Question: I admit to watching Last Comic Standing and the very cheesy Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, and I caught Design Star last night, but overall, I wouldn't miss reality shows if they weren't on. When will this trend die? I know they are cheap to produce and apparently have an audience, but I feel like my eyes will fall out from just watching the ads for Big Brother. It's all so horrible. I would rather they program reruns, second-run movies or documentary-type fare than this junk.
Answer: I'm guessing you're responding to my summer-reality-roundup Dispatch, written after spending an entire week catching up with many (though certainly not all) of the summer's reality shows. Believe me, I won't make that mistake again, at least not until next summer's glut. The point I was trying to make in that column was that, as always, there is good and bad in every form of TV, and that includes reality. I'm actually looking forward to new episodes each week of Project Runway, So You Think You
Question: Just watched the series premiere of Treasure Hunters, and I enjoyed it (especially the interactive portion, hokey as it was) in spite of myself. Someone should turn the producers on to a little show called The Amazing Race, if you ask me. But anyway, my question: Is host Laird Macintosh a robot? Really seems like it. Or is this one for Ask Ausiello? Thanks!
Answer: With Ausiello currently on a well-earned summer break, I guess I'll field this. Laird Macintosh may not be an actual robot, but he plays one on TV. Are those cell-phone instructions not the cheesiest use of a host since, maybe, the disembodied head on the repulsive Unan1mous? While Treasure Hunters isn't a bottom-feeder like that Fox atrocity, I found the setup needlessly, even comically, confusing, and the rip-off factor (not just of The Amazing Race, but of The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure) more than a little off-putting. I'm not wild about the teams-of-three setup: too many characters, not enough character
Mix equal parts The Da Vinci Code and The Amazing Race, then sprinkle in Nicolas Cage's National Treasure, and you'd get NBC's Treasure Hunter