Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pitying "I Pity The Fool"

So TV-LAND is now running their new reali-T series where Mr. T steps in and makes people's lives better. (If you haven't seen the show, just think Mr. T meets Supernanny.)

I've caught two episodes now. They reran a show last night about a fat, lazy man who wouldn't get off his chair to be with his family.

Tonight, the show was about Mr. T helping a real estate team get their act together.

The fat man show was very unimpressive. It seemed like the result of taking an everyday person (or family) and trying to make them into actors. The result is not pretty. The canned reactions, fotched-on scenarios and stilted dialogue made it seem incredibly staged and unreal. When the dad finally gets out of his chair to teach his son (who looked to be about mid-20's) to drive, he is all frustrated at his son for knocking some cones over, but with one invervention by Mr. T, the dad calms down, and the son miraculously doesn't hit a single cone on his second pass.

Mr. T forces the dad off his chair again to help cook dinner, but just as soon as T steps out of the room (rising from his chair rather stiffly, as if he had a sore back, my mother observed) the dad lurches his way back to the recliner, providing an EXCELLENT opportunity for T to get in the man's face and be, well, Mr. T.

In the final segment (which required a recap...a RECAP? Of a half-hour show? Can you say "stretching the clock"?) the family minus the dad is asked out into a field for a reason they just can't seem to figure out. They spy Mr. T and the dad hauling the recliner to a pyre (with more bad acting..."What is that? Oh my, it is the chair!") and setting it afire rather theatrically.

The advertisements really had T pegged as being a holy jerk to people to make them shape up. But one could see that T struggles to maintain that image. He's probably ready to ditch the growling and hairdo for a stint in the recliner himself.

The show was slightly better tonight. I don't plan on making a habit of watching, but I happened to catch it again. This time, it's a 'team' of struggling real estate owners/sellers who are sloppy, unpunctual, and (the ladies) dress for the alley ways of LA. Mr. T hones in on the leader who shirks his position as leader, but forces them all into line. When things still fall apart, T hauls them to a challenge course for a lesson in teamwork, and leadership.

Once again, the solutions are far too quick. It is possible that T's work actually pays off, but you hardly get to see the real crux of the changes, so it's hard to believe such drastic transitions take place within the ~23 minutes he's alotted.

T seems to be in his element a little bit more in this show. If T actually gives good lectures, most of them aren't seen. One would expect a lecture from Mr. T on why you shouldn't be a fool would be valuable, but instead, T does what anybody could do; take the team members to a challenge course and force them to work together.

25 minutes later, the boss is now a decisive leader, and his co-workers are all happy, and decidedly better dressed. T can hike off into the sunset now. Aiming for that recliner, no doubt.

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