The best part about The WB's Superstar U.S.A. is that it gives the home viewing audience another chance to be annoyed by former Carson Daly and current Ryan Seacrest wannabe (and even more infamously, former Nicky Hilton paramour) Brian McFayden. McFayden has had a phenomenal career-curve, starting as the not-quite-the-next-Daly MTV-VJ, and then popping-up on the ridiculous ABC reality show Cupid where a bunch of men competed for the hand of a beautiful woman, protected by her bitchy best friends, with boring commentary by Simon Cowell.
McFayden is the right guy to host the WB's latest reality crapfest, though. He's just bad enough to go along with how horribly this show is produced. It's not even that Superstar is a bad idea for a program, at least not if you're in for the practical-joke-that-makes-its-participants-look-like-assholes genre of television. Hey, I'm all for it. When you boil it down, that's why we watch reality shows anyway. They all allow the audience to say to their collective television screens, "I'm so much smarter than that moron. If I were starving on a desert island, I would never do what he just did." Reality TV enhances all our superiority complexes, so what better way than to make fun of a bunch of people who have no idea they're the butt of the joke.
American Idol this season scored a recording contract for one of their worst ever singers -- William Hung -- and they aired a whole special where they brought back the "favorites" of the bad from the auditions. The people who couldn't sing at all. And these people, knowing they were the joke, came back to sing, to extend their 90 seconds of fame into closer to 15 minutes. So really, there's nothing wrong with Superstar right?
There wouldn't be if the WB didn't give us yet another show in the mode of Popstars and The Surreal Life. I'm a big fan of the WB: Gilmore Girls, Everwood, Smallville (which, by the way, had a pretty kick-ass season finale!) are all usually good shows, and the Frog was the network that gave birth to what I consider one of, if not the, consistently best show of the '90s, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. But there's something about the way the WB produces its shows that turns good, or at least fun, television into boring and tedious. The most annoying thing about Superstars so far is how little of the show we've actually seen over the course of two episodes. They spent a full six minutes of episode 2 recapping the 48 minutes of show from episode one. Then they spent at least five minutes at the end of the episode previewing the rest of the season, which, mind you, they had already done in shorter snippets at least two other times in that episodes and four or five times in the episode from the night before. And along with that, they showed the same people on both nights! All of this with McFayden doing his stupid narration and trying to buddy-buddy the contestants after their auditions in the exact same way as the original kiss-ass, Seacrest. (Who shockingly really believes he's created a catch-with "Seacrest out!" but I digress.)
I really want to watch this show, but I don't think I can take it. It's too boring in the way it's edited together. The judges are Tone Loc, Vitamin C and some guy named Briggs (who seems to claim to be a television producer, but then again, who doesn't?), and I give them credit for doing the straight-faced praising of some terrible performers perfectly. Briggs is the obvious attempt at creating a more misogynistic Simon Cowell; he goes as far as telling more than one female contestant (who can in fact sing) that she doesn't have the voice they want but since she's "smokin' hot," he'd love to take her to dinner. (Thankfully, he's repeatedly denied.) The horrible people who the rave over buy it so completely that any home viewer has to sit there mouth-agape saying, "How do they not know? How delusional can someone be?"
Nevertheless, it's dull, and the show needs something more than just previews of the final reveal (sorry, but adding echo to McFayden's already grating voice isn't that "something") to make me keep watching, no matter how much I really, really want to.