Wednesday, January 09, 2019


In my never-ending quest to introduce you to the most insane reality shows I have a new favorite — THE MASKED SINGER that premiered last week on Fox. Episode 2 is tonight.

Here’s the premise. B-List celebrities (or more likely C-List) put on outlandish head-to-toe costumes and compete head to head in a singing completion for the chance to… uh…  keep doing it. At the end of each episode one celebrity is voted off and reveals himself. Last week it was superstar/household name Antonio Brown. (If you don’t know who that is it just proves my point.). Ultimately one Masked Singer will survive and win…um… nothing. Maybe the winner gets to keep his costume.

What would a singing competition show be without an idiot panel and THE MASKED SINGER is well represented. Is there anybody on television dumber and less talented than Jenny McCarthy? She offers such insightful comments like “Oooooh, yeah.” Then there’s Ken Jeong who’s painfully unfunny (especially since he thinks he is funny), Nicole Scherzinger (listed as a “television personality”), and Robin Thicke.

Panels are there to offer critiques, but there’s nothing to critique. Panels are there to make decisions but the audience decides who wins and loses so the panel is useless in that regard. Panels sometimes solve mysteries but this panel hears clues and makes moronic guesses as to who the celebrities really are. One thought Lady Gaga — like Lady Gaga, on the verge of winning Oscars, is going to put on a fifty pound peacock costume and parade around incognito on a Fox reality show. So the panel is as functional as cufflinks on pants.

Nick Cannon is the hip hop hipster host. And the singing performances range from professional to your drunk cousin at a wedding. Oh, and don’t forget the audience. Shots of emo Millennials alternating between utter astonishment and crippling bereavement.

In other words, this show has it all!

Already the show is a Social Media sensation. Lots of speculation as to who the celebrities are. I have a feeling that within a few weeks all the celebs will be unmasked on the internet long before they officially take off their hippo heads.

As idiotic as this show is, there’s something addictive about it. Assuming I can tolerate Ken Jeong’s woeful attempts at humor and Jenny McCarthy’s 52 IQ I will continue to watch THE MASKED SINGER. I want to be a part of the mass mania when the ultimate Masked Singer is unveiled to be Kellyanne Conway.


Pat Reeder said...

Mercifully, I have not seen this. But I still recall what I think is the perfect critique of Jenny McCarthy, from a review of her long-ago NBC sitcom by a Dallas Morning News critic, possibly Ed Bark. He said that Jenny McCarthy is a very pretty girl who's convinced she's a comic genius because ever since she hit puberty, guys have laughed uproariously every time she told a joke.

Peter said...

"Is there anybody on television dumber and less talented than Jenny McCarthy?"

You've just opened the floodgates, Ken. I know because I'm about to open them myself:

The Kardashians, televangelists, the Duck Dynasty/Jersey Shore/Real Housewives people, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and here in the UK, the Made in Chelsea/Only Way is Essex/Love Island people.

Regards The Masked Singer, I hadn't heard of it till reading your review. It sounds like there's finally a show that Scott Baio can get a paid gig doing since the whole acting thing dried up.

blinky said...

Be careful watching reality TV, that's where our Cheetos in Chief came from. That said, Jennie McCarthy is my go-to choice for immunization advice.

Jen from Jersey said...

Why is Sarah Huckabee Sanders dumber than Jenny McCarthy?

DougG. said...

Don't watch much football, do you Ken? Antonio Brown is a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. At least as of this writing. He may be changing teams in the off-season. Also had a Pizza Hut ad as well but I'm guessing it only ran during football games.

Jen from Jersey said...

I think these reality shows have all run their course. I’m surprised that the Bachelor still has legs. Nobody watches the Housewife shows anymore and how many singing competitions can you have? I guess in a stress filled world, they’re a nice diversion.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I haven't watched "The Masked Singer." But, there is a similar show on one of the Korean channels. That is, the contestants come out and sing in costumes that hide their identities. But, since I don't speak Korean I have no idea if they are Korean celebs that I wouldn't recognize anyway or if they are discovering new talent. I suppose if you can't see the person you're more likely to judge them on their voice alone as opposed to how they look. I've watched the Korean version because at first it was rather fascinating. But, as I said, the language barrier makes it too hard to follow.
I can't be sure if "The Masked Singer" is a rip-off of the other show, but this wouldn't be the first time a foreign show has been used as "inspiration" for an American version.

People have been speculating for quite some time as to when the "reality T.V." trend will die. Maybe "The Masked Singer" is the show that will finally kill it.

Anonymous said...

I don't watch much football, either, and wouldn't know Antonio Brown if he fell on me. I wouldn't know you if you fell on me, either, Doug G. Nor would I want to.

John Nixon said...

We had the debut of The Masked Singer on last week while scrolling through the other one-hundred-sixty or more channels plus dozens of DVRecorded shows on our TV equipment in an almost desperate but failed attempt to find something, anything, watchable. It was bad. Really really bad. Apparently this is a domestic remake of a popular Korean show. I wish that somebody would fire back up 'Extreme Elimination Challenge'. The one with the Japanese video and dubbed-in really funny English audio, 'What's New Pussycat' style. It was redone in a completely American version for a season or two but that one wasn't very good.
OK we probably won't be able to resist sneaking a quick look at TMS again tonight but I seriously doubt that it will make even a smidgen of a more favorable impression.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Is it appearance-ist (hey, I invented a new category of oppression) to wish Kellyanne Conway would wear a mask always?

But seriously, Ken, you're very brave to watch reality shows so we don't have to. Thank you for your service.

YEKIMI said...

Haven't watched it and probably won't after reading your description. How low can the networks go? Will we one day see a show called "Celebrity Cockrings"? "The Masked Prince Albert"? "Terrible Titties"-Identify the female [or male] whose boob job went horribly wrong? {Sheese, I hope I'm not giving any TV producers some ideas].

Cufflinks on pants. You mean I've been wearing them wrong all these years? Shit!

D McEwan said...

"Then there’s Ken Jeong who’s painfully unfunny (especially since he thinks he is funny)"


I've been trying for several years now, ever since he first showed up being not-funny on Community, to figure out why this unfunny black hole for entertainment keeps showing up on my TV, sucking all the entertainment out of stuff. It's hard to make The Gong Show worse, especially with used-to-be-funny-but-funny-no-longer Mike Meyers (Who, seen out of prosthetic make up on the Golden Globes, has gotten fat) hosting, but the ones with Ken Jeong as a judge are even worse than the ones without Jeong, and the ones with both Ken Jeong and also-not-funny Will Arnett as judges are torture. I find myself wishing the contestants could gong the judges.

So my next mystery is "Why do people think Will Arnett is funny?"

Stephen Marks said...

Ken's review was funny, lots of unmasked zingers. I don't get the head to toe thing, if he/she is wearing a mask isn't that enough? They think I'll guess it's Danny Bonaduce from the neck down? So I can understand people coming in here and piling on this embarrassment from Fox, saying things like "this is the end of TV and America" etc, but let's not forget way back in the 60's we had The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, lots of rural shit and we loved it.

Cufflinks On Pants would be a great name for a band.

Mike said...

Are you telling me that there's no American version of Embarrassing Bodies?
Contestants with embarrassing medical disorders are intimately examined by the judges in front of the studio audience. Advantage is given to those contestants that have delayed seeing a doctor for several years to avoid the shame.
Ran for 7 years & won 2 BAFTAs.
Highlights include: The Man With Half A Face, Penis Special & The 36-Stone Woman.

This singing thing is just the blind audition from The Voice.

Peter said...

Jen, you seem to be hypersensitive to the mildest comments or jokes about Republicans. Did you get as upset when a Trump aide said "womp womp" in a debate about a 10 year old girl with Down's Syndrome, or when Trump said a female journalist had blood pouring out of every orifice, or when Trump called neo-Nazis in Charlottesville very fine people, or when he complained that the massacre at a synagogue had slowed down the momentum of the midterm elections, or when he cosied up to murderous dictator Kim Jong-Un, or when he spent a year or more trying to prove Obama isn't an American citizen, or when he said Obama created ISIS?

Just wondering.

Keith Nichols said...

Where can I get some pants with cufflinks, or at least holes for them? Sounds a lot classier than the buttons I currently have. Also, is there a way to blame Trump for the latest batch of lame game shows?

Peter said...

It's official. There won't be a host for this year's Oscars. Instead they're going to have a series of big stars present each segment, and there will also be....skits. Because past skits have been SO hilarious, right?

MikeKPa. said...

I read a story recently that networks were ordering even more new reality shows, squeezing yet more time slots from scripted shows. And of the scripted shows, I'm amazed NBC dedicates a whole night to Chicago - PD, Fire, and Med.

Finished watching HOMECOMING on Amazon Prime last night and had the same reaction I did to Season 2 of TRUE DETECTIVE - how do I get that time back? Yet, all the reviews I've read, raved about the pretentious Hitchcockian approach of director Sam Esmail. The back and forth of parallel scenes of the Roberts and the DOD investigator at the end was laughable. Reminded me of Brian DePalma's "homages" in some of his films.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Nice snark, Ken - and a good finish!

Wow - that "panel" is even more lightweight than the panel for the one American Idol I watched recently (a fifteen-minute spillover from a Sunday sports event).

(I didn't know that Lionel Richie looks like an alien these days)

I only ever saw one other American Idol, with a very enjoyable performance by lady singer. Changed the channel when Paula Abdul told her the interpretation should be "more contemporary".

I'd ask if any of the masked C-listers can sing, but I can find out tonight - that is if I remember to set the DVR

(two NBA contests tonight on national TV)

Jahn Ghalt said...

Peter (from the UK) wrote:

Duck Dynasty/Jersey Shore/Real Housewives (are dumber and less talented than Jenny McCarthy)

The self-described "wealthly rednecks" in Duck Dynasty are indeed "dumb" - like a fox. Rumor is they regrow their beards in advance of every series.

Real Housewives showed me that shallow people are real (in my sheltered life I haven't met many). Amazing to me that people will present themselves on camera like that.

The GF turned me on to Below Deck. Not long ago a friend busted me:

"WHY do you watch that?"

I guess that's as close to a guilty pleasure that I have - pretty much like Ken just confessed to.

Jahn Ghalt said...

let's not forget way back in the 60's we had The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, lots of rural shit and we loved it.

No comment on Petticoat - it's been decades since most of us have seen that.

Green Acres has occasionally been in heavy-rotation on Antenna TV. That actually holds up - characters are strong enough to carry it and the writing ain't bad - at least the early seasons.

I once got Season One of the Beverly Hillbillies on DVD - that actually sticks it the the city-folk (in a smart way) than the rural-immigrants.

Shea said...

I don't watch much OTA TV these days, but I gave this show a shot on HULU just now before reading your review, Ken. Yep, it's now my favorite godawful show to watch. I can take Thicke; I can McCarthy-Wahlberg, but Ken Jeong? I've never gotten his "appeal." Is it because HE'S A DOCTOR???? Ha! What kind of comedy gravitas is that? I bet he knocked 'em dead in the O.R. AM I RIGHT, PEOPLE?

And the brunet on the end? *shrugs*

But this It's definitely a "game show" English-version import (did you check out the fast moving credits at the very end? Asian - so I guess it's originally from Japan or Korea) because it'''s so damn hideous and silly.

So what's not to love? It's just plain foolishness and I laughed all the way through it, especially when the panel threw out "big name" guesses. As if, is right! I'm dying to see who is brave enough to lend their name to this insane "musical" show.

Come on - you do want to know if that's Peyton Manning, now don't you,, dear? And the golden lion with the big butt and thighs who can sing? Can a Kardashian carry a tune? I'm thinking no, but stay tuned! Surely one of those no talent ladies will show up on The Masked Singer sooner or later!

Ralph C. said...

Okay, Ken, we’re cutting you off now... let’s get you home to bed. The Masked Singer, indeed.

Jen from Jersey said...

Pete, I find it very peculiar when a person tries to insert a Trump comment when the topic was about Jenny M and a cheesy reality show. It shows that you’re obsessing. My politics are in the center. I enjoy this page to learn more about Hollywood. I even skip over Ken’s political rants. Ps: both sides have candidates who are deeply flawed.

Madame Smock said...

The pitch to the Fox Exec. for 'The Masked Singer' would be a great show.

Myles said...

It is based on the South Korean show. They say that on the show and it's in all the articles online.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Great. Now we can stop talking about Hart's homophobia and start accusing the Academy of racism.

Has anyone taken the Superbowl half-time gig? R. Kelly, perhaps?

Coram_Loci said...

I'll play contrarian.

People like mystery.
People like seeing scripted and primped celebrities taken out of their comfort zone and put in the position to fail.

Imagine this show aired twenty five years ago and Cybill Shepherd was under one of those masks. A singing career aided by flatterers would have instead fallen flat.

Isn't part of Howard Stern's appeal his ability to get celebrities to reveal their personal and professional failures. He makes celebrities more like people by taking the bloom off the rose.

Is there a difference between the enjoyment derived from seeing someone humbled and Schadenfreude?

Not long ago I watched a rerun of Battle of the Network Stars. Some of those stars were embarrassingly athletic. I'll give them credit for risking something. (Mark Harmon, by contrast, seemed like a ringer). At about that same time I saw a return of Celebrity Bowling. A husband and wife celebrity couple played against another team. The wife was atrocious: gutterball after gutterball. Again, embarrassing. I didn't know whether to admire her gumption or disdain her lack of shame. Either way, I kept watching.

If the Masked Singer offers a glimpse at celebrities taking a real risk and failing, then it could be entertaining. If it's just another opportunity to tell a celebrity how great he is...then pass.

Colin Stratton said...

You can watch this shit, but you won't watch The Golden Globes? What's the difference?

Jen from Jersey said...

I find it odd and obsessive that the Trump administration was mentioned in a post about a singing reality show and Jenny McCarthy. It makes you seem unhinged. By the way, I’m a centrist and follow this page for inside information on how a show is made. I even skip over Ken’s political comments. And please take off your rose colored glasses and look at all the flawed people on the left too.

Orwell said...

There are more laughs in any half hour episode of Green Acres or Beverly Hillbillies than in Ken Jeong's entire career, as far as I can tell. I just watched an episode of Green Acres last night, and it was funnier and more clever than 90 percent of what is made now.

Jahn Ghalt said...

You can watch this shit, but you won't watch The Golden Globes? What's the difference?

One Difference - the hype and hyped reaction-shots on 'Mask'. 15 seconds of that - I couldn't stand any more

Unknown said...

"I just wanted to be on stage" From Wednesday night's beheaded star. That sums up this show.

Shea said...

But also - what's with the panel seated waaaaay up in the back, so far away that they use binoculars??

Last night's episode of The Masked Singer had me guffawing over some of the guesses from The Brunet On The End. Yeah, for sure, Brunet Woman - that's definitely 81 year old "Jane Fonda."

Oh. My. God. I love this show. This may be the end of civilization as we know it. Finally.

Peter said...

Jen, I didn't make a Trump comment, I mentioned Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a list of people. There were eight other groups of people in my list who have nothing to do with Trump.

In my other post that bothered you, I simply said I liked Christian Bale's joke at the golden globes.

Anonymous said...

Compared to this stuff, The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres are Playhouse 90.

Peter said...

I forgot to add that you appear to believe I support every single Democrat. I don't. I think the party made a serious mistake in selecting Ilhan Omar as a candidate. She's made horrific comments about Israel and I was upset that she won a seat. So no, I don't view everyone on the left with rose tinted glasses.

Colin Stratton said...

Who the hell cares? Sorry, but there is no difference.

Mike said...

Petticoat Junction runs on MeTV and first the first time in its syndicated run, all the episodes are included in the package (the first two B&W seasons were unavailable for years). It’s a solid little show, and Jay Sommers and several of the “Green Acres” writers spent time on PJ before going off to do GA. Later on, the show’s writing went downhill, there were several recasts, and they had the deal with the absence and later death of the show’s star. But the first three or four years are solid.

Mark said...

My favorite awful reality show remains I WANNA MARRY HARRY. (If you missed the first episode that aired before Fox pulled the plug, 16 American girls compete for the affections of a man who strongly resembles Prince Harry) You can eatch the entirety in youtube as well, they uploaded it after Fox pulled te plug. The editing in the final episodes was quite rough, as the remaining girls had figured out what was up.

A hugely entertaining mess.