Four reasons to watch the homestretch of American Idol 2013
I am so pleasantly surprised by what a fantastic judge Nicki Minaj has proven herself to be on this season (number 12!) of American Idol. Behind the hot pink lipstick and the constantly changing assortment of hats and hair lies a smart, sassy judge whose biting critiques of the contestants have been pretty much spot on. In recent years the AI judges (cough, JLo, cough) have tended to overpraise mediocre performances and coddle the contestants, but Ms. Nicki tells it like it is. If you’re bad, she’ll tell you how bad and why, but not in a mean or abrasive way. And if you’re good, she may very well compare you to a stack of smooth, buttery waffles (here’s looking at you, Kree Harrison—my pick to win it all this year).
Minaj’s comments have been specific, insightful and above all, genuinely good nuggets of advice for the wannabe pop stars. Sure, she was fifteen minutes late to a live show, and yeah, her voice could be oh-so-slightly less shrill, but at last we’ve found a judge who’s not afraid to dish out some truth. Randy has essentially been useless for the past three years, rarely capable of saying anything other than “in it to win it!” and “yo dawg”; new judge Mariah Carey’s holier-than-you attitude is already tiresome. Only Keith Urban (another newbie) joins Nicki as a judge that doesn’t make me want to press the mute button. At last, Simon Cowell finally has an heir, and her name is Minaj. Keep up the good work, girl (and go Kree)
After nine seasons and countless paper jams, The Office will finally be closing up shop. Of course, the show really felt like it was over when this guy left. And if there’s anyone who should give Jim and Pam their pink slips, it’s Michael Scott.
Please come back, Steve! Just one last time?
The campaign begins.
What went right:
- Noms for Lena Dunham and Girls, my favorite new TV comedy.
- The Office earns zero noms, after a truly terrible Michael Scott-less season.
- Nom for Max Greenfield, the MVP of New Girl.
- Glee shut out of all major categories after a lukewarm senior year.
- Nom for Mad Men’s Jared Harris as Best Supporting Actor (Drama). Such a brilliantly tragic tour de force as Lane Pryce.
- Seven women up for Best Actress (Comedy). It’s a great time for funny girls on television.
What went wrong:
- Seven women up for Best Actress (Comedy). A tad too many, perhaps? Do we really need both Edie Falco and Melissa McCarthy here?
- No Best Comedy nom for Parks and Recreation. This is still my favorite show, and deserves either Curb’s or Big Bang’s spot.
- Broadcast and basic cable channels don’t stand a chance against premium. You shouldn’t have to be rich to enjoy good TV, but the cream of the crop grows on one channel: HBO.
- The complete and total Modern Family monopoly in Best Supporting Actor (Comedy). Give somebody else a chance! Max Greenfield, it’s all on you.
- Jon Cryer (Why? Just… why)
- Downton Abbey
There’s just no love for:
- Ron Swanson.
Could it be…?
- …Jon Hamm’s year. He is repeatedly nominated, and repeatedly loses to Bryan Cranston (and in Cranston’s absence last year, Steve Buscemi). Come on, what does a brooding ad executive have to do to get an Emmy around here? Dress up like a sexy baseball player?
Looks like it. Fifth time’s the charm?