If you judge by the commercials, there are a number of good talent-based options. America’s Got Talent indicates that it’s a family-friendly show geared toward finding diamonds in the rough. The new X Factor is advertised as a place where the under-employed and under-appreciated can finally get a chance to shine. The Sing Off is just like the others, but without instruments.
Indeed, families who sit down with a bowl of popcorn around the television will get the feel-good stories Americans have always loved. On the season premiere of X Factor, a 28-year-old garbage man took the stage after the audience heard his terrible story of drug addiction. He’d only been sober 70 days when he confessed that he wanted to be the type of man of whom his son could be proud. When he launched into his own original song called “Young Homie,” it seemed as if it could be an immediate hit — touching, poignant, and inspirational. He and other contestants fulfilled all of the categories necessary to tug at the heartstrings: bad childhood, single parent, drug addiction, cruddy job, jaw-dropping talent.
But amidst all of these Susan Boyle–type stories are moments that make you wish your kids weren’t in the room.
Read it all here.