Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Is PBS Getting Weirder?
Has anyone noticed that PBS seems to be searching for the 21st century version of The Lawrence Welk Show? They seem to be debuting a whole host of insipid musical shows lately. I just caught a glimpse of a show called "Heavenly Voices". The point seems to be to sing in a voice not too dissimilar from the theme song to "Black Adder" (but, seriously), or to try to sound like the Vienna Boys Choir using one pair of vocal chords. The singers seem to favor this intense and hushed, breathy voice. The female singers wear dresses that take their cue from the stage curtains, singing "Dust in the Wind" with slow motion shots of Colorado aspens in fall foliage fading in and out (must be the "breathtaking visual effects" described in the promotional literature).
Then there's the VERY bizarre show "Celtic Woman", comprised of several ethereal-looking "Celtic" women (I'm assuming here), and a violinist named Máiréad, who sways around the stage playing the instrument like Nancy Wilson on guitar.
I won't even go into all the musical nostalgia shows reuniting old 1950's and 1960's groups (or what's left of them). We have Petula Clark, for example, and Peter and Gordon, all straining their voice to sound like they were teenagers again. And seeing all the old, overweight people in the audience, hands in the air, swaying back and forth, singing along, is enough to make one want to outlaw nostalgia. It gives Gerry & the Pacemakers a whole new meaning.
So, all this to say, please donate to PBS so they won't be so desperate!