Extra Extra Review: “Webisode Fare Takes Shot at Big Leagues ” 5/2010
As the cable TV industry has shown us time and time again, when it comes to programming content, innovation can often arrive in the simplest of forms.
Try these popular cable recipes on for size: motorcycle enthusiasts building bikes in between family arguments; science enthusiasts armed with duct tape, gasoline and enough dynamite to blow up just about anything; and then there are the numerous “let’s follow home buyers around as they search for that perfect fixer upper” shows.
Few would call Orange County Choppers, Myth Busters or House Hunters high- concept TV, and yet each of these shows—with fairly basic structures—has garnered large audiences and die-hard fans.
Well, how about this for stripped down entertainment? A show about men talking.
That’s the premise that first-time producer Michael Rakosi seizes upon in his current webisode project, That Show with Michael Rakosi. The program’s production team, including director Andy Clayman (executive of the documentary My Architect), has bigger plans—namely a future slot on cable TV.
Rakosi and his producing partner, Anita Poll, prove that men really do talk, and not just about sports and politics. In fact, those are the only two subjects banned from the show. Everything else is fair game.
What they have to say might occasionally shock you. Rakosi, host of the series, draws out eye-opening revelations from the men—a group of five or six people you wouldn’t take a second glance at if they passed you on the street. Situated in a group therapy-like semicircle, these average Joes include a construction guy, a boxing trainer, a writer, a former banker, a Native American poet and, in the show’s one nod to showbiz, a stand-up co- median. He’s sitting down for this gig.
It doesn’t take long during any of the show’s first eight episodes to realize there’s nothing average about these guys. One tells a harrowing account of hand to hand combat in a dark tunnel in Vietnam, another admits to killing a man in a barroom fight, while a third reveals the childhood memory of standing in front of his mother while trying to protect her from his abusive stepfather.
And yet, surprisingly, out of these shocking, first-person stories comes not a sense of dread but a genuine feeling of hope. Credit Rakosi for interviewing numerous candidates over the past five years before choosing this intriguing bunch and put- ting them in an environment where they open up.
“I’m really interested in what people have to say,” explains Rakosi. “The men talk because we created a comfort- able space, in a nonjudgmental setting, to ensure openness and honesty.”
Along with the heavier content there are laughs too, and although the show appears to be for guys’ guys, Rakosi is quick to point out that his internet research has revealed a cross-demographic. “Women can’t believe men talk like this,” he says. “And they like it because it’s not, ‘Is Favre gonna retire?’ We’re kind of The View with men, and not talking over each other all the time.”
Like countless other web series entrepreneurs—many no doubt attending this year’s event—Rakosi has his eye on the cable ball. Two channels that seem a good fit, according to the producer, are Spike TV and Lifetime, surely appropriate for a guys’ show that women also find compelling.
High production values and intriguing content make Rakosi’s show one that actually might break the ranks.
RajaFilm.com “Men’s Online Talk Show: That Show With Michael Rakosi” 8/2010
“That Show with Michael Rakosi – where real men chat about men’s issues” 7/2010
As celebrities dominate every form of media available to us, the quality of content of many shows is steadily diminishing. A decent talk show without celebrities and their lives being show cased is not to be seen much. Men’s issues are rarely touched on TV or web shows.
However, One important web show that tackles men’s issues is thatshowwithmichaelrakosi.com. It is an online talk show that does not feature any celebrities but deals with important issues men face. Hosted by Michael Rakosi, this show is akin to men talking at a bar or a table. Though none of the conversation includes sports or politics, a wide range of topics are covered by this show. It includes verbal jabs, taunts, witticisms, insults and punching which is characteristic of men’s behavior with other men. So you may be for the first time hearing how men really talk.
Episode content is varied and discussed among a group of men. Issues like, how important is one’s family and how handkerchiefs symbolize class society are discussed. In another episode, men who had participated in wars discussed their experiences. Opinions on what it felt like fighting for one’s country and taking another man’s life were examined on the show. Also showcased were impressions of men on domestic violence and its effects on their family life.
Guests include people like DF Sweedler, who is a skilled comedian and a teacher of comedy , Tommy Gallagher, a veteran boxer and he recipient of the prestigious Rocky Marciano award from the American Association for the Improvement of Boxing, David Bianchini, an adept stone sculptor and owner of a construction company, Tiokasin Ghosthorse, is a storyteller, poet, university lecturer, scholar, essayist, cultural interpreter, and a peace and human rights activist from the Lakota Nation, Christopher Borg, an actor, director, writer and stand-up comic living in Manhattan, Emanuel Solomon, a banker, management consultant and amateur musician and Artie Sainsbury, a former NYPD Lieutenant who retired after 26 years of service.
The show’s host Michael Rakosi was in the real estate business for over forty years. He finally decided to fulfill a life long dream and start a web show that showcased real men talking.
NY DAILY NEWS: “Rakosi a Youtube Sensation”3/2010
Talking rings around competition: Trainer Tommy Gallagher was a primary reason why “The Contender,” ESPN’s boxing reality show, was such a success. Gallagher oozed old-time boxing – you could practically smell cigar smoke, sweat and stale beer every time he came on the screen.
Gallagher hopes to return to TV in the near future, but this time he’ll be talking more about emotions and experiences than jabs and hooks. “I want to talk about all the things that shape you, the fears and insecurities you develop when you are 10 or 11 years old that stay with you forever,” Gallagher says. “Everything else is just bull***.”
Gallagher is a member of the panel on “That Show with Michael Rakosi,” a very different kind of talk show that is already becoming a YouTube sensation. Rakosi, a New York real estate developer turned comedian, says he was interested in developing a show that allows him to talk honestly and from the heart. Rakosi’s only rule: No discussions about sports or politics.
Gallagher says he signed up for the show because Rakosi, a longtime friend, asked him to participate. “He said, ‘What we’ll do is ask you questions, and we want you to answer honestly.’ I said, ‘I can do that.’ It’s almost like therapy to me.”
Nice mention in last Sunday’s NY Daily News …
“… That Show with Michael Rakosi,” a very different kind of talk show that is already becoming a YouTube sensation.” Michael O’Keefe – NY Daily News (March 21, 2010)