Can Reality Singing Competitions Go Away Now?

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
A new American Idol was crowned and I have no idea who they and I think that means the time is done for reality singing competitions. When American Idol launched in 2002, even though we had the internet and more cable channels, there was still a monoculture. Everyone watched most of the same television shows, but even if you didn't, chances are you knew what was going on on shows you didn't watch. Especially a show as big as American Idol

The 2000s was probably the last period of the monoculture. Someone can't be an American Idol with only 5 million people of the American public watching the show.  They also can't be The Voice with those kinds of viewing numbers. And you can tell because in the decade-plus run of the show, none of the winners or contestants have become, not even superstars, just regular pop star level stardom.

I know singing competitions make their networks a lot of money, otherwise they wouldn't be on. I would much rather have all those hours of air time freed up for more television shows to make it on air and find an audience and not shunted until 10pm after these competitions air. When people complain about networks having boring dramas, I think singing shows are the problem. Because of course they're gonna have procedurals, but they no longer have the airtime or prime timeslots to give to some of their more ambitious shows, and those shows get canceled after a season or two without opportunity to truly build an audience.

Broadway Shows I Wish I Saw in Their Original Run

Sunday, May 15, 2022

I recently watched Spring Awakening: Those You've Known. And it really made me sad that Spring Awakening debuted when I was ten. So in the course of a bad night of insomnia, as one does, I kept thinking about the shows I was never able to see the original production of, for reasons of geography, being able to get a ticket, too young, my parents would never, or I just wasn't born yet. 

I will preface that this is pretty much all musicals. Not because I'm against plays, but I think because we have some sort of performance recorded for posterity for musicals, plays don't usually have the same feeling that you missed out on something because you can see another amazing performer in that role and not have something to compare it to. 

Trying to See as Many Non-Blockbusters in Theaters as Possible

Monday, May 9, 2022
Over the last couple of years, the pandemic has accelerated the changed in the theater-going experience that were happening over the last decade or two. Mid-budget and smaller movies getting small theatrical windows or heading straight to streaming, and blockbusters dominating theaters. 

After 2020 when theaters were closed, and 2021 when for most of the year it wasn't fully safe to be in a packed theater, it was nice to be in a packed theater for a blockbuster again when I saw In the Heights. I did see Promising Young Woman in a theater in its December 2020 theatrical run in a practically empty theater while wearing my mask. I didn't get popcorn, just a drink so I could slip the straw underneath my mask, and it just wasn't the same. 

So, now that theaters are back in full-swing, I'm going to do my best to see as many movies that aren't the big blockbusters in theaters. The only movies I see in theaters can't be the blockbusters. I've talked before about my blockbuster fatigue here, and I think in order to combat that, I need to prioritize seeing smaller movies. 

No matter how great a blockbuster is, it can get repetitive when they're the only movies dominating theaters, especially when three of them are coming from the same studio. Sorry, Marvel, but I'm #TeamScorcese, now. This doesn't mean I'm discounting the work of the actors, writers, directors, and crew, which is not what the people who are criticizing Marvel movies are doing. But, most of the movies have felt the same. You can only watch a series of films without much deviation for so long. 

What I'm considering a blockbuster are superhero and big time action franchise sequels. While In the Heights is blockbuster in nature, movie musicals are not the draw that those films are. So, sorry Marvel and the Fast & Furious franchise, my dollars are not going to you in the first week of release anymore. I'm going to be looking at movies like Everything Everywhere All at Once and Men, other small movies I don't know about yet, because that's the joy of seeing what's coming out. You don't have the release schedule mapped out years in advance as part of some grand plan. You find out a month before or maybe a couple weeks into its run, and find gems. 

I want to find gems. 

Going to Try to Keep Up a Letterboxd

Monday, May 2, 2022

So my sister over the last couple weeks has wanted me to start up a Letterboxd account. She appreciates my taste in films and I think she's curious as to what I'd say about them. 

Signing up for it, I forgot I had started an account years ago. And when I signed in again and looking at my page, I really didn't do anything with it. There were like twenty movies that I marked as watched, and ten I added to my likes. So, I was essentially starting from scratch.

The first thing I did was remove all the movies I had liked, for a true fresh start. Then I started adding a whole bunch of movies. As many as I could think of. When I was going through it, I noticed I was adding only the good movies that I'd seen. Letterboxd is all about being representative of everything that you've seen, so I started adding the so-so movies, the bad movies. I also had to make sure I got every franchise film I'd seen, and between Marvel, DC, and all the YA franchises of the 2000s and 2010s, that's a lot of movies. And I made sure to add a whole bunch of classic film, because film history is important, especially after all the hours I've spent watching Turner Classic Movies.

I haven't started liking films or reviewing them yet. For the likes section, I think I'll start doing that once I'm done playing catch up and really taking a look at the movies I've watched over my lifetime and deciding what really are my favorites. For reviews, I'm trying to figure out the kind of Letterboxd presence I want to have. Do I be funny? Do I write long winded reviews like I would do on this blog? I guess it would depend on if I have a really good line or a lot to say about a movie. As long as it's interesting I guess, but the movies and time will tell on that one.

So here's to this experiment! Let's see how this goes.

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