I've decided to introduce a new feature here on the blog, to while away the time until I actually do something interesting enough to write about. And since everyone in the known universe is blogging about American Idol, and I don't have anything more to say on the subject anyway, I'm going with this. Each week, until I get bored or distracted by something else, I'm going to do a little write-up of some tv show. Please do not expect any rhyme or reason to my choices. You should know me better than that.
This week: American Inventor
Not going too far afield with this one; it's produced by our old buddy Simon Cowell, proving that he is indeed a one-hit wonder by reproducing the American Idol template with this duller, sadder ripoff. You've got the same format (a panel of "experts" travels the country and passes judgment on an assortment of hopefuls both promising and pathetic, voting to send them to the next round for further cuts), the same focus on cruelty over content, and the same initials. 'Inventor' even has a bargain-bin Ryan Seacrest knockoff as host.
What makes it different is that these are not misguided teenagers who think they can sing, who are hurt by the rejection but probably weren't planning their entire futures around making it as pop stars. These are adults who have invested years of their time and sometimes all of their life savings in their 'inventions', being told that the dreams they have been living for will never come true. It's the schadenfreudiest!
Best things: The lady with a rare baldness disorder who invented absorbent pads to be worn under wigs and hats and the guy who made an alarm clock that jumps and bounces away from you when it goes off.
Worst things: The guy who invented fart deodorizer pads giving a detailed description of his wife's battle with flatulence, the guy whose product was a disembodied doll's leg that you squeezed to make a condiment come out the foot, called, naturally, 'ToeJam'. Eww.
(Side note: The show would be more accurately named 'American Product Developer'; almost nothing I saw would actually count as an invention.)
TiVo status: one thumbs-up