TV Time: Duets
She Said: Duets
I really wanted to like Duets (airing on ABC on Tuesdays at 8:00). I love, love, love almost embarrassingly, love Kelly Clarkson. I just think her music is awesome and I’ve liked her since she was on American Idol. I love good reality competition shows. I should probably stress the word good in that statement. I am not a fan of American Idol (it’s just boring to me, I cashed out after season 5) and I don’t like The Voice (it’s too blue with the comments and cleavage). So, I was definitely open to liking a musical competition reality show. However, Duets proved to be a big disappointment.
I knew from the grandiose nature of the opening number that this show was just not going to be good. All four judges (Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland) screamed in each other’s faces (and the viewers) about “entertaining us”, I don’t really care for being assaulted with bad pop music. The number was so commercial and over the top I don’t know what they will be able to do to top it for the finale. And it wasn’t even good.
I have to confess that I only made it through the first hour. I just flat out don’t like this show. I don’t get the rules. I don’t get the audition process (which is slightly different in execution for each judge). I don’t get how the scoring works. I don’t like Jennifer Nettles. I’m sorry she really irritates me. I don’t like her voice and I can’t stand to watch her perform. I also don’t like Robin Thicke (I think his music is really explicit and gross). The only thing I enjoyed about watching Robin Thicke was occasionally yelling “Maggie” (how his father Alan Thicke used to say it on Growing Pains). But, I think that’s a really lame reason to keep watching a show.
I had a problem with the contestants, too. None of them seemed very unique. They all seemed to be about the same age and sing the same genre of music. I like the idea of having someone different to cheer for (remember Taylor Hicks and Soul Patrol). Everyone on this show just seemed fine but not memorable.
The actual duets were also really weird. As an actor they bothered me because I kept wanting to get up and redo their blocking. As at home viewer I kept feeling like we were intruding on intensely intimate moment between the artist and the contestant. Also, some of the songs they performed did not work as duets.
Bored, uncomfortable and only a bad 80s TV reference aren’t enough to keep me hanging around watching. I’m just so glad RJ didn’t like it either so I won’t have to be inflicted with this show again.
Great, now I guess I’ll have to try X-Factor since I’m still looking for a good music competition show!
He Said: Duets
I’m going to be blunt and to the point about Duets. It stinks! I was pretty dubious about it, but it wastes no time in showing off how unentertaining it is. The rules are really convoluted. The four mentors each pick two people that we’re going to see sing with them for the entirety of the season. Then they sing duets with them every week, and the other mentors judge the performance giving it a score from 1-100. No audience interaction whatsoever. Oh, and we’re going to be amazed by the mentors performing together (all four at once, even though the show is called duets.)
We’re supposed to be wowed by the celebrity judges. I only liked Kelly Clarkson’s music going in, and found John Legend’s something I wouldn’t turn the channel on, but nothing I would pick for myself. I am really not a fan of Sugarland, so I don’t like Jennifer Nettles music. I’ve also never liked Robin Thicke. So going in, the show isn’t delivering on their premise. I hated the opening number they did together. Apparently Let Me Entertain You is a 15-year-old Robbie Williams song, so maybe it would have worked better if it had aired in Britain. I would have thought it would have been much cooler if they’d done an updated version of the old show tune of the same name. Shows like these live or die by the personalities of the judges, and in this case it’s just not there. They’re not entertaining.
The casting of this show bothered me greatly. The contestants’ stories are also a big part of this kind of show. American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and The Voice all successfully stretch this out for several weeks. This is the part of the show where we grow to care about these crazy kids, and want to see them succeed. Here, the whole process is reduced to five minutes. In the time most shows introduce a song, we’re given the whole backstory of a contestant. Major Fail.
The performances featured the pairs (a mentor and a contestant in case you were confused) singing one of the mentor’s songs, several time facing each other instead of the audience the whole time. This really felt awkward. Of course the mentor is going to perform their song well. So it’s pretty easy for them to carry the contestant to a good performance.
The judging also really bothered me. Everyone was great according to the judges. Wow, you’re so amazing. How aren’t you famous already? I thought I was going to barf when Kelly Clarkson kept talking about how beautiful one of the contestants was.
Ultimately we could only stomach an hour of this drivel before we moved on with our lives. Needless to say, we won’t be tuning in again.