Wednesday, May 25, 2005

How could The Contender, a surprisingly solid show, have such a terrible season finale? Well, let's figure this out:

1) Use a director who must never have directed a boxing match before. Shots lingered while blocked by the ref, cut to audience reactions mid-round (even mid-combination), and contained picture-in-picture of the audience that hid a huge chunk of the ring.
2) Make Stallone and Sugar Ray the color commentators. 90% of their comments were a variation of these:
- "This is where he steals the round" (although how one boxer could steal the round, then steal it again 45 seconds later once it's already been stolen, then steal it a third time, is beyond me)
- "There has to be a rematch. I could watch this over and over."
- "That had to hurt, but his eyes are clear."
- "He's gonna knock him out right here!" (no knockdowns, let alone knockouts)
- "Back in 60 seconds" (just before the round is over)
3) Cut to commercial for the 60 seconds between rounds, therefore not allowing viewers to hear analysis, see close-ups of the wounds the fighters had received (and which the commentators constantly referred to but which aren't visible to viewers in long shots during the bout), or hear trainer's advice to the fighters.
4) After the fight, make it seem like a more important prize than the million dollars is for the winner to appear on the cover of Ring magazine (thank you, sponsors)

Thanks to last night, I am no longer upset that there won't be a second season. Thanks, NBC!

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