Thursday, August 23, 2007

America's Got (No) Talent

**This is not an anti-American post. Canada's got no talent either (it all moved to the U.S. in the 80s) but right now, Canadian networks don't offer a comparable talent-torturefest to rip-off for a clever title. **

I was watching Dr. Phil yesterday (shut up), and he was talking to bitchy stage mothers who pressure their young children into being child stars in order to support their family and allow the unfulfilled parents to live a life of luxury in public eye. Phil is just trying to spare us from the future Dina Lohan's of the world, and for that, he has my gratitude.

I think it's fine to encourage your children to try acting or singing if they have a real talent and passion for it, but these kids really couldn't sing or dance or act. They were kinda cute, in the way that little kids are funny and adorable in their school recital, but they all possessed a terribly distorted sense of entitlement and self-worth. They were mostly wee hacks in training, saying things like "I'm a triple threat!" and "I'm going to win an Oscar by the time I'm 12!" One 10-year old girl actually said "I don't know what I'll do if I can't act and model. I don't know how to do anything else." You're 10, darlin'. Just stay in school and you'll do fine.

Every parent thinks their kids are super amazing, and it's great to give your kids confidence in themselves, but something pretty ugly transpires when that kid grows up thinking they are The Best Ever, and all those nay-sayers (i.e. - Simon Cowell, casting agents, audiences) just "don't know real talent when they see it". This is how fugly girls end up crying in the hallway of a hotel at an Idol audition, screaming "YOU DON'T KNOW ME, you f****** a****** co**su**ker! I'll make it widout 'chu! I can sing! I'M GONNA BE A STAR!!!"

Ok, yes, some of these kids have the it-factor, and some will become famous in spite of their shortcomings (see William Hung, or any number of pantieless female celebrities), but there's a much larger majority of depressed waiters and parking valets out there, living in the aftermath of their broken Hollywood dreams.

There's a fine line between thinking you're good at something and actually being good at something, and our reality TV pop culture has already created two or three generations of utterly delusional "entertainers". Of course, in a world of hit songs about umba-rellas and lipgloss, and a thousand D-lister reality shows on 200 channels, it's a lot easier to build a career without possessing the prerequisite criteria. Sometimes a network just needs warm bodies (with sweet racks). Persistence can be a good thing in show business, I suppose, but not at the expense of one's humility.

Just ask this guy!

Here's a well-respected judge of talent who would never trade his integrity for fame.


Chris said...

AHHHHHHRRRRRRGGGGHHHH! My eyes! They burn! Ow ow ow! The Hoff in shorts. Ow ow ow! Hurts! Oh, the hurtiness!

katrocket said...

haha! You KNOW I post this stuff just for you, Chris!

Should I put the big black bar across his box? I hope not, cuz
I love it when the Hoff hangs out.

T said...

OK, that was back in my skinny days and before I started using highlights, but how dare you ridicule my show! -Just for that, (as soon as I find the keys to the car), I'm taking my daughter out for her ballet lessons, then to Creepy Larry's Numbing Brain-Freezers for highballs and ice cream. Don't worry, I won't make her drive to her voice lessons afterwards. I'll show you!...

The Guv'ner said...

For the record, I don't wish to see a photo of The Hoff then hear the words "High balls" in the same CONTINENT, Kat and T.

I used to cringe at the precocious brats but then I started to feel bad for them because as you said, it's the stupid, over-pushy parents who make them that way. It's awful. And I don't watch reality shows - aren't most of them scripted anyway, hardly reality - and I lament the lack of true talent around. Actually, it's around, it's just not prominent like the wannabes with an image or a gimmick.

It's sad. It makes the Guv'ner cry real tears.

Then go back to her Jose Cuervo.

pistols at dawn said...

I think this is the reason that these talent shows succeed with our idiotic viewing audience: everyone wants to believe that they're as good as professionals at something, and that the world is a treasure trove of undiscovered talent.

It's not, unless that talent is being really mediocre at everything.

Look, even if you're the funny guy in your office, that doesn't make you a comedian. It makes you funny compared to powerpoint presentations and interoffice memos. If that's what you're looking for, maybe we should make a show called America Plays Basketball Against Crippled Midgets or America Outeats Bangladesh.

Note to self: pitch both of those shows to FOX.

Bert Bananas said...

I'd love to see some theories blurted out to the masses about why the "need" to be a star seems to have increased exponentially in our society?

In high school I did not know one single kid who wanted to be any kind of a star. We all just wanted to live the lives we saw our parents living.

In my boys high school there are kids with agents! There are kids who are planning on being serious actors, as in Stars! We are friends with a family whose son is going to be a character actor, the Jack Lemmon of his generation. There are future skateboard stars and every kind of band stars, and models!

NOBODY (well, 91.7% of the kids) wants their parents' lives! Of the 8.3% that do, their parents are either doctors or criminals. Or both...

And it's all due to the reality shows. And the fact parents are pretty boring people when you get right down to it. If I had it to do all over again, I would chase that dream I had as a youth and become a gigolo.

Dale said...

Didn't make the Canadian Idol auditions again Kat? Tsk tsk. You're not pushing yourself hard enough.

Leonesse said...

Celine is just showing her Katty side again. Rene-Charles needs no introduction. He is Rene-Charles.

Jana said...

I didn't go to school with anyone that wanted to be a star either, there were a few that wanted to be burned-out overdosed drug addicted guitar players...and one succeeded (did he actually win in that case?)
Anyway, after my retina's adjusted to life after Dave in his undies, I agree with Kat, there's too many pushy a-hole parents out there that demand that their kids live the life THEY never had the talent or the pushy freaking parents to live.
Guv'ner, get some Padrone, or better some Cabo Wabo, then pour that nasty Cuervo down the sink!!