TV Review: ‘The Moment,’ ‘Deep South Paranormal’

TV Review: 'The Moment,' 'Deep South

The Moment” is a good idea, stretched rather uncomfortably and beyond its weight to fill an hour. People who abandoned careers in exciting fields — in the first two episodes, sports photography and NASCAR driving — are given second chances to see if they can live out their dreams. It’s an appealing notion for those who embrace the lyric that life is what happens while you’re making other plans, though the show doesn’t quite possess the necessary heft to pull off the conceit. Indeed, this USA network reality show can’t sustain what in hindsight feels more like a recurring newsmagazine featurette.

As a consequence, the premise must be padded, challenges concocted, and drama stoked. And while none of that’s unusual for the genre (think of how the situation gets milked in something like “Undercover Boss”), in this context, it still makes for a slow shuffle toward the finish line, as opposed to a triumphant race across it.

Former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Kurt Warner — who got his own second chance, having been plucked from the obscurity of the Arena Football League — is a logical choice on paper to host, but despite leading-man looks and a genial manner doesn’t bring much personality to the proceedings. The premiere, in which a mother auditions to work for Sports Illustrated, does provide insight into what makes a good sports photographer, but the run-up to a yea-or-nay decision grows flabby, and the tedium is even more pronounced in the second hour.

To its credit, “The Moment” doesn’t promise participants success, merely a shot at grabbing the brass ring — a concept to which many can no doubt relate.

That said, it’s hard to escape a sense that in a slightly earlier era, this sort of enterprise would have been offered as Saturday-afternoon syndicated filler as opposed to a ready-for-primetime player.

In that regard, “The Moment” demonstrates a fact to which Warner can no doubt attest: Just because you have the desire doesn’t mean you’re necessarily good enough to make the cut.

Meanwhile, sister NBCUniversal cabler Syfy offers the mashup title “Deep South Paranormal,” an almost pathetically obvious attempt to breed “Ghost Hunters” with “Duck Dynasty”/”Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” and scare up some good-ol’-boy ratings in the process.

“Down in the South, they do things a little different,” the narrator, Keith, explains near the outset, “and the same applies when it comes to huntin’ ghosts.”

Oh puh-leeze. Unless you count the ZZ Top beards, this is the same night-vision photography shtick, as the Scooby gang investigates an allegedly haunted old mill in Louisiana.

“I think we’re onto something, Bubba,” Keith says, thinking they’ve encountered an apparition. Maybe, but given how often the music swells in response to pretty much nothing, we’re certainly onto you.

OK, so reality TV’s redneck wave (recently detailed in a good Los Angeles Times piece) hasn’t crested yet, but the attempts to cash in are becoming more ridiculous. In terms of upside, though, there are an awful lot of dead Hatfields and McCoys out there who met violent ends. So knock yourself out pannin’ for that Nielsen gold, Jethro — er, Keith.

The Moment

(Series; USA, Thurs. April 11, 10 p.m.)

Host: Kurt Warner.

Produced by THE Company. Executive producers, Charlie Ebersol, Justin Hochberg, Richard Hall; co-executive producers, Ryan Simpkins, Gia Galligani, Andy Scheer. 60 MIN.

Deep South Paranormal

(Series; Syfy, Wed. April 10, 10 p.m.)

Produced by BASE Prods. Executive producers, John Brenkus, Mickey Stern. 60 MIN.

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  1. Bob says:

    I agre wit U. Me an my sis get it on watchn Deep Sout Parenorman. It reely b a big turn on. My cuzuns an me want moor of dat quote real al it T stuff un quote. Tanx NBC, SyFy, U R doin a 1st rat job. Yep. . .

  2. kristi says:

    Deep South paranormal is awesome. I love stuff like that. I thought me and my daughter were crazy about chasing and talking to the dead. There funny, hot and good ol’ southern boyz …..

  3. Pete says:

    Deep South Paranormal is a JOKE!!!!!
    This is the worst thing I have EVER seen!!!!!

  4. Buzz Dengue says:

    The self-identification in the script, after the opening was verbed as a “jambalaya of ghost hunters”… more like an “etouffee of awful”… For an “unscripted” show this SyFy offering tries just way too hard to be a believable cliche’ of Southern. Tryin’ to fit ten pounds of script in a five pound bag…

    The opening sequence feeding alligators was shark jumping right out of the box. What redeeming value did that “unscripted” scene have? Alligators? Seriously? Are we all supposed to be swooning over the dangerous alligators in the open top chicken wire cage and how they had a ‘feeding frenzy’ on the well manicured grass noshing on semi-frozen chicken thighs? What a waste of production money to stage that B.S. sequence.

    Stop with the lame colloquialisms… puh-leeez!!! I didn’t tune in to hear about the backside of a black cat, or whatever else pile of verbal lameness you try to conjure up… it didn’t work… Stop it already. But with all the episodes in the can, I am sure more linguistical southern atrocities are headed for our eardrums… ugh.

    I am sure Hart is a nice enough guy, but trade the stick for an electric guitar and some “cheap sunglasses”.

    The bright spot for me was Kevin the gadget guy… I wonder what is going through his head as he witnesses the proverbial train wreck happening all around him?

    We are tuning in for “Deep South Paranormal”, ghost hunting,
    not fishing,
    not alligators,
    not supposedly funny/sage southern folksy sayings (that are neither)

    Deliver the purpose for the show, deliver the reason for the series… I can watch Animal Planet for the rest of the fluff you are trying to foist on the viewers.

    I can hope for the series to develop. I will watch again, if for no other reason than to see just how low it can go. I hold out hope, but then again “if you put my brain in a gnat, it would likely fly backwards”.

  5. Ralph says:

    You make fun and ill remarks about a show, yet who the F$&@k are you?! Maybe a little support for small town folks getting a shot at a piece of TV reality! Ya’ll praise and worship the so called reality of the “only famous bc they’re on TV” show yet show no support for “real!” People! Sorry they aren’t rich and glamorous but that’s real people! Reality of most of us isn’t living in mansions and just arguing over drama night after night! Yeah I get it, it’s entertaining but so is seeing Real life people doing what they enjoy and not being Drama Fake F$&ks about it!! I support Deep South Paranormal in what they do and being real!! It’s your opinion and that’s fine but don’t bash someone who’s just trying to entertain the people who enjoy Paranormal entertainment!!

    • Bob says:

      I B agreeing wit U. Drama Fake F$&ks in Holywood R knot reel. We Reel life peephoe dont go bashin what is reel. Deep South Pairanorman B D reel ting. . . bi D whay. . don’t love someone who’s just tryin’ to take advantage of the people who are stupid enough to enjoy Paranormal entertainment!!

  6. ben says:

    *Kurt Warner

    • Ralph says:

      You make fun and ill remarks about a show, yet who the F$&@k are you?! Maybe a little support for small town folks getting a shot at a piece of TV reality! Ya’ll praise and worship the so called reality of the “only famous bc they’re on TV” show yet show no support for “real!” People! Sorry they aren’t rich and glamorous but that’s real people! Reality of most of us isn’t living in mansions and just arguing over drama night after night! Yeah I get it, it’s entertaining but so is seeing Real life people doing what they enjoy and not being Drama Fake F$&ks about it!! I support Deep South Paranormal in what they do and being real!! It’s your opinion and that’s fine but don’t bash someone who’s just trying to entertain the people who enjoy Paranormal entertainment!!

      • Bob says:

        And U R from what planet? Or better yet. Maybe you are one of the producers or directors or someone involved with the program trying to hype the program because you are such a no talent person.

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