I’m two episodes into NU’s premier music reality show, Jam Sesh, and I’m sufficiently hooked. The YouTube mini-series debuted on April 11, and with almost 1,600 views already, I’m a little late in hopping on the bandwagon. But regardless of timing, I’m glad I tuned in on this campus sensation.
Now, as far as reality shows go, I’ve never been much of a fan. I was temporarily consumed by the American Idol craze at age 11, and on Christmas Eve ’09, I accidentally watched three back-to-back episodes of Jersey Shore thinking that it was sketch comedy spoof.
As for Jam Sesh, which features four musical acts in competition to rearrange and perform the same song, it falls on the satisfactorily amusing side of the spectrum of reality TV. It has the same entertainment value as a well-produced network series, but unlike X-Factor or its identical counterparts (I don’t think anyone actually watched The Voice), Jam Sesh’s biggest appeal is its locality. The four contestants include freshman rapper Lenny Kim, junior singer Jacqueline Citrin and two NU-based bands—Jet Jaguar and Almost All-Purpose. Because I can potentially bump into all of these reality “stars” on my daily trek from Kresge to Kellogg , I have all the more motive to watch their show. And that’s not to mention the appeal in each individual character.
Out of the four contestants, the best-known would have to be Jet Jaguar. They’ve gained their fame on campus after winning DM Battle of the Bands, and because of that, my bet is that they’ll win. Like a bona fide garage band, Jet Jaguar takes me back to my sweaty summer days at the Vans Warped Tour.
The less well-known Lenny Kim also deserves some recognition, if not as a musician, then as the show’s unintentional comical relief. This South Korean rapping theater major infuses his thick beats with existential ponderings, as he claims to have taken great influence from his Buddhism class in fall quarter.
Perhaps the most engaging character, however, is the show’s host, Lex Singer. With a boyish look and an almost unbearably dry demeanor, Singer turns his badly-written jokes into well-delivered anecdotes. In segment, he somehow relates Kim’s non-misogynistic lyrics to Buddha’s nipples. Uncalled for, yes, but oddly amusing.
So far in the season, the musicians have received their musical prompt: an original, unreleased song called “Living in the Now.” Surprisingly enough, the song is actually quite catchy, sounding vaguely like an early Matchbox 20 hit. Assuming they have until the end of Spring Quarter to recreate the track, I can’t imagine any shocking plot twists in its coming episodes. But even without the proverbial drama of reality TV, Jam Sesh has already proven to be interesting enough. Or maybe I’m just inexplicably obsessed with Lenny Kim’s haphazard philosophical insights.
Either way, I give my kudos to the producer and recommend any NU student to take a gander on nuch1.com.