(WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW)
So in the first hour of American Inventor, the finalists were told to put aside their inventions and talk about their passion. In the second hour, they were told to put aside their inventions and tearfully talk about their passion.
Apparently, there is a direct tears-to-ingenuity ratio. I guess Thomas Edison was one big crybaby.
So the woman with the potentially million-dollar idea for baking kits was sent home, becase she talked business instead of shedding crocodile tears. Yeah, that makes sense.
No one is denying that the bald woman has suffered. But her peeling off her wig every time she pitches is cheesy, cheap and exploitative. Plus, no offense, but what exactly did Lex Canther invent? She put a panty liner in a wig. That's not "inventing." What is she going to do with $50,000? Put a maxi-pad in the Grand Canyon?
And what about that doll that speaks Swahili? Gimme a break. It's the first doll, we're told, that speaks Swahili, Spanish, and English. It took her 22 years to come up with it. Okay, I just came up with a doll that is the first doll that speaks Swahili, English, Spanish, Pig Latin, Yiddish, Esperanto, Japanese, and Snoop Dogg. It took me twenty seconds. May I have my million dollars, please?
And I can't even remember if the guy who came up with the alarm clock that bounces off the table across the floor made it to the final 12 or not. I can't remember because I'm busy remembering the dozens of identical products I've seen online over the years.
At least they finally cut loose that old cobweb with the paper bedsheets. I can't imagine how she had the nerve to bring in a piece of paper and call it an invention. And to say it's good for the environment? While wearing a fur coat, no less. But how could they have put her through in the first place? No matter what you thought of Bullet-Ball, that Nok-Hockey game, it was better than sleeping on a big diaper!
With the exception of Peter Jones, the judging has been extravagantly inconsistent. And the producers of the program, which I ordinarily enjoy, should be ashamed of last night's shows. What good does it do to show the deliberations without showing who they're talking about? That has no entertainment value whatsoever.
America's Next Top Model manages every week to show deliberations while still concealing the result enough to build suspense. It's not hard to do. As I say, even ANTM does it, and that's not exactly the best-produced show on the air.
For example: When they had that passionate argument at the end, and whats-his-name, the bald know-it-all, staked his reputation on one invention and the others all disagreed. They argued and argued and finally he convinced them. And we had no idea what they were talking about, and it had no entertainment value at all.
Now imagine instead we knew it was, say, the toilet seat. And we watched them argue, we watched him try to make his case, we watched them resist, but we never saw the outcome. That way we would still have the suspense... and when we see the toilet seat make it through, we can enjoy not just the triumph for the inventors, but the satisfaction and triumph of the judge who we know put it all on the line for them.
That's what good television producers do. Last night was a bummer.
Look, IMHO, if it can be proven real-world-safe, you can end the contest right now and give it to the guy with the child safety seat. As far as the other inventions, the bathroom door clip, the sandbag filler, the un-brella, and the toilet seat filter are ingenious, and are the very embodiment of brilliant solutions to everyday problems. They're what I thought the show would be about.
But the car seat is in a whole other league.
Friday, April 14, 2006
(WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW)