Top Critic?

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One of my guilty pleasures is the series of game shows on Bravo: Project Runway, Top Chef, and now Top Design. I'm really looking forward to the latter, much more than Top Chef, truth be told.

Not that I haven't enjoyed the ongoing "Get Marcel!" quality of season 2, but the problem with TC is that I have no real basis to agree or disagree with the judges. I can't try the food, and so I don't really know whether they're any good or not. I'm looking forward to TD for exactly that reason--agree or not, I'll be able to decide along with the judges what I dis/like. And unlike Project Runway, which walks a fine line sometimes between taste and style, I feel like I have a decent enough eye for design to be able to really enjoy the new show.

D and I were wondering what it might look like to have a show (blogcast, perhaps?) that took this model and tried to apply it to academia, and as silly as it may sound, I find it kind of intriguing:

You could start with 8-10 contestants, and start with some of the shorter genres--book reviews, dictionary entries--and eventually arrive at a full-blown critical essay. Some weeks, we could constrain the topic, and others, require the contestants to make use of a particular text or thinker, and each week, bring in guest judges according to those constraints. The big prize could be a healthy chunk of cash, and the final essay placed in a good journal. And of course, the title of Top Critic!

You know, this isn't exactly compelling television material, to be sure (lots of shots of typing??), but it's not as absurd as it might seem at first blush, either. It'd be kind of fun to put on, and it'd make for interesting reading, over a summer, say. So if there's anyone out there with a whole bunch of extra money lying around...


We have a version of that "show" in academia, I think. It's the job market. Though that show is also a little bit about Survivor....

Actually the NCA gives all kinds of these awards. I'm sure if there were the promise for advertising revenue, it would consider airing the steps, and adding a video component to the applications--it'd be awesome. The letters of rec could be the form of aired comments about how brilliant the piece is, etc.

Have you seen "I'm with Rolling Stone" on MTV? It's a reality show that follows six journalism students as they write for the magazine's blog and possibly the magazine. I haven't seen a lot, but I love the idea of a reality show about writing and am jazzed to see one out there.

Jonathan said the most hilarious thing a while back. He proposed that all candidates for a given position at a university should be interviewed at the same time at MLA. They'd give the candidates buzzers, which the candidates could use to answer the questions. Then, right after the interview, they'd announce the three finalists who were going to the next round.

No piles of money lying around here. Besides that, on the subject of Top Whatnots, I caught the rerun of the next-to-last episode of Top Chef earlier this evening. And suddenly it matters very much to me who wins the title. (I'd add names, but I didn't want to leave a spoiler comment, in case you hadn't watched it yet).

Yeah, I saw it, and yeah, I know *exactly* what you mean. In some ways, it was a frustrating episode--it's gotten progressively harder, even with them excerpting and staging the discussions, to be able to tell exactly why one person is any better than another.

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on January 28, 2007 11:18 PM.

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