Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fringe Returns – American Idol Botches It

I was planning on writing a review of last night’s episode of Fringe (Fox) “Inner Child” but I won’t be doing that today. That’s because I didn’t get to SEE the whole episode of Fringe. Why? Well, it seems that Fox had completely lost control of the time on American Idol, and the show ran over a full 8 minutes. This created a cascading DVR nightmare. You see, the DVR doesn’t automatically adjust for those overruns, so it cuts off anything that airs after the show was originally scheduled to end. What makes it worse is that even if I wanted to manually set the DVR timer to compensate for the overrun, it was already recording two HD programs at 10:00 PM – Law & Order SVU and Without A Trace. Since I don't think they haven’t invented a DVR that can record more that two HD programs at once, or automatically adjust for a show's incompetence in controlling its time, viewers will continue to be shut out when shows unexpectedly run over.

It’s really too bad, because Fringe was setting up to be a very interesting episode. While demolition people were readying a building for implosion, they discover and underground room, and in it, what seems to be a young boy who has been in there a long time, since the area had been sealed off for 70 years. He looks like a boy, but they really weren’t sure of his age, he could have been older. While he can’t speak, he can write upside down, and he also seems to be able to be able to tap in to events dealing with a murder case on which Olivia (Anna Torv) is working. After that, I can’t tell you much since sleep came over me – this wasn’t the show’s fault, I was just really tired last night. I suppose I will have to watch the episode with my husband on-line later on.

Let me now vent my annoyance with American Idol. I find it completely inexcusable that a show like this can run over so long. Usually this far into the process I’ve started watching the show, I usually wait until they whittle it down to 8 contestants or less. I haven't seen anything yet in clips from the show to make me want to watch as yet. But from snippets that I HAVE seen, it seems that the new judge Kara DioGuardi (I had to look up her name, I had no idea who she was) is causing them to run over. I did see one segment with her a few weeks ago, and she just went on and on and on and…well, you get the idea. I’ve also heard that the judges take so much time on their critiques in the first half of the show that it causes them to rush in the second half To me, this is completely disrespectful of the contestants. But for a one-hour show to run 8 minutes over – well, there is just no excuse for such poor time management for any show, even a live one.

The overrun gave me a chance to see clips of all the remaining contestants. Let me add that the local Fox News station shows clips of American Idol on their newscasts ad nauseam, so I have seen them all before, but the clips they showed last night was like fingernails on a chalkboard to my ears. I cringed at every one. I did get to see the last contestant (Adam Lambert) perform his rendition of “Mad World” - not the original “Tears for Fears” version, but the haunting Gary Jules version. I thought Lambert's performance was absolutely horrid, it was wobbly, and it was off key in places. Yet Simon stood up and announced that words were unnecessary and he was giving him a standing ovation. That's when I made my decision – if that’s the kind of singing that he thinks deserves a standing ovation, it truly is a “Mad World” – and American Idol is off my viewing list this year.

Adam Lambert “Mad World” – Listen at Your Own Risk

“Mad World” Gary Jules Version – Excellent

The Original Tears For Fears “Mad World” Version – Great for is time

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