Archive for American

Conned by American Inventor

Posted in TV, Venting with tags , , , , on September 14, 2008 by Apollo

Last year we (non-satellite viewers in the UK) were treated to the second series of American Inventor. A rather dire presentation of a few worthy people insterspersed a morass of others that have no idea about what an invention or business is, or with any finacial brain cells between their ears – if the riduculous amounts of tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars that they claim to have spent on their ideas is to be believed. Not only they, but their families need looking after by psychiatrists or guardians.

We’re currently being treated to another series, and after I had a look at the show’s background was disappointed to see that we’ve been shown the only two series in reverse order. What we saw last year was shot in 2007, and the current offering is from 2006! The only good thing found was the concept seems to have been dropped.

I likened the first (second?) series was something akin to “car crash TV”, and as the presentations rolled up in front of the judges it was less a case of “What’s next?”, and more of “Oh no! What Now?”, as a series of largely deluded individual strolled in, sometimes with their similarly deranged (brainwashed?) families in tow. You just wonder which one is going to mow the judges down in a bloodbath, or alternatively is going to collapse and drop dead from a heart attack or stroke when they’re turned down.

It’s a real shame – if the producers had just vetted the applicants seriously, instead of for entertainment value, there could have been a good show here, and not a travesty where success was more dependent on hard the applicant might cry and plead about being peniless, living in a carboard box, and having sold the kids off to slavery – and sent the partner out (or gone out) on the street to make some money for food.

I think there are two great surprises associated with this show.

The first is that Peter Jones was not only associated with, but is said to have been party to its creation. Even though there was the chance of picking up a good business investment somewhere along the line, listening to him speak about business would suggest he’s not that intersted in quite such a longshot.

The second is that I’m watching a show produced by smarmy creep Simon Cowal, who has made millions by doing nothing other than getting a cut of money earned by others in the name of celebrity – something they should pay for privilege of, rather than having ordinary people fund for their worthless hides.


American Inventor

Posted in Noteworthy, Tech, TV with tags , , , on February 26, 2008 by Apollo

LampThanks to those nice people at Virgin1, we’re getting the second seriesĀ  of American Inventor, and it’s not going to disappoint.

First, there is the Panel of Judges:

George Foreman. Duh? A boxer who made his money from bashing people’s brains out and getting a cut of the purse the sight attracted, then making another fortune by getting a cut of the profits made when he allowed his already famous name to be plastered on a less than notable grill that would sell for a lot less if it didn’t need to pay for the label with his name stuck on it. He’s the ‘Nice Guy’.

Some sort of millionaire life coach. A breed I hold in high contempt, as they just massage the egos of the super-rich, and get a wad of cash for doing it. On the back of their famous clients’ names and success, they then sell books, courses, DVDs and other tat, so raking in piles of cash from wannabes.

Things get better when we get to the female section of the panel, and the founder of a range of innovative underwear. She at least earned her wedge by creating and marketing something successfully, even the eventual success probably had more to do with ‘who she knew’ than ‘what it did’.

Then there’s British member (who has already been subject to a racist attack from an unsuccessful candidate), who provides the sensible side of things, and keeps the rest of the panel in check, since although only three Yes votes are needed for success, he can register dissent. He’s not the ‘Nice Guy’. This turns out to be more useful than expected, as Mr Foreman say Yes to just about anything. The other two members of the panel tend to be more realistic.

Coincidentally, BBC7 just finished a short series about the relatively poor deal inventors get in the UK, and it was interesting to compare and contrast the approach taken in the two countries. It’s easy to see that the figures quoted in the BBC programme were sadly accurate, where they reflected on the sad scenario where only 2% of British inventions get anywhere in their own country, and are lost to the country as a potential source of revenue when their inventors take them to America, when they chances of getting financial backing are much, much higher.

The first programme was enlightening, with the American inventions largely being as crazy as this Brit expected (Peter Jones’ face is a picture at times), with the presentation of two psychos in the first offering, with one being escorted from the stage/building when he proved unable to accept the No vote awarded to his ‘wonderful’ idea.

It’s going to be a great series, and there may even be some genuinely innovative ideas emerging.

They may have kept it until last, but the Guardian Angel, invented by real life fireman Greg Chavez, and intended to automatically quench Christmas tree fires, was the clear winner – and put all the other trivial stuff to shame.

It’s almost a pity that the programmes are repeatsin, and we know he will be the eventual winner, but we’ll forget that for now, and just enjoy the show.