Friday, August 06, 2004

surreality, part 3

my partner in the wasteland has admirably taken on the essential issue dividing this nation today, namely casting for the surreal life episode III. but his recent analysis, i believe, neglects the root problem with this years cast. lets look at the lineup:

Charo Dave Coulier Flava Flav Jordan Knight Brigitte Nielsen Ryan Starr

i dont think anyone can pick a bone with the female cast here. you've got two certifiably foxy
women - one desperate to revive a once-decent career, the other desperately trying to achive that elusive 16th minute of fame - i like the odds that we get something interesting out of these two. charo is the wild card - her one trick pony routine should lose steam early and she'll either turn out to be a perfectly normal human being or utterly and completely loopy. either way, this is her ticket back to hollywood squares, which had to be her goal all along.

but this cast collapses under the weight (or lack thereof) of its male cast. looking back to SL 1 and 2 critically, the essential element of the show was the emergence of a quasi-freudian but emotionally-powerful dynamic between the male stars. i dont expect every season to lay out an all-star lineup like SL 1, but shouldnt there be some hint of the chemistry that corey feldman precipitated as the wild child virtual son to vince neil's wizened father figure ? when a similar dynamic emerged in season 2 with erik estrada subtly guiding vanilla ice toward a more self-actualized acceptance of his previous career (the scene of ice doing karaoke of his own mega-hit of a decade before had to be the meta-event of the year) fans everywhere rejoiced.

listen, i think flava flav is an inspired choice. he is the perfect male wild card character - the tammy faye/mchammer/ron jeremy observer/jester of the family. but does anyone really think jordan knight will assume the male centerpiece role in a feldman-esque fashion ? its laughable. and dave coulier - considering estrada and vince neil were both once quite literally at the top of their fields, he's an insult to the very nature of the show. i mean, was jim j. bullock already committed ?


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