Friday, August 13, 2004

Last Comic Standing 2 Is Dumb: The Tautology of A Reality Stand-Up Show

Or, for a reality show featuring comedians, there weren't a lot of yuks.

Or, for a reality show, there wasn't a lot of drama.

I can't recall if its first run was similarly unbalanced, but LAC2 suffered from a host of problems that, in the end, left it a dragged out boring mediocre summer-filler.

Ignoring the contestants themselves (who ranged from terrible to middling to pretty funny), the editing choices created a format that was guaranteed to neglect standard reality tv in-fighting. An emphasis was put on showing every contestant's performance in a given reward challenge, funny/interesting or not, which left almost no time for showcasing the interpersonal relationships that formed. Whenever LAC2 did show something not challenge-related, it occupied no more than a handful of minutes before we were treated to the plastic gypsy ponderously divining which tarot card to spring on the comics.

I offer proof: given the non-depiction of Todd Glass and Gary Gulman's affection (limited to Gary cracking up while Todd did something lame), it was an abrupt surprise to see that this season had an update of the original Rich Vos-Dave Mordal man-crushing, because as any storyteller worth his/her salt knows, showing is more effective than telling (and a corrollary -- any emotionally charged payoff needs the proper amount of setup, and the Todd-Garry 'ship came more or less out of the blue).

The entire point of a reality series is to show the interactions between its cast, and in this regard, Last Comic Standing 2 was on crack.

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