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Just a couple of quick notes this morning.

I’ve long been somewhat proud of the fact that I don;t watch so-called “reality television.” For one thing, it seems anything but real. Besides, my idea of reality TV is news and sports.

But I’ve fallen off the wagon. The show I’ve fallen in love with is “The Voice,” on NBC.

I’ve only watched a couple of episodes, but these “blind audition” segments have featured four celebrity judges - Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton - who have picked people for their teams based only on what they hear - they cannot see the people who are singing. I gather that what is going to happen now is that the judges will turn into coaches, and the goal will be to find one “voice” that eventually will get a recording contract.

What I find so refreshing about ‘The Voice” is that everybody seems so positive and encouraging to each other; even the people not picked for any of the teams are treated with empathy and respect. There’s no humiliation, no bullying, no obnoxious judges looking to prove how great they are at the expense of someone else’s feelings.

It is great fun to watch, and there’s even a lesson that being positive eventually beats being negative, since “The Voice” seems to be getting better ratings than “American Idol” these days.

“The Voice” also has proven to be a strong lead-in for a show called “Smash,” which is a bit of delightful fiction about the creation of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. “Smash” has got a winning cast, great music, and a compelling storyline; it’s up against “Castle” and “Hawaii Five-O,” but my son and I find ourselves drawn to it on Monday nights. (After watching both “The Voice” and “Smash” one recent evening, my son looked at me and said, “I really need baseball to start.” But we watched it again the next week ... I think you;d call it a guilty pleasure.

For me, I suspect “Smash” is fun because when I was in acting school many, many years ago, I always fancied myself as eventually ending up on the stage. For most folks, I just think that there is something timeless and fun about putting on a show.

“The Voice” and “Smash.” I recommend them both. At least until baseball season starts.

One other show that looks terrific, BTW, is “Awake,” the new NBC drama about a cop who is in a car accident and then seems to find himself splitting his time between two realities. In one, his wife is alive and his son has died in the accident; in the other, exactly the opposite is true. And the events in each reality seem to bleed over into the other reality, affecting both his personal life and the cases to which he is assigned. Jason Isaacs is terrific as the man caught between two universes and finding some solace in his dilemma, the supporting cast is great, and the only problem I can see with this series is maintaining the storyline over 22 episodes a year. But I’m happy to watch them try.

One wine to recommend this week - the 2010 Lindeman’s Bin 50 Shiraz from Australia - big and bold and great with spicy beef.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.

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