[Musical cue: Give The People What They Want]
Before I left for work on Monday night, I watched the fireworks display sponsored by Macy's on NBC. And as it went on, I just got more and more pissed off.
Can't these TV directors covering live events ever get it right and trust in their audience? Television is a visual medium and how much more visual can you get that a fireworks array?
We don't need incessant voice-overs when the image can say it all. (When Cal Ripken broke Gehrig's record, at least then the sportscasters knew to shut up and let us feel as if we were in the stadium as well.)
We don't want the cutaway shots to the audience as they ooh and ahh over the bombs bursting in the air. You give us that, and we miss out on our own chance to ooh and ahh over a particular starburst.
Okay, maybe I'm just speaking for myself, but I definitely don't need some floor level camera giving me an unobstructed view right up Donald Trump's crotch.! Next time, make me happy. Just zoom in on his latest wife's rack and edit Mr. Combover out of the shot altogether.
We don't need fancy shots and graphics cluttering up the screen. Just before going to a full-screen moment with the New York Pops, the director first gave us a boxed insert of the orchestra. And that effectively sucked up at least a third of the fireworks display, ruining any sense of the composition of the explosion display.
And why even bother showing us the orchestra? We were watching for the visuals of the fireworks; the orchestra was there to be heard, not seen.
And it's not even as if they were actually playing! The New York Times had exposed their dirty little secret earlier in the day when they revealed that all of their pieces had been pre-taped a few days earlier. Skitch Henderson - who looked like a puppet which had outlived the guy pulling the strings, - and the orchestra were just going through the motions in time to the recording.
They didn't need to be there, and we didn't need to see them.
And for God's sake, either get rid of Al Roker as the Ringmaster, or get him a better writer. To claim that Mariah Carey can put Lady Liberty to shame? I like looking at Mariah Carey; I'm not that big a fan of her songs.
But you don't say something that stupid on a day when we're celebrating the concept of our country's freedom and during a time of troubles when the country should pull together, you go and disparage the leading symbol of our country's ideals like that?
It was downhill from there.
If I wasn't scheduled for work that overnight, I might have gone down to see it live and in person, rather than settle for the second-hand Toobworld version. Or I might have gone home to Connecticut and celebrated with a local, home-brewed fireworks display; one that was more intimate and less likely to be laden with commercial overkill within the array itself.
There was only one upside to this year's production over the ones in the past. At least this time we weren't subjected to talking heads of NBC stars like Sam Waterston and Rob Lowe as they intone portentous passages to hammer the meaning of independence into our noggins.
Bad enough we had to have The Donald up there to lead the countdown. But then, when you've only got the one big TV sensation left, you have to fall back on its star power. Especially after the dreadful TV season NBC just experienced.
Even if it is a megalomaniacal gasbag.
And hey - it could have been worse. We could have been subjected to the Declaration of Independence being recited by Joey Tribbiani!God bless America!