“Excuse me son, do you know how fast you were going? Not fast enough to escape the Dome!” Listen up Domers, it’s inevitable at this point that the Dome itself is running out of steam. Not that I have inside information or any knowledge this is actually true, but c’mon, all the signs are there.
1) The Dreaded Time Change
Not even done with the first season and already Comedy Central decided a new time slot was necessary? This means a few things. Either A) Ratings were not what expected and a new time will hopefully rejuvenate interest B) Competition was too tough at its current time slot (10:30PM?!) C) Playing another “Tosh.0” right after a new “Tosh.0” was more profitable. Same thing happened with “The Sarah Silverman Show” and “Important Things with Demetri Martin.” They were demoted to the confusing midnight to 1am slot, so at least there’s a little hope for the Dome, taking over the 8pm prime time slot. Who knows, maybe ratings were so good CC thought it compete on a national level!? Probably not, considering this past week the Dome scored .3 million viewers, compared to the 1.5 million that tuned into the season premier. (Which was enough to beat the actual Sportscenter by the way.) To compare, “Tosh.0” has been averaging 5 million. 300,000 or 5 million, hmm….
2) It’s On Comedy Central
Comedy Central has been the kiss of death for too many shows. By this point, CC’s reputation is bad enough to turn people away on the spot. Daniel Tosh has a running joke on “Tosh.0” that mostly every commercial break he says “And we’ll be right back with more (insert canceled CC show)” Go down the list: “TV Funhouse,” “Chocolate News,” “Drawn Together,” “Dog Bites Man,” “Wanda Does It,” “Renovate My Family;” please I could go on for days. Something about the channel just doesn’t produce long running shows (Exceptions lately of course for “South Park”/”Reno 911”). So please, airing on Comedy Central put SportsDome behind the 8 ball from the start.
3) The Least Funny Parts Are The Dome’s Longest Segments
The show is structured the same way every week. There are small segments that run a few minutes tops that keep the show moving, and then there is always a recurring main story the whole episode that the show checks in with periodically. You would think the filler would be the worse material, but in fact some of the weakest points of the show are these long drawn out segments. Be it reporting on a boxing match in hopes one of the contestants dies, or fake retired NFL players that escaped a NFL Retiree Mental Institution; it feels like the same joke over and over again (because it is). Revisiting upon it never builds up the joke, only finding a different way to cash in on the same one laugh. Overkill comes to mind with these reported on segments, proving the short writing game to be a strong point for the Dome.
4) SportsDome Is Only Geared To Sports Fans
“Yes, it’s called SportsDome, it’s a “Sportscenter” rip off, it has sports in the title; no shit it’s only geared to sports fans.” The problem is, not as many people are into sports as the population lets on. To really get the gist of most jokes, you have to be an avid sports fan to understand. Watching Alex Reiser (Matt Walton) not know a thing about the MLS is only funny if you understand how regular people make fun of the MLS for being an inferior soccer league and sport in general. Not knowing who Albert Pujols will just make you wonder why “SportsDome” is comically doing a segment about how the city of St. Louis is offering him a master-key to the city if he stays with the Cardinals. To be up to speed with “SportsDome,” you actually have to be up to speed with sports in general. Their target audience was small to begin with, and then factor in that not everyone will be a fan of the show just based on statistics, and that number shrinks even farther. Again, starting behind the 8 ball.
5) Did I Mention It’s On Comedy Central?
See Point 2.
But, with that said, I’m a devout Domer and seriously love the show. I’ve followed The Onion many years online, especially Onion Sports, so news it would be getting its own “Sportscenter” like show had me excited. And like a blast of lightning from the heavens, “SportsDome” graced the small screen. It’s very first episode, after the season premier of “Tosh.0,” was more of a success to me than “Tosh.0.” I laughed harder at “SportsDome” than Tosh. That was most certainly not expect. After that it lost a little steam, but still stayed at a solid enough level for me to be a consistent weekly viewer. But why? Here’s five reasons why the Dome shouldn’t be going anywhere.
1) It’s Shorter Segments
This is what The Onion does best. A joke is thought up, it’s thrown at you, then they move on. That’s how the website is run. Each article is a few paragraphs at most, giving you just enough comedy to have you in stitches, but to not overplay the joke to death. Let’s reference a few. Coverage of last four seasons of the MLS:
Or Kobe’s new personality:
Or the National Crystal Meth Hallucination League:
I will admit my favorite story where Lebron, Wade, and Bosh institute new rules in the NBA to make it “cool” doesn’t have a good watchable video, but catch Episode 1 of SportsDome to check it out. The premiere also happens to be my favorite all around episode, being made of so many great tiny segments.
2) The Dome Doesn’t Give A F%ck
Seriously, as you can catch from some of its clips, the Dome doesn’t care who it offends. In the season premiere, SportsDome took little time pulling all the stops in a clip that actually caused some raucous from critics. Enter the Killzone:
Yes, that is a whole clip of analysts giving their recommendations on who to kill to solve numerous sports problems. “I’d gas the whole team! You can’t fire all the players but you can put them in a gas chamber. But first I’d chop Brook Lopez’s legs off with an axe so he doesn’t get above the fumes!” Offensive? Yes. Off-putting? Yes. Hilarious for those moral-less souls who love to see a show with no problem showing off its balls? Hells yeah. But don’t worry, the “Who Would You Kill” (sponsored by Smith and Wesson) came back in Episode 7, to offend even more.
3) SportsDome Is Created For Sports Fans
For the same reason the target audience could be one of the problems, it’s also a huge advantage for the show. The Dome knows exactly the target audience it wants, and carefully crafted a show tailored to their needs. Tight sports references and solid obscurity mixed with real athlete cameos like Paul Lo Duca (why not) and Ahmad Bradshaw tie it all together. But the best part? The super American spirit that rips through the show. “SportsDome” is built for American sports fans. Go back to the MLS mockery. It honestly pinned the feeling of most Americans about the league: who gives a shit. Or just look to my favorite promo: “We’ve got baseball, football…..and some other sports.” Ah, the American public. Screw the other foreign sports; who doesn’t love to watch a 4 hour baseball game in the gorgeous sun and get tanked? Well, pretty much the rest of the world.
4) Shepard/Wells Sexual Tension
The kind of sexual tension you could only assume exists on real shows between the cast, buried beneath those fake smiles and suggestive banter. I mean, “SportsDome” has the advantage of being completely fictional, so it has no shame about playing with the dynamics between hosts. Who cares if they look like idiots, they’re supposed to! Focus on the comedy, not the sports. Mark being a total creeper in this sense and hitting on his co-host Melissa Wells is a much added bonus to the show, instead of the show stopper it would be in real life. Viva la fiction!
5) The Onion
For years The Onion has been displaying superior lampooning of the news culture in general. The website has always been flourishing, and their sports section was no different. Whether it be a funny picture caption, a diagram, or an article about how Kansas City declined a contract option for the entire Royals organization, The Onion never disappoints. For that reason alone, I want “SportsDome” to stay on the air. For every missed segment, there are 3 more hits. The Onion isn’t afraid to throw all its material out there, leaving it up to us to judge. You can play it safe, or go for the knockout blow. I’d much rather watch a show swing for the fences every time than play it safe, which is exactly what the Dome does. “SportsDome,” please don’t go anywhere. For me?