Monday, January 08, 2007

Tell Me About It, Stud. On Second Thought, Don't Bother.

Yet another new TV show has me caught between "refusing to watch out of disgust" and "morbid curiosity." I'm talking about the latest American Idol/So You Think You Can Dance knock-off, Grease: You're The One That I Want. For those who haven't heard of it, it's a talent show series designed to find the stars of the new revival of "Grease" on Broadway.

Here's my deal. I realize that the play came first, but I've always been a fan of the movie. In fact, it's my favorite movie. I have no idea how many times I've seen it, but the number is definitely somewhere in the triple digits. I suppose a big part of the reason that the movie always appealed to me more than the play was the presence of John Travolta. For me, and probably for a lot of people, Danny Zuko = John Travolta. Call me an uncultured slob if you will, but the play just never really did it for me. I've seen it twice (never on Broadway) and while it was entertaining, it never quite won me over.

I could be wrong here, because my memory of my first time seeing the play is a bit hazy, but I'm fairly certain that the popularity of the movie has rubbed off on the play in the last few decades. I'm pretty sure that some songs that were written for the movie were incorporated into the stage production. Also, I remember the first time I saw it, thinking that the characters were kind of rough, especially the guys. They were jerks which, from what I understand, was what the writers wanted. They wanted the T-Birds to be more like real high school toughs, and were never really happy with the cuter, goofier T-Birds of the movie. The second time I saw the play, it seemed that the T-Birds were a little more likable. It seemed a little more like the movie overall. I don't doubt this is true. I certainly don't doubt that the newest revival will borrow even more from the movie, if the producers expect to attract and please the younger generation who have never seen the play and grew up solely on the movie. Or even the easily entertained generation who loved Grease 2. Ugh.

This all brings me to why I don't want to watch the reality show. I don't want to see a bunch of John Travolta wannabes prancing around the stage. Nothing could make me more sick.

However, I love the songs. And I am kind of interested to see if there are performers out there who will actually try to make these roles their own, and not just imitations of John and Olivia and Stockard, oh my! So, I'm not sure if I can avoid it forever. I'm just afraid that I'll watch it and it will be worse than I thought. I suppose if that happens, I could just disinfect my eyes by watching the movie 10 times in a row.

The show premiered last night on NBC. Did anyone watch? What are your thoughts? I just read that Olivia Newton-John is guest starring on the first two episodes. Damn, damn, damn!! Now I'll probably have to watch it next week. I guess there's always a chance that John could pop up, but it's doubtful. Still, the mere possibility...


Edge said...

It was the one word you used that is keeping me away from watching too. "Prancing".


Brent McKee said...

Guest starring is a bit of a stretch. To describe Olivia Newton John's participation a better term would be popping up in pre-taped segments to offer a few words of pseudo wisdom.

The show itself, based on the British series How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria which was trying to cast Maria in Sound of Music, is about as bad as you'd expect. It would be perfectly at home in the summer season but sticks out like Donald Trump's hair here. Unlike another American Idol ripoff - America's Got Talent - this show doesn't have a gimmick that makes it stand out from the herd.

Turnbaby said...

I was in the "show chorus" in college and we did songs from Grease(the movie--i am OLD) so I got to sing the cool 'Sandy' songs ---Summer Nights and Hopelessly Devoted--it's a pleasant memory for me anyway.


I'm on the not watching side. But hey--you might get really lucky and K-Fed will try out *evil grin*

"I got chills ---they're multiplying"

Bond said...

Nah.. I will be satisfied hearing people around the office talk about it... Nope, do not care...nope not at all

Dale said...

I don't care at all about it but somehow found myself watching, sometimes I'm just that weak minded. Your comments are all spot on though, the play did later on borrow songs from the movie to add some pizazz. The play's fun but the movie is really etched into our brains.

A couple of weeks ago at work we had an event that our 'social committee' hosted and had decorated. Someone suggested that we thank them for all their hard work. As everyone clapped, all I could think wsa 'Let's hear it for the toilet paper!'.

Teri said...

I've now got the songs from Grease stuck in my head... beauty school drop-out.... look at me, I'm Sandra Dee....

you've signed on to this week's plot to drive me insane, haven't you? :)

LoraLoo said...

I wanted to watch it but it premiered on my favorite TV night, so it kinda got lost in the shuffle. I too love the original movie (+ soundtrack), but I've never seen the play. I hope this show does it all justice. I still have the movie soundtrack on vinyl, it was my most prized possession and the first piece of music I ever purchased at age 7!

Metal Mark said...

My wife loves the movie Grease. It seems to be a girl thing. I have seen it maybe twice and thought it was alright. I went to a wedding once and the bride and all her friends came breaking outinto singing songs from the film, it was weird.

Neo said...

Becky - I can't stomach most of those reality shows; although I did love watching singing with the stars with my honey Lucy Lawless.

I was one of those people that actually got talked into going to see the re-release of the grease movie when it came out. Why? I'll never know.

Grease's sountrack is probably one of the best movie soundtracks ever.

Hey, is it ok for a guy to say that and not worry about his manhood? LOL

Peace & Hugs,

- Neo


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