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Fourteen men and women kick, shoot, dive, punch, and literally fall for the chance to work with one of the legends of American action cinema, Joel Silver, for a made-for to be aired later.  

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host:
Tina Malave
Casting Directors: Victoria Burrows, Scot Boland, Josh Einsohn, Marki Costello
Creators: Gary R. Benz, Michael Branton
EP: Joel Silver, Gary R. Benz, Cris Abrego, Rick Telles,
Packager: Warner Bros. TV, Silver Pictures TV, GRB Entertainment, NBC Studios
Airs: Tuesdays at 8:00pm ET on NBC (replays Wednesdays at 11:00


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Episode 1 - June 14

It's the Next Action Star! This reality contest is all about finding the next
big actor and actress. The producers of this talent competition are looking
for a man and a woman to star in a made for TV movie called "Hit Me" directed by uber-director Joel Silver - but the actual premiere of this show isn't until tomorrow. So what are we going to be hit with tonight?

That's right - an hour of horrible auditions.

As we get introduced into the show, a man says that he is the next action
star because he feels no pain - and he says this while displaying his hand with a finger that is bending in a way that most normal fingers shouldn't be
bending. Gross, dude.

Victoria Burrows, Scot Boland, Josh Einsohn, and Marki Costello are the
judges. These are all people who have cast shows on either NBC or ABC and their credits include "The Bachelor". Uhhh... getting credit for casting a relationship show which still has not produced any marriages is not exactly something that I would want to be trumpeting about. Anyways, three of them at any given time will be judging the actor wannabes, who need two out of three judges to say yes for them to advance.

They contestants first start out by breaking through a makeshift door and
then doing improvisation on the spot based on what the judges tell them - for example, a blond guy who somersaults through the door then has to do a Chippendales model impersonation - and he gladly obliges, while a woman who comes in all of a sudden sees her best friend cheating on her boyfriend. After the first skit, the actors have to read off of a script and show off their acting ability and based on that, the judges decide whether they advance - or stop the movie.

Somere starts off - and she's a big game hunter. She moves on to bigger game - but we get the bad choreography montage of people who are more interested in their chops than acting. Mae, ironically with her boyfriend Derik, gets in as a 'black widow' character, and she advances to Hollywood.

Most of the people who come in are more concerned about an image that they create - while others just aren't thinking, as one of the wannabes, who gets the script of someone in a hospital, acts like he needs to call 911 - but the person is already in a hospital. Santino. a musclehead from Miami, gets in as the first guy, while Nathalie, who comes with him, gets rejected. Matt T., whose parents are in the acting business, gets a break and gets to move on.

We get more kicking, somersaults, and a 360 from Brittany, who is a
martial arts expert. Matthew claims that the fat guy (and he is very fat) will kick some ass - and promptly gets rejected. The judges ask the contestants if they would pay $10 to see themselves - and one contestant says that she doesn't know. That gets her an ejection.

It's gotten so bad that Victoria Burrows comes out and tells them that the
energy out in the audition hall is not being felt when it's time to come and
actually audition. She tells everyone to take it seriously, and you can feel the gloom seeping into the room. We're starting to see why there are so many unemployed actors...

Corinne is a police officer and a nationally ranked boxer - but though her
boxing confidence didn't go into the acting, she did take redirection and she
did listen - and that gets her in.

Joel Silver says that you have to believe that what is happening is actually
happening - that's how you know you have a star. Rustene knocks the improv down perfectly, and the actress gets into the next round.

We next move to Georgia, where Julielinh says that she's never really acted
before. She was a model on "Beat the Clock", so I don't know if you consider it acting, but her look gets her to the next step. Harold improves well as his fly is down in a roomful of nuns, and the first African American male that we've seen that's actually any good gets in. Joining him is Melissa, who is there for her first ever audition - and beginner's luck rules. Teance plans to join her - but a bizarre kicking sequence does her in.

Could the Next Action Star be Asian? Maybe, as Young advances on, despite not feeling it in the script auditions. When Viviana finds her best friend sleeping with her man, she says "F#ck you" - and the 'woman with a 'tude' gets in. Pina calls her best friend a 'b!tch' - but she doesn't go any further.

On to the Big Apple - where we have... big egos, featuring the man who's name should be a verb and shirtless wrestling in the green room. Matt S., a firefighter who was in the World Trade Center, gets in, and Cristina, a Latina from Colombia who says she was born to be an actress, gets in unanimously.

Tara, a professional trainer, gets the boot - and she is concerned and
tearful because they told her that she was perfect in every way - but she isn't advancing. David, when finding out that his woman and best friend are sleeping together, goes dramatic instead of comedic and gets in - but other people who get rejected give the judges some of the Bronx treatment. Reggie is otherwise known as 'Fan Man' because he uses a fan for his auditions, and he fans his way in with a sweet improv about his wife being shot. David is the last New Yorker to audition - but he doesn't get in. The judges escape from New York...

...and return to L.A., where Marki Costello sees people who have set up tents in the street. Linda curses out her best friend having sex with her boyfriend in Italian - and she gets the acceptance speech. Sean has the personality of a brick - but the judges are drawn by his physique and they let him in. We get Michele, an Asian woman in a skimpy school dress (in shades of Battle Royale) and she gets in - but we get a montage of people who are too boyish, too rugged, etc., to not make it on the show. John, a waiter from Oregon, also has that same 'brick' personality as Sean - but also the same physique, so he's advancing.

My take? Well, it's what it is - auditions. It went really too fast for me to
get any sort of take on the people who got accepted, but for a setup, it's
ok. Hopefully, we'll get some personalities to latch on to on the next episode - and we'll see the show really heat up...

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