July 9, 2004

Rethinking: Is Joe Schmo worth watching?

Well, Throwing Things convinced me to watch my TiVo'd episodes of The Joe Schmo Show from the last two weeks. "Quite possibly the most inventive show on TV"? (For slow watchers, I'm about to spoil some things.) I was all for keeping Ingrid on the show. After the cliffhanger episode two weeks ago, when she was saying "Where's my script?," I was yelling, "Give her a script!" So I was glad to see them reveal the trick to her and offer her a place as an actress in the cast. The move from out of the loop to in the loop is interesting. But almost immediately thereafter, they brought a new woman in to be the new dummy. They didn't "invent" much of anything. They kept Ingrid, but they essentially shuffled her to the side. When they brought in Amanda, they replaced Ingrid. They did not have enough clever ideas to really use Ingrid in a brilliantly reconceived story. They just wheeled in a dumber woman. I'm sorry, but I resent Amanda. The show should have turned into Ingrid's story: Can she act? Dare she betray what's-his-name? Doesn't she feel guilty about taking the $100,000 to dupe her counterpart? Instead, it's back to square one with Amanda. Who cares?

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