Sunday, March 21, 2004

Dream Job

Yes, I'm a fan of the reality show Dream Job on ESPN (it airs Sunday night at 10 PM EDT). This show is a contest between twelve people trying out for one on-air news anchor job at ESPN. At its core, it's a show about hiring a television newscaster. The cliffhanger element at the end of every episode is that one or two people are eliminated from the contest.

It's very clear that all the participants love sports and all desire to be a sportscaster, but love and desire don't translate to good television without talent, and Dream Job is a talent competition.

Dream Job also reveals that we have certain expectations from our television anchors, and that it is jarring to not have these expectations met. We want our anchors to have a certain look (and nearly all the contestants are telegenic). We want our anchors to have a polished eloquence (i.e. they speak better than we do). We want our anchors to project a certain credibility.

There are only six contestants left: Aaron Levine, Casey Stern, Kelly Milligan, Maggie Haskins, Mike Hall, and Zachariah Selwyn. My money is on Aaron Levine or Kelly Milligan. Aaron is a young kid studying broadcasting at Stanford, whereas Kelly Milligan is a lawyer, trying to do the impossible: break into television at the age of 37. Both of these gentlemen look very convincing as sportscasters.

Six contestants have already been eliminated: Chris Williams, Alvin Williams, Lori Rubinson, Michael Quigley, Chet Anekwe, and my personal favorite: Nick Stevens. Nick is a local product (from Braintree, Massachusetts) and his quirky, wry-delivery worked for me, but alas, not for the judges, who found him too "smug."

When the show ends, I will usually watch the opening segment of the real Sports Center, which immediately follows the show. The contrast between the wanna-be anchors and the "real" anchors is very stunning. The 11 PM Sports Center anchors are invariably highly polished and highly witty. They are on-cut and on-mark. They look great and speak with conviction. If the anchors on Sports Center are a ten on a scale from one to ten, then our contestants on Dream Job are around five or six. It's great fun to see who'll get the shot to become a ten in the future. Check out this show!

No comments:

Post a Comment