Saturday, September 02, 2006

Instant Feedback

Earlier this week, Matthew (a.k.a. Feedback) was proclaimed the winner of the SciFi channel's "Who Wants To Be A Superhero?" reality show. If you didn't see any of it, you missed out on the summer's nicest surprise.

Sure, the show had plenty of flaws.

The special effects were anything but. One of my favorites was superhero creator Stan Lee's video-taped messages to the contestants. Because of the way the show was filmed, there was no point when could the viewer be positive the contestants were actually speaking with Lee (as opposed to, perhaps, a producer off-screen). Lee only came out behind the facade of a TV screen at the end to congratulate the winner. In addition, the editors would obviously superimpose Stan's messages onto Palm Pilots, whose brand names were obscured with electrical tape, because they didn't want to imply endorsement. Classy. But hey, production quality is not one of SciFi channel's strengths to begin with, so what should I expect?

And for the final decision, instead of just naming a winner, the show committed a Reality TV Felony when they first announced the last loser before acknowledging the winner in anticlimactic fashion. That's just cruel! Also, the winner was announced in front of a bunch of stragglers at the Universal City walk, who appeared to be barely interested in what was going on. Sad. The contestants and viewers deserved better.

Despite all this, the show -- only six episodes long! -- was a genuinely entertaining view. Almost all the contestants were likeable and took the competition seriously to varying degrees. The twists to the challenges were wonderful; in the premiere episode, contestants had to change into their superhero costumes and run to the goal, but in a few cases, ignored a crying little girl en route to the finish line. In addition, because of the somewhat silly nature of the competition, most of the contestants still appear to be good friends, as their MySpace profiles seem to indicate.

Hopefully SciFi will not only pick up the show for a second season, but also buy 12 episodes and pump some more production money into it.

And yes, thank you, I'm a nerd.


Juice said...

Yeah... I have to straight up admit that I watched this show too. I don't know if I could say that it was a good show, but the comic book dork in me was definitely intrigued. I wish the production value was much better though. Also, there were times when I was just horribly embarrassed for many of the contestants. Nonetheless, in the end it was somewhat heartwarming to see the winner... Now let's just wait and see how bad the sci-fi movie based on Feedback is!

ophelia nobs (for real!) said...

monkey girl? come on. she was wearing a bikini with plastic bananas attached. some of the costumes and name/theme ideas were flat-out horrendous. it was obvious from the beginning that feedback would win though.

Chris S. said...

Hey, don't you talk about Monkey Woman like that! She was one of my favorites! Did you see how she hung in there with the attack dogs? And she followed that epic performance with an exhausted, yet spirited, "hoo-hoo-HA-HA-HA!" That's right. I thought so.

The only name/theme idea that I thought was lame was Iron/Dark Enforcer, which I think was a gag from the beginning. I have little doubt that the producers told him from Day One, "Look, you have absolutely no shot of winning this thing. But we'll keep you on for the length of the show as long as you Bad it up throughout the competition."

The show was definitely flawed, but I'll say it again: It was really fun to watch. After "Deadwood" and "Project Runway," it was the best show of the summer.