×

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

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.

TV Review: 'The Moment,' 'Deep South Paranormal'

More TV

  • Luna Nera Netflix Italy

    Italy's Women Filmmakers Set to Make Waves

    The Berlinale in recent years has been a prime launching pad for Italian films directed by women, which though fewer in number to their male counterparts, make up a considerable portion of the country’s representation on the festival circuit — Alice Rohrwacher (“Happy as Lazzaro”) at Cannes, Susanna Nicchiarelli (“Nico”) at Venice, and Berlin regular [...]

  • Love Me Scandinavian Cinema

    Scandinavia Ups Its Game With So Many Markets for Its Fare

    When the Nordic entertainment group, one of Scandinavia’s largest media groups, announced last month during the Goteborg Film Festival that it was pulling out of non-scripted content to focus on scripted drama, and film production and distribution, it underscored two market trends in the Nordics: Subscription-based services, whether local or global, are driving the region’s [...]

  • Louis Hofmann in Prélude

    Berlin: Louis Hofmann Cast in Damian John Harper's 'Fresh' (EXCLUSIVE)

    German star Louis Hofmann is set to topline Damian John Harper’s upcoming drama “Fresh,” a German-language adaptation of Scottish writer Mark McNay’s novel of the same name. Hofmann plays a young man who must emancipate himself from his tyrannical older brother. Unlike the book, which is set in the outskirts of Glasgow, the film’s story [...]

  • Steve Stark

    Steve Stark Named President of Newly Formed MGM/UA Television

    The newly formed MGM/UA Television label has found a president in Steve Stark, who previously served as MGM’s president of scripted television production and development. MGM Worldwide Television Group chairman Mark Burnett made the announcement late Friday, adding that Stark has extended his contract with the studio as part of his new role. “We are [...]

  • Bad Education

    TV News Roundup: HBO Sets Premiere Date for Hugh Jackman's 'Bad Education' (Watch)

    In today’s TV News roundup, HBO Films set the premiere date for “Bad Education” starring Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney and “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” tapes Chris Harrison and Sage Steele as hosts. CASTING “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison will host “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” alongside co-host Sage Steele of ESPN, ABC announced. [...]

  • Randall Park Ed Helms

    Randall Park, Ed Helms to Host Hybrid Alternative-Scripted Series 'True Story' for NBC

    Ed Helms and Randall Park are attached to co-host a hybrid scripted-alternative series titled “True Story” at NBC. The hour-long show has received a six-episode order. It is based on the Australian series “True Story with Hamish & Andy.” In the series, everyday Americans sit down with Helms and Park to share their most extraordinary [...]

  • Annie MurphyGlamour Women of the Year

    'Schitt’s Creek' Star Annie Murphy Cast as Lead in AMC's ‘Kevin Can F— Himself’

    “Schitt’s Creek” star Annie Murphy has been cast as the lead in AMC’s upcoming series “Kevin Can F— Himself.” The dark comedy centers around Murphy’s Allison, Kevin’s wife, who escapes her confines and discovers her rage. “Kevin Can F– Himself” probes the secret life of a type of woman we all grew up believing we [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content