Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Un-Reality

This nicely sums up our culture's obsession with "Reality TV"...

I've never hidden my dislike for so-called “Reality Television” -- from top to bottom (assuming such distinctions even apply to a genre dedicated to exploiting the lowest common denominator), I think it’s crap. When I want a dose of reality on TV, I’ll tune in PBS, Discovery, or a documentary of one sort or another -- actual reality delivered in a thoughtful, intelligent manner -- which I find a lot more interesting than the usual screaming, weepy histrionics typical of those highly-orchestrated "Reality" shows.*

But that's just me -- your mileage, as they say, may vary. To each his own.

Still, "Reality Television" has brought us at least one undeniably good thing: the reviews. When a good TV critic sinks his-or-her sharp canines into a new reality show, the resulting carnage makes for a very entertaining read. Two of Southern California's better TV critics (writing for the LA Times) leveled their guns this week at the latest offerings from the utterly unreal world of “Reality TV.” In this piece, Mary McNamara takes on two new shows from the She-God of Television Herself’s latest venture, the Ophrah Winfrey Network, or “OWN.” One show deals with people addicted to food (addiction itself becoming something of a media addiction), while the other plumbs the depths of the infamous Judd family. Again... While the Judds are doubtless interesting people leading full, rich lives, I've never understood America's apparently endless fascination with all the Naomis and Wynonas and whoevers. Then again, I’ve become accustomed to a state of eternal bafflement when contemplating the spectacle of “Reality TV.”

It is what it is.

Robert Lloyd opens his nuanced review of another new show like this:

“With “Pregnant in Heels,” premiering Tuesday, Bravo adds to its Theater of Schadenfreude yet another series about the helpless rich and their high-priced factotums.”**

That's classic Lloyd -- smooth as silk while packing a punch.

Both of these reviews are pithy and fun to read, offering a clinic in the fine art of good writing. They make it look easy -- and it's not.

Check 'em out. You'll be glad you did...

* The good news is we're living in a golden age for documentaries these days.

** Yeah, I had to look it up too...


John the Scientist said...

If you didn't see it, Ken Levine shredded Pregnant in Heels himself.

Sadly, I move amongst such idiots in NYC, and I can tell you that the yuppoes of the Upper East and West sides, along with their slightly poorer cousins in Park Slope, Brooklyn, are not misrepresented in any way shape or form. But then, I'm sure you see similar oxygen-wasters in LA.

Michael Taylor said...

Thanks for the tip, John -- I'll put up a post during the week to alert everybody else to Ken's scalding review of "Pregnant in Heels.".

You're right -- there are plenty of upper crust/big money morons here in SoCal. More proof, as if any were necessary, that money can't buy good taste...