Tuesday, July 6, 2004

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Experts be warned!!

As an aspiring media whore, I feel compelled to warn fellow aspiring media whores that Comedy Central has a new show called Crossballs, a spoof of Crossfire/Hardball-style shows. The reason I bring this up is that the patsies on this show are -- expert commentators. Steve Johnson explains in the Chicago Tribune:

It's a concept neatly described in the opening credits, which also reference "Crossfire" and "Hardball": "comedians, posing as experts, debating real [experts] who don't know the show is fake."

Certainly, the shouting and screaming and polarization that is encouraged by real-life "issue shows" needs to be taken down a few pegs....

Could the nation survive without Chris Matthews? Yes, the nation could.

And "Crossballs," whose executive producers include the first-rate Matt Besser (Upright Citizens Brigade), does the job of satire quite nicely, thank you.

But it's even better in execution than in the concept. Besser is hilarious as a variety of yahoos, lowlifes and provocateurs. In Tuesday's first episode... he's a reality-TV veteran debating an actual actor trying to defend scripted fare.

On comes a mock film professor who argues that reality TV has knocked film out of the box. When the actor tries to argue the point, the professor says, "Sir, you're Donna Summers, and I'm Alicia Keys."....

Is this fair to the authentic experts? Probably not. But I have a feeling the show would work just as well if the real folk were let in on the joke from the start.

Matthew Gilbert sorta disagrees in the Boston Globe:

The twist here is that one of the experts in each episode is real, and not an actor, and he or she is supposedly being duped. Yes, "Crossballs" incorporates a touch of reality humiliation in its format, even in an episode that finds the panelists debating the humiliation on reality TV. Skewering the army of cable blowhards is a worthy and funny endeavor; ensnaring actual ones to ridicule them is less enjoyable.

Of course, these experts can't be very shrewd if they think they're on a real debate show. With a howling audience and panelists in favor of hunting animals with cars, the atmosphere is unmistakably, and sometimes hysterically, surreal.

Clueless media whores -- you've been warned!! [Do clueless media whores read danieldrezner.com?--ed. Good point. That's our new motto -- "danieldrezner.com -- the blog for clued-in media whores!"]

posted by Dan on 07.06.04 at 11:49 AM


I've seen enough Ali G episodes to know that experts have no idea when they're being duped. I mean, he went on about some panelist not flushing the backstage toilet for about 5 minutes.

posted by: norbizness on 07.06.04 at 11:49 AM [permalink]

I think rush limbaugh's show is a textbook example of why this show will work quite well... Guest on this show will think there on to debate substantive policy issues when in reality they are unwittingly making complete asswholes of themselves..Beautiful!

posted by: troll on 07.06.04 at 11:49 AM [permalink]

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