I've never been so pleased to see the local weather forecasters so "Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...you're wrong!" (Allow yourself to hear that in the voice of Dr. Cox in the lately-running Scrubs promo.) 6-9 inches of wet, heavy snow? Yeah, that's really, really close to 1 or 2 inches of plain old (non-freezing) rain. So they're idiots, and all that mega-expensive doppler radar equipment is basically useless, but I'm going to give them a free pass this time. Let's be generous and say they were just trying to make sure people were prepared, given what happened the previous weekend. They were erring on the side of caution, I'm sure, and not overreacting in a hyperbolic frenzy to the possibility of more time on center stage. Breaking weather! Dangerous winter storm! You're only losing commercial time, but we're going to run this enormous crawl along the side and bottom of the screen, reducing your actual viewing area to almost nothing!
But the lovely rain washed away much of the ice, so it's all good with me and the weather dudes and dudettes.
It's not so good between me and the American Idol producers, I'm afraid. I've hung in there for how many seasons now? I couldn't even really tell you why. Maybe I enjoy seeing people whose confidence has no relation to any realistic assessment of their abilities get taken down a peg or two. Maybe I'm a sucker for the now inevitable sobby backstories. Maybe there's just nothing else on, and I'm too lazy to get up and stick in a DVD. Take your pick. But this season is really turning my stomach. There's a difference between aiming a stinging zinger at someone who really only wants to be on TV at any cost, and making fun of people with obvious physical and mental challenges. Some of the people they've made long, excruciating sport of have quite clearly been suffering some sort of social disorder--Asperger's or the like--or some physical abnormality. Telling that one poor young guy with the bulging eyes (thyroid problems? I don't know) that he resembled "one of those creatures in the forest" (I think you mean a lemur, Simon) was just cruel. Can he HELP that? Save your zingers for the people in randomly bizarre outfits, or the ones who obviously are just itching to be put down, so they can extend their few seconds of fame by mouthing off angrily about Simon and his complete lack of qualifications to critique their fabulous performances. (The "He's just jellus" folks, as it were.) And what's with deliberately locking one of the double exit doors, so that even the few who tried to leave with their dignity intact failed? Is that supposed to be entertaining? 'Cause it's not. At all. Blecchh. If I want to see people completely humiliated while competing for the ultimate "prize," I'll watch "Flavor of Love" and "I Love New York." (And, God help me, I've watched them both. I'm so ashamed.)