American Idol's David Archuleta by Frank Micelotta/Fox
's Julia McNamara (Joely Richardson) woke up from her gunshot coma in a state of retrograde amnesia, I found myself thinking: Can I have some of what she's having? There's a lot about Tuesday night's TV offerings I'd like to forget, from the musical mediocrity of
's disappointing opening night of actual competition to the bloody mess of
's season finale.
: I can't imagine it will be all that hard to kick two male contestants on Thursday night's results show. Honestly, I'd be hard-pressed to find two guys to
OK, that's overstating things a bit. I could make a plausible case for five, maybe six of the guys. But only a precious few showed any actual star quality, or joy in performing: young charmer David Archuleta, who, as Ryan Seacrest noted, many of the viewing audience would probably like to adopt; Australian hottie Michael Johns, who just as many might prefer to marry; and dreadlocked Jason Castro, who (channeling Randy Jackson here) kept it real.
The low points: wan Garrett Haley, drowning in big hair and insecurity; off-key Chikezie, who should really know better than to talk back to his elders and betters, especially when wearing a clown suit (did anyone else notice the Pips in the subsequent Geico ad were wearing virtually the same colors?); and bitchy Danny Noriega, whose "swagger and attitude" couldn't save his misbegotten version of Elvis' "Jailbait" - oops, "Jailhouse - Rock".
Let's hope the ladies step up with stronger performances on Wednesday and the guys soon shed their opening-night jitters, or this is going to be one long season of
Click here for TVGuide.com's complete American Idol recap
It was certainly a painful season for
- or at least for those among us who used to champion the show for its psychological daring as well as for its graphic bravado. After a promising start, this Hollywood season soon degenerated into a vulgar, stupefying assault on the senses that each week reminded us of the not-so-fine line between disgust and shock. The finale attempted, with typical clumsiness, to teach some obvious lessons about the dark side of fame, embodied in the usually enjoyable Jennifer Coolidge's grotesque, faded starlet and ending with the deranged Colleen (Sharon Gless, devouring each mad scene as if it were a juicy ribeye) plunging a knife into Sean's back four times, leaving him drowning in his own blood.
Julia was the lucky one, to have slept through much of this episode, including the scene of a drunken Christian taking the legless mother of his bastard daughter to bed - after having delivered the classic line to his other illegitimate offspring, Matt: "I can't believe I have to say this, but you can't sleep with your sister again." This girl's name, by the way, is Emmy - and that's about as close to an Emmy as this show is likely to ever see again.
I think what annoys me most about
are the viewer advisories at each break, declaring the show is for "mature audiences only." Hogwash. Maturity is hardly a qualification for this freak show, now better suited for people who refuse to grow up.
For another take on
, read Cheers & Jeers.