Oh, MTV! Why? Where to begin with this trainwreck. I know. Let’s start with the true reason why this show is on the air: to give has-been celebrities a few more seconds of fame, even if it’s through their own children. But, before I launch a full-scale attack, let’s go though the basics for the folks not familiar with the show. It doesn’t stray too far from the competition/reality format. There are four judges instead of three. The contestants are the offspring of famous singers/songwriters/actors who have a burning need to sing and make it on their own. There’s a prize of a record contract, public voting for your favorite, blah, blah, blah.
What we’re dealing with here is the most heinous of the competion shows: the singing competition. Let me just get this off my chest right now. I hate American Idol. I think it’s the worse thing to happen to decent television. And, believe it or not, it’s not because of Simon Cowell, or because half the people that get picked for the show don’t deserve to be there, or that the whole thing is rigged to congratulate the most marketable singer. It’s really because there’s nothing more boring and painful than watching people butcher classics that real artists have worked so hard to make classics. These competitions are karaoke without the alcohol, commonly known as Hell. Having said that, I will admit that true artists have materialized out of these shows, and to them I say kudos. However, I firmly believe that if Idol hadn’t darkened our primetime TV watching, these artists would still have made it.
But, I digress. Reason one why I hate Rock the Cradle: the blatant attempt of superstar parents to live vicariously through their offspring. Now, you may disagree with me here and that’s probably because you fell for those rehearsed speeches delivered by the contestants about making a name for themselves in the industry without their superstar parents. Look Jr., if you think for one minute that you’d be on reality show if your daddy wasn’t MC Hammer or your mommy wasn’t Olivia Newton John, then you’re seriously mislead. The real reason for your presence here is so your parents can be seen in the audience supporting you with there whole hearts with the hopes of getting a quick soundbite. And, oh look! This show makes it easy by giving them their own box to sit in! How wonderful is that, huh? Can imagine what a pain it is to scan through an entire audience of joe schmoes to find the right one to focus on?
Reason #2 why this show sucks: therapy sessions really don’t make for good entertainment. I can’t imagine how stressful it must have been having a superstar parent who’s always toured and was never there. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s traumatic stuff that has lasting effects on a person’s life. It’s understandable that you’d want to talk about it. Might I suggest a therapist rather than hundreds and thousands of viewers out in TV land, who, if half of them are like me, are like, “Shut the f$#k up and sing already!!!” Not only are you boring me to death, you’re also making me feel really uncomfortable by subjected me to a private confrontation you should be having with your superstar parent. Out of all the contestants, only two had positive things to say about their upbringing. I just can’t shake the feeling that this whole mess is a means for these kids to tell their negligent parents, “You were a lousy and you owe me big time!”
Finally, reason #3 why this show sucks: the studio audience. Someone forgot to tell these people how to conduct themselves on the set of a competition show. Booing, screaming, and constantly disrupting the flow of contrived dialogue is just no way to behave. And, it didn’t help that MTV didn’t think it important to cast a well-seasoned host who could handle such adverse conditions. No, they opted instead to give one of their insipid Veejays a promotion. When I think about it though, I can’t really blame the audience. They expected entertainment, but got completely hosed instead. Yeah, I’d be a bit disruptive, too.