I saw this and just had to post it .. *
Posted on Wed, Dec. 29, 2004 Not much real on TV's reality shows
I tell people I hate television, yet, turn one on and I'm glued to it. If I'm ever in a restaurant with one on, I zone out of the table conversation and fix on the TV across the room. The hardest part is stomaching most of the programming.
Reality shows are the worst thing to happen to TV. They are 100 percent fake, and have absolutely nothing to do with reality. The only point of the shows is to sell products for the advertisers, show toned bodies, cleavage, people fighting and the proverbial crybaby. That's all.
The reason these shows are not reality is because there are cameras in the participants' faces. They are performing. This has been a criticism of documentary filmmaking from day one. Turn a camera on, and people change.
Donald Trump thinks he's pioneering a new kind of TV with his retarded Apprentice show. Carefully selected participants (whom represent all possible ethnicities) live together while carrying out "business" ideas Trump presents to them. They compete for the highest profits in the business challenges, then someone from the losing team gets fired. The winner of the series gets a job somewhere in the Trump empire while losers get Playboy magazine offers. What drama! What crap!
Again, they waste our time showing people bickering, crying, backstabbing, kissing, touching, flirting and getting drunk. Ya know, real stuff.
The most hilarious aspect of the whole show is Trump himself and his mannequin sidekicks. It seems to be a true Trumpster, one must learn to pucker one's lips and look stern; so we believe this is "real serious business."
I'll let you in on a secret. Contrary to popular belief, Trump really isn't looking for an employee, or an apprentice (he can just put an ad in the paper like everyone else). He's looking to sell ads for his show, leverage the spendy ad buys into more seasons of crappy shows, and get a higher and higher fee for "performing" in the show. That's his goal.
The program is nothing but a commercial for his empire - which is fine - but also commercials for products he likes (or has interest in). In one episode, one team raffled off rental of a car. Guess what car was advertised throughout the show during commercial breaks?
Sometimes we get to see the cast, I mean "participants," have fun at a restaurant, which I assume paid to be featured in the show. Why would we care one bit what restaurant these bozos were at? And, why again, would we care to watch them eat. Oh, it's "reality" TV.
The business challenges Trump puts before them are stupid and insulting to most industries. It's not Donald's fault, he's being directed by market research and sponsorship. One episode the actors had to design clothing, get the designs made, then sell them. In two days. So now anyone can be a fashion designer?
And now the second season of Trump's riveting show has come to a "who gives a crap" ending. In the final three-hour-dark-hole that was the last episode, Donald, the king of business, couldn't even decide which candidate to hire. So he had to poll the studio audience long enough to let sponsors sell pop, jeans, cars, hotels, etc. What kind of worldly executive can't make a hiring decision?
Oh, by the way, I didn't actually "watch" any of Trump's side show; it was on in the other room and I sort of consumed it by osmosis. Somehow, I'm just drawn to stupid TV to see just how much stupider it can get.
Soon, reality shows will start to lose rating points and producers will have to start being more creative. People will get sick of watching stupid people do stupid things. Perhaps they'll have to revert to writing scripts to better control the action so exact situations unfold. Hmmm . . . what a concept.
Troy McQuillen, Aberdeen, owns McQuillen Design, a graphic design agency. He
can be reached by writing the American News at P.O. Box 4430, Aberdeen, S.D. 57402, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
. His column runs occasionally. http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdeennews/news/10520735.htm