Thursday, March 19, 2009

thanks to our SAPPS this evening or why Wendy doesn't enjoy the Gruen Transfer

Ok from now until it finishes you can probably expect a regular Biggest Loser update. I am totally hooked and can't wait to see who wins. Please also realise that this program requires the hyperbole in my capitalised descriptions of it. Because, in the context of BIGGEST LOSER HISTORY, these things are VERY IMPORTANT. The capitals also give a sense of the ponderous, plodding, repetitious character of the program. The rule is someone says something, and then at least one other person repeats it in their own words. Firstly there was TEMPTATION. Example:

Ajay: Hello everyone
Everyone: Hi Ajay
A: Welcome to a very important Temptation
(flashback outside to let's say Sharif: "We knew temptation was going to be really important this week)
A: Temptation is really important this week, because with it comes immunity and the power of the walk
(flashback outside to let's say Bob: "Immunity was up for grabs and we all knew that the further the game goes on, the power of the walk can be even more important)

etc etc you get the idea.

Each contestant was presented with their all time favourite food. ("We all sat down and the waitress started bringing out our favourite meals"). If they ate it all they would win IMMUNITY and the POWER OF THE WALK. Sharif scarfed his down in 15 minutes and won. I'll spare you further recapping of the recapping.

It was also VERY EXCITING last night because the TOP THREE from 2008 returned to give advice to the current losers. Sam, Alison and Cosi. Of the three of them, I think Cosi hadn't quite managed to maintain his top three weight, but it was AMAZING how good Sam and Alison still looked. Of course there was the obligatory oohing and aaahing from the current contestants. And then Alison manipulated the girls through a crying, emotional scene in front of the mirror which was a little cringe making, but still enjoyable in a sad, voyeuristic way. One of the joys of reality TV actually.

And then they left. And everyone was a little bit sad. Even Shannan and Michelle. Oh and there may have been some training in there too somewhere. And I'm not sure why the fighting between the reds and emazon has to remain a secret. If anyone knows please advise.

Feeling a bit un-Australian actually because everyone seems to love The Gruen Transfer but I. I tried it when it first appeared and gave up. But, with an open mind I gave it another go last night. Verdict (and these are purely my own opinions, please feel free to enjoy The Gruen Transfer):

1. I don't find Wil Anderson hilarious, witty, funny, or even mildly amusing. He strikes me as smug, and a little bit try hard. Perhaps it's like the Beatles and the Stones. You either like Adam Hills or Wil Anderson but you can't like them both. The same goes for Peter Berner and James O'Louglin.
2. This means that for me, the central point of the show which should be the host who draws everything together and controls the conversation, is a little bit of a black hole.
3. Do they change the panel members? I hope so. Because the guy to the left of Wil (as you are looking at the TV screen) was just trying too hard to be a smarty-pants devil's advocate.
4. The best one was the older man on the far right of the screen.
5. I've marked a number of cultural studies essays about TV and other advertising. I don't know that I need to also watch others discuss it on the telly. Or if I am going to watch this I want the people discussing to say interesting, intelligent things that I wouldn't have thought of myself.
6. I was bored with the discussion of Australian tourism advertising campaigns.
7. There's a reason why the remote has a mute button...for the ads.
8. Is this the best we really can manage for light entertainment/comedy at the ABC. Remember The Big Gig, Good news week (when it was funny and only went for half an hour) remember the Late Show, remember Club Buggery? And many others that I can't remember.
9. Please Mr Anderson do not steal the term "brains trust" again as I heard you do last night. Or else there may be a dust up between Barry Jones and yourself and my money's on Barry. Think of your own term for your special advertising panel people. Here's one: SAPP (As in: "Thank to our SAPPS this evening" - special advertising panel people).
10. I don't find Wil Anderson hilarious, witty, funny or even mildly amusing. However, it does seem that the recapping of the Biggest Loser is catching.


djfoobarmatt said...

I watched the much anticipated return of Gruen Transfer and was pretty bored too. The first series really grabbed me but that was probably a couple of episodes in. Watching them take the mickey out of The Ponds Institute and the miracle ingredients ads were the funniest. Also when they marketed whale meat as "the beef of the sea" quite convincingly in their ad challenge.

As for Biggest Loser, my wife who usually turns it on so I can watch it vicariously hasn't had time for it WHICH IS THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE SHOW so we've lost track of it. (Cut to Steph: I've just been really busy with some volunteer stuff I'm doing this year and I'm really missing The Biggest Loser)

Sue said...

The ONLY way to watch Biggest Loser is taped. That way you can fast forward through the endless re-hashing of the summaries of the highlights of the main points of previous 37 episodes, fast forward over the taken out of context and consequently very misleading highlights of what is GOING to come later in the week (and never actually in tonight's show) and finally get to the good stuff. Which at last count was about 3 minutes of interesting television for each 60 minutes of show. But I still watch it for those 3 minutes... :) The producers assist in the fast-forwarding process by making most of the flashbacks black and white - very handy when you need to know when to take your finger of the fast forward button!!

Wendy said...

Hello djfoobarmatt... I am relieved to hear that I was not the only one who found TGT boring. I thought the ad challenge was a bit over the top too, but those others you describe could have been more entertaining. I do think I have an irrational dislike of Wil Anderson (he's now on my irrational dislike list along with Shane Warne) which certainly colours my view of the program. Also, though the tone of the whole thing is bit smarty-pants, condescending (in my view anyway) and this is what used to annoy me slightly about Denton on Enough Rope. He is the producer here i think? So perhaps there is some math to do?

Steph - Hello! I'm sorry you're missing this year's Loser because i think the people are much nicer than last year's contestants. although there is yet to be a SURPRISE visit from Bob and Jillian, nor have we had the there is still plenty of time to get on board and enjoy BIGGEST LOSER HISTORY in the making. In the meantime I will try my best to keep you UPDATED on my BLOG.

And are a STATISTICIAN by trade I believe ;). Thank you for those interesting NUMBERS re program to recap ratio/proportion/percentages/ etc. Perhaps you could do some kind of CHART or DATABASE for me ;) Sorry being sarcastic and also for my hopeless and most likely improper use of MATHEMATICAL TERMINOLOGY. I can handle the recapping for only so long and then I find myself shouting at the television "HURRY UP" much in the manner of Blackboard from Mr Squiggle. But that's all part of the BIG FUN.

Sue said...

After your wonderful summary of the way everything is repeated I couldn't stop laughing all the way through the show last night. I hadn't noticed the extent of it!!Having to yell hurry up makes it a bit like being at a pantomime! Perhaps that's the audience participation they're after!! :)

BTW, they reckon 80% of statistics are made up on the spot - most of mine were probably in that category!!!

Wendy said...

Really 80%? that's seems rather excessive but probably true nonetheless.

Yes "hurry up" is good fun! I shall try to think of some other audience participations for you before tomorrow night's ALL IMPORTANT WEIGH IN.

Wendy said...

PLus Sue - not sure if you're familiar with Mr Squiggle having grown up in Noo Zeeland. So I shall try and find some on you tube...because we Ozzies know it's the intonation of BB's hurry up that makes it special. The voice must go down at the end not up.