Saturday, April 03, 2004

Below-Average Average Joe

Part of what makes the loss of Playing it Straight so upsetting is that I'm incredibly disappointed by Average Joe: Adam Returns. It's really really boring. I can't really tell the girls apart, and I wish Adam were being a little less slutty. I mean, more power to him and all, but I wanted him to be a bit more of a traditional gentleman. (True, when a new group of "swimsuit models" was brought in, Adam went to a producer and asked that they be taken away immediately, but he's still making out with everyone.)

One thing I do like is the producers' willingness to show us how aware the women are of their situation. They found out that Adam had gotten hot and heavy on each of his dates when they all watched the finale of Average Joe: Hawaii, and saw the promo for their own show that followed it. Very clever, NBC! In a "private" conversation with "hidden" cameras, one of them wonders whether Adam is on a date with a particular girl because he really likes her or because "they told him it would be good TV," and in another, they speculate on what the twists for the show might be. In an interview, one woman said of another, "She's an aspiring actress, so I think maybe she thinks this is her way to get into the business." Another one, in her exit interview, said, "I've been dumped a lot of ways and I guess it was time for national TV." Sure, give her a personality and make me like her as she's leaving!

Well, that's really the problem. I've only really gotten a sense of two of the girls -- the Mean One and the Ugly One, both of whom I really like -- and both were sent home this week. The others so far are completely interchangeable, as far as I'm concerned. They all seem sweet, but I can't manage to care. Say what you will about the average joes, they were distinctive! Very, very distinctive! And now they tell us it's over already next week? What the hell? I wonder if that means no one's watching it and they're burning it off quickly. It just seems like NBC spent a lot of hype on a show that has no breakout personalities (including Adam, who seems to have gotten one shot and that's it), and is only running for four weeks.

Plus, in captions for individual interviews, they referred to each of the overweight guys from season one as an "Average Joe Alumni." Surely these people know that "alumni" is plural, right??

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