Question: To be fair, you should know that I am cynical of reality shows. While not arguably original (it comes close to plagiarizing HBO's Project Greenlight), I was intrigued by On the Lot, since it could offer the minority of us who embrace independent films a chance to see gifted aspiring directors who can "think outside the box." My complaints are not with the candidates but about the host, Adrianna Costa, who seems to be Ryan Seacrest with some anatomical differences. Her approach to telling the contestants who will be eliminated is eerily similar to Seacrest's. Next and probably even more alarming are the results of the voting. My consternation is not because my selections did not completely concur with them, but because none of the eliminated filmmakers were American. I don't want to believe that that is a result of xenophobia, but the result of not having a "constituent base" in the U.S. What do you think?
Answer: Politics aside, I wasn't surprised by two of the three who were bounced. I was more alarmed that three women were almost rejected in the first round, making me wonder yet again at how hard it can be for women to garner votes on shows like these. If only she'd made a better movie with a less revolting punch line, I thought the wacky Italian might have stuck around for a while based on her sheer outrageous personality. One thing to keep in mind is that the "independent" vibe may not get these contestants very far, since the whole thrust of the vote is for "box office," to gauge who's got the most commercial eye, which is why the special-effects whiz is probably going to stay a front-runner. Popularity (as in cheering on the redneck who made his movie's nerd victim look retarded) is going to be the point here, which may soon make things even more irritating. Makes me wonder if this shouldn't have gone more the route of the Project Runway-style reality competition, where the judges have the final, and actually only, say on who stays. Full disclosure: It's weird for me to analyze this show because I just finished participating as a judge for a show with a similar theme but a far different approach: TV Guide Network's America's Next Producer, which premieres in mid-July.