NBC Hates Conan, Madonna, Middle America, Baseball, Apple Pie and You

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I can't figure out NBC's vibe these days. The network seems to have become the quintessential grumpy old man, telling people "get off my yard." I feel as though they are sending the message that they hate people, just like when they hated on Conan and Southland. Don't they want us in their yard, raking up their falling ratings?

The network's irreverent vibe used to be fun, but on the heels of the messy, Rock'em Sock'em Robots Leno vs. O'Brien scheduling scrape, average Joes and celebs alike are being skewered right and left. What's with all the hate, Peacock? Why peck the hand that feeds you?

Some of the Lowlights from NBC's Spring Lineup:

2010 Winter TCA Tour - Day 2

The Marriage Ref has been universally panned. It is probably the most cynical show on television now, making both the squabbling couples and celebrity panelists look insufferable. During each excruciatingly hour-long episode, boorish host Tom Papa encourages three panelists to pick apart the petty problem presented from middle America. The stars end up looking haughty and obnoxious: Madonna is horrified at each couple's furniture, Sheryl Crow asserts several times that she is a rock star, Larry David weighs in: "They're so moronic, I don't want to help them." The couples featured are either set up to look plain weird, fighting over whether or not to have a urinal in the house; or, worse, are shown to be ridiculous for holding on to a dream of becoming a white rap star or famous chef. Jerry Seinfeld must hate us and all of his guest-starring friends, that's the only explanation for this wreck.

Minute to Win It. Reworking the old Beat the Clock gimmick, this show answers the question: Is it possible to humiliate people even more than by making large men weigh in, Biggest Loser-style, without a T-shirt? Yes, NBC can, by making them do meaningless stunts for cash. Win It makes us all look like monkeys greedy for bananas. Win It loses it.

Celebrity Apprentice. The tenth season for this staple doesn't mess with the competitive formula, but this year, the digs at the celebs are snarkier. Some contestants are easy to slam, including Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was portrayed like a simpleton, obsessed with balloons and hunt-and-peck typing. Cyndi Lauper is frequently described as a loon, and baseball great Darryl Strawberry quit (iced with classic Trump degradation for quitters, of course) in the third week. NBC owes them all a bigger fruit basket.

Who Do You Think You Are? Can celebrities appear even more self-obsessed than they seem on talk shows? Why, yes! Just take them on an ancestral journey and let us see them act surprised 20 times as they expand their imdb profile to include generations past. Way to one-up the paparazzi!

It feels to me like NBC is the new Perez Hilton, drawing arrows and thought bubbles with a shaking hand, saying not-nice things about you, me and our friends Cyndi and Conan. This is not comedy done right.

Some reactions from around the web:

Foxyc is loving Celebrity Apprentice because it's featuring "celebrities with big hair, big heads, facelifts, muscles and egos the size of Mt. Olympus."

Stark Raving Shannon's family likes the challenges on Minute to Win It. She's posting videos of her children doing the challenges, one of which will be featured on the show.

Jillian Madison posted a roundup of scathing reviews on Food Network Humor. "NBC was clearly smoking from Whitney Houston's [uh, alleged] crack pipe when they conjured up the notion that Guy Fieri could carry a prime time network game show."

Jill Mader at Couch Time reminds us about last season's Apprentice stars. "...Cyndi also came up with a good slogan very quickly.I'm totally rooting for her. Then again, I also stood up for Jesse James last season, so clearly my judgment cannot be trusted."

Kid-Free Living says Seinfeld's The Marriage Ref sucks, and feels bad for the celebs involved. "Poor Tina Fey. I haven't seen anyone look so uncomfortable since Ashley Simpson’s lip sync track cut off on Saturday Night Live and her lips didn’t."

Have you seen any of the these shows, just waiting around elsewhere until Friday Night Lights returns in May, or are you giving the bird to the show-off bird in solidarity with Team Coco?

Deb Rox is all about Cyndi for the win. Hey, here's an idea, let's Tweet about it!

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