Barrel-Bottom TV


ABC's Master of Champions has not gotten a lot better with age, though it isn't very old.

There is just so much you can do with lots of yo-yos yo-yoing, tops spinning, cars bouncing and playing cards flying. It's entertaining, sort of, but so overhyped–like a monster truck announcer trying to describe close-up magic–that it is almost pitiful.

Never has so much overblown rhetoric been released into the atmosphere at one time. And with insufficient self-mockery to redeem it. The judges, and I use the term loosely, seem either bored or slightly bemused by their own presence at the festivities.

And well they should be. The judges have about as much power as a Danish monarch. They can be unanimous for one cheese-grater or plate-spinner or whatever, but if the audience picks the other one, all that judging amounts to squat.

NBC's America's Got Talent has this show beat hands down in my book, though there seems to be some cross-polinization between the two. Was that the same gymnastic archer on both shows or are there two of them out there?

The fact that I am pondering that question says it is summer and I am watching too much TV. The College of Easily Amused was one of the contestants on Thursday night's show. One would have to be to sit through this, which is getting close to the bottom of the barrel as TV goes.

Of course, next week two ice skaters compete in an "extreme toiletpaper spin-off," so maybe there is even more barrell to navigate.

By John Eggerton