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Posts Tagged ‘reality TV’

Cranial Cleanse: Reality Renormalization, Ben Franklin, Akon, Bowl Games Boggle, Catfish, Spelling, and Special Feature Shh’ers… You Know Who You Are.

February 16, 2011 8 comments

Can we just go ahead and properly rename “reality” shows like Survivor, Big Brother, etc as regular game shows, like they actually are?  In what person’s twisted “reality” do you get deprived of food and water for extended periods of time, purposely betray trust and stab people in the back, and generally do whatever it takes to screw people out of a large lump sum of money and obtain it for yourself?  What is the big difference between “reality” tv and a gameshow, that a “reality” show is not filmed in a studio, and sometimes they go outside? 

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When someone makes an ambiguous statement, and then follows it up by saying “You know who you are”, in reference to anonymously calling out people who do what’s being talked about;  sometimes that subject’s identification is a lot hazier than the speaker realizes.   It’s a lot like when someone that you don’t know is waving at someone behind you, but you don’t realize there’s someone behind you, and you think the mystery person is waving at you, and you question yourself whether you should point at yourself and mouth “me?” to the person, or not.  Then you turn around and realize there’s someone behind you returning the greeting.  You also conclude that, you’re an idiot that no one wants to wave at.  Moral of the story is that people need to be more specific; you people who are purposefully general, you know who you are…

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I hate every song Akon sings.

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The whole college football “bowl” season’s popularity boggles me.  It’s great when teams like my friend Adam’s favourite Oregon Ducks make it to the legit national championship; but for all the other bowl game’s whose participants are voted in rather than earning their spots, I have a hard time giving them much cred as they lay claim to the “prestigious” Godaddy.com Bowl Championship, and other such farce trophies.  I mean, are college football teams actually excited to win the godaddy.com Bowl? Can u tell someone you won that with a straight face and legitimately be proud of yourself?

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No disrespect to people out there who choose to use online dating services to find a mate, but if you do, do yourself a favor and see the movie “Catfish” first.  Please.  I won’t spoil the movie for you, but basically a woman grossly misrepresents herself through an online relationship and the guy calls her on it.  It’s pretty nutty.  On paper, you would think online matching services would be able to very scientifically and appropriately pair people, BUT that only has a chance of working when truthful data is entered.  Granted, the movie isn’t based on an online dating site (rather, an email/facebook connection), but the same premise still applies.

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I really enjoy the “Special Features” option on DVD’s; you know, deleted scenes and whatnot.  But the one thing I just don’t get why anyone would want to see/hear it is the movie’s audio commentary (usually by the director, actors, or people involved in the film) dubbed overtop of the show and drowning out the movie’s dialogue – I mean, who wants to watch a movie while someone’s talking the whole time?  Isn’t this just a “shhhh’ers” crowning moment?

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It’s a good thing electricity was invented; at this point, there wouldn’t have been enough trees left on the planet to burn for heat and light for the 7 billion people of today.  Well played, Ben Franklin.

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Accidentally misspelling “lose” as “loose” automatically makes your sentence twice as hilarious (laughing at you, not with you, hilarious), and makes you look like twice the idiot.

Shut Up Fashion Critics, Vest Veto, and that Damn TLC Channel.

December 10, 2009 10 comments

My wife and I have a rule against “Media Monopoly”, which means that you can control the TV, or you can control the computer, but you can’t monopolize both at the same time. If you’re sitting at the computer and you don’t like the show that the other has chosen, too bad. If you’re watching TV and the other person leaves the room for some reason, no cutting in while they’re gone. Fair is fair. My wife likes to “accidentally” leave the TLC Channel on whenever she’s finished watching TV. Because our computer is within seeing and hearing distance of said TV, I generally have to endure at least the audio of these programs while I’m in the room. So from having to endure the sounds of non-stop reality this and reality that, I’ve formed a few thoughts that I need to express:

Does it seem like TLC is kinda getting a little exploitative of the whole reality scene lately? It started out harmless enough with home-reno shows and stuff.  I personally thought the “real” reality TV concept was a superior approach over the “throw-them-in-the-jungle-and-make-them-play-games” version we get crammed down our throat.  But now the reality show market has become so saturated that it’s like a competition to see whose show features the biggest circus attraction. “This mom had 8 kids, let’s watch her for a while. Wait, we’ve got another family with 12 kids, film them. Whoa, hold on, This family has nearly 20 children, hmm that’s more interesting. Hey, our show about little people is popular, let’s spin it off and ride that out for a while. Hey, these people are good at making fun of people for not knowing how to dress themselves, that’ll bring in ratings.”  Which brings me to my next point:

Are Fashion critics not the lowest form of professional criticisers?

“Oh, she wore that color with those pants? Those shoes with that color print? What was she thinking?!? It’s a travesty against humanity that she’s out in public wearing that!!”

No, the fact that you’re getting a paycheque to belittle people is a travesty. Look jackasses, people go into their closet and put stuff on according to how they feel about it. Granted, some people do need some assistance in their co-ordination, but can we power-down the drama a bit? They’re people, and they’re wearing clothes. Big deal. Why should they care what you think anyways? If that’s too much for your brain to compute, then maybe you should consider a new line of work, or at least some medication. People who judge others strictly upon their appearance is just so petty, isn’t it?

Speaking of clothes though, is there a garment more impractical that the vest? Why would anyone want to wear a jacket with no sleeves? You can’t wear a vest in the summer, because it’s too hot. You can barely get away with it in the fall, and then by winter it’s entirely useless. Maybe the tail end of spring could see it back in the line-up. But for a fraction of 2 separate seasons’ worth of action, sleeveless garments are a poor in‘vest’ment (pun intended). Also, you (deservingly) have to put up with heckles like, “Hey, who stole your sleeves?” and similar cracks at your sub-intelligence of clothing choice. Unless your name is “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, or you’re due on stage at “The Tool Box”, do yourself a favour and don’t wear a vest.

Jon’s Right, TLC Needs to Subtract “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”

October 3, 2009 10 comments

I can’t believe I wrote a blog about Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Since the introduction of “Reality Shows (circa 1992, with the first instalment of ‘Survivor’),” the definition of “Reality” has nearly been re-written.  At some point, the worldwide viewing audience bought into this new theory that reality no longer meant “things that actually happen”; but instead that it meant shows replacing professional actors with amateurs, dropping them in a forest, house, or some form of abnormal living quarters, making them play stupid games with each other, vote each other out of that place, and networks hoping their cast created enough drama within themselves to captivate an audience for an entire season.  A few good video editors make a difference too.

Eventually, reality shows began to surface that were about real people andGosselin family their real life situations.  Obviously it did help that some of these situations were unique (see: “The Man Whose Arms Exploded”, “World’s Strongest Boy”, etc).  One show that most of us are familiar with now is “Jon & Kate Plus 8.” 

You don’t even have to have watched the show at this point; if you have a TV, the internet (you’re reading this, you have it), eyes and a brain that are capable of interpreting words and images on a magazine cover, or even just functional ears, you’ve caught wind of this show somewhere along the line.  Personally, I blame my wife for my introduction. 

mad kateBesides the fact that the couple bore 8 children, it’s just a show of them getting through their day.  Unfortunately, that’s not why you’ve heard of it.  “Jon & Kate Plus 8” became TLC’s highest rated show upon infidelity allegations, and the aftermath that has entailed.  For whatever reason, people have dug their claws into who cheated on who, who’s right and wrong, who the victim is, who the worse parent is, and generally every available factoid of a 10 year marriage that was dissolved in 4 seasons (despite a vow renewal episode).

From a business standpoint, I’m sure TLC couldn’t be happier.  Ratings = Advertisers = Merchandising = S’s with vertical lines through them.  The Gosselin’s got an outlandishly big home and property, and a probably a life’s financial setup to match.  But isn’t there some clause or fine print in that production contract that is concerned with the PLUS 8 faction of the equation?  Wouldn’t most people normally be put in jail for photographing and videotaping children the way and amount the Gosselin kids are? While these kids didn’t need to see their parents’ marriage collapse in the first place, can someone from that network not make the decision that those kids don’t need the whole world knowing about it, and asking them about it for the rest of their (already young) lives?  Divorce is hard enough on all members of a family without a televised audience.  Should morality not win out over ratings and dollars at some point?

Whether you like him or you hate him, Jon Gosselin said the most intelligentjon_gosselin thing anyone in that camp has said throughout the whole controversy.  The show needs to stop.  Whether you think it was because he was being cut from the title of the show, because of his diminished role in the filming, he wasn’t happy with compensation, or whatever you feel his motivation was; finally someone said what needed to be said.  This show is no longer beneficial or healthy for that family, and it needs to be removed from the air, at least for the good of the kids that both parents claim to be wholly devoted to.  This family’s issues need to be dealt with outside of the limelight, and behind closed doors; and with any luck they won’t turn out as the next Maculay Culkin’s or Dustin Diamond’s of the world. 

The problem with real life reality shows is that the people being filmed have to continue on with their lives after the camera stops rolling.  There’s no characters, scripts, re-shoots, or escape of any kind.  If two adults have chosen to subject their existences to this level of scrutiny, then so be it; but something is wrong when a child still gaining his or her own autonomy, let alone 8 of them, has to participate just because he was born into a family that just so happens to be newsworthy.  A court of law rarely will take a child’s testimony because they can be so easily influenced by others; I am sceptical of the claims by both the network and parents that the kids want the show to go on, or even if they know that they have a choice in the matter.

We are not without guilt either; I mean, someone is buying those tabloids, spiking those ratings, and fuelling a need for more.  There’s about 5 other shows on TV I know I’d rather watch; good, old-fashioned fictional situational comedies with paid professional actors and well written scripts.  Something tells me that if the Gosselin’s had the chance to shut the world out for one night, sit down as a family and watch an episode of “The Office” together instead of themselves, things might be a little different.  Okay, the kids wouldn’t get the humor, but you get the picture.  Bring back fake TV, these reality shows have run their course!

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