So, Stars Earn Stripes Week 2. The weirdest thing about this reality shows is that they're shot and edited to look like live sporting events but the fact is that the entire series was shot before the first episode aired. So it's impossible to incorporate the excellent feedback our readers offered in the comments section on last week's post.
Now that we're past the introduction stage, NBC doesn't need two hours to set up the challenge, so things moved a lot faster. The celebrities had to jump out of a helicopter onto a rooftop, take out some targets, rappel down the side of the eight-story building, meet their operative partners, take out some more targets and meet their extraction pickup truck.
Stop reading now if you don't want to find out what happened in the challenge/competition/mission.
Watching this week made me realize what's weirdest about this show: running around in the desert, jumping out of helicopters and playing with automatic weapons in a situation where no one's shooting back at you ought to be a hell of a lot of fun. Instead, someone involved with the show (NBC? the producers? General Clark?) decided that making it a "tribute to the troops" would do what exactly? Shut up the folks who would complain that NBC was glamorizing warfare? That didn't work. Amp up the drama? I'm not sure that works either.
Playing solider is fun. Ask any eight-year-old boy (or quite a few girls as well). Why so serious?
The guy who has to be loving this is Nick Lachey, who does surprisingly well when he relaxes and stops comparing his newfound combat experience to being in a boy band. It's almost enough to make you forget that show he did with Jessica Simpson.
Terry Crews, on the other hand, has to wonder what he signed up for. After a long career in the NFL and some real success as an action movie star, you'd have to think he'd perform well here. If you make your living as a guy who pretends to be a badass in the movies, you don't want to be shown up as someone who can't swim or even really shoot straight. Goodbye, Terry. Get ready from some serious razzing on the set of Expendables 3.
If you want to check out the complete second episode, it's embedded below: