The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

While We're Yammering About T.V.

So I watched Who Wants to be a Superhero last week. Wow. It's every bit as bad seeing that in print as it is simply hearing it reverberate in my head.

A reality show hosted by Stan Lee that will allow ordinary people to gain immortality in the pages of a Stan Lee comic book. I suppose there are worse things. Than the premise, that is. Watching the show itself was pretty high up on the list of those proverbial "worse things".

Frankly, I'd seen a commercial or two and had fully intended to skip it entirely. My daughters, however, were sucked right in. Insisting, all the way, that I had to watch it with them. You know you love your kids when you agree to watch crappy reality tv (except American Idol, of course, that's completely different - LOL!) with them.

I sat through the entire episode, including the footage of early auditions (where Stan was treated to one young lady whose superpower was stopping villains in their tracks by removing her top, which she eagerly demonstrated) until the teary-eyed (and no my eyes weren't the ones tearing, though I badly wanted to gouge them out) elimination round where the young Nitro G was sent to the trash can to discard his superhero costume. Oh, the humiliation. Then again, the whole thing was.

The remaining contestants include an overweight single mother of three, a bodyguard, a disc jockey, and a devout vegan, among others. According to information on the site,

Each contestant begins with an original idea for a superhero, a self-made costume, and their best superhero mojo. From thousands of hopefuls, Stan Lee chooses 11 lucky finalists who move together into a secret lair. There they will begin their transformations — and their competition for the opportunity to become real-life superheroes. Over the course of the series, they will test their mettle, try to overcome their limitations, and do what it takes to prove that they truly are super.

The finalists will leave their former lives behind and become their brainchild heroes, all under Stan Lee's watchful eye. Each week, our aspiring heroes will be challenged with competitions designed to test their true natures. No one will be asked to perform feats of impossible strength; our superheroes will be tested for courage, integrity, self-sacrifice, compassion, and resourcefulness — all traits that every true superhero must possess.

The prize for being the last man/woman standing is a comic book featuring their character, penned by Lee, and the character will appear in an original SciFi channel movie. No mention of royalties or other cash payment, but you have to imagine there's something.

Last week, contestants were instructed to change into their costumes at a public park and then race to a pre-determined finish line. Ever crafty, Mr. Lee had positioned a young girl, lost and crying for her mother, near the finish line. It was pitiful to see 8 of 12 contestants run right on by and never stop to help.

Frankly, he should have eliminated every one of them. What kind of superhero isn't attentive to distress cries? Come on!! Alas, in the end, only one was eliminated, making this thing drag on far longer than it should! It's possible we've already passed that mark anyway, even in a six episode series!

Frankly, give this guy a cape and a mask and he's right in there. We could call him...I don't about

Panty Shield Lad!

He'll mop up this city's grime! Changing his costume is gonna hurt like a bitch, though! Owwee!!


Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

I saw a teaser for this current bit of American dreck on the Today Show (often, another bit of American dreck). They featured three of the "superheros:" Fat Mama, whose powers had something to do with donuts, Major Victory, who looked like a Captain America ripoff but gained his super powers through some kind of nebulous industrial accident, and Cell Phone Girl, which might represent any typical girl from 18-21. Apparently she can upload from the Internet through some super modem in her brain; her eyes take pictures, etc. Now there was a power I wish I had. Instant GPS! Never lose my way again! Have the answers to everything (instead of merely thinking that I do...)

What, Stan Lee isn't rich enough?

8/01/2006 1:03 PM  
Blogger MJ Norton said...

We, surprisingly enough, watched this last week, too. The particularly surprosing thought was that my wife was the one who decided to set a reminder and put it on. I'd known about the show for months, from back when they were putting out the call for contestants, and would have likely just let it pass otherwise.

It's kitzchy as all Hell, and I'm sure it has different fan camps screaming bloody murder between Stan's being given sole credit and adoration for all of the creations at Marvel in the '60s, to his not ejecting one contestant who stated that part of his "heroic" objective was to kill the bad guys. Stan reproved him with a "heroes don't kill," which on the one hand I agree with but on the other shows how completely out of touch Stan is with what's become of the Marvel universe.

It's a painful watch, but if Ari puts on episode 2 this week we'll likely watch that, too.

Did it ever cross my mind to try out? Well, sure. Finances and lack of sustained free time made it impossible from square one, so reason and common sense didn't even get up to bat.

Maybe things'll change in time for Who Wants To Be A Supervillain,, if they do such a thing, though that'd likely be even more painful. One of the competitions would likely be the evil laugh...

8/01/2006 4:28 PM  
Blogger SuperFiancee said...

Stan Lee is fun (DEFINITELY KITZCHY), but he's much better when he sticks to the comic books. When he changes mediums like this, it's rarely pretty. This one, though, takes the cake.

I think, RashMan would make an excellent supervillain, btw. And with the homicidal side effects, I'm thinking it would work well.

The kids aren't going to be here Thursday and if Highlander doesn't have an interest, I'll be finding something less painful to do with my time. Like falling down the basement stairs eight or ten times.

8/01/2006 5:21 PM  
Blogger Your Girl Friday said...

That poor kid!!! That photo is sure to come out at his 21st birthday party!

I must admit, I LOVE trashy american reality tv. LOVE IT!
Sometimes I feel guilty wasting my precious brain cells, but I just love to escape from the real world into somethings SO BAD, it makes my life feel like the best thing out!

8/01/2006 7:16 PM  
Blogger Tony Collett said...

We're only watching it because of Stan. Otherwise we'd steer clear of it.
On the Saturday night movie that the winner will be on, since it's Sci-Fi, do you think s/he will fight a giant mutated bug, or giant mutated animal?
This entry brought to you by the word (verification) "kodagu" which'll be my name when I try out for the sequel...

8/01/2006 8:29 PM  
Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

I LOVE the idea of "Supervillian." Where do I sign up?

8/02/2006 11:48 AM  
Blogger MJ Norton said...

Get in line!

You're welcome to use that RashMan suggestion, though. (Ouch.)

8/02/2006 8:48 PM  
Blogger AaA said...

Oh I can totally do a Supervillain! Well, on paper anyway. Damn empathy.

I got a real evil cackle though! Several in fact.

Thursday nights eh? Sorry, Smallville is on then.

8/04/2006 4:59 AM  

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