October 5, 2006

Getting realistic about reality shows.

I was knocked out of love with "Project Runway" last week when they changed the rules midstream and declined to pick a loser. Four designers competed in Episode 11, and then four designers got through to the finale. It especially irks me because it was so obvious they would have eliminated Uli, but she was so clearly the best that week that the plan fell through. And it really bugs me that Tim Gunn's podcast about Episode 11 -- and Episode 11 alone -- is so eerily lobotomized. It puts the pod in podcast... in the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" sense. I felt like there was the real podcast, where he was lively and opinionated, and by some evil process, it was replaced by the pod podcast.

So, now I find myself over-sensitized to the fakery of everything. Editing is thoroughly manipulative. Vincent was chosen to be the season's crazy guy, so he got the crazy guy edit. Last night, we saw his worst outtake, where he got really upset because the producers took some of his expensive clothes and laundered them, apparently, in an ordinary washing machine, thus ruining them. Here's a 50-year-old man who cashed in his retirement savings to do the show, and he lost it when he saw his $100 shirts destroyed. Let's all laugh at him! Ha, ha, what a madman! Then there's Michael. He won the fan favorite award, one of the least surprising things that has ever happened on the show. Of course, we all love Michael. He was edited to be the sweetheart. If they had chosen to edit you into love with someone else, they could have.

14 comments:

George said...

I've never been able to watch any of the reality TV shoes, er, or the shows either. They're much too cruel.

Interesting you connect them with Invasion of the Body Snatchers....

"And so I ran. I ran! I ran! I ran! I ran as little Jimmy Grimaldi ran the other day."

Grimaldi

reader_iam said...

Edited Into Love--wouldn't that have been a perfect name for one of those compilation of songs, done as covers by no-name artists, that they used to sell over the TV late at night (Not available in stores!).

Not generally a reality-show fan, but this post has made me fall in love with the idea of being edited into love.

Cool post.

reader_iam said...

The sequel: "Proofread Into Paradise"!

vh: foxzm

DaveG said...

I've always said that "reality shows" are every bit as realistic as WWF wrestling.

reader_iam said...

Country song:

"My Heart Got Left On The Cutting Room Floor (And Now I'm Stuck With Reality)"

Oh, hell. This isn't my forte. Where is Ruth Anne Adams when you need her?

katiebakes said...

I really liked Laura's new makeup palette.

Pogo said...

There's no defense against that kind of editing. But "odd" people have always and forever been edited out to the fringes of life, TV or no. I understand it somewhat, but on the tube writ large and overplayed, it seems especially cruel.

P.S. Heidi's laugh is the most excruciatingly painful noise, nearly Yoko-ish in quality.

Tibore said...

"So, now I find myself over-sensitized to the fakery of everything."

I don't know... I've always felt that way about "Reality" shows, that I too am oversensitized to the fakery. To me, reality shows aren't really about reality, due to how contrived the situations are; they're merely unscripted. I imagine there can be many moments where the suspension of disbelief is shattered by overly transparent manipulation by editors and producers, if they're not careful about how they handle the onscreen presentation.

Fenrisulven said...

I've resigned myself to watching the show as a choreographed skit, not a reality show. Its still entertaining that way.

The only surprise to me [on this and previous epdisodes] is how the models are treated just a step up from mannequins.

knoxgirl said...

I was just saying to a friend the other day that I thought the last several Tim Gunn podcasts were very boring-- basically just summaries of the show.

I did enjoy the reunion show last night, however.

knoxgirl said...
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OddD said...

I've had that experience vis a vis reality shows.

I wonder if that translates into greater cynicism in real life: You begin to suspect everyone of editing and manipulating you.

Maybe they are.

Phila said...

Editing is thoroughly manipulative.

I come for the insightful legal and cultural analysis. But I stay for the mindboggling lack of self-awareness.

BOMANI said...

http://ejscoffeelounge.us/Media/%09DontTalkToStrangers.mp3