I'm not sure anyone is watching, and thus does not contribute to solving the celebrity shortage problem. But, it's on for 2 hours, so I figure they will get viewers by exhaustion if nothing else.
Thursday is a potpourri. Yet another Dance on Fox (that's 3 hours in two days - can ya stand it?). Then, something on ABC called Master of Champions, which seems to be redundant. By default, a champion should be a master, but what do I know? Then, DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL another episode of America's Got Talent on NBC. Geez, can they really have that much talent?
Friday, we get a break, as ABC gives us another agonizing America's Funniest Home Videos, which isn't so much about creating celebrities as it is watching people's pants fall down at weddings. Now, that's comedy!
According to my listings, Saturday at 10:00, ABC has To Be Announced. Is it a contest of potential game show announcers, or are they not quite sure what they will put on? My suggestion: A hybrid talent show. America's Master Dancers Have Comic Talent. Kill five birds with one stone. Maybe it should be "Got Comic Talent"?
Sunday, the Lord and TV viewers get a rest, but if you want a test, tune in to Big Brother: All-Stars, [colon] and see if any of them wind up in prison or commit fraud. Say "I knew them when..."
I lost count somewhere along the way, and am too exhausted to go back, but I'm guessing ten shows that have as their sole purpose the creation of the next entertainment sensation. And I didn't even include American Idol, the original germ upon which this infestation has grown.
Are we so starved for entertainment that we have to literally go out of our way to create more celebrities? Aren't the antics of Tom Cruise, Madonna and Star Jones Reynolds enough to satisfy us? Maybe we like being spoon-fed our celebrities? That way, we don't have to establish our own preferences by buying CDs, going to movies or watching real TV shows. We'll just let the entertainment industry tell us who is good, and we can get on with our lives, the same way we let big business, big politics and big media wash over us and dictate our wants, needs and desires.
Stop the insanity. I need a sitcom ... NOW!
Thursday's at eight, My Name is Earl. Thank you, Jesus!