MONDO EXTRAS

CW Sunday Night Lineup Premiere

The CW decided not to air their own original programming on Sunday nights, so they could concentrate on making quality shows like 90210 and Privileged. Instead the night has been sold to an outside company, Media Rights Capital, to do with it what they will... and they've created a really long tedious block of truly boring television.

4Real
Yes, the series is indeed spelled like that, trying to be all hip or whatever. It aired on the East Coast starting at five in the evening. It's basically celebrities doing documentaries exposing other parts of the world. I'm guessing that its aimed at celeb obsessed teens, but not sure they'd be home then... and not sure that they'd want to watch Cameron Diaz trekking in Peru learning about medicine men. My DVR actually didn't record this one... I'm guessing it is kind of a sign, but the commercials seem OK, if a bit on the preachy side. It's a really nice idea, and way more intriguing than your standard documentary on different cultures... especially since people you know are in it, but I just don't see it being a buzzy show. And inevitably they'll run out of celebs who care about the world, and have to resort to below d-listers, or just people who only care about themselves... and I've already seen the Simple Life, so I don't know how much of that sort of thing I can take. Or every week will be Bono.

The first week was two episodes, one with Cammie in Peru, another with a hip hop star I've never heard of. A guy named K'naan. The fact that I don't know him should prove that I'm not the demo they are aiming for. Anyway K'naan traveled to a slum in East Africa and met up with a guy who started a clinic and soccer program for the kids there. This is a show with its heart in the right place, but I still don't think its my cup of tea, especially if it is a guessing game on who these people are. I wonder if this is what my mother feels like when I excitedly tell her about the guest judges on Project Runway. Probably. But I'll definitely be recording the one with Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Him, I know.

In Harm's Way
The second series in this lineup is an hour-long show focused on difficult occupations. It's kind of like America's Toughest Jobs, but without the competition. Or Deadliest Catch/Ice Road Truckers, but boring. Each episode focuses on a different gig, and on premiere night we were "treated" to two episodes. The first was about Coast Guard swimmers. I got excited, because I saw that Ashton Kutcher movie and that made it look like a really intense gig, what with the cold water and the helicopters. Well, apparently there's something to be said for the screenwriters on The Guardian because this was sleep-inducing. Sure they did the thing with the guy holding the brick or heavy object up in the water, and there were helicopters... but I didn't really feel any connection to these people, and knowing that I wouldn't be watching them on a weekly basis (like Deadliest Catch etc...) made me really not care about them at all. Especially when they spent at least half of the hour in a helicopter in the dark circling a lake looking for a missing plane/passengers. It is really bad television to watch other people looking out a chopper door. I don't know if it wasn't in the budget to do more interesting shots, or if it was the fault of the editors, or if just nothing really happened while the crew was there, but this was just so blah and forgettable.

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