Friday, April 07, 2006

American Inventor Shatters American Dreams

I've been watching American Inventor on ABC recently; a reality show to find the next great American inventor. The beginning few episodes feel similar to the first few of American Idol (Simon Cowell is the executive producer of both), showing would be contestants from 7 cities demonstrating their inventions. They are mixing up the cities throughout each episode which eliminates any sense of continuity- a minor point though.

American Inventor basically destroys the American dream for people who have invested their entire life savings into inane "inventions". It's shocking how many of the contestants are living in some delusions of their own minds that tells them to sell everything they own to make it big with a cupholder or a stick or a flatulence odor absorbing pad for your underwear (I shit you not). These are dreams that deserved to be shattered and therefore American Inventor should be congratulated for providing this public service. Bullet Ball is not the next Olympic sport- it's foosball with your hands. One person's dream is another person's nightmare.

There are four dream destroying judges: the annoying woman's marketing "expert" lady who seems to be a bit of an ugly diva and judges mostly based on feelings instead of any knowledge or thought, the handsome British marketing executive who tends towards the unnecessarily cruel, the Italian New Yorker who sympathizes with all the contestants but is tough and truthful, and the pudgy Hawaiian shirt wearing inventor who has way too much invention know how for his own or anyone else's good but brings the honest voice of reason to his judgments and looks exactly like that guy from Princess Bride.



Separated at birth? It's not inconceivable. The photos don't even do the similarities complete justice. Their mannerisms are indistinguishable.

Despite it's faults, so far the show is far superior to USA Network's similar Made In the USA, a show that did so well in the ratings that it's finale aired at 8am on a Friday (and who's winner "invented" a combination camelbak & football shoulderpads). Some of the inventions on American Inventor actually look good and seem commercially viable. The show hasn't fully described the elimination process yet, I'll have to see how that changes the show to determine if I continue to watch. But so far it's been enjoyable. Inconceivable!

category: tv_