“The Voice” on NBC; American entertainment at its best.
Tee Vee is a strange phenomenon. Some say what we watch as Americans speaks to something deep and disturbing about us as a people. Or possibly, it’s just a reflection of what entertainment has become in these latter days.
Our Tee Vee watching is Balkanized like just about everything else—how we gather news and information; how we select and listen to music. Everything is just one big personalized smorgasbord, part and parcel of our vapid 21st century lives.
We still have a few things in common as Americans. Monday night is the evening when we gather as one big family around the glowing box (well, it’s really not a box anymore, just a giant glowing, flat screen).
Monday Night Football still garners a significant market share of homes simultaneously tuned in to what has become America’s favorite pastime. Another shared television experience seems to be “The Voice,” which serves as MNF’s pregame show for some.
I’m not anti-Tee Vee. I just don’t watch a lot of the popular shows. I didn’t know anything about “The Voice,” other than occasionally catching Facebook “friends” gushing about the most recent episode. It’s just another one of those shows that when I find out you watch it, my opinion of you drops three percentage points. If you’re teetering on the borders of my list of people to tolerate, it might be the deal breaker that gets you banished forever.
Having now stumbled over parts of two episodes during the past six weeks, I’m still not quite sure why Americans care about it at all. But I’ll take a stab at it based upon 25 minutes that are the sum total of my experience with the program.
By the way, the most recent 10 minutes of viewing occurred while wolfing down birthday cake with my fellow order takers during break at the anonymous call center somewhere north of Boston where I’m on seasonal assignment. It was someones’s significant birthday or something. First popcorn, then candy, and now cake. What’s next? A seasonal bonus? Dear seasonal employer, the peppermint lifesaver dropped on my desk by one of your Xmas elves (aka, job coaches) during that $1,000 order really had me feeling the love, so thanks! Knowing I’m worth a penny or something really makes me want to double my efforts in being a consummate professional.
I get the sense during my two experiences with “The Voice” that the reason why America loves this show (besides our falling national IQ) is that the show appeals to America’s willingness to be “…open, and honest, and optimistic,” at least that’s what CeeLo Green thinks, one of the four “coaches” that critique each one of the singers that get up and strut their stuff, hoping to be “chosen” for their talent.
Maybe it’s my own aversion to much of what passes for popular culture, maybe it’s the B-list nature of the four coaches leading each one of their “teams.” Possibly it’s my diffidence to choreographed reality shows of this ilk. Or it might be that “The Voice” really does suck and it’s way too easy to be dismissive of this kind of popular pap.
All I know is that if I never see another minute of the show, I won’t feel cheated.