Picks and Pans Review: Meet the Marks and 30 Seconds to Fame
30 Seconds to Fame FOX (Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET)
Something surely smells about 30 Seconds to Fame, a fast-paced talent contest whose mid-July debut featured such novelty acts as a "nasal flautist" and a "nose dancer." But it's fragrant fare compared to Meet the Marks, which follows Fame on Wednesdays through August.
FOX describes Marks as "a scripted sitcom melded with the reality genre." But who needs a meld minus laughs? The idea is to lure a civilian into a house filled with improv actors and hidden cameras. The pros play a made-up scene designed to embarrass the victim, keeping him or her in the dark as long as possible. In the premiere, a real-life computer instructor walked in to find the man of the house frolicking with a half-dressed woman not his wife. The woman persuaded the sucker to pose as her boyfriend in a desperate attempt to fool her lover's missus, who was just arriving home. So the poor guy did his part by saying little and looking uncomfortable. In a follow-up interview he admitted he was relieved to "get the hell out of there." I could relate.
Fame is your basic Gong Show, where each act has a half-minute to shine or be hooted off the stage by the studio audience. It's fair to assume some entrants are awful on purpose--like the "rappin' granny" with her lyric about constipation--but I dug that dude who tangoed with himself.
Bottom Line: Not a pretty pair