Monday, June 13, 2011
Kudo's to 20/20 and Debra Roberts for last weeks story on reality tv. I have not tuned into 20/20 for years but for some reason the story on reality tv stars had be press record on the DVR. Now believe me I am not giving up the few reality shows I watch (mostly competition), but... there was something about the story, the casting, the behind the scenes filming on reality tv that was so sleazy and depressing.
People used to flock to California with dreams of stardom. Back then however, it was about becoming an actor, a performer. Today it all about reality tv. The new focus for those in casting is now looking for the oddest, hottest, stupidest and craziest person they put in front of us. Hot and stupid seems to be one of the most sought after combos...
Soap Operas, often criticized, at their worst are Shakespeare compared to most of the garbage networks and cable channels are throwing at us. I think it speaks to what a network thinks of it's audience when it is trash they are trying to shove at them. Soap Opera's, like most scripted shows require things like a bit of commitment and a wee bit of a brain. These two things most reality producers hope viewers do NOT have.
It speaks to a tv form which capitalizes on those who fail to be it's stars. Washed up performers, out of work actors, could 'not sell a ticket if they tried' singers are coveted in the reality world. What other industry looks to it's failures for it's success.
20/20 did not make me want to stop watching reality all together. A little of anything is ok. It did however make me look at the reality industry very very differently. I always felt the popularity of Jersey Shore was a bit depressing but I now see it as a really sad statement on our current culture.
I am sort of proud to say I have yet to see one second of a Housewives show. I say sort of because, I can't judge, I have my guilty tv pleasures. But...I also know that like a McDonald's fry, if I had seen a minute a Housewife show...I most likely would have enjoyed it and watched so much more.
Whether it be Jersey Shore or another, I know there is really nothing wrong with enjoying any one of these shows. But there is something about the quantity of reality shows on the air that is becoming almost overwhelming. There just seems to be this rather scary connection with the education issues America is battling, and the increase in kids having the attention span of a gnat and the general dumbing down of our culture that reality not only promotes, but exploits.
Above: Hugh Jackman & Neil Patrick Harris
I have a few issues with NPH but I won't dwell on them here as last night overall he rocked hosting The Tony's. The least rated major award show is arguably the most entertaining. The show sped by last last night (when do you hear that about an award show) with amazing performance, fun acceptance speeches and lots of humour. My favorite number surprised me but I loved seeing the ensemble from Company performing together. An entire number which includes Patti Lupone without her getting a solo was a surprise, but the song and the staging of it were so entertaining you didn't miss it.
Above: Daniel Radcliffe
I was hoping for a Andrew Rannells win and the Spider-man Jokes were verging on boring (they have all been said before) not to mention those few minutes wasted repeating last years incredible number from Memphis over all a great 3 hours of television.
Above: Aaron Tveit (who should have had a Tony nom for NtN) in Catch Me If You Can.
Above: Andrew Rannells in The Book Of Morman
Below: Backstage with Patrick Wilson