Fox gets 'Mobbed'

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 12:00 AM Written by 

Flash mobs -- those staged dance routines that pop up on YouTube -- get the glossy Fox treatment in "Mobbed" (9 p.m. Thursday, WPGH), a one-time special/pilot for a weekly series that shows why it's sometimes better for Internet memes to remain just that.

Read more after the jump. ...

There are many, many problems with "Mobbed," beginning with host Howie Mandel, who spends what feels like the first 10 minutes of the show telling viewers what to expect, going against the old adage, "show don't tell." Instead he tells and tells and tells some more with the boasts and promises growing ever larger with each subsequent telling.

The show's premise is that it will help someone help make a splash, whether it's telling off a boss or coming out as gay.

"Tonight we're about to shatter the concept of intimacy," Mandel boasts.

Does anyone really think that's a good idea?

"If you ever do this to me," said occasional Tuned In Journal contributor Legal Eagle, seated next to me on the couch, "I will kill you."

In Thursday's special, a mookie guy named Justin wants to propose to his giirlfriend, Nikki, via "Mobbed." But producers have another idea: What if they also get married!

And this is where "Mobbed" starts to fall apart. Not only are the producers buttinskis to a degree you'd never see on YouTube flash mobs, but the show is one hour in duration (and it is a slog). Most flash mob videos on YouTube are five minutes max. Who wants to wade through an hour of padding as choreographers train the flash mob dancers and "Candid Camera"-style scenes play out?

Worst of all, the flash mob itself doesn't look that much like a flash mob. Portions do, but most of it is just a mob with little flash and even less capable choreography. On YouTube, flash mobs are pretty simple affairs, maybe a few shots from different angles, but it's largely a static image so you can see everyone dancing in formation. "Mobbed" has quick cuts galore (the producers really love aerial shots) so viewers don't see much of the flash mob scene the show promises. It's less of a flash mob and more of (one hopes) a flash in the pan, the one-and-done special it deserves to be.

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.