MTV’s making the bland

Every Wednesday at 10 p.m. for the past 10 weeks, MTV has been showing the second season of a reality show called Making the Band 2– also known as Wednesday Night Fight Night.

The show is a chronology of six band members’ faults and triumphs, their wins and losses. But no matter how bad things get — just like in real life — the rich record executive swoops in to the rescue. This reality show falls short of the mark, and is nothing more than the tale of an ungrateful bunch of untalented kids — except maybe Babs.

The basic concept of this show is similar to The Real World. In the first season of Making the Band, six people were chosen from thousands after a massive U.S. audition and weeks of critiquing from the Bad Boy himself, Sean Combs.

This season, they are living together trying to create the ostensible band. The six members come from different backgrounds and regions of the country, but they all have the same dream: to make it big and be a star.

The first episode of the series starts with the band members being flown to New York to begin recording their debut album.

When they arrive they find out that they have to go through a hazing-like ritual to move into the house where they will be recording.

They have to do many things to prove themselves — they must walk to Brooklyn to get P. Diddy cheesecake, wash cars in cold weather and memorize and sing the lyrics to “Juicy” and “Rapper’s Delight” in unison — what a small price to pay to live in a nice house and get paid to write rhymes for a living. But some band members show their appreciation by throwing fits and threatening to quit.

Some of the members of “Da Band,” as the group is later named, become more audacious as the series moves on. For instance, South-style rapper Fred feuds with Philly native Ness countless times throughout the course of the 11 episodes.

And even one of the oldest members, Sarah, breaks down at one point and yells at another member of the group for not giving her the phone when things don’t go her way.

The band members are reminiscent of the kids on Romper Room.

They seem to feel as though the industry owes them something because they were chosen to be a part of history, as Diddy often reminds.

When did entertainment begin to consist of the constant whining of six people who are intellectually deficient and think they are talented?

The show, from the beginning, should have influenced the roots of music and hip hop so Da Band would not be simply for adding more zeroes to Sean Combs’ bank account, but a vehicle that could faithfully contribute to hip hop.

Today when the echoes of “Shake Ya Tailfeather” and “I Need A Girl” parts 1-3 are as common as kids who can’t read but can kick your butt in Madden 2004, it is disheartening to see a misrepresentation of real life such as Making the Band 2.

Viacom doesn’t care if what is depicted on reality television is real — they own BET for crying out loud — it is concerned with ratings.

If viewers can get WWE packaged with their reality television, of course they’re going to tune into Wednesday Night Fight Night. But it is the duty of people like P. Diddy to ensure the groundlayers of the culture are respected and their art is not made into a guide to becoming part of the rap bourgeoisie.

Rorik Williams is The Oracle’s Music Editor. Contact him at