Sunday, April 19, 2009

"I Get That a Lot" Didn't Do a Lot

On April Fool's Day, CBS premiered the candid reality television show I Get That a Lot. Let's be glad it was a one-time only special. Reminiscent of Candid Camera, the show follows 7 celebrities masking themselves as average citizens, focusing on how regular people react with both seeing a celebrity and then being tricked into thinking it's just a look-alike. This idea of fooling average people is a tried and true premise, but where other shows have succeeded, I Get That a Lot falls short. First, the celebrities weren't convincing "everyday people." Jessica Simpson as a computer technician? Please, she couldn't even figure out what firewall was. And Heidi Klum as a pizza artist? She couldn't even hold onto a piece of dough without dropping it. Then there was the problem of the celebrities being too attention-hungry when average people didn't recognize them. Jeff Probst recited lines from Survivor to spark people's memories, and LeAnn Rimes hummed her own songs when she wasn't constantly asked people if they thought the real LeAnn was cute.

The unconvincing stars didn't compare to the lackluster everyday folk, who reminded me why reality shows never cast "real" people. When Jared Fogle, famed Subway spokesperson, revealed himself three times, he never got more than, "Oh, cool," in response. Come on, people! It's Jared, and you're on TV! Can't you show some shred of excitement for the hungry viewers? Womp. The only exciting thing that happened in that hour-long (not-so) special was Ice-T pretending to make an under-the-table shoe deal with two teenage boys. When they found out they were on camera, they didn't know whether to be excited or take off running with their stolen goods. Now, that's reality!

I Get That a Lot certainly had potential, especially with the star power of celebrities like Mario Lopez and Jessica Simpson. And if this show had aired in the days of Candid Camera, it probably would have gotten a few more laughs. However, in today's "reality" world of raunchy love scenes, hair pulling, and back-stabbing, good old-fashioned prank pulling just doesn't cut it.

Lyn Mehe`ula

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