Zara is the eleven-year old winner of last year's nationally televised Talang 2008 contest, and is one of the handful of very talented kids profiled on TV4's very compelling Tuesday night
documentary series, Jag ska bli stjärna, (I'll be a star).
You can see the most recent episode, 5 of 6, about 44 minutes long, by clicking below, as long as you do so before Tuesday afternoon our time, since a new episode airs tomorrow night in Sweden, and will be uploaded to their website some time
Here, in a clip from last Tuesday's episode, Zara sings the Swedish national anthem at
a race track, and naturally, everyone's a critic!
Meanwhile, back home, Laila Bagge helps Zara get prepared to record a demo CD
and sets the wheels in motion for Zara to go to Hollywood.
But not before preparing here to answer basic questions, en engelsk, like, "Who are your musical influences?"
I think it'd be great to see a show as savvy, serious and well-produced as this made in the U.S., but you just know that given the current entertainment climate, rather than make a smart,
knowing documentary series, they'd intentionally add a lot of unlikable kids into the mix instead, just to add some spice and melodrama.
That's the current casting method at reality shows like Fox-TV's American Idol and MTV's
Real World, and a little often, lately, with CBS-TV's Survivor.
(I've watched just about every single episode of Survivor since the show first aired, but after watching this past season's premiere in September, my gut-sense was that the cast seemed a little TOO predictable and orchestrated. Nej tak!)
Me, I like to watch the inherent sociology of what happens to people are suddenly thrown together and forced to deal with strangers, with whom they suddenly will have to depend upon to an extent.
That's one of the principal reasons why CBS-TV's The Amazing Race is so great.
That show is one I never miss, precisely because it's hard to orchestrate things well enough in advance to get teams to act a certain way.
Frankly, that's why out of all the myriad reality shows, a celebrity season of it would prove quite interesting and appealing ratings-wise, as long as you have teams that mix smart and
resourceful people from different milieus competing against each other: academia, High-Tech, fashion, sports, Film, TV, high culture, et al.
That would be very compelling TV with the right people in place.
One of the things that I personally find so appealing and compelling about Jag ska bli stjärna is that you literally have no inkling of what's going to happen to the kids and their parents before it actually does.
The "real" of reality TV!
Thus, it seems fresher and more genuine than anything like the pre-programmed reality shows
here in the U.S., where the show runners seem unwilling to trust the intelligence of viewers
to figure things out on their own.
I have a great sense of humor but I suspect that's one of the many reasons why I've NEVER watched a moment of Fox-TV's American Idol, except for the spill-over at the top of the hour when I flip over to watch House.
To me, it seems pre-programmed to a fair-thee-well to get a particular narrative and construct.
I want competitions to be about what the subject at hand is -not people trying to become famous for 'Fifteen Minutes'- and want the final results to correspond to something
involving talent, ability or effort.
I guess I'm just Old School that way. But then I've been a Turner Classic Movies fan from Day One, too.
Olivia Welin från Höllviken GIF.
Thirteen-year old soccer player Olivia Welin and her family and teammates, who were
filmed since last January, remind me a lot, in a positive way, of a lot of the families with
daughters I saw for many years in my sister's part of western Howard County, Maryland,
and how they focus some of the their time and energies on their daughters playing sports,
especially field hockey, lacrosse and soccer.
The parents are VERY committed, especially the mothers, as is the case with Olivia'smother on the show, as well as my sister, who is a coach for field hockey and soccer,
just like my brother-in-law in Maryland is.
All of my three nieces played field hockey and two have already started in the Maryland State High School Championship game for their team, with one now playing in college.
They all played soccer, too, of course, and one -the youngest- does field hockey, soccer and lacrosse over the course of a year.
I'll be writing on the topic of Girls sports in more detail in the future, but to me, comparing how they're organized in the greater Northern Virginia/ DC/Baltimore area, is that Girls sports are MUCH better-supported, valued and attended up there compared to the rampant apathy
of South Florida.
I have my suspicions on why that's the case, but it starts with the mothers down here, too, who, sadly, far too often, live in self-absorbed condo cocoons, and who clearly aren't willing to spend
the time and energy with their daughters they should.
That time means occasionally having to be a referee or a coach or raising
money for trips if it's a Travel Squad.
And do I even have to mention how atrocious South Florida's sports media is in covering Girl's high school or Women's college sports in a serious and non-condescending way?
With all the technological resources they have now, they've stood still and are running-in-place.
It's really, really embarrassing.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, the world has evolved while South Florida's sleepwalking media watches the grass grow...
The media coverage was MUCH better in the late 1970's, especially at the Herald, which I know from personal experience because of...
Well, I'll explain more in the future, but suffice to say for now that it has to do with North Miami Beach High School Girls Gymnastics and Hialeah Miami Lakes High School girls Soccer.
One more important point, without getting into lots of minute detail.
In watching the previous shows as I have, you can see after watching Olivia Welin'sself-evident talent, ability and dedication to listening to her coach and getting better, why Sweden, not England or some other well-known South American soccer countries -besides Brazil- are among the top Women's National Soccer teams in the world, EVERY YEAR.
Like the Dutch in field hockey!
That's why all the elite NCAA field hockey programs have Dutch players: UVA, Maryland, Wake Forest...
Below, Olivia's first day as a referee
Olivia has some difficult decisions to make
More about Olivia: