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American Inventor

Recently Virgin 1 starting airing American Inventor season 2 over here in the UK. Being a sucker for anything American I decided to PVR it and see what all the fuss was about. I have to say, I am both excited and disappointed in equal measure. Having seen Peter Jones on the British program Dragon’s Den, I had high hopes for what I assumed would be an American version of the same program like The Apprentice (except in reverse.)

What almost immediately annoyed me (and this is unrelated to the actual show) was the was in which the program is presented. The overexcited commentator spends FIVE painful minutes setting the scene with lots needless posturing. I am going to sound very British here, but I had to restrain myself from yelling “Get to the bloody point!” several times. I have noticed from whenever I have been in the States that this, unfortunately, is largely the case network programming. On the other hand, shows like Mythbusters, FEAR Factor (etc) have the same format but are a lot less obtrusive.

The show itself is exciting but a little too dumbed down. What I mean by this, is that rather that looking at the considered merits of each invention it seems to be a glorified popularity contest with the likes of George Forman giving carte blanche to almost everything. It feels like Peter Jones is very much playing the role he normally would on the Dragon’s Den and as a result receives a lot of unnecessary hostility. Enthusiasm is important, enthusiasm is – I would go as far as say , enthusiasm is not a substitute for substance. I hope that the show gets more serious and more considered as the list of candidates is narrowed down, but so far I am far from impressed.

If I am being overly critical here then feel free to put me right, but at the moment it feels like Simon Cowell’s influence is far too prevalent.

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