Have you ever wondered why most pop music sounds so bad, given all the talented musicians to choose from and all the money that goes into each song? Platinum Hit offers a clue (Monday, 9 p.m., Bravo). In this reality competition, Jewel, Kara DioGuardi and other music-industry bigwigs put a dozen composer-performers through a series of tests to identify the next big hitmaker. From the get-go, the personalities are toxic, just as you imagine they are throughout the business.
"I am a musical genius," proclaims a mohawked guy named Nick, proving it by writing his first song in five seconds. You can't wait for the judges to knock this idiot down a peg, but guess what they love the five-second song! Nick shoots to the top of the heap, despite these lyrics: "To Hollywood I move/To seek, destroy, and prove/But something by the waist/RE-A-LI-TY!/Comes and spits right in your face!"
"I loved the metaphors," says a tone-deaf executive from Jive Records, making you wonder if the entire music industry has completely lost touch with RE-A-LI-TY.
Platinum Hit sets out to discover greatness and fails. But it unintentionally discovers music so lame that you can't help being fascinated by it. In other words, I already have the DVR set for the next episode.
Revolver Golden Gods Awards
Saturday, 9 pm (VH1 Classic)
While most pop music celebrates romance and good times, heavy-metal acts regale listeners with songs about torture, demons, nightmares and hell. Hey, it's a living. This awards show honors stringy beards, dark makeup and excessive tattoos, and it features more hair-shaking than an Herbal Essences TV ad.
Performances of "Children of the Grave" and "Executioner's Song" will be all in good fun, and if you doubt that these black-hearted ghouls are winking at us, behold the Honorary Headbanger award presented to William Shatner.
If this is what hell is like, I'm not as scared of it as I used to be.
How to Die in Oregon
Sunday, 11 am (HBO)
I'm the kind of person who would much rather watch a Looney Tunes marathon on the Cartoon Network than consider issues of mortality. But for two hours, this Sundance Award-winning documentary forced me to think about The End and all the legal and philosophical issues related to it.
How to Die in Oregon takes a peek at the subculture created by the state's 1994 law legalizing physician-assisted suicide. We watch painful scenes in which terminally ill people drink their poison and say their goodbyes to family members. "It will put him in a coma in a matter of minutes," says a volunteer attending the suicide of Richard Sagner. "And after that...."
"...we wait for me to die," says Richard, facing oblivion with his eyes wide open.
Well, then, let's see what's on the Cartoon Network, shall we?
Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition
Monday, 9 pm (ABC)
In the premiere, 369-pound Rachel puts herself in the hands of makeover guru Chris Powell. We hear about her terrible self-image and about her determination to give 150% to her makeover. "I'm not going to quit," she says, echoing every person on every weight-loss program on every channel. "I'm not going to give up my hopes and dreams!"
If Rachel is all about hopes and dreams, she's come to the right place. "Every time you tell me you can't do something, I'm going to prove that you can," says Chris, echoing every trainer on every weight-loss program on every channel.
Chris, I can't stop watching trashy reality TV. Can you prove that I can?
Million Dollar Decorators
Tuesday, 9 pm (Bravo)
Bravo has found yet another group of L.A. professionals who cater to rich people and, consequently, have an inflated sense of self-importance. This time, it's interior designers who work with the likes of Elton John and Cher. "I don't get out of bed for less than a million dollars," crows Kathryn. Jeffrey has an even grander sense of himself: "Sometimes I think my job is more important than the President of the United States."
So what is it that these people do that makes them so vital, requiring obscene amounts of money even to coax them out of bed? In the premiere, we get a glimpse of their indispensable work as one of them, Martyn, must design a luxury apartment for second-tier TV personality Sharon Osbourne in only three days. "The heat is on!" he cries, because God forbid Sharon would have to wait an extra day for the right shade of cream on her walls. The episode climaxes as Martyn barks out an order to his minions with Sharon just about to show up: "Can you get me a white fluffy pillow?!"
I'd love to watch episode two, but I don't follow TV series this bad for less than a million dollars.