Rarely do I care enough about a truly dreadful show to give it space, but CBS’ new Fire Me, Please deserves unrelenting scorn and condemnation. So far, the summer’s only given us a few good new shows, such as Hell’s Kitchen, but they’re only watchable because nothing else is really on. But I’d rather sell my television than watch another episode of Fire Me, Please.
The whole thing is a like a nuclear waste disaster at a kindergarten. And that’s certainly no fun, not even in an awful kind of way. Starting with the most ridiculous conceit of all–the laugh track, which must be a first for reality shows, and a first for shows that don’t even have an audience–the show just piles on the idiocy.
The series is also more of a lie than we’re led to believe: The Cincinnati Post talked to the surprised employees who had to interact with the contestants, and in the piece, the paper includes the last name of coffee house employee Kurt Basa. According to his IMDB listing, he’s an actor who “[h]as trained at The Groundlings and Improv Olympic in Los Angeles, California,” and “Specializes in Improvisation.” The show’s IMDB page shows that another comedian/actor, Brandon Gibson, also participated in the show. (Update: the blog known as Reality TV Magazine noticed that one of the other four contestants from the first hour, Cherise Bangs, is also an actor.)
And the central premise doesn’t even make sense, at least as it plays out. We’re supposed to believe that two ordinary, non-actors are able to go into new situations and start acting like cretins flawlessly and instantly? Even if they were just real people, and not improv actors, it’s completely implausible and that strips the series of any weight it might have. (Speaking of: Those people who think reality television started with Candid Camera should watch five minutes of this. Not that it’s anywhere near Candid Camera, but it proves that shows with disposable contestants and no storyline give us no reason to care or be engaged.)
Here’s my question: How exactly did this piece of reconstituted, disingenuous feces ended up on the same network that brought us two of television’s best shows, Survivor and The Amazing Race? Someone should lose their job. Here’s an idea: Let’s launch Big Brother 6 early in this show’s time slot, which would both entertain us and save host Dave Holmes from further embarrassment.
Kurt Basa, Cherise Bangs, and Fire Me, Please [IMDB]
Fire Me Please Actors Exposed [Reality TV Magazine]
Fire Me, Please and feedback form [CBS]