If you hope to learn anything about the entertainment industry or what a performance coach does from Oxygen’s new series “The Next Big Thing: NY,” forget it.
Clearly staged to the gills, the show — which premieres June 12, following “The Glee Project” — focuses on Trapper Felides, a New York coach who focuses on tutoring young entertainers, which mostly involves shrilly berating them.
Yes, there’s an audience for this genre — think “Toddlers & Tiaras,” or any number of Bravo series — but spending an hour with Felides goes beyond guilty pleasure to outright chore. Far from rooting for him and his young charges to succeed, by the time Felides and his assistant are shrieking at each other as they prepare for a showcase at the Apollo, you sort of hope one of his budding Dorothys will drop a house on him.
“God! What are you doing to me right now?” Felides bellows at one point, and the question lingers, although not in the way intended.
Granted, Oxygen’s niche is narrow enough the channel can probably get some mileage out of the concept if Felides merely emerges as the kind of character (and there’s clearly a lot of acting, most of it terrible, going on here) people love to hate. Still, when the entertainment industry wonders why it often gets such a bad name, just remember the way those within it depict themselves.
“The Next Big Thing?” More like just the next minor pain — one where, even after just one episode, the curtain can’t come down fast enough.
Produced by BBC Worldwide Prods and Omelette Bar Prods. Exec producers: Izzie Pick Ashcroft, Jo Honig, David St. John, Jane Tranter, Stacey Angeles, Eric Cyphers.