Menino or Idol: Which is Must-See TV?

1200413659The writer’s strike has brought out the worst in television. When American Gladiators emerged from its grave to wreak spandex-clad havoc in our households again, you know the networks are desperate. Things are so bad that many are looking to tonight’s debut of the seventh season of American Idol to save television. Despite such lofty claims, we’re still not sure if American Idol will be the best reality show on TV tonight.

As the Herald reported this morning, Mayor Tom Menino will give his annual state of the city speech at the Strand Theater in Dorchester. While this is normally a horn-tooting exercise peppered with a few clues into the mayor’s agenda for the upcoming year, tonight’s speech could turn into a circus due to protests by the Boston Firefighters Union.

Since we can’t decide what to devote our attention to, let’s place the shows in an American Gladiator-style battle for supremacy. Don those spandex shorts, Mayor, and fight against being TiVoed.

Local Appeal
American Idol: This year the show didn’t stop at Foxboro for auditions. Clearly, it’s so afraid of awesomeness that it could only get as close as Philadelphia. We still cling to hope that another Ayla Brown took the drive to Eagles country to audition.

State of the City: Hizzoner is from Hyde Park, and we’d imagine the firefighters don’t hail from too far outside the city limits.

Advantage: State of the City

Schadenfreude Factor
American Idol: There’s a reason the audition episodes go on for about a month. White trash, snarky comments, the heartbreak you can practically hear emanating from some teenager’s heart.

State of the City: The last time the firefighters picketed the mayor’s speech, his wife got spat upon, and they both looked terrified.

Advantage: American Idol

Tertiary Character of Note
American Idol: Antoria Gillon, who went into labor and wouldn’t leave the auditions until she could sing for the judges. She then named her baby Jamil Labarron Idol McCowan.

State of the City: Boston Firefighters Union President Ed Kelly, who insists Menino is smearing the firefighters. This from the guy who won’t make his members submit to random drug tests and threatened to fire a firefighter for participating in the panel that wants to institute changes to the department.

Advantage: State of the City

Water-cooler Value
American Idol: There’s always one drag queen or ill-clothed woman that stands out among the rest, and always one small media controversy about Simon Cowell being mean to a mentally-challenged kid.

State of the City: Sure, we’ll be talking about it here at Boston Daily HQ, but we doubt anybody else will unless it comes to blows.

Advantage: American Idol

It’s a draw. Luckily, the pre-State of the City presser from the Firefighters Union will be held at 4 p.m. and the speech itself begins at 7:30 p.m. Hopefully the Mayor can wrap it up before we welcome Ryan Seacrest back into our homes at 8 p.m.