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Thread: An excellent article

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    FORT Regular babydog's Avatar
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    Guy needs to get a sense of humor.

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    FORT Fogey wendiness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babydog
    Guy needs to get a sense of humor.
    If you define humor as ridiculing people. There are better things to laugh at. I think this article is spot on.

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    FORT Regular babydog's Avatar
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    Are you going to continue to watch the show, then?

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    FORT Newbie Avg John's Bro's Avatar
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    "Average" John's Brother on pre-judging series based on premieres hook alone

    What's up! I'm the brother of John from Average Joe. Just put that in as a disclaimer, or some such thing...

    I read this article before the show premeired and was a bit bemused. The writer clearly missed the point of network series programming. A premiere for a show such as this is required to do many things in order for the show to succeed in the long term.

    First there needs to be a hook. In the case of this show, the hook is "See Melana's reactions" and, more or less, "look at the geeks". It peeks interest and will get a draw from people who are just curious. Clearly it worked, earning the highest premiere rating for a new series since Joe Millionaire in the 18-49 demo. Not bad.

    The premiere episode was thick with controversy and certainly some cruelty, but that's its job. The future ratings of the shows are not earned the night of the premiere in the family room, they are earned the next day at the office water cooler. Controversy and novelty (which Average Joe's premiere had in spades) give people something to talk about, and that gives the show a leg to stand on from the get go.

    So the show had a good hook. But guess what, VERY few people would continue to watch the show if it was just controversy and novelty. (Wait, Fear Factor's still popular though. ) NBC, as well as the shows producers, know this all too well. The premiere had much more going on than the hook. Throughout the show, rivalries were created on various levels among the guys (Drinkers vs Thinkers, Zach vs apparently his own ego), and comraderie was also created among various "joes". Through this, character traits were shown that have nothing to do with the hook but everything to do with creating a successful series. By creating characters that people can relate to, feel sorry for, be embarrased by, love to watch, or love to hate, "Average Joe" can give each person someone to root for, or against. Additionaly the fact that these "joes" say the wrong things, do the wrong things, and often make asses out of themselves creates a trust in the viewer that what they are seeing, finally, is real. These guys are not watching what they say or do, it's all out there in plain view. There is something endearing and refreshing about that.

    The second show in the series, in all likelyhood, will turn the premiere's equation on it's head. Rather than being 80% spectacle it will likely be 80% character building and drama. There will certainly be jokes and geeky things happening, but the purpose will be more focused on showing the "joes" character. The proof of this is in the promo. If you compare the promos for the premiere to the promo for the second show that played at the end of the premiere, it looks like an entirely different show. The only possible "joke" in the new promo is Adam commenting on Melana's ass..ets while rock climbing. Drama is shown with guys kissing Melana, fighting eachother, and becoming overwrought with emotions, but the guys are in no way made fun of, which contrasts incredibly from the promos before the premiere.

    Why the sudden change? Because we now know the guys. We have our favorites, and we feel we know them each in some small way. We don't want to see them de-humanized anymore, as we have moved beyond that. We want to root for them, and we want to know them more. For many, the hook got them in, but the connection to the characters (and talk about characters!) will have them coming back for more.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Anyway, that's the problem I had with this article. It's as if the guy doesn't understand series premieres at ALL. Did he write that American Idol was the cruelest show on Television because the first episode had Cowell insult hundreds of contestants? The intention here is the same: bring them in for the cruelty, but show them the real characters in between. The twist on Average Joe is that each guy has many sides of themselves portrayed, and they are able to play the role of dramatic lead and comic relief at the same time. Whether NBC and the producers can pull off the transition remains to be seen, but the intention is certainly there.

    Thoughts?

    -Paul Baumgaertner
    student at University of Wisconsin-Madison

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    FORT Fogey overthetop's Avatar
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    Hi Paul. Welcome.

    I didn't read the post article, but your analysis of what the show is sounds good.

    John's my favorite--I hope he had a good experience with it.

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    daydream believer Gypsy Rose's Avatar
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    OK, this show obviously struck a nerve with this particular writer, but check out his picture--nerd himself, much?

    And how contradictory is it that, in the middle of his huff about how the show reduces its participants to humiliated jokes, he HIMSELF insults the guys?:

    "a 32-year-old cop who couldn't scare up a date for his high school prom"

    and

    "a 5-foot-4 software tester is as close as the show gets to including a midget".

    I think those cheap shots are overly harsh judgments on both of those men, sure to be hurtful if read in this article that is supposedly swooping to their defense. So there he shoots his entire premise in the foot.

    John's brother, you sound like a geek too, if by geek it is meant, "Highly intelligent, observant, and gifted in self-expression". Your brother is already a fave of mine, and sure to become more so if he shares your qualities. Thanks for chiming in, and good luck in your college career. Stay out of trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avg John's Bro
    First there needs to be a hook. In the case of this show, the hook is "See Melana's reactions" and, more or less, "look at the geeks". It peeks interest and will get a draw from people who are just curious.
    Being that the article was written prior to the show, all he had to comment on was the "hook. " And I think that is the writers point, that NBC has resorted to such a low level simply for establishing a "hook"

    Your American Idol comparison doesn't fully click because that show doesn't really make any claims against a persons character. It just shows here's a person that can't sing, and thinks he can. But this show, by calling it "beauty and the geeks" has already established negative connotations about these men before they set foot on screen or stage or whatever

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    FORT Newbie Avg John's Bro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skwadim
    Being that the article was written prior to the show, all he had to comment on was the "hook. " And I think that is the writers point, that NBC has resorted to such a low level simply for establishing a "hook"

    Your American Idol comparison doesn't fully click because that show doesn't really make any claims against a persons character. It just shows here's a person that can't sing, and thinks he can. But this show, by calling it "beauty and the geeks" has already established negative connotations about these men before they set foot on screen or stage or whatever
    Well, the press always has a preview of the show, so they did get to watch the entire first episode, and possible the second as well. Basically he has seen at least what we have seen, and he choose to ignore all references to character design and storyline setup, belittling the show to nothing more than a freak show, essentially. That just simply isn't fair, and he should know better as a television reporter.

    The point of the American Idol reference is that the initial episode is mostly making fun of people who cannot sing, yet the show is so much more than that, and it moves beyond the hook quickly. The same holds true for "Average Joe". Also I think that Average Joe is certainly less cruel than initial American Idol episodes. On AI, many contestents are verbally pounded to tears by Cowell, crushing their dreams. They think they are great singers, and the producers show the world there "judges" telling them they are crazy to think they are good. Don't get me wrong, it's great television, definitely my favorite AI moments, but it's certainly meaner than this show where the hostess apparently respects the guys and never makes fun of them, nor does the Melana. There is no authority on the show saying anything that the guys have not said themselves "I'm fat and bald, I don't care!" "I'm a total geek!", etc.

    Most of these guys have fully embraced what they are, and have no problem putting it out there. Watching the show, I feel like most of the guy's quotes the show uses to embarrass them are actually delivered as self-effacing humor. Clearly these guys are pretty self-confident, or they wouldn't be on the show. So I feel that when they talk about themselves, most of the time they are not taking themselves seriously at all, and just goofing around, yet it is shown as some negative self-worth. But that shows through to most people when the "joes" true character is revealed. Yet, apparently not to many of the TV critics.

    When I watch the show I see a bunch of geeks who have embraced that aspect of there life, and are just out to have a great time. And that's a pretty cool thing to show on TV. It's not to claim that the geeks can get the girl, the end is really just there to tie it everything up. The claim is that these geeks and nerds are really great guys for the most part. And they deserve their own show, despite not being pretty boy models. And I'd have to agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy Rose
    John's brother, you sound like a geek too, if by geek it is meant, "Highly intelligent, observant, and gifted in self-expression". Your brother is already a fave of mine, and sure to become more so if he shares your qualities. Thanks for chiming in, and good luck in your college career. Stay out of trouble.
    Thank you. I too am a geek, yet I embrace it. And I like your definition. My brother is really into international culture and languages. My thing is technology. And whoever said geeks can't cut loose hasn't seen The Baum Squad in concert. Mild mannered computer scientist, plant biologist, and international language lover get on stage and rock the masses with more energy than can be believed.

    If you're curious, you can see more about our high energy rock band by checking out http://www.baumsquad.com

    And I've attached a pic from a few years back so you can see John and I preparing for battle.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avg John's Bro
    Basically he has seen at least what we have seen, and he choose to ignore all references to character design and storyline setup, belittling the show to nothing more than a freak show, essentially.
    That's fine, but I think he is still making the claim that the "hook" is something that shouldn't be used as a "hook." And I think its a rather convenient assumption you've made to say he's seen the first and/or second episode prior to writing the article.


    Quote Originally Posted by Avg John's Bro
    There is no authority on the show saying anything that the guys have not said themselves "I'm fat and bald, I don't care!" "I'm a total geek!", etc.

    There's a big difference between you insulting yourself, and having someone do it to you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Avg John's Bro
    And they deserve their own show, despite not being pretty boy models. And I'd have to agree.
    I agree too, just don't center the show, or even "the hook" as you call it, around insulting them, and establishing their inferiority from the get go.

    Don't take this the wrong way, but I personally don't see how you can have an objective view on this issue. From your username, its obvious that you have a vested interest in supporting the show.

    But I see it as toying with these guys, and asking the viewing public to laugh along.

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