As you all know, I just love reality TV. But even I was skeptical about Mark Burnett’s new show, The Contender, about the supposed search for a boxing champion. The show is a bit talky and relies too heavily on the boxers’ individual sob story and on host Sylvester Stallone’s frightening botox countenance and indecipherable drawl. However, I was unprepared for the drama at the end of the first episode: an actual 5 round boxing match. I actually found myself cheering for my favourite boxer (good thing I live alone). Usually when I watch boxing I’m also eating steak or chilli –something manly and testosterone filled; this time I was eating salad. What does this mean? Well, maybe The Contender isn’t as pure as a raw unedited, unfiltered boxing match, but it may be more dramatic, like one of Stallone’s Rocky movies (any one except the last one).
Bottom line: due entirely to the final 15 minutes of the premier episode, The Contender is so far the finest reality show I’ve ever seen.
Hey look, my friend Dr. Mary Ann Gorcsi is now in a band!