Sunday, January 28, 2007

Billy Bush is a PodPerson

We've had a lovely weekend at League HQ.

Friday night I headed over to Pat's for HD Movie night. Of course, Pat lured me over with an HD copy of "Superman II: the Richard Donner Cut". We also watched a few minutes of SuperPup (provided by yours truly), a few Superman cartoons, and a couple of HD programs. "Three Sheets" is a travel show following a lush as he goes from lovely vacation spot to lovely vacation spot sampling local booze. The guy is clearly in need of an intervention, but that doesn't mean the show isn't a lot of fun. It also reminded me I haven't been to the beach since November '01. Damn. They also have a show which is just swimsuit models on the beach.

This sort of shortcuts a business plan my former co-worker, Tom, once pitched to me: The Beach Channel. 24 cameras pointing at beaches, one in each time zone, and we rotate beaches once an hour. Sure, it's more of a screen saver than a show, but we'd also license steel drum music or something to make it work.

Saturday we had brunch with Jason at Maudie's, then re-grouped at his place with the dogs. The Austin weather was perfect. Sunny, breezy, and cool, and I wanted to do something outside. I had throwing a frisbee around in mind, but Jason reminded me that there was a march going on downtown, so we got all political and went and did that.

Then we wrapped up the night at Mandy's with Jason, Greg Johnson, a smoking chiminea and some decent beer.

When I got home, I finished my week-ending column for Comic Fodder, then went to bed.

Today was very pretty out, but a LOT colder. We've mostly been running errands, cleaning up a little and hanging out today. I did some maintenance work for Comic Fodder as per JimD's wise suggestion (no, I am not done), and tonight I need to do at least 1/2 of my DC Comic Reviews.

So I sat through 2 hours of "Grease: You're the One That I Want", NBC's Broadway-themed American Idol rip-off. It's hosted by TV gadfly Billy Bush, who I once tee'd off on in these very pages.

I finally figured out what creeps me out about Billy Bush (aside from the fact that he is, in fact, a member of the Presidential Bush family, and does, in fact, look a tad like Bush POTUS 43). What creeps me out is that all Billy does for a living is read from a teleprompter. And not particularly well.

Ryan Seacrest may be a parasite, but he's a highly successful, lamprey-like parasite. I've had occasion to see American Idol dozens of times, and I can give him credit where credit is due. Seacrest at least seems comfortable improvising and talking to the contestants.

Every single word from Bush's mouth is coming from the teleprompter, to his eyes and then out of his mouth in a bizarre, snappy patter that bears no resemblance to actual human speech patterns. It's almost as if Bush doesn't actually understand the words he's saying, or ever consciously process those words. He's a human vo-coder that merely blurts out sounds based upon some barely sophisticated programming.

it walks among us

And that may well be the truth. Take the vo-coder, add a head of LA-wet-moosed-windblow hair, blank/dead eyes and a zombified grin, and there's no real evidence to prove that Billy Bush ISN'T an alien being walking in our midst. A star-struck, semi-coherent alien with a lot of skin creme at his disposal.

I have decided, while watching this show, that I have a pitch Maxwell and I need to put together for a "reality" show. Our show would have to be on Bravo or A&E, and it would follow the process of bringing a show (TV, movie, Broadway, whatever) together, but not in a game show format. I think people would be interested in a documentary about the whole process.

Only our show would also have sharks.


Laura said...

That's an interesting idea. It's sort of been done in various stages with Project Greenlight and to a small degree with the X factor.

I haven't watched the Grease show but it makes Eric mad. He insists that it's degrading to my profession or something. It may still make Grease on Broadway a huge hit. Also, word on the street is they had to audition real actors to round out the non professionals in the cast of hopefuls. Maybe that isn't a secret. As I said, I haven't actually watched it.

But sharks...hmm. Take that Actor's Equity.

The League said...

The Project Greenlight show is very similar, but it's still a game show. I guess I'd be more interested in a "behind the scenes" of a Broadway show that doesn't feature the words "One singular sensation". I have not seen "X Factor".

I think Eric may be right about them bastardizing the audition process by letting the public vote. And I think "professionals"" vs. Amateurs on this is a slippery slope. Some of these folks were making money in, like, St. Paul as actors. Keep in mind, their only audition cities were NYC, LA and Chicago, so it's probably safe to assume that some real actors showed up. It's not quite American Idol where the only prior public experience is at Karaoke bars.

It's mostly, honestly, just sort of boring. I think today we agreed we were done with the show.

ryan_cf said...