Judging by the second edition of KTVX-Ch. 4's "Monday Night Live," first impressions can be correct.
The first edition of "MNL" was, for all intents and purposes, a train wreck of a television show. A disaster from start to finish. So bad that I figured I'd give them a second chance before ripping on the effort.Well, let 'er rip.
The second edition of "Monday Night Live" was pretty much everything I hate about TV sports. It was loud, phony, shallow, full of cliches and overly commercial. Other than that it was fine.
With the earlier starting time for "Monday Night Football" this season, Ch. 4 needed to do something to fill the time between the end of the game and the 10 o'clock news. And it makes sense to fill that time with a sports show.
But you can't just throw anything in there and expect people to watch.
From the cheap-looking set to the horribly overmatched host, Justin Farmer, to the hooting, hollering studio audience made up of high-school football players to the weak attempts at locker-room jock-talk, this was all but unwatchable.
I'm beginning to feel sorry for Farmer. He's having enough trouble trying to handle the nightly sportscasts and now he's been thrown into this pit. It's not just the incredibly annoying, "Who's on `Monday Night Live'?" mantra he repeats to all the callers. It's not just the remarkably awkward transitions from one topic to another, veering suddenly from college football to the baseball home-run race or making a sudden leap to the NFL. It's not just his inane questions to various guests.
It's actually almost painful that the best he has to add to a non-sequitur appearance by a female kick-boxer is making comments like, "And you sweat like crazy" and "Wow."
And the fact that anyone thinks that eating contests and the world's dumbest trivia contests and football-throwing contests will entertain us is downright insulting. (Not to mention the fact that much of this seems like little more than an excuse to the sponsors a few dozen times.)
"Monday Night Live" was dead on arrival, and nothing has been done to resuscitate the body.
NOT-SO-GREAT PUMPKIN: I'm getting e-mails. I'm getting phone calls. People are approaching me on the street - all with the same question.
Why does KSL-Ch. 5 sportscaster Tom Kirkland keep calling St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire "the great pumpkin"? And why does he do it so often? The fact is that Kirkland pulls this "great pumpkin" stuff constantly. Seemingly in every sportscast. And despite a search of the wire services, we can't find anyone else who does so.
It's weird. It's annoying. It needs to stop, if only so people will stop telling yours truly how much they hate it.